Classic Aviation

Classic Aviation

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Record Cancellations - Waddo Review!

On a terrifically hot Sunday morning; you could have forgiven this aviation reporter for thinking and hoping for the best Waddington show for some years. It was not until walking along the display line that I realised this was not going to be the case.
Scrubbed from the line-up from the word go were the BBMF (and so subsequently the EuroFighter/SPitfire pair), WWI Display Team and Army Air Corps Historic Flight. Thankfully the Vulcan got all of it's certificates to display - even though it operated directly from Brize Norton instead of flying into it's "home" of Waddo. With the winds being very strong on Sunday the RAF Falcon Parachute team also, understandably, had their display cut. So with an hour slot's worth off the menu - the fear was high for a very drawn out and lack lustre show.
Somehow, probably with the aid of good weather, this was not the case and the RAF put on a creditable display - albeit with a significant amount of help from the Czech Air Force.
The Turkish Starz display team put on a wonderful display that pushes the Red Arrows for originality and excitement. The Czech SAAB Gripen was an undoubted star winning a display awar for its polished and well coreographed display. With more role demos and use of pyrotechnics than previously seen at Waddington the show definately picked itself up. The Vulcan bombing run, the Chinook RV pick-up, Harrier GR.9, 2xTornados and (of course) the Battle Of Britain display sequence made the show quite a spectacle.
The static display could be more condensed with, what seemed, fewer participants than ever - the amount of walking required was needlessly long.

Overall a good show with good weather; but it left a taste in the mouth that says "more could be done" to make this one of the biggest shows in the country.

Friday, 9 July 2010

Flying Legends Friday

A fantastic day in the sun was mixed with some brilliant arrivals and breathtaking displays. All around a great day. The tone was set at 1040 when the French P-40 "Little Jeanne" arrived with the P-51 "Nookie Bookie". After noon the first of the Jungmeisters arrived and the P-40 and French Corsair put their own solo performances on in delightful fashion.
EP120 (Spit MkV) was put through her paces after a test flight and the Sky Raider that arrived yesterday went for a local flight. From 1500 hours the arrivals started in force...
The all-silver Norwegian Dakota arrived doing a fighter-esq run and break. Shortly after the transport theme continued as the Lufthansa Historic Flight pair of Ju52 and Me108 Taifun arrived with the all-silver finish glistening in the sun from miles away. Fifteen minutes passed and the second Sky Raider of the show arrived from France with the Kennet aviations example a mere ten minutes behind. This completed the trio of Sky Raiders expected for the show.
The Mew Gull broke up the 'heavy' arrivals and then a formation called up on the radio. A wonderful formation of Spitfire XIX, Yak 3 (in a glorious all-silver with red star scheme), the Abode Yak-9 and the Morane 406.
Another formation of Arrow Active II, Magister and the second of the Jungmeisters. The Biltima owned F-51 arrived before practise displays by the second French Sky Raider and the silver schemed Yak-3. The final arrival before your reporter left was the Hawker Demon.

You could sense the excitement and enthusiasm all around us as we prepare for another great Legends show.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Flying Legends Thursday

The morning started with a departure in the form DX resident Catalina. The believed destination Lake Geneva, Switzerland. 
Back in Legends action was yesterday's highlight the Polikarpov I-16 with an early practise display for display authorisation.
At just after midday the arrivals started in style. French based Fury, in Australian markings, brought yet more substance to the line-up started by TFC's Sea Fury, Bearcat and the I-16 (which made a startling contrast making the Polikarpov look very small indeed). Less than half an hour after the I-16 was completely outclassed on all sides, size wise, when French Sky Raider entered DX skies.
With a Flight Line forming a formation was heard over the radio at 1400 hours. A neat, and unusual formation of, French Corsair and German registered pair; Spitfire Mk.8 and TF-51 - the latter never before seen at Flying Legends.
Now the "fun" could begin. With the sun coming out and the winds nearly completely calm; "boss" Stephen Grey took his Bearcat to Duxford skies with the usual full power bottle display so sorely missed during the CAA complications. At 1640 the heavy metal hit the air when both Sea Fury's formated and practised a very stylish routine.
Early evening PT-22 Ryan Recruits from Old Warden added themselves to an already impressive line-up.
To complete a great day Pete Kinsey took TF-51 "Miss Velma" up for a display just after the Spit Mk.8 and ARCo's BoB Buchon had also had practise sessions.
Just before the museum closed Anna Walker turned up in her Bucker Jungmann.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Flying Legends Wednesday

A very quiet start to the Flying Legends week saw absolutely no activity, other than Classic Wings pleasure flights, on the airfield. ARCo's TR.9 Spitfire occupied the grass near the holding point and Stephen Greay's Pilatus PC-12 occupied the aipron. Sally B could be seen down the far side near the AAM. At 12:40pm a Ballerina put on an aerotbatic display.
Then, at 14:10, a two plane formation called up on the radio. Looking to the skies we saw the distant shape of an I-16 Polikarpov. The two ship formation gave the airfield a "buzz" before disappearing to Cambridge to complete customs papers.
Just over an hour later one of the stars of Flying Legends 2010 was cleared for landing and, after a long curved approached, reached the terra firma of DX. (See Pictures) No sooner had the I-16 landed it was hauled off the grass and into the safety of Hanger 2 (South).
16:35 saw the first real activity by the home team. EP120 and the Sea Fury were rolled out onto the grass. The Sea Fury was quickly prepared and despatched for a local flight and display practise. Soon after EP120 (Spitfire Mk.V) was sent skyward with the "boss" Stephen Grey at the controls - watched intently by Steve Hinton and the TFC mob. 
Then...DRAMA! The Sea Fury pilot called on the radio with an instrument reading showing that an undercarriage leg was down. Stephen, in EP120, headed North to inspect the Fury - reporting no damage and possibly an under-carriage flap still being open. Meanwhile, the tower had reported the EP120 had a visual under-carriage problem. Stephen buzzed the airfield for inspection which showed a malfunctioning panel near the wheels. The tower set off emergency flares and the fire crews were standing by. 
Thankfully both were able to land without incident and the minor snags repaired. Though dramatic....a few less incidents please boys!

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Temporary Legends List Announced

• Hawker Biplanes
• Breitling Sterman 2 Ship
• BBMF, Lancaster (programmed to land at Duxford Sat and Sun) Hurricane and Spitfire
• The Lufthansa Pair
• Mew Gull and other British Aircraft
• DC3
• Lysander
• Gloster Gladiator
• Yak’s
• P51 Mustang’s
• Spitfires and Seafire
• Skyraiders
• Sea Fury’s
• Buchon
• Cub Pair

B-29 nearing flying status

The world's only airworthy B-29 Superfortress has under-gone complete engine tests after all four of it's engines were custom made. "Fifi" has not been seen in the air for many years due to complicated and persistent engine failure

FW190 ditched

Flug Werk 190 F-AZZJ was ditched in the sea in the south of France following engine failure. The incident occurred on June 12th 2010. No persons were injured or killed. The airframe has since been recovered and its future is not yet known.