Aeroplane Monthly 2001-02 (334)

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seats in the house. Assistant Editor Tony Harmsworth (left) and Editor Michael Oakey in the cockpit of Mosquito prototype W40S0 at Salisbury Hall on the 60th anniversary of its maiden flight.

Unforgettable ON NOVEMB ER 25, 2000, the 60 th a n n iversary of th e first fli ght of de Ha villand Mosq u ito prototype W40 50, I had th e oppo rt un ity - along w ith Assista n t Ed ito r Ton y Harmswo rt h and a gro u p of Aeroplane prizewinn e rs - to take it in turns to sit in th e pilot's sea t of that very aircraft, preserved in th e Mosq u ito Aircraft M useu m a t Sa lisbury Hall, n ear St Albans, w here it w as design ed in 1940 . Is there a surviving wartim e protot ype, an ywh ere in th e w orld, th at is m ore sign ifica n t than W4050? I ca n 't th ink of on e . To sit in its crampe d a nd pa tina ted int erior, h olding th e co n trol co lu m n, resting o ne 's feet on th e ru dde r . peda ls and soaking up a ll that history, was a m em orab le experie nce. See page 17 for m ore pictures, an d the n ew spages for details of a n ew restoration appea l laun ched by th e mu seum to ens u re its permanent su rvival. Meanwh ile, in thi s m on th 's issue we celebrate th e 60 th an n iversa ry of anothe r wa r-win n ing British a ircra ft: th e Avro Lan caster. On a sad der n ot e, wa rt ime Hawker Typhoon pil ot a n d o u tsta n ding Aeroplane au tho r J ohn SEPTE MBE R21. ' 94 5 Go lley died during Novem be r. His distin ctive, ebu llie n t style first graced th ese pages in 1984; hi s m ost recent work appea red during 20 00, and we still ha ve so me of his ma te rial in th e pipeline. An appreci ation by another Aeroplane stalwa rt , Bill Gu nston . appea rs o n page 32 . THE A E~OPtANE.

M ichael Oakey EDITO R •

VOTE FOR YOUR NEWSAGENT AND YOU COULD WIN £l,OOO! Does your newsagent give excellent service? Then vote for him or her in our Newsagent of the Year scheme, and you could win a cash prize. See page 13

Lau nched as a mo nt hly magazine in 197 3 by Richa rd T. Ri d ing (Editor until 1998 ). Aeroplane traces its lineage back to the wee kl y Tile Aeropla ne. foun ded by the legendary e. G. Grey in 19 11 a nd pub lished until 1968.

FEBRUARY 2001 Vol 29 No 2 Issue No 334 (on sale December 29)



All the latest preservation news, present ed by Tony Hannsworth

18 SKYWRITERS Readers' letters

21 FLYING VISIT Test pilot John Farley is the fo urt h subject in Melvyn Hiscock's series of potted interviews

29 LOOKING BACK Til,' Aeroplane of 50 yea rs ago -

February 1951

74 HIGH SOCIETY • Cross and Cockade is this month 's subject

81 NAVIGATOR 81 Book reviews 82 Internet review 84 Read er offers 84 Information Excha nge 86 More reader offers 86 Arrivals - product reviews 88 Airshows & events 90 Next month in Aeroplane 91 Aeroplane services

96 CROSSWIND John Mayna rd's com ment colum n


ea ures

A Lancaster I of 44 Sqn, which made the type's first operational sorties in March 1942

22 TIME KEEPERS Paul Rhyn a nd Erich Gaudet salute the Antique Airplane Association of Switzerland

30 PERSONAL ALBUM Rare colour pictu res of America n World War two bomber nose-a rt

32 JOHN GOLLEY An appreciation by Bill Gunston of the author and wa rtime Typhoon pilot, who died during Nove mber


ON BUCKS Ian Frimston reports on a gathering of wartime bomber veterans at the Aces High art gallery

76 AGARDEN OF FLOATPLANES Derek O'Connor investigates Ca nadian seapla ne restoration specia lists Redditt Aviation Aeroplane, February 2001

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Farewell to a fighter pilot: John Golley


SOPWITH DOLPHIN 53 TYPE HISTORY Philip Jarrell recounts the history of the Sopwith SF. I Dolphin, the world's first true mult i-gun fighter

57 SCALE DRAWINGS Three-view by Giuseppe Picarella

61 THE DOLPHIN AT WAR Outstanding performance made the Dolphin J Iormidablc adversary, as Philip Jarrell relates

65 FLYING THE DOLPHIN Pilot 's perspectives evalua ted by Philip Jarrett

67 DOLPHIN ANATOMY Philip Jarrell describes the fig hte r's str ucture, with cutaway drawing by David R. Jones

71 DOLPHINS IN BEING Replica and restora tion work keeps the type ali ve, as Philip Jarrell explains

Dolphin development


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• Priceless art (and metal) bound for the scrapheap


Ne . Just when . . , . ytg~tor you think it's allover ••• ,

Our n ew Navigator sectio n at the back of the magazine tells you all you need to know about the lat est books, videos and aviat io n prod ucts, plu s events. museum ex h ibitions a nd Int ernet sites worth visiting - see page 8 1 Aeroplane, February 2001

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- 1927 US Navy fighter set to become world's oldest flying Boeing APPROACHING THE END of a secretive restoration in Utah is an original 1927 Boeing FB-5, A7123, which will soon become the oldest flying Boeing aeroplane in the world. It is one of three of the type discovered dismantled at a trade school in the late 1950s. The other two were soon sold, one, A7114 going to the Smithsonian Institution and the other, A71 04, to Ed Maloney for his museum in Claremont, California. A7123 then disappeared, only now to emerge on the brink of a new flying career. The restoration is being carried out at the workshops of George Rice at a secret location in Utah, on behalf of its joint owners, Gordon Wheeler and Fred Peters from California. By the early winter of 2000 the Boeing had been assembled and rigged, and the 520 h.p. Packard 2-A 1500 engine had been installed, ready for ground-running. The fighter has been painted in the markings it wore with VF-6B, operating from the carrier

ABOV E Genuine Boeing FB·5 A7123 is now coming together at a secret location in Utah, USA.

USS Langley during 1927. The first Boeing FB-5 flew in October 1926, and a total of 27 were built for the US Navy. All 27 were delivered to the Navy on the same day, being rolled out of the Boeing factory on the waterfront at Seattle, straight on to a barge, which then sailed the short distance out to the USS Langley which

Beaufighter arrives at Scottish museum THE MUSEUM OF FLIGHT at East Fortune, near Edinburgh, unveiled its recently-acquired Bristol Beaufighter TEl 0 RD220 on December 12, a day after it arrived at the museum in four crates following its journey from the South African

ABOVE Ex-Beaufighter

pilot John Edgar in the cockpit of RD220.


Air Force Museum at Pretoria. Allan Wilson, the Deputy Minister for Sport and Culture in Scotland, officially welcomed the aeroplane to its new home, and former Beaufighter pilot John Edgar of No 603 Squadron, who flew the Beau out of Scottish bases during the war, reacquainted himself with the snug cockpit of Bristol's hard-hitting twin. Afive-year restoration of RD220, which is one of only three surviving British-built Beaufighters, will begin soon. Curator of the museum Adam Smith, whose initiative secured the aeroplane for East Fortune (see News, November 2000 Aeroplane and Fortune Favours the Bold, January 2001 Aeroplane) will soon take up an appointment at the EAA Museum at Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA.

was at anchor in Seattle harbour. Two units, VF-l Band VF-6B, operated the FB-5s from the Langley. When the newer Boeing F2B became available in early 1928 some of the FB-5s went to the Marine Corps at VF-6M in San Diego, and later to various aviation trade schools. As George Rice approaches

the end of the restoration, there are enough parts left over from the mass of components that were liberated from the trade school 40 years ago to build up one more FB-5. Coincidentally, A7114, which had been on loan from the Smithsonian to the Marine Corps Air-Ground Museum at Quantico for many

years, is now back at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum's restoration workshops, being prepared for inclusion in the museum's new development at Washington's Dulles Airport, which is due to open in December 2003. The other FB-5, A7104, is now on display at the Planes of Fame Museum at Chino, California.

Champlin sale finally goes through o


THE SALE OF THE Champlin Fighter Collection at Falcon Field, Arizona, to the Museum of Flight (MoF) in Seattle was finally completed on December 1, 2000, after months of wrangling over the contract in a deal described by museum staff as "a monumental battle of lawyers". One of Champlin'S prize exhibits, Focke-Wulf 1900-13 NX190DIWerknr B36017, is not now included in the deal, and

is for sale. Although it was restored to flying condition nearly 25 years ago, a piece of propeller gearing was missing and it was not flown. Doug Champlin has now traced the vital part, and the '190 will be sold as an airworthy warbird. "I have mixed emotions about the sale", says Champlin. "I'm both excited and pleased to see the collection going to Seattle, but I'm sorry to let go of this significant part of my

life. Ultimately, though, the MoF is the right place for the Collection." The fleet comprises 25 fighters, includinq Normandy veteran Spitfire MJ772 and sale surviving nightfighter Lockheed P-38 Lightning, NL3JB. The Champlin fighters will not move to Seattle until 2003, where they will be . housed in a new MoF building erected to celebrate the 100th anniversary of powered flight. Aerop la ne, February 200 1

News complied by: Tony Harmsworth Tel: 020 726, 555' Fax: 020 726, 52 69 Email: ant hony_harmsw ort [email protected] OR Write t o our usua l address


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lleurs in Brief

ON NOVEMBER 29, 2000, the RAF Museum announced that it has been awarded £4·77m by the Heritage Lottery Fund to erect a new landmark building which will increase Hendon's display space by a third and enable 30 more aircraft to be put on show. Museum director Or Michael Fopp tells Aeroplane, "The new developments will open in Oecember 2003, and will be the main British contribution to the Centenary of Powered Flight." The total cost of the development is £7·3m, much of the additional money having been acquired through the museum's fund-raising efforts, and through the MoO, which has paid for the capital development and the additional land. The project will include the relocation of the historic Grade 2-listed GrahameWhite hangars from the East Camp side of Hendon to a new location closer to the museum. The museum's collection of First World War aircraft will be housed in the Grahame-White hangars. The new building will contain a Milestones of Flight exhibition; some of the likely exhibits are a Bhiriot XI, Messerschmitt Me

Mosquito proto

ABOVE An impression of the Royal Air Force

Museum's planned new buildin9 at Hendon.

262, Me 163 and Kawasaki Ki-100 currently at Cosford, and the Bristol Bulldog, D.H. Mosquito and newly-restored Spitfire F.I, which will be moved in from their current display spaces at Hendon. Several aeroplanes will be suspended from the ceiling (a prospect which will be greeted with alarm by some enthusiasts). Sue Bowers, Heritage Lottery Fund manager for London, says, "It is only right that the RAF Museum's diverse collection be given the space it deserves to explain our aviation history fully." The museum will spend £300,000 of grant to improve its interactive, science and technology displays, positioning the RAF Museum Hendon as a key science and technology authority. Michael Fopp says, "We aim to compete with the best in London. Our new development will be geared towards more education, more access, more variety - and in turn, more visitors."

pe to be restored IAN f RIMSTO N/f UJll AB

APROJECTTO RESTOREthe prototype de Havilland Mosquito, W4050, was announced at Salisbury Hall. home of the Mosquito Aircraft Museum (MAM), on November 25, 2000, the 60th anniversary of its maiden flight. Asurvey of W4050 will soon begin, employing methods utilised in the recent survey of the museum's Mosquito Tl35 TA634 (see Database, November 2000 Aeroplanlt). When the survey is complete. restoration work is scheduled to begin in mid-2001. and is expected totake about five years. The fuselage and wing will be restored at Salisbury Hall, with •••• M


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other components being refurbished off-site. The project will be controlled by ateam from the MAM led by Ian Thrsk, who oversaw the restoration of TA634. The Mosquito Aircraft Museum is currently seeking sponsorship and support fromUK aerospace organisations toassist with the restoration. and the Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust has taken an early lead in agreeing to restore W4050's Merlin engines. The project to restore what must, by any definition. be among the world's top fivehistoric aeroplanes. is desperately in need of funding assistance, and anyone who can help is asked to _

contact museumchairman Philip Birtles at The Mosquito Aircraft Museum, PO Box 107. Salisbury Hall. St Albans. HertsAL2 1EX, or call himon 01 462 483307. _ _ •• • • • • • • • _

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ABOVE Mosquito proto-

type W4050, on show since 1959, is now destined for a sympa· thetic restoration.

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Archceopteryx to fly again GRANGER ARCHJEOPTERYX G-ABXL, left, which has been based at Old Warden with the Shuttleworth Collection since 1968, but not flown since the mid-1970s, was taken to Don Cashmore's workshop at Radcliffe-on-Trent on December 13 for restoration to flying condition. The project is being funded by Richard Granger, son of John Granger, who with his brother Francis built the parasol-wing tailless Ultra-light at Nottingham between 1927 and 1930. The aircraft will be restored using the original drawings and, when completed, probably in about two or three years, will be painted in the apple-green colour in which it flew until it went into storage at Chilwell, Nottingham, in 1936. Aeroplane. February 20 0 1

• CLEAR-UP OPERATIONS at the Brooklands Museum are in full swing after the floods of early November, reported last month - but the waters may yet rise again: see page 9 for the latest, plus details of the museum's flood appeal. • THE AUTOUNOTECHNIK Museum at Sinsheim, near Heidelberg, Germany, took delivery of a Tupolev TU-144 "Concordski" on November 8, 2000. The supersonic airliner was taken from Rotterdam to Sinsheim by road, blocking all three lanes of the 'A6 Autobahn in the process. • THE TWO SURVIVING Martin Mars flying-boat fire bombers, based at Sproat Lake, British Columbia, were expected to have their funding cancelled in late 2000. Helicopters, which are more cost-effective, may well replace them, but the Mars may continue to fly as a tourist attraction. • A JOINT TEAM from the The Netherlands Constellation Foundation and the Aviodome Museum at Schiphol will soon travel to Avra Valley in Arizona to determine how L749 Constellation N749VR may be transported to Holland. A fund -raising campaign, like the one that brought DC-2 NC39165 to Holland in 1999, is being set up. • The replica of Kingsford Smith's Fokker F.Vllb/3m Southern Cross, VH-USU, operated by the Southern Cross Replica Association (SCR), is now licensed to carry SCRmembers as passengers. The SCR is raising money to pay for a permanent home for the aircraft at Parafield airport.





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- P-82 moves to San Diego for completion to airworthiness CONFEDERATEAIR FORCE (CAF) North American P-82 Twin Mustang N121021 44-65162 was flown from Midland, Texas, to the Marine Corps Air Station at Miramar in a USAF Lockheed C-5 Galaxy of the 433rd Airlift Wing on November 18, 2000. Two days later it arrived at the CAF hangar at Gillespie Field, San Diego, California, where its long-term rebuild to flying condition will be completed. The P-82 has not fl own since it was badly damaged in a landing accident in October 1987, during the CAF "Airsho 87". Following an engine failure, the P-82 stalled and dropped to the ground from a height of about 30ft, ending up on the grass alongside the

runway. The propellers were written off, the Allison engines were shock-loaded and the starboard undercarriage was ripped off. Although structural

repairs were completed within a couple of years, funding problems and difficulties in locating counter-rotatinq propellers put the project on hold during the 1990s. Bill Cusick, the CAF's P-82 Squadron Leader, has made the move to Gillespie Field a priority, and is grateful for the support of the USAF, and in particular Randy Cunningham , in moving the aeropl ane to California. The P-82 arrives at Gillespie by truck from MCAS Miramar. LEFT

One of only four complete survivors of the type, the CAF's Twin Mustang was found displayed on a plinth at Lackland Air Force Base (AFB), San Antonio, Texas, early in 1966. The USAF donated it to the CAF in May 1966, and it was transported to Kelly AFB and made airworthy for a ferry flight to the CAF's base, then located at Harlingen. It flew to Harlingen in January 1969, and much of the following decade was spent rebuilding the aeroplane, which then became a regular participant in CAF shows.

Confederate Air Force P-82 N12102 being towed into its hangar at Gillespie Field, San Diego.


The other P-82 survivors are F-82B 44-65168, on display at the USAFMuseum at Dayton, Ohio; F-82E 46-256, which is being restored to flying condition at Anoka, Minneapolis; and an F-82E at the USAF base at Lackland. The second prototype Twin Mustang, XP-82 44-83887, still exists, albeit incomplete, with Walter Soplata in Ohio.

Rare Italian trainers take flight again TWO HISTORICITALIANmilitary training aeroplanes fromthe 1930s have recently taken to the air in their homeland, following many years of restoration work. In Milan. Caproni Ca 100 I-ABMT, owned by Gerolamo Gavazzi, was flown again in late September following a tour-year restoration by Felice Gonalba and his teamat Sezione Sperimentale Volo a Vela (The Experimental Division of Seaplaning). The Ca 100 was saved from dereliction

in a hangar at Bresso airport during 1996, and has been restored in the markings it wore when it was was taken on charge by the Regia Aeronautica during 1934 with the serial number MM.55914 It will appear at airshows in Italy during 2001. The design 01 the Caproni Ca 100 was inspired by the de Havilland O.H60 Moth. and more than 2,500 examples were built. Only five are thought to have survived, with two. I-GTABand



sGerolamo Gavazzi's Caproni Ca 100 has r e c e n t l y flown following a four·year restoration.







