Aviation Photographers Visit Vought
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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 email@example.com Copyright Business Wire 2008