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Special Exhibits

Planes of the Month

Luscombe T8F Observer

After WWII, Luscombe responded to a 1947 Air Force requirement for a new liaison aircraft to replace the L-4H Grasshopper. Designated XT8E, the aircraft did well in Air Force trials, but lost out to the Aeronca L-16 on the basis of price. Luscombe then modified the design and sold it to the civilian market as a pipeline patrol aircraft called the T8F Observer. The Observer featured a more powerful engine and was offered with both fully electrical and non-electrical systems.

This aircraft is on loan from Bruce Eames.

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Exxon Flyin’ Tiger Bohannon B-1

This aircraft is on loan from Bruce Bohannon, a Texas-born aerobatic pilot, flight instructor, air racer and aviation record setter. Bohannon flew this highly modified RV-4 kit airplane to set thirty world records between 1999 and 2005. Named the Exxon Flyin’ Tiger and registered as a “Bohannon B-1,” the Tiger is an all-metal monoplane designed specifically for setting time-to-climb and altitude records. As of 2006, it is the fastest climbing piston-engine aircraft in the record book to 20,000, 30,000, and 40,000 feet and is the first homebuilt airplane ever to cruise above 40,000 feet.

Twelve of the Flyin’ Tiger’s records were set in the “Unlimited” category, which includes all piston engine aircraft, regardless of weight. Its most impressive climb records to date include the time to climb to 20,000 feet in 6 minutes, 16 seconds, time to 30,000 feet in 9 minutes, 43 seconds, and the time to 40,000 feet in 20 minutes, 24 seconds. As of February 2006, the Flyin’ Tiger has reached a maximum altitude of 47,530 feet.

The paint scheme was a collaboration between Bruce Bohannon and his sponsor, the Exxon Mobil Corporation. Teresa Stokes, an internationally acclaimed aviation artist and wingwalker, painted the nose art.

Photo Credit: EAA

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Hawker Hurricane

First flown in 1935, the Hawker Hurricane is a British single-seat fighter aircraft that was designed and built primarily for service with the Royal Air Force (RAF). Along with the Supermarine Spitfire, the Hurricane played a critical role during the Battle of Britain (1940-41) and in the defense of Malta (1941-42). The Hurricane inflicted 60 percent of the losses sustained by the Luftwaffe during World War II, and the aircraft fought in all the major theaters.

This aircraft is on loan from the Dakota Territory Air Museum.

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Supermarine Spitfire

The Supermarine Spitfire is a British single-seat fighter aircraft that was used by the Royal Air Force and other Allied countries before, during, and after World War II. Many variants of the Spitfire were built using several wing configurations. It was produced in greater numbers than any other British aircraft and was the only British fighter produced continuously throughout the war. The Spitfire continues to be popular among enthusiasts; around 70 remain airworthy, and many more are static exhibits in aviation museums throughout the world.

This aircraft is on loan from the Dakota Territory Air Museum.

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