Museum of Aviation
Museum of Aviation, now the second largest museum in the United States Air Force. Displaying 93 aircraft and hundreds of exhibits on a beautiful 51 acre site, the museum has grown into a significant exhibit, education and cultural center drawing more than 500,000 visitors a year.
The PT-19, developed by Fairchild Republic Company in 1938 to satisfy a military requirement for a rugged monoplane primary trainer, was ordered into quantity production in 1940. In addition to being manufactured by Fairchild during WWII, the “Cornell” was produced in the U.S. by the Aeronca, Howard and St. Louis Aircraft corporations and in Canada by Fleet Aircraft Ltd.
The Museum`s aircraft on display was among the last of the 1944 production run of 3,004 B-25Js produced by North American Aviation at Kansas City, Kansas. This bomber remained in the United States from its delivery in August, 1945, until it was dropped from the inventory in April, 1948.
C-46 was developed from the new and unproven commercial aircraft design. the CW-20, which first flew in March 1940. Deliveries of AAF C-46s began in July 1942. During WWII, the AAF accepted 3,144 C-46s for hauling cargo and personnel and for towing gliders. Of this total, 1,410 were C-46Ds. The C-46 gained its greatest fame during WWII transporting war materials over the “Hump” from India to China after the Japanese had closed the Burma Road. C-46 flights on this treacherous air route over the Himalayas began in 1943. The Commando carried more cargo than the famous C-47 and offered better performance at higher altitudes, but under these difficult flying conditions, C-46s required extensive maintenance and had a relatively high loss rate.
In 1954, the U. S. Air Force acquired seven P2V-7U patrol bombers from the Navy to be converted for use as radio trainers and reconnaissance aircraft.ò These planes bore the serial numbers 54-4037 through 54-4043.ò Although the existence of the RB-69A was acknowledged by the Air Force, details concerning the electronic equipment aboard was classified.ò This version of the P2V-7 Neptune carried more equipment than its Navy counterpart.
The versatile Albatross amphibian was designed to meet a Navy requirement for a utility aircraft which could operate from land or water and, with skis, from snow and ice. The prototype first flew on October 24, 1947 and soon after the USAF ordered a quantity for air-sea rescue duties as SA-16As. (In 1962, the USAF changed the designation to HU-16.) Grumman delivered 297 SA-16As to the Air Force; most were assigned to the Air Rescue Service.
The U-2 was designed and built for surveillance missions in the thin atmosphere above 55,000 feet. As unusual single-engine aircraft with sailplane-like wings, it was the product of a team headed by Clarence L. “Kelly” Johnson at Lockheed’s “Skunk Works” in Burbank California. The U-2 made its first flight in August 1955 and began operational service in 1956. Its employment was kept secret until May 1, 1960, when a civilian-piloted U-2 was downed on a non-USAF reconnaissance flight over Soviet territory.
Russell Parkway & GA Hwy. 247
Warner Robins, Georgia
Contact: Paul Hibbitts – Museum Director