Warbirds (Historical, Veteran & Vintage Military Aircraft)

Rob c

Well-Known Member
Seems low to be honest, given the era but hey, he was also one of only two men surviving the wreck of Audacity.
There were more survivors than that , A book I have that was published in the early 1970's titled British aircraft carriers put the crew at 460 and the number lost at 73. several sites I have visited including the dreaded Wikipedia just using the search HMS Audacity agree with these figures. The numbers saved required the use of 3 RN ships.
 

At lakes

Active Member
Just Jane

Lancaster “Just Jane” Nearing Flight

List of surviving Avro Lancasters

There 17 surviving complete Lancaster's in the world most survive in Canada. There is one airworthy aircraft in Canada and there is another believed to be under restoration to return it to flight but details of that restoration are not known and the rest of the Canadian examples are display examples only. There are two in Australia both in museums one in the ACT and the other in Western Australia. One in Auckland NZ. One in France and one in Germany. The US have several including Kermit Weekes fantasy of flight has one stored with restoration planned sometime in the future. Unsure if that restoration will be to airworthy condition.

In the UK there are several in museums on display and at the BBMF flight there is one airworthy one and in Lincolnshire there is “Just Jane”. Just Jane has been in a taxi condition for several years and people could pay for ride in it, it helped to pay for the upkeep. But now in the final stages of restoration to airworthy condition and it is hoped she will fly sometime in the not too distant future.

One has to thank the French and the Canadian's for keeping the Lancaster is service until the early sixty's in the maritime patrol capability otherwise most would have most likely gone to the razor blade factory.
 

ngatimozart

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Just Jane

Lancaster “Just Jane” Nearing Flight

List of surviving Avro Lancasters

There 17 surviving complete Lancaster's in the world most survive in Canada. There is one airworthy aircraft in Canada and there is another believed to be under restoration to return it to flight but details of that restoration are not known and the rest of the Canadian examples are display examples only. There are two in Australia both in museums one in the ACT and the other in Western Australia. One in Auckland NZ. One in France and one in Germany. The US have several including Kermit Weeke's fantasy of flight has one stored with restoration planned sometime in the future. Unsure if that restoration will be to airworthy condition.

In the UK there are several in museums on display and at the BBMF flight there is one airworthy one and in Lincolnshire there is “Just Jane”. Just Jane has been in a taxi condition for several years and people could pay for ride in it, it helped to pay for the upkeep. But now in the final stages of restoration to airworthy condition and it is hoped she will fly sometime in the not too distant future.

One has to thank the French and the Canadian's for keeping the Lancaster is service until the early sixty's in the maritime patrol capability otherwise most would have most likely gone to the razor blade factory.
The one at MOTAT in Auckland could've been kept flying and the RNZAF volunteered to undertake the required overhaul and servicing to give it the required flying hours free of charge, but MOTAT point blank refused and said that they would lovingly care for it. So it sat outside for years deteriorating to the point that by the time that they eventually got it undercover it was badly corroded. There were moves afoot to have it handed over to the RNZAF for their museum for proper restoration etc., but MOTAT just grew more stubborn as they grew older. It's a real shame because so many Kiwis flew and died in Lancasters whilst serving in Bomber Command, not just with 75(NZ) Sqn, but other Bomber Command Sqns.
 

At lakes

Active Member
The one at MOTAT in Auckland could've been kept flying and the RNZAF volunteered to undertake the required overhaul and servicing to give it the required flying hours free of charge, but MOTAT point blank refused and said that they would lovingly care for it. So it sat outside for years deteriorating to the point that by the time that they eventually got it undercover it was badly corroded. There were moves afoot to have it handed over to the RNZAF for their museum for proper restoration etc., but MOTAT just grew more stubborn as they grew older. It's a real shame because so many Kiwis flew and died in Lancasters whilst serving in Bomber Command, not just with 75(NZ) Sqn, but other Bomber Command Sqns.

