Saturday, 21 October 2017

21.X.17 :: Headcorn Aerodrome - Aero Legends

Took a trip down to Headcorn Aerodrome (formerly RAF Lashenden) to the "Sit-In" event, jointly arranged by "The Two Seat Spitfire Page" and Aero Legends, operators of Spitfire T9 NH341 "Elizabeth" and MkIX TD314 "St. George".
Interesting talk from Nick Oram about the history of NH341 and TD314 and some of the pilots who flew NH341 while she was with 411 Sqn RCAF. Flt Lt Anthony "Parky" Parkinson MBE was also on hand (having flown "St. George" down to Headcorn today) to do a Q&A session and share his experiences flying with the BBMF and The Red Arrows. 
Unfortunately NH341 developed an oil leak due to a cracked sump and the engine has been removed a few days previously, so the winner of the "Fly-In-NH341" draw will have to wait until the 2018 season. It wasn't me... :o(
The event was well attended and even though the weather gods were doing their best with "Brian" heading towards Kent, the sun did shine for a good part of the day and for the Merlin engine run. 





Monday, 16 October 2017

16.IX.17 : Spitfire T9 PT462 H2N DX

Going to be an even more regular sight now...

Will be sad to see this space empty before long...


Fury squatting in MH434's usual spot...

Monday, 9 October 2017

Another T9 for Duxford

Spitfire PT462 / G-CTIX has been sold to the Aircraft Restoration Company and is joining their fleet at Duxford.





Thursday, 28 September 2017

Duxford OM in red...

The Virginia Creeper on the front of the Officers Mess putting on an autumnal display...


Monday, 25 September 2017

13 Spitfire tail chase...


13 Spitfire Tail Chase Duxford BoB Airshow 24.IX.17 from warbirdskies on Vimeo.

Spitfire T9 quartet...

With another T9, PT462, tucked up in H2N, there were five of the eight UK-based airworthy two seat Spitfires, all on one airfield at the same time...
Here is a short video of the others, ML407, PV202, SM520 and NH341 taxiing out...


T9s Taxi from warbirdskies on Vimeo.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

24.IX.17 - DX BOB Show

4 x T9s together.....

Overall a good end to the season. A few gaps in the programme due to the strong crosswind and a obvious lack of Mustangs after yesterday's nibble on the tail of Miss Helen by Sharkmouth. 
The sight of six Hurricanes all in one patch of sky was something to behold - a few years back we'd be excited at the sight of two!!! And a thirteen Spitfire tail chase was awesome to hear and see.



RNHF Sea Fury T.20 

Norwegian AF Historical Sqn MiG15 UTI Red18, Vampires FB52 and T55

Blenheim Mk1, 3xMk1 Spitfires, 5xHurricanes and Gladiator

Friday, 18 August 2017

DX 18.VII.17 - not all Spitfires grounded...

PV202 was still operating today as were other civilian operated Spitfires. Hopefully BBMF will sort out their issues soon. 
In H2N Sea Fury FB11 G-CBEL was roosting alongside Hurricane Mk1 P2902 - Hawkers first piston engined monoplane and their last...




Wednesday, 12 July 2017

DX 12.VII.17 - catch up

Couple of photos from today and from Saturday…
Clipped wing Spitfire 
"Casualties" from the weekend...

A very nice Morris Minor van all the way from Oz...

Good to see SimplySpitfire's MK805 back on duty...



Sunday, 9 July 2017

Miss Velma forced landing

Reports of Mustang TF-51D Miss Velma suffering engine failure and having to make an emergency landing in the field on the opposite side of the M11 while displaying at FL17. Pilot okay. Aircraft damaged and reports are her landing gear was down - image on Twitter shows her on her belly so not sounding good for levels of damage.

UPDATE: MV recovered back to H2 at Duxford via low loader and the A505 - photo online of her on her 'legs' outside the hangar - damaged wings, prop, airscoop, broken canopy - hopefully the landing gear got tucked up before impact. Wonder if the relatively flat field full of wheat acted as a 'cushion' reducing damage?

Sad news to hear on the 10th anniversary year of her arriving at Duxford after her trans Atlantic crossing. 
Not a good weekend for Mustangs that have flown over the "Pond"…

Hopefully the damage can be repaired soon and she can return to flight…


Credit: Paul Tolliday: Blue Sky Aerial Services



Hopes shattered...

