Record-breaking Lynx restored to initial configuration

Photo Gareth Davies (CC BY-SA 2.0)

G-LYNX, a specially-modified Lynx helicopter which beat the world speed record in 1986 by reaching 400.87 km/h (249.09 mph), was restored to its initial configuration. After its record-breaking flight, the helicopter was modified for other tests before being retired in 1991. In 1995 it was donated to the Helicopter Museum. In 2007, AgustaWestland took back the helicopter and restored it to its record-breaking configuration. The restoration process required over 25,000 hours of research and restoration work. The helicopter will return to the Helicopter Museum later this month.

Source: Click here for pictures of the restored G-LYNX.

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Wing Commander John Beazley

Wing Commander John Beazley, who has died aged 94, was a Battle of Britain fighter pilot and saw almost continuous action during the Second World War. Read the obituary on the Telegraph.

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The First of the Few

Watch The First of the Few (known as Spitfire in the USA) on YouTube, a 1942 British film directed by and starring Leslie Howard as R.J. Mitchell, the designer of the Supermarine Spitfire, alongside co-star David Niven. The film’s score was written by William Walton (“Spitfire Prelude and Fugue”).

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Fighter ace Geoff Fisken passes away

Geoff Fisken in front of his P-40 "Wairarapa Wildcat". (Photo RNZAF)

New Zealander ace Geoff Fisken, DFC, passed away on June 12, 2011. He was credited with 10 to 13 confirmed aerial victories against the Japanese, flying the Brewster Buffalo and later the P-40 Warhawk. He is believed to be the highest-scoring British Commonwealth ace in the Pacific theater. After the war, Fisken returned to his pre-war occupation as a farmer.  Read the obituary on the Telegraph or Fisken’s Wikipedia page.

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Bucker Jungmann crashes in Bedfordshire

Bücker Jungmann G-RETA. (Photo by Ken Lamb (CC BY-SA 2.0))

It seems I’m only posting about crashes or accidents recently.. . 🙁

A Bücker Jungmann (G-RETA) crashed in a field near Old Warden airfield yesterday morning (Sunday, July 3rd). The pilot was only slightly injured. The Jungmann, which ended on its back, is part of the Shuttleworth Collection. More details and a video report can be found on the BBC website. It is not yet known whether the aircraft can and will be repaired.

Update (July 5th @ 10:44AM): Since I didn’t have much time yesterday, I posted basic information about the event and didn’t even take the time to view the video (wrongly thinking it would not bring more information). The pilot was practicing aerobatics when the engine quit. He chose the most suitable landing zone and landed. The aircraft flipped over during the landing roll.

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Anna Walker belly-lands Seafire in France

Seafire SX336. (Photo D. Miller (CC BY 2.0))

Pilot Anna Walker had to belly-land the Seafire SX336 at Bondues in France on July 2, at 5:30 PM local time. For an unknown reason, the gear did not extend. The aircraft landed on its belly and did a 180° turn before coming to rest. Fortunately, Anna Walker was not injured. It seems the aircraft suffered relatively light damage only.

Photos of the crash landing are available on Antoine Alacusos’ Flickr page. The photos show Anna Walker bringing the Spitfire in to a soft belly-landing. The prop shattered upon impact (probably saving the engine). Anna Walker is seen evacuating the aircraft on her own in the last pictures.

More information will be given as it becomes available.

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Curtiss A-1 replica crashes in Keuka Lake

Curtiss A-1 replica. (U.S. Navy photo by Joseph Moon)

A replica of a 1911 Curtiss A-1 Triad seaplane crashed in Keuka Lake in Hammondsport, NY, on the evening of Thursday July the 30th. The pilot, 58 year-old Kevin House, was not injured. The replica was flown by the Glenn H. Curtiss Aviation Museum and was substantially damaged. It was towed back to shore and should be repaired according to Trafford Doherty, the museum’s executive director.

Sources: The Chronicle Express and Evening Tribune.

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Seattle Museum of Flight’s B-17F back on display

Photo Jim Culp (CC BY-NC 2.0).

The Boeing B-17F Flying Fortress “Boeing Bee” s/n 42-29782 is now back on display at the Seattle Museum of Flight after a 20-year long restoration. The bomber, which is considered as one of the most authentic survivors of its type, was last displayed by the SMF in 1999. A photo gallery can be found here. Sources: (1) and (2).

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First flight of CFM’s P-51D Mustang “The Brat III”

The Cavanaugh Flight Museum’s P-51D first flew on Wednesday, June 22 after a 4 year restoration. The Mustang now carries its historical wartime colours as “The Brat III”, which was flown by Lt. Hjalmar Johnsen of the 401st FS, 370th FG, 9th AF. Pictures are available on Ezell Aviation’s Facebook page.

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Air Commodore Peter Cribb

Avro Lancaster. Photo D. Miller (CC BY 2.0).

Air Commodore Peter Cribb, who has died aged 92, was one of the most successful and gallant master bombers of the Pathfinder Force; he flew more than 100 wartime operations, including one when he made an unauthorised raid on Hitler’s retreat at Berchtesgaden. Read the obituary on the Telegraph.

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Major General John Alison

Major General John Alison, who has died aged 98, was an American fighter “ace” and one of his country’s most decorated pilots; he later fought behind enemy lines with the Chindits and is recognised as the father of US Air Force special operations. Read the obituary on the Telegraph.

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“Liberty Belle” B-17 force-lands and burns, crew unharmed

(Updated June 15th, 2011 @ 1:00 PM) The Liberty Foundation’s B-17 “Liberty Belle” force-landed and burned in a field southeast of Aurora Municipal Airport, IL, this morning. The seven on board were able to exit the aircraft with no serious injuries but the aircraft was heavily damaged by fire.

Shortly after take-off, the pilot reported fire on board and that he could not make it back to Aurora and was going to land in a field. Although the crew was able to carry a successful wheels-down landing, the fire could not be stopped and most of the fuselage was destroyed. Continue reading

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Blue Angels to resume airshow appearance with former CO

The Blue Angels will resume performances for the 2011 season starting on June 18 at the Quad City Air Show. After Cdr Koss stepped down, the team cancelled all of its scheduled appearance. Captain Greg McWherter, the 2010 commanding officer, has returned to lead the team. After two weeks of intensive practice, the Blue Angels are now back in the airshow circuit.


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EAA Bleriot XI first flight

EAA’s reproduction of a 1909 Bleriot XI, powered by a 1909 Anzani engine, made its maiden flight on Sunday June 5, 2011 in Oshkosh. The pilot was Tom Hegy. Read the report on the EAA website. Also of interest are the photo gallery and the test plan.

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Group Captain John Musgrave

John Musgrave, a RAF Liberator pilot who flew 70 raids in the Far East and Mediterranean theatres, died on April 4, 2011. Read the obituary on the Telegraph.

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