Cascade Warbirds at Paine Field on May 19

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

Members of Cascade Warbirds will be exhibiting their aircraft at Paine Field Aviation Day on May 19 in the annual event that celebrates the beginning of general aviation flying season.  They will be featured with other flyers from Paul Allen’s Flying Heritage and Combat Armor Collection, Historic Flight Foundation, and members of the Washington Pilots Association.  The free event will also include Young Eagles flights to introduce youngsters to the experience of flight in private aircraft.

Cascade Warbirds is a group of military aviation enthusiasts from throughout the Northwest.  Many members are pilot-owners who operate a wide variety of former military aircraft.  Examples which are expected include the following:

T-6 Texan, Harvard.  Built by North American Aviation, the Texan was used by the US military as an advanced trainer to prepare cadets to fly the famous North American P-51 Mustang.  Navy versions were identified as SNJ.  The Harvard was a nearly identical version built and operated by the British Commonwealth countries.

T-28 Trojan.  Another North American Aviation product, designed to replace the T-6.  The 800 horsepower A model was the US Air Force primary trainer from 1950 to 1964.  Later B and C models with up to 1535 hp were used by the US Navy to train Navy and Marine pilots until 1984.  The Trojan also saw combat with both the US and South Vietnamese Air Force through 1968.

CJ-6.  An improved design of the Russian Yak 18, the Nanchang CJ-6 was used to train pilots of the Peoples Republic of China Air Force.  It is popular as an affordable, relatively high performance platform to enable pilots to develop formation flying skills.

FW149D.  Designed by the Italian firm of Piaggio and manufactured by the famous German company Focke Wulf, this four place German Luftwaffe trainer has full aerobatic ratings.

IAR-823.  Designed and built in Romania for their Air Force, this four place trainer has aerobatic ratings and hard points for mounting weapons.  Because it uses many American components, it is attractive to our market and about 50 are owned in the US.

L-3 Grasshopper.  Built by Aeronca, the L-3 was actually ordered by the US Army Air Corps prior to WWII.  The two place tandem craft served as an observation plane and trainer for later liaison aircraft.

L-4 Grasshopper.  The military version of the famous Piper Cub is distinguished by plexiglass skylight and rear windows for improved visibility.  The L-4 began its military career before WWII as a trainer and served as a slow observation plane throughout that war and even saw wide use in the Korean War.

L-17 Navion.  Designed by North American Aviation right after WWII for the civilian market, and manufactured by several different companies, military versions were used in a liaison role.

Aviation Day activities will begin at 9:00 a.m. with flights by two historic aircraft of the Flying Heritage Collection commencing at noon.  Historic Flight Foundation will be offering rides in several of their aircraft as well as flying two fighters, a bomber, and a DC-3.  Demonstration and formation flying by Cascade Warbirds will follow the host organizations’ flights.

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