Warbirds and Airshows
By David D Jackson

    Home   Indiana Museums   Indiana Tanks on Outside Display   The Beginning    Revisions   First Flight of P-38F Glacier Girl  
USS Theodore Roosevelt    WWII Aircraft Manufacturing Sites    Gateguards
 2007 Airshows   2008 Airshows  22009 Airshows   2010 Airshows    2011 Airshows    2012 Airshows   2013 Airshows   2014 Airshows   2015 Airshows   2016 Airshows
Aviation Museums of the Pacific Northwest
   Display Helicopter Locations   CAL FIRE   PV-2 Harpoon Photos     F6F Hellcat Photos
   Warbird Sightings   WWII US Air-Air Victories   Guest Photos    Indiana Warbirds   Featured Photos  Other Items   Links

Historic Sites   Historic Forts   Historic Texas Independence Sites   Pre-Historic Sites   Historic Manhattan Project Sites   GM Heritage Center
 

 

 

 2013 Airshows
Titusville (Tico), FL   NAS Key West, FL   Chino, CA   Indy 500 Fly-Over   Reading, PA WWII Weekend   CWH Show, Hamilton, ONT   Dayton, OH   Muncie, IN   Topeka, KS   Purdue University, IN   Thunder over Michigan, Belleville, MI   Hillsdale, MI   Marion, IN   Waukegan, IL   Glendale Airport, Kokomo, IN   Rome, GA   Peachtree City, GA   Houston, TX   Urbana, OH B-25 Gathering   B-25 Doolittle Memorial Fly-over at Dayton, OH

Gathering of Warbirds and Legends Warbird Photo Review
Warbirds at Forbes Field, Topeka, KS - August  2-4, 2013 - Photos taken Saturday August 3. 

  This was not an airshow, per se, but what the promoters called at times an aviation or warbird event.  Actually it was a big warbird fly-in that had a significant amount of flying as several of the C-47s/DC-3s that were giving rides, along with the one P-51 and B-17 "Texas Raiders".  There was a two hour block of flying of warbirds in the afternoon, which was not done in waivered airspace, but controlled by the tower.

I had been watching the growth of this event since it opened its website in February or so of 2013.  With the turmoil of military budget cuts and congressionally mandated sequester, 2013 was a difficult and turbulent year for the airshow industry, with many cancellations and reduced flying venues.  I looked at Warbirds and Legends as not necessarily a new way to put on an aviation event, because fly-ins are common, but because it had what it called allocated slots for particular type of aircraft it wanted filled.  In the case of C-47s there were 21 slots allocated and filled.  Each aircraft type had a number of slots allocated, some no doubt by the number of available aircraft but also by which ones would actually attend.  So as both as a warbird photo-documentarian and an airshow warbird coordinator, I had a keen interest in how this was going to turn out and had planned on attending since March of 2013.

The whole event was best summed up by Hermann Buttigieg from Malta who I sat next during the day when he commented when it was over that the best thing about The Gathering of Warbirds and Legends was the intimacy of the spectators and the warbirds.  Hopefully I have been able to portray that in some of the photos below.

 



This was one of several sponsor banners on the chain link fence.  I did see on my way in on the Kansas Turnpike a billboard advertising the event.


There were a lot of C-47s/DC-3s on the field and the event was really built around them.  The roots of Warbirds and Legends goes back to 2010 when 30 DC-3s got together for what they called "The Last Time" and this was a continuation of this, but now included other warbirds.  There were about 10 C-47s that attended and four of them are in this photo.


Two more here.


There are at least six Twin Beeches in this row, which were another large part of the event.


Three more Beeches were in this row including the Grimes Lighting Flying Laboratory from Urbana, OH.  In theory the event was to also pick up warbirds heading home from the EAA Convention in Oshkosh, WI, which would be those heading south and west.  The fact that the Grimes Beech showed up I thought was interesting.  It was good to see it again and maybe shows the popularity of this type event to the warbird operator community, although this Beech is not in warbird markings.


Some but not all of the T-6 Texan aircraft.  The weather was overcast all day.  While not the greatest for photos it did help keep the temperature down, which was 87 degrees F on Saturday.  A wind from the east actually backed the clouds in and also helped keep us cool on the tarmac.


