Thanks Harry. An exceptionally important aircraft! This is Mustang I AG348 at Mines Field (now LAX), which was pulled from the original production block of Mustang Is for the RAF by agreement along with AG354 (seen here in her original RAF camouflage). Redesignated XP-51s and re-serialed as 41-038 & 039. Test flown after long delays @ Wright Field due to a profound lack of interest in the Material Division, a reluctant USAAC wound up ordering huge numbers of P-51s, P-51As and A-36s. The rest, as they say, is history. Below AG348 now as 41-038 And below AG354 now as 41-039.
Fridays photo's. The final Marauder variant was the XB-26H. It was actually a TB-26G-25-MA (44-68221) that had its original tricycle landing gear replaced by a set of tandem mainwheels that retracted into the fuselage. In addition, a set of outrigger legs were added for lateral balance. The fuselage had to be externally stiffened to take the additional landing loads of this tandem undercarriage.
The XB-26H was known colloquially as the "Middle River Stump Jumper" and was part of a experimental project to test the installation of the landing gear proposed for the Boeing XB-47 Stratojet and Martin XB-48 bombers, which were then on the drawing boards. Flight tests were carried out in May/June of 1945 at the Martin field.
Weekend extra. Consolidated LB-30 Liberator Mk IIs including AL507 (5th built for the RAF's Coastal Command) @ San Diego's Lindbergh Field ca. '41. (Note longer nose section a la the B-24D and Curtiss Electric props.) AL507 was later re-designated G-AHYC and served as a BOAC freighter for ferrying RAF aircrews to the US to pick up later RAF Liberators. After the war, it was converted into a commercial transport and served until bellying in @ RAF Ayr / Heathfield (near Prestwick) in 1946.
Wednesdays photo's. And this week something a little different. An A3D-1 Skywarrior of Heavy Attack Squadron (VAH) 1 pictured on take off, the underside view capturing the plane's mammoth size. Nicknamed the "Whale," the A3D-series of aircraft first entered fleet service with VAH-1 on March 31, 1956, its mission to serve as a platform for the delivery of atomic weapons. A VA-3B Skywarrior, one of five modified from the TA-3B configuration to serve as VIP transports for high-ranking Navy uniformed and civilian officials, pictured on the ground at Nellis AFB in Nevada. Note the admiral's flag flying above the cockpit.