Pierre Robin has passed away

A Robin DR-400. (Photo redskin83 (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0))

Pierre Robin, who designed the famous Robin DR-400 with Jean Delemontez, passed away on 5 August 2020.

Robin aircraft are ubiquitous on French airfields and also a common sight abroad. Robin Aircraft’s most famous design was the DR-400, of which 2,700 were built.

Born in 1927, Pierre Robin was buried on 7 August in Talant, France.

Our thoughts and prayers go to the family and friends of Pierre Robin.

Source : AeroBuzz | Décès de Pierre Robin

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2020/08/09/pierre-robin-has-passed-away/

Sea Fury down in Duxford, crew escapes with minor injuries

The Hawker Sea Fury T.20S WG655 G-INVN in 2019 (Photo Alan Wilson (CC BY-SA 2.0))

The Hawker Sea Fury T.20S WG655 G-INVN in 2019 (Photo Alan Wilson (CC BY-SA 2.0))

The Norwegian Spitfire Foundation’s Hawker Sea Fury T.20 G-INVN was involved in an accident today near Duxford in the UK. Fortunately, the pilot and his passenger only suffered minor injuries.

The aircraft was seriously damaged, as can be seen on the accident photos. The causes of the accident are not yet known. The Imperial War Museum indicated that the Sea Fury had to make a “false landing” (more likely a forced landing) and “sustained significant damage and a fuel leak”.

Sources :

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2020/08/04/sea-fury-down-in-duxford-crew-escapes-with-minor-injuries/

François Emile Fayolle, a Frenchman killed at the peak of his career

François Émile Fayolle’s name is almost forgotten today. Yet this native of Auvergne fled to England as early as July 13, 1940 to keep fighting the German invaders and became one of the most prestigious Free French pilots.

After several assignments to RAF fighter squadrons, he joined No 340 (Free French) Squadron with other great names of the Free French Air Forces such as Bernard Dupérier, François de Labouchère or René Mouchotte.  The height of his career came when he was given command of No 174 Squadron, a rare distinction for a French pilot, but also saw his demise.

On 19 August 1942, during Operation Jubilee (the Dieppe landings), he was killed while flying his Hurricane, either shot down by German Flak or an enemy fighter. Until 1998 Fayolle had no official burial site as his remains were never located. Examination of RAF squadron archives make it possible to retrace his career and honour his memory.

Thibaut Coupiac has created a booklet (in French only for the moment) retracing Fayolle’s life and career. This booklet is richly illustrated with photos, maps, archives and illustrations.

Please click here to read  “François Emile Fayolle, un Français fauché à son apogée” (format PDF)

We would like to thank Thibaut Coupiac for sharing his research with our readers. You can contact the author at this email address : email hidden; JavaScript is required.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2020/08/04/francois-emile-fayolle-a-frenchman-killed-at-the-peak-of-his-career/

New Warbird Shirt : Jacky Cochran & Wesley Smith’s Gee Bee “QED” air racer

A new Warbird Shirt has been added to the shop : Jacky Cochran & Wesley Smith’s air racer Granville Gee Bee R-6 International Super Sportster, also nicknamed the “Q.E.D.”  Cochran and Smith flew this aircraft in the famous 1934 McRobertson air race from London to Melbourne.

The Warbird Shirt shop helps us pay for the website’s hosting and maintenance, and your support is greatly appreciated !

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2020/07/16/new-warbird-shirt-jacky-cochran-wesley-smiths-gee-bee-qed-air-racer/

Historic Helicopters to acquire and restore to airworthiness two Belgian Sea King helicopters

The Westland Sea King Mk.48 RS 02 (Photo Alan Wilson (CC BY-SA 2.0))

Historic Helicopters made a successful bid with the Belgian defense ministry to acquire two Westland Sea King Mk 48 helicopters that were retired from the Belgian Air Component in 2019.

The two airframes, RS 02 and RS 04, will be brought back to airworthiness by the Somerset-based association, which already owns several ex-Royal Air Force and ex-Royal Navy helicopters.

