Aug 08 2016

Scotty Wilson killed in Bugatti 100P crash

scotty-team-photoScotty Wilson, test pilot of the Bugatti 100P replica and leader and mentor of the group, was killed last Saturday during the 3rd test flight of the aircraft shortly after take-off.

“Scotty’s aviation career spans six decades and nearly 11,000 hours in everything from Cubs to F-16s.  After a thirty-year Air Force career, Scotty transitioned to the private sector where he led multi-unit companies in the aviation sector. He has significant start-up, turn-around, and business-development experience.  He is an avid general aviation enthusiast with Airline Transport Pilot; Instructor; and Mechanic ratings. He has an MBA from the City University of Seattle and lives near Tulsa with his wife Leslia.”

The Bugatti 100P replica flew for the first time on 19 August 2015 but was damaged when it left the runway. After repairs, the aircraft was successfully flown again last October.

Our thoughts and prayers go to Scotty Wilson’s family and friends.

Photos via Read the rest of this entry »

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Aug 06 2016

First flight for Hangar10’s rare Messerchmitt Bf 109G-12

Hangar10’s Messerschmitt Bf 109G-12, a Hispano Aviación Buchón restored to the G-12 standard by Meier Motors using an original DB 605 engine, made its first flight on August 4 with Charlie Brown at the controls.

This rare twin-seat variant of the German fighter will be used to train Bf 109 and Buchón pilots.

Source: Hangar10

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Aug 05 2016

Canadian Harvards recovered from Great Lakes

A Harvard of the RCAF. (Photo RCAF)

A Harvard of the RCAF. (Photo RCAF)

The Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association plans on recovering elements of a North American Harvard that fell in Lake Erie in 1943.

On June 19, 1943, student pilot William Charles Smith of the RAF buzzed a passenger ship on Lake Erie and entered into a steep turning climb to avoid the ship. The 17-year old pilot lost control of the aircraft which stalled and crashed, killing him instantly.

The fuselage was recovered in order to recover Smith’s body but other parts of the aircraft were left on the lake bed. The CHAA is recovering these parts and hopes to display them at t he aircraft museum at the airport in Dunnville.

The association is also seeking two recover two Harvards that fell in Lake Ontario. One of these is reportedly in pieces while the other one is reasonably intact. CHAA president Walther Irie said “We’re hoping one will be in good enough condition to recover. That will be our primary target.”

Source: Simco Reformer

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Jul 27 2016

A-26 Invader “Silver Dragon” damaged in landing accident at Oshkosh

The A-26 Invader “Silver Dragon” was damaged in a landing accident in Oshkosh when the nose gear retracted upon touchdown. Fortunately the crew emerged unhurt but, despite appearances, the aircraft probably sustained substantial damage.

Video: AirshowStuffVideos

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Jul 26 2016

Video: air-to-air footage of B-29 Doc’s first flight

Scott Slocum has posted on Vimeo some great air-to-air footage of B-29 Doc’s first flight as seen from the chase plane. Play it in HD and full-screen mode to enjoy fully!


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Jul 21 2016

Nine P-40 to gather for AVG’s 75th anniversary in September


Nine Curtiss P-40 will attend the 3rd annual CAF Atlanta Warbird Weekend on September 24 & 25 for the 75th anniversary of the American Volunteer Group, better known as the “Flying Tigers”. This will be the largest gathering of P-40 in recent times.

The event, hosted by the Dixie Wing, will take place at Dekalb-Peachtree Airport and many other warbirds will also be attending. World War II veterans, authors, 1940s Hollywood entertainers and reenactors will be present at the event, which is presented not as an airshow but as a warbird display and history education event, with aircraft rides available.

More information, including the complete list of attending P-40 and other warbirds, can be found on the 3rd annual CAF Atlanta Warbird Weekend website.

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Jul 17 2016

B-29 “Doc” has flown

As scheduled, the Boeing B-29 Superfortress “Doc” flew today in Wichita, Kansas. It is one of only two airworthy B-29 in the world, the other being “FiFi”, which is flown by the Commemorative Air Force. Read the rest of this entry »

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Jun 23 2016

Two aviation legends pass away: David Thatcher and “Punchy” Powell

L1/Japan, Tokyo Raid/1942/pho 10

Staff Sergeant David Thatcher shortly before the April 18, 1942 raid. (Photo USAF)

David J. Thatcher, one of the two remaining survivors of the famous Doolittle Raid, passed away on June 22, 2016 in Missoula, Montana. “Dick” Cole, a close friend of Thatcher, is now the sole surviving member of the group of 80 men who attacked Japan on 18 April 1942. Although such honours are rarely accorded to enlisted men, full military honours will be given, and a B-1 Lancer and a B-25 Mitchell will overfly the funeral ceremony next Monday.

Powell was the engineer/gunner on the B-25 nicknamed "The Ruptured Duck" during the Doolittle Raid. (© Gaëtan Marie)

Powell was the engineer/gunner on the B-25 nicknamed “The Ruptured Duck” during the Doolittle Raid. (© Gaëtan Marie)

Punchy Powell on the wing of his P-51B Mustang "The West By Gawd Virginian". (Photo USAF)

Punchy Powell on the wing of his P-51B Mustang “The West By Gawd Virginian”. (Photo USAF)

Robert H. “Punchy” Powell, who flew with the famous 352nd Fighter Group during World War II, also passed away on 22 June 2016. Born in 1920, he flew his first combat with the group on November 11, 1943. He was credited with 6 destroyed aircraft (4.5 on the ground and 1.5 aerial victories) and received the Air Medal with three Oak Leaf clusters, the Distinguished Flying Cross with two Oak Leaf clusters and the European Theatre Award with three Battle Stars.


