World’s only surviving twin-seat Fw 190 to leave UK for Germany

Visitors of the Royal Air Force Museum Hendon, near London, will have been surprised to see the museum’s two-seat Focke-Wulf Fw 190 being disassembled.

Based on information received from museum members, the Fw 190 is to be sent to Germany and will be on long-term loan with the Militärhistorisches Museum der Bundeswehr in Berlin-Gatow. Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2022/01/24/worlds-only-surviving-twin-seat-fw-190-to-leave-uk-for-germany/

Brigadier Charles McGee, one of the last surviving Tuskegee Airmen, passes away at 102

Brigadier General Charles McGee (Photo USAF)

Charles Edward McGee, born on December 7, 1919, passed away in his sleep on Sunday the 16th of January 2022, aged 102. A member of the famous Tuskegee Airmen, he was deployed in  February 1944 with the 302nd Fighter Squadron of the 332nd Fighter Group, which was then based in Italy. Flying the P-39 Airacobra, P-47 Thunderbolt and finally the P-51 Mustang, he flew 137 combat missions and was credited with one aerial victory and a shared aerial victory before returning to the US in December 1944.

After the war, he remained with the US Air Force and flew another 100 combat missions in the Korean War, still flying the P-51 Mustang. During the Vietnam war, he commanded the 16th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron flying the RF-4C Phantom II and flew another 172 combat missions. Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2022/01/18/brigadier-charles-mcgee-one-of-the-last-surviving-tuskegee-airmen-passes-away-at-102/

First engine runs for Messerschmitt Bf109G-6 WkNr 410077

The Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6 Werk Nr. 410077, under restauration by Midwest Aero Restorations Ltd and belonging to Bruce Winter of San Antonio, Texas, has had its first engine run since 1943, in Danville, Illinois.

Midwest Aero Ltd has posted this video of the engine runs on its YouTube channel.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2021/11/17/first-engine-runs-for-messerschmitt-bf109g-6-wknr-410077/

New Warbird Shirt : B-25 Air Apaches

A new design has been added to the Warbird Shirt shop. It is dedicated to the 345th Bombardment Group “Air Apaches” whose  B-25 Michell bombers were easily recognizable with their decorated fins.

The 345th Bombardment Group distinguished itself in combat in the Pacific from 1943 to 1945. Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2021/09/30/new-warbird-shirt-b-25-air-apaches/

Three wounded in Beech 18 crash in Corsica

Beech D.18S Expeditor ‘1164 64’ G-BKGL seen at Old Warden in 2019 ( Photo © Alan Wilson (CC BY-SA 2.0))

Only a few days after the Beech 18 runway excursion at the Paris Air Legend airshow, we have learned that the Beech 18 registered G-BKGL crashed yesterday near Vescovato in Corsica.

According to local authorities, the three people on board were wounded.  One has reportedly suffered severe burns, and is in a life-threatening condition.  A second occupant was severely wounded. The aircraft had been destroyed.

This aircraft was well known by aviation enthusiasts as it was based at Duxford in the United-Kingdom for several years.

Our thoughts and prayers go to the victims of this accident, and their families.

Sources (in French) :

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2021/09/15/three-wounded-in-beech-18-crash-in-corsica/

Beech 18 damaged in take-off accident at Paris Air Legend airshow

Beech E.18S F-AZEJ (Photo Alan Wilson (CC BY-SA 2.0))

The Beechcraft Model 18 (E18S) F-AZEJ belonging to  the Amicale Jean-Baptiste Salis was damaged today in a take-off accident on the first day of the Paris Air Legend 2021 airshow. Fortunately, nobody was hurt in the accident. The aircraft reportedly struggled to get airborne, veering off the runway and coming to a stop in an adjacent field. Photos of the accident appear to indicate moderate damage.

Correction (12 September 2021) : according to Le Parisien, the pilot appears to have suffered minor wounds.

