P-51 Mustang shown at air, space museum

A North American P-51 Mustang is now on display inside Hangar 4 at the Pima Air & Space Museum, 6000 E. Valencia Road.

The airplane, considered the best American fighter of World War II, used a Rolls Royce Merlin engine. It was originally developed for the British Royal Air Force in 1940.

The P-51D features a cut down rear fuselage and a bubble canopy to improve rearward visibility. It has six .50-caliber machine guns in the wings in place of the four guns in most earlier versions.

The Mustang remained in military service in the U.S. Air Force until 1957, and the last combat Mustang was retired by the Dominican Air Force in 1984. Mustangs remain popular in civilian hands, with nearly 100 flying in private hands and fetching prices of more than $2 million.

This airplane, called the "Bad Angel" has a wingspan of 37 feet. It is 32 feet long, and weighs 16,000 pounds. The markings are from the 3rd Air Commando Group, 4th Fighter Squadron, from Laoag Airfield, Luzon, Phillipines, 1945.

The Bad Angel is representative of the Mustang flown by Lt. Louis E. Curdes, who was one of only three American fighter pilots to score kills against all three of the major Axis powers – Germany, Italy and Japan — in World War II. He was assigned to the 3rd Air Commando Group, 4th Fighter Squadron in Luzon, Philippines. Although this Mustang is not the exact plane Lt. Curdes flew, the plane has been painted in the colors and markings of his plane, and the details of his military heroism will be told with the history of the P-51.

The Pima Air & Space Museum houses 300 aircraft on 80 acres. It is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit pimaair.org.


Reward in killing of  2 javelinas found in park

Two dead javelinas — one shot twice in the head — were discovered May 31 in Saguaro National Park West, and the Arizona Game and Fish Department's Operation Game Thief is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest.

The animals were found southeast of West Rudasil Road and North Noel Lane. The shooting may have occurred elsewhere, with the carcasses being dumped afterward, a release said. Game and Fish and the National Park Service are investigating.

Anyone with information may contact Diane Tilton, AGFD wildlife manager, at 310-7559, or at dtilton@azgfd.gov. AGFD Operation Game Thief is available at 1-800-352-0700, anonymously if need be.


Don't leave kids in any hot vehicles

It's hot. Don't leave children unattended in vehicles, Safe Kids Tucson reminds residents.

"This summer, when the temperature outside is rising over 100 degrees, the temperature inside vehicles will be scorching," a Safe Kids Tucson release said.

Parents or caregivers may mistakenly think that they can leave a child in a car for a "quick" errand. "Unfortunately, a delay of just a few minutes can lead to tragedy and death," the release said. "Heat is considerably more dangerous to children than it is to adults. When left in a hot vehicle, a child's core body temperature can increase three to five times faster than an adult's."

Safe Kids Tucson cautions parents and caregivers to be especially careful if they are dropping off children at a day care or other location that is not part of the normal routine. All too often, parents "forget" about their precious cargo in the car, and the results are often devastating, the release continued.

"Place an unmistakable visual reminder where you'll be sure to see it before you leave your vehicle," the release continued. "This could be a diaper bag or child's backpack right next to your briefcase or lunch bag. Use this visual reminder as your cue to take your child with you when you exit the car."

If anyone should see a child left in a vehicle, they should call 911 immediately, it concluded.

To view a simulation that illustrates the rise in car temperature, click on http://ggweather.com/heat/heating_car.wmv


Meeting about Silverbell work this Wednesday

A public meeting to present preliminary corridor improvement concepts for Silverbell Road between Ina and Grant roads is being held this Wednesday, June 9.

The informational event runs from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Coyote Trail Elementary School, 8000 N. Silverbell Rd. A brief presentation is slated for 5:45 p.m.

Silverbell is identified as "a critical regional transportation link that serves the west and northwest portions of the Tucson metropolitan area," a release said.

The improvements, approved by voters in May 2006 as part of the Regional Transportation Authority plan, calls for Silverbell to become a four-lane divided desert parkway with pedestrian facilities, bike lanes, drainage improvements, native landscaping and wildlife crossings.

Silverbell Road improvements are scheduled to take place in two phases: El Camino del Cerro to Grant Road, from 2012 to 2016, and Ina to El Camino del Cerro, from 2022 to 2026.


NW Fire has 2 seats up for fall election

Two seats on the Northwest Fire District governing board are up for election this November.

Northwest Fire District is governed by the five-member fire board, whose members are elected to staggered, four-year terms.

The fire board generally meets monthly, on the fourth Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the district's training facility, 8165 N. Wade Road. Board members must live in the fire district and be qualified to vote. Board positions are unpaid.

The Northwest Fire District provides fire and emergency services for approximately 125,000 residents and 3,100 businesses within its 140,000-square-mile area.

 Qualified residents interested in serving on the governing board are urged to contact the Pima County Elections Division at 351-6830, or go to http://www.pima.gov/elections, or the Northwest Fire District at 887-1010, extension 2916, or ghackenbracht@northwestfire.org for information.


Tohono Chul free for dads on Father's Day

Wondering what to do for Father's Day this year for your husband, brother, dad or granddad?

You can start with getting him free admission to Tohono Chul Park. Take a docent-led tour, visit an eco-station, view the galleries, shop or simply stroll to look at blooming perennials and cacti.

Tohono Chul is free to fathers on Sunday, June 20. The park is located at 7366 N. Paseo del Norte, one stoplight west of Oracle and Ina. For information, call 742-6455, or visit www.tohonochulpark.org.


Final work on Oracle to start Sunday, June 13

Final work on the Oracle Road improvement project is scheduled to begin Sunday, June 13, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

Crews on the $19.5 million Oracle Road widening project from Tangerine Road to Calle Concordia are going to mill and lay down rubberized asphalt, as well as paint striping, over a 4.4-mile construction zone. Weather permitting, the work should be completed by July 24.

Paving with rubberized asphalt is guided by air and road surface temperatures for the material to mix and properly adhere to the surface. Milling and paving is scheduled at night to minimize disruption. One lane of traffic is scheduled to be maintained in each direction. Motorists may want to consider alternate routes during the milling and paving operations, an ADOT release said.

All signaled Oracle Road intersections and some non-signaled crossroads, entryways and turnouts are scheduled to have intermittent closures during the nighttime work.

Completed construction includes an additional travel lane, from two to three lanes, in each direction; new traffic signals; wider, 10-foot shoulders; improved medians; left- and right-turn lanes; new retaining walls; and a sound wall over the Cañada del Oro Wash with cattle brand artwork from Arizona ranches.

The project design began in October 2004. Hunter Contracting was awarded the project and began construction May 14, 2008.


Power out in parts of OV for 4 hours

Electric power was out for more than four hours in parts of Oro Valley the evening of Saturday, June 5.

An outage was reported at 8:06 p.m., affecting approximately 2,000 customers north of Lambert Lane, south of Moore Road, east of La Cholla Boulevard and west of First Avenue.

Tucson Electric Power had all affected customers restored by approximately 12:15 a.m. Sunday, according to TEP spokesman Joe Salkowski.

Salkowski said a failed power cable was responsible for the outage. Such failure can be the result of high demand, such as in summer with air conditioning units in use.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.