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Duxford Flying legends 2011 Review

Photographs

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Spitfire
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Spitfires
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Hurricane
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Bouchon
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Bouchon
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B-17
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Spitfires
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Bouchons
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Bouchons
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Bouchon
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Skyraiders
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Mustangs
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Spitfire
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Spitfire
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Spitfire
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Spitfire
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Mustang
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Mustang
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Mustang
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Mustang
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Mustang
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Junkers 52
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Junkers 52
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Hawkers
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Hawkers
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Junkers 52
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Hawkers
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Sea Fury
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P-38 Lightning
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Bearcat
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Dakota
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Spitfire
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Spitfire
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Skyraiders
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Skyraiders
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Skyraider
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Spitfire
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Spitfire
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Bearcat
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Skyraiders
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Skyraiders
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Mustang
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Mustang
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Corsair
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Mustang
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Mustang
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Mustangs
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Mustangs
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Mustangs
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Mustangs
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Mustangs
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Mustangs
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Mustang
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Mustang
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Mustang
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Mustang
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Mustang
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Fokker Dr.I
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Fokker Dr.I
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Junkers 52
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Nimrod
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Sea Fury
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P-38 Lightning
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P-38 Lightning




Airshow Photographs

Skyraiders - photo by Webmaster

Review - Sunday 10th July 2011

Flying Legends at IWM Duxford has to be one of the finest warbird air shows in the world. Not only are there numerous types of classic propeller-driven combat aircraft from WW1 & WW2 but there is always something different and special to see every year.

Duxford is an historic airfield and the perfect setting for a warbird air show. The air display usually starts at 2pm which gives you plenty of time to look around the extensive museum, flightline walk, and varied stalls.

The American Air Museum has a fine collection of U.S aircraft including the huge B-52 Stratofortress and the only Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird that can be seen outside of America. The B-17 Flying Fortress 'Mary Alice' has recently been taken out of the American Air Museum and currently resides in Hangar 5 whilst undergoing conservation work. The Airspace museum includes many British aircraft including the Spitfire, Lancaster, Mosquito, Swordfish, Canberra, Hunter, Lightning, TSR2, Vulcan, and the Concorde. The Land Warfare museum houses a collection of tanks, armoured vehicles, and guns. There are also many other hangars with various exhibitions waiting to be explored.

This year, the Flying legends air display included over 50 types of aircraft, and as usual the flying was non-stop and exciting with many aircraft up in the sky at the same time. To start the show we had a scramble of Spitfires including Spitfire Ia (AR213 / Spitfire the One Ltd), Spitfire Vb (BM597 / HAC), Spitfire Vb (EP120 / TFC), Spitfire IXc (MH434 / OFMC), Spitfire XIVe (MV293 / TFC), Spitfire XVIe (TD248 / ARCo), and Spitfire PR.XIX (PS890 / Spitfire Warbirds). Joining the Spitfires was a Hurricane XII (Z5140 G-HURI / HAC), and no fewer than three CASA HA-112 Buchons including Buchon C.4K-31 (Richard Lake), Buchon C.4K-102 (ARCo), and Buchon C.4K-169 (Air Fighter Academy).

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Spitfire
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Spitfire
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Buchon
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Buchon
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Buchon


Next to display and representing the US Navy were three Douglas AD-4 Skyraiders including AD-4NA Skyraider (126933 G-RADR / Kennet Aviation), and the two French aircraft - AD-4NA Skyraider (124143 F-AZDP / AJBS), and AD-4N Skyraider (127002 F-AZHK / Vega Team - Skyraider Avignon). F-AZDP is one of Europe's longest serving warbirds on the air show scene. It was deployed in the Korean War aboard the USS Philippine Sea in 1950-51, and later on board the USS Boxer seeing five months combat. It was imported to France in 1984 and has been part of the AJBS fleet since 1985. Also displaying was the Fighter Collection's Grumman F8F Bearcat (121714), and Vought F4U-7 Corsair (124541 / Max Alpha Aviation).

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Skyraider
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Skyraider
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Skyraider
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Corsair
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Bearcat


Also in the display were several P-51 Mustangs including P-51D 'Big Beautiful Doll' (D-FBBD 472218), P-51D 'Nooky Booky IV' (F-AZSB 474427), P-51D 'Miss Velma' (N251RJ 484847), and P-51D 'Ferocious Frankie' (G-BTCD 473149). One of the highlights of the display was the P-51 Mustang formation aerobatic team 'The Horseman' who also visited Flying Legends 2009 but this year they brought over a pair of Mustangs from the USA - P-51K 'Fragile but Agile' (N98CF 412016) which was formerly The Fighter Collection's 'Twilight Tear', and P-51D 'February' (N351MX 474391) flown by Dan Friedkin and Ed Shipley. The B-17G Flying Fortress 'Sally B' (485784) displayed and was escorted by 'Big Beautiful Doll', and 'Ferocious Frankie'.

