The Shuttleworth Collection in Bedfordshire, England has reported that its magnificent Clerget-powered Sopwith Camel reproduction has taken to the air for the first time.

The aircraft was built from original drawings by Northern Aeroplane Workshops in Batley and was recently transported to Old Warden Aerodrome, where it was covered and assembled by the Shuttleworth team. The machine wears the colors of D1851, “Ikanopit”, a Ruston Proctor-built Camel that operated with 70 Squadron RAF in 1918.

The test, which was performed by pilot Dodge Bailey, apparently went very well, being described as a “good day for all.” Click below to check out videos of the first takeoff and landing.

[click to continue…]

Aeronaut Books and author Jack Herris have completed their four volume series on Albatros aircraft of WW1 with a new release focused on the company’s significant fighter designs.

This book describes and illustrates the development of Albatros fighters of WWI with text, 316 photos, 125 color profiles, 22 color plan views, production quantities and serial numbers of aircraft, and aircraft dimensions and performance specifications. In addition, 10 aircraft are illustrated in 1/48 scale drawings.

The 224-page book joins the previous three installments which focused on bombers, seaplanes and J-Types as well as early and late two-seaters.

Product Page ($49.99)

The Military Aviation Museum (MAM) in Virginia Beach, Virginia has added a new Fokker Dr.1 to its collection, bringing its total number of triplanes to four.

The machine is a relatively new reproduction that was previously owned by José D. Zanaga Neto of Brazil. It was reportedly built from Redfern plans and is equipped with original gauges as well as an original Le Rhone rotary engine – a fact that makes this acquisition especially significant.

The aircraft performed its maiden flight in 2014 and wears the colors of 425/17, von Richthofen’s famous mount – however, it is very likely that the livery will change before it joins the flightline at MAM.

Click below to check out videos of its arrival, as well as its maiden flight in Brazil.

[click to continue…]

Airfix has released new details on its upcoming new tool Supermarine Walrus model kit, including build images and marking options.

Three liveries will be featured, including P5658 AQ-M of 276 Squadron RAF, L2228 Spotter of Spartivento of 700 Naval Air Squadron/HMS Sheffield, X9515 FK-A of 5 CF (Fleet Co-operation Squadron) RAAF.

As previously reported, the new model is being offered in a larger scale in order to accommodate a high level of detail, and was designed using photos, measurements and drawings from surviving examples of the machine. It is currently slated for release in July.

Click below to check out the newly released images.

[click to continue…]

In coming months, University of New Orleans archaeologist D. Ryan Gray will lead a team of students to southern Austria to investigate the possible crash site of a P-51D Mustang that vanished over 70 years ago.

During a reconnaissance mission on December 23, 1944, Capt. Lawrence Dickson, a Tuskegee Airman serving with the 332nd Fighter Group, 100th Fighter Squadron, radioed his wingman, 2nd Lt. Robert Martin, to report that he had encountered problems and would need to bail out. Martin watched as the Mustang’s canopy opened, but he never saw a parachute.

Dickson has been MIA ever since, and Gray is now hoping to resolve the case and possibly bring a war hero home. [click to continue…]

In addition to a previously mentioned C-46 Commando, flight simulation developer Aeroplane Heaven has also announced the development of a P-47D Thunderbolt.

We expect that the add-on will be compatible with Microsoft Flight Simulator X (FSX), FSX Steam Edition and Prepar3D, although this remains to be seen. Additional details, including model features/liveries, pricing and release date have not yet been announced, although a number of renderings have been released. Click below to check them out.

[click to continue…]

A group of aviation historians and archaeologists from Queens University Belfast have unearthed components of an RAF Spirfire that crashed in County Monaghan, Ireland in 1942.

The aircraft (Mk Ia R6992) had served in the Battle of Britain before being reassigned to a weather-monitoring squadron at RAF Aldergrove in Antrim. On November 20, 1942 the Spitfire suffered an in-flight engine failure, prompting pilot Gordon Hayter Proctor to bail out before it crashed in a meadow in Figullar, Emyvale. [click to continue…]

Castle Air Museum in Atwater, California has rolled out two of its newest acquisitions, an F-16A Fighting Falcon and MiG-21 Fishbed, ahead of its Open Cockpit Day on May 28th.

The F-16 arrived at the museum last March, having previously served with the California Air National Guard’s 144th Fighter Wing in Fresno. Following retirement it was stored at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, Arizona until an acquisition effort began in 2009 – a move that was heavily championed by retired Col. Larry McKoane, a former fighter wing commander with the 144th. It has since been restored, bearing McKoane’s name and 144th Fighter Wing markings.

The MiG-21 arrived at the museum last month after being donated by a private owner in the Reno, Nevada area. The jet previously served with the former Czechoslovak Air Force and serves as the first adversarial aircraft in the museum’s collection.

Click below to check out photos and video this week’s rollout.

[click to continue…]

After 30 years as an RAF pilot during the Cold War, Philip Keeble has complied his experiences flying ten different types of aircraft in a most unusual way.

Keeble’s upcoming book Patrolling the Cold War Skies: Reheat Sunset is told through the lens of his logbooks and presented as “anecdotal yarns” that “put flesh on the bare bones of a logbook in an exciting, amusing and self-deprecating way.”

The narratives stir up memories of escapades and the events leading up to them. They depict exciting sorties, dangerous emergencies, stupid moments, funny occurrences, and operational practices, but also show the balance and contrast of operating in the Cold War. Keeble got into more than a few scrapes. He flew very high, very low, and very fast with a foolhardiness that at times was culpable. The memories of these events will make you chuckle, break out in a cold sweat, and some may even cause a lump in your throat.

The book reportedly covers Keeble’s 1965 training in a Chipmunk all the way to flying the Tornado F3 Fighter in 1994. The 288-page book is currently available for pre-order with an expected release in October.

Product Page ($40 Pre-Order)

On Tuesday, the Shuttleworth Collection welcomed a newly restored Hawker Hurricane to its base at Old Warden Aerodrome in Befordshire, making the site home to three airworthy examples of the type.

The Mk 1 Hurricane (P3717) was originally built by Hawker Aircraft Ltd and delivered to 253 Squadron at Kirtön-in-Lindsey on July 13, 1940. Flown by Polish Pilot Officer W. Samolinski, the machine would go on to claim one Messerschmitt BF 110 during a patrol over Redhill, Surrey before being converted to a Mk 2 and sent to Russia, where it was recovered in the 1990s.

The privately owned aircraft completed a 10+ year restoration in March and was placed with Shuttleworth as “a living reminder of the sacrifice and valour of the young men who flew the type during the second World War.” P3717 will reportedly perform at the collection’s 2017 air shows, where it will join a Hawker Sea Hurricane and fellow Battle of Britain survivor R4118.

Click below to check out a video of P3717’s first engine run during restoration in 2015.

[click to continue…]