I know where you are coming from. My father told me when he was with SAFE Air they had a couple of cracked propeller nacelles and they were not airworthy. They approached MOTAT with a view of a direct swap with the nacelles on the Sunderland as they were a direct one for one swap. they would get the cracked ones and SAFE would get the Sunderland ones which were airworthy. They said no. no explanation simply no. So a SAFE aircraft was listed as not airworthy until nacelles could be sourced else where.[/QUOTE]
 
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Rob c

Well-Known Member
I know where you are coming from. My father told me when he was with SAFE Air they had a couple of cracked propeller nacelles and they were not airworthy. They approached MOTAT with a view of a direct swap with the nacelles on the Sunderland as they were a direct one for one swap. they would get the cracked ones and SAFE would get the Sunderland ones which were airworthy. They said no. no explanation simply no. So a SAFE aircraft was listed as not airworthy until nacelles could be sourced else where.
[/QUOTE]
So do I know were you are coming from as I was part of an air force volunteer group of aircraft trades men that were to go to Ohakea and disassemble a Hastings that was given to MOTAT so the complete aircraft could be transported to Auckland and then we were to reassemble it at no cost. But this was refused by MOTAT who in the end simply cut the cockpit off and the rest was scrapped. There was this over ego'ed anti air force group in control at the time who through that there ego's were more important than achieving the proper preservation of what were gifts from the air force.
 

At lakes

Active Member
Boeing Frontiers Online

The Anniversary Of The Legend Of The Skies

Why the DC-3 Is Such a Badass Plane (popularmechanics.com)

On the 17th December 1935 the Douglas Commercial Model number 3 (DC3) took off from Clover Field Santa Monica California. By the end of the war over 100000 had be built and 85 years later there are approximately 172 still in operation. Most in the US and Canada and there is thought to be seven under restoration back to airworthy status. These day's you can pick up a DC3 in “as is where is” condition for around $150000 US but if it has been restored to near new condition after a complete restoration then you need to fork out around $4,000,000US which I think proves the old saying that the best replacement for a DC3 is a DC3.
 

At lakes

Active Member
How B-52 Bombers shot down enemy fighter jets in Vietnam

When I first heard about this incident I found it a little hard to believe, but it didn't happen once it actually happened twice. The rear turret of the B52D housed 4 .50cal machine guns and the were assisted by radar and by all accounts very effective.

After reading the article I can only assume the Mig21 pilots forgot that the rear end of a B52D can bite back when pushed.
 

ngatimozart

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How B-52 Bombers shot down enemy fighter jets in Vietnam

When I first heard about this incident I found it a little hard to believe, but it didn't happen once it actually happened twice. The rear turret of the B52D housed 4 .50cal machine guns and the were assisted by radar and by all accounts very effective.

After reading the article I can only assume the Mig21 pilots forgot that the rear end of a B52D can bite back when pushed.
I thought that they had 20 mm cannon in the tails. It seems somewhat anachronistic to have the 50 cal which didn't have the reach or destructive power of the 20 mm. Yes I like the 50 having used it myself, but it's place in aircraft was in WW2, not 20 - 30 years later.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
I thought that they had 20 mm cannon in the tails. It seems somewhat anachronistic to have the 50 cal which didn't have the reach or destructive power of the 20 mm. Yes I like the 50 having used it myself, but it's place in aircraft was in WW2, not 20 - 30 years later.
The H series had a 20 mm gun but all were removed by 1994. As per the article above, the bomber was a D variant with the 50 cal guns which got the job done.
 

ngatimozart

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The H series had a 20 mm gun but all were removed by 1994. As per the article above, the bomber was a D variant with the 50 cal guns which got the job done.
Yep it got the job done only because a couple of NV pilots got to gung-ho or target fixated. IIRC the Avro Lincoln which replaced the Lancaster had twin 20 mm cannon in the tail, and that was in 1945. The next iteration, the Shackleton had 20 mm cannon as well. The RAAF CAC Avon powered F-86 Sabres had twin 30 mm cannon, all of which were better than the 50 cal HMG.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
That’s the trouble with successful kit like the 50 cal and the bolt action LE 303. Surplus stocks so why go to the expense of new kit even though modernization is necessary but pollies don’t get it usually. Must admit though that the Ma Deuce really still is an awesomely effective weapon in its current configuration.
 

ngatimozart

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That’s the trouble with successful kit like the 50 cal and the bolt action LE 303. Surplus stocks so why go to the expense of new kit even though modernization is necessary but pollies don’t get it usually. Must admit though that the Ma Deuce really still is an awesomely effective weapon in its current configuration.
Hanging off a M2 50 Cal HB HMG going full noise is indeed one of life's great experiences and pleasures.
 

At lakes

Active Member
Lightnings Downunder – P-38 Restoration Report

Despite Covid19 the war-bird restoration scene has been active here in Australia. The P38 is moving very quickly and the its starting to look like a P38. If you look at the https://www.warbirdsonline.com.au link it gives you a complete list of current projects active in Australia.

