P-51C "Tuskegee Airmen"

Quite a story for this now CAF owned warbird. As it has been withdrawn from use in the USAAF in oct. 1945 it would not fly again until 2001 (last flight the 3rd of October 1945). In 1945 it has been sold from military surplus to Montana State University in Bozeman, for 1$ fee in order to be exposed in front of the engineering dept. 20 years later, in 1965, even if the condition of the aircraft diminished, it was sold, again for 1$ to restorer Lloyd Creek. 5 years later, as the restoration had not started, it has been acquired by the Confederate Air Force and a first restoration process then began. Moved through many CAF units (TX, IA), the restoration project remained on hold until 1985 as the aircraft ended up in St.Paul, MN where Don Hinz actively pushed the restoration through the emerging "Red Tail project". On 1st may of 2001, with Bob Odegaard as pilot, it took the air again, 56 years after its last flight ! The P-51C went on various airshows until a tragic accident on 30th may 2004, Red Wing, MN, in which Don Hinz got killed after avoiding many nearby houses. As the damages were severe (both wings and horizontal stabilizer ripped of the fuselage), the restoration process took 5 years and in 22nd July 2009, it took the air again, 4 days before AirVenture, where it made it's first public appearance. Till now, this P-51C is flying with the CAF Red Tail Squadron and is one of the 4 last remaining airworthy P-51C in the world.

P-51C "Tuskegee Airmen"