Airco DH.9 E8894 flies again in Duxford

The Airco DH.9 E8894 G-CDLI ( Photo © Ashley Stephenson )

The Airco DH.9 E8894 G-CDLI ( Photo © Ashley Stephenson )

The Airco DH.9 E8894 registered G-CDLI of the Historic Aircraft Collection made its first post-restoration flight in Duxford on May 13. The flight lasted 30 minutes and was made with Dodge Bailey at the controls.The aircraft’s restoration was carried out by Retrotech and Aero Vintage Ltd and took over ten years. E8894 is the sole airworthy DH.9 in the world, and is powered by an original Siddeley Puma engine.

One of the DH.9 wrecks seen at Aero Vintage in July 2014 before restoration work began ( Photo © Benjamin Gilbert)

One of the DH.9 wrecks seen at Aero Vintage in July 2014 before restoration work began ( Photo © Benjamin Gilbert)

Its wreck was recuperated in the 1990s in India, along with another example which was restored to static condition for the Imperial War Museum in Duxford.

The other Airco DH.9, D5649, at the imperial War Museum Duxford ( Photo Alan Wilson (CC BY-SA 2.0))

The other Airco DH.9, D5649, at the imperial War Museum Duxford ( Photo Alan Wilson (CC BY-SA 2.0))

The Airco DH.9 was a daytime twin-seat bomber derived from the DH.4, which it was meant to replace. The underpowered DH.9 proved to be a disappointment and was modified with Liberty 12 engine to become the DH.9A. The DH.9A became an essential tool of British colonial policy in the 1920s. Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2019/05/14/airco-dh-9-e8894-flies-again-in-duxford/

“Connie” Edwards has passed away

One of Connie Edwards' Buchón in 2018. (Photo Alan Wilson (CC BY-SA 2.0))

One of Connie Edwards’ Buchóns in 2018. (Photo Alan Wilson (CC BY-SA 2.0))

Wilson Connell “Connie” Edwards passed away on May 3, 2019 in Texas. Born on 25 April 1934, he served in the US Air National Guard from 1951 to 1960.

In 1968 and 1969, he was chief pilot for the movie “The Battle of Britain”, flying Hispano Buchóns (Bf 109 built under license in Spain), Spitfires, Hurricanes, Junkers Ju 52s, CASA 2.111s (He 111 built under license in Spain) and a B-25 Mitchell photo plane.

He also participated in the shooting of several other warbird-related movies and helped create the Confederate Air Force (now the Commemorative Air Force) and has always been a leading figure of the warbird scene in the US and the world. Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2019/05/14/connie-edwards-has-passed-away/

EAA’s B-25 Mitchell “Berlin Express” flies again

The Experimental Aircraft Association's North American B-25 Mitchell "Berlin Express" on its first post-restoration flight. (Photo © EAA)

The Experimental Aircraft Association’s North American B-25 Mitchell “Berlin Express” on its first post-restoration flight. (Photo © EAA)

The Experimental Aircraft Association’s North American B-25H Michell “Berlin Express” made its forst post-restoration flight on 20 April 2019 after a four and a half-year restoration. The aircraft is notably known for its role in the movie “Catch-22”.

Photo & video © Experimental Aircraft Association Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2019/04/28/eaas-b-25-mitchell-berlin-express-flies-again/

Pilot killed in Northrop N-9M crash in California

The planes of Fame's Northrop N-9M.

The Planes of Fame’s Northrop N-9M. (Photo CindyN (CC BY-SA 4.0))

 

The 1944 Northrop N-9M restored and flown by the Planes of Fame museum crashed in a prison courtyard in Norco, California on 22 April 2019. The pilot did not survive the crash and the aircraft appears to have been totally destroyed by the crash and subsequent fire.

The aircraft was the fourth and last N-9M built, and the only surviving example of its type. It was restored to flying condition by the Planes of Fame museum, which had been displaying it at airshows and events since the mid-1990s.

Our thoughts and prayers go to the family and friends of the pilot. Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2019/04/23/pilot-killed-in-northrop-n-9m-crash-in-california/

Lt Col Richard “Dick” Cole, last surviving member of the Doolittle raid, has passed away

Lt. Col. Richard E. Cole (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Vernon Young Jr.)

