Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Red Bull P-38

Click any photo for a larger view

Roger sent in these pictures from the ramp at Aviation Nation. I saved posting these so I could take a sentimental trip. Knowing this beauty is going to be based in Red Bull's stable in Austria is bitter sweet for all of the air racing fans. Don't get me wrong - most, if not all, of the air racing community is glad to see her flying again. It's just that we remember her when she was painted all white, had a number 13 painted on her sides, and raced around the pylons with Lefty Gardner at the controls.

I did some digging around and didn't realize I'd been blogging about all of this since 2006. I grew up with air racing in my backyard and got hooked. I grew up in the Stead area in Nevada - specifically, Lemmon Valley - and watched that white P-38 and other racers from the roof of my house! Anyway, I said all of that to get to this point - I found this post on my old blog, which I will re-post as it was written in 2006, below. I checked the links, and they still work, too! They have some great information that needs to be remembered whenever we talk about the Red Bull P-38.

I also found this post (posted as I wrote it in 2007) about some comments I made on all Red Bull has done to preserve some aviation treasures. The link at the end of this one has a pictorial history of the restoration of the P-38 pictured above:

The Red Bull planes

The RSS Feeder picked up a great post today by Dan Pimentel on the Red Bull sponsorship of many refurbished historical airplanes. It is a well-written post. We should really sit back and admire what Red Bull has done to preserve some key pieces of aviation history. He also provides a link to with the Red Bull airplane collection photos. If you read my blog, you’ll know my favorite piece of their collection is Lefty Gardner’s old P-38 Lightning.

Check the status of the rebuild of the P-38 here:

Just to be on the record. I'm glad she's flying again, but I will assuredly miss her when she leaves the United States. [mike]

Lefty Gardner, White Lightning

For those of you that read the blog, and don’t know me too well, I grew up in Reno and watched the air races there every September from the roof of our house. About 4-5 years ago, I caught air race/show fever again after seeing the airshow in Springfield, Ill. It’s that time of year again, and I’m finally learning some history and nostalgia to go along with the childhood memories. Dayton air show is end of this month. Indy air show is end of August. So…I’m getting fired up about the shows. And, yes, there will be lots of pictures to share.

Anyway, growing up, I recall watching this white P-38 fly the pylons in the Unlimited Class at the air races. I never took the time to research the plane. Today, I had some time and did some searches on the net, and checked out the links at some air race sites. Here’s a story that Lefty’s son, Ladd, shares. Here is another story, with Lefty’s bio.

Update 11/12/08: I was swapping emails with Kelly at P-38 Assn, and I missed their post on this beautiful aircraft. So, with apologies, here's the link to the article that was done on the P-38 Assn website.

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