The Aero Experience is a celebration of Midwest aviation and aerospace achievement. We invite you to join us as we explore the treasures of Midwest aviation through first-hand experiences. Our contributors take turns flying lead, and we are always looking for new destinations. Check in with The Aero Experience frequently to see where we will land today, and then go out and have your own aero experiences!
Carmelo Turdo, Mark Nankivil and Fred Harl - The Aero Experience Team
The Aero Experience continues our coverage of the recent Southwest Tour with a look at visits to Gainesville, TX and Fort Smith, AR. We visited the iconic ATL-98 Carvair, Miss 1944, at Gainesville Municipal Airport, TX. The Carvair was originally manufactured as C-54 44-9023 and was registered for civilian use under several operators before being converted to the Carvair aircraft No. 9 (of 21) and used by British Air Ferries. The Carvair employed an open-nose configuration for loading cars for cross-channel flights and other bulk cargo operations flown by other carriers. It is hoped that it will return to flying status in the future.
At Ft. Smith Regional Airport, we found military aircraft on the TacAir apron, including this T-38 Talon and F/A-18C Hornet.
The Aero Experience Southwest Tour included a stop at the Vintage Flying Museum at Fort Worth's Meacham Field. We caught the Douglas A-26K, Special Kay, taking off on a Saturday and her return when we went back on Sunday. The museum staff was great, and there were some magnificent aircraft on display. Some of the
flyable aircraft we saw were tenants and not necessarily part of the Museum
itself.The EA-3B Skywarrior was recently restored. Also featured here are the Douglas C-47, Southern Cross; Royal New Zealand Air Force Harvard; the Commemorative Air Force B-24, Diamond Lil; a Lockheed T-33 (RCAF Silver Star), Piaggio P.136L1 Royal Gull amphibian; Douglas A-26B Invader, Night Mission; and Stinson L-5 Sentinel.
The Aero Experience recently took our regular trip south to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport to survey the variety of commercial airline traffic that feeds into the fourth busiest airport in the U.S. The aircraft in this series were viewed from Founder's Plaza, an observation area dedicated in 1995 to honor the airports early backers and establish a connection between the airport and the community. Visitors from all over come to get a front row seat to the parade of arriving and departing aircraft, some of which are represented here. From MD-80s to A380s, you can see it all at DFW!