Combat Veteran P-40E Makes Her First Flight in New Zealand!

Frank Parker aloft in Claudio Coltri's Curtiss P-40E on November 11th, marking the aircraft's first flight since her WWII crash-landing in the Soviet Union. (image via Pioneer Aero Ltd.)
Aircorps Art Dec 2019

A couple of weeks ago, we reported that Pioneer Aero Ltd. had completed the restoration of Claudio Coltri’s Curtiss P-40E Warhawk (41-13570). While the selected test pilot, Frank Parker, had performed some taxi trials, Pioneer had decided to postpone the P-40’s first flight until the right moment arrived…

Well, the wait is now over! In honor of Remembrance Day, Frank Parker took the Warhawk aloft for the first time… at the 11th hour, on the 11th day of the 11th month. It is truly marvelous to see this aircraft back in the skies, and we wish to congratulate everyone at Pioneer Aero for a job well done! Now all that remains is for the P-40 to accumulate the appropriate flight test hours to achieve her formal sign off requirements, and then the fighter will be making her way, by sea, to her new home in Europe.






  1. As a Buffalonian, I’m always thrilled to see one of our beautiful P-40s in the air. Thanks to all at Pioneer Aero!

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