|ARTIFACTS FROM SIGNIFICANT AIRCRAFT...
Collect a Piece of History
Warbird Collections produces sculptures of artifacts from historical military aircraft. Warbird aircraft are usually of the WW2 era, such as the famous B-17 "Flying Fortress". Mostly designed in the 1930s and early 40s, these Warbirds were produced in large numbers and flown by our citizen soldiers to roll back and defeat the Axis Powers in Europe and the Pacific.
While produced in the tens of thousands, there are less than a hundred of these airplanes still flying. Many were lost and destroyed in the war. After the war, most of the rest were cut up for scrap and melted down. But so great are the memories and realization of the roles these planes and their crews played in the pivotal war for democracy in world history, that they have been sought out and restored to flying condition.
The artifacts used in our sculptures are no longer usable or flight certifiable. We will not use items that can be rebuilt or used in a flight certifiable Warbird due to the rarity of the parts. In many cases, we have traced the artifacts to a specific airplane.
The B-17 Flying Fortress flew bombing missions over Germany during the early period of World War II unescorted by protecting fighter cover. Aircraft losses of 10 to 15 percent per mission to Nazis fighter planes and Anti Aircraft Artillery flax were typical. Many were shot up badly with gapping holes, but managed to return to base to be repaired and sent back up. With the introduction of the long range fighter, the P-51 Mustang, in 1943 the B-17s could be escorted and protected from enemy fighter attack all the way to bomb drop and back; this was a large factor in reducing B-17 losses. However, losses to AAA were still significant. Before the P-51 escorts, only 35% made it to the 25 mission mark; afterwards, the survival rate rose to 66%.
There were 12,731 B-17s built. Only about 12 are still airworthy. A few more exist as ground displays and may be restored in the future. The planes that survived the war were surplused, sold for scrap, used for fire bombers, etc. Used up and thrown away.
The B-25 Mitchell was the first US aircraft to strike the Island of Japan with the daring Doolittle Raids on 18 April 1942. Sixteen B-25s were launched from the Aircraft Carrier USS Hornet against Tokyo, Kangegawa, Osaka, Yokohama, Kobe, Nagoya and Yokosuka navy yard. The air crews knew the mission was one way. The plan was to fly over, bomb Japan and land in China. Because of the aircraft size, bomb and fuel load, they could not return and land on the carrier. Many of the B-25s didn't make it to China, ran out of fuel and crashed into the sea.
Contact Pat McGinnis for more information
Tel: 1 805-895-7793
Fax: 1 805-967-0109
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