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Author Topic: North American B-25J Mitchell "Maid in the Shade"  (Read 20751 times)
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Matt Ottosen
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« on: June 10, 2009, 05:22:04 PM »

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 29, 2009, Mesa, Arizona

FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX AT FALCON FIELD AIRPORT
WW II BOMBER RETURNS TO THE SKIES
AFTER 28-YEAR RESTORATION


A North American B-25J “Mitchell” World War II bomber returned to the skies today after a 28 year restoration performed by volunteers of the Commemorative Air Force aviation museum in Mesa, AZ (<a href="http://www.azcaf.org" rel="nofollow">www.azcaf.org[/url]). Named “Maid in the Shade” in reference to its long stay inside the museum’s hangar, the aircraft lifted off the Falcon Field runway at 9:15 a.m. on Friday May 29, in front of a small crowd of pilots, mechanics and enthusiasts.

“This is a tremendous achievement for our volunteer members” said Rick Senffner, Wing Leader of the Arizona Wing of the Commemorative Air Force. “The aircraft was painstakingly restored to its wartime configuration after being donated to the organization in 1981. It flew 15 combat missions against forces of the Axis out of Corsica with the 319th Bomb Group in 1944-45 before being decommissioned. After years of heavy use as a fire bomber, the general condition of the aircraft was pretty bad when we received it” says Senffner. “We restored it as a tribute to honor the veterans who fought for our freedom over sixty years ago.”

“The aircraft behaved beautifully” said Tim Jackson, an experienced pilot specialized in WWII bombers who had made the trip from Minnesota to be at the controls of “Maid in the Shade” for its first flight out of restoration. “This is one of the nicest B-25s that I have flown” he said. Jackson was assisted by copilot Russ Gilmore, a senior captain with a major airline, and Spike McLane, a corporate pilot acting as the flight mechanic. The lengthy restoration effort was supervised by Chuck Carl, a retired airline pilot and aircraft mechanic.

About the North American B-25J “Mitchell”

Named after General Billy Mitchell, the Army Air Corps' most famous figure of the 1920’s and 1930’s, the North American B-25 proved to be one of the most important American weapons of World War II. The twin-engine bomber became standard equipment for the Allied Air Forces in World War II, and was perhaps the most versatile aircraft of the war. It became one of the most heavily armed airplanes in the world, and was used for high-and low-level bombing, strafing, photo reconnaissance, submarine patrol and even as a fighter. It was also the aircraft that completed the historic raid over Tokyo in 1942 under Jimmy Doolittle’s command. Subsequently, it saw duty in every combat area, being flown by the Dutch, British, Chinese, Russians and Australians in addition to our own U.S. forces. Although the airplane was originally intended for level bombing from medium altitudes, it was used extensively in the Pacific theater of operations for bombing Japanese airfields from treetop level and for strafing and skip bombing enemy ships.
More than 9,800 B-25Js were built during WW II. The twin-tail, mid-wing land monoplane was powered by two 1,700-hp Wright Cyclone engines. Normal bomb capacity was 5,000 pounds. Some versions carried a 75 mm cannon in the conventional bombardier's compartment. One version carried fourteen forward-firing .50-caliber machine guns for strafing.

About the Commemorative Air Force

Commemorative Air Force (CAF) ranks as one of the largest private air forces in the world <a href="http://www.commemorativeairforce.org" rel="nofollow">www.commemorativeairforce.org[/url]. The CAF is dedicated to Honoring American Military Aviation through flight, exhibition and remembrance with a flying museum of classic military aircraft. A non-profit educational association, the CAF has approximately 9,000 members and a fleet of almost 160 airplanes representing more than 60 different types – including planes from several foreign countries and military conflicts since World War II.



« Last Edit: June 21, 2009, 11:54:20 AM by Matt Ottosen » Logged

Matt "Linus" Ottosen
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The Legend of the Guardian of the Line
The Greek God "Linus" comes from the Greek name Λινος (Linos) meaning "leg."
In Greek legend he was the son of the God Apollo who was accidentally killed when he stepped over the white line.

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« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2009, 09:38:54 PM »

Two more photos from her second flight, May 30, 2009.


(Also posted to the Falcon Field thread.)

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Matt "Linus" Ottosen
Ottosen Photography
Phoenix, AZ

The Legend of the Guardian of the Line
The Greek God "Linus" comes from the Greek name Λινος (Linos) meaning "leg."
In Greek legend he was the son of the God Apollo who was accidentally killed when he stepped over the white line.

All images © Matt Ottosen | Ottosen Photography, all rights reserved.
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« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2009, 09:27:00 PM »

Joe C. and I went out to the Arizona Wing a few weeks ago to talk to a few of the key people that helped get Maid in the Shade flying again after her 28 year restoration.  They shared a lot of great stories and info with us, and they opened her up and let us climb inside.  This is one good lookin' B-25 (inside and out)!  She'll be back in the air this Fall, and is cleared to start giving rides.  She should be making an appearance at this year's CAF AIRSHO in Midland, TX, and she'll also be heading out on Summer Tour with Sentimental Journey next year.

  • Maid in the Shade's cockpit.
  • Maid in the Shade's aft section.

Here's another AzAP exclusive, you will not find this posted anywhere else!


* B-25_MitS_Cockpit.jpg (472.65 KB, 664x1000 - viewed 287 times.)

