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'Flying Legends' Duxford 7/8th - Warbirds are MV's after all!


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I'm not going to make a habit of posting aircraft pictures here, even though these are MV's of a kind, but for anyone with a slight interest in Warbirds, you should really try at least once to visit the 'Flying Legends' airshow at Duxford in Cambridge. Duxford is home to part of the Imperial War Museum, and in addition to the aircraft on display, it also boasts an impressive Land Warfare Hall with many military vehicles.

 

Once more, within the space of a few days of my last trip, I was heading down south yet again for the largest warbird meet in Europe. I took almost 2000 photos across the two days, so I've had to thin them down just a little, but with lighting and sky just right, I got some excellent pics.

 

Here's the first four, B-17 Fortress 'Sally B' with P-51 'Ferocious Frankie', and B-25 Mitchell 'Sarinah'

 

Steve

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Next is the Spanish license built Bf109, call the 'Buchon' in Spanish service, which was fitted with the RR 'Merlin' rather than the Daimler-Benz. This was the type of aircraft used in the 1968 Battle of Britain film. Also a couple of C-47/DC-3 Skytrain/Dakota's.

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Next comes the US Navy fighter designs, all of which were used by UK forces. First the smallest, the Grumman FM2 Wildcat. Next is the Chance-Vought Corsair, which I believe was the heaviest and fastest WW2 Navy fighter. Lastly the Grumman F6F Hellcat which accounted for 75% of all US Carrier based victories. This aircraft wears the colours and kill markings that it actually wore during WW2.

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Probably the last US propeller driven carrier fighter was the Grumman F8F Bearcat. It is powered by a 2300HP P&W 18 cylinder radial and was capable of out performing most of the early jet fighters.

 

Airworthy, but not allowed to fly yet is this 'New Build' Fw190A. It was seen taxiing only. Because this aircraft is completely new build, and not a restoration, there is a great deal of paperwork and testing to be done before it is granted an airworthiness certificate, but it will be a fantastic day when this potent German warbird takes to the sky again.

 

Heading back to the between the war years is the Gloster Gladiator, the last of the RAF Bi-plane fighters. I particularly like the first picture with the sunlight reflecting off the lower wing to illuminate the upper wings.

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The show began with the 'Heritage Flight' of two P-51D Mustang's, P-39 Airacobra and F-15E Strike Eagle.

 

The remaining pictures are all Hawker aircraft. The all silver bi-plane is the Hawker Hind, a bomber from the 1930's. Flying with the Hind is the Hawker Nimrod, a Navy Fighter version of the Fury fighter. The Nimrod is one of only two survivors, and the only flyable example.

 

Lastly is probably the most famous Hawker design, the Hurricane, responsible for 3/5th's of all enemy aircraft brought down during the Battle of Britain; more than all the other defences together.

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Next comes two British, and two French schemes, but one American design. Firstly is the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Avro Lancaster 'Phantom of the Rhur'.

 

Next is the Westland Lysander, the aircraft most famous for its role in SOE, dropping and collecting agents from occupied Europe.

 

Third is the Morane Saulnier MS406, a French Fighter from the early part of the war. Also part of the French forces at the start of WW2 was the Curtis P-36. After the fall of France, a number from the French order were taken over by the RAF.

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Here is the Bell P-39 Airacobra, an unusual mid engined layout with the prop shaft running between the pilots legs. No very popular with US pilots, the Russians used them to great effect on the Eastern Front.

 

Unfortunately the P-40B wasn't certified to fly in the show, having only recently arriving in the UK. However, we were treated to its test flight prior to the show which was just as impressive. This P-40 is said to be the sole survivor of the raid on Pear Harbor, having been in a hangar for repairs during the attack and avoiding destruction. Others probably survived the attack only to be scrapped in later years. Amazingly, this aircraft survived.

 

P-51 'Miss Velma' is a two seat Mustang, and was half of the partly sucessful 'Operation Bolero II' mission to fly two warbirds across the Atlantic via the Northern Ferry Route used during WW2. The other aircraft, P-38 'Glacier Girl' had engine trouble part way through the trip and could not continue.

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Back briefly to the US Navy is the Consolidated PBY5 Catalina flying boat. It was used for long range Atlantic and Pacific patrols hunting and destroying U-Boats, as well as picking up downed aircrews.

 

A potent little Russian bi-plane fighter is the Polikarpov I-15 Bis. Very loud for its size, it is very manouverable and surprisingly fast.

 

Last in this section is a fairly newly restored fighter, the Seafire making a nice change from the usual Spitfire shape.

 

Further pics will have to wait until I get back from work!

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Great photos Steve

 

I must have missed the Lanc on sat! Have attached a photo of Janie taken at Parham. You'll see I have aged it abit. Seems you have covered Duxford so I won't waste space posting any of mine

 

Alan

 

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This might very well be the best photos ever posted on the net. Very good job, Jessie! I love these machines as much as the ones on the ground. I'm not sure which is my favorite the Catalina, the Mustang or Dakota. But I wonder what thoughts went thru the pilot of the f15e when flew in formation with history (Mustangs and aircobra). That must have been quite a special moment for him.

 

Thanks for sharing!

 

 

Marty

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Names of planes... After looking at these wonderful photos I started thinking of the names of many of these planes. And when looking at the bearcat it struck me that the name suits it perfectly, just as perfectly as the Mustang suit its name.

Eh... sorry about that just had some thoughts, won't disturb you with those again... :-D

 

Marty

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Marty

 

Your right about names. The Yanks called the DC3 Dakota the Goony bird! Most likely after its bird beak shaped front end. Tough planes like the Grumman's Cats have war like names, Wildcat, Hellcat, BearCat. Flying fortress really sums up the B-17. I like the name Skyraider. These tough planes were still fighting in the Vietnam War offering close air support to ground troops. They were often nicked named 'Spads' after the WWI French built Spad S-13 which were used by the American squadrons.

 

Alan

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I remeber the Bouchons. When Battle of Britian was being made in, was it 1968? The aircraft staged through Jersey. We all bugged off school to go up the airport to see them. Having been occupied there was a lot of bad feeling have them there even overnight.

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