I-DISC. exhibited at the Italian Air Force Museum at Vigna di Valle, and I-BIZZ at the Caproni Museumat Trento. Gavazzi also owns the only other flying Caproni C.l 00, I· ABOU/MM.65156. a floatplane version. whichwas restored at Gonalba's workshops at Linate. I-ABOUis the oldest Italian-built aeroplane in flying condition (see Aeroplane, October 1999). The other recently restored

trainer to emerge in Italy is Avia FL-3 I-AVIG, which is owned by Luciano Sorlini and was rebuilt bV his Motori Avio engineering company at Montegaldella. Although the type was designed in the 1930s. I-AVIG was not built until 1941. and was in storage until the end of the war. It was assembled following the end of hostilities, and became the first aeroplane on the Italian civil register post-war. It has been

Luciano Sorlini's newly·restored Avia FL.3 I·AVIG. ABOVE

painted in the markings of the Regia Aeronautica Flight School. and will appear at Italian air events aiong with Luciano Sorlini's North American T-6 MM53785/I-LSBA. The next project to enter the Motori Avio workshop will be a Fiat GA6 two-seat trainer. Aeroplan e. February 2001

FInDS • PRO) Stinson Trimotor joins Anoka museum THE LATEST RESTORATION for Greg Herrick's Golden Wings museum at Anoka, Minneapolis, is 1931 Stinson SM-6000B Trimotor NCll153, which flew again in July 2000 after a three-year restoration at HO Aircraft, reports Xavier Meal. It is one of only two surviving Stinson 6oo0s, the other being NCll170, owned by Kermit Weeks in Florida. Herrick bought the Stinson (42 of which were built as a low-price nine-seat competitor to Ford and Fokker trimotors) in 1996 from the Evergreen Airventure Museum in Oregon, and had it ferried to Anoka. __



Greg Herrick's Stinson SM 6000B NC11153 in flight over Minnesota during the summer of 2000.

sheets were carefully removed repaired, and new formers and The largest task facing HO by the HO team, they weighed stringers were attached before Aircraft boss Dan White and the aeroplane was fabrichis team during the restoration in at more than l,600Ib! AXin covered. The 300 h.p. Lycowas the removal of the nonplywood floor had also been installed during the Stinson's ming R-630-13 engines and standard aluminium skin that agricultural period, and the HO propellers were overhauled, covered the entire airframe. In and California-based historian the early 1950s NCll153 was team replaced this with %in aircraft-grade plywood. being used as an agricultural John Underwood provided hack, and to make it more Original Stinson drawings photographs of NCll153 while were acquired, the steel-tube it was in service with American robust the entire airframe was fuselage was cleaned and Airlines, which were of great "metallised". When the riveted _.._.._ _-_ __.._.._ -.-_.-_.....•.•._-_ .. _ _-_.._--- ---_." _.........•.-.. __ _ _.. _ _ __




assistance in replicating the original 1932 colour scheme. All the hard work paid off when NCll153 was awarded the Best Transport prize in the Antique category at Oshkosh, and then the Grand Champion prize at the National Fly-in of the Antique Airplane Association at Blakesburg, Ohio, in September. -



Canadair Yukon to return? 5

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Canadair Yukon HC-AZH flying from Guayaquil Airport, Ecuador, in the late 1970s

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EXCITING RUMOURS from South America suggest that the only surviving former RCAFCanadair CC-106 Yukon, HC-AZH/15512, is about to be reactivated at Guayaquil. Ecuador. after 15 years on the ground. Acompany based in Burundi. City Connexions, is understood to



have sent an engineer to Guayaquil. and the Yukon's Rolls-Royce Tyne engines have been ground·run, with a ferry flight to Africa expected early in the new year. The Yukon, aCanadian development of the Bristol Britannia. is one of a pair that

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were last operated by Andes Airlines at Guayaquil. The second Yukon, HC-AYS, has now disappeared, and is thought to have been broken up for spares. City Connexions already operates four Canadair CL-44s. the more numerous swing-tail development of the Yukon. ......... _._ ........ _ - - - _ .. _-._...... ........ _.


More Barracuda bits for Yeovilton THE FLEET AIR ARM Museum's rebuild of Fairey Barracuda DP872 received a major boost in December when substantial pieces of Barracuda wreckage, recently recovered from the Isle of Jura off the west coast of Scotland, arrived at Yeovilton on the back of a truck, reports Glenn Sands. The wreckage, from Barracuda


LS931 , which crashed whilst on a navigational exercise in January 1945, includes sections of the wings and rear fuselage, and will be added to the stockpile of components held for the continuing rebuild. The nose section of Barracuda DP872, which crashed into a bog near Lough Enagh in Northern Ireland in August

The rear fuselage of LS931 on Jura.

Aeroplane, February



The remains of Fairey Barracuda LS931 being unloaded at Yeovilton.

1944, has been on display at Yeovilton for some time. FAA Museum Curator David Hobbs says, "We now hold enough parts to restore a Barracuda fUfly, and are no longer appealing for parts. What we are in desperate need of is photographs of either LS931 or DP872 in FAA service. If anyone can help, I would ask them to get in touch with the museum." Visitors to Yeovilton will

shortly be able to see restoration in progress on one of the museum's long-term exhibits. The former storage hangar attached to the Carrier Exhibition will soon be home to Vought Corsair KD431 , which is one of the most original Second World War examples to survive. Thanks to a donation in memory of Corsair pilot Rear Admiral D. G. Parker CB DSO DSC AFC, the museum will be able to carry

out a long-awaited restoration on the aircraft. Mystery surrounds the Corsair's actual wartime service history and the museum is still looking for clues about where it served. Underneath the aeroplane's current blue scheme are remains of a camouflage scheme and wartime codes; it is hoped that during a stripdown this will provide further clues.


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76-year biplane record broken

Beamont flies in 2-seat Spit Eminent test- and combat pilot Wg Cdr Roland Beamont had a 30min flight in Carolyn Grace's Spitfire Tr.9 ML407/G-LFIX from Boscombe Down on October 4. "My flight with Carolyn was a joy", he says. " Sh e has a very sure pair of hands."

ONNOVEMBER17 Robert Ragozzino landed his heavily modified Boeing Stearman B75N-1 at Wiley Post Airport. Oklahoma City. and in so doing broke the 76-year-old record for a round-the-world flight in an open-cockpit biplane. reports Gilles Auliard. The 23.000-mile journey took 170 days. just breaking the previous record of 175 days. set during the summer of 1924 by two Oouglas World Cruisers flown by United States Army Air Corps crews. Ragozzino had leh Oklahoma on June 1, and proceeded across the Atlantic via Iceland to Britain. on to Paris. Egypt. Saudi Arabia. South-east Asia. Japan and Russia, before returning to the USA via Alaska. He had hoped to complete the journey in 45 days. but was beset by bad weather. mechanical problems and

difficulties with the Russian authorities. In Japan. landing and hangar fees totalled $10.000 and threatened to bankrupt the enterprise. The money was scraped together and the flight continued, although soon aherwards bad weather forced Ragou ino to make an emergency landing at a restricted Russian airtielc The authorities impounded the aeroplane. and it was only released after the US Government intervened on Ragozzino's behalf. Numerous attempts have been made to break the 1924 record. several of themduring the past decade. The most notable was in 1993 when Frank QUigg. a Canadian pilot, leh Vancouver in his Waco. He reached Bombay in 15 days. but contracted hepatitis and had to abandon the attempt. QUigg became an adviser for

ABOVE Robert

Ragozzino's heavily modified Stearman , N75939, at Wittman Field, Oshkosh, before his record-setting round-the-world flight.

Ragozzino's 2000 world flight. his generous assistance being a major factor in the success of the project. Modifications to Ragozzino's Stearman included the installation of a 450 h.p. Pratt & Whitney R-985 Wasp Junior engine. and a large 150 USgal drop tank. bringing the total fuel capacity to 280 US gal. which gave the aeroplane a range of 1,700 miles. Records are made to be broken. but to break an aviation record that had stood for 76 years must be a record in itself!

Strikemaster crashes

Kemble bags another Hunter

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A NEW RESIDENT in the Delta Jets hangar at Kemble is Hawker Hunter T.7 G-VETAlXL600, which was ferried from its former home at Bournemouth by its new owner Gordon Hannam, seen above deploying the braking parachute on arrival at Kemble on November 13. Hannam is a former Royal Air Force Red Arrows pilot, flying as Red 3 in 1984 and Red 5 in 1985-86. Kemble is rapidly becoming the home of the Hunter, with Oelta Jets looking after four airworthy examples and another two under restoration. On July 21-22 the Gloucestershire airfield will host a display to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Hunter's first flight. Up to 15 Hunters are expected, with a Diamond Nine formation and a series of solo routines interspersed with displays by other Hawker aeroplanes, including the Hurricane, Sea Fury, Sea Hawk, Harrier and Hawk. A Hunter pilot and groundcrew reunion will also take place. Kemble has great historical associations with the Hunter, having been the base of 5 MU, which serviced and modernised Hunters from 1954 onwards. From 1955, Hunter trainers of the Central Flying School were also based there.

news in Brief A FORMER BOTSWANA Air Force BAC Strikemaster, G-BXFXlZG811 , operated by Global Aviation, crashed near Louth, Lincolnshire, at 1330hr on Oecember 9, killing pilot John Anthony West, 51 , and seriously injuring the passenger, engineer Tony Lyth. Both men are reported to have ejected from the


aeroplane at low level after the Strikemaster failed to come out of a spin. The Strikemaster had taken off from Humberside International Airport at 1240hr; it came down 40min later near the A631 road. There was no fire after impact, and the wrecked machine appeared to be

almost complete but badly broken up, having landed on its belly. As these pages went to press the Air Accidents Investigation Branch had begun its enquiries into the crash. The Strikemaster was one of eight imported into Britain from Botswana in 1997, and registered G-BXFP-G-BXFX.

• THE SECOND PROTOTYPE Naval Westland Lynx, XX910, was delivered to the Helicopter Museum at Weston-super-Mare for permanent preservation on December 5. First flown in April 1974, XX910 was the first Lynx to be looped. while rehearsing for the

Farnborough Air Show in 1976. It last flew in 1981 while with the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough, and until recently was used for various ground trials with the Defence Evaluation Research Agency at the Hampshire airfield,

Aeroplane. February 2001



useum coun s

e cos

- Damage being assessed as more floods threatenSINCE WE REPORTEO the flood at the Brooklands Museum in last month's Aeroplane, staff and volunteers at the Weybridge site have been busy clearing up the damage, which is proving more extensive than was first thought. In addition, as these pages went to press in mid-Oecember the River Wey, which runs alongside the site, was in danger of bursting its banks again. Aviation curator Julian Temple says one of the main areas of damage is the 1947 Stratosphere Chamber building, which backs on to the main Clubhouse and was used for climatic testing of airframes. The foam insulation on the floor around the giant cylindrical chamber became soaked and expanded, and a number of artefacts, including aircraft display models stored next to the chamber, were crushed against its underside when the floor was pushed up 2ft above its normal level. Soaked archives had been taken to Harwell for freezedrying treatment, but owing to a backlog of work there Brooklands has not yet heard the extent of the damage. Most of the film archives were saved, but six rolls of cine film that were sent to a photographic laboratory for treatment are said to be .__ _-_ _


through the time-consuming g " task of dismantling, drying out ~ and re-spooling each tape. s~ A rare, functioning Second § World War American AN-T-18 c ~ Link Trainer was damaged, its electric motor, which is at ground level , being deluged. Julian Temple says, "We still don't know when the museum TOP Canada geese swim will reopen, but the winter programme of special events past Vickers Vanguard G-APEP at Brooklands will go ahead. The first is the traditional New Year's Day on November 8 . classic car gathering, and on ABOVE Clearing up in January 13 cars taking part in the Clubhouse. the Monte Carlo Classic Car Challenge will gather at beyond repair. The large video collection, which includes the Brooklands before they head Mobil Oil Co archives, was south to Monaco." Museum waterlogged, but a museum director Morag Barton volunteer who used to work in encourages people to visit the the video trade is going museum on these days, saying __ _ __ _-_ _-_ __ _--_..__ __ _--_

MARK REBHOLZ, captain of Vickers Vimy replica NX71MY Silver Queen on its UK-South Africa flight (see A Tim etraveller'sJourney in last mont h's issue) is to come to Brook lands in the spring to g ive an ill ustrated ta lk on the voyage. The event is a j oint venture between the Vimy project, Aeroplane and the Brooklands Museum, t o raise fund s to repair flood damage at the Surrey museum -the site ofthe Vimy's departure on the ' Africa run in 1999. A provisiona l date of Sat urday evening, March 3, 2001 has been set - put it in your dia ry now, and look out fo r mo re deta ils next month .

"The best way to support us is to attend our events." Contractors are expected to start renovation of the Clubhouse early in the new year. An appeal for funds to help make good the damage was __


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launched by Prince Michael of Kent at Brooklands on December 13, and anyone who can help should contact The Director, Brooklands Museum, Brooklands Rd, Weybridge, Surrey KT1 3 OON. _.. __ _ _ _ -.-._.. __ .. __ .. .. __ ..--- -.--.._.. .. __.~_




Grant improves atmosphere at Rhinebeck THERHINEBECK Aerodrome Museum in New York State has announced the receipt of a S25,000 (£17,250) grant from the Thomas Thompson Trust in Boston, which will go directly towards a climate-control system for the aerodrome's

"History of Flight" museum building. The grant is conditional on the museum raising S50,000 towards the project by April 17, 2001. The addition of the climatecontrol system will allow the museum's outstanding

Rhinebeck's SPAD VII replica is painted in the markings of French ace Charles Guynemer.


Aeroplane. February 2001

collection of aeroplanes and vehicles to be better preserved, and will also provide a more comfortable atmosphere for visitors. Currently the museum is closed between November 1 and May 14 each year, and the system will allow the collection to be opened to the public throughout the year. The Rhinebeck Museum, established by the late Cole Palen in 1959, has welcomed more than five million visitors since it opened. Until 1993 the museum, which stages airshows every weekend during the summer, was operated as a private collection, but following Palen's death that year it became a non-profitmaking corporation.

Nieuport 11 replica N9163A is painted in the Lafayette Escadrille colours of Victor C hapman, the first American to lose his life in WW1. ABOVE

The Rhinebeck Museum is seeking.assistance to reach its S50,000 target, and those who contribute more than S250 will have their names displayed in a prominent location in the

museum. For more information contact Rhinebeck Aerodrome Museum, PO Box 229, Rhinebeck, NY 12572, USA, or visit the museum's website at



o on s


- New exhibition hall includes ace Sakai 's Mitsubishi Zero ONE OF THE STAR exhibits of the Australian War Memorial's new AS20m Bradbury Aircraft Hall in Canberra, which has just won a major award, is a Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero flown by Japan's fourth -highest-scoring fighter pilot of the war, Saburo Sakai, who died on September 22, 2000, aged B4. The Zero, 5784, was flown by Sakai in June-July 1942, when he was Shotai leader of the 204th "Tainan" Kokutai based at Rabaul. It was later abandoned on New Britain after it had been damaged by Allied strafing, but Sakai went on to score a total of 64 victories (for his obituary, see News, Oecember 2000). The new hall is dedicated to Air Power in the Pacific from

1941 to 1953, and the War Memorial has an amazing collection of genuine combat veteran aeroplanes with which to tell that story. Displayed at ground level below the suspended Zero is Curtiss P-40E A29-133, which fl ew 92 ops with 75 Sqn while defending Milne Bay in New Guinea in the summer of 1942; it was hit three times by enemy fighters and four times by ground fire during the campaign. The most famous "kill" attributed to an Australian aircraft was scored by Commonwealth Wirraway A20-103, in which Fit Lt J.S. Archer, accompanied by his gunner Sgt J.L. Coulson, shot down a Nakajima Ki-43 Oscar (although for many years

The AWM Hawker Sea Fury FB.11 is d i splayed on a mock-up section of carrier deck. ABOVE

Swiss Piaggios retire AFTERNEARLY 40 YEARS' service, the last five Piaggio P.149s flown by the Swissairoperated SRAS Aviation school were due to be retired at the end of Oecember 2000. All nine aircraft have already been sold to a new owner in the USA. More than 1,200 Swissair pilots have been trained on the Stelio Frati-designed P.149s, which, owing in part to the

reported as a Zero) over Gona, New Guinea, on Boxing Day 1942. A20-1 03 is on display on the ground floor. Australian involvement in the Korean War is represented by a Hawker Sea Fury FB.11 which has been painted as VX730, although its actual identity is probably TF925. Navy records for the aeroplane are incomplete, but during restoration four areas of battle damage and 21 mission markings were found; so, subject to confirmation, it is assumed to be a Korean combat veteran. It is displayed on a mock-up section of HMAS Sydney's flight deck. The only Australian-built D.H. Mosquito to survi ve, PR.41 A52-31 9, is

Japanese ace Saburo Sakai's Mitsubishi Zero V·173 hangs in the new AWM building. BELOW Curtiss P-40E A29·133 (formerly RAF ET730) flew 92 operations with 75 Sqn RAAF. ABOVE

also on show in the new hall. On December 1, 2000, the War Memorial was named Australia's best major tourist attraction at the annual Australian Tourism Awards ceremony in Canberra.

The next stage of the AWM's development will be the opening of the ANZAC hall in May 2001 , where Avro Lancaster W4783 "G-George", which fl ew 90 ops during the war, will be displayed.

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increasing cost of fuel for their thirsty 270 h.p, Lycoming engines, are being replaced by Piper Archer lis. Twelve Piaggio P.149s flew with the school, primarily as IFRtrainers, the first, HB-EBV, being delivered in April 1961. The P.149 had first flown in 1953, and Piaggio built 76 aircraft for the Luftwaffe before Focke-Wulf took on production in 1957, building a Piaggio P.149 HB-EFX is a Focke-Wulf-built aeroplane; it has now forsaken its Alpine environment for a new home in the USA.

