There is of course
always something to enjoy and for me this was the resident non-flying DC-4 Skymaster.
Douglas C-54 '56498'
Douglas C-54D-DC N44914 (c/n 10630/361) looks good here at North Weald. It's decorated with its US Navy BuNo.56498. Crowd funding is ongoing for a full restoration to bring it back in the air again.
This military version of the Douglas DC-4 was delivered to the US Army Air Force on20Mar45, with serial assigned 42-72525, but was passed on to the U.S.Navy and registered as BuNo.56498.
It was converted to a C-54Q during 1962. This veteran retired in Apr72, stored at Davis Monthan AFB,AZ.
Biegert Aviation of Arizona reg'd it as N44914 in Oct75. Biegert converted it to a sprayer of insecticide. During 1979 it operated its last bug-spraying mission when Biegert's contract ended. N44914 sat in the Arizona desert, awaiting better times.
By 1995 there were only 21.051 flighthours on the airframe.
More than 50 years after its initial delivery it was bought, in 1996, by Atlantic Warbirds Inc (New Hampshire, USA) and they were responsible for a complete restoration and this magnificent (MATS Atlantic Division) colourscheme ! With (BuNo) 56498 on its tail it was seen on various air shows. By June 2002 the airframe hours totalled 21.085.
On 03Sep03 it was bought by Sherman Aircraft Sales Inc and registered that same date to Aces High US Ltd.
It arrived together with N31356 at North Weald on 27Sep02 from Reykjavik, for Aces High UK.
Aces High provides aeroplanes for film and they had acquired these two C-54's for a film about the Berlin Airlift; unfortunately that film never got made and both C-54's remained stored at North Weald (more than once offered for sale). One, N31356, was scrapped with the cockpit preserved at a museum.
Hopefully the restoration of N44914 saves it from the scrapper.
Upon my visit I was told a party had been found to overhaul the avionics; a lot of the radio equipment in the compartment behind the cockpit could be removed (yet to be done). There had been plans (hopes!) to have this DC-4 participate in
the 2019 flying displays celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Berlin Airlift, but those hopes have been abandoned.
See also my 2003 report, with more propliners
to be found at North Weald then.
AIR-BRITAIN'S 2018 FLY-IN
The Fly-In this year also celebrated Air-Britain's 70th birthday, a proud history of aviation interest.
North American AT-6D Texan, 43-13048/G-TDJN
Manufactured in 1944, it carried the follwing identities: HB-331, 44-81506 and N7231C (Reg canx 05Jun2012)
Owner: David John Nock [www.airport-data.com]
The North American T-6 Texan two-place advanced trainer was the classroom for most of the Allied pilots who flew in World War II. Called the SNJ by the Navy and the Harvard by the British Royal Air Force, the AT-6 (advanced trainer) was designed as a transition trainer between basic trainers and first-line tactical aircraft. It was re-designated T-6 in 1948.
In all, the T-6 trained several hundred thousand pilots in 34 different countries over a period of 25 years. A total of 15,495 of the planes were made. Though most famous as a trainer, the T-6 Texan also won honours in World War II and in the early days of the Korean War.
It was nice to find a good selection of Hards/Texans here!
Harvard G-AZBN (FT391)
Harvard AT-16 Mk.llb, c/n 14A-1431, ex 43-13132 was allotted RAF serial FT391 but in fact saw no RAF service. It seems most likely that it was one of the 115 Harvard aircraft withdrawn from store and handed over to the RNAF between 1946 and 1948.
The aircraft was allotted the B-97 registration by the Royal Netherlands Air Force in October 1947. She remained on charge until 1970.
After being taken off charge, B-97 acquired the Dutch civilian registration PH-HON on 10July70, to a Mr C.Honcoop of Veen.
The Dutch registration was cancelled on 8th July 1971.
On the 13th July she was registered G-AZBN to Sir W.J.D.Roberts of Shoreham (later of Strathallan) A C of A was issued on the 18th January 1972.
Civilianisation, including the application of U.K. civil registration letters, was carried out by Shoreham Aviation Services Ltd. The paint scheme which she now carries, i.e. as RAF FT391, was applied in 1978. G-AZBN spent a number of years as part of the Strathallan Collection in Scotland.
G-AZBN was also operated by the Old Flying Machine Company at Duxford. Notably during her time with the OFMC, she was used in number of filming projects including the TV series 'Piece of Cake'. For this purpose, the rear canopy was removed and a camera installation together with a rear facing cameraman installed to film the many dog fight scenes. The rear fin appears in many shots but being in camouflage, only the antenna gives G-AZBN away.
