There are very few pilots who, when seeing a P-51 or Corsair taxi up, don’t experience some sort of adrenaline rush. A not-so-tiny voice in our heads says, “Oh, man, just one flight! That’s all I want, just one go at it.” Then, of course, the other tiny voice in our head, the one that sometimes sounds suspiciously like our spouse, says, “Yeeow! Can you imagine how much it would cost to own something like that?” Reality is a cruel mistress. But when it comes to warbirds, it doesn’t have to be.
Although the term “warbird” automatically conjures up images of massive motors, machine guns and indicated airspeeds that start with “4,” the warbird world is actually so huge and diverse that there’s even room for those of us who drive to the airport in an ancient Honda rather than a new Ferrari. The true reality of the warbird universe is that you can spend as much as you want (or have).