T h e Piaggio P.14gs have been used to train more t han 1,200 Swissair pilots since 1961.







and in 1981 they were fitted with exhaust noise suppressors, Area Navigation Systems and uprated propellers. Two P.1 49s were lost in accidents while serving with the school: HB-EBW, the second to be delivered in 1961 , crash-landed on the

further 190 examples. The first five delivered to the Swissair school were built by Piaggio at its Albegna factory in Italy, the following seven being P-149Ds built at Bremen for the Luftwaffe. Delivery of the former Luftwaffe examples began in the summer of 1970,

Zurich-Aittatten railway station after engine failure in 1970, and HB-EEO crashing at Baar in 1986. With the exception of HB-KIU, sold in 1996 to the Piaggio Club at Altenrhein, the remainder of the fleet soldiered on until withdrawal began in summer 2000. Aeroplane, February 2001

RESTORRTIOB • REBUILDS • REPII[RS • Auto-Air Racing Museum gains 1947 Thompson Trophy entrant GOODYEAR F2G Super Corsair NX5577, which finished second in the Thompson Trophy at the 1947 Cleveland National Air Races, fl own by Dick Becker, is currently being restored at Kindred, North Dakota, by Bob Odegaard on behalf of the Crawford AutoAviation Museum in Cleveland, Ohio. Odegaard, who flew his own F2GNX5588N during 1999 following a three-year rebuild (see December 1999 Aeroplane) is rebuilding NX5577 to high-standard static condition, giving the Crawford Museum the option to put it back in the air in the future. Several pre- and post-war racers, including a rare P-51 K Mustang flown in the 1949 Bendix trophy race, are already on show at the museum. Only ten F2Gs were built, and three of them survive. The Crawford Museum aeroplane was saved from scrapping by legendary collector Walter Soplata during the 1950s, and


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Champlin Fighter Collection, stored at his farm in Newbury, Odegaard continues to operate ABOVE F2G Super Corsair Ohio, along with many other F2G NX5588N, which won both NX5577, seen here in which is due to move to historic machines. It was Seattle (see News, page 5, this the Rolls-Royce and People's the 1980s while stored bought by the Crawford issue) displays F2G-D N4324 in Choice Trophy's at the Reno Air at the Soplata farm at Museum in 1999. The a US Navy scheme, and Bob Newbury, Ohio. Races in 1999. _.. _..-.. _----_._._--_ _-_ _---_.. _---- -- _.. __.._ _.. .. _._----_ _----_._._-----_ _--_.. _ _---- _-----------_.._.._------_.._---_._- --_.. __.._---_.._-_.._._--_ _.. _.. __ .-."_.. _-_ _-- --- - ----.. _-----_._.----------._---_. _~--_

"H eav ies " hit New York State THENATIONAL WARPLAN E Museum (NWM) at ElmiraCorning airport, New York State, staged its 12th annual "Wings of Eagles" airshow on September 22-24, 2000, and managed, despite poor weather, to attract six fourengined Second World War bombers to the event. Half of the four-engined bomber contingent comprised Boeing B·1 7Gs: David Tallichet's N3703G Memphis Belle, the Yankee Air

Museum's N31 93G Yankee Lady and the National War Museum's own N9563Z Fuddy Duddy. The Canadian Warplane Heritage managed to fly its Avro Lancaster KB926 in to Elmira through the clag on the Sunday of the show, and the Confederate Air Force (which will soon be changing its name) sent Boeing B-29 N529B Fiti and Consolidated LB-30 Liberator N24927 Diamond Lit. The only Percival Provost

National Warplane Museum flagship B-17G Flying Fortress Fuddy Duddy over Elmira . ABOVE





currently flying in the USA, ;=: WV4351N435WV, owned and o ;;;> flown by the expatriate former ~ head of the Jaguar car firm in the USA, Mike Dale, made an unusual sight at the show. Acurrent restoration project at the NWM is the only surviving Douglas BTD-l Destroyer, BuNo 04959, a type intended as a replacement for the Douglas Dauntless in US Navy service. Only 28 ABOVE The only surviving Douglas BTD-1 Destroyer Destroyers were built, and is currently being restored by the NWM. none went into service. The 12

The only Percival Provost flying in the USA, N435WV, was flown to Elmira by owner Mike Dale.


Destroyer is on loan from the Museum of Naval Aviation at Pensacola, and was delivered to Elmira in October 1998, •

after many years on display at the now-defunct Florence Air and Missile Museum in South Carolina. Aeroplane, February 200 1

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Private collector buys DC-3 "biscuit bomber"

There's a Clog in the car park

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FOLLOWING THE SALE of famous Californian biscuit manufacturer otis Spunkmeyer to new owners, one of the two Douglas DC-3s that the company had operated on pleasure flights over the San Francisco Bay area has been sold. Aircraft collector "Bud" Field, who has a growing fleet of vintage machines based at various airports around the San Francisco Bay area, has bought DC-3 N97H, and it is

now undergoing maintenance at Stockton Airport. Field's collection includes a 1931 Stearman 4CM-1 in Standard Oil colours, a 1929 Travel Air 4000, a 1936 Stearman PT-13 and a 1931 Aeronca C-3. Several aeroplanes are kept at Schelville, Northern California, and others are based at various airfields in the bay area, but Bud intends to move the entire collection to Hayward, California, and

Bud Field's DC-3 has been painted in his house colours, and bears the legend of his proposed museum.


establish a flying museum. The other Spunkmeyer aeroplane is Douglas C-41 A cln 2145, which was the very first military variant of the DC-3, delivered in August 1939. It was originally used as a VIP transport by USAAF General "Hap" Arnold.

THE REMAINSOFTHE Blohm und Voss Bv 138 flying-boat raised from the seabed off the Danish island of Zealand last spring (see News. August 2000) is currently silting in the car park at the Danmarks Flyvemuseum at Billund in central Denmark. The fuselage and the tubular wing spar have now been cleaned and coated with an oil-based preservative in an effort to arrest the process of corrosion. The recovery of the "Flying Clog" was mounted on a very tight budget by a team of sports divers in close co-operationwith the Flyvemuseum. and the only help received from official Danish sources was the use of acrane. Aspecial lifting frame had to be strengthened after the mud-filled fuselage broke away on the first liftingattempt. fortunately without causing much additional damage. Once the Bv 138 was beached , it took 5hr to pump out 50 years' accumulation of mud. The identity of the Bv 138 has not yet been established. but it is known that it was sunk during a strafing demonstration by an RAF Hawker Typhoon at an air display on June 17. 1945. It is planned to display it in "as found" condition, with the gaps in the fuselageallowing aview of many of the f1ying-boal's original systems still in situ,


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Closing date tor the COI ,lpebbOll is 3OlIl.klne 2001. W"mefs wi( be IlOI,fied by post. The judges 1:*I$lOl1 is Mal and no QlITespoiOel a can be enlered inIo. No employee 01 the IPC lIflql 01 compallItS Of lWly S1 moary QllllIllWIY can MI. this ccmpebtJon, No pn;hase Ilea: ..., Prizes are not transferable. Responslbillty carlIIJl be eeeeeee 10" delayed. lost (W damaged entry l orms.




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- SAAF80th focuses on post-war c1assicsTHE 80THANNIVERSARY of the South African Air Force was celebrated at Ysterplaat Air Base near Cape Town on October 28, with some of the now-familiar historic British types operating in South Africa appearing in the display either in multiples or in new paint schemes. The second Hawker Siddeley Buccaneer to be put back in the air by Mike Beachyhead's Cape Town-based Thunder City (TC) organisation, ZU-AVI, joined TC's first Buccaneer, ZU-BCR, for the debut appearance of a privatelyowned Buccaneer duo. An expert commentary during the Buccaneer display was provided by Barry Pover from Classic Jets at Exeter, who has been instrumental in getting the Buccaneers and Lightnings now operated by TC back into the air. Avro Shackleton MR.3 1722, operated by the SAAF Historic Flight, was repainted in its 35 SQn colours during the weeks leading up to the show, the work being sponsored by Plascon Paints and supervised by 35 SQn veteran Warrant Officer "Pottie" Potgeiter. Among other historic types appearing were Warbird Trust BAC Strikemaster ZU-PER, flown by Gideon Langeveld, and a Convair 580 from Court Aviation, in a scheme very reminiscent of that seen on Court Line Lockheed TriStars in Britain during the early 1970s.


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s The only airworthy Avro Shackleton MR.3 in the world, 1 7 2 2 (ctn 1532), operated by the South Afri can Ai r Force Historic Flight, was repainted during the r u n -u p t o the Ysterplaa t a i rs h ow .


The t w o Thunder C ity-operated Buccaneers, ZU·AVI a nd ZU-BCR, m ade their first public appearance a s a duo at Y sterplaat. BELOW

Seventies chic: Convair 580 ZS-LYL, wearing an almost i d e n t i c a l livery to that seen on Court Line Lockheed TriStars. ABOVE

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Bristol aviation museum for Filton? THEESTABLISHMENT of an aviation museum at the historic Bristol Aeroplane Company site at Filton in Bristol is to be the subject of a feasibility study, with the assistance of a grant fromthe Area Museum Council, reports the Bristol Aero CollectionNewsletter. Consultants will soon be appointed, and South Gloucestershire Council is said to be very supportive of the principle of establishing the museum. A reference to the museum has been included in South Gloucestershire Council's local plan, and the Bristol Aero Collection is keen to co-operate in any way it can, although it recognises that the museum is a long-term prospect. Meanwhile, South Gloucestershire Council is nearing completion of its pilot Aviation Heritagewebsite project, which is being prepared in conjunction with the Rolls- Royce Heritage Trust, Rolls-Royce, BAESystems and BAC.


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Despite the recent s c ra p p i n g of several World War Two wrecks on some of the Pacific Islands, this Consolidated B-24 L iberator wa s still to b e found languishing at Popondetta , Papua New Guinea , during July 2000. ABOVE


Aeroplane, February 2001


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PBY·5A Catalina c/n 1656, which retains the rare nose turret, is currently under restoration at Quito.

NC731 M, which was flown from San Diego to Quito by Teodoro Gildred in 1981, is also displayed inside, along with a Brazilian-built Fairchild PT-19A Cornell, presented to

Ecuador by Brazil in 1947. During 1954 the Fuerza Aerea Ecuatoriana ordered a batch of 12 Gloster Meteor FR.9s and six English Electric Canberra B.6s as part of a


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AT THE ECUADORIAN Air Force Museum at Quito, in the Cordillera Mountains north of Cotopaxi, two American aeroplanes designed during the 1930s, a Consolidated PBY-5A Catalina and a Douglas B-23 Dragon, are currently under restoration. The Catalina is being restored to represent one of the three PBY-5As that saw dual use in Ecuador, operated by the air force on patrol duties and also used by the Quito based Transportes Aeros Militares Ecuatorianis (TAME) on supply and communications flights to the Galapagos Islands. The Dragon, HC-APV, which is currently dismantled, was operated by Ecuatoriana from Mariscal Sucre Air Base at Quito from 1968-1975. It achieved fame earlier in its life when, in the mid-1950s, registered N400W, it was used as an executive transport by Juan Trippe, the founder of Pan American World Airways. Among the lighter types on show indoors at the museum are a Macchi-built Hanriot HD-1 named Telegrafo, which, on November 26, 1920, was flown by Capt Elia Luit over the Andes, from Riobamba in Brazil to Quito. Ex-USAAF Stinson V-77 Reliant

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programme of modernisation. The Meteors were ex-RAF machines refurbished by Flight Refuelling at Tarrant Rushton before being delivered to Ecuador in 1955, and FF-123,

UI 0 originally delivered to the RAF as WH554 in early 1952, is on show at Quito. The Canberras were new-build aeroplanes for Ecuador, and one, BE-803, is displayed alongside the Meteor. Among the other types on show are Douglas DC-6B HC-AVH, one of six operated by TAME; North American B-25 Mitchell N9069Z, which was impounded at Quito in 1970 and has been painted as a Fuerza Aerea Ecuatoriana machine; and camouflaged Avro 748 freighter HC-AUD. Sporting a rather home-made canopy. Meteor FR.9 FF-123 is one of four of this rare variant of Meteor to survive in Ecuador.


The oldest aeroplane at Quito is a Macchibuilt Hanriot HD-1 which made a record-setting flight over the Andes in November 1920.


Gnat for Newark Convair 440 flies fish AWELCOMEADDITIONto the dwindling ranks of operational Convair twins is recentlyrefurbished Convair 440 )(A-SOG. which entered service with Aerocedros in Mexico during summer 2000, lIying cargoes of fresh fish and lobsters fromthe Baja Peninsula to Southern California for the restaurant trade. Based at

Aeroplane. February 200 1

Ensenada, south of Tijuana. Aerocedros. which operates three other Convair 440s, is owned by theEnsenada Fisherman's Co-operative. Originally operated bythe Luftwaffe, )(A-SOG (cln 472) arrived in Germany in March 1959. It had been built in 1957, but spent the first 18 months of its life in storage, awaiting a

buyer. Following Luftwaffe service, initially as CA+031 and then as 12+04. it passed to the Norwegian airline Norfly in the late 1960s and flewwith it for many years. registered LN-MAM . In the early 1980s it went back across the Atlantic and served with Laredo Air inTexas as N411 GA, before sale "south of the border" in early 2000.

THE NEWARK AIR MUSEUM'S latest acquisition, Hawker Siddeley Gnat T.1 XR534, arrived at the museum's Winthorpe Showground site on December 2, making a short journey from Durham-onTrent where it had been stored in the garage of a local motor mechanic. The purchase of the Gnat was made possible thanks to help from the Science Museum PRISM Grant Fund, which contributed 50 per cent of the cost of acquisition, the rest being gained through donations from museum members and the public. Gnat T.1 XR534 entered service with the Central Flying School at Little Rissington in May 1963. It flew with No 4 Flying Training school, and was involved in several accidents before being retired to RAF Valley in Anglesey in December 1977 for gateguardian duties. Museum trustee Howard Heeley says, "The museum has been looking to acquire a Gnat for more than 15 years. On behalf of the museum trustees we would like to thank the PRISM Fund for their grant, and also the support of our own members and general public for their generosity, which helped secure the Gnat".




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via res ore AT THE HISTORICAL INSTITUTE of the Army of the Czech Republic Aviation Museum at Prague's Kbely airport, an Avia S-199, UF-25, the fuselage of which had been on show for many years, has now been fully restored and is on display. The Junkers Jumo-powered post-war Czech development of the Messerschmitt Bf 109 shares cramped museum space with an example of the two-seat training Avia CS-199, UC-26. The prototype Avia S-199 first flew in March 1947 at Katowice, Prague, and a total of 609 were built, 58 of them as two-seaters. Production of Bf 109G-14s had been under way at the Avia factory when Prague was liberated in May 1945, and when, in the absence of any other fighters, production of the Bf 109 was resumed for the post-war Czech Air Force, a shortage of DaimlerBenz OB605 engines necessitated a redesign to accommodate the Jumo 211 engine, which was available in large numbers. The Jumo was originally designed for Luftwaffe bombers, and was heavier and less powerful than the OB605; the resulting "stopgap" fighter developed an unenviable reputation for sluggish acceleration, tricky handling and a nightmarish take-off swing. Kbely was the first airfield to be used by the Czechoslovak Air Force, and during the 1920s and 1930s was the setting for some of Europe's most prestigious airshows. One type, the Letov S-20 of 1926, that would have appeared at some of those shows, is on display at the museum. The fighter, marked El0, is a partial replica constructed using many original parts, including a 300 h.p. Skoda-built Hispano-Suiza 8Fb engine. Ninety-five S-20s were built, and 20 were delivered to lithuania. The wing of another S-20 is in storage.

Lost & Found Undiscovered Dolphins

ABOVE RIGHT The Letov S-20 is a partial replica,

but the museum also holds the wing of an S-20J. B ELOW Two-seat Avia CS-199 UC-26 has been on show for some years in cramped conditions the wing belongs to a Mraz Cap (licence-built Fieseler Storch).

BELOW Single-seat Avia S-1 99 UF-25 is now fully

restored and on show; note the bulged canopy.


EVEN WITH FAMOUS aircraft types, it is not unusual for photographs depicting specific variants or machines in particular markings to be undiscovered. As readers of the Database feature in this issue might realise, the Sopwith 5F.l Oolphin is certainly no exception. Photographs and data relating to the French-built Oolphin lis are scarce, but so far not a single photograph has been found of Dolphins in American or Polish markings, even though there were ten of the latter and they were flown operationally in 1920. Another Oolphin conspicuous by its pictorial absence is G-EATC, which belonged to the Aircraft Disposal Company owned by Handley Page. This machine,

ABOVE This study of the second British-built

Dolphin II, 03615, at Villacoublay is unusual, as it depicts the aircraft with short exhaust pipes for its 300 h.p. Hispano-Suiza engine, rather than the long ones normally associated with this type. There are two possibilities; either the short exhaust allowed too much hot air to impinge in the radiators, impairing their efficiency, or the long exhausts cranked over the radiator were deemed unsatisfactory.

built by Hooper & Co in Chelsea, London, as 05369, was registered to Handley Page in May 1920 for demonstration and overseas ferrying. Unless a picture turns up, we might never know whether the registration was actually applied to this Oolphin, and whether it flew in this guise. The other Dolphin yet to be found is the one-off two-seat dual-control trainer

conversion produced by No 34 Training Oepot Squadron at Scampton. This unique aeroplane served alongside several examples of another two-seater conversion carried out by this unit under the direction of Capt lE. Guttery, the Technical Officer of the 23rd Training Wing, the two-seat Sopwith Camel. Fortunately we do have photographs of this beast. PHILIP JARRm

Aeroplane, February 2007


The winners of our Mosquito Competition in November's Aeroplane had a memorable day at the Mosquito Aircraft Museum on the "Wooden Wonder's" 60th • anniversary

TOP Prizewinners had

the chance to sit in the cockpit of W4050. ABOVE Tony Harmsworth talks with the museum's Ian Thirsk, who wrote parts of our November Database on the Mosquito. • Aeroplane would like t o t hank th e M osquito Airc raft Museum (es pecially Phil ip Bi rtles, Ralph Steiner, Reg Davey and Ian Thirsk), and Tim St aples of Diverse Im ages, fo r helping t o make th e day a success

N SATURDAY, November 25.2000 the 60 th anniversa ry o f th e fi rst night of the de Havilland Mosquito - a grou p o f e n th us iasts bra ved pouri ng rain a nd M25 tra ffi c to as sem ble a t th e Mosquito Aircraft Mu seum at Salisbury Hall. The gro up co m p rise d te n A eroplane pr izewinne rs, plu s spouses /sons /nep hews / friends, a nd th e Ed ito r and Assistant Ed itor. After a light lunch and a n introdu ctory tal k by mu seum cha irma n Philip Birtles - durin g w hich he a n no u nced the project to ensure the futu re p rese rvati on of Mosquito p ro tot ype W4050 (see thi s month 's news pagcs ) - e ve ryo ne em ba rke d on a tour of the museum. It began with a n oppo rt u n ity 10 climb in to th e cockpit of W40 50 itse lf. and during the afte rn oon e ve ryo ne was able to have a close look a t th e mu seum 's ot her ex h ibits, as we ll as th e cha nce to try the pilot 's seat of Mosquito TT. 35 TA63 4 for size. To mark th eir vi sit, ea ch prizewinner was a ll ocated a free Y,,,th -sca le han dcra fted pewter m odel of W40 50 by Brigh to n- based m od el co m pa n y Diverse Im ages - th e protot ype

TOP Prizewinners in front of Mosquito prototype

W4050 on November 25, with Aeroplane Assistant Editor Tony Harmsworth (centre left, in grey suit), Editor Michael Oakey (centre, leather jacket) and museum chairman Philip Birtles (centre right, light raincoat). ABOVE Philip Birtles guides the Aeroplane group during their tour.

mode l o f th e protot ype, so 10 spea k. was o n displa y a t Sa lisb ury Hall on the day, and prod uct ion w as ge tt ing in to fu ll sw in g Ir.1 d urin g Decembe r. W

WINNERS Former wartime Mosquito navigator Reg Davey describes some of the Mosquito's finer points to the Editor.


