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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First flight of Collings Foundation Me 262

(Updated June 5) “White 1′, the Collings Foundation’s Messerschmitt Me 262 has flown on June 2, 2011, piloted by John Penney. The flight lasted half an hour and was successful. Pictures of the flight can be found on the Colling Foundation’s Facebook page and an in-cockpit video can be seen on Youtube (see below). Continue reading

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Commander Peter Savage

Commander Peter Savage, Fleet Air Arm pilot in World War II and naval aviation tactician, passed away aged 98 on March 21, 2011. Read the obituary on The Telegraph.

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B-25 crashes in France

(Updated June 4, 2011 at 6:44PM) More bad news for the warbird community: a B-25 Mitchell crash-landed on May 31st, 2011, in France near Melun-Villaroche, south-east of Paris. It appears the B-25 is F-AZZU, s/n 44-58811, which is known as “Russell’s Raiders” and is well known in France due to its regular appearances at the La Ferté airshow Continue reading

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Wingwalker Amanda Franklin dies

Sad news: airshow stunt performer Amanda Franklin died on Friday, May 27th. She had been treated for injuries and burns sustained in a crash on March 12. Amanda and her husband Kyle were performing a wing-walking act when the engine of their Waco biplane caught fire. Amanda was able to get back in the cockpit and fasten her seatbelt but suffered severe injuries and burns in the crash. Our condolences go to her family.


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Blue Angels CO voluntarily steps down

Navy Commander Dave Koss, leader of the world-famous aerobatic team the Blue Angels, has voluntarily decided to step down after leading the formation in a dangerously low maneuver at an airshow in Lynchburg.

Koss said the maneuver was not in accordance with the Navy’s airborne standards and added: “This maneuver, combined with other instances of not meeting the airborne standard that makes the Blue Angels the exceptional organization that it is, led to my decision to step down”. Continue reading

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Kiwi veteran of Battle of Britain dies

Group Captain John Gard’ner passed away on May 6, 2011 in Tauranga, New Zealand. With his death, only three of the 95 New Zealand pilots who took part in the Battle of Britain are still alive. Gard’ner also fought during the Korean War, during which he was attached to a US Marine Corps squadron. Continue reading

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Bomber Command Veterans to raise funds for Memorial

The BBMF Lancaster in Flight. Photo by Andrew Dennes (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Veterans of the RAF’s Bomber Command will be campaigning to raise funds to build a national memorial for their 55,573 comrades who died during World War II. Permission to build the memorial in Green Park, Central London, has already been obtained, but the construction work will only begin when the £5 million total has been reached. To date, some $2M have already been raised.

Bomber Command suffered the highest losses of any service during World War II but veterans believe that, due to political correctness and post-war questioning of the area bombing tactic used by Bomber Command, their contribution to the war effort and victory has never been properly recognized.

Visit the Daily Telegraph’s article for more information and how to contribute to the Bomber Command Memorial.

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Conservation work on B-17 “Mary Alice” begins at IWM

The B-17 “Mary Alice” of the Imperial War Museum Duxford has been disassembled in order to transfer it to another building where it will undergo a 16-month conservation and restoration period.

Source (with pictures of the transfer)

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