Greetings from The Aero Experience Team


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!

Blue skies,

Carmelo Turdo, Mark Nankivil and Fred Harl - The Aero Experience Team

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016: Warbirds - Twin-Engine Radial Transports

Fred Harl and Carmelo Turdo Aero Experience coverage of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016 continues with a look at some twin engine, radial-powered transport warbirds that we saw during the week.  These aircraft are classic designs that saw service by military and civil operators from the 1940s through the 1970s, and of course some are still in use on a less frequent basis or are in private ownership.          

The Beechcraft C-45 Bucket of Bolts is operated by the Commemorative Air Force and sports British Lend-Lease service colors.  It is but one of many variants of the Model 18 that served military missions in World War II and in post-war secondary roles.  The C-45 was the utility and staff transport type, while other sub-types served as navigator and bomb/gunnery trainers and also aerial mapping and photography.   The second C-45 on takeoff roll is painted to represent service at MCAS El Toro, CA.

Curtiss C-46 The Tinker Belle.  The C-46 was originally designed as a commercial airliner that was larger than it's competitor, the Douglas DC-3/C-47, but its commercial success was sidelined by the advent of World War II.  Nick-named the Commando, the C-46 served valiantly during the war and later found its niche in the cargo carrier market in outland areas like Alaska.   Currently, The Tinker Belle is owned and operated by the City of Monroe, NC and can be seen at many airshows and aviation events around the country.      

The Air Heritage Museum's Fairchild C-123K Provider transport features the added GE J85 jets.  The C-123 served as a tactical transport among other roles, and this particular aircraft served with the U.S. Air Force from its manufacture in 1956 until dropped from inventory in 1985.  It was acquired by Air Heritage in 1994, and has been restored for display at aviation events in salute to Vietnam veterans.

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