Flying Legends 2017, warbirds and propliners on show
Flying Legends 2017 [continued], multi-engined warbirds and propliners...
Former Classic Flight deHavilland DH.89A Dragon Rapide G-AIDL (c/n 6968) was reg'd to Cirrus Aviation on behalf of Classic Wings on 26Nov2015.
Still sporting her RAF colours, serial TX310 and named 'Nettie', the aircraft entered Classic Wings service at Duxford during the Spring of 2016, flying alongside the company's other Rapides, G-AIYR (c/n 6676, painted as HG691) and G-AKIF (c/n 6838).
Classic Wings offers both local pleasure flights from Duxford and tours over Cambridge and London in their fleet of 4 Tiger Moths and 3 Dragon Rapides.
The company undertakes most of its maintenance at Clacton Aerodrome.
deHavilland DH.89A Dragon Rapide, 'HG691' (G-AIYR; c/n 6676) of Classic Wings
HG691 is painted in silver RAF Training Command colourscheme
Beech D18 S N223CM and DC-3 N431HM await their turn for their aerial display
Douglas DC-3 N431HM (c/n 9995;'Swissair')
Its homebase is, as I have it, normally at Dubendorf in Switzerland and N431HM is owned by one Mr Hugo Mathys.
The owner (and the funding for these splendid planes) may be linked to Mathys Medical Ltd bettlach...
"Mathys Ltd Bettlach (formerly Mathys Medical), is a Swiss family business with headquarters in Bettlach, Switzerland. The company develops, produces and distributes implants for artificial joint replacement in the areas of hip, knee and shoulder as well as biomaterials for surgical treatment of bone defects (bone grafting).
Mathys employs over 560 workers, including in its 12 subsidiaries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. With more than 30 local marketing partners, Mathys is represented all over the world.
Until today (2017), the company is in possession of the families Mathys and Marzo. Hugo Mathys, major shareholder, holds the positions of Chairman of the Board of Directors.
Robert Mathys Senior founded his company in 1946, specializing in the development and production of machines, equipment and components of special stainless and acid-resistant steels."
See my report D-DAY 75, DAKS OVER DUXFORD (2019) for a second DC-3 now owned by Hugo Mathys.
On the left is Beech 18-3NMT
N21FS (c/n CA-138) and on the right D18S N223CM.
Both seem to have the same owner and are based at Grenchen Airport in Switzerland.
is one Hugh Mathys (but reg'd to Aircraft Guaranty Corporation, Trustee). Seems in 2017 N184KP joined.
Beech D18S N223CM (CA-223 / A-873?) starting its engines. Same owner as N21FS, I believe.
Beech 18 N21FS passing by, a wave shows enthusiastic spirits for a fine display
Douglas DC-3 N431HM (c/n 9995) warming up its engines: radial power rules!
See how DC-3C (C-47A) N431HM particpated in 'D-Day 75' - Daks over Duxford, commemorating 75th D-Day anniversary
|Delivered to the USAAF as 42-24133 1943; modified DC-3 1945.
various owners to Classic Air 22May86.
11Feb98 seen lh side colours/titles 'Alrodo Parfums', rh side regular Classic Air c/s.
Classic Air announced to cease by 31Oct03, had been operating HB-ISC since 1985; 'ISC expected to be operated by Ju-Air as from Spring 2004, while HB-ISB was to be sold abroad.
In early 2004
HB-ISC was reported in classic Swissair c/s.
A photo showed it flying at Bern 26Jun04.
Ferried Berne-//-Quebec during Oct.2010.
Reg'd 13Dec10 Aircraft Guaranty Corporation, Trustee, Onalaska,TX N431HM.
Reported at Newquay,UK on 26Jul13,
Normally based Dubendorf,Suisse and owned by Hugh Mathys.
All three hail from Switzerland and are maintained to perfection
N21FS & N223CM escorting the 'Crossair' DC-3 in a fine fly by
A few more images of propliners here. Top left is DC-3 LN-WND from Dakota Norway.
A 3rd DC-3, SE-CFP 'Daisy' (Flygende Veteraner) did not make it, it had to undergo an unscheduled engine change at Lelystad,NL.
Douglas DC-3 LN-WND of Dakota Norway
Douglas DC-3 (C-53D Skytrooper) Dakota LN-WND (c/n 11750) that the Dakota Norway Foundation owns and flies, is ex/ USAAF 42-68823 and was delivered to the United States Army Air Force (USAAF) by the end of June 1943.
In 1948 she was purchased by Finnair and flew with the airline until 1969, reg'd OH-LCG.
After her service with Finnair she was taken over by the Finnish Air Force, and used as the personal aircraft of President Kekonnen, serial DO-9.
