Flight Lines

March 23, 2023
March 2023 Flight Lines

Flight Lines March 2023

March 11, 2022
March 2023 Flight Lines

Women’s History Month

Women’s Veteran’s Memorial
February 1, 2022

Remembering Birmingham’s Richard Macon

On a bet, Richard Macon, a Birmingham native andgraduate of Miles College in Fairfield, AL with abachelor’s degree in mathematics, took the entranceexams for the U. […]
January 1, 2022

Remembering Walter Ray, CIA Pilot
Tragic Crash of an Lockheed A-12 • A New Blackbird? Air America CIA Pilot • Visits Museum

n January 5, 1967, a sister-ship of our museum’sLockheed A-12 (Article 131) was returning from atraining flight to the now well-known CIA’s advancedaviation research facility base […]
December 1, 2021

Wright Flyer Monument at Maxwell AFB
Birmingham’s 150th Anniversary • Wright Brothers Day The Third USS Birmingham • A Year of Transformation • The Watch That Came In From The Cold

Wright Brothers Day commemorates the first successful flight of the Wright Flyer I, heavier-thanair powered aircraft built by Orville and Wilbur Wright. It took place on […]
November 1, 2021

The Military’s First Aircraft Carrier
Veterans Day – 2021 • Tomorrow’s Carrier Aviation • New Exhibit Seating In Hangars

As heavier-than-air aircraft developed in the early 20th century, various navies began to take aninterest in their potential use as scouts for their big gun warships. […]
October 1, 2021

94th Aero Squadron (Hat In The Ring) – American Expeditionary Force 1917
Alabama Remembers James Meissner • Current happenings – Banks Jet & B-25 • Events – Opera Birmingham At the Museum • Rosie, the Riveter Founder Passes • The “Iceberg” Aircraft Carrier

September 11, 2021

The LTV A-7E “Corsair II”
The Flying Chainsaw • Why A Skills Shortage • Meet The “Raiders” • AwI – Our New Mission

In 1964, Ling-Temco-Vought (LTV) won the Navy design competition for a new, light attackaircraft to replace the Douglas A-4 “Skyhawk”. The first A-7 “Corsair II” flew […]
August 1, 2021

Alabama Remembers General Asa N. Duncan
Birth of the 8th Air Force • Birmingham’s Naval Air Station

Brig. General Asa North Duncan (1892-1942) was born in Leighton, Alabama. His military service began as an enlisted man in the Alabama National Guard on duty […]
July 1, 2021

Sistership to the Museum’s Beech Starship
Korea – The Forgotten War • Our Beech Starship • The Laister – Kaufman TG-4A • Glider Training In Mobile, Al

A futuristic-appearing craft took to the air in 1983, a radical departure from the traditional conservative designs of Beech Aircraft. It was a bold innovation in […]
June 1, 2021

Icon of the Vietnam War
Museum’s Icon – A-12 “Cygnus” • Historic Air Show Recap • Future Attack Helicopters

As an icon of the Vietnam War and an angel of mercy for American troops who fought there, the Bell UH-1 Iroquois, affectionately known as the […]
May 1, 2021

“Aces of Aces” World War II – Alabama Medal of Honor Recipient
Alabama in World War II • Alabama USAAF Airfields • Hall of Fame Member – David S. McCampbell

Approximately 300,000 Alabamians donned service uniforms during the war, and tens of thousands trained in the state. Many women volunteered for one of the military auxiliaries, […]
April 1, 2021

60 Years Since the Bay of Pigs
Remebering Alabama’s CIA Heroes • Hall of Fame Honoree – Joseph Lewis Shannon

In March 1960, President Eisenhower directed the CIA to develop a plan for the invasion of Cuba and overthrow of the Castro regime. The CIA organized […]
March 1, 2021

Women in Aviation
USS Enterprise Model by Norm Ponder • Restoration of the Tuskegee B-25 and Skymaster Repaint • Chico, The Gunfighter—The Legacy of the Vietnam Mission • Women in Aviation—”The Originals” Visit The Museum • Future Aircraft—Drones

As WAI continues to monitor and follow guidelines for COVID-19 worldwide, WAI made the decision to replace their in-person annual gathering of the 32nd Annual International […]
February 1, 2021

Charles A. “Chief” Anderson – “Father of Black Aviation”
Alabama Happenings Tuskegee Airmen • Quarter and Making AWI Happen • Alabama Aviation Hall of Fame • Double Victory