Source : 7 sur 7 | Deux Sea King à la retraite vont revoler et faire rentrer de l’argent dans les caisses [in French]

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2020/07/09/historic-helicopters-to-acquire-and-restore-to-airworthiness-two-belgian-sea-king-helicopters/

Stampe & Vertongen SV-4 crashes in France, one deceased and one wounded

A Stampe & Vertongen SV-4. (For illustration purpose. This is not the crashed aircraft). (Photo Pete Webber (CC BY-SA 2.0))

A Stampe & Vertongen  Stampe SV-4 crashed near the Angers-Marcé airport on Saturday the 4th of July, killing its pilot. The second crew member was hospitalized and is in critical condition. Both crew members and the aircraft were part of Stampe Aéro Passion, an association based at the Angers-Marcé airport.

The causes of the accident are not yet known. The aircraft involved appears to be F-PTTL, an SV-4 with a Lycoming O-320 engine.

Our thoughts and prayers go to the victims of this tragic accident and their relatives and friends.


Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2020/07/05/stampe-vertongen-sv-4-crashes-in-france-one-deceased-and-one-wounded/

Bristol Beaufighter wreck discovered on UK beach

A Bristol Beaufighter TF. X (Photo Crown Copyright)

Dog walkers recently discovered the wreck of a Bristol Beaufighter TF. X on the beaches near Cleethorpes, in the United-Kingdom.

The Royal Air Force Museum believes this wreck to be that of Beaufighter TF. X JM333 of the Royal Air Force’s No 254 Squadron, which crashed after a dual engine failure shortly after take-off from RAF North Coates on 21 April 1944. The two crew members involved survived the accident.

Authorities have asked the public not to come near the wreck, as local tides can be dangerous and live ammunition was found on site. The Royal Navy dispatched a demolition team to destroy the ammunition on location.


Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2020/06/02/bristol-beaufighter-wreck-discovered-on-uk-beach/

BAPA acquires Bendix upper turret for its B-25J Mitchell restoration

The Belgian Aviation Preservation Association was recently able to acquire a Bendix upper turret as part of its B-25J Mitchell restoration project :

For several years we have been looking for parts to restore the B-25J to stock configuration. One of the most difficult parts to find has been the very rare Bendix upper turret.

In recent months we were able to find and purchase a core Bendix N-type turret in Australia, which has just been delivered at the workshop. It is an extremely rare (and expensive) collector’s item, as it is a genuine turret that was aboard a B-25J during the Second World War.

It needs extensive restoration after several decades spent outside. The aluminium components are still in fairly good condition, but the iron components are heavily corroded and many will have to be replaced. Many accessories are missing and will have to be found. One of them has already been located and purchased.

In the packaging there is also an extremely rare ammunition container; the second one has yet to be sourced. We also have a few duplicates that could be used for exchange and as spare parts.

There is a lot of work to return this turret in good condition but, with this rare item now acquired, we are on the right track for a complete restoration of the B-25J.

We sincerely thank all the generous donors who made this extremely important acquisition possible.

More information about the news on

Source : www.bapa.aero

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2020/05/15/bapa-acquires-bendix-upper-turret-for-its-b-25j-mitchell-restoration/

Terry Clark, one of the two last Battle of Britain airmen, has passed away

William Terence Montague Clark, DFM, AE, better known as Terry Clark, passed away on 7 May 2020 at the age of 101, just a few hours before the 75th anniversary of VE-Day.

Born on April 11, 1919 , Terry Clark flew as navigator and radar operator in the Royal Air Force from 1938 to 1945.

With his passing, there is now only one known surviving airman of the Battle of Britain : F/O John Hemingway.

Our thoughts and prayers go to Terry Clark’s family and friends.

Source : Battle of Britain Memorial

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2020/05/09/terry-clark-one-of-the-two-last-battle-of-britain-airmen-has-passed-away/

Jerzy Główczewski, last surviving Polish fighter pilot of World War II, has passed away

Jerzy Główczewski, who is reported to have been the last surviving Polish fighter pilot of World War II, passed away in New York on 13 April 2020 aged 97.

Główczewski was born in Warsaw, Poland, in 1922 and fled the country after the 1939 German and Soviet invasions. After pilot training, he was assigned to fly Spitfires with the Royal Air Force’s No 308 “City of Kraków” (Polish) Fighter Squadron.

After the war, he returned to Poland after a short stay in France and became an architect. He emigrated to the United States in the 1960s, where he pursued his career in architecture and wrote his memoirs in three volumes.