Sources :

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2021/09/11/beech-18-damaged-in-take-off-accident-at-paris-air-legend-airshow/

Gloster Sea Gladiator to fly in Malta

Sea Gladiator N5519 when it flew in Malta. (Source: The Malta Sea Gladiator Project / Facebook )

On September 6th, the Malta Aviation Museum officially launched its Gloster Sea Gladiator construction project.

The museum’s official announcement published on Facebook states that this is probably their most ambitious construction project to date.

The project aims to bring together generations of aviation enthusiasts in Malta and abroad, and its ultimate goal is to fly a Gloster Sea Gladiator in Malta to honor the pilots who fought again the Luftwaffe and Regia Aeronautica Italiana. Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2021/09/08/gloster-sea-gladiator-to-fly-in-malta/

Sole surviving NA-50 “Torito” restored in Peru

The only surviving North American NA-50 Torito, a fighter derived from the NA-16/BT-9 trainer, has been restored in Peru by the Servicio de Mantenimiento de la Fuerza Aerea del Perú (Maintenance Service of the Peruvian Air Force) for the Museo Aeronáutico del Perú at Las Palmas.

This aircraft, coded XXI-41-3, was one of only seven NA-50 built, all of which were delivered to Peru where they saw action during the 1941 Peruvian-Ecuadorian war. The aircraft remained in service until 1961 and was later displayed on a pedestal next to the Mausoleum of Captain José Quiñones Gonzales, a Peruvian hero who died flying an NA-50, crashing into the anti-aircraft battery that had just disabled his engine.

In 2018, the aircraft was removed from its pedestal to be restored to flying status in time for the Bicentennial of Peru’s Independence in 2021.

Sources :

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2021/06/21/sole-surviving-na-50-torito-restored-in-peru/

One killed in Flying Bull T-28 crash in the Czech Republic

The T-28B Trojan BuNo 138179 registered OE-ESA (Photo C.J. van de Burgt (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0))

We have just learned of the tragic crash of North American T-28B Trojan BuNo 138179 registered OE-ESA of the Austrian Flying Bull collection. The aircraft crashed in Jickovice  in the Czech Republic as it was returning from the Leźno airshow in Poland. Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2021/06/20/one-killed-in-flying-bull-t-28-crash-in-the-czech-republic/

Historic Jaguar damaged during the opening raids of Gulf War transferred to Paris Air & Space Museum

The Jaguar A91 at the Paris Air & Space Museum on 17 January 2021 (Photo courtesy Xavier Méal)

January 17, 2021 is the 30th anniversary of the initial strikes of Operation Desert Storm led by the US-led coalition  against Iraq. It was also the day on which the SEPECAT Jaguar A91 of the French Air Force made its last flight after suffering extensive battle damage.  On this day, the aircraft officially joined the collection of the Paris Air & Space Museum (Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace) after many years of illustrious service.  The airframe has largely remained untouched since 1991 and shows its battle scars.

Read the full announcement on the French Air Force’s website (in French)

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2021/01/19/historic-jaguar-damaged-during-the-opening-raids-of-gulf-war-transferred-to-paris-air-space-museum/

Brigadier General Charles E. “Chuck” Yeager †

Brigadier General "Chuck" Yeager (Photo US Air Force)

Brigadier General “Chuck” Yeager (Photo US Air Force)

World-famous test pilot Charles “Chuck” Yeager died on Monday the 7th of December at a hospital in Los Angeles. He was 97 years old.

A World War II P-51 Mustang ace  and test pilot, Yeager made international headlines when he became the first man to break the sound barrier on 14 October 1947, flying a Bell X-1. He was one of the main characters of the 1979 book “The Right Stuff” by Tom Wolfe, and the 1983 movie adaptation of the book, which brought him international public recognition.

