Monday, August 15, 2011

Pilot Magazine September 2011

From its opening sequence with seven Spitfires, a Hurricane and a trio of HA-1112M1L B�chons making a low-level pass, to the final huge fighter 'balbo', Flying Legends 2011 at Duxford on 9-10 July confirmed once again that it is Europe's greatest warbird airshow. Not only did it have a very impressive flying programme and an afternoon packed with unique formations in the air, but it also presented several aircraft for the first time. Having arrived at Duxford from Australia just a few days before the show, The Fighter Collection's rare Merlin-engined P-40F Warhawk VH-PIV Lee's Hope was test-flown by Steve Hinton on Saturday morning and performed with TFC's Curtiss Hawk 75 and P-40B Warhawk, and Christian Amara's P-40N Kittyhawk in the airshow. The long-awaited return of a P-38 Lightning to Flying Legends came in the distinctive shape of The Flying Bulls' P-38L N25Y, the former White Lightnin' flown by Lefty Gardner in Texas for many years. It was joined by the same collection's F4U-4 Corsair, flying in from Salzburg. Flying Comanche Fighters' P-51s Fragile but Agile (previously Twilight Tear) and newcomer February, both specially shipped over from the USA, The Horsemen display team's Ed Shipley and Dan Friedkin performed an outstanding close formation routine. Turning the clock back further, a Great War duo of John Day and Bob Gauld-Galliers in their Fokker Dr1 and Nieuport 17/23 replicas followed Mikael Carlson, who gave an outstanding display in his rotary-engined Fokker Drl replica. Unfortunately the latter ended up on its nose while landing on the second day, damaging the airframe quite significantly but thankfully not the pilot.