In order to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Hawker Hurricane’s formal entry into service, Authors John Dibbs and Tony Holmes (authors of Spitfire: The Legend Lives On) along with Gordon Riley are releasing Hurricane: Hawker’s Fighter Legend.

The RAF’s first monoplane fighter, it dragged the air force into a position where it could defend Britain in her ‘hour of need’…It came into its own in the hot summer months of 1940 valiantly defending the skies above Britain. Outnumbering Spitfires three to one, the Hurricane also downed far more enemy aircraft.

Lavish and fully illustrated, Hurricane: Hawker’s Fighter Legend is said to reveal “the Hurricane in all its glory–from fascinating first-hand accounts from the men who flew her to the truly breath-taking images from John Dibbs of the Hurricanes still in flight today.”

The 256-page book is currently available for pre-order with an expected release in May.

Product Page ($45 Pre-Order)

The Vulcan to the Sky Trust has reaffirmed their commitment to keeping Avro Vulcan XH558 at its current location in Doncaster, despite the machine being out of public view and the launch of a petition to relocate the iconic bomber.

XH558, which was the last airworthy example of the type prior to its retirement in 2015, was recently placed into storage at Doncaster Sheffield Airport amid a “funding crisis” that also resulted in drastic cuts to the charity’s workforce. As a result, an online petition was launched to relocate the aircraft to a museum at Elvington (40 miles away) or Bruntingthorpe (80 miles away). The petition, which gained over 200 signatures, states that “the plane is part of Britain’s history and should never have been grounded,” adding that its move to a storage facility is “a disgrace.”

The Trust responded with a statement acknowledging that other airfields had been examined as a possible home for the Vulcan, but they were ultimately deemed unsuitable for reasons ranging from proposed housing development to landing site quality. [click to continue…]

E-Flite has announced the upcoming release of an ultra-micro BNF Basic RC model of the legendary F4F Wildcat.

The model, which spans 20.3 inches, reportedly offers the speed and climb performance of a brushless motor as well as AS3X technology to smooth out the effects of wind and turbulence. A number of scale details are also included, such as a three blade prop, clear canopy with pilot figure, cowl flaps, molded panel lines and removable landing gear that is said to represent “the intricate design of the full-scale gear with incredible detail.”

The E-Flite Wildcat is currently slated for release in April. Click the link below to check out a video of the model in action.

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The Canadian Museum of Flight’s Sopwith Pup replica returned to the air last week for its first air trials with a newly installed Lycoming engine.

The museum is working on two full-scale Sopwith Pup projects as part of Canada’s national First World War commemoration program, however, their participation in a flypast marking the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge in April was recently called into question. During a test flight on January 12th, one of the machines suffered an engine failure after experiencing overheating. Although the pilot was able to restart the engine and land safely, the engines for both machines were deemed unusable. [click to continue…]

Earlier today, a Rolls Royce Merlin engine recovered from a WW2 Spitfire wreck arrived at its new home at the Air Force Museum of New Zealand in Christchurch.

The museum has a special connection to this particular artifact, as the machine it powered (Spitfire Mk.IXB EN572) was flown by renowned Invercargill-born fighter ace Johnny Checketts, who served as a volunteer guide at the museum for a number of years.

On September 6, 1943, Checketts, along with fellow Spitfire pilots of 485 (NZ) Squadron RAF, departed on a mission to escort 72 RAF bombers to a target in France. During the flight the aircraft were attacked by a group of 20 German FW 190 fighters, resulting in heavy damage to Checketts’ Spitfire. The cockpit became engulfed in flames following a “terrific explosion” and although badly burned, Checketts managed to bail out safely, subsequently making it back to England with help from the French Resistance. [click to continue…]

Owls Head Transportation Museum in Maine has launched a crowdfunding campaign aimed at restoring their Fokker Dr.1 reproduction so it can once again return to the skies.

The aircraft was built in the 1970s by Kenneth Cianchette and performed at museum events until 2014, when it was discovered that considerable repairs were needed, including structural restoration, new fabric and an engine overhaul.

The museum hopes to acquire $50,000 to cover costs and is offering a number of rewards for contributors ranging from hats and t-shirts to fabric sections of the aircraft. If the needed funds are obtained, the Dr.1 will be returned to airworthy status, remaining “as true as possible” to 425/17, the final triplane flown by Manfred von Richthofen. It will also serve as a flying classroom and perpetuate the museum’s mission to operate as a “living history experience”.

If you would like to learn more, or contribute to the project, click here.

An Ilyushin Il-2M Sturmovik that ditched in a lake during the Siege of Leningrad in WW2 will receive a new lease on life after being donated to the Pima Air & Space Museum in Arizona.

The aircraft, built in late 1942 or early 1943, spent decades underwater before being recovered in the early 1990s. It was then acquired by a U.S. collector before being bequeathed to the museum upon his passing.

The structure is said to be remarkably well preserved, a development that is attributed to its unique design. According to Pima’s director of aircraft restoration, James Stemm, “The part around the cockpit and engine is thick steel plate rather than aluminium – it’s more like a boiler than an airplane.” [click to continue…]

If you’ve always wanted to own your own F-4 Phantom, but lack the budget, this restored cockpit could be the next best thing.

There aren’t many details available, but the forward fuselage is reportedly from a “very well documented example” of the type, and was restored at great expense. The section is also said to be largely complete, but lacks a rear seat.

As of this writing, the asking price is £30,000, but it appears offers are also being accepted. You can check out the complete eBay listing here. If you prefer European aircraft, the seller is also offering a restored SEPECAT Jaguar cockpit for the same amount.

After 40+ years, CAF Dixie Wing’s P-63A Kingcobra returned to the air on Saturday.

As previously reported, the Allison-powered aircraft was grounded in the 1970s due to corrosion and was stored at CAF headquarters in Texas awaiting restoration. It was eventually acquired by the Missouri Wing of the CAF, but was partially submerged in 1995 when the Mississippi River flooded, resulting in the loss of several parts. The P-63 was then passed on to the Dixie Wing in Georgia where restoration began in 1999.

The first post-restoration flights were performed by Jim “JD” Dale, who described the experience as “very successful” with no major issues to report. Three additional tests were performed on Sunday with the machine once again performing “very well.”

The next step will reportedly be the application of colors and markings. Click below to check out video of the flights.

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Yesterday, Aero Legends reported that Spitfire NH341 will return to the air within a month, performing its first flight since the Normandy campaign in 1944.

As previously reported, the aircraft served with 411 Squadron RCAF, claiming two enemy aircraft before being forced down near Caen, France during combat with FW190s. Its remains were subsequently displayed at the Musee Memorial de la Bataille de Normandie and the Juno Beach Museum before being acquired by Aero Legends in 2011.

Originally an LF Mk. IXb, the aircraft has been converted to a dual cockpit T9 version and will be used for passenger flight experiences from Sywell Airfield in Northamptonshire and Headcorn Airfield in Kent. A complete list of 2017 dates is now available, and it appears that NH341 will begin offering flights on May 8th at Sywell.

(via Aero Legends)