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

Friday, May 22, 2020

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2019: Boeing Plaza - P-64 and XP-82 Rare Warbirds

The Aero Experience continues our coverage of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2019, sponsored by Elite Aviation, with this concluding look at the aircraft on display in Boeing Plaza. Here we feature two rare warbirds - the North American P-64 and the same company's XP-82 Twin Mustang. Both are the sole flying examples of their types, and will be included in our upcoming warbirds series. 

The North American Aviation P-64 was a fighter development of the AT-6 Texan trainer series meant for export as the clouds of war were building. The aircraft was slightly smaller than the Texan, and it was armed with two machine guns. Seven were delivered to Peru by 1939, and they were used in a brief conflict with Ecuador.  Also in 1939, six cannon-armed fighters were being shipped to Thailand, but were held in Hawaii when Japan invaded that country. They were returned to the U.S. and used as advanced fighter trainers at Luke Field, AZ. The one featured here survives today with the Experimental Aircraft Association and was flown at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016 for the first time in many years.  

The North American XP-82 was prominently displayed in Boeing Plaza and flew in airshows throughout the week (airshow coverage coming soon in our warbirds series). Winner of the 2019 Phoenix and Golden Wrench Awards, this was certainly a restoration worthy of recognition. The aircraft was purchased by Tom Reilly from the Soplata collection and meticulously restored over ten years prior to its appearance here. The F-82 series replaced the Northrop P-61 Black Widow in the night fighter role and was also used in the escort fighter and ground attack role during the Korean War before its retirement with the advent of tactical jet aircraft.

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