Lieutenant Colonel Richard “Dick” E. Cole, Jimmy Doolittle’s copilot and last surviving member of the Doolittle raid on Tokyo on 18 April 1942, passed away on 9 April 2019.

Born in 1915, he enlisted as aviation cadet in 1940. He was one of the 80 crew members selected to take part in the famous raid against Tokyo and mainland Japan, led by the famous James “Jimmy” Doolittle. Taking off from the USS Hornet in their B-25 Mitchells, a medium bomber designed to operate from land, the raiders bombed Tokyo and other targets in the Japanese mainland. Running out of fuel after their mission, they parachuted or crash-landed in China. Five raiders were captured and executed by the Japanese, with another three becoming prisoners of war (one of whom died of malnutrition during his captivity).

Richard Cole remained in the China-Burma-India theater of operations after the raid. He served in the US Air Force until 1966, retiring with over 5,000 flying hours.

Our thoughts and prayers go to Lt Col Cole’s family and friends.

Read more about Richard Cole’s life and career on the US Air Force’s website.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2019/04/11/lt-col-richard-dick-cole-last-surviving-member-of-the-doolittle-raid-has-passed-away/

New Warbird Shirt & 15% off all items in the shop

A new Warbird Shirt is available from our shop: “Old Crow”, the P-51D Mustang flown by 357th Fighter Group ace Clarence “Bud” Anderson, wingman to “Chuck” Yeager.

Save 15% off this new shirt, or any other item in the shop, by using the promo code 15APRIL19 between 5 anf 9 April 2019. Thanks as always for your continued support !

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2019/04/05/new-warbird-shirt-15-off-all-items-in-the-shop/

Morane-Saulnier MS.733 flies again in France

Morane-Saulnier MS.733 n°134 F-WYOT ( Photo © Vintage Aircraft Midi Pyrénées )

Morane-Saulnier MS.733 n°134 F-WYOT ( Photo © Vintage Aircraft Midi Pyrénées )

On 17 March 2019, the Morane-Saulnier MS.733 Alcyon No. 134 (registered F-WYOT) made its first flight after a four-year restoration. This first test flight lasted thirty minutes, and was made with gear extended. Five other flights were made since. This aircraft is a former French air force example, and was purchased by a Swiss owner after its military service before returning to France  in 2015.

More information (in French) and photos can be found here.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2019/04/04/morane-saulnier-ms-733-flies-again-in-france/

New Warbird Shirt: Spitfire Racer !

A new Warbird Shirt is available in our shop: the Spitfire Racer ! This is Spitfire Mk 21 LA217 of No 41 Squadron in 1947 at Blackpool. You can find this shirt design as well as others in our Warbird Shirts shop and help support the website.

Civilian or racing liveries are not very common on the Spitfire, and this one is probably the most famous. Are there any other good-looking liveries that you know of ?

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2019/03/26/new-warbird-shirt-spitfire-racer/

Spitfire T.9 PT462 damaged in gear-up landing

The Aircraft Restoration Company (ARCo) announced on its Facebook page that the Spitfire T.9 “Indy” made a wheels-up landing  at Denham Aerodrome on Wednesday the 27th of February.

Spitfire TR Mk 9 PT462 at Flying Legends 2018 (Photo © Jean-Pierre Touzeau)

Spitfire TR Mk 9 PT462 at Flying Legends 2018 (Photo © Jean-Pierre Touzeau)

The pilot and copilot were unharmed but the aircraft sustained some damage, the extent of which will be evaluated when the aircraft is brought back to Duxford.

Source: Aircraft Restoration Company’s facebook page

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2019/03/02/spitfire-t-9-pt462-damaged-in-gear-up-landing/

Engine runs for RAAF Museum Mustang “Duffy’s Delight”

The North American Mustang Mk 23 “Duffy’s Delight” (serial A68-170, registered VH-SVU) of the Royal Australian Air Force Museum recently made its first engine runs since the engine was returned from overhaul.

Mustang A68-170 painted as A68-750 at Avalon Airport in 2011 (Photo Johntorcasio (CC BY-SA 4.0)).

