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


(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.



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/

Henri Ecochard, Free French Piper L-4 “Grasshopper” pilot

The CAF French Wing is proud to present the latest issue of its documentary series, History and Duty of Remembrance.

In this episode, Stéphane Duchemin receives Henri Ecochard, Free French and Piper L-4 pilot.

Henri Ecochard was 16 when war was declared in 1939 and 17 when, a year later, he joined the Free French forces in England. In 1941, he left for Equatorial Africa and joined Syria in June. He took part in the Libyan campaign in 1942 and the Tunisia campaign in 1943. He was trained on the Piper L-4 in 1944 in Algeria and then took part in the Liberation of Europe with the 1st DFL until his demobilization after the victory against Germany in 1945.

In this interview, he looks back on his years of war and was very moved to find his Piper Cub (those of the Association Ham & Jam) during the Paris Villaroche Air Legend.

NB: The video is in French, but you can select automatically translated English subtitles by clicking the settings button on the lower part of the video.

Source: CAF French Wing website

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2018/12/05/henri-ecochard-free-french-piper-l-4-grasshopper-pilot/

Spitfire PR.XIX PS890 to fly again in 2019 following post-accident restoration

Spitfire PR.XIX PS890/F-AZJS at Duxford in 2015 (Photo Alan Wilson (CC BY-SA 2.0))

Spitfire PR.XIX PS890/F-AZJS at Duxford in 2015 (Photo Alan Wilson (CC BY-SA 2.0))

The French newspaper Le Républicain Lorrain reports that the Spitfire PR.XIX registered F-AZJS, which was damaged in a take-off accident in June 2017, is currently being restored by Historic Flying Limited in the United-Kingdom as well as in the USA. The aircraft is expected to fly again  in the spring of 2019.

More information and photos can be found on the Républicain Lorrain website (in French).

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2018/11/26/spitfire-pr-xix-ps890-to-fly-again-in-2019-following-post-accident-restoration/

Switzerland: OFAC temporarily grounds Ju-Air’s Junkers Ju 52s

The Swiss federal civilian aviation office (Office fédéral de l’aviation civile, OFAC) has temporarily grounded the two Junkers Ju 52 used by Ju-Air, based in Dübendorf. The examination of the wreck of the aircraft that crashed on August 4, killing all 20 on board, has revealed structural damage to the wing spars.

This type of damage can not be detected during routine maintenance and, at this stage of the investigation, no link has been made between such structural damage and the accident. This temporary grounding is a precautionary measure while waiting for the investigation to provide answers as to the causes of the accident.

More information on this topic can be found on ARC info (in French).

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2018/11/21/switzerland-ofac-temporarily-grounds-ju-airs-junkers-ju-52s/

Two killed in P-51D Mustang “Pecos Bill” crash in Texas

The P-51D Mustang "Pecos Bill" (Photo Christopher Ebdon)

The P-51D Mustang “Pecos Bill” (Photo Christopher Ebdon (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0))

The P-51D Mustang “Pecos Bill” (s/n 44-74445, registered N4132A) crashed yesterday in  Fredericksburg, Texas. Little information is available on this tragic event but police have announced that the pilot and his passenger were killed in the crash. Some sources indicate that the passenger was a World War II veteran.

Our thoughts and prayers go to the family and relatives of the victims of this tragic event.

Sources: Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2018/11/18/two-killed-in-p-51d-mustang-pecos-bill-crash-in-texas/

B-24 Diamond Lil flies again

The CAF B-24/B-29 Squadron has announced on its Facebook page that its B-24 “Diamond Lil” returned to the air on October 22 for the first time in over two years. During this time, the bomber’s interior was restored and three of the engines were overhauled. Diamond Lil is one of only two airworthy B-24 Liberators in the world.


Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2018/10/28/b-24-diamond-lil-flies-again/

Thomas-Morse S-4B Scout flies again

The Ithaca Aviation Heritage Foundation’s Thomas-Morse S-4B Scout recently made its first post-restauration flight. The aircraft was donated to the foundation in 2010 and was meticulously restored to airworthiness.

More information is available from Aerodynamic Media.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2018/10/24/thomas-morse-s-4b-scout-flies-again/

Condor Squadron SNJ-5 Texan crashes on highway, no fatalities

Three SNJ/T-6 of the COndor Squadron in formation. The accident aircraft is the closest one on this shot. (Photo Alan Wilson (CC BY-SA 2.0))

Three SNJ/T-6 of the COndor Squadron in formation. The accident aircraft is the closest one on this shot. (Photo Alan Wilson (CC BY-SA 2.0))

An SNJ-5 Texan belonging to the Condor Squadron made an emergency landing on a highway near Agoura Hills, California following an engine failure on October 23, 2018. The pilot managed to land on the highway between traffic and made a power-out landing there. Unfortunately, the aircraft hit the central divider and was destroyed in the ensuing fire. The pilot, who was alone on board, was able to exit the aircraft uninjured.

