Rare Aircraft Coming to Yakima's McAllister Museum of Aviation - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Rare Aircraft Coming to Yakima's McAllister Museum of Aviation

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YAKIMA, Wash. -- McAllister Museum of Aviation will feature a truly rare aircraft – a Grumman F7F Tigercat – at its fourth airplane showcase presentation Saturday, July 31. "Bad Kitty" will be brought to Yakima by John Sessions, founder of one of the Northwest's newest nonprofit foundations, Historic Flight Foundation, based at Paine Field, near Everett. His F7F-3 is one of only six Tigercats still flying. The Tigercat was designed as a World War II carrier-based combat plane; problems with landing on carriers kept it from seeing such service. But the twin-engine fighter combined the power and stealth needed for ground missions in the Korean War, and found a niche in photo reconnaissance. Historic Flight acquired Bad Kitty in 2003, after the plane flew more than 1,300 hours fighting forest fires, and gave it a full restoration. Other planes on display in Historic Flight's first hangar at Paine Field are such famous warbirds as a P-51 Mustang "Impatient Virgin," an F8F Bearcat, a Waco UPF-7 biplane and a rare twin-engine B-25 named "Grumpy," which Sessions flew from England to Paine Field in late 2009. All of Historic Flight's aircraft are maintained in flying condition and flown by Sessions or his hand-picked pilots. Sessions is scheduled to give his oral presentation about the plane at 2 p.m. Saturday. Then spectators may get a close-up look at the Tigercat. At the end of the day's showcase, Sessions will do a fly-by or two before heading back to Paine Field. MMA is located at 2008 S. 16th Ave., Yakima. It is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.