Saturday, 20 December 2014

Beute Blenheim IV - Ebay photo find

Beute Blenheim wearing 21 Sqd codes seen here being recovered/readied for flight by the Germans. 21 Sqn's T2282 is recorded in Graham Warner's Blenheim book as being shot down by flak near Flushing on the night of 10/11 Feb 1941 and crashing into the Scheldt after the crew baled out. The serial does look like T?282, so maybe the aircraft made a reasonable landing on the river and was recovered? The last view below shows the machine quite clearly atop a shingle bank alongside an expanse of water. A single click on the images to view large..

Friday, 19 December 2014

Wattisham Tiger 74 Squadron F-4 Phantom display early 1990s RAF Bentwaters

my thanks to Stuart Parish and his dad 'zeboczulu' for posting these rare videos of Wattisham 74 Tiger Squadron F-4 Phantoms. Below, some stills from the footage, a single click to view the videos here...

More British Phantoms on this blog - here

56 Sqd scramble video on this blog here

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Crashed Spitfire 64 Squadron ? - ebay photo find

A rather macabre series of pictures taken of the crash site of Spitfire coded SH-L. The dead pilot lies alongside the wreckage seen here being inspected by a high-ranking German ace. The entire series of pics is currently offered on Ebay (link below)

I'm surprised Ebay still has these photos on display. I am probably not the only one to find them slightly disturbing; German personnel having a nice chat within a few steps of a dead pilot, with no thought of either covering him up, or removing him for burial. My intention in posting them here is that they could provide an answer to a long-forgotten MIA perhaps.. Sad to think that somewhere out there may be a distant relative still wondering what happened to the pilot. Of course it is entirely possible that having checked out the aircraft the Luftwaffe would have notified the Red Cross and the family would have eventually been informed of their loss... RIP

(edit- see link posted below for more info on the loss of this 64 Sqd pilot, P/O John Rowden
- note the Luftwaffe personnel are from JG 51 and the Spitfire came down on their own airfield, Mardyck near Dunkirk. In the pictures can be seen Hauptmann Josef Fözö, who may have shot the Spitfire down. John Rowden is buried in Dunkirk Town Cemetery, France.)

Friday, 14 November 2014

Captured enemy aircraft at the Farnborough exhibition October/November 1945 - Martin Baker M.B. 5

Veteran aviation author, diarist and commentator Mike Bowyer is presenting a talk on the Farnborough 1945 exhibition at the RAeS on Monday 17 November. Open to the public in October and November 1945 the RAF displayed its captured aircraft and many British prototypes then undergoing evaluation during late 1945. Inspired by an article in the September 2010 issue of Aeroplane magazine here are some period images of the exhibition and some excerpts from Flight's coverage of November 1945, taken from the amazing flightglobal pdf archive!

Back row left to right: Ju 290, Ju 52/3, Ju 352, a Fw 200 and a Do 17. A Ju 88 Mistel combination can just be discerned right at the back. In the second row are the following;  Si 204, Ju 88 G, Fi 103 manned V-1, Ju 388, He 219. Third row: Me 410 (maybe 210...), Bf 110 G, Do 335 B (probably the B-12 trainer), Ta 152, Fw 190 A, Ar 234, and Me 262. Final row: Supermarine Spiteful, Martin-Baker MB 5, Blackburn Firebrand, Bristol Brigand, Fairey Firefly, Fairey Spearfish, Meteor and a couple of late-mark Spitfire tails.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

F-35C lands on board Nimitz 03 November 2014

F-35C Lightning II carrier variant Joint Strike Fighter conducted its first arrested landing aboard an aircraft carrier off the coast of San Diego on 03 November 2014. Navy test pilot Cmdr. Tony Wilson landed F-35C test aircraft CF-03 at 12:18 p.m. aboard USS Nimitz's (CVN 68) flight deck. The arrested landing is part of initial at-sea Developmental Testing I (DT-I) for the F-35C, which  is expected to last two weeks.

  " For the first time in U.S. naval aviation history, radar-evading stealth capability will come to the carrier deck. The F-35C carrier variant sets new standards in weapon system integration, lethality, maintainability, combat radius and payload that bring true multi-mission capability to the sea. As we countdown to the F-35C’s first carrier developmental testing, find out how the F-35C differs from the other F-35 variants and the features that make it suitable for carrier operations..."

