Classic Aviation

Classic Aviation

Friday, 29 June 2012

Flying Legends News Day #5

The eve of the show often proves to be an exciting and busy affair that draws a big crowd to the museum. This year proved no different as the 10am queues snaked around the IWM Duxford car park.

The day started in a very slow fashion with next to nothing occurring. High winds discouraged any flying and mid-morning the heavens opened and soaked the historic airfield. It remained like this until mid-afternoon where the sun shined and the winds fell to an acceptable level.

Activity was rife for virtually the final three hours. Pilots were negotiating flying and practice time over the radio with the control tower.

For the enthusiasts the highlights must have been P-47G Thunderbolt "Snafu" in formation with TF-51D "Miss Velma".

Arrivals included a Ju52, Sopwith & Fokker Triplanes, Fury and Spitfire Mk.19 from France, Yak 9, Yak 11, Spitfire Mk.I, Skyraider, Swordfish and the Norwegian Dakota (DC-3).

Practice displays came from MeierMotors Spitfire Mk.8 and their TF-51 Mustang, Ju52 of Lufthansa, Spitfire Mk.14, Hispano Buchon and the Skyraider from North Weald went straight into a display on arrival.

One of this years star the P-38 Lightning of Red Bull went on a photo recce during the twilight hours.

Review the blow by blow of the day from our tweets at

It is shaping up to be another great Flying Legends Airshow that even the most hard-to-please fan will enjoy.

See our review at Classic Aviaton at along with all the photos. These will be available early next week.

We hope you have enjoyed out coverage of the build up to the 2012 Flying Legends Airshow.

Thank you

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Legends News Day #4

After all the excitement of yesterday enthusiasts can be forgiven for thinking today would have been more of the same. With blazing sun and clear skies it is somewhat surprising that activity was somewhat diminished in comparison to the previous day.

It started off in the best possible way with the focus being on The Fighter Collections P-47G Thunderbolt "Snafu/War Eagle" out on the grass for engine tests. Not long after she was taken up for a local flight and then, to the delight of photographers, put through her paces in a display over the airfield.

From there it went unusually quiet. Apart from HAC's Nimrod conducted yet more engine runs on the field there was very little Warbird action throughout the museum for several hours.

Later in the afternoon things picked up when P-40F "Lee's Hope" and the P-40B were positioned on the live side of the field. The Pearl Harbour survivor had the panels off and the engine was run and tweaked. The P-40F was taken for a flight and a display following repairs made after yesterday's shut down and jacking.

After another brief gap Spit EP120 and TF-51D Mustang "Miss Velma" were prepped for a formation practice display. During this time another Spitfire & Mustang formation called up on the radio making for some very comical communications between lead pilots and the tower. The visitors, after being told many times to not use the call sign "Mustang & Spitfire formation", turned out to be MeierMotors/Max Alpha fighter Spitfire Mk.VIII and their plainly marked TF-51D Mustang. The first arrivals in two days!

With a large number of European and UK arrivals still expected tomorrow, dubbed "Arrivals Day", could be very busy indeed!

Follow us on Twitter with all the news and follow @aviationclassic

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Legends News Day #3

The so called "media day" is usually a quiet affair with a few demonstrations, engine runs an many fluorescent jackets. Where the latter remained true the other factors usually associated with the Wednesday prior to the show were not.

Historic Aircraft Collections Hawker Nimrod stood on the flightline all day with numerous engine runs and plenty of tinkering. A question mark probably now hangs over the fighter's head as to it's availability for the show.

The Fighter Collection have been hard at work preparing this airworthy aircraft and "The Boss" Stephen Grey was certainly having fun with his toys.
After taxiing out the Corsair he reported a tech problem and returned to the parking spot. Instead he jumped in Spitfire V EP120 and took her for a spin instead! Putting a wonderful display and likewise later in TF-51D Mustang "Miss Velma". Steve Hinton later took the Mustang up and reported a leak from the radiator forcing him to return to the airfield.

One of the "stars" of this years show did it's bit for the media. The Sikorsky S.38 flying boat put in wonderfully low display and parked up in a fine photographic position by the control tower.

Later in the afternoon TFC's P-40F was put through it's paces and put in a great display. Unfortunately the fighter had to be shut down at the end of the runway owing to tech difficulties. After being towed to the hangar the fighter was put on jacks with the undercarriage retracted.

The only arrivals today were Yak-3 reproduction "White 100" and Spitfire TD248. Plenty more to come!