I had been looking forward to seeing The Horsemen routine with the P-51B Berlin Express but sadly they cancelled their slot on Saturday due to the canopy on the P-51B shattering as Nick Grey flew her on a fast pass along the airfield.
Thankfully Nick landed and some damage resulted to the tail surfaces - the Malcolm Hood sadly ended up in a thousand pieces over the airfield.
After a journey of nearly 5000 nm across half of the US and large expanses of ocean without missing a beat, BE was due to be a highpoint for myself at FL17.
Hopefully I will be able to catch her in the air before she returns to Texas.


Saturday, 8 July 2017

Flying Legends 2017 - Saturday

Some photos from todays air show…

Starting with the 357th Fighter Group 'pair' - Frenesi and Berlin Express







Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Couple more from today...




BE @ DX

On my way in today I stopped for a quick photo of Berlin Express on the ground - bumped into Rob Brindley (former Airshowbuzz member and one of the Virtual Horsemen) and had a catch up...


























Later in the afternoon managed a look "behind the rope" at Frenesi

Thanks Rob! 

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Berlin Express passes by - nearly there...

On the 10th anniversary of the flight of Miss Velma over the "Pond", P-51B Berlin Express +1 passed by close enough to get some shots…


10 years of Warbirdskies

Ten years ago my first post was the arrival overhead of TF-51 Mustang "Miss Velma", flown by Ed Shipley after a Trans Atlantic crossing, as he covered the final miles to Duxford - Miss Velma - nearly there


Monday, 3 July 2017

Heading home...

Just managed to catch PA474 as she headed north, returning to base?

Apparently just an air test, as Flightradar24 showed her doing several circuits north of Cambridge before returning to Duxford…

Pt II

Rumbled overhead again this evening at about 1700hrs heading home...


Almost here...

A nice little video from the King Air support aircraft…

Friday, 30 June 2017

The Express arriving soon...

Currently at Goose Bay waiting to head across 'the Pond', ten years after TF-51 "Miss Velma" made her journey, is P-51B "Berlin Express" flown by Lee Lauderbeck. Scheduled to arrive on 4th July at Duxford in preparation for Flying Legends 2017.





After departing Texas on June 28, Lauderback will pilot the “Berlin Express” to Paducah, Kentucky, Dunkirk, New York, Bangor, Maine, Goose Bay, Canada, Narsarsuaq, Greenland, Keflavik, Iceland and Wick, Scotland before arriving at Duxford Airfield.

Image Stallion 51















It will be nice to see a "B" model with the Malcolm Hood in the UK - a personal favourite of mine. 

The progress of Berlin Express and her KingAir escort/support aircraft can be followed here - LINK

Photo updates can be viewed on Ed Shipley's FB page - LINK

Hopefully Ed Shipley won't suffer being fog bound in Wick for days as happened in 2007!


Sunday, 25 June 2017

On this day...

As it's Armed Forces 'weekend', an entry from the logbook of Sqn Ldr John Niven DFC*, OC 485 (NZ) Sqn - 

June 25 1944, Spitfire IXB NH321, Target Support Cover, 1hr 50m, 0815hrs - Patrolled 20000' Abbeville, Amiens area covering 3 gaggles - 100 Halifaxes, 100 Lancasters. 100 Halifaxes - Noballs at Gorenflos + Montorgueil. Intense flak. 2 Halifaxes collided + exploded in last gaggle. Bombed on target indicators dropped by Mosquitos + Lancasters. 1st lot good, 2nd + 3rd indifferent.

 ("Noball" – attacks on V-weapons launch sites and related targets.)

From Wikipedia - 
June 25, 1944323 aircraft - 202 Halifaxes, 106 Lancasters, 15 Mosquitos - of Nos 1, 4, 6 and No 8 Group attacked 3 flying bomb sites. The weather was clear and it was believed that all 3 raids were accurate. 2 Halifaxes of No 4 Group were lost from the raid on the Montorgueil site. No 617 Squadron sent 17 Lancasters, 2 Mosquitos and 1 Mustang to bomb the Siracourt flying-bomb store.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siracourt_V-1_bunker#Air_raids_on_the_Siracourt_site


S/L Johnny Niven (centre) with other 485(NZ) pilots in front of NH321

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Mossie for East Kirkby!

