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

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Gulf War Sea King - daily Ebay photo find #51

Loading operations at Southampton docks in December 1990 prior to transport to the Gulf. Currently on offer on John's auction here

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Best of RIAT 2016 static (5)

Taken on the Friday show, some from the upper deck of the open-top double-decker buses shuttling between the airfield and the car parks! Click the link at the bottom of this page to go to more RIAT 2016 posts on this blog including Greek Phantoms, F-35s and the Ramex Delta Mirage display team

RIAT 2016 posts on this blog

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

More interesting 'British' Phantoms

USMC F-4B '207 AA' with 892 Sqn tail colours stranded on Ark Royal. RN personnel repainted the tail to match their FG1's, as the ship was to dock at Malta and US personnel were not welcome at the time

Buccaneers from 12 Squadron with 43 Squadron Phantoms at the end of Exercise LIME JUG. Crown Copyright 1970.

'Colonial Navy' was a well known zapping of XV590. XT864 was another interesting one as it wore 'FLY NAVY' instead of ROYAL NAVY' titles.

Also on this blog;

F-4 Phantom Squadrons in the RAF in 100 photos

Phantom Pharewell - German Air Force JG 71 Richthofen F-4F's retiring this weekend

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Admiral Kuznetzov and Su 33s in the English Channel

Last Friday Russia's only aircraft carrier passed through the Straits of Dover in the English Channel on its way to Syria to support Assad, passing barely six miles off the coast - the ship would have been visible from the first floor of my house had I been awake! This picture appeared on the Folkestone Herald newspaper FB page.

The best images by far were taken by Nige at and were free to be republished non-commercially..

and just one comment

".. the Kuznetzov is 80's tech Soviet-era steam turbines driven by 8 boilers's an analogue ship in a digital age it's been past us in 2011 and 2014 shadowed by the York a type 42 in 2011 and the Type 45 Dragon in 2014 ... our new QE class carriers will be bigger and have 21st century tech ... this Russian carrier is like taking a bat to a fight when everyone else has guns..."

Featured post

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...