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Jun 21 2016

No warbird to be destroyed for “Dunkirk” movie

On June 12, we wrote about a rumour suggesting that Christopher Nolan was planning to destroy a warbird for his movie “Dunkirk”.

It would appear that the rumour is untrue: France 3 Nord-Pas-de-Calais, a French local news channel, has indicated that a Spitfire replica has been delivered in Dunkirk and that this is the “warbird” that will be destroyed.

Thanks to Patrick for the information!

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Jun 20 2016

CWHM Lysander damaged in off-airport landing

The Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum’s Westland Lysander Mk III (s/n 2363, C-GCWL) was damaged in an emergency landing in a field following engine failure near Cayuga, Ontario, on June 18.

The pilot and his passenger were unharmed, and the aircraft has been recovered by the CWHM for repairs.

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Jun 16 2016

Videos: First flight for Collings Foundation’s TF-51 “Toulouse Nuts”

Videos: Gary Norville via Facebook

The Collings Foundation’s TF-51 Mustang “Toulouse Nuts” has made its first post-restauration flight. It is one of only three surviving TF-51 Mustangs, and is painted in its original markings of the 167th Fighter Squadron of the West Virginia Air Guard in the 1950s.



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Jun 12 2016

Will Christopher Nolan destroy a warbird for his movie Dunkirk?

Christopher_Nolan,_London,_2013_(crop)A rumour that originated from the Indie Revolver website has been agitating warbird fans for the past few days: it is suggested that Warner Bros. has spent $5 millions for a warbird that will be used and destroyed for Christopher Nolan’s movie Dunkirk, due to appear in July 2017.

The warbird is thought to be a German aircraft, which will be equipped with IMAX cameras and deliberately crashed to obtain realistic footage.

While this rumour might be unfounded, Christopher Nolan is know for his attention to detail and realism, and has reportedly already destroyed preserved vehicles and aircraft in some of his movies.

Update (June 21, 2016): the rumour appears to be unfounded as only a Spitfire replica will be destroyed for the shooting of the movie according to French media sources.

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Jun 11 2016

First flight of the Letecké muzeum Kbely Morane-Saulnier BB replica


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Jun 11 2016

Spiros “Steve” Pisanos †

Spiros PisanosThe American ace of Greek origin Spiros Pisanos, known as “Steve” or the “Flying Greek”, passed away on June 6, aged 96. He was credited with 10 confirmed aerial victories during World War II and received 33 decorations and distinctions during his career as a fighter pilot, which lasted until 1974.

Born in Greece in 1919, Pisanos got hired as a sailor in 1938 and seized the first opportunity he had to illegally enter the United States. He started working there, changing his name to Steve and was eventually admitted as an immigrant worker in the US. After Germany invaded Greece in 1940, he tried joining the US Army Air Force but was refused due to his lack of American citizenship. He was able to join the Royal Air Force, and trained in Canada and later in the UK, joining No 71 Squadron, one of the American-staffed “Eagle Squadrons” flying the Spitfire.

When the US entered World War II, Pisanos was again denied integration into an American unit but eventually in convincing the US government to grant him citizenship under the name of Steve Pisanos on May 3, 1942. He then joined the 4th Fighter Group, flying the Spitfire and later the P-47 and P-51.

On May 5, 1944, during an escort mission over France, Pisanos had to belly-land after his P-51 Mustang’s engine lost power. He was rescued by the French Resistance, and helped them collect intelligence and attack German occupation troops until the liberation of Paris.

After his return to the USA, he briefly worked as an airliner pilot before returning to the Air Force and becoming a test pilot. In 2010, Pisanos received the French Legion of Honor from the French Consul General.

US, Spitfire Mk Vb, EN783, Steve Pisanos, 334 FS, 4 FG

Spitfire Mk Vb EN783 was one of the aircraft flown by Pisanos with the 334th FS, 4th FG. (© Gaëtan Marie)

Spitfire Mk Vb, AA841, Spiros Spisanos, 335 FS, 4 FG

Spitfire Mk Vb AA841, another Spitfire flown by Spiros Spisanos with the 4th FG. (© Gaëtan Marie)

US, P-47D-1-RE, 42-7945, Miss Plainfield, Capt. Steve Pisanos, 334th FS, 4th FG - Scheme 3

“Miss Plainfield”, a P-47D-1-RE (s/n 42-7945) Thunderbolt, was assigned to Capt. Steve Pisanos. (© Gaëtan Marie)

US, P-51B-7-NA, 43-6798, Spiros Pisanos, 4th FG, 334th FS

The P-51B-7-NA Mustang (s/n 43-6798) in which Spiros Pisanos belly-landed in France in May 1944. (© Gaëtan Marie)

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May 28 2016

US: First engine run for Blue Swallow Aircraft’s 1918 Curtiss Jenny

On May 24, Blue Swallow Aircraft made its first engine run on a 1918 Curtiss JN-4 “Jenny” powered by an original Custiss OX-5 V8 engine. The aircraft has been under restoration since May 2013.

Source: Early Aero

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