Exceptional Warbirds Bring History to Life at Dream Machines
If you have a passion for planes — especially vintage warbirds — you won’t want to miss the this year’s Pacific Coast Dream Machines Show, April 26-27 at Half Moon Bay Airport.
One of the first planes used in World War II was the Curtiss P-40. Dubbed the "Warhawk" by U.S. forces and "Kittyhawk" by British forces, the P-40 first flew in 1938. This single-engine, single-seat, all metal fighter was a highly regarded fighting tool for Allied Forces
Another fighter plane featured at Dream Machines is the P-51 Mustang. Introduced into action in March, 1943, the P-51 Mustang was a highly effective escort plane for bombing missions. Agile and powerful, the Mustang was used by both U.S. and British forces. It is credited with saving many lives in the air as it accompanied bombers over manufacturing plants in Germany.
One of the Dream Machines most popular attractions is ace pilot Eddie Andreini’s aerobatic YAK-9U. Andreini has taken this Russian-made plane to air shows the world over, executing dramatic loops, spectacular spirals, and unnerving tumbles from Canada to Australia. U.S. Aviator Magazine described Andreini’s show as packed with "lots of maneuvers that descend tantalizingly close to the ground."
Produced from 1942 to 1948, the YAK was Russia’s primary heavy fighter during WWII, and into the Korean War. Andreini says his restored and modified YAK can out-accelerate, out-climb, and out-maneuver a P-51 Mustang, "one of America’s greatest assets in WWII."
Andreini’s moves are all modeled on evasive aerial maneuvers performed by Allied pilots. If you want to learn how those pilots acquired their flying skills, make sure to take a look at the North American T-6. Known as "The Texan" by the U.S. Navy, and "The Harvard" by the British Royal Air Force, the T-6 was designed as a transition plane between basic trainers and first-line tactical aircraft. In all, the T-6 trained several hundred thousand pilots in 34 different countries over a period of 25 years, and into the beginning of the Korean War.
On its coat-tails came the North American T-28. Like its predecessor, the T-28 was used to train pilots. It was the first plane designed to help transition aviators to jets. A version of it is still used today to teach the ABCs of the sky.
For those with a modern craving for speed, the Lockheed T-33 is not to be missed. Today it is the most widely used trainer jet in the world and serves in many military units across the globe.
Hawker Sea Fury
Dream Machines isn’t just about American-made warbirds. Consider the Hawker Sea Fury, the British Royal Air Force’s brilliant successor to the Typhoon and the Tempest. The last propeller-driven plane to serve with the Royal Navy, the Sea Fury is distinctive for its semi-elliptical outer wing panels. Although the Sea Fury’s upright wings might make it stand out, each of the Dream Machines historic war birds is testimony to planes of yesteryear — and how they helped move us toward the world of aviation today.