Aeroplane. February 2001

The following winners all correctly identified November 25. '940 as the date of the Mosquito's first flight: Pet er Bockh of Brook s Green, West Su ssex Anth ony Hatch of M aidenhead, Berks Reg Thomas of Tring, Hert s Robin Hart of Rotherfield. East Sussex John Halliday of Gawsworth, Macclesfield, Cheshire Andrew Bell of Deddington. Banbury, Oxon Daniel Hayw ard of West M oor s, Fern dow n, Dorset Brian E. Farren of Bal sall Common . Coventry David Vincent of Colcheste r. Essex Neil Bradley of Ansley, Nuneaton. Warwicks


Write to: Aeroplane, Ki ng's Reac h Tower, Stamford Street, London SE, gL5 or email us at aeroplane_mont [email protected]

Spitfire Down SIR - I feel I have to respond to Tony Spooner's letter in November 2000's edition of Aeroplane if only to dispel any suspicions that I was indeed "cocking a snook" on the auspicious occasion when the AOC Training Command was paying an official visit to Sywell EFTS. I have to say forthwith that I was totally unaware of his visit. Although as Tony mentions, Sywell was one of the largest EFTSs on outbreak of war where Tiger Moths buzzed around like flies over a jampot, it also accommodated a bomber repair organisation of Brooklands Aviation and managed by an old pre -war friend, Tommy Bancroft. On this particular occasion I had flown over in a Mk II Spitfire on test from either Eastleigh or Castle Bromwich to check out a repaired Wellington. Almost always during these visits Bancroft would ask if I would mind giving his workforce a display with the Spitfire before I left. I always presumed that he had cleared formalities with flying control, as at no time did I later receive any criticism or reprimand. I wonder if Tony remembers the awful winter of that year when Sywell became so churned and

waterlogged that it was positively dangerous for certain types of aircraft. During one of my frequent visits , when taking off amidst pools of mud and water, my Merlin carburettor intake plunged into such a deluge, unseen in one of the deeper holes, that caused it to stop in a most protesting manner when I was almost clear of the airfield at some 75-1 OOft with the undercarriage retracting . There was a manor house obstructing my landing with , in the foreg round , a grass paddock that adjoined the airfield boundary of about 200yd leading up to the solid dry-stone wall surrounding the house. I had therefore no choice other than to strike the house or force the Spitfire on to the paddock at high speed, churning up an enormous furrow in the soft ground before coming to an abrupt halt with its nose almost touching the immovable wall. I could not ag ree more with Tony concerning Sidney Cotton's contribution to the war effort. Like so many others in war, he undertook demanding assignments at great risk but devoid of the limelight.

Sidney Cotton was one of those bright, enthusiastic individuals who would not accept lesser mortals easily, His one aim would be to achieve success in any field to which he gave his mind and attention, but always to serve his country to the best of his ability. I am delighted that a biography concerning this remarkable Australian is about to be released concerning his early days and the achievements reached in later life. ALEX HENSHAW MBE Newmarket Suffolk

Bf 109E "White 4" SIR - Ken R, Johnson 's article in the July 2000 Aeroplane on the history of Messerschmitt Bf 109E "White 4" captured my full attention . I had once seen th is aircraft and even had my picture taken sitting in what remained of the cockpit of "White 4" in June 1964. It was then resting in the backyard of the home of the late Geoff Rowe at Carp, near Ottawa . Obviously the Messerschm itt was not returned to England in 1961 . Since the picture was taken following the second

annual convention of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society held in Ottawa, there is no doubt of the date. I don 't think "White 4" returned to the UK until the late 1960s, although certainly before 1971 when Geoff and his family moved to Victoria, BC. Geoff prepared an operational history of his much prized relic for our Vol 2, No 2 Journalwhich agrees with your account. He didn't mention the later lODE (Imperial Order of Daughters of the Empire) or the Bu ndles for Britain connections. Geoff was a dedicated enthusiast and would have been gratified to learn that his beloved '109 is now part of a Battle of Britain exhibit. He expressed this hope in his story. WILLIAM J. WHEELER Editor The Journal of the Canadian Aviation Historic Society Markham Ontario Canada

Great Raids SIR - Re: Schweinfurt, August 17, 1943 (November 2000 Aeroplane). Although not part of the mission,

William Wheeler sits in the remains of Messerschmitt Bf 1 0 9 "W h it e 4 " in Canada in 1964. The aircraft was subsequently returned to England where it was restored after more than 25 years in storage; it is now on permanent display in the I m pe ria l War Museum at Duxford. ABOVE

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I I have since throughly researched the events of August 17, 1943, and feel that Glenn Sands produced a good recou nting of the "Fi rst Schweinfurt" within the confines of the short space available, Perhaps the captions to the pictures were not of his making, but in any case the one to the aerial picture on page 29 is not correct. It is actually of Liege, Belgium, I used its sister exposure (USAAF No 25621 AC) in my book Forteresses sur I'Europe which, published in 1980, minuteiy reconstructed the various raids on August 17, 1943, a day which saw no fewer than 17 "premieres" in the ai r war. On the said picture, the Meuse river is clearly seen with, at centre, the Port of Monsin; th is indeed looks somewhat like the river Main and its "fishbones" at Schweinfurt. "My" picture also shows probably the same debris of an enemy aircraft going down which , according to my analysis, are of a Fw 190 which crashed at Thier Xhavee, north-east of Liege, pilot killed, unknown to me. As for the picture on page 30, the B-17 plunging into its final flight is that of Lt Max Pinkerton, 351st BG, whose complete crew were made PoW; the aircraft, Cannon Ball, crashed at either Bad Honnef or Bad Ems, which are cities some 30 miles apart. A further small point is the mention (page 29) of "9th Air Force 17, raids over Southern Germany . . . ne) . prior to August 10, '43". There had . n, actual ly been only one such raid ; )\0 _ on August 13, and that was against Wiener- Neustadt (not Weiner) in Austria, not in Germany. Whilst on page 30, the main B-26 Marauder diversion was against the Luftwaffe airbase at Brias-Sud, near St-Pol, there . were also RAF Mitchells against Calais, belonging to the RAF's 320 Sqn fiying its initiai mission on that ay. Again, a point in relation with he fuzing of bombs (page 31). hat operation (for instance :;'osec ose and Y., or :;'oosec tail on that ay) took place before leaving the round. Once in the air, nearing the rget, it remained for the ombardier, or sometimes the ngineer, to pul lout the safety ins, th us rendering the issiles "live". Perhaps, finally, a mention ought have been made in relation to en Adolf Galland (page 30) Ithough I quite realise space was ,s't» t a premium . Galland's brother, . iihelm "Wutz", Kommandeur of in 19iJG.26, was kil led at about ,an zs332hr when his Fw 190A-6 d. ashen at Hees, Belgium, a victim bruary irop/ane, February 200 1

letter of the month Tiger recollections SIR - The article on the Tiger Moth Diamond Nine team (November Aeroplane) brought on a rush of nostalgia when I saw the photo of G-AOJJ. In the mid -Fifties I obtained my PPL at Christchurch Aero Club, who had a fleet of five bright-yellow Tiger Moths - and G-AOJJ was one of them. I flew 'JJ many times, and kitted out with Mae West and dinghy I once flew her from Christchurch to Jersey for a day out, keepi ng close to any ships that were about in case the unthinkable happened, and much to the consternation of air traffic control and the disbelief of the Customs man at Jersey. "You flew over in that thing?", he said, with a wry grin. I enclose a photo of myself flying 'JJ in 1956, heading back to Christchurch having flown to Eastleigh for afternoon tea, which was a regular jaunt for club members in those days as was Bembridge, Shoreham and Fairoaks. I understand that one of the other club Tigers, G-ADWO, is now hanging up in the Southampton Hall of Aviation, but where are the others? Happy days. DAVID TOWNEND Bristol, Avon




ABOVE Aeroplane reader David Townend returns to

Christchurch after dropping in at Eastleigh for afternoon tea.

of Lt Glen Schlitz flying a 56th FG P-47, a unit which lost three pilots in the same battle, near Liege again. ROGER ANTHOINE Peron France



SIR - In his letter recalling Gatwick 50 years ago (November 2000 issue), Leslie Sarjeant asks about the fate of Avro Prefect G-AHRZ . According to a letter in the February 1957 issue of Air Pictorial, someone in Burton-onTrent moved Prefect G-AHVO and Tutor G-AIYM by road from Croydon in July and August 1950, and was rumoured to have also moved G-AHRZ from Gatwick and acquired the wreckage of Tutor G-AKFJ, which crashed at Doncaster on July 30, 1949. In 1963 the fuselage of G-AHVO was reportedly at Ramsgate, so there may still be Avro parts waiting to be discovered somewhere. VIC SMITH Ickenham Uxbridge Middlesex

Mitchell memories SIR - With regard to the book just published on Sir Wilfrid Freeman (reviewed in Aeroplane, October 2000), the following three personal letters will be of interest, showing as they do the close relationship that existed between Sir Wilfrid and my father, R.J. Mitchell. 1. The first letter, written in his own hand, records the response from Sir Wilfrid to a letter from my father informing him that he was seriously ill with terminal cancer. "Air Ministry, Savoy Hill, WC2, dated March 16, 1937. "Dear Mitchell, I have had it in mind for some time to write to you but felt that you did not wish to be worried with letters, You must not worry yourself with thinking that you have let us down - you have never done that, and I hope your B.12/36 (bomber) wi ll be a great success and as good as ever you could wish. I can assure you that your illness has been a blow to the whole Department - but the blow is not because you cannot get on with this aeroplane, it is only ou r grief at the il lness of a personal and greatly respected friend.

"Yours sincerely, Wilfrid Freeman". 2. Mitchell's reply. "Hazeldene, Russel l Place, Southampton, dated March 20, 1937. "Dear Air Marshal Freeman, I was delighted to receive your letter of the 16th instant. It is extremely kind of you to write to me in this way. I must admit that I have been rather worried that ci rcu mstances have arisen which will prevent me from taking very much further interest in the B.1 2/36. I have always been very enthusiastic about the design. I have felt that my enthusiasm had quite a lot to do with your decision to place an order. I am very pleased to be able to say that I have always trained my staff to be thoroughly up to date with all new ideas and proposals being carriet out at Supermarine. I feel very confident that they will be able to carryon without me, with complete success, particularly as the close co-operation of the Weybridge staff has always been available. I shall always feel extremely grateful to you for the friendly sentiments expressed in your letter. I now feel very much happier about everyth ing. "Yours sincerely, R.J. Mitchell". 3. Letter from Sir Wi lfrid to Mrs R.J. Mitchell. "Air Ministry, Savoy Hill, WC2 , dated December 8, 1939. "Dear Mrs Mitchell , Now that War has come and the Spitfire has proved itself to be a truly wonderful weapon, you must be as proud as we are grateful for the genius of your husband. I would like you to know how much the RAF appreciates Mr Mitchell 's work. "Yours sincerely, Wilfrid Freeman". The above letter was written 2 ~ years after my father's death on June 11, 1937 and understandably was received with great pride and appreciation by my mother. Sir Wilfrid was at the time the Air Member for Research and Development. DR GORDON MITCHELL Lower Slaughter Cheltenham Glos

Spitfire limitations SIR - In Aeroplane's interesting Battle of Britain special (J uly 2000 issue), it was claimed the Spitfire served decisively in every theatre of World War Two . Surely this misleading impression requires correction. Our own Alan Deere in Nine Lives laments the inability of Spitfi re pilots to accompany the P-38s, P-47s and P- 51 s escorting B-17s and B-24s over Germany. 19


General Kepner stated; "The P-38 first struck the Luftwaffe in the vitals over its own territory, the P-47 broke the back of the Luftwaffe, and the P-51 delivered the coup de grace." No mention of Spitfires there. In Plane Speaking, Bil l Gunston quotes a Russian colonel asking: "What was so special about the Spitfire? It was only when we re-equipped with P-39 Airacobras that we really made our presence felt. " In Wings over the Pacific, Alex Horn writes: "The Spitfire had limited use in the Pacific because of its small range of operation. The Corsairs did the real work, while the Seafires stayed with the ships for their protection ." It was the Lightning, Hellcat and Corsair that devastated the Japanese air forces, with something like 10,000 victories between them . Plus much good work done by the P-40s, which downed hundreds of the "superior" Zeros in the hands of my countrymen, Aussies and the men of the AVG . Nothing comparable was achieved by the Spitfi re, which was mainly conspicuous by its absence . The Spitfi re's record in World War Two is distinguished enough as it stands,.without unwarranted claims being made on its behalf. Sincerely from Down Under. MAURICE HENDRY Manurewa New Zealand

Junkers junkets SIR - Re the caption to the photograph of Ju 5213m D-AXOS (Historic Colour, November Aeroplane) ; Sqn Ldr Chapman errs in several respects when he notes that it "carried PM (Neville Chamberlain) to Croydon from Hitler, September 1, 1939". The only visits to Germany for meetings with Hitler made by Chamberlain were his three return flights made between September 15 and 30, 1938, from and to Heston by British Airways Limited 's Lockheed airliners. Secondly the Ju 52/3m D-AXOS had been put at the disposal of Sir Neville Henderson, British Ambassador to Germany, when he arrived at Croydon on the morning of August 26, 1939, for urgent talks with the Government. He returned to Berlin from Heston on the evening of August 28. Thirdly, the last DLH flight to leave Croydon before the outbreak of war was D-AXOS on August 31, 1939. HUGH J. YEA Bexhill-on-Sea East Sussex 20

Astreet named Beamont Reader Fred Dolman of Ipswich sent in the accompanying photograph taken in June 2000 at the former wartime RAF base at Volkel in Holland, where he had taken a group of 20 Typhoon squadron veterans who had been stationed there in 1944- 45. One of the events laid on by their Dutch hosts was the unveiling near the Typhoon Museum of a new street sign Roland Beamontstraat, named after the renowned test- and com bat pilot (see One of the Few. September 2000 Aeroplane). The unveiling ceremony was performed by Bob Barckley, formerly of No 3 Sqn.

Aeroplane). Although I never met him , I did have a, perhaps remote, connection with his speed record in the FD.2. It was one of the early records flown at high altitude rather than at sea level. At the ti me I was a Flight Com mander on 29 Squadron at Tangmere with Meteor NF. l l s. We had Gee Mark III and were asked to set up the radar entry and exit gates for the course for the record attempt. I flew the sortie myself and my navigator on this occasion was, if my memory serves me, the Squadron Nav-Rad Leader now Air Marshal Sir John Curtiss KCB KBE . GP CAPT D.A.P. SAUNDERSDAVIES RAF (Retd) Ower nr Romsey Hampshire

Massie remembered SIR - Your November issue is of

Former Typhoon pilots meet at Volkel for the opening of a new street named in honour of Roland Beamont. From left; Bob Cole, Bob Barckley (both ex-No 3 Sqn), Eric Edwards (exNo 175 Sqn) and Geoff Murphy (ex-No 245 Sqn).