There is a You Tube video in the article on the P38 activity in Europe I reckon it would have given the Germans the willies.
 

ngatimozart

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Lightnings Downunder – P-38 Restoration Report

Despite Covid19 the war-bird restoration scene has been active here in Australia. The P38 is moving very quickly and the its starting to look like a P38. If you look at the https://www.warbirdsonline.com.au link it gives you a complete list of current projects active in Australia.

There is a You Tube video in the article on the P38 activity in Europe I reckon it would have given the Germans the willies.
Not bad and the video gives the impression that the USAAC won the Desert air war. They forget to mention the RAF fighters which rangerd far and wide across the Med, especially the Beaufighter. Talking of which, I really like the Beau and it is arguably my favourite WW2 aircraft - it and the P-40. Anyway, the HARS Beau restoration is well underway and they are rebuilding the correct engines in Brisbane. I sure would love to see one fly.

 

swerve

Super Moderator
On the verge of the Second Battle of El Alamein, where the Afrika Korps & the Italian army of Africa were crushed, & saved from immediate total destruction only by Hitler reacting to Torch by pouring troops & material into Tunisia, the Desert Air Force had eight SAAF squadrons, two RAAF squadrons, one Greek & 17 other RAF squadrons, & six USAAF squadrons, recently arrived.
 

Rob c

Well-Known Member
On the verge of the Second Battle of El Alamein, where the Afrika Korps & the Italian army of Africa were crushed, & saved from immediate total destruction only by Hitler reacting to Torch by pouring troops & material into Tunisia, the Desert Air Force had eight SAAF squadrons, two RAAF squadrons, one Greek & 17 other RAF squadrons, & six USAAF squadrons, recently arrived.
I was not aware of the USAAF squadrons at El Alamein, I would be interested in any further info you have on them, for instance when did they arrive, what did they operate and what operations were they involved in please?
 

swerve

Super Moderator
I don't know if any were involved in the Alamein fighting. I don't know when they arrived & what they did, but according to Wikipedia (citing Playfair, Major-General I.S.O.; Molony, Brigadier C.J.C.; with Flynn, Captain F.C. (R.N.) & Gleave, Group Captain T.P. (2004) [1st. pub. HMSO:1966]. Butler, Sir James (ed.). The Mediterranean and Middle East: The Destruction of the Axis Forces in Africa - Vol. IV, Appendix 8 (a) ), Western Desert Air Force (WDAF) as organised on 27 October 1942 included the following units under RAF command -

57th Fighter Group USAAF
12th Bombardment Group USAAF
  • 82nd, 83rd, and 434th Bombardment Squadrons with B-25C Mitchells
They were put under RAF groups & wings, not kept in their USAAF groups.
 

At lakes

Active Member

“This Is Only a Test”

Operation Sky Shield - Vulcan to the Sky

Operation Sky Shield 1 and Sky Shield 2

In September 1960 a NORAD Air Defense Exercise was held involving nearly all of the USAF and the RCAF fighters and Bombers. The principle was for the the B47's and the B52 and RAF Vulcan's to approach the continental US and see they could get to predesignated targets undetected. The exercise was under the command of General Kuter and at the start of Sky Shield 1 he sat down with senior RAF officers to watch the exercise play out.

The B47's would approach at low level deploying ECM whilst the B52's would operate up to 43 to 45000feet and the RAF Vulcan's would operate at 56000. When invited to attend the RAF were delighted to be able to test the new B2 variant and eight aircraft were assigned. Four to operate out of Scotland and 4 were deployed to Bermuda.

During both exercises only one Vulcan was detected and declared a kill and all the others succeeded in there assigned objective. They succeeded because of superior ECM and tactics and also I suspect they didn't take a hell of a lot of notice of the authorized corridor of airspace they were ordered to fly in. Another thing that did help was once the fighters had engaged the B52's they did not have enough fuel to climb to 56000 and engage the Vulcan's. I question whether some of the fighters could have managed 56000 even with a full load of fuel.

This was too much for General Kuter he jumped kicked all his toys out of the sand pit and the RAF were not invited back for Skyshield 3. The details of the operational embarrassment were leaked to the English media outlets and the US Department of Defense denied the RAF were even on the exercise. The only information released as the operation was successful. After that it was classified Top Secret and the details were only made available in 1997 once it was decided that the Russian no longer were a threat.

The three links the second one is a bit long and wordy and filled with elderly technical shit and does not dwell much of the participation of the RAF and the third link is less wordy but interesting.
 
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