Knights Of The Sky Exhibition - Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre Dangerous Skies WWII Exhibition - Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre
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Volume 21 #4, Issue 97

Classic Fighters Omaka 2015

Classic Fighters Omaka 2015It had been a hectic couple of weeks (actually a hectic couple of years!) in the lead up to the biennial Classic Fighters air show held at the historic airfield of Omaka, Blenheim, New Zealand. Stress levels were high as Easter closed in at an alarming rate – Had everything been prepared? Were the pilots and aircraft ready to perform? Would the expected ‘stars’ of the show make it and the expectations and anticipation of both the organisers and public be realised? What about the fickle autumn weather­ would it play ball? Our coverage of Classic Fighters is extensive and features some of the impressive participants, such as the remarkable catapult launched and radio controlled V­1 Flying Bomb and the last minute public debut of the Spitfire Mk.XIVe ­ the latter supported by the test pilot’s report and exclusive air to air images courtesy of Gavin Conroy.

Syndicate Yak-9V Progress

Syndicate Yak-9V Progress

Who wouldn't get excited about the opportunity of affordable warbird ownership - and not an ‘L-bird’ or primary trainer but a full-size, fire-breathing V-12 fighter from the Second World War!? Can it be done? Yes! So what’s the secret? Well there isn’t one. Just a tried and true formula, reapplied to a different kind of aircraft ownership experience. In this case, it is the syndicated ownership of a Yak-9V, with shares available for the price of a family car. Add to that, the reduction of fixed costs like hangarage and insurance to a fraction because of those group ownership contributions. Suddenly, the ownership of a WW-II fighter is not as beyond reach as it once was for many people. Editor Graham Orphan updates progress on the conversion of a Yak-11 to a dual control ‘fighter’ and the opportunity for 'the man in the street' to get involved.

Flying the Mystery Ship

Flying the Mystery ShipIn our previous issue we took a look at the history and surviving examples of the Mystery Ship, and thereafter followed the build of a stunning reproduction. In this, the final part of the article, we ‘climb aboard.’ As a career test pilot, Dan Griffith has been fortunate to fly some very interesting and occasionally unique aircraft but to be asked to carry out the first flight and the test flying of the Travel Air Type R ‘Mystery Ship’ ranks well up near the top end of the most enjoyable of flying experiences he has had. Like any aircraft enthusiast, he was enthralled by the creation of this superb replica and thanks to his comprehensive pilot’s report we get to experience what being behind the wheel of this beauty is like.

Our last Mystery Aeroplane was a... VL MYRSKY (Storm)

VL MYRSKY (Storm) As with a number of nations which did not have the readily available contemporary fighters, and due to the pressures of war could not expect to receive fist line combat aircraft from their respective Allies in the short term - the Finnish Air Force’s only option was to look internally and produce a stop-gap solution. One of the fighters they came up with was the Myrsky. Although showing good potential, it would suffer from poor quality glues which caused problems when the aircraft was being operated in such a harsh environment. Following a look at the development and history of the type, we take a look at two exciting developments which will see at least one example return from the dead, and even the possibility of one being returned to the skies.

Return of the Black Baron!

Return of the Black Baron! One of the things that Omaka Airfield (NZ) is known for is the special flight put up during most of the biennial Classic Fighters Airshows at the field, comprising no fewer than SEVEN Fokker Dr.1 Triplanes. So it could be said that the one thing that Omaka Airfield does not need is another Triplane! Against his better judgement Editor Graham Orphan decided otherwise, and in this article he describes the journey of his own particular Dr.1, which is finished in and ‘all black’ scheme and was able to join its fellow Fokkers for Classic Fighters 2015. Despite being somewhat convoluted with an abundance of lows and highs, it is worth telling - even if just for the caution against buying partly built aircraft from other countries and shipping them home for completion – there may be some nasty surprises in store!

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