July 11-12, 2009
Philip Stevens reports for 'Club Wings' magazine:
Flying Legends 2009 may have been down on participating aircraft but it was not down on action and excitement. Stephen Grey of The Fighter Collection (TFC) explained that Civil Aviation Authority had enforced the grounding of their fleet of vintage aircraft for a paperwork check, which could only be resolved in the weeks following the year’s premier warbird event.
Flying Legends regulars would have noticed that TFC’s Bearcat, Corsair, Warhawk, Wildcat and others which each year beat-up the airfield, were missing from the flight-line. Surely, once the 3½ hour flying display was underway the absentees would have been forgotten. This was the opportunity for the numerous other warbirds to take to the stage and thrill the enthusiastic crowd.
This year Amicale Jean-Baptiste Salis (AJBS) from La Ferte Alais near Paris provided excellent support with five aircraft. Their AD-4NA Skyraider and B-25J Mitchell were both making their first British appearances. To supplement a growing world register of flyable warbirds there are a number of authentic new-builds. This year at Legends there were two Flug Werk FW.190A-8/N new-builds, with Christophe Jacquard flying his at Duxford for the first time. The FW.190 was impressively flown, flying against a fleet of Spitfires as they would have nearly 70 years ago.
|North American B-25D Mitchell (N88972) ‘Grumpy’ of Vulcan Warbirds and B-25J (45-8811) of Societe de Developpement et de Promotion de L' Aviation (SDPA) join in close formation.|
|Also new to Legends this year was the first UK appearance by ‘The Horsemen’, the world’s only P-51 Mustang aerobatic team. The three United States based pilots were; Ed Shipley, Jim Beasley and Dan Friedkin, their close formation flying routine was flown with Duxford based P-51’s; ‘Ferocious Frankie’, ‘Big Beautiful Doll’ and ‘Miss Velma’. The experienced consider themselves to be caretakers of history and privileged to fly the Mustang. Ed Shipley said; “Simply by touching this aeroplane you can feel the enormous responsibility that comes with demonstrating it to the public”.
For the first time in more than ten years Flying Legends was able to fly two Hawker Fury’s. This powerful piston-engine fighter-bomber was in service from 1948 initially with Royal Air Force and Royal Navy (Sea Fury) and later with the Australia, Canada, Netherlands, West Germany, Burma, Iraq, Cuba and India who last flew the Sea Fury in 1973. Two-seat Sea Fury T.20 (WG655) returned in May to the UK after an absence of 20 years following an extensive restoration following a crippling accident due to engine failure close to Yeovilton when with the Royal Navy Historic Flight in 1990. The other Fury FB.11 (F-AZXL ‘369’) resplendent in Royal Australian Navy colours had been imported to France from South Africa in 2007 and was making its debut at the air show. Together these impressive flyers produced a wonderful sight and sound, sweeping low across the airfield.
Flying Legends is all about, combinations of formations and tail-chasing routines combining with a number of solo performances. This year’s most impressive formation was a trio of B-25 Mitchells; B-25D ‘Grumpy’ of Vulcan Warbirds, B-25J 'Sarinah'of the RNAF Historic Flight ‘Duke of Brabant Air Force’ and B-25J of Societe de Developpement et de Promotion de L' Aviation (SDPA) joined by the French based P-40N Kittyhawk 'Little Jeanne'. Appearing for the first time was Beech YC-43 Traveler (N295BS) another aircraft flown by the 'Duke of Brabant Air Force' from Holland.
Once again Flying Legends lived up to all expectations, even despite the absence of most of the TFC fleet in the skies over Duxford. The show continues to thrive, spectators return year after year, set up their pitch and enjoy the visual and audible extravaganza.
|Left to right: Fury pair, Sea Fury T.20 (WG655 '910' / NX20MD) returning after its solo display piloted by Stephen Grey and Frederic Akary in Fury FB.11 (F-AZXL ‘369’) resplendent in its Royal Australian Navy scheme.
Sea Fury T.20 (WG655 '910' / NX20MD) waiting for ATC clearance to starts its display.
North American B-25D-30NC Mitchell II (KL161 'VO-B' / N88972) 'Grumpy' was sold to Vulcan Warbirds (Flying Heritage Collection) in Seattle in 2004 and is due to depart for the US later in the year.
| 2009 Flying Program 14:00 to 17:30
- Dogfight: 7x Spitfire, FW190 and Buchon
- P-51 x3 'The Horsemen'
- B25 x3 and P40
- Yak 9 x2 and Yak 3
- Aerostars Yak x6
- 2x Skyraider, 2x Sea Fury and Seafire
- B17, 6x Mustang
- L4 Cub x2
- Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (Spitfire, Hurricane and Lancaster)
- Ju52, Me108 and Jungmann
- Lysander, Gladiator
- Hurricanes x3
- Fokker DR1 and Nieuport 17
- Dakota and Staggerwing
- Balbo (massed formation) finale
|Flying warbirds is not without its dangers, at Flying Legends great care is taken to make sure each display is carefully choreographed and all participating pilots are properly briefed. This year a mishap occurred on the Saturday when Yak-3 ‘100’ made its final approach after the Balbo. It appeared that one of the tail-wheel doors had not opened preventing the tail-wheel from retracting. A short but safe landing was made on the grass resulting in on minor damage, which did not prevent the aircraft from taking to the skies the next day, apparently with its tail-wheel doors removed. This was not the only malfunction of a Yak, D-FAFA flown by Pete Kynsey can be seen taxiing (see image two) with a bent starboard main under-carriage door on Saturday and also flew the next day.
