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Hawker Sea Fury

A late development of the Hawker Tempest, the Fury and Sea Fury were too late for WWII. Thanks in large part to the Sanders family, today there are several flying in the US, however, most have been re-engined with the Wright R3350. Other than some cowling mods and a four blade prop (turning the opposite direction), the conversion is hardly noticeable. The original Bristol Centaurus engine is a design only the seriously twisted gear head could love. As a purist, I prefer the Bristol engine, but if a swap keeps them flying...

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A very correct looking Sea Fury parked out at Santa Barbara airport.

 

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Remember the days when you could actually walk onto an airport?
Today I couldn't get within 100 yards of this spot without being arrested.

 

The big Bristol Centaurus is a sleeve valve engine. It does not have valves, rockers, pushrods or cams. Instead, there is a sleeve, between the cylinder and piston which rotates back and forth with the vertical motion of the piston. At the appropriate times, holes in the sleeve align with intake and exhaust ports in the cylinder wall.

Looking at the cutaway bore, what appears to be an upside down piston is in fact the cylinder head. It has "piston rings" to seal the sleeve, which extends up to just short of the top plate. One of the exhaust ports is revealed in the edge of the cut cylinder wall.

An impossibly complex arrangement of gears drives a lever at the bottom of the sleeve, and imparts the back and forth motion in conjunction with the rise and fall of the piston. That these engines worked reliably is a testament to something. I just don't know what

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Camarillo

Camarillo, CA
Air Show
August 2004

Its unfortunate both the Santa Maria and Camarillo air shows were scheduled for the same weekend. No doubt both could have been better attended if held on different dates. I chose the Camarillo show because I've not been to that one before and because the last year the Santa Maria show was devoted to T-28s. Knowing my luck, this year the Santa Maria show had a squadron of Spitfires on the ramp. From a photographic perspective, Camarillo is far better situated for aerial photos

 

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Fleet Biplane

Growing up, my father had a 1929 Fleet. It was a wonderful little aircraft, but its Kinner K5 engine was fragile and suffered two separate in-flight failures while he owned it. The second was on a cross country flight to Iowa. I may have eventually flown the plane back, but my life took a different course.

 

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Bushmaster 2000

FAA records show this trimotor was made in the 1980s, but I am of the impression it dates back to the '60s. It is certainly based on the Ford plans, but comparison with an original trimotor shows distinct differences between the two planes

 

Ryan PT-22 and ST

If nothing else, the PT-22 could separate boys from men. Its ground handling characteristics would bite the unsuspecting. A distinctive looking and sounding machine, there is no mistaking the clatter of its 5 cylinder Kinner B5 engine. The ST was an attempt to create a civilian version. Powered by the inverted 6-cylinder Fairchild engine, the ST looks swoopy by 1930s standards, but was clearly dated by the post war years. I'm not sure how many were made, but its a rare and desirable airplane.

 

B-25 and P-51 Flybys

I have a better shot of these two together, but the B-25 was in front, which makes for an awkward look. Proportionally, the smaller plane should be the closer of the two. To their credit, the pilots flew a nice low curve past the audience. Thanks guys

 

P-51D

The background in this shot is a little busy, but this is a particularly pretty Mustang. According to FAA records it belongs to Robert Davis of Tipton, IN. I doubt he flew in just for this show, but thanks for being there

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