1. #1
    I took a couple of the kids with me to the Chanute Air Museum in Rantoul, Ill today. They were putting on a bit of an event to show the public the paint scheme that they will be using on the P-51H they are restoring. It is painted in authentic postwar markings used by Capt Claude Crenshaw on his earlier P-51D Mustang during WWII.

    P-51H Restoration Project

    Norm and Curt gave me some more background info on this plane. It was originally assigned to an active squadron in Florida at the end of WWII and soon thereafter came to Chanute to be used as an airframe maintenance trainer (most of the aircraft at the museum came to be there the same way). It also sat out, exposed to the elements as a "gate guard" until it was moved into the museum after Chanute AFB closed in 1993. The restoration has been under way for about 5 years with about 2 years more to go until completion.

    The Mustang at the museum is a P-51H-5-NA, the 105th produced out of 555 ˜H' models built at the North American Aviation plant at Inglewood, California. It rolled off the assembly line in March of 1945. It's North American Aviation production number was 126-35691, while the Army Air Force Serial number assigned was 44-64265. This aircraft was a part of USAAF order AC-1752 placed on June 30, 1944.

    Check out the progress page for some good overall shots of the plane.

    Some random museum shots I took today:
    Chanute barracks


    Barnstorming display


    Inside the hangar


    99th Pursuit Sqn (Tuskeege Airmen) Mural
    The 99th PS started training at Chanute before moving to Tuskeegee with the rest of the famous "Redtails" group.


    B-58 Hustler


    How many museums have a Minuteman missle silo in them? Seriously?


    EC-121 under restoration


    B-25 being restored


    And the big event of the day...
    P-51H paint reveal


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  2. #2
    Yeah...nice shots!
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  3. #3
    Some real treasure. The H would be a great addition to post war AC in any sim. A really rare beast. I had no idea they had a B-58.
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  4. #4
    Actually, it's a YB-58.

    This B-58 was built as YB-58A-CF on April 1959 and retained for use as a test and evaluation aircraft as YRB-58A. From November 1962 it was assigned to the 6510th Operational Maintenance Squadron. In May 1964 it was assigned to the 3345th Maintenance and Support Group at Chanute AFB, IL. as GRB-58A. In 1967 it was transferred to museum status.
    By the way, I have several detail pics of the Mustang posted over at Simmers Paint Shop in the P-51 Photo Gallery.
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  5. #5
    That looks like a fine museum and one to add to my ever growing list of aviation museums to visit. Thank you.
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  6. #6
    Esel1964's Avatar Senior Member
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    Mar 2006
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    Great pics from a Very cool looking place!
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  7. #7
    Great shots... I was stationed there twice (1963-64 and 1975-78). Luckily my barracks were a little more modern (not much) than those in your pics...
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