Since August 1986, the Dakota is flown in Norway where it is registered as LN-WND.
Douglas DC-3 LN-WND of Dakota Norway
Catalina G-PBYA in a fine display
|Anno 2019 Europe only has two flying Catalina, Britain's own Canso A G-PBYA 'Miss Pick Up' and Canso A N315KM at Tatoi, Greece (made airworthy in 2019 and for sale).
The other, currently non-airworthy, airframes extant in Europe are as follows with their most recent identities shown:
PBY-6A L-861 at Stauning in Denmark
PBY-6A L-866/8466M at RAF Cosford, England
Canso A F-ZBAR (dumped nose only) at Rochefort-Soubise, France
PBY-6A HK-2115P in the vicinity of Oldenburg, Germany
PBY-5A 16-212 at Soesterberg, Holland
PBY-6A C-FIZO at Bodø, Norway
PBY-5A L-857 at Sola/Stavanger, Norway
PBY-5A EC-693 at Cuatro Vientos, Madrid, Spain
PBY-6A N24VP under restoration to fly at Ocaña, Spain
Canso A Fv47001 at Malmslätt, Sweden.
So, a tally of 12 is not at all bad although, potentially, both N315KM and N24VP will depart Europe once they have flown again... [Source ¬www.catalina.org.uk/2019/11/01/world-catalina-news-november-2019]
Consolidated PBY-5A Catalina, '433915' (G-PBYA)
Full history on my page ENGLAND 2017
Hello, I can see you...
Bristol Blenheim Mk.I 'Q-YP' (G-BPIV)
• Aircraft Type: Bristol Blenheim Mk.I
• Operator: Aircraft Restoration Company
• Year of Manufacture: 1934
• Powered by: 2 x Bristol Mercury XV Radial Piston Engines rated at 905hp
• Colour Scheme: 23 Squadron RAF
The Bristol Blenheim Mk.I is a truly unique British aircraft. Designed as a small airliner in the early 1930s by Frank Barnwell, Chief Designer of the Bristol Aircraft Company, it was funded by Lord Rothermere who named it ‘Britain First’. It proved much faster than the latest biplane fighters, with a speed of over 300mph, and Rothermere promptly donated it to the nation.
Barnwell then redesigned the aircraft as a bomber and it became the first stressed skin aircraft with hydraulic actuated undercarriage, flaps and turret to be accepted by the RAF. It was the fastest bomber of the day.
At the start of WWII the RAF had 1089 Blenheim’s in service, more than any other type.
The Blenheim bore the brunt of daylight operations during the early war years, whilst other bombers were switched to night operations, and the crews paid a heavy price.
Many Blenheim’s were lost not only to fighters but to anti-aircraft fire especially when attacking ships. Even so it was well liked by its crews and Churchill paid homage to their bravery comparing them to the ‘Charge of the Light Brigade’.
The Blenheim was pressed into many roles for which it was not primarily designed, such as long range and night fighter duties. It became the first radar equipped night fighter and got the first kill using that equipment.
The first Blenheim project a Canadian licensed built MKIV, which they called Bolingbroke, was recovered in a derelict state and restored to fly after a 12 year rebuild by a small dedicated team.
It made its debut in May 1987, only to be destroyed in an accident exactly one month later! The accident was not due to a mechanical fault.
Determined not to be without a Blenheim, another airframe was found and the same team gave themselves 5 years to complete the project. The aircraft was flying in May 1993 and it became the only flying example of a Blenheim.
Read on below...
"Flying for 10 years from Duxford on behalf of the late Graham Warner, the aircraft was well known on the air show circuit and flew with great success building an enviable serviceability record amongst the vintage aircraft fraternity.
In August 2003 the aircraft suffered an accident, whilst landing at Duxford and suffered significant damage.
The aircraft was dismantled with the ownership subsequently transferring to 'Blenheim (Duxford) Ltd' in Dec.2003.
It was decided that the aircraft could be repaired and work started with a team jointly made up of full time staff and the original and some new volunteers. Initially work concentrated on the centre section and fuselage and it was at this stage a
A feasibility study was carried out to see if the aircraft could be converted to Blenheim Mk.I status. A Mk.I nose had come into possession of the team and the decision was made to go ahead with the conversion.
The conversion did cause some headaches: while the main flying controls are in the same position in the British and Canadian variants, it is in the positioning of the ancillary controls (e.g. throttles, pitch, carburetor and hydraulic controls) and the positioning of instruments plus the rerouting of hydraulic and electrical lines that would take additional time.
