ENGLAND 2018

Copyright Ruud Leeuw Photos © R.Leeuw

This 2018 holiday trip again showed my preferred program: a mix of castles and other medieval ruins, manor houses & gardens, secondhand books, pubs and indeed some aviation history too. I hope you'll find my aviation history account here both entertaining as well as informative.

 

Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre - LAHC

The Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre is a family run museum and was set up over 20 years ago.
It is considered to be a living memorial to the 55.500 men of Bomber Command who lost their lives during WW2.  It holds a rare aircraft, an Avro Lancaster bomber, in its collection; plus wartime vehicles including a Ford WOT1 Crew Bus, the only one of its kind known in existence.
I also found some interesting aircraft restoration projects here.
Douglas C-47 N473DC, which in recent years has become a resident here, was not at homebase upon my visit.

LAHC - Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center
Air Traffic Control Centre at former RAF East Kirkby

The museum is built up entirely around RAF Bomber Command but the exhibits and displays span many areas such at 'The Home Front' and 'Escape and Evasion', providing the visitor with a good perspective on wartime Britain and the trials and tribulation of the Second World War.
The set up is based on the old wartime airfield of RAF East Kirkby and it retains the original 1940's Control Tower and the big hangar is built on the original wartime hangar base.

The museum is expanding every year and the aim and ambition is to fully rebuild it into a complete original wartime airfield preserving the memory of Bomber Command for many years to come.


Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center

Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center
ATC at RAF East Kirkby as it once was

Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center

Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center

One of the main features of the museum is the original Control Tower, restored to show what an operational tower would have been like.
You can listen to and watch the recreated Bomber R/T as they return from Berlin. 
The new WAAF display in the Tower pays respect to the WAAFs who were a very important, but often forgotten part of the operation. 

www.lincsaviation.co.uk

Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center

Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center

Frans Barten and Theo Barten have sofar produced three volumes of 'WW2 Control Towers' in their sizeable book series 'All Along the Control Tower'.
These are most interesting photo- and history documents. Most of these control towers survive in various stages of dereliction, some see use as a pigpen while others are in use as a museum (as here at East Kirkby) or even as a home or a bed & breakfast!
Wonderful books and a great effort by the Barten brothers.

 

Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center
'The 164 Lancasters lost from here'

Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center
Lancaster NX611
The Lincs Aviation Heritage Centre is working through a programme of restoration with Avro Lancaster NX611
with the aim of taking her to an airworthy condition!

Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center
We arrived on a gloriously sunny day, the only negative note was I'd hoped to see C-47 'Drag-em Oot' here too...

Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center
The aircraft is being worked through part by part on a long term restoration project with progress being made
throughout the years while NX611 continues to taxy from March to November. The whole project is estimated
to cost £3million all of which is being raised through museum admission fees, donations and Lancaster taxy rides.


Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center
Avro Lancaster KB976

www.timefadesaway.co.uk/strathallan/kb976

Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center

Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center

Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center

en.wikipedia.org:_List_of_surviving_Avro_Lancasters

 

Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center
Restoration of the Hampden AE436

The Brian Nicholls Hampden restoration project is a long term project. Work is slow due to the large numbers of parts to be rebuilt from plans, many of which no longer exist. 

The wreckage of AE436 lay on the mountainside until rediscovered in 1976 by the Västernorrland Historical Society. Following a funeral for the three deceased crew members at Kviberg Cemetery Göteborg, the wreckage was salvaged by the Swedish Air Force and returned to the United Kingdom.
Initially the crated remains were stored at RAF Henlow until discovered in June 1987 by the late Brian Nicholls, a serving member of the Royal Air Force who was looking for a suitable restoration project.
Having discounted restorations of ‘extinct’ types such as the Whitley and Stirling as unfeasible, Brian settled on bringing a Hampden back to life.
The crated remains of AE436 were delivered to RAF Coningsby where the contents were examined, prior to the project making the short journey to East Kirkby where restoration started in earnest during 1989.

