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In Reach

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Not looking good

AviationPosted by Peter Smith Sat, August 04, 2018 22:59:16
Sad to hear that a Ju-52 of Ju-Air crashed in the Swiss Alps today. Scant details so far but the pictures do not look good for survivors. Our thoughts are very much with those affected by this tragedy.

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Mosquito Pathfinder Trust

AviationPosted by Peter Smith Thu, July 26, 2018 17:59:59

This is another group aiming to get an airworthy Mosquito back in UK skies. I guess it all comes down to money, as it usually does, but this is their press announcement this week.

"The Mosquito Pathfinder Trust can announce a commercial understanding with the Aircraft Restoration Company (ARC), owned by the highly respected warbird pilot John Romain.

Based at Duxford, ARC are renowned for their aircraft restoration and maintenance services to classic and warbird aircraft on behalf of owners and operators such as the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

ARC have been engaged by the Trust to provide the suite of Engineering and Design Services to NZ2308 (the aircraft selected for airworthy restoration). These services are necessary to have the aircraft approved for flight in the UK, and together, the Trust and ARC are already well advanced in their preparations with the CAA to meet the necessary airworthiness requirements, important to begin whilst NZ2308 is being completed by Avspecs in New Zealand.

The Mosquito Pathfinder Trust have also engaged with ARC to provide flight test and validation program services before bringing the aircraft back to the UK, and to continue to be responsible for flying standards and pilot services when the aircraft is operational.

Once in the UK, ARC will also be carrying out all maintenance requirements for the Mosquito.

The team at The Mosquito Pathfinder Trust are also looking into the prospect of basing NZ2308 at Duxford, the historic airfield in Cambridgeshire, thereby giving the public access to the aircraft when it is not displaying at airshows.

Completion of NZ2308 is anticipated to be within 24 months and with the support and generosity of the public, The Mosquito Pathfinder Trust is confident a Mosquito will return to the skies over Britain in 2020. "

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FM104 goes to BC

AviationPosted by Peter Smith Wed, July 25, 2018 18:09:48

The City of Toronto owned Lancaster has been confirmed as heading to British Columbia.

The Lancaster will be moved to the BC Aviation Museum in North Saanich near Victoria International Airport over the next few months, and restoration will start immediately. The long-term goal of the museum is to restore the aircraft to flying condition in partnership with Victoria Air Maintenance, the internationally known firm of vintage aircraft restorers which is located near the museum.

Hopefully the old girl's future is now secured and if she flies too that would be great.

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More closures

AviationPosted by Peter Smith Tue, July 24, 2018 18:02:24
The MoD announced today that jet training at Linton on Ouse will cease next year with the North Yorkshire airfield closing in 2020. More notable however is that Scampton, the current home of the Red Arrows and former home of 617 Dambuster squadron, will close by 2022. No details on what will happen to the fields in this cost saving exercise but housing must be up there. Sad news. Full details here.

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RIP Geoffrey Wellum

AviationPosted by Peter Smith Fri, July 20, 2018 22:27:09

Geoffrey Wellum was the youngest pilot to serve in the Battle of Britain. He has passed away aged 96. He was lucky enough to survive the battle and the war and has been a great ambassador for those less fortunate.

This is from his excellent book 'First Light':

"I stretched out ... on the ... bed and broke down. I grieved for my lost friends in the squadron and I cursed that I had reached the pinnacle of my life before the age of 22. I'd gone over the top. A medal and a royal handshake didn't seem important any more. Two full tours on Spitfires, the Battle of Britain and nearly one hundred escorts and fighter sweeps over occupied France and I felt destroyed by the war"

Geoffrey did recover in time but this is the effect that battle had on the pilots. Sadly we also recently lost Tom Neil and only a handful of these brave chaps now remain. They and their comrades should all be remembered with gratitude for a long time to come.

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Heritage Flight 2018

VideoPosted by Peter Smith Tue, July 17, 2018 23:44:51

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FM104 + CWH

AviationPosted by Peter Smith Tue, July 17, 2018 18:12:53

This would be interesting if it went anywhere. The CWH has suggested that they could restore Lancaster FM104, currently owned by The City of Toronto.

"Our proposal will be that we will commit to a 10-year plan to totally restore the airplane to static condition with engines operating," said David Rohrer, president and CEO of the museum that is located at the John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport. "If it's feasible operationally and economically, we'll restore it to flying condition."

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Time for a smoke!

AviationPosted by Peter Smith Mon, July 16, 2018 22:58:31

Gotta love a Sally B engine start smiley

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AviationPosted by Peter Smith Sun, July 15, 2018 23:44:24

A few more shots of the DC-6 from yesterday since it was am impressive sight smiley

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Flying Legends 2018

AviationPosted by Peter Smith Sat, July 14, 2018 23:46:39

As mentioned below there were issues on the M25 today. Following a nine vehicle incident around 6.30 this morning a section of the motorway linking to the M11 was closed, and remained so for 12 hours. Fortunately we heeded the signs and ducked off the motorway detouring Basildon and Chipping Ongar direction but it doubled our journey time and I missed the flight line at the show as a result. So no close ups of statics and no CR42 which seemed to be put in to hiding by the time I arrived. However, an early bonus was the announcement the Bernard was not doing commentary this year. Spookily we had a guy from Temora, Australia so I guess we get him again when we go to the show there in October!

The show was largely good though with some nice set pieces and seeing 4 '109s' in the air together was great although more than one 4 ship pass would have been nice. The Flying Bulls were excellent and it was grand to see their DC6. The Heritage flight was also another highpoint with both a Spit and P-51 flying with the F35. Anyway, some shots of the day.

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AviationPosted by Peter Smith Wed, July 11, 2018 00:35:54

Chelveston airfield was opened in 1941 and primarily served the USAAF. The main unit was the 305th Bombardment Group Heavy, one of the most decorated units in Europe. Today it is hard to find evidence of the airfield but there is an impressive memorial in the village nearby which I went to look at a couple of days ago.

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Centenary flypast

AviationPosted by Peter Smith Tue, July 10, 2018 18:08:20

The RAF centenary flypast took place over London today. Wasn't able to be there but here are the highlights without the commentary!

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Lancaster JB219

AviationPosted by Peter Smith Mon, July 09, 2018 22:51:29

I've touched on 'Black Thursday' a couple of times previously - the night when terrible fog over the UK caused the loss of a number of bombers returning from missions over Germany. Lancaster JB219 was one of these aircraft. Flying out of Bourn the crew attempted to land at Gransden Lodge but sadly crashed nearby at Hayley Wood with the loss of all crew.

These days the area is a nature reserve and a small memorial has been erected, albeit somewhat faded and a little tricky to find, but here is what I saw.

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I saw the truck!

AviationPosted by Peter Smith Mon, July 09, 2018 17:55:21
During my brief excursion to Duxford on Friday there was big blue truck in the vicinity of the hangars that I figured was delivering something. I see from 'elsewhere' that it was offloading the CR42 that we were wondering whether it would ever re-surface. Hopefully it will at least make static for Saturday.

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No Berlin Express but ...

AviationPosted by Peter Smith Mon, July 09, 2018 09:45:26

Berlin Express was withdrawn from Legends a while back unfortunately but I see we now have this P-51 attending. Impressive looking machine.

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