For me the five aircraft in this line were part of the draw to the event.  Way down at the west end are the only two Grumman C-1A's currently flying, although only one is visible in the photo but the one can see the vertical stabilizer of the second.  Two rare Lockheed PV-2 Harpoons and a C-60 Lodestar, one of two on the field.  One does not see these aircraft at a regular airshow because the promoters do not normally book them.


 The two Grumman C-1A CODs.  To the right is the newly restored "Miss Belle" belonging to Trader Air, which just happens to be home based in Topeka at this airport.  In August of 2002 it suffered an engine failure in Illinois on the way home from the South Bend, IN Airshow.  The top cylinder of the number one engine blew off which took out the prop governor not allowing pilot Doug Goss and co-pilot Robert Eichkorn to feather the prop.  Doug and Robert were fortunately able to fight/wrestle/fly "Miss Belle" to the ground and land safely in a cornfield but it took until this event to get her back in the air. My understanding is that this was her first event since 2002.

On the left is Dan Serrato's Trader "Mudflap Girl" which has been been back on the airshow circuit for about 3 years now.  It was great to see the both of them together.


Grumman F7F "Bad Kitty" from John Session's Historic Flight Museum at Paine Field in Everett, WA.  It is really rare to get a Tigercat this far east as they are all located west of San Antonio, Texas.  This was in for Oshkosh and then stopped at Warbirds and Legends on its way home.  It was again another attraction for me as the last and only time I saw "Bad Kitty" was at the Historic Flight Museum in May of 2012.  (See more on this museum at: Historic Flight Museum)  She was scheduled for a flight demo on Saturday and Sunday but when landing on Friday night she developed a brake problem and could not fly during the weekend event.  It turns out the crew from the Historic Fight Museum was in the same hotel as me and as of Sunday morning the spare brake assembly was somewhere in Denver.  I left Sunday morning for home so I do not know whether the crew got it repaired yet Sunday, as they were planning to leave at 3 PM for home.  It should be noted it rained most of the day on Sunday in Topeka.


These static aircraft were from the Combat Air Museum located down the ramp here at Forbes Field.  There were supposed to have been several more of the aircraft from the museum on display, which was disappointing as the Constellation and the S-2 Tracker would have been nice to see on the ramp.  However, it may also have been the promoters were concerned with having room for all of the fly-in aircraft as there was limited ramp space, at least the way the event was set up this year.  Actually the ramp turns just beyond the white hangar in the background, which is to the south and to the north of the event is the FBO ramp.


Here are two more rare warbirds together.  Lockheed PV-2 Harpoons.  I have never seen two of these type together and the dark blue D model on the right I had never seen until this event.  It is from Stockton, CA and the tri-color Harpoon is from Heber City, Utah.


PV-2 Harpoon "Attu Warrior"


This is the only PV-2 I have seen with the external drop tanks.  Unfortunately I found out after the fact that the two Harpoons and two Lodestars went flying after the event Saturday evening, so I never got to see the Harpoons fly together.  Maybe next time.


The gates opened at 9 AM.  The schedule showed the first rides being given at 10 AM.  At 9:46 we had the engine start on C-47 Southern Cross, which was the first of around six times this aircraft started right in front of me.  Note the yellow rope which is the crowd line.  Engine starts and aircraft operations don't get much closer than this.


As promised right at 10 AM the first flight took off.


The C-47 Gunship "Spooky" taxies out.  Here she come out through the throat just to the left or north of my position.  This is close to the action.


"Southern Cross as back in her spot as "Spooky'" taxied to the active runway.


Then behind me this C-45 was also taxiing on the ramp.


A second C-45 here is just turning from north to east into the throat.  Note the Lodestar and Harpoon in the background.


Then another "Southern Cross" engine start.


Three ship "loose" formation of C-47 and C-45s.


About as low of a pass as we got all day.  This is "Spooky".


C-47 "Bluebonnet Belle" taxies into the throat as more crowd shows up for the event.




Here P-51 "Pecos Bill" taxies out with a rider in the back seat.  The Mustang was busy all day.


Part of the two hour flying portion was to have three C-47s drop airborne in a mass drop.  Here the jumpers rest up before going up and jumping out of a perfectly good airplane.


Here one of the jump planes takes off.  Note the door is off.


One of the C-60 Lodestars cranks up across the ramp.  I am not sure the last time I even saw a Lodestar.  What a treat!





Here C-60 "Goodtime Gal" comes up from the back of the ramp.


 


Starting to taxi out.




Due to the jump planes being in the air no props were allowed to turn so the Traders were tugged out to the area in front of us to be ready for their portion of the flying.


