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Hellenic Spitfire flies

Aviation Posted on Tue, January 21, 2020 23:37:03

Spitfire MJ755 of the Hellenic Air Force museum flew for the first time since 1953 a couple of days ago after a restoration at the Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar. I did get to see it today from the office as it was on an air test near to Manston around lunchtime. So sadly rather distant but still the first Spit of 2020.

Sounds good!

Aviation Posted on Wed, January 15, 2020 00:14:06

I see that TV channel More 4 have commissioned a programme called ‘Inside the Spitfire Factory’. Don’t know when it is supposed to air but they have this to say:

A new six-part series delves deep into the world of classic military aircraft restoration at one of Britain’s most unusual factories. Located at the historic Biggin Hill Air base in Kent, the factory exists to bring back to life Britain’s most iconic aircraft – the Spitfire. Over the course of a year, the series will follow the journey of three different Spitfires as they are painstakingly restored from rusty remains in the hope of getting them back to full flying condition. A larger than life cast of characters – from mechanics and pilots to historians and WWII veterans – will also be on hand to explore the Spitfire’s rich history and tell stories full of surprises.

Repeat Please !!

Aviation Posted on Mon, January 06, 2020 21:24:33
Photo: Wiki commons.

What happened to the 2019 RAF/USAFE Mildenhall ‘Farewell’ airshow event they were keen to put on ? Seeing as it’s now 2020 and no sign of anything mentioned apart from a few ‘Patch-Meet’ events that’s all I ever see and I don’t think they are on the base.

Shady Lady to tour?

Aviation Posted on Mon, January 06, 2020 00:10:27

I see that there is a suggestion that the Collings Foundation’s second B-17 ‘Shady Lady’ could join their historic flight tours. All Foundation aircraft were grounded after the crash last year of B-17 nine-O-nine but the renewal permit required from March may include Shady Lady as a replacement. The aircraft was acquired from Evergreen, where I visited with Marcus last September, back in 2015 having previously been grounded since 2001 with concerns about the main spar attachment points. Presumably these issues have been resolved if regular flights are being contemplated some time this year. Further news awaited and I wish them safe flying.

Zeke answer?

Aviation Posted on Thu, January 02, 2020 17:58:22

Gaz, is this the second Zeke you meant? Taken in April 2012 seemingly without powerplant.

Repeat please !!

Aviation Posted on Thu, January 02, 2020 14:51:43
IWM Zero September 2019.

Just asking here nothing more. Of the two examples of Zero/Zeke Japanese fighters that have appeared over the last few years at IWM Duxford. I ask the question if anybody can remember, did the second Zero that showed up at IWM Duxford have the engine still fitted ? Because I cannot answer somebody who asked me the other day elsewhere because I simply cannot remember. I do remember it in two halves consisting of the cockpit similar to this and also there was a severed ar*e-end and painted in a green/red lead colour. Can anyone on here or anyone tuning-in externally answer this question please so I can answer an enquiry.

Ta Gaz.

In review

Aviation Posted on Tue, December 31, 2019 20:43:34

So, with a New Year imminent I though I would have a quick look back at 2019. A quiet year in terms of air shows as I only did Flying Legends which was a bit flat this time around. Although not an air show I also attended the Duxford Dakota event back in May which, unfortunately, was not helped by the weather. It was a great effort by those owners that got their aircraft to the show and impressive to see so many Daks together but ultimately it did not really live up to the hype.

A better event was the Duxford showcase day that I attended in August. Only a handful of aircraft putting on a short display but actually a good day out.

A trip to Lincolnshire early in the year enabled me to take in some old airfields and check the progress on the East Kirkby Lancaster restoration and also visit the impressive bomber command memorial in Lincoln itself. There was a little more airfield hunting in Scotland before Legends in July the high point of which was having Marcus over from Canada for a couple of days.

Marcus stayed on the agenda as we managed to bump in to each other in Oregon in September and our couple of weeks over there was a big plus this year. No air shows but some impressive museums and a few firsts in terms of aircraft spotting.

The year drew to a close with an enjoyable visit to Cosford and the workshop open day and finally a closing visit to Duxford.

Thanks especially to Gary for his ongoing support in contributing to the posts here and hopefully we will manage a few more for 2020. Not sure what these will be as yet since 2020 hols have been booked and do not include any air shows or museums. Dates for Legends are not yet confirmed but, unless content improves, I would class myself as doubtful for going. Still, it is the 80th anniversary of BoB in 2020 so there might be some shows marking that that will tempt me. Duxford in September is a possible and there are a couple of other shows not previously attended under consideration. 

So Happy New Year to all, keep checking for updates if you are interested and here are a few reminders from the last 12 months.

