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Air-Minded: PASM Photoblog VII

Is it time for another batch of photos from Pima Air & Space Museum? Let me check. Yes, my overflowing Flickr account says it is!

First up, our newest exhibit, a Supermarine Spitfire Mk XIVe recently acquired from the RAF Museum in Hendon, London.

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Supermarine Spitfire Mk XIVe, Pima Air & Space Museum

The Mk XIV is a late-WWII model of the original Spitfire, fitted with a Rolls Royce Griffon engine and five-bladed prop. The Mk XIVe is a photoreconnaissance variant with large camera “portholes” behind the cockpit. Its wings are clipped to improve performance at low altitude. Some additional photos:

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Good view of the clipped wings

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Side view showing camera port


The Spitfire arrived just two weeks ago and was taken straight out of its shipping crate and reassembled. Up close it’s a bit rough, and I’m told it’ll be taken off the floor for new paint once other projects are moved out of the restoration hanger.

Visible behind the Spit in one of the photos above is our Consolidated PBY-5A Canso, a Canadian version of the Catalina. Restoration staff recently completed building a water diorama beneath and behind the Canso to show it in its natural environment.

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Consolidated PBY-5A Canso, Pima Air & Space Museum

Some time back the museum acquired a Douglas A-24B Banshee, the Army Air Force version of the Navy SBD Dauntless dive bomber. Our Banshee came without wings, but for the last two years restoration has been busy fabricating new ones from factory blueprints. Here’s our Banshee, and I must say it looks ready to fly:

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Douglas A-24B Banshee, Pima Air & Space Museum

One of the museum’s longer-term restoration projects is an IL-2 Shturmovik. This one was fished out of a swamp near Stalingrad, and only the metal parts had survived. In an earlier photoblog I posted photos of IL-2 parts stored in a corner of the main restoration hangar. The engine, for as long as I can remember, has been on display in one of the WWII hangars. Restoration is fabricating new wood wings and a rear fuselage, and soon the old and new parts will come together. I can’t say when the Shturmovik will be done, but it’s great to see it coming back to life.

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IL-2 Shturmovik forward fuselage

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IL-2 Shturmovik wing

I’ll finish with an interesting angle on one of our Vietnam veterans, recently returned from restoration with new paint. Let’s hear it for extra-long selfie sticks!

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McDonnell-Douglas F-4C Phantom II, Pima Air & Space Museum

© 2017, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.

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