Friday, July 11, 2014

It's not all work...

For last Sunday's Interactive Flying Display at the RAAF Museum, I was lucky enough to get a flight down from closer to home thanks to a ride in Matt Henderson's CT-4. We were led in formation by Murray Wallace in his CT-4, with Barry Maclean as passenger.

This shot was taken as we ran in over RAAF Point Cook, with the museum's external-store aircraft* below, and the base water-tower and parade ground further up, the You-Yang hills on the horizon.

*L-R Bristol Freighter, C-130E, C-130H, HS 748 & DHC Caribou.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

That Grumman Duck Flying

I remember cutting this together on VHS video from the film, because it was one of the best bits of warbird stunt flying ever, and it was one of my all time favourites - the Grumman J2F Duck. Thanks to Roger Soupart for bringing this bit of online film to my - and now our - attention.

Many years after playing with it in analogue movie form, I came across a set of magnificent 35 mm slides from the filming of the Duck in Frank Tallman's hands at the British Film Archive library off Totenham Court Road, London. Despite eye-watering repro costs we ran a selection in 'Airside' a Warbirds Worldwide special issue. Great days.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Happy Canada Day!

Greetings to all my Canadian friends, far and wide. Have a great day!

'Hawk One' the Canadair Sabre operated by Vintage Wings of Canada seen at the Canadian Warplane Heritage's base of Hamilton, Ontario in 2012. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Spitfire R6915 returns to IWM Lambeth

A neat video showcasing one of the most historically-significant surviving Spitfires (Battle of Britain veteran R6915, in original later-war colours and configuration) on the occasion of its return to the Imperial War Museum, Lambeth, UK. I'm delighted to note it's narrated by Andy Robinson, IWM Conservator. Andy's one of the most highly knowledgeable authorities on aircraft conservation I've had the privilege of knowing.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Take 2: LVG C.VI

 After the retirement from active flying of the LVG C.VI in the UK*, the loss of the type from the air is to be replaced shortly by the magnificent work of the French Memorial Flight with the completion and forthcoming flight of their detailed example.  See more on their website, here.

[Images from the Memorial Flight blog.]

*Owned by the RAF Museum, LVG C.VI 71984, C/No 4503, was registered as G-AANJ and operated, flying, for many years by the Shuttleworth Collection, before the RAF Museum requested its return.  It is now stored at Cosford, awaiting restoration.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

"Australia Aids Coastal Watch" Rare 10 Sqn Sunderland footage

A neat newsreel segment from 1940 of 10 Squadron RAAF Short Sunderland Mk.I flying boats operating from Mount Batten, Plymouth, Devon - though both the unit and location are unnamed in the original film. 

The 'briefing' at the start is risible, but the film is worthwhile for the (brief) segments of natural sound 1940 Australian accents at the start and end.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

The last Spitfire out of...

Sometimes you don't realise something's actually making history at the time.  The image below was taken of a Spitfire at an airshow; so far, so straightforward.  But the relatively nondescript location is an historic one; it's on the upper hillside of the former Croydon Airport, once, particularly in the 1930s, London and Britain's air gateway to the world.

The Spitfire PL983, is a PR Mk.XI (appropriately registered G-PRXI) a photo reconnaissance version, seen here in the colours adopted for the excellent TV series 'Piece of Cake'. It's seen at the Croydon Anniversary Airshow in 1988, and proved to be the last Spitfire to fly from the Croydon Airport site. The reason for the airshow in 1988 was to mark, in Australian Bicentennial year, the 60th anniversary of the first solo flight to Australia by Bert Hinkler, and the airport's many other Australian connections. There had been a previous airshow in 1980, which I didn't get to, commemorating Amy Johnson's record flight which had also started from Croydon.

This area is now known as the Roundshaw Open Space, and the end of a taxiway and runway junction can be seen on Google Earth, which would be to the right of the Spitfire in the image. For orientation, the old control tower and terminal building are off to the right of the image, about a half-mile down the hill. I think there's a line of trees planted about where the Spitfire is in my pic, and the buildings behind it in the foreground are on what was the airfield up to the 1950s when it closed.