Meteor crash SIR - Hughie Cullens recalls the Meteor crash near Blaby in August 1945 (see tnformation Exchange, November 2000 Aeroplane). I was also at Whetstone Park that day and remember the Meteor flying a circuit on its arrival with a low pass over the field. It climbed away and commenced another circuit. Having got about a quarter of the way round it turned over on its back. The commentator on the ground then told us that the pilot was going to carry out the same manceuvre upside down. At this point the aircraft came down in an are, hitting the ground vertically. I and my two friends jumped on our bikes and were the first to reach the crash site. There was a large hole in the ground with small pieces of wreckage of one sort or another scattered on the surface. Being a little older than Hughie (I was 14 at the time), I remember that it was a Vl on display, not a V2. I have good reason to remember because I managed to acquire some of the glassfibre insulation from around

the fu el tanks. I stowed it in my wallet which proved quite painful whenever I put my fingers in afterwards! Some say I've never recovered! May I take this opportunity to say hello to another of your recent correspondents, Jim Morrow? He and I were members of 1461 Squadron ATC and swatted together for our Proficiency certificates. At least mine got me off a month's squarebashing at Cardington. I notice that The Aeroplane Spoiler is now available on CDROM; it would be nice to see it in book form or in extracts in Aeroplane itself. What a great little paper it was, and fitted schoolboy pocket money perfectly! GEOFF HUNT St lves Cambridgeshire [Would other readers like to see some extracts from The Aeroplane Spotter published in Aeroplane? Let us know - Ed]

Speed record SIR - I read your potted interview with Peter Twiss with great interest (Flying Visit, Novem ber

unusual interest to mel Your Mosquito mark by mark section admits to covering main variants only, but I would like to make a claim that the PR.35 should not pass unnoticed. The PR.34 and the Bm .35 are well known, but in 1950 just eight B.35s were converted to the PR variant, for work on night photoflash duties. Only four PR.35s entered regular RAF service - on B Flight of 58 Sq uad ron at Benson. There were only four pilots on the flight. I was one! Best wishes. Keep it up . . . DAVID OGILVY OBE FRAeS Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association British Light Aviation Centre 50a Cambridge Street London SWI V 4QQ

Zurabatics SIR - In the October 2000 issue of Aeroplane you have excelled yourself again: it's a wonderful issue. Apart from the wonderful Battle of Britain pieces, I found particular interest in an item in the news section about Jan Zurakowski being honoured in Los Angeles at the end of September by the Society of Experimental Test Pilots. The piece also alludes to the earlier naming of a building after him by the Canadian Forces at their base at Cold Lake, Alberta. It may interest those who bel ieve as I do that this quiet, retiring man is among the elite of the world's leading test pilots that this year he also has been recognised in Kingston, Ontario, and in Toronto, where he has received honorary degrees. All this recognition is long overdue and I'm sure many others share the pleasure I take in in seeing that his remarkable aviation Aeroplane. February 2001

talents are at last being shown appreciation by a wider audience. In the same news item, reference is made to his "falling leaf" Zurabatic in the Avro CF- l 00. I would suggest that the aerobatlc rnanceuvre in that aircraft for which he is best remembered is the tailslide, which he admirably demonstrated in the UK at the Farnborough airshow in 1955. I had the privilege of being the team leader for the CF- l OO 's ground support on that occasion (see Showing off the CF-l00, January and February 1998 Aeroplane), and the spectacle of tons of metal aircraft sliding tail-first down the sky under perfect control for hundreds of feet will never be forgotten by those who witnessed it.

JOHN PAINTER Bath Ontario Canada [An article on Jan Zurakowski is in preparation for a forthcoming issue - Ed]

On rotation SIR - Your item on engine rotation (Questions in the Air, September Aeroplane) I think solved something that had puzzled me for some years . I worked as an eng ine draughtsman for de Havilland Engines, which eventually became the Small Engine Division of RollsRoyce at Stag l ane and leavesden , retiring in 1991 . During my latter years I specialised in blades, vanes and nozzles for jet engines. Due to rationalisation , at this stage one had to obtain printouts of aerofoil sections from Rolls-Royce at Derby, When I received the first ones from Derby I found that the sections were opposite-handed to our blades and that Derby blades rotated in the opposite direction to ours. Derby had assumed that our blades rotated in the same direction as their own, This set me to wonder what governed the direction of rotation. I assumed that as in most respects it does not really matter, that de Havilland had chosen to rotate their jet engines in the same direction as their piston engines and the same with Rolls-Royce . It was only later that I found out the Griffon rotated in the opposite direction to the Merlin. This puzzled me, but Tony Downs has solved the problem for me.

A. TANNER Harro w Middlesex

Spitfire Trio SIR I notice on page 9 of the December issue of Aeroplane that Historic Flying Ltd is offering three airworthy Spitfires for sale at an expected price of £4 million , It Is a sobering thought that in August 1940 you could have bought the whole of RAF Fighter Command for that money and still got some change! I wonder what Messrs Mitchell and Camm would make of those relative values?

E. ROADNIGHT Yeovi! Somerset

Aeroplan e, February 2 0 01

It.1 What is your first

It.1 What do you see as the

Ul aviation memory?

Ul best aviation invention?

Looking out of our attic window at Hastings a few months before World War Two and seeing a Zeppelin going along on a westerly heading, My parents frightened me by saying that I should not be up there when "those things were about" .

The modern large turbofan engine because it has had such an effect on the way the world operates.

It.1 When was your first Ul flight?

AMY JOHNSON MEMORIAL TRUST SCHOLARSHIP 2001 THE AMY JOHNSON Memorial Trust is offering for open competition a scholarship worth up to £1,800 to assist British women holders of a Private Pilot's Licence towards the cost of obtaining their first professional licence (BCPl , CPl or ATPl). This does NOT include I/R or Multi-Engine Rating. Candidates must be British SUbjects by birth and reside permanently in the United Kingdom with a date of birth on or after January 1, 1966. Candidates must have completed and passed all the ground and medical examinations required for the licence issue by the closing date for applications. Holders of the BCPl , CPl or ATPl issued on or after June 1, 2000, are eligible to apply. The scholarship will be awarded by a selection committee whose decision will be binding and final. The closing date for applications is February 28, 2001, with interviews anticipated in early May. Application forms are available from:

Mrs M.E. Tucker, Hon Secretary, Amy Johnson Memorial Trust, 12 Church Lane, Merton Park, London SW193PD. Please remember to enclose a full-size A4 stamped addressed envelope.

Detailed die-cast scale models for the adult collector Information hotline ~ Tel 0845 603 9070


Harrier test pilot JOHN FARLEY (above) talks to MELVYN HISCOCK about his career

In 1949, in a Miles Messenger that was doing trips for five shillings from the fiel d just west of St Leonards that I used to go to with the local aeromodelling club. The chap was kind enough to find and orbit the village shop where we lived. I can clearly remember thinking our street looked very strange from above ,

It.1 What prompted you to Ul learn to fly? I guess living under the Battle of Britain as an eight-year-old.

It.1 When was your first Ul solo? On January 12, 1956, at Hullavington, in a Piston Provost after 11 .1 5 hours (in those days they made us recover from spins before letting us off!)

It.1 Can you remember a flight Ul that sums up for you what flying is all about? Actually yes, it was my first solo aerobatics sortie at Hullavington. That day had lots of sharp-edged cumulus, around which I did (poor) aeros. I remember being quite excited by It before realising I had better get on with some work or they would be finding reason to chop me.

It.1 Do you hold any aviation Ul records? None that I would want my family to read about.

It.1 What do you consider Ul your best achievement? Managing 128 landings in the original P.11 27 prototype, XP831 , without bending it. That thing needed more skill than I had, so the outcome rather depended on one's luck. I hated having to rely on having more of that than Bill Bedford had in it at Paris,

It.1 Do you have any Ul unfulfilled ambitions? Aviation-related, nope. I do have some regrets about not flying certain aircraft, Typhoon (the proper one, that is), Fw 190, Mosquito and a few others.

It.1 Who, or what, has most Ul influenced your career? For the "who", I find it impossible to decide between four guys. Sammy Wroath: Sammy was the first ever Commandant of the Empire Test Pilots School and went back for a second tour in 1954. He was kind enough to suggest I was the sort of "chap we like to have come here" but that I "would have to go away and learn to fly first" . Bill Waterton, Gloster's CTP in the early 1950s, for his preface in his book The Quick and the Dead. It shaped my views on the role of the test pilot. Frank Ashley, a BristolSiddeley engines man who set up the Pegasus engines in the early Harriers at Dunsfold. At that time the engine did not take kindly to a change of fuel specific gravity, so if the engihe was set up according to the book there was a good chance it would let you down on slightly different fuel overseas, Frank used to ignore the book and set it up for the fuel he knew I would be faced with away from base. To say his skill kept me alive is no exaggeration. Jim Cramond, my CM aviation medical examiner. As such he kept my body usable for what I needed to do for all of my time at Dunsfold. He even sorted out my kidneys when they quit. That took 11 months, but it was thanks to Jim that I got into the prototype YAV-8B in 1979. As to the "what", I suppose it has to be the nozzle lever. My wife feels I would have had a career even without it (aaaah!), but I reckon it would have been a lot less fun!

It.1 What was your worst Ul aviation moment? My worst moment was ciimbing down the ladder after a MiG-29 flight. I was pleased to have flown what for me was the best-handling fighter wing ever but what made it so bad was knowing I would probably never do it again.

It.1 What is your favourite Ul aeroplane? The Harrier just because it can do so many things that other aircraft cannot. The Vulcan , though, was the best of the rest.

It.1 What is your least Ul favourite aeroplane? There is no such thing. 21

• •

The Antique Airplane Association of Switzerland recently celebrated its 25th anniversary and it now has more than 400 members and a vast fleet of aircraft. Report by PAUL RHYN, with photographs by ERICH GANDET

One of the flagships of the AAA is this magnificent Howard DGA.15P, shipped to Switzerland in 1993 and the only example of the type in Europe. For the full story on N42429 see Aeroplane, April 1997.



HE FORMING OF THE Antique Airpl ane Associ ation of Swit zerland (AAA) in the 197 0s occurred in a de cade fi ll ed w ith co n tras t. Th e world was shaken by the o il crisis, wh ich caused the price o f crude oil to quadruple in jus t a few m onth s from 197 3 to 1974 . On the ot he r ha n d, th e gia nt Boeing 747 a nd the su person ic Co nco rde appeared at th e world's major airports. At the sa m e time Piper and Cessna, th e lea di ng America n ma n ufacturers in th e ge ne ra l-avia tio n ma rket, p rodu ced a ircra ft wit h ever-greater speed, com fort a nd re li abili ty, in their thou sands. It hardly seemed the kind o f enviro n ment in whi ch vin tage aviation wou ld fl ourish . Today, aga inst man y odds, the AAA ha s esta blish ed itself as one of Europe 's largest vin tage-aviatio n associat ions. In ret rospect, its

history co u ld we ll ha ve turned o u t quit e differentl y. En th usiasm for vin tage a eropla nes alo ne overca me the man y adversi tie s a long th e way. In September 1974, in the airport rest aurant a t Bcrne -Belpm o os. Werner Ulm e r, th en owner of Tiger Mot h HB-UBC, mel up w ith four othe r ow ners o f histo ric a ircra ft. The y a ll sha red a great love of well-tend ed a nd -prcserved aircraft that ca n still be flown , rather th a n being co nd em ned to spend ing the rest of th eir da ys o n th e gro u nd as mu seum pieces. Together th ey formed the AAA. Ulm er designed th e emblem whi ch is still used today in sligh tly modified form . At the tim e th e re were no pla ns to expan d the Association in an y way, but sho rtly a ft e rwards, in 1975, Erich Henselc r o f St Ga ll e n, owner of tw o Piper L-4s a nd, lat er, Bucker Aeroplane, February 20 0 1

Bu 131 Jungmann "A-IS ", suggested \0 founder member Peter Haberli tha t a vintage club be formed . A dynamic entreprene ur, Hense ler was conv inced that a large circle of pilots and aerop la ne e nth us iasts co uld be won over if effo rts to acqu ire new me m be rs we re intensified. After some h esitation Ulmer was persuaded by the prospective benefits, and transferred "his" AAA and the Association chairma nsh ip to Henseier. Initial signs of success followed rapidly, and In a short time the AAA numbered som e 3S members. The first highlight of the fledgling association wa s a vintage event in Sitterdorf on May IS and 16, 1976. This was fo llowed in Ma y 1977 by a meet ing with amateur aircraft builders in Altenrhein. After a prolo nged pau se the AAA m embe rs got toget her aga in in Ju ne 1982, o n th e occasion of the Belpmoos eve nt at Berne-Belpmoos Airport. During th ese yea rs the AAA was essentia lly supported by Erich Hense ler. However. his professiona l work began to occupy more of his time, and the end of th e Association ca m e threateningly close. Aeroplane, February 2001

Pilatus P-2 HB-RAM, one of the Association's earliest participants. Th e 465 h.p, Argu s AS.410 engine is now rare.


After the annual ge nera l mee ting (AGM ) in 1984, the AAA discontinued all of its activities. Fortunately, other vintage-aircraft owners took up the fragile th read . After th ree years of inactivity the AAA ha d all but fa llen into oblivion . At thi s point Hans- Peter Kostli, late r to fo u n d th e av iation mu seum in Alte n rhei n. together w ith air fo rce instru ctor Roger Strebel a nd Bu cker specia list Albert Zeller, decided to establis h a new vintage club. Henseler sugges te d "reviving" the suspen ded AAA. Kostll. Strebel a nd Zeller th us became the seco nd fo un ders of th e AAA along w ith Habe rli. who looked after the adm inist ra tive side. On the day after its renaissance in the Hotel Derby in Wil, the associat ion already had the backing of some 40 co m m itted members. Tragically, Erich Hen seler did not witness the AAA's reviva l. In December 1987, shortly after his proposa l to reactivat e the association, h e an d h is pa rt ner died wh en hi s Cessna 42 1 cras hed. Th e n ew cha irma n, Kostli. tackled his task w ith grea t vigo ur. Th e first AAA news lett er notified its m embers of a ge ne ral m eeting sched u led for th e spring, a n airs how to be h eld in Bre itfeld. St Gallen, in the summer, and a social eveni ng, includin g a fil m presenta tion and speeches, in the w inte r. The Associat ion thrived and, qu ite w ithin the plans of its founders, newsletter 1/88 featured offers for exchange, purchase and sale alongside other classified advert isements, such as o ne looki ng for "a sassy girl to keep me company in my rattl etrap". (Unfortuna te ly. th ere is n o record of thi s adve rt isement 's success - or o therw ise.) In newsletter 2 /88 Hans-Peter Kostli proudl y a n no unced 18 new members, taking th e tota l co u nt to 60. Th e first AAA excursions were o rgan ised . A gra nd initial success was achieved wit h wi th the a rrival of 12 aeroplanes, including a Piper L-4, a Bucker J ungmann and Jungmeister, a Sipa 903, a KZ. VII and a Maule at the vintage aircraft meeting on the Whit Sunday weekend of 1988 at La Perte -Alais in France. Subsequently, AAA members attended the Popu lar Flying Associat ion ra ll y at Cra n field a n d the Reseau d u Spo rt de I'Air (RS A) m eeting in Mou lins. There w as a m ark ed AAA presence at airshows. Associat ion m embers a nd th eir aircraft w ere a definit e asse t at th e August event in



Mignet H.M.8 HB-YEI was built by AAA member Walter Haug, working only from a sketch in Henri Mignet's 1928 book. ABOVE

Built by Classic Aircraft Corporation, this Waco YMF·5 Super is one of only three in Europe. HB-UPZ is also known as the " Blue Wizard ". FAR RIGHT

N930AJ is one of four seaplanes in the AAA. The owner of this colourful DHC-2 Beaver, Jvan Aeberli , is also the President of the newly-formed Seaplane Pilots Association of Switzerland (SPAS).



Alie n rhe in in 1988, 10 which Zeller managed 10 a ttract m ore tha n 30 vin tage aircraft. On th is occasion , AAA member Peter Sch m id paraded hi s bri ght gree n Bri sto l Syca mo re heli copt er in Iro n t 0 1 90,000 specta to rs, while Uc li Hau serrn ann . a Swiss Ai r Force pilot w ho h ad rece ntl y join ed th e AAA, showed 0 11 th e first civil -lice nsed vintage jet , de Havilland Venom J -1 6 30/H B-RVA . At th is po in t the committee had alrea dy begun 10 conside r ex pa ndi ng its ra nge 01 oilers 10 n on-ll yin g m embers. To m ak e m em bership more attra ct ive, plan s were drafted 10 organise passenger Iligh ts. es pecially during the plann ed AAA meet ings . Th ese even ts (w ith n o sta ndard a irs how ) lor pilots, hel pers, relati ves a n d ama teurs, were h eld 10 fost er com pa n io nsh ip in a rela xed and co ngen ial atmosphere. Th e Iirst. w hi ch in th e m ea nt ime had be com e w idely k nown as th e "MIFAS " (members ' fest iva l) mee ting, w as h eld in Saa ne n in J u ne 1989 . Specia l ackn o w ledgeme n t w a s given 10 the co -o pe ra tio n es ta blish ed between the AAA and the Fe dera l Office fo r Civil Avia tio n, whi ch was re fl ected in a series of regul ati ons

ada pted 10 the specific need s of vin tage aviatio n . AI the 1991 AGM the AAA, which had grown to 17 5 m em bers, agreed \0 ca tegorise th e aero pla nes in accorda nce wi th th e co m monl y applied internation a l sta n dards : "A n tiq ue ": aeropla nes bu ilt before 194 5; "Class ic": aeropla nes more than 25 years old co nstructed afte r 194 5; "Wa r bird s" : o u t-o f-s e rv ice military aero p lan es; "Re plica ": cop ies of "a n tiq u e " or "classic" aerop lanes. A total of 292 active members a nd 167 aero p lan es wa s report ed a t th e AGM at the Hurlimann brewe ry, Zu rich, in 1994. Th e in crease in members hip was partly due 10 the presence o f the AAA in th e Swiss avia tio n magazin e Cockpit. One plea sin g devel opm en t w as that more membership appli cations were com ing in from non-fl yers. wh o had p revi ously believed that only pilo ts or a ircraft owners wo u ld be a llowed 10 join. Frit z Fa h rni co n ceived an unu su a l plan fo r the MIFAS m eeting. His intenti on w as 10 take 011 a nd la nd lrom a fi el d a bove Nc uchaic l in the J ura mounta ins. miles away from the usual airfields. The area w a s se lecte d a nd th e n ecessary pape rw ork an d procedures initi ated , but . becau se the perm issio ns were n ot issued in tim e, th e eve nt had 10 be h eld in Pon tarlier in Fra nce . Eve n so, the meeting was a thorough success, w ith 67 aero -

