Monday, 22 May 2017

Armée de l'Air Spitfire Mk.IXc (late), MJ 897 of GR 2/33 "Savoie"

Spitfire Mk.IXc (late), MJ 897 was operated by French tactical reconnaissance unit GR 2/33 "Savoie". GR 2/33 was the only French tactical recce unit to fly the Spitfire. The unit's other escadrille 1/33 was equipped with American machines - the famous writer Antoine de Saint Exupéry was famously KIA on 31 July 1944 in a 1/33 F-5 Lightning...

A Bloch 174 unit during the battle for France, II/33 had escaped to North Africa after the defeat and while the first squadron was due to be re-equipped with B-25 Mitchells and then B-26 Marauders, the second squadron trained on Hurricanes before receiving its first Spitfires in early 1944 for the tactical recce role. MJ 897 featured French roundels, the 'Mouette du Rhin' (Rhine seagull) unit emblem just behind the cockpit, the inscription "Curieux" just aft of the exhausts with two painted eyes just beneath this. This particular machine was shot down by flak on 4 January 1945. The unit recived F-6 Mustangs after this. Within the limits imposed by its Ocean Grey/Dark /Medium Sea Grey camouflage MJ 897 was a very colourful aircraft, with its yellow empennage, wing stripes and wingtips, red spinner and tricolour rudder and roundels. Note the French-language caption above mentions a Sky fuselage band, while the Hussar Productions artwork below has the code outlined in Sky and the rest of the fuselage band over-painted in Medium Sea Grey.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Mig-23 UB 95 red 833 IAP/Soviet AF, Juterbog 1992 - daily ebay photo find #60

Currently on offer at Matrix Slides - link below

Mig-23 UB 95 red 833 IAP/Soviet AF at Juterbog 1992

Mig-27M 30 blue Soviet AF 1993

Mig-27M 30 blue 339 IBAP/Soviet AF 1992

SU-17M-3 45 y Soviet AF 1992

AN-12 85 red Soviet AF 1993

on offer here

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

the RAF's last Phantom FGR. 2 was XV 501 - "25th anniversary of the Phantom" Greenham Common IAT 1983

A couple of recently 'digitised' negatives in my collection  - this is XV 501 painted as 'B' of 23.Sq at the Greenham Common Air Tattoo on 23 July 1983. XV 501 was a 56 Sqn machine painted up for the "25th anniversary of the Phantom" celebration at the airshow. However, despite the Falklands Island crest, (close up below) it appears that the a/c never served in the Falklands if I've read Patrick Martin's individual a/c histories correctly. XV 501 was lost in France on 2 August 1988 while on detachment in Reims, crashing after going out of control in a dive. The crew ejected safely. Click to view large

".. Crashed 02/08/1988, marked as 'Bravo' on 56 Squadron. The pilot lost control of the aircraft when pulling out of a dive during a practice intercept with a French Mirage F1. The crew ejected (Flight Lieutenant D.Johnson and Flight Lieutenant Joe N. S. Hacke) and XV501 crashed near Mayenne, France (between Le Mans and Rennes) 56 Squadron were detached to Reims at the time.

XV 501 was the last F-4 M Phantom FGR.2 to be delivered to the RAF, arriving on 29 October 1969.."

via Matt Bantoft

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Lightning F.3 RAF Leuchars, Javelin, Sea Vixen RNAS Yeovilton - ebay photo find #58

Lightning F.3 XP753/J of 74 Squadron at RAF Leuchars July 1966

Lightning F.3 XR712/B RAF/111 Sqdn 'Black Diamonds' at Paris Le Bourget June 1965

Lightning F.3 XP756/K RAF/29Sqdn at RAF Wattisham May 1968

Javelin FAW.9 XH767/F RAF/228 OCU at RAF Leuchars in July 1966

Buccaneer S.2 XT280/LM-323 FAA/809Sqdn at RNAS Yeovilton September 1968

Sea Vixen FAW.2 XP959/E-122 FAA/899Sqdn at RNAS Yeovilton during September 1969.

 All on offer here

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Victor B.2 XL513 & XL 512 carrying Blue Steel - ebay photo find #57

An original Ministry of Defence photograph of Handley Page Victor B.2 XL513 equipped with a Blue Steel Missile.

Note the four Vulcans on QRA. Ministry of Defence wet samp to rear. Neg. No. 26694. Dated 1973.

Victor B.2 XL512 & Blue Steel Original Handley Page Photograph. An original Handley Page Limited photograph of Handley Page Victor B.2 XL512 equipped with a Blue Steel Missile. The photo is slightly under exposed and dark.

On offer here

Sunday, 16 April 2017

29(F) Squadron Phantom Coningsby 1975

Armourers replenish the rotary barrel of a 20mm SUU gun on the flightline at Coningsby in Lincolnshire, before fitting it to a 29(F) Squadron Phantom. 14 April 1975. Sgt Phil Major. Via the RAF Conningsby FB page here 

 Steve Lloyd " ..I was 29 years old at the time at the time. Those were great days, hard work keeping those bad boys in the air. Short sorties meant loads of avionics snags, particularly the radar and inertial nav systems. They were an awesome machines, raw power and performance as good as any at the time so long as the crews were up to it (ours were). Just a pain in the butt to work on - if you were very dominant right handed you had issues. Damned thing was built for left handed techies, which made for a lot of loose article searches late into the night. "Just invert the thing at some time during the sortie, sir, and put the debris in this bag". Wouldn't have missed it for anything.."

 A formation of 29(F) Squadron Phantom FGR.2 based at RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire, pictured in mid-January 1975.