February 14, 2014 – EAA Warbirds wants our members to keep restoring aircraft back to their original military condition. That's the main thrust of the Warbird movement and we don't want that to change. We also want to recognize the ingenuity and workmanship that some of our members put into their Warbirds with major internal modifications, so we've created a new award to honor their efforts.
Our Warbirds motto is Keep 'em Flying. Many Warbird aircraft have upgraded engines and cockpits to improve their reliability and utility in today's complex airspace. These modifications can cause a loss of points during traditional judging as our EAA Official Judging Standards Manual stresses authenticity.
Warbirds has always been big on safety and our judging rules allow for safety improvements such as better brakes and harnesses etc. We realize modern avionics are required to operate in today complex airspace so points aren't deducted for modern radios etc., provided they are integrated into the cockpit with as little distraction from original as possible.
What about aircraft modified or modernized beyond these parameters?
Warbirds has created a new "Keep 'em Flying Award" that will honor those aircraft whose engines, propellers and/or cockpits have been majorly modified provided the airframe, paint and markings appear standard. An example would be a T-34 with an upgraded Continental IO-550 engine, 3 blade prop and a glass cockpit, but with standard airframe, military paint and markings.
Aircraft presented a Keep 'em Flying Award will receive a gold or silver plaque with gold or silver wrench awards going to the restorer.
The Keep 'em Flying Awards will be given at the sole discretion of the judges.
The judging application will include a box to check if you'd like to compete for the Keep 'em Flying Award in addition to the traditional awards.