Our thoughts and prayers go to Jerzy Główczewski’s family and friends.

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2020/04/20/jerzy-glowczewski-last-surviving-polish-fighter-pilot-of-world-war-ii-has-passed-away/

Berlin Airlift Historical Foundation C-54 Skymaster damaged by tornado in South Carolina

Berlin Airlift Historical Foundation Douglas C-54 Skymaster N500EJ (Photo rsteup (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0))

The Berlin Airlift Historical Foundation Douglas C-54 Skymaster was severely damaged by a tornado at the Walterboro airport, South Carolina.  The aircraft seems to have been blown into a hangar, resulting in major damage.

Please read the full official statement from the Berlin Airlift Historical Foundation below: Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2020/04/14/berlin-airlift-historical-foundation-c-54-skymaster-damaged-by-tornado-in-south-carolina/

Hispano-Suiza HS-77 engine recovered from Lake Zug in Switzerland

A preserved Swiss Air Force EKW C-35. (Photo Sandstein – PUBDOM via Wikipedia)

A Hispano-Suiza HS-77 engine (license-built version of the Hispano-Suiza HS 12Ycrs) was recovered from the Zug lake in Switzerland. The engine belonged to an EKW C-35 that crashed in the lake on 19 May 1940, killing its two crewmembers.

The aircraft and its propeller, which was also recovered, will be displayed at the Transportation Museum in Lucerne.

The EKW C-35 was a 1930s twin-seat reconnaissance biplane, of which 90 examples were produced and served in the Swiss Air Force until 1954.

Source: 20 Minutes Suisse | Moteur d’avion remonté à la surface après 80 ans

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2020/03/23/hispano-suiza-hs-77-engine-recovered-from-lake-zug-in-switzerland/

Two killed in Ryan PT-22 crash in France

The Ryan PT-22 Recruit 41-1964 (N53018) in Cerny in 2014 (Photo Johnny Comstedt (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0))

The Ryan PT-22 Recruit 41-1964 (N53018) in Cerny in 2014 (Photo Johnny Comstedt (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0))

Two people were killed in the crash of their Ryan PT-22 Recruit (registered N53018) near Beaulieu in the Puy-de-Dôme department in France on Sunday the 23rd of February.

The causes of the accident are not yet known but witnesses indicate hearing unusual sounds coming the accident aircraft just before the crash, suggesting engine problems could be the cause. The aircraft fell in a plowed field, where the engine was torn off by the force of the impact.

The aircraft was part of the collector’s association “Les ailes volantes” (The flying wings) based in Issoire and France Bleu has published an article today indicating the two victims are 52 year-old Claude Robert, the president of the association, and his passenger and friend Christian Tachet, 72 years old and also a member of the association.

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2020/02/24/two-killed-in-ryan-pt-22-crash-in-france/

Frank Losonsky, last surviving member of the Flying Tigers †

The Flying Tigers over China.

Frank Losonsky, the last known survivor of the American Volunteer Group, better known as the “Flying Tigers”, passed away on 6 February 2020, aged 99.

Having served two years in the US Army Air Corps, Losonsky became a crew chief with the 3rd Squadron of the Flying Tigers in 1941.  After the group was disbanded in 1942, he returned to the his home town in Detroit where he got married. He later returned to China as a mechanic with China National Aviation Corporation (CNAC) flying the “Hump” before returning to the US again. After his service, he joined TransAsiatic Airlines in Burma and became a pilot.

Our thoughts and prayers go to Frank Losonsky’s family and friends. Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2020/02/09/frank-losonsky-last-surviving-member-of-the-flying-tigers-%e2%80%a0/

W/C Paul Farnes, last surviving Battle of Britain ace, has passed away

Paul Caswell Powe Farnes (Photo Oem89 (CC BY-SA 4.0))

Wing Commander Paul Caswell Powe Farnes, the last surviving ace of the Battle of Britain, passed away on 28 January 2020 aged 101. His death takes place only a few weeks after that of Maurice Mounsdon, and there are now only two surviving Royal Air Force pilots of the Battle of Britain: F/L William Clark and F/O John Hemingway. Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2020/01/31/w-c-paul-farnes-last-surviving-battle-of-britain-ace-has-passed-away/