Thursday, 5 January 2017

Magnum! - books on the Wild Weasels

via Joe Copalman on the 'Aviation Enthusiast book club ' FB page

 " When I attended the 'Phantom Phinale' at Holloman last month (article on the event in the February issue of AFM out soon), one of the civilian contract pilots still flying QF-4s with Det 1 was Jim 'Boomer' Schreiner. I'd heard or read his name before, but couldn't place where. During the Q & A session, he spoke about being the only QF-4 pilot left who had flown the F-4 operationally and in combat. Still no bells went off. I even interviewed him one on one afterward and talked about his combat tour flying F-4Gs in Desert Storm. The guy's book has been on my Amazon wish list for eight years, and he was standing right in front of me giving me all the data I needed to make the connection, and it all just blew right past me. When I got back from Holloman, I was on a bit of an F-4 high, so I looked up 'Magnum' on Amazon and realized what a huge dummy I was. Not only had I had one of the authors right in front of me, but in the time that passed since it was first published, the book had gone out of print and the cheapest copy I could find in good condition was nearly double the price it had been new. This year, I put that $25 gift card to good use, while putting a minor dent in my Amazon card to cover the balance..."

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

F2A Buffalo fighter, Naval Air Station (NAS) Miami, Florida, 1941-1942 - daily photo find # 53

F2A Buffalo fighters pictured during a training flight from Naval Air Station (NAS) Miami, Florida, 1941-1942. These items are part of a photograph album assembled by Commander Joseph C. Clifton during his service in World War II and can be found in the on-line searchable  US Naval Aviation museum collection

Monday, 2 January 2017

B-29 Superfortress “Doc” first flight July 2016 - USAF F-4 Phantom final flight, 'Phantom Phinale' Holloman AF base, December 2016

First post of the New Year! FalkeEins 'Jet & Prop' blog starts its ninth year.  This blog now features over 400 separate posts. Approx average daily page views  =500. As a 'google' blog we get listed near the top of most searches. Author/blogger FalkeEins is previously published in UK aviation/modelling magazines and has credits with numerous publishers, including Kagero, Red Kite, Classic Publications, Lela Presse  (publishers of 'Avions' magazine in France) Eagle Editions, Erik Mombeek, Claes Sundin etc. See sidebar for our other blogs and more interesting aviation blogs worldwide.

To kick off 2017 two awesome aviation events from 2016 that we did not get around to covering last year!

B-29 Superfortress “Doc” flew for the first time during July 2016 after being rolled out of a former Boeing Wichita hangar on March 23, 2015, following 15 years and 300,000 hours of restoration work by scores of volunteers. The bomber, built by Boeing in Wichita in 1945, had been parked in the California Mojave desert for 42 years. The aircraft was discovered in 1987 and, in 2000, was trucked to Wichita where restoration began. The project went through a hiatus, the victim of a poor economy and lack of hangar space, when a group of Wichita business leaders and aviation enthusiasts formed a nonprofit group called Doc’s Friends and restarted the restoration. Boeing donated the hangar space. The B-29 is one of only two to be flyable. Securing a permanent home in Wichita for the aircraft and operating the aircraft as a flying museum will probably prove as problematic as the British Vulcan to the Sky project. B-29 Doc organizers estimate it will take another $7 million to $9 million to secure permanent hangar space. Below; some screen captures from the B-29 'Doc' first flight video posted below.

This blog is a big fan of the F-4 Phantom, usually RAF and RN variants! But during 2016 I was fortunate enough to see two Greek F-4s in the air and up close in the static at the RIAT 2016 show in the UK. Elsewhere  the U.S. Air Force F-4 Phantom II made its final flight, after more than 50 years of service, at Holloman Air Force Base on 21 December 2016. Here are some screen captures from one of the best videos of the  'Phantom Phinale' “Pharewell” posted on youtube. A single click to view here. Published by Skyes 9 on youtube in December 2016. " In an attempt at documenting the last USAF F-4 Phantoms in flying service, I flew to Holloman AFB, NM. They'll be used as ground targets from now on as the QF-16 takes over. In this video you will see the start up, taxi out, and flyby of the F-4s, followed by water cannon salute and then shut down of the USAF McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II..."

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Shot down 54 Sqd Spitfire KL-E W/C John R. Kayll, Hornchurch Wing Leader - daily Ebay photo find #52

Spitfire V shot down over France/Belgium on June 25 1941 with a "English Major" according to the annotation on the original photo - a single image of this machine appeared on last September. Now seller 'crainsmilitaria' has posted a whole series of this machine. This is probably Spitfire V R7259, 54 Sq., shot down on 25 June 1941 near Gravelines in the Pas de Calais, with W/C John R. Kayll, Hornchurch Wing Leader at the controls. He was taken POW.

Monday, 12 December 2016

first flight of the prototype Dewoitine D.520, October 1938

Issue no. 148 of the 'la Vie Aérienne' dated 22 March 1939 - front page coverage of the prototype D.520, the "fastest French fighter ever conceived" powered by an Hispano Suiza engine. A shot from a test flight of prototype n°1 flown during January 1939 with Constantin Rozanoff at the controls..

The D.520 was designed in response to a 1936 requirement from the French Air Force for a fast, modern fighter with a good climbing speed and an armament centred on a 20 mm cannon. Design work on the D.520 started in September 1936 led by Émile Dewoitine. Dewoitine had been disappointed with the performance of his last design, the Dewoitine D.513, which was rejected by the French Air Force in favour of the Morane-Saulnier M.S.406, and decided to respond to the specifications with a design using the latest construction techniques and the most powerful available engine, the new 660 kW (890 hp) Hispano-Suiza 12Y-21 liquid-cooled engine. The nationalisations undertaken by the Popular Front government during 1937 caused a seven-month delay and interruption in the design work that according to French author Chris Ehrengardt was never caught up as Dewoitine's Toulouse factories were amalgamated into a large conglomerate, the SNCAM. (Construction Aeronautique du Midi)  In the meantime the French Air Ministry, impressed by the British Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire, had uprated the specifications to include a maximum speed requirement of 520 km/h (310 mph). In response, Dewoitine renamed the further development, the "D.520". The D.520-01, powered by a Hispano-Suiza 12Y-21 temporarily driving a fixed-pitch, two-bladed wooden propeller, first flew on 2 October 1938, but managed to reach only 480 km/h (300 mph) in flight tests, and suffered from dangerously high engine temperatures. Most of the problem was judged to come from greater than expected drag from the under wing radiators, which exhausted across the upper wing surface, and these were replaced with a single radiator unit housed under the fuselage in a streamlined fairing. Tail fin and rudder were also enlarged. After minor damage in a landing accident, further modifications included changing the engine to a newer -29 model and incorporating exhaust ejectors for added thrust (so-called 'pipes a reaction'), along with a three-blade variable-pitch propeller. These changes were enough to allow the aircraft to reach its design speed, D.520-01 achieving 530 km/h (330 mph) on 13 January 1939.

Below; 11 April 1940 issue of 'Flight' courtesy of the Flight Global magazine archive