Aeroplane, February 2 0 0 1

Klemm 35D HB-UBK is the only airworthy Klemm in Switzerland and has won several prizes since it first flew there in 1973. The owner of 'U BK , Werner Ammann , is a captain for Edelweiss Airlines. LEFT

Antique Airplane Association of Switzerland: Members' Aircraft Type





Aero '4S Aeron ca Champion Aust er Autocrat Auster V Beagle Terrier Beech Bonanza Beech Debonair Beech E-18S Beech Twin Bona nza Beech UC-4SJ Bell 47G Bellanca Crusa ir Boein g Stearman


D.H.Tiger Moth D.H. Vampire


Pilat us P-2 P-3

Bolkow Bo 207 Bolkow Bo 208 Bristol Sycamore Bucker Jungmann (inc CASAl

Bucker Jungme ister


'4° 'S0 '7° 172 '7S

177 182 '9S 210 310 320 Champion Challenger Cita bria Christen Eagle Comte AC -4 D.H. Gipsy Moth D.H. Leopa rd Moth D.H. Moth Major

Aeroplane, February 2001


D.H . Venom DHC Beaver DHC Chipmunk Denney Kitfox Dorn ier Do 27 Douglas DC-3 Enstrom 280FX Erco Ereoupe Fairchild Argus , Focke-Wulf Stieg'itz Fo kker D VII (R) Gardan Horizon Gardan Minicab Grumman AA-S Gyroflug Speed Canard Hawker Hunt er Holste Broussard Howard DGA-1S Jodel D.l1

D.1l2 D.140 DR. 2S0 DR·lOS0110S1 Klemm KI 3SD Laverda Faleo Luscom be Silvaire Maule M .Ms Meteor FloSS Mignet HM-8 Mooney M .20 Morane D.3801 Morane-Saulnier MS·3 17 MS. SOS Rallye Nord Norecrin North American T-6 North American T-28 Oberlerchner JOB-1S Piaggio FW P.149



Registration HB-RAR, 'RAT HB-RBO, 'RBP, 'RBT, 'RBV, 'RCE, 'RCG, 'RCI , 'RCL

Piper Aztec Cherokee

HB-LDH HB-OMS, 'OW E, 'OZG, 'PCI, N986AF • HB-OOF Clipper HB-ELO, 'OBF, 'OCI, Cub 'ODC, 'ODX , 'ODZ 'OER , 'OFK, 'OGA, 'OGG , 'OGZ, 'OIA, 'ONC , 'ONG, 'OSY, 'OUN, 'OUP, 'OUR, 'OVF, 'OXT, 'POO Cub Cruiser N3S0 21 HB-OVC Super Cruiser HB-OPP, 'OPU, 'ORZ, Super Cub 'PHP, 'PPJ, D-EGHU, N9S 6HD HB-ODL, 'OPL Tri-Pacer D-EDII Pitts S.2B HB-SPM Potez P.600 Robin DR.40 0 HB-EQL Sci ntex Super Emera ude PH -MOT HB-SP P, SPT, SPU Si pa S.903 Smaragd CP.301S HB-SEF HB-2018 Sportavia RF-SB HB-UPR, 'UPS, Stampe SV-4 D-EB HL, 'EBHR, F-BFCF, ' BM KL Stinson 108 HB-TRS, N938PD HB-LSK STOL UC-1 Tw in Bee Technoflug Picchio HB-22SS Tipsy Nipper HB-SPQ HB-TBV Uetz U3M Pelikan OE-EAS Vought Corsair HB-UPZ WaeoYMF HB-DCA Wassmer WA.40 Yakovlev Yak-18T RA-44446 Yak-S2 CCCP-01l48 Ya k-ssM RA-44S00 Zlin HB-TCB, 'TCC Z·3 2 6 HB-TCG, 'TRG, 'TRJ, 'TRQ Z·S26




Built in 1957 for the German Air Force, and subsequently re9istered as D.HALD, Bristol 171 Mk 52 HB-RXB is painted in the markings of the RAF VIPlTransport Wing. Peter Schmid, who owns the helicopter, founded an organisation called Sycamore Flyers Switzerland in 1989. ABOVE

planes an d alm ost 2,000 visitors in att endance. In 1995 th e AAA members ope ned th e sea so n w ith ano ther trip 10 Wi nzeln, a nd were later give n a wa rm welco me at Margo t a nd Man fred Pflurnm 's private mu seum of aviation in Schwenningen. The su m m e r fly-out took 14 AAA aircra ft across Austria, Hunga ry, Slovak ia, the Czech Republ ic a nd Ge rmany. Following ea rl ier events in Saa ne n. the MIFAS meeting was held on the air force fi eld a t St Ste phan , in th e Berncse Oberlan d. for th e fi rst tim e. Much of th e cred it fo r the success of the eve nt goes to th e exce lle nt hosp italit y of the co-organising Hunt er Associa tion a nd th e Fede ra l office for air force bases. At the 1996 AG M in Rorsch ach . th e Associa tio n cha irma n sh ip passed fro m We rner Heeb to Pete r Zw eifel. a nd m embers we re treat ed to a visit to the new a via tio n m use u m in Alte nrhe in . First open ed to the pub lic in April 1995, this mu seum w as es ta blished by former AA A chairma n Han s-Peter Kostli a nd a mu ltitude of helpe rs. Its objective w as to present all ex h ibits not o n ly on the gro und, but also airbo rne. Th e hi ghligh ts of the fl ying seaso n incl u ded a trip orga n ised by Fritz Fahrni across n orth ern Ge rma n y to highl y aviation fri end ly Denmark, a nd th e th orou gh ly success fu l MIFAS even t o n Sch me rla t Airfield, orga n ised in co -o pe ra tion w ith th e Scha ff ha use n

glider cl ub. Hans Goldinge r organi sed seve ral wi nter eve nts at w hich AAA pilots we re able to bru sh up th eir m eteorology a nd na viga tion . In 1997, ye t another record yea r in the AAA's hi story, m embership figures increased a nd th e excursion s were a tte nded by record numbers of part icipant s. For th e first tim e th e AG M wa s hel d across the Swiss border in Mulhouse. Th e sum me r fly-ou t in Ju ly-A ugust to Engla nd , th e Mecca of vin tage aerop la ne ent h usiasts, proved to be a uni que event. The fleet of 32 aeroplanes fl ew via Lc Tou qu et to Rochester, Ken t. w here th ey w ere given a n unbureau cratic w elcome by the tower an d th e im mi grati o n office rs. The fo llowi ng day was wet a nd ra in y, but the trip 10 th e world-famous Sh utt lewort h Co ll ection at Old Ward en compensated fo r an y disappoint m en t ca used by the weat her. Th e fly-o u t. orga n ised by Fritz Fahrni in th e proven fa shion, wa s a success in all respects. Still. some logistical and safety- re la te d cha llen ges d id arise. ow ing to the la rge number of pa rt ici pa ting aeropla nes. Fo r safety's sake. a li m it 0 1 32 aeroplanes was imposed on subsequent excursions. The MIFAS m eeting in St Ste pha n, w h ich was held und e r ideal co nditions, again set new sta nda rds. Th e nostalgic high li ght a t this m eeting was a se ries of Hunt er fl igh ts from St Stephan. The 1998 fly-out over t he Asce nsio n ba nk holida y took the 25 part icipating aeroplanes to Pa ri s and received a tremendou s response. The varied programm e had som eth ing to offer fo r eve ry taste; a n impressi ve visit to th e battl efi elds a nd m emorials of Verdu n, a visit to th e co mpa ny mu seum of jet engine manufacturer SNECMA a nd a stroll thro ugh th e streets of Pa ris. In orga nising th e sum m e r e ve nt. Fahrni was prompted by th e wish ex pressed by man y participant s to head so uth . A fl eet of 28 vin tage aeroplan es w inged th ei r w a y to n orthern Spa in , w here they received hu ge m edi a atte ntion by local television and newspape rs. A first was achieved wit h MIFAS 1998; it was th e firs t time a MIFAS meeting had been held on a con trolled airfield . In respon se to a request from Grenche n, th e co m m ittee decided to ta ke the plunge. A crow d of spectato rs an d num erous vis iting aeropla nes , su pe rvised by a n un de r-

Vampire Trainer U-1208 was used as a trainer in the Swiss Air Force from 1956 until 1990, when it was purchased by the aviation museum at Altenrhein and reo registered as HB·RVF. The aircraft was then used for jet pilot training at the museum. RIGHT



• A well-illustrated hardback book on the AAA, in German but with an English introduction, has recently been published - see last month's Navigator pages.


Aeroplane. Februa ry 20 0 1

;::::> p



sta nd ing a ir traffic co n tro l, reward ed th e com . , nuu cc s co u rage . At th e 1999 AGM in th e Dubcndorf Aviation M useum, cha irman Peter Zwe ifel re ported o n the flourishing Association, which by then comprised 400 members and more tha n 200 aeroplanes. The tra dit ional sum mer fl y-out wa s initiall y planned to be o n th e eastern Adria tic coas t. However. a cha nge soon became in evitabl e in view o f th e political tension in this region , and the trip fina lly took 25 aerop lanes across the Netherlands and Denmark to south ern Swede n. The M fFAS event gradually established an a lternat ing rhyt hm be twee n th e hom e base o f St Ste pha n a nd o the r a irfields . The venue in 1999 wa s St Ste pha n, wi th participa tio n by the highl y act ive a nd hospitabl e Hunt e r associat ion . In exce llent wea ther and with great publ ic int e rest som e 80 aerop la nes visited the former m ili tary air base. A futuris tic touch co n tras ting the pa rked vi n tage a ircraft was give n to th e meetin g o n Su nday morning by th e disp la y, o n the gro u nd and in the air. of th e ex pe rime n ta l Stingray a ircra ft, const ructed in Switze rla nd a nd supported exclusively by a pneumat ic in fl a table struct u re. Although St Stephan airfield cha nged hand s in 2000, it is hoped tha t th e J'vll FAS eve nt may still be held there in future. Th e id ea che ris hed by a handfu l of vintage a ircraft a mate u rs ha s co me a long way. Success co uld not always be take n for granted, nor was the development of the AAA a lways ent irely free of obstacles, bu t enthusiasm fo r vintage a ircraft ca rried the idea th rou gh. Anyo ne can be come a m ember of th e A AA. One thin g worth rem embering is th at th e spirit o f the Associa tio n is a t its best during the M IFAS m ee tings, w he n amate ur vintage aircraft enthusiasts join to share thei r co m m on passion in a d irect. co ngen ial a nd straig htforwa rd atmosp here . Membership of the Ant iq ue Airpl an e Associa tion o f Sw itze rla nd is ope n to a ll vin tage -aircraft amat eurs, pilot s a n d non -pilots a like. More de ta ils o f t he Associa tio n ma y be fo u nd via the Int e rn et a t www.a -a-a .ch . and from the AAA Sekretariat . Postfa ch . CH -8604 Vo lkctswi l/Sw itzer- t;1 lan d; te l/fax +4 1 194 5 192 4. W Aeroplane, February

200 1

- -.

Maule M-4 HB-ETN was built in 1965 and is regarded as another of the f la gs h ips of the AAA. ABOVE

Originally registered as G-ACGS, D.H.85 Leopard Moth G-APKH was re-registered in 1963 and emigrated t o Switzerland in 1991 . LEFT

Former French-based Stinson 108 F-BBSV was registered in Switzerland in 1965 and is t he only airworthy example in t he country. BELOW LEFT

The AAA Members' Festival a t Saanen in June 1989. Visible in this shot of the "A ir Park" are a P-51 , the P-2 and a pair of DHC-2s. BELOW


The Tradition Of German Watchmaking

Enduring Value. The hi st oric Tutim a Flieger Chronog ra ph . The

authentic replica of the famous Tutima Chronograph Glashutt e of 1941. One of t he most striking w ristwatches of our day. Now also w it h ca libe r Va ljo ux 7750 or w ith th e fun ct io ns of the modern Tutima NATO Chronograph (caliber Leman ia 5100 ).

, I


., TRADITION SEIT 192 7 To o btai n you r free booklet TUTI M A INSTRU M ENT WATCH ES pl ease co ntact : D.J.J. Di st ri buti o n Ltd .. 2/6 M inst er Gat es · York· No rth Yorks hire · YOl 7HL · Ph : 01904 - 679707 . Fax: 01904 ·673370 E-m ail : [email protected] .


wa s set u p by Ca pta in Cha rles Bla ir, a PA A p ilot, fl yin g a No rth America n Mu sta ng smgle-englned fighter. To achieve the necessary range, Blair had hi s Mustang m odified to ca rry 86 5ga l o f fuel int e rn a ll y - e xte rna l fuel ta n ks were n ot use d. He took off from Idlewil d Airport , New York, at 09 50 h r GMT a n d la n de d a t 17 38 h r GMT on Jan uary 3 1. Th e elapsed tim e of 7hr 48 m in represents an average speed of 442 m .p.h . for th e distan ce o f 3,450 mi les.

Navy Beat the RAF FOR THE FIRST tim e sin ce the war, the Royal Nav y beat th e RAF in th e a n n ual int e r- Se rvi ce s Rugby Foot ball m at ch . In thi s th o rou ghl y w e ll-fo ugh t ga me pla yed a t Tw irke n ha m, th e sco re was Roya l Navy, a penalt y goa l a nd a try (6 poi nts ) to a goa l (5 points).

First flight of the Ambassador Flying-boat Fighters A STATEMENT WH ICH will aston ish many people was m ad e in the Ho use of Co m m o n s last we e k when th e Secre tary o f Sta te fo r a ir, rep lying to a q u estion by M r C.I. O rr-Ew ing MP (Co n se rva tive, He ndon Nort h) sa id that th e re was no Roya l Air Force requirement for fl ying-boa t fighters of the SR.A/I ty pe . Mr Orr-Ew ing had asked w het her the Mi niste r was satisfi ed that su ffi cie n t prio rit y wa s being give n to the de ve lopm ent a n d p rod u ctio n o f th is fl ying-boa t figh ter and after Mr He nd e rso n had given h is a nsw e r, Mr OrrEwi ng said th e re was considerable d isq uiet a bou t the de fen ces of Hon g Kong, w he re th e ai rfield s we re th rea re ncd wi th a rt illery bombardmen t a nd th at figh ters of t his typ e m ight provide a very desirable means of defending bases of th is ki nd . Mr He n de rso n sa id that h e had tak en th e best a dvice avai lable to h im in his offi cia l po sit ion , a n d it wa s not co ns ide red th at this typ e o f a ircraft had a ny utilit y to the Royal Air Force.

Although the USA received particulars of the design of the Saro SR.Al1, interest in the type both at home and abroad was scant, the type being unable to keep pace with the developments being made in the new generation of landbased fighters. The SR.Al1 made its final public appearance at the Festival of Britain in June 1951.


::rut t/u.,



Aer Lingus to Order Viscounts

A RECOR D FLIG HT from Montrea l to Lo ndon mad e durin g last w eek re ca ll ed th e spirit o f sim ila r lon gdista n ce re cords es ta blished before th e wa r. Th e record Aeroplane, February

A CHAPTER IN THE HI STO RY o f th e development of rotary-winged a ircraft in this co u n try ca m e to an end re ce nt ly w he n it was a n noun ced tha t the devel o pm e nt o f cur re n t typ es o f Cie rva heli copt e rs wa s being ta ke n ove r by Sa u n de rs-Roe w ho h a ve a lso acqu ired Cie rvas fa ctory a t Sou tham pto n . No indicat ion ha s been give n a s ye t as to SaundersRoe 's fu t ure pla ns in the ro tary- w ing fi e ld, a lt ho ugh , p re sum abl y, w he n th a y h a ve co m pleted t h e de vel o pm e nt of the seco nd Air Horse a nd Skeeter pro totype s, they migh t wish to develop th e ir own helicopters.

INCREASED OCEAN FR EIGHT cha rges a re th e rea son fo r in crea ses in the p rice s o f petroleum produ cts int rodu ced by variou s companies . All aviation fuel. including tu rbo fuel. is su bject to a n in crea se of \l,d a ga llon, the new p ri ce a pplying to a ll methods of delivery and a ll pa rts o f th e co u n t ry. A redu ction in p rice by \l, d h ad bee n a nnou n ced b y th e le ad in g pet role um It.t companies on ly a few weeks previously. ~

THE FIR ST PR OD UCTION Dassa ul t 4 50 Ouraga n has bee n com p leted a nd fo r so m e wee ks has be en unde rgoi ng its o fficia l accepta nce te sts be fo re deli ve ry to the Fre n ch Air Force . Meanwhile the prototype Dassault 452 Mystere has been com pleted a n d will sh ort ly co m m en ce its flight tria ls. The M vste re is a deve loped ve rsion o f the Oura gan w ith a full y sw e pt w in g.

Record Breaking in the Old Style

Cierva Ceases

Petrol Goes Up Again

French Flight Trials

AER L1 NGUS ANNO UNCED last w e e k th a t it had decid ed to o rder th e Vi cke rs Viscou n t to re place its Il eet of DC-3s. The q uestio n o f re placing its fl e et has be e n under co nside ra tion by the co m pa ny's five-man boa rd for so me time a nd o ne of th e d iffic u lties ha s bee n to fi nd a n a ircra ft su itable for Ae r Lingu s's rou tes, n early a ll o r w h ich a re com pa ra tive ly sh o rt .

THE FIRST FLI GHT o f th e first p ro du cti on Airspeed Am bassa dor wa s m ade at Ch ristch urch o n J an ua ry 12 . Th is is actually the fourth Ambassador a irframe, fol lowing two prototypes and one pre-produ ction model.