www.lincsaviation.co.uk/history/Hampden-AE436.htm

Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center

Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center
Proctor IV, NP294

The Percival Proctor was a British radio trainer and communications aircraft of the Second World War.
It was a single-engined, low-wing monoplane with seating for 3 or 4, depending on the model.
The prototype aircraft, serial number P5998, first flew on 08Oct1939 from Luton Airport and the type was put into production for the RAF and Fleet Air Arm. The prototype was tested as an emergency bomber during 1940
but this idea was abandoned as the invasion threat receded.
Although the first 222 aircraft were built by Percival at Luton, most of the remaining aircraft were built by
F. Hills & Sons of Trafford Park near Manchester. They built 812 Proctors of several marks between 1941 and 1945, assembling most of the aircraft at Barton Aerodrome.
en.wikipedia.org:_Percival_Proctor


Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center
Wing of a WW2 Wellington bomber

Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center
Additional fueltank used by Lancaster NX611 for the long ferry flight from Australia to England

Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center
'Nearly Home: Ely's Mill, Old Bolingbroke'

 

Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center
Displays and information of how civilians suffered by the German bombing raids during World War II

Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center
A school suffered many casualties during a German bombing raid

Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center

The Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre is a privately owned and run museum and was set up by two farming
brothers, Fred and Harold Panton. It has been built up as a memorial to Bomber Command and primarily as a
tribute to their eldest brother P/O Christopher Panton, who was shot down and killed on a
bombing raid over Nuremberg on 30/31Mar1944.

Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center
Section of a Curtiss flying boat keel (built in 1918)

Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center


Very informative collection on those who managed to return home from behind enemy lines...

Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center

Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center
'Escape Museum'

Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center

Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center
This 'Escape Museum' is worth a visit to the LAHC in itself!

Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center
'The Great Escape' - how it was done!

Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center

 

Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center
Nissen huts

A Nissen hut is a prefabricated steel structure for military use, made from a half-cylindrical skin of corrugated steel.
Designed during the First World War by the engineer and inventor Major Peter Norman Nissen, it was used extensively during the Second World War.
en.wikipedia.org:_Nissen_hut

Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center
Briefing accommodation

Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center
Sleeping quarters


 

Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center
The big hangar, home of Avro Lancaster NX611

Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center

Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center
deHavilland Mosquito HJ711/VI-C; named 'Spirit of Val'

Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center
HJ711 at the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center
www.mossie.org/HJ711/

Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center
HJ711 / C-VI
Owned (still?) by Tony Agar and formerly based at the Yorkshire Air Museum, Elvington since the mid 1980's, it
seems HJ711 made the move to the LAHC in 2017. On Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/Mossiehj711

Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center
'Spirit of Val'

Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center
Vintage automobiles, always a nice addition
www.lincsaviation.co.uk/museum/vehicles.htm

Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center
English Electric B.2 Canberra, WH957

Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center

Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center


Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center
The Dambusters

Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center
Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center
The Tallboy Bomb - one of many display in commemmoration of WW2 Bomber Command


Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center
Operation Manna; the Yanks named their similar relief flights Operation Chowhound

Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center

 

All four burning, all four turning...
Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center
Unannounced (it wasn't chalked on the board for the 27th) but indeed a pleasant surprise: Lancaster NX611
starting its engines and going out on a roll !!

Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center
NX611 slowly leaving its parking spot, certainly a sight to behold, to see the Avro Lancaster moving around with
its rumbling Merlins! [en.wikipedia.org:_/Rolls-Royce_Merlin].

Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center
Lancaster NX611 / LE-H - out to play

Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center

Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center

Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Center
Lancaster 'Just Jane'


 

100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum


A pleasant visit to 100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum Common, Dickleburgh (4 miles east of Diss) in Norfolk.
The group was nicknamend 'The Bloody Hundredth', for their many casualties.
100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum, England
After we were welcomed by a few friendly volunteers we were introduced to a scala of memorabilia and a coffee.

100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum, England
No speeches, fortunately. We did have a friendly and informative chat of a gentleman who survived the German
bombing raid while living, as a youth, in Norwich. The tv later showed the film 'Memphis Belle'.