Deopham Green

Aviation Posted on Sat, December 28, 2019 23:42:53

Deopham Green in Norfolk opened in 1944 and was host to the USAAF 452nd Bombardment Group (Heavy) and their B-17s. Although the airfield was closed by 1948 there are still a handful of original buildings, one or two which have been given a new lease of life but others whose days look numbered. It is also quite easy to trace taxiways and runways with a public road running most of the length of the main runway although remaining concrete is clearly being lifted. The airfield is therefore gradually disappearing but there is a memorial on the remnants of one of the runways as I saw a couple of days ago.

No bag checks!

Aviation Posted on Fri, December 27, 2019 18:24:27

Heading home from Norfolk this morning I took a very small detour and popped in to Duxford for the last of what has turned out to be several visits this year. Seemingly the bag check gestapo were sleeping off the Christmas turkey as no one was being accosted on the way in today. All was fairly quiet really with the flying population tucked up for the winter and although the viewing area was open there weren’t even any lights on in the ARCO hangar. Probably run out of coins for the meter! Still down that end was the ‘Heinkel’ 111 that is off to Hawkinge so could be the last time I see that.

As Gaz mentioned recently, no change on the CR42 front and most of the long term TFC stuff looked much as it has for a while although there was something looking suspiciously like an engine next to the Beau. The Staggerwing was also in a more promising position. Sally B was in for the winter sporting the new engine that recently replaced ‘smokey joe’ although I understand that it has not been air tested as one of the other engines failed to fire up on the day and they ran out of time before placing the old girl under cover. Anyway, some pictures from today’s meander around.

Jaguar XZ394

Aviation Posted on Thu, December 26, 2019 23:33:22

This Jaguar GR3, lately to be found at Shoreham, is destined for the new Sculthorpe Heritage Centre. However it has been acquired by a Norfolk farmer and, pending a move, is currently to be found in a field in the small village of Tattersett as I saw earlier today.

Bodney Airfield

Aviation Posted on Thu, December 26, 2019 18:56:18

Bodney airfield in Norfolk was initially a RAF field but later handed over to the USAAF and was best known as home to the 352nd Fighter Group and the ‘Blue nosed bastards of Bodney’. The airfield has returned largely to agriculture and as there were only ever grass runways there are few visible remains. The control tower still exits but access is behind a gated lane on MoD property so I didn’t investigate. However, there is a memorial outside of Bodney Camp which still has occasional military training use.

Seasons Greetings all!

Aviation Posted on Tue, December 17, 2019 18:45:40

One to watch

Aviation Posted on Sun, December 08, 2019 23:38:46

I’ve been reading about the fledgling South Wales Aviation Museum which opened in Barry back in April. The collection is fairly small at present but includes a Jet Provost, Harrier, F-4 ‘Black Mike’, Vampire, Gnat and Hunter along with a Gannet that is being restored to flight. On the cards to join are A Canberra, Hawk, Buccaneer, Lightning and Jaguar with ambitions to move a DC-6 from Coventry and perhaps, longer term,  a VC10 from Bruntingthorpe. Refreshingly there is a stated policy not to put notice boards in front of museum aircraft so that photographers can get some decent shots of the exhibits. Sounds like somebody understands.

and safely home

Aviation Posted on Thu, December 05, 2019 14:35:08

After an epic round the globe flight the Silver Spitfire landed safely back at Goodwood earlier after not attracting am awful lot of publicity, it seems to me, during its 4 month trip. Anyway congratulations to all involved and its grand to see the merlin engine can still perform so well.

I did toy with going to Dover to see it fly over but don’t really have the time at present and it could have been a wasted trip as the Spit was fog bound at Lelystad for a while. I kept tabs on flight tracker and as it was at over 5,000′ heading for the channel it seemed unlikely a decent snap was in the offing so I stayed in Ramsgate. I did pop up to the cliff as it was approaching my lunch break when it was arriving over the UK but didn’t get a sight of it.

Visit to USAAF Glatton 1-12-2019.

Aviation Posted on Tue, December 03, 2019 21:40:29

On the way down to IWM Duxford on Sunday morning, I called into the former USAAF Glatton just after Peterborough on the A1 and first thing that came into view was the water-tower which has stood firm all these years. I had a look around the airfield area just old times sake. Traces of perimeter track are still there and I must check if the ‘Blister’ hangar adjoining a mediam sized hangar at the flying club is an original one off the airfield and if it is indeed standing on it’s original position. There is a memorial in Connington Church but there sadly is no access to it because since I last viewed it with ‘H’ someone has gated off the entrance and you are reminded that it is ‘private property’ so do be aware of this if you want to view that memorial and the stone pilots heads looking toward the airfield. The memorial by the water tower is still there and in good condition and has not been vandelised in anyway. It does help I suppose with a house overlooking across the road keeping tabs on things. On the Village Green there is a memorial on a post similar to the one myself and Rebecca and Peter saw at Thorpe Abbotts. Anyway I took some snaps but not too many because it was bloody nippy and up and coming was the 10 o clock bag search at Duxford.

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