Category Archives: Airshow News Warbirds

Arsenal of Democracy Flyover announced for 2020

WASHINGTON | A huge flyover of nearly 100 vintage warbirds will thunder over Washington DC to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II.

The event, scheduled for the 8th May 2020, will comprise 24 individual formations, each representing a major battle from the conflict. This will include aircraft from the Battle of Britain through to those which featured in the attack on Pearl Harbor. The flypast will conclude with a missing man formation.

Aircraft expected to participate include the P-40 Warhawk, P-39 Aircobra, P-38 Lightning, P-51 Mustang, P-47 Thunderbold, F4U Corsair, B-25 Mitchell, B-17 Flying Fortress, B-29 Stratofortress, C-47 Dakota, Lancaster, Spitfire, Hurricane and many others.

Many of the participating aircraft will appear on static display at Culpeper and and Manassas airports on the days preceding and following the flyover.

In 2015, more than two-dozen planes participated in a similar flypast to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of the conflict.

World’s last flying Meteor NF.11 makes final flight

BRUNTINGTHORPE | The UK’s last flying Gloster Meteor in private hands touched down for the final time on Saturday 5th January, and will now be maintained in a taxyable condition.

Meteor NF.11 WM167 arrived at Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome as part of a celebratory ticketed event. Other classic aircraft, including a Vampire T.11 and Strikemaster Mk.80A, joined the Meteor for an impromptu fly-in.

WM167 was built in Coventry in 1952 and flew with the Royal Air Force  until 1975, seeing out the final years of its service as a target tug. It was  purchased by a private collector and reverted to NF.11 configuration shortly afterwards.

The jet was operated until recently by the Classic Air Force, a now-defunct aviation museum and warbird operator based first in Coventry and then Newquay. She was a regular airshow performer during this time, and the only flying Night Fighter Meteor in the world. The charity, who owned two Meteors, folded in early 2016.

Both Meteors, as well as two ex-CAF Venoms, were purchased by American collector Marty Tibbitts in 2017. The first Meteor, T.7 WA591, was taken to the United States and made its American airshow debut at Oshkosh last summer, while the remaining jets stayed in the UK. Meteor NF.11 WM167 was donated to the Classic British Jets Collection at Bruntingthorpe following Tibbitt’s death in an accident last July.

The jet will be maintained in a fast-taxy condition, along with a collection of other Cold War-era jets at Bruntingthorpe, and will likely participate in public events such as the biannual Cold War Jets fast-taxy events.

A further pair of UK-based Meteors are used by Martin Baker as testbeds for their ejector seats, but these are rarely seen in public. The only other airworthy Meteor in the world is a Meteor F.8 owned by the Temora Aviation Museum in Australia.

Randy Ball’s FIGHTERJETS post updated 2019 schedule

Randy Ball’s Fighterjets fleet will be out in force at North American airshows this year, although his MiG-17F looks set to be the most active aircraft by far.

So far, the MiG-17F will perform at all scheduled shows, with the T-37 performing at one. There are no events listed for the MiG-17PF or T-33.

The aircraft will perform mainly in the USA, with one show in Canada.

Dates Event Participating aircraft Show type
Apr 6-7 Heart of Texas Airshow, Waco, TX, USA MiG-17F Day
Apr 13-14 Wings Over South Texas, Corpus Christi, TX, USA MiG-17F Day
Apr 27-28 Wings Over Wayne, Seymour Johnson, NC, USA MiG-17F Day, night
May 3-5 Go Wheels Up! Texas, San Marcos, TX, USA MiG-17F Day
May 3-5 Central Texas Airshow, Temple, TX, USA MiG-17F Night
May 10-12 Chennault International Airshow, Lake Charles, LA, USA MiG-17F Night
May 17-19 Barksdale Defenders of Liberty Airshow, LA, USA MiG-17F Day, night
Jun 1-2 Star-Spangled Salute, Tinker, OK, USA MiG-17F Day
Jun 15-16 Wings Over Whiteman, MO, USA MiG-17F Day, night
Jul 6 Thunder Over Cedar Creek Lake, Gun Barrel City, TX, USA MiG-17F Day
Jul 13-14 Toledo Airshow, OH, USA MiG-17F Day
Sep 13-15 Airshow London, ON, Canada MiG-17F Day
Oct 26-27 Sheppard AFB Airshow, TX, USA MiG-17F, T-37 Day

Tora! Tora! Tora! release initial 2019 schedule

The Peal Harbor re-enactment team Tora! Tora! Tora! have posted a preliminary 2019 schedule on their webite. The shedule includes only full aerial dislpays, not events attended only by the bomb squad.