Today she is operated as part of a classic collection of radial aircraft based at Goodwood and often seen at fly-ins and air shows, occasionally performing displays flown by Richard Piper.
T-6H Harvard Mk.4M, AJ841/G-BJST 'Wacky Wabbit', manufactured by Canadian Car & Foundry in 1953.
T6 Harvard Aviation is the owner and operator of this in recent years restored Harvard 4, registration G-BJST.
She is currently operated on the CAA public transport register allowing to conduct flying training. As a result it
is available for flying training, Harvard conversions, flying displays and film work.
I considered some flightseeing but thought the UKL 399,- for 20 minutes (UKL 499,- for 30 minutes) rather steep, beyond my budget anyway.
One of only two airworthy Dragonfly's!
De Havilland DH-90A Dragonfly, G-AEDU (mfr 1937); ex/ CR-AAB, ZS-CTR, N190DH.
Owner: Norman Aeroplane Trust
Built for Angola 1937 as CR-AAB - later to South Africa as ZS-CTR - to the UK 1979 as G-AEDU - to the USA 1983 as N190DH - to the UK 1992 as G-AEDU.
Miles M-3A Falcon Major, G-AEEG (c/n 216; mfr 1936). Ex/ SE-AFN.
The Miles M.3 Falcon is a 1930s British three/four-seat cabin monoplane aircraft designed by Miles Aircraft Ltd.
The first production aircraft (designated M.3A Falcon Major) was flown in January 1935. It had a wider fuselage than the prototype to improve passenger comfort and revised glazing with a forward sloping windscreen. The M.3A was somewhat underpowered, so the (M.3B Falcon Six) and later versions were fitted with a 200 hp (150 kW) de Havilland Gipsy Six engine.
Twenty-nine M.3As and M.3Bs were delivered during 1935 and 1936 to private owners, clubs, and commercial operators in Britain and abroad.
Morane-Saulnier MS-506L Criquet/Storch [F-BDXM/GS+AA], Lycoming-engined and in Luftwaffe colours, representing the Fieseler FI-156 'Storch'.
The Fieseler Fi 156 Storch is a single-engine two- or three-seat STOL observation and liaison aircraft produced by the German manufacturer Gerhard-Fieseler-Werke GmbH.
The Fieseler storch is renowned for it's remarkable short field takeoff and landing characteristics and extremly low stalling speed of 50 km/h (31 mph / 27 kt). The Fi 156 is able to take off in less than 45 m (150 ft) and land in 18 m (60 ft).
The Fi 156 was produced during WWII also in France by Morane-Saulnier and in Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia (Czechoslovakia) by Leichtbau Budweis and later Bene?-Mráz.
Industria Aeronautica Româna of Romania built approx. 80 Fi 156C-3.
After the war, Morane-Saulnier continued production as the M.S.500 Criquet (more than 1.000 aircraft!) and Bene?-Mráz as the K-65 Cáp (approx. 137 aircraft). [Flugzeuginfo.net]
F-BDXM has underwing, I believe, 'Dernancourt' written, a reference to its homebase - I believe the commentator said their slow flight home from North Weald would take some 2:30.
Info by Dietmar Heinz (@Flickr.com): 'Built in:1946, Pilot or owner: Pierre Rodde; stationed in Albert Méaulte LFAQ, France. LFAQ = Aéroport d'Albert-Picardie.
deHavilland DH.82A Tiger Moth II, G-AIDS 'The Scorcerer' (c/n 84546, mfr 1941). Ex/ T6055
Jet Provost Mark 3, XN637 / G-BKOU
Jet Provost T.3 XN637 was built by Hunting-Percival at Luton, and after flight tests was declared ready for collection on 31st August 1961.
On 5th October 1961, XN637 was issued to No 3 Flying Training School (3FTS), based at RAF Leeming in Yorkshire. This unit had reformed the previous month as a Jet Provost squadron. XN637 remained in service, latterly as aircraft number '13', until January 1963 when it returned to RAF Shawbury for storage. It stayed mothballed with 27MU for nearly ten years until November 11th 1972, when it was moved to RAF Kemble for further storage, this time with 5MU.
On 14th February 1973 XN637 was officially declared a NEA - Non Effective Airframe, and within a month it had been struck off charge.
Originally destined for fire fighting practice, the jet moved instead to Winterbourne Gunner where it became part of the Nuclear Bacteriological and Chemical Defence Centre fleet of instructional airframes.
During 1978 aircraft collector Sandy Topen acquired XN637, in a swap deal involving a DH Vampire.
