Aircraft

Our fleet consists of the C47 "Southern Cross", A26K "Special Kay."

C-47 in flight

Douglas C-47

"The DC-3 is given most of the credit for an almost 600% increase in airline passenger traffic between 1936 and 1941. Recognizing its great potential as a military transport, the United States Army specified a number of changes needed to make the aircraft acceptable for military use, including more powerful engines, the removal of airline seating in favor of utility seats along the walls, a stronger rear fuselage and floor, and the addition of large loading doors. A large order was placed in 1940 for the military DC-3, which was designated C-47 and became known as "Skytrain," a name it would soon be asked to live up to." [Quoted from Warbird Alley]

A26K - Special Kay

The Nimrods were tasked with the covert, nighttime interdiction of enemy troops and truck convoys transporting supplies down the Ho Chi Minh Trail to the communist forces in South Vietnam. Their A-26s proved to be a deadly truck-killing aircraft. These aircrews and their redesigned WWII propeller-driven aircraft had a destructive effect far out of proportion to their numbers. Awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for “extraordinary gallantry in connection with their military operations in Southeast Asia,” the Nimrods were recognized as the best truck killers of the War! For more on Special Kay and her restoration progress, please visit www.thormeyer.net.

T-33 Fighter Jet

The P-80 Shooting Star built by Lockheed in 1944 was the US’s first operational jet fighter. In 1948, the need for a jet trainer prompted the US Air Force and Navy to request a two seat version of the P-80 or F-80 as it had been redesignated. The two seater was first called a P-80C but that was changed soon after to T-33. The airplane became the most widely used jet trainer in the world. The last military one was retired in 2017 from the Bolivian Air Force. Over 6500 T-33’s were manufactured by Lockheed while both Japan and Canada built them under license from Lockheed that brought the total over 7000. Our airplane was one of the Canadian versions manufactured by Canadair as a CT-133 in 1953. It served in the Canadian Air Force until 2003. It was surplussed and purchased by Dennie Darnell of Alford, Tx. It was purchased from his estate in 2016. Our airplane is painted in the colors and markings of the 43rd Bomb Wing, Strategic Air Command, at nearby Carswell AFB. In the 1960’s, the unit operated nuclear capable B-58 Hustlers and T-33’s were used for pilot proficiency flights. Dennie was a member of the 43rd so this was done in his honor. Today, there are only a handful of T-33’s still flying and we are fortunate to have one of these. We attend airshows to honor all veterans and in particular, those who flew or maintained the type.