Aviation Photographers Visit Vought

Fri Feb 29, 2008 4:29pm EST

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Tour Stop Takes in Vintage Vought Heritage Aircraft
DALLAS--(Business Wire)--
Vought Aircraft Industries, Inc. today hosted more than 100 of the
world's premier aviation photographers during a tour that included an
F4U Corsair, the V-173 "Flying Pancake" and other vintage aircraft
from Vought's heritage companies.

   The Vought visit was part of a field trip organized by the
International Society for Aviation Photography (ISAP), whose annual
convention is being held Feb. 28-March 1 in the Dallas-Fort Worth
area.

   "This is a perfect opportunity for us to show-off our world-class
restorations," said Hank Merbler, president of the Vought Aircraft
Heritage Foundation. "I can't think of a better group to view and help
commemorate the aircraft restoration work of our volunteers."

   ISAP members viewed five Vought heritage aircraft during the tour:

   --  VE-7 Bluebird, a full-scale replica of Chance Vought's first
        production aircraft (no originals exist). The history-making
        VE-7 was the first airplane to take off from the Navy's first
        aircraft carrier, the U.S.S. Langley

   --  V-173 "Flying Pancake," a short-takeoff experimental airplane
        on loan from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum for
        restoration

   --  F4U Corsair, the famous gull-wing World War II fighter

   --  F6U Pirate, Chance Vought Aircraft's first jet-propelled
        airplane

   --  F-8 Crusader, the Navy's first operational single-engine
        supersonic fighter

   The VE-7 is complete while the other aircraft are in various
stages of restoration. The Bluebird replica was built from scratch by
Vought retirees. Producing this biplane involved engineering new
blueprints, fabricating wooden parts, gluing assemblies and covering
with fabric.

   "It is an honor for ISAP to be invited to Vought and to have
access to these unique and historically significant flying machines,"
said Jay Miller, chair of this unique photographers' group. "Over the
years, we've had the privilege of photographing some extraordinary
hardware, but this is a first in terms of the V-173, the VE-7 replica,
and the F6U.

   "We have in our group what are arguably the most accomplished
aviation photographers in the world today. Some of these shooters have
more time in the air in high-performance military aircraft than many
of the pilots flying them. Vought's a legacy aircraft manufacturer,
and we're hoping our visit today will, in some small way, help
perpetuate a truly great and memorable company," said Miller.

   With the Retiree Club as its base, Vought retirees began the
celebration of Vought heritage with the creation of a Web site, an
Archive, and an Aircraft Restoration Group.

   The Web site (http://www.vought.com/heritage/) continues to grow
with more than 1,000 pages of information and 1,500 photographs.

   The Archive has developed into a major repository of Vought
heritage documents, photos, video tapes, motion picture film and
microfilm. Archive volunteers provide research support for historians,
universities, authors, filmmakers and video documentary producers.

   The Aircraft Restoration Group has restored to museum-quality a
number of other Vought-produced artifacts, including an A7B Corsair
II, RF8G Photo Crusader, and the Regulus II Cruise Missile -- now on
display at the Frontiers of Flight museum at Dallas Love Field.

   While Vought Aircraft Industries provides hangar and office space,
the materials and services required for restorations must come from
donations. For this reason, the Vought Aircraft Heritage Foundation
was established in 2003 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation.

   About Vought

   Although Vought Aircraft Industries is a relatively new company
that incorporated in May 2000, it benefits from an industry legacy
going back to the first producers of military aircraft in the United
States. The company's name extends to the entity founded by aviation
pioneer, Chance Milton Vought.

   Aviator and engineer Chance Milton Vought established his own firm
on Long Island, N.Y., in a former shoe factory. Taught to fly in 1910
by pioneer aviator Max T. Lillie in a Wright B pusher-type biplane,
Vought served as an instructor but went on to become an aeronautical
engineer for the Wright-Martin company.

   In 1917, with Birdseye B. Lewis, Vought organized the Lewis &
Vought Corporation. That same year his first design, the VE-7, was
built and proved to be one of the most popular and widely used
two-seater advanced training aircraft of the era.

   Among the more than 15,000 aircraft produced by Chance Vought's
legacy companies, other notable ones include the 0S2U Kingfisher, an
amphibian scout/observation aircraft; the F4U Corsair, which achieved
an 11 to 1 kill ratio against enemy aircraft in World War II; the F7U
Cutlass, the Navy's first supersonic and first swept-wing fighter; and
the F-8 Crusader jet, which set a national speed record in 1956 by
flying over 1,000 mph. Noteworthy is the fact that Vought heritage
aircraft have continuously served in world military service for 90
years.

   Vought Aircraft Industries, Inc. (www.voughtaircraft.com) is one
of the world's largest independent suppliers of aerostructures.
Headquartered in Dallas, the company designs and manufactures major
airframe structures such as wings, fuselage subassemblies, empennages,
nacelles and other components for prime manufacturers of aircraft.
Vought has annual sales of approximately $1.6 billion and about 6,500
employees in nine U.S. locations.

   About ISAP

   Since the organization's first symposium in 2001, ISAP has grown
to more than 500 members representing over 20 countries. The ISAP's
mission is to provide a major international forum for the art and
science of aviation photography; to provide a means for the exchange
of aviation photography ideas, technique, philosophy, and equipment;
and perhaps most importantly, to provide a mechanism for
communication, education, and friendship among those who have a
professional stake in, interest in, or simple love for aviation
photography.

   Photos from the ISAP visit to Vought are available at:
(http://www.voughtaircraft.com/gallery/gallery.htm).

Vought Aircraft Industries, Inc.
Lynne M. Warne, 615-974-6003
warnely@voughtaircraft.com

Copyright Business Wire 2008
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