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P-51 Mustang
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P-51 Mustang
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P-51 Mustang
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P-51 Mustang
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P-51 Mustang


Next up were three de Havilland aircraft including DH-89A Dragon Rapide (G-AGJG / de Havilland Support), DH-84 Dragon I (G-ECAN / Norman Aeroplane Trust), and the debut appearance of DH-84 Dragon I (EI-ABI / Aer Lingus).

The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) displayed their Avro Lancaster B.1 (PA474). There are only two Lancasters flying in the world today out of 7,377 built. The other Lancaster is operated by the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum.

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B-17G
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Dragon Rapide
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Dragon I
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Dragon I
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Lancaster B.1


A German WW1 aircraft displayed next with the Fokker Dr.I replica (SE-XXZ / Mikael Carlson) which put on a fantastic performance showing the incredible maneuverability and agility of this Triplane. Unfortunately on landing, the aircraft tipped up on its nose, but the pilot was okay, and the aircraft was righted and removed from the grass runway. This delay meant that the Curtiss P-40s were unable to display on the Sunday.

Next, representing the German Luftwaffe, were the Junkers 52/3m (D-CDLH / Lufthansa Traditionsflug), and the Bucker Bu-133C Jungmeister (G-BUTX / John Brander).

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Fokker Dr.I
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Fokker Dr.I
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Fokker Dr.I
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Junkers 52
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Jungmeister


Four Kestrel-engined Hawker Biplanes took to the skies next with the Hawker Nimrod I (S1581 / TFC), Hawker Nimrod II (K3661 / HAC), Hawker Hind (K5414 / Shuttleworth), and Hawker Demon (K8203 / Demon Displays).

Three Sea Furys and a Swordfish represented the Navy with Hawker Sea Fury T.20 (WG655 / TFC), Hawker Sea Fury T.20 (VX281 / RNHF), Hawker Sea Fury FB10 (37514 F-AZXL / Mistral Warbirds), and Fairey Swordfish II (LS326 / RNHF). It was nice to see the Royal Navy Historic Flight's Swordfish display again. Known as 'Stringbag' by its crews, it was slow and outdated at the start of the war but managed some spectacular successes against Italian Battleships in the Battle of Taranto and of course the crippling of the German Battleship 'Bismarck'. There were several aircraft types intended to replace the Swordfish but it still remained in service to the end of the war.

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Sea Fury
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Sea Fury
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Sea Fury
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Swordfish
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Swordfish


Another highlight of the show were 'The Flying Bulls' with their Lockheed P-38L Lightning (453254), and Vought F4U-4 Corsair (96995) which made their UK air show debut at Flying Legends 2011. They were flown in from Salzburg, in Austria where the Red Bull sponsored Flying Bulls collection are based. The P-38L Lightning was finished in a polished metal scheme with the Red Bull logo on its nose. It was good to see a P-38 'fork-tailed devil' back in the skies above Duxford after the loss of P-38J Lightning (N3145X) in July 1996.

World War 1 was represented by a Fokker Dr.I replica (G-CDXR / John Day), and Nieuport 17 replica (G-BWMJ). Then the Yakovlev Yak-9UM (0470406) and Morane -Saulnier D-3801 (J-143 Mobile Air Services) displayed.

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Corsair
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P-38 Lightning
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WW1 aircraft
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Yak-9
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M.S. D-3801


The last display aircraft before the Balbo were the two Douglas DC-3s - Douglas C-53D (42-68823 11750 / LN-WND), and Douglas C-47B (44-77020 16604 / F-AZOX).

As usual, at the end of the display, most of the aircraft take to the skies for a mass flypast called the Balbo. As they were forming up, it was up to the Joker, Stephen Grey in the Bearcat to keep the crowd entertained. There were two flypasts by the Balbo and then they peeled off to land but unfortunately there was a collision between the French AD-4NA Skyraider (F-AZDP) and the P-51D Mustang 'Big Beautiful Doll'. The pilot of the Skyraider managed to land safely despite damage to the starboard wing but the Mustang pilot, Rob Davies, had to bail out over agricultural land to the south west of the airfield. There was an immediate response from the onsite emergency services and both pilots were okay. The Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) report can be found here.

It is a shame that this year's superb air show will be remembered more for this incident then for the excellent aircraft and displays that took place. I am sure Flying Legends will be back next year with yet another great show.

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DC-3 Dakota
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DC-3 Dakota
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Balbo
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Balbo
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P-51D Mustang


Thanks to The Fighter Collection and the Imperial War Museum Duxford for putting on another fantastic and thrilling air show this year.

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Nieuport
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Fokker Dr.I
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Yak-9
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Corsair
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Fokker Dr.I


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Fokker Dr.I
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M.S. D-3801
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Bouchon
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Bouchon
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Corsair


Duxford will be hosting two more major air shows this year, with the The Duxford Air Show on the 3rd and 4th of September 2011 celebrating 75 years since the Spitfire's inaugural flight, and the Autumn air show on 16th October 2011 remembering the Korean War. Please visit the Imperial War Museum, Duxford website at www.iwm.org.uk/duxford for more details.

Two smaller events include the Sally B and Friends Day on 31st July 2011, and the American Air Day on the 19th August 2011.

Article by Dave Key - www.militaryairshows.co.uk