Dates Event
Mar 8-9 Yuma Airshow, AZ, USA
Mar 16-17 Tora! Tora! Tora! pracrice sessions
Apr 27-28 Wings Over Wayne, Seymour-Johnson, NC, USA
May 18-19 Barksdale Defenders of Liberty Airshow, LA, USA
May 25-26 Westmoreland County Airshow, Latrobe, PA, USA
Jul 13-14 Toledo Airshow, OH, USA
Aug 24-25 Pocono Racewat Festival of Flight, Long Pond, PA, USA
Oct 19-20 Wing Over Houston, TX, USA
Oct 26-27 CAF Wings Over Dallas, TX, USA

Museum aims to restore CT-114 Tutor to flight

LONDON | The Jet Aircraft Museum in London, Ontario, is hoping to raise $60,000 to return an ageing CT-114 Tutor to the air.

The money would be used to purchase the jet from Campbellford, Ontario, bring it to the museum’s base in London and fit it with a new engine.

Museum experts have already inspected the jet and say it can be restored to airworthy condition, but the wiring will need to be redone and some new parts will have to be manufactured. The process could take around two years, according to the London Free Press. The total cost of the restoration would be around $150,000.

Currently, the only flying CT-114 Tutors in the world are flown by Canada’s national aerobatic team, the Snowbirds. However, the museum instead aim to paint their jet in the colours of the Golden Centennaires, a short-lived eight-ship aerobatic team from 1967.

XP-82 Twin Mustang makes accidental first flight

DOUGLAS | The world’s only airworthy XP-52 Twin Mustang made an accidental first flight in Georgia, USA, yesterday.

The aircraft, which last flew in 1942, accidentally took off during a high-speed taxi test on Monday 31st December 2018. The restoration crew said on Facebook that the aircraft was due to taxi down the runway, lift off for a few seconds, land, deploy full flaps and come to a stop.

On 31 December 2018, our XP-82 Twin Mustang flew for the first time since 14 December 1949. Although it wasn’t supposed…

Posted by Xp-82 Twin Mustang Prototype Project (44-83887) on Tuesday, 1 January 2019

However, they said that the aircraft accelerated so fast after lifting off that pilot Ray Fowler realized he may not have time to bring the plane to a halt before the end of the runway. Instead, he increased power and flew for about five minutes.

They said the aircraft performed well during the flight, with no airframe or engine problems and no trim required.

The restoration project has lasted more than ten years and required over 200,000 hours of work. The aircraft, which was cleared to fly in July, had been due to fly at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, but was not able to make the required check flights in time.

Up to 30 WWI planes to fly at Wings Over Wairarapa

MASTERTON | Up to 30 WWI aircraft, some of which have never seen before, will perform this February at one of New Zealand’s largest airshows.

The unprecedented display from the Vintage Aviator World War I collection will form a major part of the Wings Over Wairarapa flying display on the 22nd-24th February 2019.

This will include an RAF Be12 and Airco DH.4, which have never been displayed in public before, according to the Wairarapa Times-Age. Organisers are also targeting a combined display featuring RAF SE5a and RAF Be2 biplanes flying with a unique RAF FE.2b fighter.

The aircraft are restored and operated from Hood Aerodrome, where the airshow is held.

Historic Vampires destroyed in hangar fire

PARIS | A pair of Vampire jets were destroyed at Villaroche Airport in France this morning when their hangar caught fire.

No injuries were reported in the blaze, which broke out at around 07:00 local time on Saturday 8th December at Paris-Villaroche Aerodrome near Melun. Fire crews comprising more than 60 personnel quickly put out the fire.

The two Vampire jets were part of Christian Amara’s private collection of vintage aircraft, based at Villaroche. One of the jets was completely destroyed, the other badly damaged.

The airfield hosted the innaugural Villaroche Air Legends show in September to much critical acclaim. The two Vampires participated in the flying display, along with other aircraft from Mr Amara’s collection.

A preliminary report has indicated that the fire was accidental.

Kennet Aviation to restore Spitfire, fly Skyraider & Seafire

SHUTTLEWORTH | Kennet Aviation are to oversee the restoration to flight of Spitfire AA810, as well as flying aircraft from their own fleet in 2019, it was announced today.

The AA810 Project said on Facebook that Kennet Aviation will provide CAA A8-23/25 oversight for the restoration, with some additional work being caried out by third parties. The project will be completed and flown from Kennet’s facility at Old Warden near Biggleswade.

Kennet Aviation owner Tim Manna said: “it is a privilege for Kennet to be taking on such a historically significant aircraft restoration and will be the latest in a great number of exciting machines that Kennet has returned to airworthiness over the last 27 years. The whole team and I are really excited in being involved with Sandy’s Spitfire and its lineage fits in perfectly with our current Seafire maintenance and restoration programs.”

AA810 is a Spitfire PR.IV which was shot down in 1942 on a flight over Norway. Its pilot, Flt. Lt. Alastair “Sandy” Gunn, was captured and went on to participate in ‘The Great Escape’ in 1943.

The rebuild is scheduled for completion in 2022 with the first flight in 2023.

Kennet Aviation is also restoring a Seafire Mk.XV and Seafire Mk.XVII and carrying out major service inspections of their Seafire Mk.XVII and Douglas AD-4NA Skyraider. They say both will be ready to return to the airshow circuit next summer.