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Sat, Aug 27, 2005

Historic World War II Squadron Slated For Next Weekend in Maryland

Looking Up, Looking Back

Before there were F-14 Tomcats and F-16 Fighting Falcons, there was the venerated North American SNJ-2 that served as the trainer for most of the Allied pilots who flew in World War II.

A squadron of these historic World War II planes will demonstrate low level precision formation flying at the Southern Maryland Aviation Days Air Show at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., on September 3-4.

The squadron, also known as Skytypers for its unusual sky messaging capabilities, features the SNJ-2s, originally designed as a transition trainer between basic trainers and first-line tactical aircraft.

The Skytypers Air Show Team delivers a form of aerial messaging known as "skytyping." During skytyping aerial exhibitions, the pilots fly their aircraft in a line-abreast formation, and a computer in the lead aircraft sends signals to the smoke systems in each of the other aircraft in the formation to create a dot matrix pattern. Individual letters are up to 1,200- feet tall and complete messages may be up to five miles long.

FMI: www.skytyping.com

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