100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum, England
This is how is must have looked like! Superb painting by Joe Crowfoot.

100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum, England
Today the control tower is the star attraction of the museum housing some of our most prized collections but its history dates back to 1942. The control tower and surrounding airfield at Thorpe Abbotts was built hurriedly in 1942 and early 1943. It was originally built as a satellite airfield to the nearby RAF Horham but both bases were handed over to the
Eighth Airforce. The other buildings have displays of interest too, of course!

100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum, England
In June 1943 the sleepy Norfolk village of Thorpe Abbotts became home to the 100th Bomb Group of the 8th Airforce. Although the ‘friendly invasion’ of the American airmen was relatively short lived the impact on the local community
was considerable; airbase personnel outnumbered local villagers. Once the Air Force had returned home the memory
of those remarkable months lingered in the village residents.

100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum, England

100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum, England
I've seen wedding dresses made of parachute silk, but did not realize it was sent home too!

100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum, England
To this day people share WW2 memorabilia and many US relatives visit to the museum
to experience something what it was like for their father, mother or a grandparent to be based here or in the area.
Although the majority of personnel stationed at Thorpe Abbotts were men, women played a vital role in the war effort
in general and at Thorpe Abbotts in particular. Perhaps the most remembered women from Thorpe Abbotts were those associated with The American Red Cross. There was also a relatively large cohort of local civilian women and those
from the Women’s Voluntary Services. These women undertook a number of roles at the base, including preparing
food, serving drinks and laundering clothes.

100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum, England
During 1942-1945 the 349th, 350th, 351st, 418th Bombardments Squadrons (USAAF) were based here, flying the B-17.
The base was closed in 1956.

100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum, England

100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum, England

100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum, England
The glasshouse atop the control tower provides a superb panoramic view of the airfield.
It was recreated as it would have looked during the war and it provides the perfect spot to survey what would
have been a vast military airbase. It has a mockup inside, which is shown below: 'vast' is the word that comes to mind!

I had never been much aware of these Air Traffic Control Towers until in recent years I acquired the books by Frans Barten & Theo Barten; they published 3 volumes (sofaer) of 'WW2 Control Towers' in their sizeable series 'All Along the Control Tower'.
These are most interesting photo- and history documents. Most of these control towers survive in various stages of dereliction, some see use as a pigpen while others are in use as a museum (as here at East Kirkby) or even as a home or a bed & breakfast!
Wonderful books and a great effort by the Barten brothers. www.controltowers.eu


100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum, England
The airfield itself covered more than 600 acres and included 3 runways, the main one of which was 6.300 feet
(1.920 metres) was one of the longest in the Eighth Airforce. It also consisted of 3.5 miles of perimeter track, 50 hardstands, and 300 individual buildings including two hangars, plus 11 miles of concrete roads.

100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum, England

100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum, England

Following the closure of the airfield in 1956, the tower and other buildings fell into disrepair until in 1977 local man Mike Harvey and several local volunteers started making enquiries about the possibility of restoring the old control tower as a living memorial to American personnel who served at the base during World War Two.
A 999-year lease was negotiated with the landowner for a small area in the North-East corner of the old airfield which included the tower.

When volunteers began restoring the dilapidated 100th Bomb Group control tower they were faced with a massive task, including clearing the debris from several years of pigs living in the tower during the 1950s-1960s!

On 25th May 1981 Major Horace Varian (former Group Adjutant) unveiled a plaque on completion of the tower restoration in the presence of many veterans from the USA as well as many local people.
Today the museum is a moving testament to the Americans, who in the pursuit of peace, came to Thorpe Abbotts in Norfolk to fight alongside the allies during World War Two.
(The above info is from the museum's website).

 

100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum, England

The 100th Bomb Group gained the reputation as the ‘Bloody Hundredth’ due to the heavy losses they suffered.
On their first mission alone the 100th Bomb Group lost three planes and thirty men.
The 100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum functions as both a place for learning as well as reflection on the hardships faced by those stationed at Thorpe Abbotts.

