Sunday, 30 May 2010
The rumor mill has been very quiet this year for Flying Legends, but this Blog may have an inside scoop. EADS Heritage Flight Me109G is scheduled, though not yet confirmed, to appear at RIAT 2010 - the weekend before 'Legends. EADS describe the 109 and their 262 as "unavailable" the weekend of the Duxford spectacular; but would not disclose reasons or whereabouts of the machines. It certainly would make a visit all the way from Germany pay to appear at more than one show. This is just a deductive rumour, but you heard it here first!
Hispano Buchon D-FMVS made its first flight since overhaul on May 12th 2010. The Merlin-engined Messerschmitt Bf 109 was previously based in the USA and was put up for sale on Courtesy Aircraft Sales web site. It has been re-assembled in Germany by Meier Motors.
Back in the UK Buchon activity is rife; after the re-paint of HFL's Buchon into Battle Of Britain scheme (two former schemes are seen attatched to this post) they have also completed ground runs of privately owned G-AWHE. The latter has been finished in Bf109F colours based at Quotaifiya, Egypt - a desert scheme.
Historic Flying Limited have followed in the RAF's footsteps and re-painted their two seat Spitfire, Tr.IX PV202 G-CCCA, in Battle Of Britain colours. It now represents Spitfire Mk.I X4474 QV-I. The RAF have already re-sprayed their Tucano Display Team machines in BoB colours. HFL's Spitfire has previously been seen in Irish Air Corps and Dutch colours.
Monday, 24 May 2010
What will the weather be?... Was the most asked question of the 16th May 2010 in a special part of Cambridgeshire. The Duxford opening show, along with it's closing counterpart, is always a hit-and-miss affair weather wise and participation wise. Gladly, the latter did not disappoint, where the former remained true to form. Cold and windy, followed by windy and sunny, followed by warm and sunny finished off by Mustang, Harvard and Tucano displays in the rain.
A good line-up for the start of the season soon was chopped and changed with Lancaster, EuroFighter Typhoon and Sabre being scrubbed early on.
Behind the airshow the "TFC" hangar was undergoing major works on the west side doors so many of the aircraft under covers. With only US-registered TF-51 "Miss Velma" and Sea Fury participating in the show rumor is still rife that CAA Audits are not completed or resolved.
Back on the Display line you would be forgiven for thinking you were at a Great Warbird show with a Sea Fury, Mustang, a few Spitfires, four Hurricanes, SE5a, BrisFit, Gladiator, Dakota and B-17 interspersed with modern and training types. Impressive for a Spring show to say the least!
The flying display was not typical of most Duxford shows with acts not following each other as fluently as normally practised on this historic airfield. The show definately gave the air of caution and being put together as it went along. Never-the-less the show was a usual Duxford delight. The Shuttleworth WWI pair gave a noteably enthusiastic display and Stephen Grey in his Sea Fury gave a great feel of power dragging his airframe through the sky. Heavy BBMF input was more than welcome to the fray to bolster an already impressive Warbird display. Even as grey clouds drew-in, and this reporter went home, the show still went on through the rain. Gutsy move when there seemed to be more people queuing to leave than on the display line.
The IWM has got off to a great start and so has a lot to live up to in this Battle Of Britain year. The BoB Airshow at Duxford will be of particular interest in how they can top this show. We shall see....
Thursday, 13 May 2010
With the Battle Of Britain Memorial flight participating heavily; this year's Spring Duxford opener could be considered a "historics" show. "RAF down the ages" is the plug the Imperial War Museum is using to advertise this spectacle.
The BBMF are scheduled to supply their Lancaster, Dakota, 3x Spitfires and 2x Hurricanes - supplemented by Peter Vacher's superb Hurricane. Sally B takes her pride of place in the IWM's show alongside The Fighter Collection's TF51 Mustang. (Scrubbed from the original line-up is TFC's newest addition Sea Fury).
A welcome sight in Duxford's skies will be Royal Navy Historic Flight's Fairey Swordfish - so often promised and so little produced - flying alongside HAC's Hawker Nimrod.
The Shuttleworth Collection are to send along their SE.5a and Bristol Fighter after being unable to send any of their WWI aircraft into the air at their own Spring Opener.
In what could be it's last season in the UK Golden Apple's N.A. F-86 Sabre is happily scheduled to participate.
All-in-all a very promising show with the weather forcast equally so - cloud but no rain! Watch this blog for a review and photos.
Monday, 10 May 2010
Rainy and Windy are the two words that dominated this show that almost didn't happen at all. Conditions being what they were lead to the organisers, quite rightly, delaying the start of the flying by an hour on the Met's promise of better conditions.
Indeed the rain did subside, however, the wind did not and constantly blew at 20knots+. This naturally restricted the flying display to those aircraft capable, which meant the Edwardian and WWI aircraft were instantly scrubbed from the display.
In typical Old Warden style the organisers pulled out all the stops to but on some kind of show and indeed pieced it together minute-by-minute. Undeterred by the conditions Plane Sailing's PBY Catalina kicked off the show in typically stylish fashion; being able to get significantly closer to the crowd line than at many other shows.
Peter Teichman braved the reported dire Essex weather to bring his Hurri-bomber to the display; a more than welcome visitor. Old Warden based aircraft made up most of the line-up with Sea-Hurricane, Gladiator and Lysander putting in equally impressive displays as the show's "heavies".
The show was delightfully capped off by the debut of a double Twister act in adition to their Glider and Twister show.
Although the sun only briefly blessed the airfield, and the wind being absolutely relentless, a typically enjoyable Old Warden show was still put on to great credit of the Shuttleworth Collection.
Engine tests took place on April 13th 2010 of Westland Lysander IIIa at Gatineau, Canada. The aircraft, finished in the silver scheme of the very first Lysander off the production line, is owned by Mike Potter's Vintage Wings of Canada.