The accident aircraft is an SNJ-5, BuNo 43974. It carries the markings of a Luftwaffe Fw 190 in World War II.

The Condor Squadron Officer’s and Airmen’s Association is a  non-profit organization founded in 1965 by a group of WWII fighter pilots, regularly displaying their T-6s at airshows and other events.


Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2018/10/24/condor-squadron-snj-5-texan-crashes-on-highway-no-fatalities/

First engine run for Shuttleworth Collection’s new Albatros D.Va

The Shuttleworth Collection’s newly-arrived Albatros D.Va replica made its first engine run on October 1st.

Source: The Shuttleworth Collection’s Facebook page

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2018/10/03/first-engine-run-for-shuttleworth-collections-new-albatros-d-va/

Pilot killed in Yak-9UM crash in Australia

Yakovlev Yak-9UM VH-YIX (Photo Robert Frola (GNU FDL via Wikipedia))

A man was killed in the crash of his Yakovlev Yak-9UM in the state of Victoria in Australia, on Friday the 7th of September. The causes of the accident are unknown at this time. The aircraft, Yak-9UM CH-YIX, was one of the series of aircraft built by Yakovlev in the early 1990s, and was powered by an Allison engine.

Our thought and prayers go to the family and friends of the deceased.

Source: ABC News

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2018/09/09/pilot-killed-in-yak-9um-crash-in-australia/

Get 15% off all T-Shirts in our Warbirds Shirt store

From August 19 to 23, you can save 15% off all t-shirts in our Warbird Shirts store by using the promo code SHIRT15.  We have a wide selection of available shirts and new designs are being added on a regular basis.

The Warbird Shirts store helps us pay for the cost of hosting and maintaining World Warbird News. Thanks for your continued support !

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2018/08/20/get-15-off-all-t-shirts-in-our-warbirds-shirt-store/

More than 40 L-Birds to commemorate 75th anniversary of D-Day and Battle of Normandy

As part of the 75th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy in June 2019, preparations have begun for an exceptional commemoration. These jubilee commemorations will probably be the last ones to be attended by veterans of World War II.

From the 6th to the 9th of June 2019, the French association L-Birds back to Normandy is organizing an unprecedented gathering of liaison aircraft, often referred to as L-Birds (L for Liaison). This gathering will include Piper L-4 Grasshoppers, Stinson L-5 Sentinels and other rare L-Birds, some of which are the only airworthy remaining examples !

More than 40 liaison aircraft, all authentic and in their wartime colours, will fly to Normandy from all over Europe. This will be the largest concentration of liaison aircraft since 1945, all being veterans and representing the various types of liaison aircraft used by the belligerents during the war. They will be displayed together, flown by pilots from 13 different countries.

The rallying point before the commemorative flights will be the Saint André de l’Eure airfield, a former German base which became Advanced Landing Ground B-24 when the Allies took control. This airbase was home to C-47 Dakotas and hundreds of L-Birds during the Battle of Normandy.

More info can be found on the association’s website : L-Birds.fr.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2018/08/09/more-than-40-l-birds-to-commemorate-75th-anniversary-of-d-day-and-battle-of-normandy/

Junkers Ju 52 crashes in Switzerland [updated]

The Junkers Ju 52 HB-HOT in 2017. (Photo Lutz Blohm (CC BY-SA 2.0))

The Junkers Ju 52 HB-HOT in 2017. (Photo Lutz Blohm (CC BY-SA 2.0))

The Junkers Ju 52/3m registered HB-HOT and operated by Ju-Air crashed this afternoon shortly before 5:00 PM on the Piz Segnas, a mountain in the Glarus Alps in Switzerland. There is very little information about this tragic incident and no reports on the number of victims is available at this time.

Ju-Air operates three Ju 52 and announced the accident on its website:

We have the sad duty to announce that one of our Ju-52 aircraft had a accident
today. At the moment, no further information is available.

[Update on 8 August 2018 @ 11:30 CET] : New info has emerged and indicates that 20 people were killed in the crash : 17 passengers, the two pilots and an accompanying person.

Our thoughts and prayers go to the family and friends of the victims.



Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2018/08/04/junkers-ju-52-crashes-in-switzerland/