As the day came to a close the HAC Nimrod was still under going engine runs and ARCo Battle Of Britain Hispano Buchon was taken up for a twilight display.

Remember you can follow live updates from the airfield at

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Legends News Day #2

Another active day at Duxford saw the arrival of P-38 Lightning.

Spitfire Mk.Ia AR213 went on numerous test flights with both Steve Hinton and Stephen Grey at the controls.

The Fighter Collections Grumman Bearcat saw plenty of action too.

Highlight of the day seems to be the practice display of Sikorsky S.38 - said to be low and with plenty of top side views for the photographer.

Classic Aviation will be live from airfield from tomorrow follow us at

Albatross D.III

Albatross D.III replica 253.24 has flown near Munich, Germany. The test flight program will conclude on July 22nd

Florida gets Great War fighters

Two WWI fighters have moved to Kermit Weeks' Fantasy Of Flight Museum. The first is Albatross D.Va and the latter Sopwith Snipe. Both reproductions were completed by The Vintage Aviator Ltd in New Zealand.

MiG in Hawaii

Continuing the small influx of classic aircraft to Hawaii is MiG-21 'Black 1304'. It is potentially airworthy but there are currently no plans to do so.

Stinson flies in US

Stinson N60058 has flown following restoration in the US. It has been finished in Royal Navy WWII scheme representing FB607

Swap Ghost to Hawaii

Boeing B-17E Flying Fortress "Swamp Ghost" has been acquired by the Pacific Aviation Museum of Hawaii.

It is expected it will be displayed in an 'as found' condition much like their Japanese Zero fighter display.

P-40C Europe bound!

Aerofab of California have completed restoration of a P-40C Tomahawk. The all metal finish fighter went on static show at the Planes Of Fame Museums Airshow last month. It has been reported to be heading for a European owner and message boards are rife with belief that it will be heading for the UK and joining The Fighter Collections already prestigious Hawk fighter collection.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Legends News Day #1

It has been reported via TFC Diary that the Sikorsky S.38 has arrived today at Duxford IWM.

Red Bull's P-38 Lightning made an unexpected landing at Sumburgh, Shetland Islands, due to bad weather. Talk from the airfield suggests it will remain hangared there for maintenance rather than Duxford as originally planned. The Corsair has not made the journey owing to reported engine problems.

Classic Aviation will be there from Wednesday bringing you all the news from the airfield. Follow us on Twitter @aviationclassic for live updates or chat with us on the UKAR Forum!

Sunday, 24 June 2012

RAF Cosford Review

RAF Cosford Airshow has a history of misfortune with bad weather and 2012 proved to be no different. Not quite the onslaught of some years the rain was on/off the entire day. Despite forecasts crowds turned up in their droves for what was anticipated to be a great flying display.

Under a new organisation team the display on paper looked tantilising with something for everyone included. Naturally there was heavy RAF involvement coming from virtually every display team the force has.

The well laid out ground plan gave something of interest throughout the neat little airfield. From ground Jaguar hydraulic demonstrations to shops to static aircraft and, of course, the RAF Museum itself with it's exceptional collection of aircraft.

If there were to be any criticism of the display itself is that it was probably backwards! With the fast, loud and exotic coming towards the start to middle of the display and the climatic finale a rather bog standard affair that even the smallest of airshows can attract. Despite this the display had a little of everything from Warbirds, to a Tornado Role demo that made the heart pound, to wonderful aerobatics from numerous teams.

Order Of Appearance

Jaguar Taxi Run
Model Airshow
RAF Falcons - Parachute Display Team
RAF Typhoon
Royal Navy Black Cats - Lynx Solo
RV8ers - RV8 Pair
RAF Sea King
SWIP Twister Duo
Bucker Jungmeister
Great War Display Team
Battle Of Britain Memorial Flight - Lancaster & Spitfire
Belgian Air Component Augusta
Jet Provost Pair
Folland Gnat Pair
Sea Fury T.20 - Royal Navy Historic Flight
RAF King Air
RAF Red Arrows
Curtiss P-40M Kittyhawk - Hanger 11
Hawker Hurricane I - Peter Vacher
Army Air Corps Apache
Tornado Role Demo
Aerostars - Yak Display Team
Vampire & Meteor
TRIG Display Team
RAF Grob Tutor
RAF Tucano
The Blades - Extra Display Team

With all this packed into a window from 12noon (except Jag taxi & Model Airshow) the show was fast paced unlike its local counterpart Waddington - which has a growing reputation for gappy shows. Despite the weather the majority of the crowd saw it to near the end with only a few people giving up and being escorted off the site at their request. With such an impressive line up the future of this show is secured and a big crowd can be expected again next year. There are some obvious avenues that could be explored to make this the UK's premier airshow (when you factor RIAT and Farnbrough rely on international input) with more Warbirds and Classic aircraft and less Civilian acrobatics - maybe a personal thought - there are many opportunities within the UK. Of course a notable absentee was the Vulcan and enthusiasts and none alike would agree she would make a great addition (despite having engine problems anyway she was not booked).

