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Classic Wings Edition · Volume 23

Issue 108 ( #5 )

Classic Wings Issue #108
  • Our Last Mystery Aircraft was a...Siebel Si 204
  • In this issue we take a detailed look at one of the most amazing and controversial wreck finds in modern times, the P-40 of Sgt. Copping, which he flew into the Desert and was never seen again. Speculation has been rife since the news broke back in 2012 and once the aircraft was poorly restored and placed on display in Egypt much finger pointing and dismay followed. In this article we get the facts behind the recovery and the (ultimately) unsuccessful negotiations to return the fighter to the UK for display at the RAF Museum as a tribute to Copping and all those who perished in the sands of Nth Africa. The article is supported by superb recovery photos published for the first time. A British fighter of an earlier era goes under the spotlight, the agile but unforgiving Bristol Bulldog was a revelation when it came into service, but despite the fighter’s qualities and widespread service in its homeland, its use was fleeting and it was never battle tested with the RAF. It was a different story for those examples which served with the Finnish Air Force, their machines seeing several clashes with Soviet aircraft. Our Mystery Aircraft was the delightful German workhorse, the Siebel 204, which served mostly in the humble role of aircrew trainer and light transport. The aircraft was mostly manufactured in France and Czechoslovakia and in this article we trace its development, history and service, both during and after the war. Rounding out the major features is the amusing and informative piece on Sport Flying the venerable T-6/ Harvard, a must for any fan of the type! Of course no issue is complete without some spectacular ‘eye candy’ and once again this issue delivers, with some beautiful images featuring the stars of the Planes of Fame and Australian air shows.:: More about this issue »

    Issue 107 ( #4 )

    Classic Wings Issue #107
  • Our Last Mystery Aircraft was a...REID & SIGRIST
  • Some very exciting news in this issue with the discovery of the USS Lexington some two miles down in the Coral Sea, and for CW readers the several remarkably preserved and 'extinct' TBD Devastators as well as an F4F Wildcat featuring four kill flags. Fascinating and an opportunity? Only time will tell. In a similar watery theme, we take a look at another remarkably preserved wreck, this time within the reach of divers in the cold and oxygen-free depths of the Baltic-an ex-Soviet Air Force A-20 Boston. Back on dry land, we have an in-depth article on the last-ditch attempts of Imperial Japan to stave off defeat and wrestle air superiority from the skies over the Home Islands. The subject aircraft are now extremely rare and in three cases sole survivors. We take a look at their current status. From a similar era, the often frowned upon Spanish version of the famous Bf109 is featured, with one aircraft in particular spotlighted- it no stranger to the bright lights! The Golden Age is represented by the lovely Fairchild F-24, the subject aircraft recently flown and looking every inch a Glamour Girl. Our Mystery machine is an odd looking aircraft, and how it became so is an interesting read. Rounding out the issue is an item for the engineers and tech geeks, modifying an engine to run upright in a rebuilt DH Moth. We also give some of our readers the chance to show off the object of their passion in the occasion Readers Classic section.:: More about this issue »

    Issue 106 ( #3 )

    Classic Wings Issue #106
  • RENO: The Little Yak that Could!
  • Mystery Aeroplane: NAKAJIMA C6N SAIUN
  • In this issue we start what will be a major look at the iconic, but seemingly underappreciated, North American T-6/Harvard. The reasons why this somewhat blasé attitude has come about and the more promising future for the type are discussed, as are the flying skills required to master the famous ‘Pilot Trainer.’ From a similar era, but far more nimble, is the sporty Comper Swift. We look at the types design and development into a formidable participant in the pre war air races before concentrating on an aircraft which has just completed a long and complex return to the skies -supported by superb aerial photography. In a more modern era of air racing, a Kiwi tribute to a motorcycle legend went ‘Full Noise’ at Reno, overcoming tremendous odds and ending up rubbing shoulders with the elite in the Gold Unlimited Final. Pilot Graeme Frew and Engineer Jay McIntyre describe the Reno experience which would ultimately win the respect of seasoned race veterans and secure Graeme the ‘Rookie of the Year’ award. Our Mystery Aeroplane is also a speedster; the Japanese Navy’s C6N Saiun was designed as a dedicated carrier borne reconnaissance aircraft, which ironically only ever operate from land. It proved to be a superb machine and unless surprised, was immune from the attentions of hostile aircraft. We provide an overview of the aircraft’s development and its combat record, before focusing on the very few survivors, one of which has been recovered from its Pacific Island resting place. Rounding out the issue is an overview of the 2018 air show events Downunder, a great mix of outstanding shows offering something for everyone, whether you are aviation tragic or someone with just a passing interest but looking for some great entertainment. Treat yourself and make sure you attend at least one!:: More about this issue »

    Issue 105 ( #2 )

    Classic Wings Issue #105
  • Some epic tales in this issue, requiring persistence and determination to accomplish. A team from Omaka, NZ headed to the warbird Mecca which is Chino and spent some gruelling days extricating no fewer than five full size Bristol Fighter replicas from their prison of three decades. Much sleuthing had gone into finding the location of these machines which had been built for the silver screen and the reward will be witnessing them return to the air, one example having already been engine run! Flying a single engine aircraft across the top of the world isn’t for the faint hearted and involves meticulous planning. Pilot Lee Lauderback braved the five day journey in a Mustang from the US to the UK and here he relates just what was required to pull this off, scary to think that such flights were common place and flown by greenhorn crews with rudimentary navigational equipment during WWII. Another iconic American fighter is spotlighted in this issue, the Curtiss has always been a favourite Downunder and a lot is happening with the type in this part of the world, much of it under the radar, until now! One type which isn’t well known is the French Potez 630 series. That is addressed in an article which tells of a Frenchman’s passion to bring one of these long extinct aircraft back to life. We also cover another rarity which has also recently returned to the skies, only the second example to do so. Ironically it was the most produced combat aircraft of WWII - the IL-2 Shturmovik. Plenty of exciting news within this issue as well- particularly for those who are fans of deHavilland’s twins!:: More about this issue »

    Issue 104 ( #1 )

    Classic Wings Issue #104
  • A packed news section means there is a healthy amount of vintage and warbird activity happening presently! Our own Classic Fighters air show is covered, there is little on narrative because the images tell the story far more eloquently – the three Spits head on over a stunning Marlborough landscape says it all! Since one of the headline acts of the event was the very quick and very stylish Yak racer ‘Steadfast’ we have dedicated some pages describing its pedigree, before taking a closer look at its V-12 powered sisters which continue to prove their worth as an affordable step into the past. The past of another iconic fighter comes in for some forensic examination as well; we take a look at efforts to discover what lurks under the current paint scheme of the Deutches Museum’s Bf109E, which served with the famed Legion Condor in Spain. Of course we can’t forget about its younger and more potent siblings either! Staying in Germany, we get the low down on a very interesting collection which is going through some changes, a process which means its diversity will see it attract more and more attention as time passes. Finally we turn our attention to one of the Soviet Union’s lesser known bombers, the Ilyushin DB-3/ IL-4. We take the ‘mystery’ out of this type with a comprehensive overview of its history, combat operations and then reveal the few survivors.:: More about this issue »

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