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Barnstormers Logo ISSUE 445 - September 2016
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AirVenture Oshkosh 2016 - The Jets - Civilian
By Kevin Moore, Contributing Editor & Photographer
Watford, Ontario, Canada
Last week, we had a look at current military jet aircraft, such as the F-15,
that attended EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016.
Last week we had a look at the line up of assorted military jet aircraft that attended EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016 including the F-4, F-15, F-16, F/A-18, KC-135 and C-5M. This week we return to Oshkosh to have a look at the line up of assorted civilian registered jet aircraft that participated in the event.
The beautiful lines of the F-86 Sabre are evident at any angle.
Probably one of the most iconic and sought after of the military jets, now turned civilian, is the fabulous F-86 Sabre. There were three F-86 Sabres that attended the airshow, two of which participated in various flypasts. The F-86 was designed & built by North American Aviation during the mid to late 1940s and first flew in October of 1947. North American built some 7,800 aircraft with Canadair building another 1,815 and another 112 built as the Avon Sabre in Australia. The F-86 was the United States first swept wing jet fighter aircraft capable of effectively competing against the Russian MiG-15 during the Korean War. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, several speed records were broken by pilots flying the Sabre including an official world speed record of 670mph in September of 1948. The Sabre was also said to have unofficially broken the sound barrier in a dive (the XP-86) in October of 1947. US pilot, Jacqueline Cochran, became the first woman to break the sound barrier flying a Canadian built Canadair F-86 Sabre Mk 3. The Sabre has a top speed of 687mph at sea level, 678mph at 35,000' with a service ceiling of almost 50,000' and a climb rate of 9,000 ft/min recorded at sea level. Many Sabres still fly today in private hands with several more under restoration.
The MiG-17 first saw combat over the Straits of Taiwan against US supersonic aircraft.
A less common aircraft is the (Mikoyan-Gurevich) MiG-17, a high-subsonic fighter which was produced in the USSR beginning in 1952. The MiG-17 was developed from the less advanced and slightly smaller MiG-15. It had a thinner and more highly swept wing, and tail, than did the MiG-15 which made it more controllable at high Mach numbers than the MiG-15 which was not capable of exceeding Mach 0.92. MiG-17s first saw combat over the Straits of Taiwan when they were effectively used against supersonic fighter aircraft of the US during the Vietnam War. MiG-17s were utilised by more than 40 countries and are still operational with a few today. It has a top speed of 711mph at 10,000' with a service ceiling of over 54,000' and a rate of climb of 12,800 ft/min.

Not a very common aircraft to see in North American skies but appearing at Oshkosh
was the Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jet.

The Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jet was designed as a light attack and advanced jet training aircraft that was co-designed by both Dornier Flugzeugwerke in Germany and Dassault Aviation in France that first flew in October of 1973. Both the French and German Air Forces flew the Alpha Jet, though Germany retired the aircraft in 1990 due to military cutbacks. The Alpha Jet flies, or flew, with a dozen different countries in a number of different roles including training and ground attack. It has a maximum speed of 621mph at sea level with a service ceiling of 48,000' and a rate of climb of 11,220 ft/min.
The Canadian built Canadair CT-133 (T-33) Silver Star, left,
and the American built Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star, right.
Two T-33s made the trip to Oshkosh, a Canadian built Canadair CT-133 (T-33) Silver Star which was outfitted with the Rolls-Royce Nene 10 engine and the other a Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star which was outfitted with the Allison J33 engine. The Canadair T-33 also wore larger wingtip fuel tanks than did the Lockheed T-33. Lockheed built 6,557 T-33s and Canadair built 656. Several examples of both still fly today in Canada, the US and even a couple in Europe. There were six countries which operated the Canadian built T-33 and roughly 40 countries that flew the Lockheed built T-33. Depending on the version built, the T-33 had a speed of 570 - 600mph and a service ceiling of 48,000'.
The Marchetti S-211 is an Italian designed & built jet training aircraft.
There were two SIAI-Marchetti S-211s that attended Oshkosh and both in very different liveries. The S-211 was designed and built in Italy by SIAI-Marchetti and first flew in April of 1981. The 211 is a relatively small, tandem seat jet fighter/trainer powered by a Pratt & Whitney Canada JT15D turbofan engine. The very first air force to place an order for the aircraft was the Singapore Air Force which purchased 10 aircraft. Only 3 different militaries used the 211 with the Philippine Air Force possibly being the only military to currently still fly the aircraft. However, several have made their way into private, civilian hands in Australia and the United States. The 211 has a top speed of 460mph, a service ceiling of 40,000' and a range of over 1,000 miles.
The L-39 Albatros has become one of the most popular and common former military jets that have found their way into civilian hands.
Probably the most common former military jet on hand at Oshkosh was the L-39 Albatros designed and built by Aero Vodochody in Czechoslovakia. It was designed in the 1960s as a replacement for the L-29 Delphin which had a less powerful engine, mid-wing design and was somewhat slower. The L-39 is still the most widely used jet trainer in the world and has served with more than 40 different air forces throughout the world. It has flown as a jet trainer, advanced jet trainer and flown as a light ground-attack aircraft and has also been modified for use as a target tug. The L-39 was in production from 1971 until 1996 with over 2,900 having been built and has a top speed of 609mph, an average maximum speed of 466mph and a service ceiling of more than 36,000'.
The A-4 Skyhawk served with both the US Marine Corps and the US Navy.
The Douglas A-4 Skyhawk was developed in the 1950s for the US Navy and Marine Corps. It is a single seat, carrier capable attack aircraft with a delta wing. It first flew in June of 1954 and entered service just over 2 years later and served with the US Marine Corps until 1998 and the US Navy until 2003. A-4s served during the Vietnam War, capable of delivering a payload equivalent to that of a World War II era Boeing B-17 bomber and was capable of carrying & delivering nuclear payloads. The Skyhawk has a maximum speed of 673mph, a range of over 2,000 miles and a service ceiling of over 42,000'.
Though not a display aircraft as such, American Airlines used one of their 737s to fly a group of very special people to Washington, D.C. for the day, a plane full of Vietnam veterans.
This American Airlines 737 was used to fly 100 Vietnam War Veterans from Oshkosh to Washington, D.C. for the day as a salute to Veterans Day where they were greeted with a water canon on arrival. They were given the opportunity to visit an assortment of war memorials and they were later treated to a concert where they entered by means of a path that was lined by an assortment of active duty and reserve military from the various branches of the US Military, friends and family as well as supporters, leading up to the Ford stage. After a busy and emotional day, the Veterans were flown back to Oshkosh where family, friends and Oshkosh visitors greeted them upon their return. It was a wonderful way to honour those who were often treated so poorly upon their return from the Vietnam War.
Vintage jet aircraft are becoming a very popular aircraft to own & fly throughout North America, and the world. In the coming years, as more are retired from active military service, expect to see more and more privately owned jet fighters!
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016 was a very successful event and the mix of current and former military jet aircraft were very popular with visitors at the event. Often loud and fast, these jets made an impression on young and old alike. Eyes and cameras were turned skyward every time one of these jet aircraft made a pass and the smiles on the assorted faces were ear to ear. Let's hope that these vintage and currently serving military jet aircraft continue to fly for many years to come!
AirVenture Oshkosh is probably one of the best places to see a wide
variety of vintage jets including the iconic T-33.
For more information on AirVenture Oshkosh visit:
A fabulous formation that included 2 F-86 Sabres, a MiG-17 and an A-4 Skyhawk.


The popular L-39 Albatros, built by Aero Vodochody.


The beautiful lines of the F-86 Sabre.
The venerable Douglas A-4 Skyhawk.
Two of the 4 L-39s wearing very similar paint schemes.
One of two Marchetti S-211 that attended the show.
Another F-86 Sabre in a straight and level pass.
Another of the vintage formation including the A-4, 2 F-86s and the MiG-17.

The Marchetti 211 just after touchdown.

The Sabre in its final pass, later in the day.
By Kevin Moore, Contributing Editor & Photographer
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