Archive for the 'Warbirds' Category

Dassault MD 311 Flamant (which means Flamingo in French) with its glazed nose with a bomb site fitted, it was a bombing, navigation and photography training aircraft. Engines two Renault – Snecma 12T of 580 cv, registration F-AZDR.

• July 20, 2009 • 1 Comment

North American SNJ-5 Texan,US Navy Advanced Trainer, a modified version SNJ-5c was fitted with a hook for carrier landing instruction.

• July 20, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Sally B is a B-17G-105-VE Flying Fortress, serial 44-85784, Powered by: Four Wright R-18200-97 Cyclone radial engines, each producing 1,200 hp at 15,000 feet. It had a maximum speed of 287 mph at 25,000 feet which was about its normal operating height. Flying in box formations, hundreds of Fortresses battled through German defences in daylight raids, and in spite of being armed with eleven to thirteen 50-caliber machine guns initially suffered huge losses against a determined fighter defence force, that is until the P-47 Thunderbolt and P-51 Mustangs long-range escort fighters were available to provide the much needed support. But on the final bomb run flying straight and level they still had to face the unrelenting accurate flack guns around the target areas which accounted for so many losses and injury. Crews lives were measured in weeks rather than months but, despite the high casualty rate, B-17’s became famous for returning home with terrible battle damage and were fondly regarded by their crews for this quality. Many were shot down by Luftwaffe fighters defending their country, but a little known fact is that some severely damaged American bombers that were trying to seek safe sancturary in Switzerland were attacked and shot down by Swiss fighters and in one case a number of American crewmembers were killed, and those that managed to land were often kept in camps and conditions worse than those captured in Germany. One such camp was Wauwilermoos, a detention camp Near Lucerne. where American servicemen were treated as prisoners, they slept on boards covered with lice ridden dirty straw. The latrines were just slit trenches inside or outside of the barracks, and no hygiene facilities except the chance to be hosed-off every few weeks. Food was poured from slop pails into troughs or tin pans. Internees lacked medical care, proper nutrition.

• July 13, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Aérospatiale Alouette II. SE 3130, first flew on March 1955 and set a new helicopter altitude record of 10,984 m. on June 13 It made military history by being the first helicopter worldwide to be equipped with anti-tank missiles over 1500 Alouette II’s have been built and was in use in over 80 countries including 47 armed forces.

• July 13, 2009 • Leave a Comment

In Berlin the terrifying sound of massed bombers overhead followed by multiple explosions was to be substituted just three years later, but now for humanitarian reasons by the loud continuous roar of high revving piston engines pulling at full power. The air was saturated by the sound, which continued constantly throughout the night and the day all over the city, and at its height during the Berlin Airlift planes were taking off and landing every 90-seconds. The sky was filled with transport aircraft. The airlift lasted from June 24, 1948 to May 12, 1949. A total of 692 aircraft participated, of which 102 were C-47s, but they were eventually withdrawn due to the slanting floor which caused long unloading times. Aircraft carried over two million tons of food, coal, fuel and other vital supplies to Berlin’s 2.2 million inhabitants, making 270,000 flights involving the larger four engined C-54 Skymasters and many other types including converted bombers and some sea planes. During the entire operation 17 American and 7 British planes were lost due to crashes. A missed approach meant returning to your base airfield to try again. To add to the pilots difficulties many were dangerously harried by very close encounters by hostile Russian Mig 15 fighters.

• July 9, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Warbird lineup. Pilatus P2-05 G-BJAX as Red 14, cn 600-28, in German Air Force colors, P-40, P51D, and a Spit.

• July 8, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Spits. The nose of a Griffon engined Supermarine Spitfire and a Mk.IXc, serial no. EN398, JE-J Personal aircraft of Wing Commander Johnnie Johnson, commanding officer of the Kenley Wing Summer 1943. During the six months of flying EN398, Johnson had shot down 12 enemy aircraft.

• July 8, 2009 • Leave a Comment