The Central Texas Wing museum houses seven CAF aircraft for which the Wing has maintenance and restoration responsibility: a very-rare flying P-39Q Bell Airacobra, the B-25J Yellow Rose, a BT-13 Valiant, and a U-3A Administrator, C-45 LoneStar Lady, the AT-6 Texas, and the C-47 That's All Brother.
To find out more about each aircraft, please scroll below or visit the indivudual aircraft pages.
North American AT-6 TEXAN
One of the most important advanced pilot trainers of WWII was the North American AT-6. The aircraft was so popular and well liked, it was used by several branches of military during the war.
The AT-6 was originally built by North American Aviation and features a 600 HP Pratt & Whitney R-1340-AN1 radial engine, a variable-pitch propeller and retractable main landing gear. It also could be fitted with machine guns and bomb racks for use in gunnery and attack training.
B-25 MITCHELL YELLOW ROSE
The B-25 Mitchell Yellow Rose is completely restored to its wartime capabilities and is operated by the Commemorative Air Force Central Texas Wing. After being donated in 1981 and a four year restoration, the aircraft was lovingly restored to WWII condition. Thousands of man hours were donated over the four year period by the members and volunteers in order to bring the Rose back into full operational readiness.
Vultee BT-13 Valiant
The BT-13 is an American WWII era Basic Trainer. It is a fixed-gear, low-wing tail-dragger with a crew of two sitting in tandem. When production ended in 1944, approximately 11,537 Valiant's had been built. The BT-13 was the most widely used trainer aircraft in WWII.
It was flown by most American pilots in transitioning from Primary trainers like the PT-19 to more advanced trainers like the AT-6. The BT-13 was more complex than the Primary Trainer and required the use of two-way radio, landing flaps, and a two-position controllable-pitch prop.
The U-3A began life as the Cessna model 310A (which had gained fame as the “Songbird” flown by Skyler “Sky” King of radio and TV fame) in January of 1953. The Cessna 310 gained wide acceptance for its good looks and excellent performance, so the USAF decided it would make an excellent replacement for its fleet of aging Beech C-45s in the administrative support, liaison and light cargo duties. Built as a four or five passenger fast executive transport, 546 U-3As were accepted by the United States Air Force. Originally designed as L-27As, the U-3A served as an executive transport, liaison aircraft and performed as chase planes in a number of units that operated the U-2. The average fly-away cost for these off-the-shelf commercial aircraft was $56,000. In 1962, when the Department of Defense implemented the Tri-Service Type Symbol System, the L-27A became the U3A. The U-3A’s 2 six-cylinder Continental O-470-M engines produced 240 horsepower each and the USAF later retrofitted many A-models with all weather gear.
C-45 EXPEDITOR LONE STAR LADY
The C-45 was based on the Beech Aircraft Corporation’s Model 18 “Twin Beech” series. First flight for the original company design was recorded on January 15th, 1937 and the aircraft was introduced that same year. The US military adopted the Model 18 in many guises including the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) which designated the type as the “C-45”. It went on to become a fixture within the inventories of the USAAF (later the USAF), the US Navy and the USMC and saw additional service overseas with British and Canadian forces through Lend-Lease. In all, some 9,000 Model 18 aircraft were built. Production spanned from 1937 to 1970. While the Model 18 served as the basis for the C-45, it was also the origin of the “Navigator” and “Kansan”. The C-45 went on to see considerable operational service in World War 2 and the Korean War in the light transport, VIP transport and mission liaison roles.
C-47 THAT'S ALL, BROTHER
Over 75 years ago, on June 6, 1944, That’s All, Brother led the main airborne invasion of Normandy. Piloted by Lt. Col John Donalson, the plane led over 800 C-47s that dropped over 13,000 paratroopers into a battle that changed the course of mankind.
That’s All, Brother has been restored to its 1944 condition, including its D-Day paint scheme along with a thorough historic interior restoration. The CAF maintains airplanes to be artifacts of living history, and you can experience the airplane first hand by touring and even going for a flight.
Want to learn more about That's All, Brother? Click here.
P-39 AIRACOBRA MISS CONNIE
Airacobras were very early World War II fighters that were introduced in 1941, before the needs of the combat pilot were known or understood. The Airacobra was a unique fighter aircraft with its engine mounted behind the pilot and a cannon that fired through the center of the propeller hub. This P-39 Airacobra is one of only three examples of the aircraft type still flying today.