* B-25_MitS_Aft.jpg (356.22 KB, 664x1000 - viewed 244 times.)
« Last Edit: August 10, 2009, 10:49:01 PM by Matt Ottosen » Logged

Matt "Linus" Ottosen
Ottosen Photography
Phoenix, AZ

The Legend of the Guardian of the Line
The Greek God "Linus" comes from the Greek name Λινος (Linos) meaning "leg."
In Greek legend he was the son of the God Apollo who was accidentally killed when he stepped over the white line.

All images © Matt Ottosen | Ottosen Photography, all rights reserved.
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« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2009, 11:01:55 AM »

So, I had a pretty good morning!!   Grin

Rick Senffner (AZ Wing Leader) called me yesterday just after I got home and asked me if I wanted to go for a ride this morning, I told him I did!!

We used the SNJ as the photo platform with the canopy open.  I took 562 photos (approx 5GBs) in only about 15 minutes.  Many are blurry from the camera getting buffeted in the slipstream, but I got some good ones too.  More to come.

Thanks to Joe C. for coming out and catching departure and arrival.

F-stop: f/18
Exposure time: 1/100 sec.
ISO speed: ISO-200
Focal length: 26mm


* MitS_air-to-air_DSC0705.jpg (477.26 KB, 1000x685 - viewed 298 times.)
« Last Edit: September 27, 2009, 11:49:49 AM by Matt Ottosen » Logged

Matt "Linus" Ottosen
Ottosen Photography
Phoenix, AZ

The Legend of the Guardian of the Line
The Greek God "Linus" comes from the Greek name Λινος (Linos) meaning "leg."
In Greek legend he was the son of the God Apollo who was accidentally killed when he stepped over the white line.

All images © Matt Ottosen | Ottosen Photography, all rights reserved.
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« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2009, 12:49:50 PM »

A static shot from yesterday, while waiting for SJ's return.



* Hot Ramp.jpg (355.26 KB, 986x700 - viewed 213 times.)
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« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2009, 04:10:36 PM »

Here's another one from this morning's flight.  The light isn't as good in this one, but it's still a good shot of Maid in the Shade .

This was probably the hardest photo shoot I've ever done, but also probably the most fun!  Out of the 562 photos I took only around 18 came out, including a few shots like this where the lighting isn't very good.  But, I did also get some pretty dang good ones too!


* MitS_air-to-air_DSC0273.jpg (444.86 KB, 1000x670 - viewed 288 times.)
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Matt "Linus" Ottosen
Ottosen Photography
Phoenix, AZ

The Legend of the Guardian of the Line
The Greek God "Linus" comes from the Greek name Λινος (Linos) meaning "leg."
In Greek legend he was the son of the God Apollo who was accidentally killed when he stepped over the white line.

All images © Matt Ottosen | Ottosen Photography, all rights reserved.
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« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2009, 04:18:01 PM »

Nicely composed Matt.
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Matt Ottosen
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« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2009, 04:31:45 PM »

Nicely composed Matt.

Thanks Joe!  The pilots set up the flight during the brief, I was really just along for the ride.  Once I opened up the canopy I just pointed my camera, pushed the button, and hoped for the best!
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Matt "Linus" Ottosen
Ottosen Photography
Phoenix, AZ

The Legend of the Guardian of the Line
The Greek God "Linus" comes from the Greek name Λινος (Linos) meaning "leg."
In Greek legend he was the son of the God Apollo who was accidentally killed when he stepped over the white line.

All images © Matt Ottosen | Ottosen Photography, all rights reserved.
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« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2009, 05:24:41 PM »

 Wink


* North-American-AviationTB-25NMitchellHDR.jpg (285.64 KB, 1024x724 - viewed 224 times.)
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« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2009, 08:34:02 PM »

Matt,

Both those air-to-air shots are very nice.  Decent prop blur also, for being in a less than ideal shooting platform.  Actually it's a great a-t-a platform, open cockpit, but can be tough sometimes, with the wind.

I shot from the back seat of an AT-6, with canopy open, and the first shot, I thought the windstream was going to rip the camera from my hands.  Quickly learned to keep the camera out of the windstream.
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« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2009, 08:49:43 PM »

Thanks Bill.  The SNJ was/is a good platform.  There was plenty of room to twist and move around, but the wind was a real struggle.  Even when I sat back trying to get out of the wind it seemed like I was still fighting it.  It was still a lot of fun, and I am looking forward to doing it again sometime.

I'll get some of the good shots from this morning posted soon.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2009, 08:58:35 PM by Matt Ottosen » Logged

Matt "Linus" Ottosen
Ottosen Photography
Phoenix, AZ

The Legend of the Guardian of the Line
The Greek God "Linus" comes from the Greek name Λινος (Linos) meaning "leg."
In Greek legend he was the son of the God Apollo who was accidentally killed when he stepped over the white line.

All images © Matt Ottosen | Ottosen Photography, all rights reserved.
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« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2009, 03:03:59 PM »

I made Maids while waiting for Matt .. Enjoy!







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« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2009, 03:08:41 PM »

Maid in the Shade, you've been properly Beckman-ed.

Outstanding shots, Jay.  That last one is so good it makes my brains hurt.
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« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2009, 03:13:32 PM »

Maid in the Shade, you've been properly Beckman-ed.

Outstanding shots, Jay.  That last one is so good it makes my brains hurt.

"Beckman-ed"   Grin  I need to Trademark that term...

Thanks Joe
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« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2009, 03:36:04 PM »

"Beckman-ed"   Grin  I need to Trademark that term...

Thanks Joe

Not a problem.  Just posted one of my Beckman-ed shots in the F-4 thread.

Somebody should make "aviation macro shots" a theme for an AzAP photo challenge some time.  That'd be fun.   
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