The Mk.I nose had been donated to the team and had an interesting history in its own right; it had been obtained by a Bristol employee Ralph Nelson after WWII and converted to a car... He had mounted it on an Austin Seven chassis and with help of colleagues completed the conversion. The car was battery powered and he drove the vehicle around Bristol until 1957 when it was damaged by fire.
The conversion necessitated the nose being modified to create doors and interior fittings so basically destroyed the stress skin construction, so after jigging to maintain its integrity a considerable amount of manufacture of new airframe parts had to be carried out including reskinning.
Fortunately Ralph had kept a considerable amount of the interior fittings and most of the control systems including the seat and these were refurbished and refitted.
A data plate in the nose revealed its build number and that it had been built by AVRO. Contact with Avro’s heritage Centre showed that the aircraft serial was L6739, being issued to No.23 Squadron on 02Sep1939.
It fought throughout the Battle of Britain as a night fighter before being struck off charge in Dec.40 after being damaged.
Further research revealed that it had carried the codes YP-Q '(!) and a photo was found of it ground running at Wittering in Feb.1940.
This has enabled the aircraft to be painted in the authentic colours worn in 1939-1940 and fitted with the
Mk.I(f) gun pack.
The Mercury engines were overhauled in house being stripped down to their component parts and checked for wear and damage and reassembled. All ancillary items, such as magnetos, carburettors, pumps and the many items that make up the engines
, were thoroughly examined & checked for airworthiness before being fitted.
After 11 years of painstaking work, on the 20Nov2014 Chief Pilot John Romain and James Gilmour (as Flight Engineer) took Blenheim Mk.I(f) on its maiden flight at Duxford and performed a successful 26 minute test flight.
The Blenheim received its full Permit to fly at the end of 2014, enabling the aircraft to be ready for the 2015 season."
Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress, 124485 'Memphis Belle'
Anyone you know..?
The Memphis Belle aircraft you see flying today is what is widely considered 'the Movie Memphis Belle'.
This particular aircraft has no combat history and serves to honor the original crew and aircraft.
You will notice 'the Movie Memphis Belle' has a cursive Memphis Belle on the nose, instead of the original block letters!
B-17 Flying Fortress G-BEDF Sally B is the last remaining airworthy B-17 in Europe. She is based in the UK from where she flies regularly at air shows, memorial flypasts and commemorative events as a memorial to the USAAF in Europe. Since 1982,
Sally B has been operated by Elly Sallingboe of B-17 Preservation with the help of a dedicated team of volunteers and the backing of one of the largest supporters clubs of its kind in the world – 'the Sally B Supporters Club'. Sally B is maintained by Chief Engineer Peter Brown and his team of volunteers, and flown by volunteer experienced professional pilots.
Sally B is permanently based at the Imperial War Museum Duxford where she is on static display when not flying. However, the aircraft is not part of the Museum’s own collection and relies solely on charitable donations, sponsorship, sales of souvenirs, and the loyal support of her working team of volunteers and 8,000 Supporters Club Members.
Boeing B-17G 'Memphis Belle, '124485 DF-A' (G-BEDF, ex/ USAAF 44-85784)
Ron Mak photographed it, also at Duxford, in 1991; check Ron's Gallery #3.
Bomb bays open!
Built as a Boeing B-17G-105-VE (c/n 8693), the future Sally B, was one of the last to be constructed by the Lockheed-Vega plant at Burbank,CA.
Accepted by the United States Army Air Force (USAAF) as 44-85784 on 19Jun1945, it was too late to see war service, and was flown to Nashville for modifications. Converted for training purposes and re-designated TB-17G, it was based at Wright Field (now Wright-Patterson AFB), OH from November that year.
Continuing in the care of 2750th Air Base Group (ABG), ‘784 was selected for use as a research vehicle and in 1949 allocated EB-17G status. As such the B-17 was used in a variety of research roles, one of the most bizarre being the addition of a man-carrying pod on the starboard wingtip!
Also fitted at the time was an infra-red tracking device in place of the Perspex nose.
These trials continued for some years in a variety of guises and it was not until 1954 that ‘784 was returned to standard configuration, less armaments, at Hill AFB in Utah.
No details have emerged of the trials which this aircraft was involved in.
In France the Institut Géographique National (IGN) had purchased several Boeing B-17s after the war, for survey and mapping work, and added others as necessary; ‘784 arrived in November 1954 and was given the French registration F-BGSR. Based at Creil, these aircraft carried out work for the French government, and others, faithfully for many years.
As they entered the 1970s it was apparent that the cost of operating the Flying Fortresses was getting prohibitive, also spares were becoming something of a problem. The IGN replaced the B-17s with other aircraft, including the purpose-built Hurel-Dubois HD.34.
The Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress boring down on the audience
We remember those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom