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.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Chris Bellhouse's T-6/ Harvard G-BGHU, Pent Farm airfield, Postling, Kent, T-6/Harvard walkaround

 T-6/Harvard G-BGHU seen last summer at Postling, Kent, England. The aircraft is painted to represent a T-6 G as flown in Korea by the 64th TCGP in August 1950. All markings, numbers etc are as originally worn during its service with the U.S.A.F. In this guise T-6's were used in the Korean war for forward air control and target marking. They were armed with phosphor rockets and machine guns, although the guns were removed later in the campaign as the pilots spent too much time shooting up targets rather than marking them for others to destroy!

Between 1942/56 this machine served with the U.S.A.A.F. and U.S.A.F before being sold to the Armée de l'Air in 1957. Toting four wing mounted machine guns, two bombs and six rockets it saw service in the Algerian campaign before being sold in 1962 to the Portuguese Air Force seeing service in both Portugal and West Africa. Modified to take under wing multi-racket launching pods and anti SAM flare system fitted. In 1979 it was de-mobbed and moved to the UK, with all armaments and fittings removed. In 1986 this machine was purchased by the current owner, Chris Bellhouse (standing on the wing below) - making it one of the oldest Harvards under continuous ownership on the UK register. The aircraft is now based at Pent Farm airfield, Postling, Kent.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Rare Birds (8) Fiat CR-25 long-range escort fighter -ebay photo find #56

Ing.Celestino Rosaletti designed the Fiat CR-25 as a multi all-purpose aircraft for use in Italy's North African territories. The CR-25 was a twin engine, three seat, long range escort fighter and reconnaissance monoplane. Bearing a marked resemblance to the BR-20 bomber of same designer it employed a two-spar, three-section wing mounted in low-mid positioned to a rectangular section welded steel tube fuselage.

The CR-25 first flew in 1937, and was powered by 840HP Fiat A.74 RC.38 fourteen-cylinder radial engines. Two prototypes were built followed by ten pre-production machines, one of which was used as transport by the Italian Air Attaché in Berlin. This was designated CR-25D. The other nine were designated CR-25 bis and these equipped the 173 Strategic Naval Reconnaissance Squadron. These nine aircraft formed one operational squadron and was based in Sicily from July through October 1942. Their role was to act as convoy escort between Sicily and the Italian peninsula. It is known that at times this type encountered opposing RAF Beaufighters which were on convoy strike and destroy missions from bases at ta'Qali and Hal-Luqa on the strategic island of Malta. On occasions the CR-25 was also employed on sneaky but very risky reconnaissance flights to Malta. This included photographing military installations around Hal-Luqa and Hal-Far airfields, coal dump areas at il-Menqa in Marsa, and the torpedo and Submarine Depot at l-Imsida besides the naval installations and Dockyard facilities at the Kottonera and Casal Paula area and other localities on the island. So daring was their mission that some of the CA-25 found their graveyard in the blue depth of the Mediterranean. Operational strength in reality never exceeded six aircraft during the time due to lack of spares and replacement necessitating a short operational life for the squadron. The CR-25 bis escort fighter was fitted with two 12.7 mm Breda-SEFAT guns in the nose and a third 12.7 mm gun in power-operated dorsal turret. To extend its range extra fuel tanks were fitted in the internal bomb bay, which was originally designed to accommodate a maximum bomb load of 1550 Lbs. By October 1942, when an average of three machines were serviceable, the type was relegated to transport duties. In 1940 work has been initiated on a more heavily armed variant, a CR-25 which also had a slight increase in wing area. However the basic CR-25 design was abandoned and further development ceased. The CR-25 had a maximum speed of 286 mph at 18,200 ft; a cruising speed of 245 mph, landing speed of 78 mph and normal range was 972 miles and a maximum range of 1305 miles. Service ceiling of 26,575 ft. Dimensions of all models were: Span 51'10", Length 44' 5.75", and Height of 11' 1.75" and a wing area of 421.8 Sq. ft.

Sicily 1941 - contingent of Vichy AF machines en route to Syria

More photo finds including Piaggio P. 108, Fiat G12

Monday, 20 March 2017

F-4 VF-111 Sundowners USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CV-42) - ebay photo find #60

A U.S. Navy McDonnell F-4N Phantom II fighter (BuNo 151008) from Fighter Squadron VF-111 Sundowners being catapulted from the aircraft carrier USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CV-42) in February 1977. VF-111 was assigned to Carrier Air Wing 19 (CVW-19) for FDR´s final cruise to the Mediterranean Sea from 4 October 1976 to 21 April 1977. Franklin D. Roosevelt was decommissioned on 30 September 1977.

 U.S. Navy - U.S. Navy National Museum of Naval Aviation photo No. 1996.253.7279.033

Two U.S. Navy McDonnell F-4B Phantom II of Fighter Squadron VF-111 "Sundwoners" in flight. VF-111 was assigned to Carrier Air Wing 15 (CVW-15) aboard the aircraft carrier USS Coral Sea (CVA-43). Date circa 1972

 Source U.S. Navy National Museum of Naval Aviation photo No. 1996.253.7279.001 Author U.S. Navy

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Sea Vixen FAW.1 XN693 Original HMS Centaur Photograph 1964 - ebay photo find #58

Sea Vixen FAW.1 XN693 Original HMS Centaur Photograph 1964. An original HMS Centaur Admiralty photograph of Sea Vixen FAW.1 XN693 of 892 NAS getting ready to start up on HMS Centaur. Note the umbrellas! HMS Centaur/MOD Admiralty wet stamp to rear. Neg. No. G.1206 Dated 22 September 1964.

An original HMS Centaur Admiralty photograph of a line up of Sea Vixen FAW.1's of 892 NAS on HMS Centaur. They are 214 - XJ494, 215 - XJ525, 216 - XN706 and 217 - XN687.

on offer here


Monday, 13 March 2017

Victor K.2 XL190 55 Squadron Original MOD photograph 1993 -ebay photo find # 59

Victor K.2 XL190 55 Squadron Original MOD photograph 1993. An original Ministry of Defence photograph taken by Sgt. Rick Brewell of Victor K.2 XL190 of 55 Squadron in September 1993. Last flown in October 1993 to RAF St. Mawgan, it was broken up in February 1999 the nose section going to the Manston Museum.

Victor B.1 Maintenance Original Photograph. An original period (probably MOD) photograph of a Victor B.1 undergoing maintenance possibly at RAF Gaydon.

MOD) photograph of a Victor B.1 formation. Aircraft are XH588, XH589, XH591 and XH592. The cockpit section of XH592 is at the Midland Air Museum.

images on offer here

More RAF Manston and RAF Manston History Museum on this blog;

Granby Buccaneer 

Airframes at the RAF Manston fire dump

first Gloster Meteor sortie  July 1944 RAF Manston

Manston's Lightning F.6