Friday, 26 October 2012

RAF Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, RAF C-17

From the official RAF facebook page

Hawk T1 XX246 and XX318 from 100 Squadron based at RAF Leeming visit RAF Coningsby last month. Both aircraft are wearing 95th anniversary markings featuring two-tone 'Bomber Command' camouflage on the upper fuselage with large skull and cross bones under the fuselage.
Photograph: Chris Wood/Global Aviation Resource

The second RAF Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II took off from Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base today (23 October) for delivery to Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Eglin’s eleventh U.S. Marine Corps F-35B ferried to the Emerald Coast with the U.K. jet. The aircraft, known as ZM 136 and BF-16, departed at approximately 8:06 a.m. CDT with Royal Air Force Sqn. Ldr. Jim Schofield and Marine Corps Maj. Adam Levine at the controls, respectively, for the 90-minute ferry flight to Eglin. ZM 136 joins the first United Kingdom F-35B, which arrived at the base for operational test and evaluation in July. The F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing variants are the fifteenth and sixteenth F-35s to ferry to Eglin this year

elsewhere on this blog, view the first F-35 air display at Yuma /February 2014

The mighty C17 from 99 Squadron, moving personnel and freight all around the world. Here the C17 is pictured in Camp Bastion, Afghanistan. Photo by: Corporal Neil Bryden RAF   © Crown Copyright/MOD

From the official RAF facebook page

Bruntingthorpe Buccaneer

The Queen of Bruntingthorpe from Global Aviation Resource on Vimeo.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

French "Normandie Niemen" ace Roland de la Poye has passed away

French "Normandie Niemen" ace Roland de la Poye passed away on 23 Ocober in St. Tropez aged 92 years old.
He had joined the Armée de l'air in 1939, achieved his 'wings', took part in the Battle of France and then made his way to the UK to join the Free French air force (FAFL : Forces aériennes françaises libres) under General De Gaulle's authority. He subsequently flew Spitfires with 602 Sqn based in Kenley (between March and July 1942) and was flying wing to 'Paddy' Finucane when the famous ace was shot down on 15 July 1942. De la Poype's memoir  " L'épopée du Normandie-Niémen " opens with an account of that mission..

In November 1942, he was among the very first group of French pilots to arrive in the Soviet Union, at Ivanovo airfield, to fight alongside the Soviets against the Luftwaffe as related in a previous blog post

Roland de la Poype survived the war with 15 aerial victories and was made a 'hero of the Soviet Union'. He was the 3rd French ace after Pierre Clostermann - 33 official victories - and another French hero of the Soviet Union Marcel Albert - 24 victories). He left the Air Force in 1947 and became a successful entrepreneur in the plastics industry.

The following link is a thread on that looks at possible candidates for the Spitfire V flown by De la Poype during this period..

Monday, 8 October 2012

Hellcat launches Sparrow!

This is not a Photoshop image. First test launch of a Sidewinder missile was from a radar equipped Hellcat drone on 11 September 1952. The type also launched Sparrow missiles during development testing

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Hellcat carrier landing disaster

via Carlos on TOCH

"..I have been researching the death of my Uncle Ensign Roy Edward Jones USNR for about three years now. I first discovered he was on the Escort Carrier USS Windham Bay. Then when there was no mention of his death in the deck log of that aircraft, I researched more to find he had been transfered to the USS Admiralty Islands. The deck log of that ship states on April 18th, 1945 that at "1449 - F6F from USS Essex crashed into catwalk on port side after a wave-off and went over the side admidships. Plane guard reported no survivor. Pilot was Ensign Roy E. Jones 395853, A1, USNR" I am wondering if he was assigned to the Essex as a replacement pilot while the Essex was supporting the Okinawa Campaign, but find no mention of him on the USS Essex website as a Pilot. Or, might he have been returning a damaged aircraft to the Admiralty Islands for repair, and unable to successfully land the crippled aircraft? I hope that one of the Veterans that read this may have some additional information. Your assistance would mean the world to me. Thank you, Keith Anderson..."

"....Something to do with this photo...?"

Tail section of Ensign Jones's Hellcat. Crew watching the sinking plane, photo reproduced from

18 April 1945. Replacement F-6F delivered to USS Admiralty Islands (CVE-99) but went overboard. Ensign Roy E. Jones, USNR, was KIA.

On 18 April 1945, Admiralty Islands suffered her first operational casualty near Okinawa. After sounding flight quarters at 1217, she began launching new replacement aircraft at 1352. The pilots delivered one F6F Hellcat, two TBM Avengers and two S2BC Helldivers to Essex. At 1406, Admiralty Islands began recovering the pilots and ten combat-fatigued Essex aircraft (commonly known as "Flyable Duds") for repair or disposal.
Ensign Roy Edward Jones, piloting Grumman Hellcat F6F-5 #71332, was the first to return for landing. He was not able to respond well to "low" and "opposite slant" flag signals, received a late "wave off" from the Landing Signal Officer (LSO) and applied full throttle for another go-around. The aircraft continued to settle and the tailhook caught the No. 5 arresting wire. The accelerating Hellcat impacted the ship's gun mount with terrific force, breaking in two. The forward part of the plane went over the port side with the trapped pilot. The tail of the aircraft remained hooked to the No. 5 wire, resting on the ship's catwalk. The LSO was forced to jump into the safety net, breaking his leg. Ensign Jones was lost at sea and his name is inscribed at the Courts of the Missing in Honolulu, Hawaii

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