The organisers did not put a foot wrong with an exciting and interesting display which has left an excited taste in the mouth for how they can improve for next year! Well done must go to them! Just book better weather next year!

Sunday, 10 June 2012

New B-17 For Liberty

Follow the tragic loss of B-17G Flying Fortress "Liberty Belle" the Liberty Foundation has loaned the use of B-17 "The Movie Memphis Belle" from the Tillichet family.

The Liberty Foundation plan to have 44-83546 available for pleasure flights as they tour it around the USA.

The Foundation does has a second B-17 available to them, recovered from a lake in Canada, but it requires a full rebuild and will take many years.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

IWM Announcement!

The IWM Duxford have issued a press release for Flying Legends 2012!
The star of this years show looks set to me amphibious Sikorsky S-38 along with the return of Red Bull P-38 Lightning. The show will also see the debut of TFC's P-47G Thunderbolt "Snafu". The incredible line-up will boast more than 50 warbirds and classic aircraft including many Spitfires (including 2 Mk.I variants), various marks of Hawk (B, F & 75) an many more. More information to come of the worlds premier Warbird event!

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Legends Appetite

Just to whet your appetite for Flying Legends 2012; here is a provisional participation list. It is neither complete or confirmed and is simply from hear-say (but the TFC sources are keeping rather quiet this year!)

P-47G Thunderbolt "Snafu"
TF-51D Mustang "Miss Velma"
Sea Fury T.20
Spitfire Mk.Vb EP120
Spitfire Mk.XIV
P-40B Warhawk
P-40F Warhawk "Lee's Hope"
P-36 Hawk
Nimrod I


Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress "Sally B"

Sea Fury


Spitfire Mk.V

Spitfire Mk.IX MH434
P-51D Mustang "Ferocious Frankie"

Buchon (Me109)
Buchon (Me109)

Nimrod II
Hawker Fury

Yak Aerostars (Sunday Only)

The above list comprises of the "home teams" and regular participants of Flying Legends. It does not include any overseas or other operators other than the RNHF (who's sales team have assured me both are scheduled)

Monday, 4 June 2012

Duxford Jubilee Airshow Review

Order Of Appearance

Eurofighter Typhoon / RAF
Boeing B-17G "Sally B" / B-17 Preservation
Harvard Pair / The Fighter Collection & Aircraft Restoration Company
Westland Lynx / Royal Navy
RAF Battle Of Britain Memorial Flight - Avro Lancaster, Supermarine Spitfire & Hawker Hurricane
Grob Tutor / RAF
Hawker Trio - Nimrod (Fighter Collection), Nimrod (Historic Aircraft Collection) & Hurricane (Historic Aircraft Collection)
King Air B200 / RAF
Shorts Tucano / RAF
F-16 Fighting Falcon / Belgium Air Component
SBach Duo / Red Bull Matadors
Westland Sea King (Role Demo) / RAF
Gloster Meteor T.7 / Classic Aircraft Trust
Dragon Rapide / D & M Miller
Avro Anson / Classic Aircraft Trust
Chipmunk Pair / Aircraft Restoration Company & A Grounsell
Bucker Jungmeister / G Brander
Socata TB30 Epsilon x3 / French Air Force
BAe HAwk T.1 / RAF
Supermarine Spitfire Mk.V / The Fighter Collection
Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IX / Old Flying Machine Company
Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXT / Air Leasing ("Grace" Spitfire)


A powerful sun hung over the historic Duxford airfield with very little cloud to protect the spectators from it's effects. Of course in airshow terms this is perfect condition with only a slight breeze it was an ideal day for any participant.
When a show can boast the original schedule to be full and in order; you know it has been idyllic conditions. Dubbed the "Jubilee Airshow" the connections were few and far between with participation very typical of any Duxford show. Though the program and commentators alike endeavored to make Royal connections and relay some history between the aircraft present - to the pure Aviation enthusiast or Royalist it may have seemed a bit futile. Where was the bunting? Balloons? Or anything other Jubilee paraphernalia. Ah well. On with the show.