From airport to town? Take I "CO RGI", En il)" stow ed. weight 9Slbt., l ite fo lded 5l illl. IOl'lg lC 1)ms. wide

The hUge Cierva W.11 Air Horse helicopter was completed by Saunders-Roe, but after tethered testin9 was put into store at Byley and eventually broken up. ABOVE




20ins. hi&:h.

125 miles per lilian. 1SO miles one fi ll ing! De li nltc l)" alrminded! BCing the c;v,I, an version of the paratrooper's "WELBIKE "

,.,.,~,~""' .

Sole ConeeMionna lPe3:





AUDUT ti O U $.(.


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N OlITti AU l)lU

LTD ullin. w ,e


PhUi P urchaae PRICE

Tax £11:13:10

£43 60 ••

Based on the Excelsior Welbike used by airborne troops, the Corgi was a 97 c,e, runabout, easily stowable in one's D.H. Rapide!



200 1



These rare colour photographs, submitted by FRANCO VEGLIO of Berne, show some of the many USAAF bombers which landed in neutral Switzerland and were interned during World War Two. All those shown except The Wickie and Tequila Daisy were flown to Burtonwood , Lancashire, in the autumn of 1945 for scrapping


5 I


Durin9 a raid on Munich on JUly 11, 1944, Consolidated B-24J 44-40168 Tequila Daisy of the 857th Bombardment Squadron, 492nd Bomb Group, based at North Picken ham, Norfolk, had two of its engines knocked out by flak and limped into Diibendorf, where its nosewheel collapsed. ABOVE

An unidentified Liberator in the process of being broken up at Diibendorf. In total 71 bombers were flown to Burtonwood post-war, and were subsequently scrapped there, while those remaining in Switzerland were also broken up, yielding 345 tons of scrap metal to the Swiss.


RIGHT Five Liberators of the

15th Air Force landed in Switzerland on July 20, 1944, after a Friedrichshafen raid. The Wickie was B-24G 42-78207 of the 459th Bomb Group, which arrived at Diibendorf with one engine shut down; the Swiss reported no other damage.

More than 1,100 8th Air Force bombers attacked Southern Germany and Bavaria on July 21, 1944, and 31 were lost, seven Liberators landing at Diibendorf and one crashing. Little Sheppard, B·24H 41·28711 of the 712th BS, 448th BG, based at Seething, lost three engines but skidded into Diibendorf. Note the 21 mission symbols. ABOVE

Aeroplane. February 2001

RIGHT The complete

ABOVE The bomber park

nose of a Liberator is cut away for scrapping at Diibendorf in 1945.

at Diibendorf in 1945 showing B-24H 42-95218 wearing the 6X code of the 491st BG, Metfield (landed July 21, 1944), B-17G 42-102457 Gloria of the 94th BG and B-24H 42-52559 Miss Fortune of the 467th BG (both landed July 12, 1944).

BELOW The only

Deenethorpe-based 401st BG aircraft to be interned in Switzerland was B-17G 42-107092 Freckles (on the other side it was named Umbriago). Virtually everything went wrong for it on July 31, 1944, and it was escorted into Diibendorf by a Swiss Bf 109E.

BELOW Following failure

of No 3 engine and fuel shortage on a mission to Lechfeld, its 51 st, on September 12, 1944, B-24H 41-28989 Reddy Teddy Too of the 15th AF's 455th BG arrived at Diibendorf with fighter protection and made a safe landing.

9B!3 •

BELOW Wearing the shark's-mouth marking of the

756th BS, 459th BG, 15th Air Force, B-24J 44-41075 was damaged over Munich and flew into Diibendorf. Here a mechanic works on it before its post-war flight to Burtonwood.

ABOVE B-24H 42-94785 Struggle Buggy was one of

38 aircraft from the 489th BG at Halesworth sent to the marshalling yards at Saarbriicken on August 11, 1944. It was the Group's only loss; hit by flak and with two engines out, it was directed by a Swiss fighter to Diibendorf. Aeroplane, February 200 1



Well known to Aeroplane readers , author and former World War Two Hawker Typhoon pilot JOHN GOLLEY

died peacefully on November 16. This is the tribute that BILL GUNSTON OBE FRAeS

delivered at his funeral at Farnham on November 30

John Golley shortly after receiving his RAF commission during World War Two. He recounted his and his comrades' Typhoonflying experiences in the book The Day of the Typhoon (Patrick Stephens, 1986) and in a two-part article under the same title in Aeroplane of M arch and April 1984. ABOVE RIGHT


N JANUARY 1986 1 was asked to review a book ca ll ed Day of the Typhoon . Eve ryone kn ew Typh oon s used to fire ro cket s a t Germ an tanks. Likewise, eve ryo n e kn ew th at th ese w ildly un guid ed mi ssiles n ever act ually h it th eir ta rgets, so I was amazed to sec clear pictures of Tigers with thei r 88mm turret blown of I. a nd Pa n zc rs ups ide -down . 1 bega n to rea d. So me hou rs la ter I m ad e a teleph on e ca ll : "Is th at John Goll ey? You rea lly mu st stop do in g thi s, I' ve be en readin g Day of the Typhoon . I co u ld n't put it do wn , a n d I've lost a w h ole work ing da y! " Thill ca ll cha nged m y li fe. John was born in 1923 into a la rge South London fam ily. When he was te n years o ld his fat her was accide ma lly killed . At o nce Joh n becam e th e fam ily's lath er-fi gure, as th e person everyon e went to for h elp and advice. In 194 0, aged 16, h e vo lu n tee red for th e RAE While wa iting to be ca lled up he worked at th e offices of Surrey Co u nt y Co u n ci l. One day. going to work in a Sou thern electric train , h e wa tched a Do rn icr Do 17 orbiting n earb y. Su dde n ly the bomber swo oped on th e tra in . with bombs a n d ma chine-gun lire. At o nce, it was John who too k cha rge and prevent ed pani c. In 1941 John bega n tra ini ng as a pilot. at Moose Jaw and Medi cine Ha t in Ca na da. Re turning with the coveted w ings, he was picked fo r fi ght ers (wha t e lse? - h e was a born

figh ter pilot) . He learned h is tra de o n Hu rrica n es, bu t ca m e closest to deat h in a Cu rt iss Toma hawk . A careless girl in th e WA AF forgo t to replace th e ca p o n th e fuel fill er. a n d John found himself fl yi ng a glider w ith one whee l locked up and the other locked down . This put him in hospit al for wee ks . In 194 2 John co nve rted to the Typhoo n . With a 2,200 h .p . Napier Sabre, it was th e most powerful single-cngincd fig hte r in the world at th at tim e, but it had a bad reputation. Joh n wa s lu ck y never to ha ve had th e tail fall ofI. but h e did ha ve a few dcad sti ck (ta iled e ng in e) landin gs. And e ve ryo ne h ated ha vin g the ca rtype doors bolted shut a n d the roof locked. so that escape was im possible. D-Day, J u n e 6. 1944. saw Joh n over th e Norm and y beach es, on a specia l reconn aissance w ith 245 Sq n . Th ankfu ll y, by thi s tim e the Typhoons had sliding bubble ca n o pies. Soo n h e was in the thi ck o f th e fi ghting, with ca n n o n, bo mbs a nd ro ckets. The "da y" m en tion ed in the book title was in m id-A ugus t 1944 w hen th e 6t h SS Pan zer Divis ion was ca ugh t o n a road in da ylight. Every "Tilly" in th e 2 n d Ta ctical Air Force w as ca lled up. Th e tank s occupi ed more th an six miles of ro ad , a nd fo ught ba ck with 88 m m a n d more than 100 20mm gu ns. but by lat e a fte rnoon the ent ire divisio n was a shambles of wrecked and burn ing vehicles. One day John was sh o t do wn , cras h ing a lmost on th e Germa n front lin e. He m an aged to evad e capture, and a ft e r runn ing with his head down for seve ra l m iles h e ca me upon an All ied a irstrip. Th e first thing he sa w wa s a 13 - 17G. Th e re was n obod y abou t so - n e ve r having been in one - he climbed in . It wa s at o nce a ppa re n t that thi s was a special 13-1 7 . Th e int erior was full of la rge maps. leath er ar mcha irs, and a bi g refr igerator. Grabbin g a bottle of Co ke, he made a ha st y ex it. to co me la ce to face with th e Su preme Allied Co m m a nde r. Jo h n th rew th e sma rtes t sa lu te o f his life. General Eisen hower aske d "W h a t arc yo u doing w ith Illy Co ke? " John sa luted aga in. "Ike" then gril led J ohn on his unit. their problems, th eir ach ieve me n ts a n d what might be done to make them more effective . He then sa id. "Go to th e marqu ee and tell them th e Su p reme Co m ma n de r says yo u ca n h ave any tliinq yOll want!" Jo hn sa lu ted . O n his way h e was int ercept ed by a furious RA F sq ua dro n leade r, wh o demand ed to know wh at had been sa id . Jo h n. a t the tim e a se rgea n t. tapp ed th e side of his nose a n d sa id, "State secret ". A day or two la ter John wa s se n t hom e on a bricl lca vc. He arrived at h is mother's h o use at the sa me tim e as the postman . w ho han ded over a tel egra m. Guess ing it was fro m the Air Mini stry. J ohn ope ned it. It read "REG RET Aeroplane, February 2001

TO INFO RM YOU YOUR SON IS MISSING BE LIEVED KILLED" . Soo n J o hn rece ived a fi eld co m m ission, and one day h is CO said "Wizard show, Jo hn, I' ve put you up for an im m edi ate DFC". I sa id to John, "But you never put that after your name?" . He replied "I n ever got it. th e CO go t the chop n e xt day ". So I persisted . "W hy didn 't you m ent ion it to his successor?" Jo h n had a short fuze, a nd he exploded; "We had other things to do. We had three COs killed in three weeks. We co u ldn 't bother about some chap n ot gett ing a go ng h e 'd been p rom ised ". Not for J ohn a petul ant su lk. In stead h e fl ew ro u nd th e clock, a nd desp ite cou nt less close calls he survived, logging 103 operationa l sorties. The Typhoon squadrons suffered the high est casua lty ra te of any force in the war. w ith the sing le exce ptio n of the Germa n U-boa ts . Afte r th e war Jo h n d id a tw in -engin e co nvers ion on Oxfords (a nd flew Mosq uitoes), a nd then was actually sent to Oxford to attend a course at the University. He also instructed a n u m ber of pil ots fro m Allied co untries, n ot a bly No rway a nd Th e Nethe rlan ds. How ever, in John's words, "I do ubted tha t I'd make Air Marshal. so I returned to Civvy Street" . He began work for a mass -observation company, who sent him to live among the coa lminers of Sout h Wa les. J ohn ad mi re d these w on de rfu l men , a n d wrote a book abo u t th em (title Down to Earth), w h ich h e never offered to a publisher. In Ju ly 194 8 he married Peggy, and they soon produced Angela and then Tony. John beca me a feat ure w riter on Scope, in ter vie wi ng "ca p ta ins o f indu st r y ", a n d th en becam e Adve rt ise ment Director o f Adp rin t, whose magazine Future was the British equivalent of Fortune. In 1953 he was h ired by Lew Grade to set up market ing for th e pion eer ATV television sta tion in Birm ingham . He worked with Ned Sher rin, Noelle Gordon a n d Reg wa tson (w ho later created Neiqhboursi , and directly with Lew and with Val Parnell. He set up J im 's Inn , fronted by Jimmy Hanley, and then , wit h Avril Ange rs a n d Ray Cooney, partn ered Jo h n Slater in Slater's Bazaar. By 19 57 Jo h n ha d a fiv e -yea r co ntract run n ing ATV's e n tire direct-selli ng organization, but he persuaded Lew Grade to tear it up so he could form his own company. Th is com pa ny was ca lled Go lley Slate r. II grew rapid ly, offering th e co m plete ra nge o f adve rt ising in a ll m edi a, pu bli c relations and sales training. John created more than 1,000 TV commercials. By 1980 he had turned down tempting offe rs from Maurice Saa tch i and Ma rt in So rrell. a n d in 1999 Go lley Slater's turn over w as n ot far sho rt of £ I00 m illi o n . Joh n ha d lon g since dise ngaged from the fre netic day -to-day operations, whilst rema ining Cha irman. What he wanted to do was write books. As well as Day of the Typhoon (w h ich was rep rint ed la st year) h e wrote The BiH Drop, H u r r ican es over Murmansk a n d Aircrew Unlimited. As soon as I met him in 1986 I said, "I' m sup posed to be writing the biography of Sir Frank Aeroplane, February

20 0 1

Wh it tle. but I' m overworked, a nd lettin g h im down. Ca n yo u h elp? ". J ohn did m ore th an tha t: h e w rote th e book, a n d the n w en t o n to write John Cun n inqh am . Th is is a biograph y th at many authors had wanted to write, but all had been gently de flected un til. in John Galley, the fa mo us n ight -figh te r an d test pil ot fo u nd a tru e k in d re d sp irit. In 1988 Jo hn w a s ap proached by fa m o us silh ou en e art ist Michae l Pierce, w ho sa id, "I have an idea for a product to hono u r the men who won th e Bat tle of Bri ta in, a nd wan t 10 get it ou t for the 50 th a n n ive rsa ry in 1990 ". Cu tt in g a long story sho rt, Jo h n , M ike a n d I crea ted So Few. In pa rtne rs h ip w it h Air Vi ce -Marsha l Freddie Hurrell CBE, th e RAF Be nevolent Fund Director of Appea ls, we produced 40 1 massive nu m bered copies, each gua ra nteed n ot to det erio rat e in 500 yea rs. We took No I to Bucking ha m Pa lace a n d h a n d ed it to He r Majesty, a n d sold th e o ther 400 at £ 1.600 each . This raised more money for the Fund tha n any p re vio u s prod uct or event in the Fund's 80 -yea r hi story. Th e 25 cha ps featured in So Few a ll sa id, "Yo u must do so m eth in g fo r Bo m be r Com ma n d, they ha d a much rough er job" . So we followed w ith So Many. Aga in the dea l was 401 at £1,600. Then W.H . Smith sa id, "Fa n tastic. how abou t a popula r editio n?". So we did a beau tifu ll y- bound editio n o f each title, printed o ff th e sa me fil m bU I o n ordin a ry m at e ria ls, an d each ma de th e n on -fiction best -sell er list. one reach ing No 3 and the other No 2 . Again, these generated a la rge su m for the Fund. Jo h n mea nwh ile gave ta lks to clu bs a n d schools, be ing discon ce rted by a furio u s sch oo lgirl w ho as ked, "D id it n eve r occur to yo u th at there were men in those ta nks?" . He a lso re pre sented the RAF on a tri-Service lecture cruise by the sh ip Cun ard Princess. Not lea st , w ith Ton y Allard h e wrot e a pla y about con fl icting emo tions in th e Bat tle o f Brita in, Freedom to Forqet, w h ich wo n exce llen t reviews a n d p la yed 10 fu ll houses at The Rcdgra ve. Farnham. His integrity was absol ute . He went straight to th e heart of a ny p rob lem . He did n't su ffer fools gladly, and on occas ion h e h ad a sho rt fuz e, h illi ng th e edge of th e table w it h his fingers a nd sayi ng, "No, no, no, yo u're no t listening!". I like to think he is now reunited wit h No 245 Sqn, with a glass of beer a nd h is favo urite pipe . If he h as a spa re h a n d. it It.I wi ll be h ill ing the ta ble . u.J

Bill Gunston (left), Mike Pierce (centre) and John Golley with copy No 1 of the folio So Few (see Aeroplane, August 1990) at the Royal Air Force Club in September 1990, just before they went to Buckingham Palace to present it to HM The Queen. Some of the Mike Pierce silhouettes from the book were reproduced in Aeroplane's series One of the Few during the Battle of Britain 60th anniversary period in 2000.


John flew

round the clock and despite countless close calls he survived, logging 103 operational sorties on Typhoons

LEFT A typical article by John Golley in Aeroplane - this one was published in our May 1998 issue.

---_ ...... --' -_.--






PHOTOG RA PH IN THE Jul y/Au gu st 1999 issue of Germa n aviat ion magazin e Jet & Prop show ed a n RAF prison er together with his capto rs. His name was Flying Office r George, an d th e location was Bargstcdt . n ear St ade, a few miles west of Hamb urg. The read er w ho su bm itted it. Dietrich Alsdorp. wanted to know w hat ha d happened to the prisoner, and the maga zine's editor was in terested e no ugh to research th e circu ms ta nces, with so me init ial help from m e. On Se pte m be r 2 5, 1944, Air Ch ief Marshal Sir Art h ur Ha rri s recei ved a d irective req uiri ng Bomber Co m ma nd to co nce n tra te on destroy ing the e ne m y's synthetic oil plants a nd transpo rt system . Altho ugh Ha rri s o ppose d th is policy, cont endin g th at the a rea bombing of Germa n cities was the best method o f bringing the war to an end, he grudg ingly d ive rted so me of his Com ma n d's efforts to these objectives. The photograph in Jet & Prop was a result of th is o il ca m pa ign . Bomber Co m m a nd devoted th e night o f November 11 -1 2, 1944, to att a cks o n th e Rhena nia-Ossag refinery at Harburg. across the Elbc from Hamburg, a nd the He esch Benzin refinery in the wambe l district of Dortm u nd , in the Rui n. Nu m ber 5 Gro u p was ordered to a ttack Harburg with 237 Avro La ncas tc rs a nd eig h t de Havill and Mosquitoes, and among these was the ma rker force of No 83 (Pa th finde r) Sqn . based at Co n ingsby, Lin col nshire . Numbers I and 8 Gro ups despat ch ed 209 La ncasie rs a nd 19 Mosquitoes to Dortmund . The other Groups were ordered to sta nd by fo r possibl e dayligh t o pe ra tio ns in support of the All ied gro u nd fo rces. This was the first occasion that Bomber Co m ma nd had visited Harb u rg. a ltho ugh th e US Eigh th Air Force had a lrea dy m ade six daylight a tt acks in the su m m e r a nd a u tu m n of 1944. La ncaster III P131 88, coded OL-A, was one of 12 from 83 Sqn wh ich took off on this attack, a t 1638hr. The crew was one of th e most ex pe rie nced in the sq ua d ro n . Th e pilot was an Aus tra lia n, Fit Lt David ("Curly") Four of the seven crew of PB188 pose with their (ground) transport. From left to right: Fit Lt David ("Curly") Jennings (pilot); Pit Off Albert Mathews (rear gunner); Pit Off Brian Hayes (mid-upper gunner) and Pit Off Gordon ("Bill") Hughes (wireless operator). RIGHT

Aeroplane, Februa ry 2001


While investigating the fate of a Royal Air Force prisoner of war, ROY NESBIT unravelled the full story of an 83 Squadron Lancaster's last bombing raid over Germany

One of the photographs which prompted the enquiry into the fate of the other crew members of Lancaster OL-A of No 83 Sqn. It shows navigator Fg Off Phil George under guard at Bargstedt, near Stade in northern Germany.