The 100th Bomb Group flew their first combat mission on 25th June 1943 and its last on 20th April 1945.
During those 22 months they were credited with 8630 missions with the terrible loss of 732 airmen and 177 aircraft. The group would go several months without any casualties and then on one mission might lose half the group.
This reputation spread throughout the Airforce with the 100th Bomb Group being deemed an unlucky group to be stationed to. 100th Bomb Group Major John Bennett summed it up though that; ‘what the 100th lacks in luck it makes up for in courage. The Men of the Century have fighting hearts’.


100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum, England
Aircraft lost: 177

100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum, England
100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum, England

100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum, England
What it must have been like for Boeing B-17F 'Piccadilly Lily' 425864 of 351st Squadron, making it home.

100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum, England

100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum, England

100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum, England

100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum, England
Some 40 years ago I chased military planes and visited RAF Mildenhall, where I found the KC-135s of
the 100th Air Refueling Wing . I did not realize then that I was gazing upon such a grand history!

www.100bgmus.org.uk

 

NORTH WEALD AIRFIELD, 01JUL2018

Air-Britain's Fly-In at North Weald Airfield
Air-Britain's Fly-In at North Weald Airfield

I had been here before, the last time as recent as last year, but never during the Air-Britain Fly In weekend. I arrived here around noon and found it a small scale event with little to my specific interest.
There was a fair bit of wind and I was told that this was the reason many light vintage aircraft had cancelled their trip to this event.

 There is of course always something to enjoy and for me this was the resident non-flying DC-4 Skymaster.

Vintage aviation - North Weald Airfield, Sussex (England)
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.

Vintage aviation - North Weald Airfield, Sussex (England)

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.

Vintage aviation - North Weald Airfield, Sussex (England)

Vintage aviation - North Weald Airfield, Sussex (England)

Vintage aviation - North Weald Airfield, Sussex (England)
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.

Vintage aviation - North Weald Airfield, Sussex (England)

Vintage aviation - North Weald Airfield, Sussex (England)
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.
Vintage aviation - North Weald Airfield, Sussex (England)
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.
www.t6harvard.com/

It was nice to find a good selection of Hards/Texans here!

Vintage aviation - North Weald Airfield, Sussex (England)
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.
www.t6harvard.com/uk-harvards/g-azbn/

 

Vintage aviation - North Weald Airfield, Sussex (England)
T-6H Harvard Mk.4M, AJ841/G-BJST 'Wacky Wabbit', manufactured by Canadian Car & Foundry in 1953.

Vintage aviation - North Weald Airfield, Sussex (England)

Vintage aviation - North Weald Airfield, Sussex (England)

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.

Vintage aviation - North Weald Airfield, Sussex (England)

 

Vintage aviation - North Weald Airfield, Sussex (England)
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.
www.airport-data.com/aircraft/G-AEDU.html

Vintage aviation - North Weald Airfield, Sussex (England)

Vintage aviation - North Weald Airfield, Sussex (England)
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.
en.wikipedia.org:_Miles_Falcon

 

Vintage aviation - North Weald Airfield, Sussex (England)

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.

 

Vintage aviation - North Weald Airfield, Sussex (England)
deHavilland DH.82A Tiger Moth II, G-AIDS 'The Scorcerer' (c/n 84546, mfr 1941). Ex/ T6055

Vintage aviation - North Weald Airfield, Sussex (England)
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.
www.jetprovostheaven.com

 

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.
www.milairpix.com/norwegian_vampires_arrive_at_north_weald_110618.htm

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.

en.wikipedia.org:_/List_of_surviving_de_Havilland_Vampires


Vintage aviation - North Weald Airfield, Sussex (England)
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.
www.warbirdregistry.org  (info as per 2007, no longer updated)

Vintage aviation - North Weald Airfield, Sussex (England)
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).

 

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