A group of aviation historians and archaeologists from Queens University Belfast have unearthed components of an RAF Spirfire that crashed in County Monaghan, Ireland in 1942.
The aircraft (Mk Ia R6992) had served in the Battle of Britain before being reassigned to a weather-monitoring squadron at RAF Aldergrove in Antrim. On November 20, 1942 the Spitfire suffered an in-flight engine failure, prompting pilot Gordon Hayter Proctor to bail out before it crashed in a meadow in Figullar, Emyvale. [click to continue…]
Castle Air Museum in Atwater, California has rolled out two of its newest acquisitions, an F-16A Fighting Falcon and MiG-21 Fishbed, ahead of its Open Cockpit Day on May 28th.
The F-16 arrived at the museum last March, having previously served with the California Air National Guard’s 144th Fighter Wing in Fresno. Following retirement it was stored at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, Arizona until an acquisition effort began in 2009 – a move that was heavily championed by retired Col. Larry McKoane, a former fighter wing commander with the 144th. It has since been restored, bearing McKoane’s name and 144th Fighter Wing markings.
The MiG-21 arrived at the museum last month after being donated by a private owner in the Reno, Nevada area. The jet previously served with the former Czechoslovak Air Force and serves as the first adversarial aircraft in the museum’s collection.
Click below to check out photos and video this week’s rollout.
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After 30 years as an RAF pilot during the Cold War, Philip Keeble has complied his experiences flying ten different types of aircraft in a most unusual way.
Keeble’s upcoming book Patrolling the Cold War Skies: Reheat Sunset is told through the lens of his logbooks and presented as “anecdotal yarns” that “put flesh on the bare bones of a logbook in an exciting, amusing and self-deprecating way.”
The narratives stir up memories of escapades and the events leading up to them. They depict exciting sorties, dangerous emergencies, stupid moments, funny occurrences, and operational practices, but also show the balance and contrast of operating in the Cold War. Keeble got into more than a few scrapes. He flew very high, very low, and very fast with a foolhardiness that at times was culpable. The memories of these events will make you chuckle, break out in a cold sweat, and some may even cause a lump in your throat.
The book reportedly covers Keeble’s 1965 training in a Chipmunk all the way to flying the Tornado F3 Fighter in 1994. The 288-page book is currently available for pre-order with an expected release in October.
Product Page ($40 Pre-Order)
On Tuesday, the Shuttleworth Collection welcomed a newly restored Hawker Hurricane to its base at Old Warden Aerodrome in Befordshire, making the site home to three airworthy examples of the type.
The Mk 1 Hurricane (P3717) was originally built by Hawker Aircraft Ltd and delivered to 253 Squadron at Kirtön-in-Lindsey on July 13, 1940. Flown by Polish Pilot Officer W. Samolinski, the machine would go on to claim one Messerschmitt BF 110 during a patrol over Redhill, Surrey before being converted to a Mk 2 and sent to Russia, where it was recovered in the 1990s.
The privately owned aircraft completed a 10+ year restoration in March and was placed with Shuttleworth as “a living reminder of the sacrifice and valour of the young men who flew the type during the second World War.” P3717 will reportedly perform at the collection’s 2017 air shows, where it will join a Hawker Sea Hurricane and fellow Battle of Britain survivor R4118.
Click below to check out a video of P3717’s first engine run during restoration in 2015.
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Sword Models has announced the upcoming release of a new tool Fiat G.55 Centauro kit in 1/72 scale.
The aircraft, which debuted in 1943, was developed by Fiat served with the Italian Regia Aeronautica and Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana during WW2. The aircraft soon earned a reputation for being fast and maneuverable, and was especially effective at high altitudes. However, a limited number were produced and heavy losses were suffered on the ground due to regular Allied attacks. Today, the G.55 is considered to be Italy’s best fighter of the war.
Few details about the kit are currently known, but the company has released box art as well as livery options, which appear to consist of seven examples serving with the Regia Aeronautica. Click below to check them out.
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A rare, French reproduction of the Morane-Saulnier Type L under construction by the Association Héritage Avions Morane-Saulnier is reportedly being readied for a trip to Oshkosh.
As previously reported, the team considers the machine to be a special part of aviation history, being one of Morane-Saulnier’s initial designs (1913) and the type used by Roland Garros when he became the first to successfully down an enemy aircraft by firing a gun through a spinning propeller arc, fitting deflector wedges to the back of the blades. To date, over 10,000 hours have been invested in the machine, which retains the type’s original wooden structure, wing warping and all-flying rudder and stabilator. However, as it is being built to an airworthy standard, several modern upgrades have been incorporated, including the substitution of a 110 hp Rotec radial engine in place of the original Le Rhone rotary.
According to translated reports, the aircraft is currently based the Daher factory in Tarbes and will soon be dismantled and crated for shipment to the US. The EAA’s 2017 AirVenture Fly-In at Wittman Regional Airport is scheduled for July 24-30.
Click below to check out photos and a recent video of the project.
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The Military Aviation Museum in Virginia Beach, Virginia has added yet another significant piece of WW2 history to its collection in the form of a control tower from RAF Goxhill – the first WW2 American airbase in England which became U.S. Army Air Forces Station No. 345.
The effort to relocate the tower began eight years ago with the deteriorated structure being pushed over so slabs of brick and cement could be shipped. Now at its new home, the exterior construction of the tower is said to be 95% complete, being adorned with its original “cream and green” colors. The interior ceilings will be painted white while the walls will receive “dark institutional green” and “light gold/dark yellow” tones. According to MAM director Mike Potter, the result is “about as authentic as it gets.”
The tower’s exterior will reportedly be complete in time for the museum’s annual Warbirds Over The Beach air show on May 19-21 – an event that will hold special significance as it will also mark the tower’s 75th anniversary. A ceremony will take place during the event to commemorate the anniversary and honor the 180,000 American men and women who served in England during the war.
The interior is expected to take several more years, but will eventually be open for the public to tour.
New screenshots of Dovetail Games’ upcoming Flight Sim World have been released courtesy of Orbx, a developer of high quality scenery add-ons for FSX and P3D which is participating in beta testing for the highly anticipated simulator.
As previously reported, Dovetail acquired the rights to Microsoft’s popular Flight Simulator series in 2014 and developed this new, 64 bit program that is touted as offering “an unprecedented level of realism and detail” including faithfully reproduced, officially licensed GA aircraft that are “the most authentic and detailed in-sim representations on the market”. [click to continue…]
On Saturday, the remains of a P-40 Kittyhawk were salvaged from the Kerch Strait between Crimea and mainland Russia.
The wreck was discovered roughly six kilometers from the coast by divers searching the area for mines and bombs as part of the $3.2 billion construction of the Kerch Strait Bridge. It was then removed by a historical reconstruction group using a floating crane.
According to group leader Aleksandr Yolkin, the P-40 was likely one of more than 1,000 aircraft used by the Red Army during the Kerch-Eltigen Operation in 1943, which set the stage for the eventual recapture of Crimea from Nazi Germany and its allies. [click to continue…]
Fueled by curiosity, aerospace engineer and Google hardware designer Adam Woodworth set out to determine how aerodynamically sound LEGO’s Solo Trainer airplane design actually is.
The process involved creating a giant RC model of the vintage toy crafted from various types of foam, including 1″ thick housing insulation. The result looks identical to its LEGO counterpart but is actually capable of flight, performing “better than it should”.
Click below to learn more and see it in action.
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