In 1940, Charles A. Anderson was recruited by the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, to serve as the Chief Civilian Flight Instructor for its new program to […]
January 1, 2021

AERIAL RECONNAISSANCE EXHIBITS & ARTIFACTS AT THE MUSEUM
New Diorama For Early Aviation Hangar • Bellanca’s & Lindbergh • Aerial Reconnaissance Article • The Museum’s Reconnaissance Inventory

Aerial reconnaissance began using balloons in 1794 by the French. After the invention of photography, primitive aerial photographs were made from balloons.
December 1, 2020

A Lot of Wright During the Unprecedented 2020
Aviation Hall of Fame – Sumpter Smith ANG Base • Blue Skies & Tailwinds – William Barnes • A New Look for the Aero L-39C • The Bushby Mustang • Before the Memphis Belle

After several unsuccessful attempts, on December 17, 1903, at Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, Orville Wright completed the first powered flight of a heavierthan-air aircraft known […]
November 1, 2020

Veterans Day Perspectives
The Father of Veterans Day • Armistice Day and Raymond Weeks • The CIA Shadow Gallery Make-Over • CIA Officer with a Paintbrush

A perpetual National Veterans Award was created in Birmingham for America’s first official NationalVeterans Day observance November 11, 1954 as authorized by Congress. Its purpose is […]
October 1, 2020

America’s First Jet Fighter – The XP-59 “Airacomet”
The Aviation Workforce Initiative (AWI) • Southern Airways and the “Skytrain”

In October 1, 1942, the first flight of the Bell XP-59 “Airacomet”, American’s effort to produce their own jet-powered fighter early in World War II,
September 1, 2020

The Flight to Freedom of a Prized MiG-15
The Republic F-105F-1 “Thunderchief” • Tuskegee Top Gun – Alva Temple • Virginia Hall – Super Spy

In November 1950, the communists introduced the Soviet-built MiG-15 into battle. Its advanced design and exceptional performance startled United Nations forces. The US hoped one of […]
August 11, 2020

75th Anniversary – The End of World War II
World War II Tribute • Rosie, the Riveter Icon • National Aviation Day • Cumulus 2F Glider • Arsenal of Democracy Parade

On May 8, 1945, Winston Churchill announced that the Allies had secured Victory in Europe (V-E Day). Later that year, Japan would finally surrender (V-J Day), […]
July 1, 2020

North American T-6 – WWII, Korea and Vietnam
Restoring the F-86L “Sabre Dog” • Beginning Restoration of the Fairchild 24 C8B • A “Mosquito” in the Korean War – the T-6 • From Historical Perspectives to Diorama Realities

During the Korean War and to a lesser extent during the Vietnam War, airborne forward air controllers (FACs) chose the North American T-6 aircraft as the […]
June 1, 2020

Capt. Joseph McConnell, Top Ace of the Korean War.
The Triple Jet Ace of Korea • The L-39C Aero • A Visit to Paris, TN – Aircraft Surplus • Highlighting Dr. Ed Stevenson • Remember the Forgotten War

Joseph Christopher McConnell, Jr. (1922–1954) was a USAF fighter pilot who was the top American flying Ace during the Korean War. A native of Dover, New […]
May 1, 2020

May – Remembering WorldWar II
The Lake Murray B-25 • Theories and Speculation on the B-25 Ditching • 2020 Events Honoring World War II Heroes

The Lake Murray B-25C on display was completed on March 24, 1942 at a cost of $116,346 and was the 200th B-25C of the total 1,625 […]
April 1, 2020

Bay of Pigs Memorial – Miami Executive Airport
75th World War II Anniversary • Museum Volunteers Involvements & Accomplishments

The announcement that diplomatic relations were recently restored with Cuba brings to mind the epic battle of the Bay of Pigs.
March 1, 2020

Women In Aviation
Ruth Elder, Miss America of Aviation • Women In Aviation • Soviet “Night Witches” • The “Ninety Nines” at the SMF • Women Flyers in the Alabama Aviation Hall of Fame

In 1975, the USAF chief of staff announced the establishment of a test program for female pilots and navigators. Although women had already proven their ability […]
February 1, 2020

RED TAILS – Courage Has No Color
The Tuskegee Airmen Diorama at SMF • Alabama Roster of Tuskegee Pilots • Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site • Top Guns from Tuskegee

In the summer of 2008, the Southern Museum of Flight proudly unveiled its Tuskegee Airmen Exhibit, a tribute to the accomplishments of the first AfricanAmerican military […]
January 1, 2020

