Dangerous Skies WWII Exhibition - Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre Omaka Classic Fighters Airshow 2019
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Volume 23 #4, Issue 107

GOLDEN AGE GIRL

Fairchild F-24C8cFollowing Trevor 'TC' Collins purchase of a forlorn looking but rare Fairchild F-24C8c project from an owner in the USA, he spent more than a decade feeling his way through the aircraft’s restoration to air worthy condition. The end result is stunning, it finished in off-white with maroon trim, designed to reflect the glamorous mid-1930s era of Packards and Duesenbergs, Wacos and Staggerwings. As the photos which accompany this article show, he got that absolutely spot-on, having created an aircraft of great 'Gatsby glamour' complete with that magnificent 'bump' cowling as originally fitted to the 1934 model Fairchild cabin tourers. Now this machine looks set to lead the way at her home base at Omaka, where she will be soon joined by other glamorous American built cabin tourers of the era including two more Fairchild products, an F-24W and an exceedingly rare F-45.


BUCHON IS BACK!

Messerschmitt Buchon

Renowned display pilot John Romain, owner of the Duxford based Aircraft Restoration Company and Historic Flying Ltd, is revisiting Warbirds over Wanaka in New Zealand with a crowd favourite which he debuted at the 2016 air show, the Merlin powered member of the famous Messerschmitt family – the Buchón. Following a short historical overview of the type we take a look at this specific aircraft which has undergone several changes of scheme, several of which were as a result of starring on the big screen in movies including the iconic Battle of Britain and more recently Dunkirk.


DOING THE (UP) RIGHT THING

de Havilland Moth DH60Turning a Gipsy engine upside down.Clarke Seaborne has been a fan of the lovely de Havilland Moth for some years and chancing upon the sad remains of a DH 60 he decided to rebuild it – not easy when there was only the fuselage frame remaining. Knowing that De Havilland Canada produced some 1,500 Tiger Moths Clarke felt that it would make a good project to build up a DH60M using some of the Tiger Moth parts still existing in Canada. However over a decade of searching turned up only one Gipsy upright engine, which was nowhere near serviceable. Clarke decided there was one way to fix the problem, an engine modification. Here he describes the process- one for the engineers among us!


DIVINE AND DESPERATE

Nakajima Kitsuka and J7W1 Fuselage

Four of Imperial Japan’s last ditch aircraft which have been hidden from the general public for decades are enjoying time in the spotlight, one as a partial airframe and three relatively complete. The fuselage of the Nakajima ‘Kitsuka’, and the forward fuselage of the J7W1 ‘Shinden’ are on display at the NASM’s Udvar -Hazy Center. At the Pima Air & Space Museum the Ki-115a Special Attacker ‘Tsurugi’ is on display, whilst the dual seat ‘Ohka’ based trainer is destined to be in the immediate future. In this article we take a look at the history of these types and focus on the aircraft which have survived and are now enjoying some much needed attention.


Our Last Mystery Aircraft was a...REID & SIGRIST

R.S.4 DesfordOur teaser last issue was the unusual and unique R.S.4 Desford, the second and final foray into aircraft production by the R&S Company renowned for their aircraft instrumentation through the 1930s/40s. Their first machine was the amusingly named Snargasher and it showed enough potential to build the improved model, incorporating numerous upgrades. The resulting Desford was a cutting edge multi engine trainer superbly catered to its role. The only thing wrong was its timing, first flying in mid 1945. With the war almost at an end the RAF were not enthusiastic about ordering a new trainer, when they already had hundreds of surplus trainer types sitting idle. Despite the initial disappointment, spirits were lifted when the RAF decided it could employ the aircraft in an experimental role. This required a major modification, allowing for a prone pilot’s position. Here we look at the type history and trace the career of this still surviving and once again airworthy oddity.



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