Jen nings DFC. His navigat or WJS Brit is h, Fg Off Phil George . The w ireless operator (WOp) WJS Austra lian . Fg Off Gordon ("Bill ") Hughes. A third Austra lian WJS mid-upper gunner Pit Off Brian Hayes DFM. The rear gunner WJS British, Pit Off Albert Mathews DFC, as were both the flight engineer. Fit Sgt Stanley Burleigh, and the bomb aimcr/radar operator. WO H. W. (Be rt) Turton . There was no irucruion to use the bombsight. for the load was to be dropped by "bli nd ma rking" wit h the Gee-H radar sys tem filled in such specialised a ircraft. Six of the seve n me n in the crew su rvived to become pri soners. Th ree ha ve been locat ed. a nd a no ther h J S died but h J S left a vivid accou nt. Th us th e eve nts of th e fli gh t may be reconstructed from their reco llections. Th e crew had bee n briefed to back u p the targe t indi cators dropped by the Master Bomber in one of the Mosquitoes, with the unenviable job of orbiting the target area from 1900hr until the main bomber strea m arrived 15min later. They were also given the additional duty of "Com ma nd Wind Broadcaster". which meant that navigator Phil George had to calculate the wi nd veloci ty en rou te to th e target a nd pJSS the in forma tion to WOp Bill Hu ghes, w ho wo uld se nd it to Bom be r Co mma nd Headqua rte rs for relayin g to a ll a irc raft in the o pc rarion . The La ncaster WJS loa ded w ith two gree n flares. J red target ind ica tor (TI l. J medium-capacity bomb of 1,0001b with J l 2h r de lay and seven more such bombs with omi nou s six-day dela ys. Aeroplane, February 2001

The ro u te to th e ta rge t took th e La ncaste r over the North SeJ to th e COJst o f Germa ny and then u p the rive r Elbe to the targe t. The USUJ I ro u tine WJS fo llowed in the early part of the flight. The navigation lights and identification friend or foe (IFF ) were switched of I. the guns tested with short bursts into the sea, and all instruments were checked. The oxygen system WJS checked at 10,000ft and all crew members were connected with it. Ph il George made his calcula tions and discovered that the fo recast w in d WJS in correct, an increase in speed being req uired . Th is in fo rm ati on WJS rad ioed to Bomber Co m ma nd an d a ll ot he r a ircra ft we re inform ed. The fl ying tim e to Ha rhu rg after cross ing th e COJ st WJS abo u t 12 mi n . By thi s time the La ncas ter was at 2 3,000ft. Flight engineer Stanley Burleigh had moved in to the front turret. It became evident that the defenders had located the approa ching bomber strea m on their radar. for searchlights were weaving around their blue master light s. David Jennings kept the Lan caster weaving constant ly, seeing bursts of flak to starboard. Ye llow flares ahead on the port bow ind icared a p robabl e assemb ly poin t fo r n igh tfi ght ers. Bert Tunon reporte d six a ircra ft on his radar scree n , but since th ese we re on th e sa me head in g they were ass u med to be RAE The flak beca m e more in tense as they neared the target. From the rem tu rre t. Albert Mathews reported aircraft going down in flame s a couple of miles behind, followed 35


The target for N o 5 Group on the n ight of November 11-1 2, 1944, was the Rhenania-Ossag oil re fine r y at Harburg. La nc a st e r A-Able of 83 Sqn was shot down before it reached this o bj e c ti ve . RIGHT

This photograph was taken in June 1 945 when two of the PoWs returned to No 83 Sqn from Germany. Fourth from left, Fit Lt David Jennings; far rig ht , Pit Off Bill Hughes. All the others w ere members of the groundcrew. They are ' standing in front of "ne w" Lancaster OL-A of No 83 Sqn. BELOW

by e no rmo us fl ashes as th eir bombs ex ploded . Bill Hugh es searched the fre quencies o n h is wireless set for e nem y vo ices d irecting n igh tfigh ters. To his surprise he h eard a woma n giv ing th ese, an d drown ed h er o u t w ith blast s o f e n gine noise e ve ry l Oscc. But th is actio n did not stop th e e n em y activity, [or th e gunners soo n report ed night fi ghters in the vicin ity. David Je n ni ngs was a le rt [or directi o n s, and was not surpr ised whe n A lbe rt Ma t hews warned tha t a n e ne my a ircra ft w as track ing th em aft er Be rt Turton h ad pick ed it up o n his radar scree n . He w as to ld to be ready to "corkscrew port ". Upo n receiving th e word "go ", h e bank ed the Lan cast er 90° a n d dropped 2,000 h , then levelled o u t an d sk idded in to a climbing tu rn . The gunne rs repo rted ca n n o n [ire streaki ng a bove the a ircraft. By the n they were 8 m in away [rom th e ta rget, a n d this manrcu vrc w as repeat ed twi ce more befo re they rea ched it, havin g successfu lly sha ke n 0[[ th eir p ursu ers. Je n n in gs le vell ed o u t a t 23,000h a n d encountered a myriad of searchl ights . Then ca me a su dden a n d trem en dou s cras h as a sa lvo of hea vy fl ak exploded a ro u n d th em . The Lan ca ster fi ll ed wit h sm o ke, the sta rboa rd engines and wing ca ugh t fire a n d sp u rts of flam e a ppea red on th e port wing. He ord ered th e fire ex ting u ishers to be u sed, bu t these proved ineffect ive. Then he put the ma chine into a dive in th e h ope of putting o m th e fires, but th ey w ere ju st as strong when h e pull ed out. He ordered Bill Hughes to repo rt the sit u ation to base, but was told that both the wire less set and th e radar w e re sha tt ered . Fro m behin d th e cu rta in th at sh eltered his n avigator 's pos ition, Phil George saw that a large sectio n of th e roo f ove r hea d h ad disapp eared . He climbed o ve r th e m ainspar to see that flames w ere sp read in g a lon g th e fu sel age , ca us in g a m m u n itio n in bo xe s and o xygen bot tles in the rack s to exp lode in all direct ions. It ~ was clea r th at the bomb load co u ld ex plode a t ~ a ny m om en t, so Jen ni ngs gave the o rder the ~ bale o ut. z S All se ven m en left th e blazin g Lan caster as Aeroplane, Februa ry 2001



A Lancaster III prepares to take off on a night bombing raid. Although the idea of a special pathfinding force was first used by the Luftwaffe in raids over Britain in 1940, it was the RAF which exploited the idea to its full potential, using improved navigational techniques to mark targets accurately for Main Force squadrons.


best th e y co uld. The rear gu n ne r tu rn ed his turret a nd fell out backward s th rough th e ope ning. Bria n Hayes was wedged in his miduppe r turret. wea ring heavy fly ing gear. but strug gled ou t to find th a t his parachu te pack, left und erneath, was scorched. Nevert h eless he cl ipped it on a nd loo ked towa rd s th e e n try door at th e rear of th e sta rboard side, bu t it a ppea red to be jamm ed, a nd th e a rea arou nd it was burni ng. He clambered forwa rd over the burning bomb ba y a nd man aged to lea ve th rough th e fro nt esca pe ha tch . Bert Tu rt on, Stanley Burleig h and Phil George also left by thi s hatch, the latte r barely able to sq ueeze h is 6ft 2in fra me throu gh w ith a forward roll . Bill Hughes, who described th e infern o in the fu selage as "li ke a gas ring", sa w Ph il d isappear. He dash ed to th e rear doo r, w ith fl am es sea ring hi s face a n d hand s, a nd ma naged to w re nch it open in time to dive o ut. Th e ca pta in left his pil ot's sea t a nd sa w th at everyo ne seemed to have left. He a lso ma de his way to the fro nt ha tch and ba led o ut. at an a ltitude he estimat ed as 20,000 ft. David Je n n ings passed out, possibl y fro m lack o f oxygen , but ca me to wh en descendi ng thro ug h th ree laye rs o f clo uds. He ke pt bru shing o ff sno w fl a kes to prevent his clo thes from beco m ing wet. Then he cras hed th ro ugh trees a nd was le ft sus pe nded a bove th e gro u nd. After a w h ile in th is awkwa rd situa tion he heard vo ices, a nd a light was shone in hi s direction. A voice sa id "Ka merad" a nd a rifl e w ith a ba yonet was pointed at him. He p ush ed the release butt on on h is ha rn ess a nd fell abo ut l Oft to th e gro u nd . Th e jar jerked hi s false teeth from his m outh, a nd he used hi s li ght er to sea rch for th e m . He had descended on a farm at the edge o f a pine forest a nd was ta ke n to a gua rd ho use abo ut a m ile awa y, w here he was sea rched and his personal equ ipment was removed . Phil George a lso re me m be rs descend in g throu gh la ye rs o f cloud . Since th e heating in th e La n caster had its o utlet near th e navigator's cha rt tabl e, he was wea ri ng o nly his battl edress, w itho ut ex tra fl ying clo the s, a n d th us Aeroplane, February 2001

became extremel y cold. He instin ctively cl u ng to the parachute shro uds, a nd his ha nds froz e to th em. His memory o f h is land ing a nd its immediat e afte rmat h is un clear. but he now knows th at he fe ll nea r th e village of Bargstcdt. w he re he wa s captu red. It seems th a t he was ta ke n the fo llowing m orning to a local Gas thoL und e r gua rd from the Volkst u rm . He rem em bers th e local ladi es eye ing his parachute mat erial w ith interest a nd for eign workers com ing in , so me o f w hom ga ve him a surrcptio us V sign a nd even bou ght beer for h im. He was thu s not too bad ly treated, an d was soon re u n ited with o the r crew m e mbers. Bill Hugh es also passed o ut w he n he ba led o ut o f th e rear door on th e sta rboa rd side. He wa s still in free fall wh e n he ca me to, a t a height he estima ted as 4,000ft, a nd pulled th e ri pcord . The parachute o pe ned an d he co u ld see light s a ll aro u nd , but th e gro u n d below was jet bla ck. Then he plunged in to wat e r, for h e had fa llen in to a cana l abo ut 20ft wide. He un clipped his parach ute ha rness and swam to the ban k, w he re he fo un d many houses. The ta rget a rea was rendered vis ible by search ligh ts and flak, so he hea ded in th e opposite direction, ru n ning dow n a cou ple of stree ts a nd th en past padd ocks. A stick o f bombs fe ll abo ut 75yd awa y, send ing h im fl ying. The main bom ber force had a rrived, a nd th e sky was a mass of fl ashes a nd thund erous ex plosio ns. He ke pt o n, half ru n n ing, blu ndering int o trees a nd eve n fallin g in to a n ice -cold creek. It bega n

Brian Hayes was wedgeg in his mid-upper turret, wearing heavy flying gear, but struggled out to find that his parachute pack was scorched

The mid-upper turret of the Lancaster. Brian Hayes, jammed in with his bulky flying suit, had difficulty extricating himself quickly when PB188 was hit by heavy flak and caught fire . LEFT





Someone with a badly burnt face was ushered in. "Who are you?", asked Jennings. "I'm Billy", said Bill Hughes, almost unrecognisable


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2i ~ The crew's known survivors as they are today. TOP Mid·upper 9unner Brian Hayes at his home in Australia. MIDDLE Pilot David "Cur ly" Jennings now lives in Tasmania. BOTTOM Navigator Phil George lives in Dorset, a n d was photographed r e c e n t l y with his daughter.

snowing heavil y as he entered a forest. but the moon began to sh ine through the clouds. He h eaded east by the sta rs . His face was agonisin gly h ot . a nd h e sa t down a n d ru bbed sno w into it, w it h o u t effect. So me co n de nse d m ilk from a tube in hi s escape kit gave so me re li e f. Whe n da w n came he could see t hat h is hand s were h orribly burnt, with even a bare knu ck lebone showing. He had no h a ir on his h ea d. a nd h is clot hes were pa rtl y burnt away. He even tua lly w alk ed or cra w led m ore th an 15 mi les fro m w h ere h e h ad desce nd ed. His fa ce h ad swollen u p like a ball oon. h is bo tt o m lip was terribly gas hed a nd he cou ld not see out of one eye . He fell asleep. but was w oken in bright sunlight wi th dogs barking and so ld ie rs yelli ng a nd po inting t heir guns a t h im . He stood up an d su rre n de red . "All es ka put ". they kep t sayi ng, a nd m arch ed h im to a barn w h e re th e y re lieved hi m of a ll h is possessio ns. Then he wa s told to march o n, unde r guard. A German got off his bike and began to hit him . knocking him to til e ground , but one of the guards h it h is as sa ilant on t he h ead w it h his rifle . They a rrived at a no t her sma ll village. wh ere h e was locked in a room . Brian Hayes wa ited unt il h e was in a n upright position before pulling the ripcord of his burnt para chute. o ffering up a very qui ck pra yer as he did so. To h is intense relief the ca nopy o pened a nd the h arn ess too k his w e igh t. He h it the gro u n d w it h a g rea t jo lt, ca us ing pa in s 10 shoo t u p h is back . Loo king around in a darkness illu mi n a ted by th e distan t target area . h e co u ld see that he had landed in o pe n h earhland with little cover. He managed 10 hid e his para chut e in the ban k of a small stream a nd . w ith t he aid of h is pocket co m pass. began to ta ke te n ta ti ve steps so u t h -wes t, towards t h e di sta nt Du tch bo rde r. He ma de slow prog ress on th e fi rst day. suffering pain in his legs and ba ck, pa ssing sm a ll streams. farm s and livestock . The next two days w ere mu ch th e sa m e, and h e ate spa ringly from hi s esca pe pa ck. Alter t he third n igh t h e awoke to see shee p aro und hi m a n d a Ge rma n she p he rd . The Ge rma n d isapp eared in one directio n a nd Ha yes in th e o ther. He t ried to h ide, but a truck with armed youths an d a Gefreit er in cha rge pulled up and he w as qui ck ly ca p tu red . The Ge r m a ns took him to a local cell. from w here he wa s taken to a room

for interrogati on by a Hauptmann o f the wchrma cht. the local vill age leader a n d a Gestapo offi cer who a ccused him of sp ying and th rea te n ed in ca rcerat io n in a co n ce n t ra tio n ca m p . Bu t th e Ha uptm ann co n fir me d th at h e was a gen u ine RAAF officer. From there he wa s m ade to walk about eigh t miles to a rail wa y sta tio n . und er the gu a rd of a rm ed cyclists who protected him fro m in furi ated civilians. and pla ced on a trai n w ith h is escorts to Dulag Lu ft. t he in te rroga tio n ce n t re a t Obcrurse l n ea r Fran kfurt -a m -Main . On t he seco n d day of his ca p ture David Jennings wa s led out under armed gu ard and put in a tru ck with two a irm e n fro m an other cre w. The tru ck set o ff and othe r RAF person n el were p icked up . Then someone with a ba d ly burnt fa ce was ush ere d in . "W ho are yo u ?". aske d Je n n ings. "I' m Billy" , sa id Bill Hug hes. w ho was almo st unrecognisab le . ph il Geo rge was the ne xt to be pick ed up. a n d the tru ck th en arri ved at a large ai rfield . Je n n in gs and Hu ghes w ere lo ck ed in the sa m e cell. a n d a requ est for a doctor wa s met wit h a roll of to ilet pa per. w h ich Dav id u sed to bi nd up Bill's wo u n ds as best h e co u ld . The part y wa s t he n tra n sp o rt ed to a tra in . and off it wen t. During a stop a t Kassel the gu ards h ad to prot e ct the prisoners fro m a n a ng ry mob . Eve nt ua lly th e train too k th em to Du lag Lult. wh e re Bill Hug h es was at la st admitted to h ospital. Th e ava ilab le spa ce does n o t perm it a n acco un t o f t h e ex periences o f th ese lo u r men in prison ca m ps. All survi ved th e war, but Bill Hughes died so m e years ago . As regard s Albert M ath ews, David Jennings w as told a t Du lag Luft t h a t he h ad been killed in a gu n fig ht. No deta il s are ava il a ble, but it wa s known th at h e ca rrie d a revolver, w h ich h e ma y ha ve used to pro tect him self fro m a n a ngry m ob . He h ad been co m m issio n ed from warra nt offi cer and a w a rd ed a DFC onl y a few da ys before. Hi s bod y w as neve r fo u n d. a n d he is regi st e red as "n o k now n g ra ve ". The re w a s conside ra ble destru ct ion in Harburg. w ith 5,205 people bomb ed o u t a nd 119 killed . No in form at io n is a va ila ble fro m t h is research co nce rn ing t he ot her two members of the cre w, Stanle y Burleigh a n d Bert Turton , except that the y a lso be cam e pri son ers a n d survived the w ar. Burleigh 's lon g-overd ue t;1 DFM was not ga zetted unt il 194 6 . ~

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RIGHT Lancaster

OL·A on display after the war. This machine replaced the original OL·A which was shot down on November

11 ,1944. Aeropla ne, February 2001 •



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