Kick-starting the show with aplomb was the RAF (a Royal connection if ever there was!) with their Eurofighter Typhoon; this year coming direct from 6 Squadron rather than a display team. With the crowd on their feet and watching in virtual silence the RAF's front-line multi-role aircraft brought the show season to DX, the virtual freedom of the display airspace used by all participants, taking advantage of the great weather.
A firm Duxford favorite is the enigmatic Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress "Sally B" who followed the power of Typhoon with an elegant World War Two bomber display. From front-line bomber to fighter-trainer came next with a pair of Harvards brought to the show by home-teams The Fighter Collection and The Aircraft Restoration Company.

The Royal Navy's contribution to the Jubilee event was the versatile Westland Lynx solo display. The pilot giving a crowd stopping performance of the helicopter's abilities and maneuvers.
You always know when the Battle Of Britain Memorial Flight are in town when their announcement brings utter and impeccable silence to the flight line crowd. Hearing six Rolls-Royce engines prowling somewhere to the North all eyes were scanning behind to catch the first glimpse of a truly patriotic sight. Only a few performers have the permission to over-fly the crowd and once again the Lancaster, Spitfire & Hurricane of "The Few" tribute used the control tower as reference to do so. Conducting the ceremony in their usual style of solos and formation flying the trio had the crowd, once again, on their feet - leaving to a rapturous applause.

The Grob Tutor provided an interlude of the spectacular until, arguably, the sexiest sight of the afternoon was brought before the audience in the form of a Hawker trio. The avid aviation fan could be forgiven for being disappointed that today was not HAC's Hawker Fury debut, but, the sight of Hawker Nimrod I (The Fighter Collection), Hawker Nimrod II and Hawker Hurricane (both Historic Aircraft Company) should surely have appeased any sadness!

The colorful scheme of the RAF's Shorts Tucano gave more color to the event closely followed by a typically breath-taking routine from the Belgium Air Component's Lockheed Fighting Falcon F-16.

Pilot skills were demonstrated by the newly formed Red Bull Matadors of which fans of Red Bull Air Racing fans will be all too familiar. Tight formations and blood rushing maneuvers had the crowd focused on the skies. The RAF's Sea King gave a role demonstration of it's personnel rescue role. The audience scrambling to see the stranded gentleman on the airfield waiting to be airlifted to safety.

Going into the closing hour of the show transportation was on everyone's minds in the contrasting types of de Havilland Dragon Rapide and Avro Anson. The differences of shapes, size and power made for a very interesting display.

Training types followed the Anson as the Chipmunk pair took the stage to show some simple but effective formation flying - the kind of which RAF recruits would conduct 90+ hours on before moving on the their specified training program.

Breaking from the Jubilee theme, and in historical terms beating the Royals with a stick, was Bucker Jungmeister from G Brander. The German trainer was pointed out to have competed in the Berlin Olympics, however, it is unlikely to feature in London 2012!

As the trio of Spitfires fired up for what everyone knew was the finale there was a welcome 'main land' Britain show debut for the French Air Forces' Patrouille Cartouche Dore display team flying three of their Socata TB30 Epsilon advanced trainers. Showing that the French can put on a display show comparable to the likes of which the UK, Italy, USA etc. usually boast about.

 As the PCD came back in to appreciative applause the long-standing Hawk T.1 display rolled in for the usual exhilarating performance, using the open airspace to demonstrate the jet-trainer's abilities, and showing why it has been (and will be with the T.2) the RAF's first choice jet-trainer of modern times.

With that came the arrival of the shows centre piece finale; the trio of Spitfires comprising of Mk.Vb EP120 (The Fighter Collection), Mk.IX MH434 (Old Flying Machine Co.) & Mk.IXT ML407 (Air Leasing "Grace" Spitfire). There is nothing more epitomising of the British spirit than the Spitfire and they provided an apt closing to the so-called Jubilee airshow.

To view the full set of photos from the show please visit here: Duxford Jubilee Show 2012 Photos

Despite some signal problems our Twitter service from airfield was greatly received and many people re-tweeted our posts - a big thank you very much to everyone who did so! The service will continue (conditions and signal dependent) at the RAF Airshow at Cosford on June 17th. To view the tweets from the Jubilee show visit here: Classic Aviation Twitter