Left to right: Yakovlev Yak-9UM (N82112 'yellow 06' c/n 0470406) owned by Paul Boschung.
Yak-9UM (D-FAFA 'white 17' c/n 0917918) of the Fighter Academy
Yakovlev Yak-3UA (0470107 / D-FJAK 'White 100') owned by Chris Vogelgesang after its tail wheel failed to retract prior to landing.
|Flying Legends is not just an air show, its full of atmosphere and nostalgia. Various groups dress up in historical costumes to add a little extra to some of the shots to give it that period feel. Some members of the gang were a little peeved to find that they appeared to be there more for crowd control rather than for the cameras. Part of the Balbo finale.|
The Spitfires and Hurricanes and their German opponents
|Left to right: Spitfire XIX (PS890 'UM-E' / F-AZJS), Christophe Jacquard and Corsair Warbirds.
Spitfire IXe (PL344 'TL-B' / N644TB) of Historic Flying Company (2 images)
Spitfire XVIII (SM845 / SE-BIN ex G-BUOS) recently acquired by Biltema it is now based at Angelholm in Sweden.
|Left to right: Sea Hurricane IB (Z7015 '7-L' /G-BKTH) of the Shuttleworth Trust
Spitfire VB (BM597 'JH-C' / G-MKVB) of the Historic Aircraft Collection.
Hurricane XIIa (RCAF 5711 painted as 'Z5140' HA-C' / G-HURI) of Historic Aircraft Collection.
Hurricane I (R4118 'UP-W') Peter Vacher.
|Left to right: Flug Werke, Focke-Wulf FW.190A-8/N (980554 / G-FWAB) Owned by Spitfire Limited it is cared for by ARC was not able to fly with the other FW.190 new-build (F-AZZJ).
Hispano HA-1112-M1L Buchon (C.4K-102 'Red 1' / G-BWUE) of Spitfire Ltd.
Flying Legends 2009 - What else was there
|Left to right: P-51D Mustang ('44-13704 B7-H' really 44-73149 / G-BTCD) inscribed 'Ferocious Frankie' of Old Flying Machine Company.
Cavalier F-51D Mustang (44-10753 '405' / NL405HC) of Biltema, Sweden.
Mustang P-51D (F-AZSB / 44-11622 'G4-C') 'Nooky Booky IV' of Societe de Developpement et de Promotion de L' Aviation (SDPA).
|Left to right: P-51D Mustang (472218 'WZ-I' / G-HAEC) inscribed 'Big Beautiful Doll' of Old Flying Machine Company.|
Left to right: Junkers Ju52/3mg2e ('D-AQUI' D-CDLH / 5489) of Lufthansa TraditionsFlug.
Curtiss P-40N Kittyhawk (42-105915 '12' / F-AZKU) 'Little Jeanne' piloted by Christian Amara of the Societe de Developpement et de Promotion de L' Aviation (SDPA).
Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress (44-8846 coded 'DS-M' / F-AZDX) 'Pink Lady' is operated by the Association Fortresse Toujours Volant en France.
Piper J-3C-65 Cub (480173 '57-H') one of a pair whose tight display was within the confines of the airfield boundary.
|Left to right: Westland Lysander Mk.3A (V9367 'MA-B' / G-AZWT) and Gloster Gladiator Mk.1 ('K7985' really L8032 / G-AMRK) of the Shuttleworth Trust.
EFW/Dornier D-3801/ Morane-Saulnier MS.406 C1 (J-143 '1' / HB-RCF c/n 194) of Association Morane Charlie Fox based at Bex, Switzerland.
Beech YC-43 Traveler (N295BS) of the 'Duke of Brabant Air Force' from Holland.
|Left to right: Douglas AD-4NA Skyraider (126922 'AK-402' / G-RADR ex G-RAID) of Kennet Aviation and AD-4NA Skyraider (124143 'RM-205' / F-AZDP) of Amicale Jean-Baptiste Salis (AJBS) from La Ferte Alais.|
|Left to right: North American B-25J-20 Mitchell (44-29507 / N320SQ) in 2008. It is inscribed 'Sarinah' of the Dutch based RNAF Historic Flight or 'Duke of Brabant Air Force'.
B-25J-35 Mitchell (45-8811) of Societe de Developpement et de Promotion de L' Aviation (SDPA).
B-25D-30NC Mitchell II (KL161 'VO-B' / N88972) 'Grumpy'.