An airworthy L-2M liaison aircraft from World War II, complete with original radio equipment, replaced a less authentic model at the National Museum of the US Air Force in Dayton, Ohio. The former Army Air Forces “grasshopper,” which logged 230 hours as a pilot trainer at Pittsburg, Kan., arrived under its own power Wednesday and taxied to the museum. It will join the World War II gallery this winter. “This particular aircraft was used to train pilots during the war, and liaison aircraft like this one served many purposes in combat, such as spotting enemy troop and supply concentrations and directing artillery fire on them,” said Jack Hudson, museum director. After the war, this L-2, serial number 43-26592, was converted to a civil configuration. Donor Richard Valladao in 2009 returned it to its military specifications and toured the California air show circuit for several years. (Dayton report by Sarah Swan)
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.