Lower view shows well the larger wing planform of the F-35 C with its foldable wing-tips. Other features of the carrier-borne version of the Lightning II include the twin nose wheel configuration for the nose-tow launch system. The C also features a greater internal fuel capacity. Read the rest of Lockheed Martin's F 35 C press release here

Friday, 31 October 2014

Spike in Russian air Force activity around Europe - Tu 95 'Bear H' intercepted by Lossiemouth Typhoons

  ".. NATO has sounded a warning after 26 Russian bombers, tankers and fighter jets on military exercises were intercepted around Europe in just 24 hours..."  (Above Norwegian  F-16  escorting 'Bear' around northern European air space)

 RAF Typhoons scrambled to intercept Russian bombers over the North Sea as NATO reported dozens of planes in European airspace - 26 Russian aircraft flew 'military manoeuvres' in 24 hours including two Bear bombers followed by RAF fighters - Nato steps up its defences as it says two planes near Britain did not file flight plans or contact controllers - Alliance reported 'unusual' activity after intercepting 100 Russian planes in 2014 - triple the number in 2013..

..  Jets were scrambled by the RAF and allies in Germany, Portugal and Turkey after the 'unusual' spike in activity, which saw two giant Tu-95 Bear H bombers fly close to Britain yesterday. The alliance said Russia had conducted 'significant military manoeuvres in European airspace' - though it then added none of the planes had strayed into any specific country's territory. The two Bear bombers had been part of an eight-plane formation which was first intercepted by Norwegian F-16s over at 2am yesterday. While six of the planes returned back towards Russia, the two Bears carried on south west towards the UK where they were picked up by RAF Boulmer, Northumberland. The RAF scrambled Typhoon jets from RAF Lossiemouth in Moray, northern Scotland, which tracked the Bear bombers as they continued through Britain's 'flight information region'. Nato said: 'The bomber and tanker aircraft from Russia did not file flight plans or maintain radio contact with civilian air traffic control authorities and they were not using on-board transponders..'.

 Nato's new chief said today the alliance is increasing its readiness and air policing after yesterday's flurry of activity. Jens Stoltenberg said that while Nato is not back on a Cold War footing with Russia, its former arch-enemy as the Soviet Union, recent behaviour has severely undermined mutual trust. Mr Stoltenberg said the trans-Atlantic military alliance 'remains vigilant and ready to respond'. 'We need to keep our forces ready, therefore we are investing in high readiness, new capabilities,' he said. 'We are... increasing air policing as an answer to the increased air activities we are seeing from Russia.' He also urged Russia to remove its forces from Ukraine - Russia denies they are there - and warned against plans by pro-Russian separatists to hold local elections in eastern Ukraine.

from the RAF's FB page ;

"...On Wednesday, 29th October RAF Aerospace Battle Managers in RAF Boulmer’s Control and Reporting Centre (CRC) alerted and scrambled Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) Typhoon fighter aircraft from RAF Lossiemouth to intercept Russian military ‘Bear’ aircraft flying in international airspace. The RAF Typhoon pilots visually identified the Russian aircraft and escorted it through the UK flight information region. The primary role of the RAF is to defend the UK “365, 24, 7”. The RAF remains alert and ready to intercept any unidentified military or civilian aircraft around UK airspace...."


The interceptions yesterday were unrelated to a sonic boom caused by RAF fighter jets across Kent. Typhoons from RAF Coningsby,Lincolnshire, flew at supersonic speeds to dramatically halt a Latvian cargo plane on its way to Birmingham after it 'caused concern' to air traffic controllers. The swoop, which resulted in the Lativan-registered plane being grounded at Stansted airport yesterday evening, sparked a massive sonic boom which was heard across a 50-mile radius. Soon after the incident, an unverified audio clip was posted online which appeared to have recorded the moment an RAF pilot warned the plane it risked being 'shot down'. A man was heard saying: 'I’m instructed by Her Majesty’s government of the United Kingdom to warn you if you do not respond you will be shot down’. 
 More here

Friday, 24 October 2014

RAF 56 Sqn F-4 scramble

A Rolls Royce Spey engined Phantom of 56 "Firebirds" Squadron is scrambled to intercept a Russian Tu 16 Badger with support from a Shackleton AEW from 8 Squadron...

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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...