New Home for De Havilland Mosquito HJ711 Following many years residence at its current home of the Yorkshire Air Museum, Elvington, Tony Agar plans to move his de Havilland Mosquito NF.II HJ711 to a new home at the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre. The move will be taking place by November, and planning for the move is already underway. Information on the move, including, for those who would like to be present to welcome HJ711 to her new home, when it will take place will be found on the HJ711 Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/Mossiehj711 on the Mossie.org website at http://www.mossie.org/HJ711 or on the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre website at http://www.lincsaviation.co.uk closer to the move date.

More at http://www.lincsaviation.co.uk/news/latest-news/de-havilland-mosquito-hj711-coming-to-east-kirkby.htm

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

73 years ago my uncle landed...

An extract from the memoirs of my uncle, 7941218 Trooper Jones R, Driver/Mechanic in 'B' Squadron, 24th Lancers who was involved in the D-Day landings - 


"We went from Milford to a holding camp at Winchester where we fed by the Americans but had the chance to explore one of England's oldest cities. After one false start we went to Southampton and embarked in a whale of a ship called the "John I. Jones", an American owned and manned ship. Ours was the last tank to board. The food was American and strange to my tastes, things like peaches and meat, a spoonful of potatoes and a little bread. Gallons of coffee. They were very kind to us for the four days we were on board.One day the heavy guns of the Navy were enough to deafen anyone and the air was filled with aircraft in their thousands going back and forth. By two o'clock the ship had gone as near the shore as she could and we waited while a large raft came alongside and started loading. The lorries first of all, then the tanks. We drove slowly on to the barge in case it capsized. The raft was so long the helmsman had great difficulty in keeping it heading for the shore, but land was slowly getting nearer. The co-driver and I were sealed in and eventually the order came "Start up, Taff" and into the water we went and slowly drove on to dry land. I believe our tank was the first of our regiment to land. We landed at 6.30 on June 6th. Our D-Day had arrived!What was the reaction? Fear certainly with the heart pounding away. The bodies floating in the sea were proof that this was no child's play, but you had to hide your fears and listen carefully to the tank commander's directions as we were still under seal and could see very little ourselves. The vision through the periscope was minimal and we had to rely on someone who could see what was going on. I saw a row of men coming to meet us with their hands on their heads - these were the first POWs for me to see. We went out of the village into a large field to wait for the regiment to assemble. In the next field a cow lay feet up to show that everything was endangered here."

This day 73 years ago...

Image courtesy Niven Family
73 years ago S/L John Niven DFC*, OC 485 (NZ) Squadron, spent the day flying Spitfire MkIXB MK862 on "Beachhead Patrol" - his logbook entries for the day...

05.35 First day fighters on patrol. Cloud over coast 7/10 1500' & hazy. Our troops approaching shore for first landing. Warships bombarding shore & Le Havre. Patrolled out to sea. No flak, no Huns.
10.35 Weather improved slightly. Landings made in St.Aubin area. Transports & tanks ashore. Heavy shelling from ships. Patrolled 1-6000'. No air activity.
18.50 Weather over beaches very clear with high cloud. Masses of bombers heading inland. Many gliders on ground near Bavent. Terrific bombing SE Caen. (Badly knocked about) On way home passed glider train stretching from Le Havre - 10 m. S Worthing.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Bronco poppy

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Bronco serendipity...

While reading one of the latest posts in the Duxford Diary 2017, I happened to look up the OV10 Bronco Demo Teams website to read about the poppy livery it is wearing this year. A couple of minutes later it flew over just to the west of the house!

Too slow to get a shot on it's first flypast but managed to catch it as it flew back to DX at 1743hrs…


Monday, 15 May 2017

1940? What Ho Wingco!….

Something evocative about stepping out through the front door of the Officers Mess at Duxford after your lunch to hear (then glimpse) a Spitfire doing a low level 'beat up' of the airfield followed by a victory roll...

Not sure which Spitfire it was but PV202 was parked up at the M11 end (with NH341) and looked like she had recently been up…