Knights Of The Sky Exhibition - Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre Dangerous Skies WWII Exhibition - Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre
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Volume 22 #1, Issue 99


Dutch DelightThe Royal Netherlands Air Force Historical Flight has a growing collection of warbirds, all of which pay tribute to the history of the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF). In this article Coert Munk takes us through the history Flight, from its modest beginnings as a small club through to the amalgamation with the Dutch Spitfire Flight and the Duke of Brabant Air Force. The Flight now boasts a formidable ‘air force’ and three of its machines have significant ‘Downunder’ links, either tangible or representative. Those aircraft are the Mk.IX Spitfire, the Ryan STM and the B-25. As a consequence they are focused upon within the article. Complemented by some superb air to air images, this is a fine tribute to the dedication of a large number of people, backed by the Dutch Air Force, to keep the aviation history of the Netherlands alive.



The clandestine service which saw Qantas crewed Catalinas fly an average of 28 hours between Perth and Ceylon to deliver freight and mail under the noses of the Japanese has largely been forgotten. Considered by many to be cowards at the time, given they were forbidden to wear service uniforms off base, their story could only be published a year later, when the threat of Japanese intervention had been nullified. This article presents an overview of this remarkable service and the recent efforts of the Longreach Museum, Queensland to honour it. They would set about finding a Catalina to be displayed and discovered a candidate in Spain. It was decided to fly the aircraft to its new home- and as one of the engineers describes- the best laid plans will often fall foul to cantankerous 70 year old machinery! Some two years after setting out the aircraft finally made it – and was thereafter repainted as one of the original Double Sunrise aircraft-‘Antares Star.’


FFVS J 22With Europe plunged into chaos as Nazi Germany swept all before it, neutral Sweden sought to modernise its Air Force as quickly as possible and in doing so ordered Seversky and Vultee Vanguards from the USA. However after only sixty of the former had been delivered the US placed an embargo on all sales of military equipment to all countries with the exception of the UK. Consequently Sweden found itself alarmingly short of modern fighters - the responsibility of defending its airspace left mostly to Gloster Gladiators and a number of outdated Italian fighters. This was an interim measure as the Swedish Air Force desperately sought a better solution, they turning their attention to the possibility of designing and producing a modern fighter aircraft within the country. Here the author charts the development and service history of the J 22 and we take a look at the few which survive.


Marchetti S.79 The Marchetti S.79 is arguably the most famous Italian military aircraft in aviation history, popular enough to be considered by some in its homeland to be the Italian equivalent of the Spitfire. Originally developed as a racer, the aircraft served as a bomber during the Spanish Civil War, as a Torpedo bomber during the Second World War and ended its career in the high-speed transport role. Here author Gregory Alegi charts the development and operation of the charismatic machine, in the process making sense of the often confused designation of the type. The three extant aircraft spotlighted, these are ex Lebanese operated machines and two have remarkable wartime combat histories.


LYSANDER There is no doubt we all harbour that faint hope that we may one day stumble across a hidden gem which has been forgotten in the mists of time – either through a general disinterest or as a consequence of the passing of those who were ‘in the know.’ Interest for the budding treasure hunter is piqued when a casual remark relating to the ‘rumour’ of the existence of a relic is randomly raised at a social gathering or through a totally unrelated conversation. Of course in reality, the proffered information is little more than hearsay and has become muddled after the ‘nth’ telling of the tale – all in all not worth a follow up. Nine times out of ten such a conclusion would be a sensible one, however if the rumour falls within the boundaries of real possibility- proof being that such relics have been discovered and recovered from the area previously – a little more effort would certainly be warranted, as author DOUG FISHER discovered!


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