Our thoughts and prayers go to the family and friends of “Chuck” Yeager. Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2020/12/08/brigadier-general-charles-e-chuck-yeager-%e2%80%a0/

SNCASE Aquilon wreck discovered in Mediterranean Sea

The Aquilon n° 83 (Photo credit : IFREMER)

On November 20, 2020, the Pourquoi Pas ? , a ship of the French oceanographic fleetoperated by the Ifremerand the French navy was conducting scientific work south of Porquerolles in southern France, when its remotely-controlled Victor6000 robot discovered the wreck of an Aquilon fighter, a French-built de Havilland Sea Venom, nearly 8,000 ft beneath the surface.

The markings on the tail revealed the history of the aircraft and its pilot. The accident happened on 13 June 1960 as Aquilon 203 n°83 of Flottille 11F was in the last stages of its carrier qualifications on the British carrier HMS Ark Royal sailing off Hyères. During the final launch before returning to its base in Hyères, Aquilon n°83 hit the water and sank immediately. Its pilot, 27-year-old Maître Jean LEGOUHY, disappeared with his aircraft. Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2020/11/28/sncase-aquilon-wreck-discovered-in-mediterranean-sea/

René Billotet, last survivor of No 342 (Free French) Squadron, has passed away

Sergent-chef René Billotet, born on 18 April 1925 in Dôle (France) and last survivor of the Royal Air Force’s No 342 (Free French) Squadron passed away at his home aged 95.

Better known in France as the Groupe de Bombardement Lorraine, the squadron played an essential and unusual role during the D-Day landings. On the morning of 6 June 1944, six of the squadron’s aircraft were deployed to lay smoke screens between German coastal defences and the advancing Allied ships.

It was a particularly dangerous mission, as the aircraft had to fly a low, fast and predictable course very close to enemy defenses, making new passes regularly to maintain the smoke screens. One of the aircraft didn’t return to base : Boston BZ213 crashed into the sea during the mission, killing its crew of three.

The Boston IIIA BZ213 flown by Sgt Boissieux, SLt Canut & Sgt Henson, No 342 (Free French) Squadron, lost on 6 June 1944. © Gaëtan Marie

The Boston IIIA BZ213 flown by Sgt Boissieux, SLt Canut & Sgt Henson, No 342 (Free French) Squadron, lost on 6 June 1944. © Gaëtan Marie

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2020/11/21/rene-billotet-last-survivor-of-no-342-free-french-squadron-has-passed-away/

Joseph “Jeff” Moureau, the last Belgian pilot to fight on D-Day, has passed away

Supermarine Spitfire Mark IXCs of No.349 (Belgian) Squadron RAF, in the snow at Friston, Sussex, shortly before the unit joined 2 TAF. (Photo Crown Copyright)

Joseph “Jeff” Moureau, the last Belgian pilot to have fought with a Belgian squadron in the Royal Air Force,  has passed away at age 99, according to the Belgian air component.

“With sadness, the Belgian air component says farewell to the last Belgian Spitfire fighter pilot in World War II”, the Belgian Air Component wrote on Twitter. “Blue skies forever…”

Born in Jette (Brussels) on 13 April 1921, Joseph fled to the United-Kingdom with his twin brother Alfred in 1940. Both became pilots in the RAF. After a long training period, they were rated to fly the Spitfire, and were assigned to No 349 (Belgian) Squadron, mainly composed of Belgian airmen. Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2020/10/29/joseph-jeff-moureau-the-last-belgian-pilot-to-fight-on-d-day-has-passed-away/

Nieuport 23 replica flies in Switzerland

The Nieuport 23C-1 replica built by Nieuport Memorial Flyers made a successful maiden flight in Grenchen, Switzerland, on 21 September 2020. The aircraft, registered HB-RNA, was flown by Isidor von Arx. It is powered by the rotary engine of a Thulin A (Swedish license-built Blériot XI).

This project was started in the year 2000. Its progress can be followed on the Nieuport Memorial Flyers website. The website is in German but you can access an automatically-translated version of it here.

Congratulation to the Nieuport Memorial Flyers team for this superb work, and h/t to Sébastien for the information.

 

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2020/10/24/nieuport-23-replica-flies-in-switzerland/