Tuesday, 30 October 2012

First Flight for NZ Mosquito

Mosquito in NZ Skies:

From World Warbird News: Mosquito FB.26 KA114 flew in Auckland recently

 Several videos showing the event are available on Youtube:

Me 323 Gigant found off Sardinia

Rare find off Sardinia

 Reputedly the remains of a 
Messerschmidt 323 Gigant Transport

Italian researchers claim to have discovered the wreck of a Messerschmitt Me 323 Gigant heavy cargo/troop transport off the Sardinian coast. Only 200 Me 323 were built during the war and none has survived to this day, the only remnants of the type being a main spar owned by the Luftwaffenmuseum der Bundeswehr (German Air Force Museum), near Berlin.

The plane was reportedly shot down by a Bristol Beaufighter on 26 July 1943 as it left Sardinia for Pistoia in Italy. A few troops onboard the aircraft managed to evacuate the aircraft before it sank, but most passengers were trapped inside and drowned.
If the wreck does prove to be an Me 323, this would be a major discovery for aviation historians. Amateur historian and diver Cristina Freghieri claims she had been searching for the wreck for a year but had not expected to find it here. The wreck was discovered by using a wire-guided camera, and was then explored by a team of divers. The few seconds of footage that have been made available would tend to show the wreck is indeed an Me 323

Link to Luftwaffe Me 323 Wreck video

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Happy Birthday P51 Mustang! Cadillac of the Sky!

Happy Birthday P51 Mustang! Cadillac of the Sky!
First flew on this day 1940.

 The North American Aviation P-51 Mustang was an American long-range, single-seat fighter and fighter-bomber used during World War II, the Korean War and several other conflicts. During World War II, Mustang pilots claimed 4,950 enemy aircraft shot down, second only to the carrier borne Grumman F6F Hellcat among Allied aircraft.

I have had the priviledge of knowing one of the NZ Squadron commanders who flew the P51 D during WW2 as bomber escort. He went on to receive the freedom of Paris and to command the first NZ Vampire Squadron at Ohakea Airforce base

The Mustang was conceived, designed and built by North American Aviation (NAA), under the direction of lead engineer Edgar Schmued, in response to a specification issued directly to NAA by the British Purchasing Commission; the prototype NA-73X air frame was rolled out on 9 September 1940, albeit without an engine, 102 days after the contract was signed and it was first flown on 26 October.

The Mustang was originally designed to use the Allison V-1710 engine, which had limited high-altitude performance. It was first flown operationally by the Royal Air Force (RAF) as a tactical-reconnaissance aircraft and fighter-bomber. The addition of the Rolls-Royce Merlin to the P-51B model proved to be the engine that made the aircraft, at one stroke dramatically improving its altitude performance, speed, and its range. At 30,000 feet, the P-51B outran the A model by 100 mph.


The definitive version, the P-51D, was powered by the Packard V-1650-7, a license-built version of the Rolls-Royce Merlin 60 series two-stage two-speed supercharged engine, and armed with six .50 caliber (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns.

From late 1943, P-51Bs (supplemented by P-51Ds from mid-1944) were used by the USAAF's Eighth Air Force to escort bombers in raids over Germany, while the RAF's 2 TAF and the USAAF's Ninth Air Force used the Merlin-powered Mustangs as fighter-bombers, roles in which the Mustang helped ensure Allied air superiority in 1944. The P-51 was also in service with Allied air forces in the North African, Mediterranean and Italian theatres, and saw limited service against the Japanese in the Pacific War.

At the start of Korean War, the Mustang was the main fighter of the United Nations until jet fighters such as the F-86 took over this role; the Mustang then became a specialized fighter-bomber. Despite the advent of jet fighters, the Mustang remained in service with some air forces until the early 1980s !

After World War II and the Korean War, many Mustangs were converted for civilian use, especially air racing.

Technical credit: Wikipaedia

Thursday, 18 October 2012

60 Moth balled Griffon Engined Spitfires found

Buried Spitfires in Burma to be excavated: Sydney Morning Herald and London Telegraph:

Myanmar (Burma)'s government has signed an agreement with a British farmer to allow the excavation of dozens of rare Spitfires buried in the country at the end of World War II.
The historic hoard may hold as many as 60 of Britain's most famous fighter plane, the largest number of Spitfires left anywhere in the world.

Revered for their role in the Battle of Britain in 1940, there are only 35 Spitfires still flying around the world. It is thought that those buried in Burma could be worth £1.5 million ($2.3 million) each. 

The deal was made possible by the intervention of the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, who discussed bringing the planes home when he met the Burmese President, Thein Sein, in April.
David Cundall, a farmer and aviation enthusiast, struck the historical equivalent of a gold mine when he found the planes in February, almost 70 years after they were carefully greased and wrapped to preserve them, before being buried in crates.
"We estimate that there are at least 60 Spitfires buried and they are in good condition," said Htoo Htoo Zaw, Mr Cundall's Burmese business partner. "This will be the largest number of Spitfires in the world."
"We want to let people see these historic fighters, and the excavation of these planes will further strengthen relations between Burma and Britain."
Work on digging up the planes will start at the end of this month.
The find is considered even more valuable because the Spitfires are rare Mark XIV fighters, equipped not with the famous Rolls-Royce Merlin engine but the more powerful Griffon type.
Although more than 20,000 Spitfires were built in Britain during the World War II, only 2,042 later models were powered with Griffon engines and just a handful are still flying.
Mr Cundall, 62, spent 16 years and more than £130,000 of his own money scouring former RAF airfields in Burma for the planes, after receiving a tip-off that they were buried at the end of a runway in August 1945.
It is thought the aircraft were abandoned in Burma before they ever took to the air because they were no longer needed with so many Spitfires then flying and the war ending.
According to the Burmese press, Mr Cundall and Mr Zaw signed the deal to excavate the planes on Tuesday in Rangoon with Tin Naing Tun, Burma's director-general of civil aviation.
Burma's transport minister, Nyan Tun Aung, was cited as hailing the agreement as a milestone in Anglo-Burmese relations, and as recognition by the British government of Burma's recent pro-democracy reforms.
Mr Cameron made retrieving the planes a priority when he travelled to Rangoon in April to meet Mr Thein Sein and Aung San Suu Kyi.
But the deal was delayed after a tussle between Mr Cundall and the British businessman Steve Boultbee Brooks over who had the right to extract the planes.
Most of the Spitfires are expected to be returned to Britain, with some remaining in Burma on display.
Telegraph, London

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Singapore 2012 Airshow Jack Penman Photography

Some shots from the 2012 Singapore Air Show by Jack Penman
For more images see his website:

Singaporean  F16C and F15SG

Lockheed Martin F 35 Lightning II

(photo credit cnbc)

Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Royal Malaysian Mig 29Ns

Amelia Earhart's sad demise

Dozens heard Amelia Earhart's final, chilling pleas for help, researchers say Distilled from 2 posts in the  Washington Post a...