Owner and pilot Dan Serrato of "Mudflap Girl" is in the green flight suit in front of the number two engine.  He is also a flight surgeon for the US Naval Reserve at NAS New Orleans.


Each C-47 dropped its paratroopers at a different time.


The plan was for the jumpers to land in the grass between the ramp and runway 3, like this one will be doing.


It didn't work out in all cases.


Ouch!!!  This is the reason that no props are allowed to run during a drop. The wing to the right of the photo is B-17 "Texas Raiders".  The wind from the east was not taken into account and there was no streamer drop to see where the wind would take some of the jumpers.


Luckily he seems to be OK.  Maybe a little sore but he was able to stand up.


The pre-flight briefing for the B-17 ride.


"Mudflap Girl" fires up!


Trader C-1A from Trader Air getting ready to go.


A very rare combination at Warbirds and Legends.  Two C-60 Lodestars flying together.


"Texas Raiders" fires up as Curt Rowe from Columbus, Ohio, in the flight suit, stands by as fire guard.


 Four Stearmans flying together.


Here we go.  One of about 5 passes the two Traders made, each on getting a little lower as the tower brought them gradually down.  Hooks Down.  Topeka Warbirds and Legends at its finest.


The Trackers, Traders and Tracers had a fourth wheel in back which was sometimes called a "training wheel."  Here Dan Serrato shows how it saves from scraping the rear fuselage as he keeps the nose up for aerodynamic braking to slow down and save wear on the brakes.


This shot of "Miss Belle" was taken through a pop-up tent which was between the Trader and me.  Doug Goss is getting ready to land at Forbes Field.  In the background is the grandstand for the race track across the road.


This was the best aerial photo of "Texas Raiders" I could get as she comes back in from her ride.


This is the first time I have ever seen a Trader fold its wings.  A rare sight for all of us at Warbirds and Legends.




Note that one wing folds behind the other.


Here Spooky taxies back into the ramp after the fly-by.


Here she is making the turn to get back to her parking place.


 

Originally Warbirds and Legends had planned to have a mass fly-by of around 50 aircraft.  For a probably a lot of reasons this did not happen.  Which isn't all that bad as trying to put that many aircraft in the air at one time is problematic.  Instead at the end we had two groups of three like this one flying far enough apart I could only photograph one group.  Actually the crowd seemed to be happy with that.


According to a post event article I saw online Warbirds and Legends plans to do this again in 2014.  All things being equal I will probably return.  For those that are looking for the high performance warbird or civilian aerobatics that is not going to be seen here, assuming the venue does not change.  But for those warbird enthusiasts that like to be around the aircraft when the radial engines start or the aircraft taxi by, Warbirds and Legends has some promise and things to offer.  That and the fact that some really interesting and different warbirds were in attendance this year makes this an event to keep in mind for the future.

Titusville (Tico), FL   NAS Key West, FL   Chino, CA   Indy 500 Fly-Over   Reading, PA WWII Weekend   CWH Show, Hamilton, ONT   Dayton, OH   Muncie, IN   Topeka, KS   Purdue University, IN   Thunder over Michigan, Belleville, MI   Hillsdale, MI   Marion, IN   Waukegan, IL   Glendale Airport, Kokomo, IN   Rome, GA   Peachtree City, GA   Houston, TX   Urbana, OH B-25 Gathering   B-25 Doolittle Memorial Fly-over at Dayton, OH
 

 


 
Home  Indiana Museums    Indiana Tanks on Outside Display   The Beginning    Revisions   First Flight of P-38F Glacier Girl  
USS Theodore Roosevelt    WWII Aircraft Manufacturing Sites    Gateguards
 2007 Airshows   2008 Airshows  22009 Airshows   2010 Airshows    2011 Airshows    2012 Airshows   2013 Airshows   2014 Airshows    2015 Airshows  2016 Airshows  
Aviation Museums of the Pacific Northwest
   Display Helicopter Locations   CAL FIRE   PV-2 Harpoon Photos     F6F Hellcat Photos
   Warbird Sightings   WWII US Air-Air Victories   Guest Photos    Indiana Warbirds   Featured Photos  Other Items   Links

Historic Sites   Historic Forts   Historic Texas Independence Sites   Pre-Historic Sites   Historic Manhattan Project Sites   GM Heritage Center


E-mail us at: 
Webmaster