The aircraft was subsequently moved by road to Duxford, and a restoration was begun by the Vintage Aircraft Team to put the jet back in the air. The project continued slowly at Duxford, and the aircraft was placed on the civilian register as G-BKOU in February 1983.
During the summer of 1988, XN637 made her first post restoration flight.
Initially painted in a camouflaged scheme, during 1993 the aircraft was re-painted into a new colour scheme, representing Jet Provost number '3' of the Tactical Weapons Unit based at Brawdy.
In July 1995 XN637 moved to North Weald and into new ownership, with the Seagull formation group, and it became a regular sight in the Essex skies.
Six years later the aircraft moved to Cranfield where it was maintained on Seagull's behalf, by the resident Kennet Aviation.
In the winter of 2002 Kennet Aviation and XN637 relocated to North Weald, joining numerous other examples of warbirds and classic jets based on the airfield. During March and April 2004 XN637 was re-sprayed by Area 51 into a new red/blue/white colour scheme, with her CAA registration applied.
During 2008, XN637's ownership syndicate, 'Where Eagles Share' was dissolved and the aeroplane was then acquired by a new group of owners. Titled 'The Classic Jet Preservation Group', the team has replaced the G-BKOU with its military serial XN637 and fly the aeroplane regularly. It remains the last genuine Jet Provost T.3 flying anywhere in the world.
THE NORWEGIAN SQUADRON
Norwegian Air Force Historical Squadron's two Vampires, which had been repainted and were now wearing the colours of the RAF's No.72 Squadron, a Squadron which was previously based at North Weald.
The Vampire T.55 is a two seat model, while Vampire FB-52 is a single seat aircraft.
They have been repainted at their home base at Rygge in Norway to commemorate and celebrate the 100th anniversary of the RAF this year!
The aircraft arrived here at North Weald on 11Jun18, having flown in after appearing at a display at Aalborg in Denmark the previous day.
The T.55 was flown by Team Manager Kenneth Aarkvisla with Wayne Fuller also in the cockpit & the single seat FB-52 was flown by Martin 'TinTin' Tesli of the Norwegian Air Force.
The T.55 Vampire, LN-DHZ, now also wears the RAF serial WZ447 & the FB.52 Vampire, LN-DHY also wears the RAF serial VZ305/N. Both aircraft look absolutely stunning wearing their new colours.
While military jet aircraft no longer is a prime interest of mine, it was great to see the team here at their 'second home' of North Weald.
DeHavilland DH115 Vampire Mk.55, LN-DHZ/WZ447 (c/n 990, mfr 1959)
Owner: Kenneth Oskar Aarkvisla of Hokksund, Norway (ex/ U-1230, G-DHZZ) [www.airport-data.com]
History of LN-DHZ:
Delivered to Swiss AF as U-1230, ????.
- Sold at auction, Dubendorf AB, March 23, 1991.
Don Woods, Southhampton, UK, March 23, 1991.
Source Classic Jet Flight/Lindsey Woods Promotions Ltd, Cranfield (later Dorset), August 7, 1991-2005.
- Registered as G-DHZZ.
- Flown as WZ589.
Kenneth Aarkvisla, Norway, 2005-2007.
- Registered as LN-DHZ.
- Based at Sandefjord Torp airfield (ENTO), Norway.
- Flown a RNoAF/336 Squadron markings from the early 1950s.
- Coded as PX-M.
(info as per 2007, no longer updated)
deHavilland Vampire FB.52, LN-DHY/VZ305 (c/n 705; mfr 1952) - ex/ J-1196, SE-DXS
Owner: Norwegian Air Force Historical Squadron [www.airport-data.com]
deHavilland Vampire FB.52 LN-DHY was license built in Switzerland in the year of 1952 as serial No.705, the aircraft was flown with the Swiss Air Force marked as Vampire J-1196 until 1990.
A French owner from Nimes flew it for a couple of years until it was sold to Christer Andskär in Sweden and subsequently registered SE-DXS.
The aircraft was purchased from Sweden in May 2011 from Christer Andskär and is now operated by the Flyvåpnets Historiske Skvadron and based at Rygge Air Base, near Oslo in southern Norway.
The aircraft was until recently in the Royal Norwegian Air Force markings, to represent Vampire PX-K, serving at the No.336 squadron in the early-1950s, Norway's first pure jet fighter squadron
Meanwhile it has recently been repainted in RAF livery and markings; so recent, their website, www.historicalsquadron.no
, has not been revised accordingly when I compiled this page (july 2018).