”THE DAWN PATROL” (1938) airplane found while being restored.

22 Apr

I came across an article of the discovery of a ”N28 WW1 aircraft ”Hero” used by Errol Flynn in the movie ”THE DAWN PATROL”. While it didn’t actually fly, there are numerous scenes where we can see Flynn climbing in and out of the plane and the plane taxiing with Flynn inside (probably being pushed on the ground). Used in the movie were WWI Nieuport 28’s (there were 4 of them). This was the last movie these planes appeared in, so it still retained the movie camouflage from 1938 (although worn after 70 years). After the movie, they resided in storage at Orange County airport, and eventually they were sold and restored in the UK in the 90’s, flown for awhile, and in the late 1990’s sold to a private collector. The new owner noticed there were painted designs on the aircraft panels when new paint was removed. The aircraft was researched and traced back to being used in the movie. As seen in the pictures, the panel design was on the bare shell of the plane before being removed for the restoration of the plane. This piece measures 18″ x 27″. When looking at detailed pictures, the paint and markings on the other panel from this plane can be matched up exactly with a picture from the movie. The aircraft now on display at the Army Airforce Museum.

[flagallery gid=29]

— Kevin Wedman


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  1. Gentleman Tim

    April 22, 2016 at 8:44 am

    Great Warplane Discovery, Kevin!

    Thanks & Congratulations!!


  2. Gentleman Tim

    April 22, 2016 at 9:16 am

    “One of the Nieuports used in the movie is now on display at the Army Aviation Museum at Fort Rucker.” (Errol could have had some fun with the name of that fort.)

    “The filmmakers needed several shots of the planes taking off and landing. They assembled a squadron of 17 vintage WW1 aircraft, most of them Nieuports. Flying them proved just as hazardous as in WW1. By the time filming ended, stunt flyers had crashed 15 of them.”


    Regarding pilot survival in the Great War:

    “We’re talking weeks or months”:…

    • Kevin Wedman

      April 22, 2016 at 5:30 pm

      Thanks for that information. Good stuff.

    • Kevin Wedman

      April 22, 2016 at 5:32 pm

      Good research Tim.

  3. shangheinz

    April 22, 2016 at 9:27 am


    Great find, Kev. I salute you!

    • Kevin Wedman

      April 22, 2016 at 5:33 pm

      My good pleasure.

  4. Sergio

    April 22, 2016 at 11:58 am

    That is so cool!!! Amazing how beat up it looked…Very nice find for sure KW…

    • rswilltell

      April 22, 2016 at 1:33 pm

      Kevin; Thanks for this great discovery! Ralph Schiller

    • Kevin Wedman

      April 22, 2016 at 5:34 pm

      Thank you. Exciting.

    • Kevin Wedman

      April 22, 2016 at 6:34 pm

      I agree. Thank you.

    • Kevin Wedman

      April 23, 2016 at 1:48 am

      Yes, All they had was an image on the panel.

  5. Kevin Wedman

    April 22, 2016 at 5:29 pm

    Thank you Tim. i found it very interesting..

  6. twinarchers

    April 22, 2016 at 5:53 pm

    Yes Kevin, this is a great find and one that I would not have believed. How rare and cool.

    • Kevin Wedman

      April 22, 2016 at 6:33 pm

      Thank you. I agree. It’s so very old..

      • The Zaca

        April 22, 2016 at 11:58 pm

        Oooooooh this made my day as I’m an old warbird buff from way back…..going to drag out Dawn Patrol and watch it tonight….thank you such exciting news!!!!!

        • Kevin Wedman

          April 23, 2016 at 1:45 am

          I thirst for film backstories, especially Flynn’s films.

  7. Kevin Wedman

    April 23, 2016 at 1:51 am

    Thank you for helping me with the posting David Dewitt.

    • David DeWitt

      April 23, 2016 at 2:02 am

      You’re welcome! Great Lynn Detective work!