The aircraft was fully restored in the nineties and made its first post-restoration flight on 17 February 1999. In 2012, the aircraft was grounded after metal had been detected in its Merlin engine’s oil screens. Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2019/02/05/engine-runs-for-raaf-museum-mustang-duffys-delight/

First official flight for XP-82 Twin Mustang prototype

After an unexpected first flight on 31 December, the prototype of Tom Reilly’s North American XP-82 Twin Mustang made its first “official” flight on Monday 28 January.

Ray Fowler was again at the controls of the XP-82 for this “second first flight”, which went very well.

Warbird Digest made this video showing the first flight. You can also find more information and photos on the project and first flight on their website.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2019/01/30/first-official-flight-for-xp-82-twin-mustang-prototype/

Lufthansa withdraws its financial support to Ju 52 recreational flights

The Junkers Ju 52 “D-AQUI” (Photo Neil (CC BY 2.0))

In an effort to reduce expenses, Lufthansa has announced that they are withdrawing their financial support to their foundation, the Deutsche Lufthansa Berlin-Stiftung. The foundation has been operating the Junkers Ju 52/3m D-CDLH among other aircraft since 1986 and offered paying recreational flights in Germany and Europe. The aircraft is the oldest airworthy Ju 52 in the world and carries the historical Lufthansa colours of D-AQUI in 1936.

It is possible that the aircraft will still be available for display flights at airshows and other events but no decision has been made yet. The tragic accident of Ju-Air’s Ju 52 in August 2018 was reportedly not a factor in the decision.

More information on this topic can be found on Flight Global.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2019/01/26/lufthansa-withdraws-its-financial-support-to-ju-52-recreational-flights/

Unexpected first flight for XP-82 Twin Mustang prototype

The North American XP-82 Twin Mustang 44-83887 on test flight over Sierras in 1945 (Photo USAF)

The North American XP-82 Twin Mustang  on test flight over Sierras in 1945 (Photo USAF)

Tom Reilly’s North American XP-82 Twin Mustang prototype made an unexpected first flight on 31 December 2018 during a high-speed taxi test. Ray Fowler, who was at the controls, flew the aircraft after picking up too much speed to stop safely within the remaining runway length, and flew for about five minutes before bringing back the Twin Mustang to a safe landing.

The aircraft, serial number 44-83887 and FAA registry N887XP, was acquired by Tom Reilly of Douglas, Georgia, in 2008 and has been undergoing restoration to airworthy condition since. The aircraft had not flown since 14 December 1949 according to the XP-82 Twin Mustang Prototype Project’s Facebook page.

Find out more about the project from their website: XP-82 Twin Mustang Restoration Project.

 

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2019/01/02/unexpected-first-flight-for-xp-82-twin-mustang-prototype/

Pilot injured in Hawker Hunter ejection off Honolulu

Hawker

(Source: YouTube screen capture)

Hawker Hunter N323AX, operated by ATAC (Airborne Tactical Advantage Company) crashed into the sea off Honolulu on 13 December 2018. Its pilot ejected before the crash but was seriously injured. Available reports indicate his injuries are not life-threatening and that he is recovering. The pilot was acting as a civilian contractor taking part in the Sentry Aloha exercise.

Sources:

 

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2018/12/15/pilot-injured-in-hawker-hunter-ejection-off-honolulu/

Two de Havilland Vampires destroyed in hangar fire near Paris

The Melun-Villaroche airfield (Google Maps screenshot)

The Melun-Villaroche airfield (Google Maps screenshot)

A hangar fire at the Melun-Villaroche airfield near Paris destroyed two privately-owned de Havilland Vampires Saturday morning, according to local media and sources.

The fire reportedly started in one hangar, totally destroying the aircraft inside, before spreading to the neighbouring hangar and severely damaging another Vampire. Some sixty firefighters were engaged to contain and stop the fire, and nobody was hurt.

The second aircraft is “certainly unsalvageable” according to Didier Chable, president of the local Association des mécaniciens pilotes d’avions anciens (AMPAA).

Sources (in French, with pictures):

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2018/12/09/two-de-havilland-vampires-destroyed-in-hangar-fire-near-paris/