Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Have a seat!

An unmarked door of an anonymous hangar at the Bellingham Airport is guarded from squirrels by a viscous dog. Inside, a team works to restore a rare F-89 Scorpion.

Yes, this is the original rear cockpit blast screen. Lots of elbow grease made it good as new.

The radome looks good as new.

And how about that front cockpit?

But today was a big day. First the Radar Observer's ejection seat dropped in.

Hal and Einar took a minute to plan the installation of the front seat.

Ready, Einar??

And they were all smiles after it dropped into place.

Einar took a moment to contemplate what it must have been like to be a twenty-something 2nd Lt. with two live nuclear weapons under the wing, ready to defend the United States.

The F-89 now has both seats in her.

Hal fitted the restored grip to the pilot's joystick.

Safety First!!! The original trigger safety is attached to the restored grip.


  1. It is good to have such a wonderful example of a Cold War interceptor in Washington!! When will she be on display? or when could a curious party get alook?

  2. Thanks Jim. We're very proud to have the Scorpion here and of the work our team has done on her.

    Starting July 22 you'll be able to see her during our regular hours Thursday, Friday & Saturdays from 12-4pm, and of course during our Monthly Flying Day, 3rd Saturday from 12-4pm.

    And don't forget our big "Props and Ponies" event in August, Bellingham's FIRST Mustang-Mustang Show featuring over 100 Ford Mustangs, and her inspiration the P-51 Mustang!
    21 August, 2010 - 9:00am to 4:00pm


  3. Glad to see there is still interest in the F-89! My uncle, 1LT Larry Thomas, 124th FIS, Iowa ANG, was RIO of the last one to crash (s/n 53-2529, 9 DEC 1968). Ejected but killed--found on "dinghy bed roll" with 3 panels ripped out of chute. Pilot was apparently unconscious (oxygen supply?)-and went down with plane. Larry sent out a Mayday--"GREATEST HERO I'VE EVER KNOWN". The photo I have of him in cockpit shows the scope with a heavy fur lining protruding from top. Was this standard issue? Also, I know he would have "locked on" to target, but who actually fired rocket(s)? Thanks to all of you working on this and best wishes-Dean Shelton, Peoria, AZ.

  4. Dean,

    Thank you very much for sharing your story with us. It's because of men like your uncle that our country is still free, and why our volunteers put in long hours so their sacrifices are never forgotten.

    We'd love to see the photo of your uncle, are you aware of our facebook page where you can share the photo? http://www.facebook.com/HeritageFlightMuseum

    You could also post your story and questions on the Warbird Information Exchange website http://warbirdinformationexchange.org/phpBB3/index.php