Hunter Killer “Pink” Teams
Hunter-Killer “Pink” Teams • Planes of Vietnam on Display • On Display in the Shadow Gallery • Vietnam War Memorial

The “Pink” team diorama at the Southern Museum of Flight honors the veterans of Vietnam and presents a downed “killer” gunship (Bell AH-1F “Cobra”) with a […]
December 1, 2019

Pilot Training at the Wright’s Flying School in Montgomery
Pilot Training at the Wright’s Flying School in Montgomery • The Reynold’s “Flyer” – A Wright Flyer replica • The New Aviation Workforce Initiative for the Museum • Update on the Relocation Plans

By early 1910, the monopoly the Wright Brothers held on the flying market was being seriously challenged by other inventors of flying machines. To deal with […]
November 1, 2019

World War I Historic Happenings
World War I Historic Happenings • A Tribute To “Hank” Collins, Jr. • The Museum’s Concrete Section of the Berlin Wall • The Historic Fokker D.VII on Display

It started as an observation platform and rapidly evolved into a weapon. By the end of the war it was realized that if you control the […]
October 1, 2019

Charles Lindbergh Visits Birmingham
Charles Lindbergh Visits Birmingham • The Spirit of St. Louis Flight Simulator • A Ryan Replica Finds a New Home at the Museum • The Early Atlantic Ocean crossings

During WW2, Lindbergh was a key figure in improving the performance of the P-38 aircraft. Working as a civilian contractor in the South Pacific during 1944, […]
September 1, 2019

Birmingham’s Own “Mini-Mac”
Birmingham’s Own “Mini-Mac” • The Historic Lockheed A-12 “Oxcart” • A Restoration Craftsman • The Museum’s Historic Motor Cars * Reconnaissance Cameras on Display

The Mini-Mac was an original design homebuilt aircraft of Charles E. McCarley of Bessemer, Alabama. Of all-metal construction, the tri-gear, single-seat aircraft was powered by a […]
August 1, 2019

In Memoriam
The B-25s Ventral Turret – Maybe the Last One • The Gnome Rotary Engine • A C-47 “Glider

Longtime SMF volunteer, Norman Ponder, a true representative of the thousands of WW II veterans of the Greatest Generation, was born in 1922 and grew up […]
July 1, 2019

Get To Know the Russian Mi-24 Hind “Flying Tank”
Get To Know the Russian Mi-24 Hind “Flying Tank” • The Museum’s Education Outreach • “A MiG-15 To Freedom” – The Museum’s Korea War Diorama

During the early 1960s, it became apparent to the Soviets that the trend towards battlefield mobility would result in the creation of flying infantry fighting vehicles, […]
June 1, 2019

Remembering the Korean War
A Look Back at the Museum’s F-84 • Birmingham’s Early Airfields • The “Skunkworks” and the Museum’s A-12 “Blackbird” • The Cold War Bombshelter History on the Museum’s Property

During June and July, the beginning and the end of the Korean War (1950-1953) is remembered at the Southern Museum of Flight. On exhibit in the […]
May 1, 2019

Plane That Led the D-Day Invasion Visits the Museum
Plane That Led the D-Day Invasion Visits the Museum • GearZ – a TV Show Gets Inspired when Visiting the A-12 Blackbird • Meet Board Member Bill Barnes, WWII P-38 Pilot

In the early morning hours of June 6, 1944, some 800 planes dropped thousands of paratroopers onto the beaches of occupied France, launching Mission Albany, part […]
April 1, 2019

Bay of Pigs – Invasion of Cuba
75th World War II Anniversary • Museum Volunteers Involvements & Accomplishments Summer Camp

Shortly before midnight on 16 April 1961, members of the Alabama Air National Guard secretly took part in the failed invasion of Cuba known as the […]
March 1, 2019

Current Happenings
Artwork of Bob Bales and the USAF Art Program • Women In Aviation Articles • The WASPS of WWII • “That’s All…Brother” and D-Day

Located off Interstate 20 in the Grand River area near the Barber’s Motorsport’s Park is the 24-acre site of the proposed expanded Southern Museum of Flight. […]
February 1, 2019

Tuskegee Airmen – Charles McGee
Lockheed’s Supersonic Drone – the GTD-21B • The First Black Military Aviator

n the 1960s, Lockheed’s secret Skunk Works developed the Mach 3, A-12 reconnaissance aircraft for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) along with the concept of a […]