Category Archives: Airshow News Warbirds

P-40 damaged during Tora Tora Tora air display practice

CONROE | A P-40N Warhawk was damaged in a landing accident in Texas on Saturday 16th March while rehearsing a display with the Tora Tora Tora airshow team.

The aircraft regularly joins the Tora fleet of Japanese fighter aircraft in re-enactments of the attack on Pearl Harbor. It was taking part in a practice session in Conroe with the rest of the team’s aircraft when the landing gear collapsed on landing, causing the propeller to strike the ground. Nobody was injured in the accident.

The aircraft, built in 1943, was previously grounded in September 2017 when metal flakes were found in the engine, returning to flight last March. The aircraft will now spend more time on the ground, with local media reporting that repairs will cost $150,000.

Event programme released for Daks over Normandy

The schedule for Daks Over Normandy was published today, featuring daily flying displays and rides at Duxford and Caen-Carpiquet.

The event celebrates the 75th anniversary of D-Day and will bring together over thirty DC-3s and C-47s from around the world. It will also include a cross-channel flight from the UK to France, with hundreds of paratroopers jumping into historic drop zones in northern France.

The event will begin on Sunday 2nd June 2019 with the aircraft arriving at IWM Duxford near Cambridge. Pleasure flights and formation training flights will take place during the following day, with a practice parachute jump in the afternoon. Monday will culminate with a photoshoot from 22:00 until midnight.

Photo: Jim Lucas

Tuesday 4th and Wednesday 5th June will be public, ticketed airshow days at Duxford. Pleasure flights and air-to-air photo flights in the T-6 Texan and Dragon Rapide will take place all day on Tuesday and in the morning on Wednesday. There will be two flying display sessions on Tuesday (11:00-12:00 and 14:30-15:30) and one on Wednesday (11:00-12:00). Each will include a formation display, parachute jump and solo demonstration by C-53D Skytrooper LN-WND, owned by the Dakota Norway Foundation.

The cross-channel flight will depart from Duxford at 13:40 on Wednesday 5th June, performing flypasts at Colchester (14:21), Southend-on-Sea (14:29), Maidstone (14:37) and Eastbourne (14:50). The formation will arrive in France at 16:20 local time, flying over La Havre, before arriving at the Ranville drop zone at 16:30 for a mass parachute jump. The aircraft will begin arriving at Caen-Carpiquet Airport at 16:45.

Photo: Alex Prins

There will then be two ticketed airshow days in Caen on Friday 7th and Saturday 8th June. This will include pleasure flights, air-to-air photography flights in a T-6 Texan and two daily air display sessions from 11:00-12:00 and 14:30-15:30. A second photoshoot will take place at Caen from 22:00 until midnight on Friday.

Daks Over Normandy is to be a once-in-a-lifetime occasion bringing together the largest group of Dakotas in decades. Such a large gathering will probably never be seen again. This is Flight will report on both the British and French legs of the event.

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

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.

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.