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Volume 23 #2, Issue 105


ShturmovikIn mid June only the second air worthy example of the mass produced, but now very rare, Soviet ground attack legend that is the IL-2 took to the air in Russia following a five year rebuild. Here we take a look at the aircraft’s history, recovery and plans for its future.



The reincarnation of a significant French WW II combat aircraft is surprisingly residing in Southern Texas. The rebirth of the type is the result of an idea nurtured by passionate engineer, pilot and student of aviation history, Jean (aka John)-Marie Garric. John is already well known among warbird circles for his work converting Yak-11 airframes into Yak-3 fighters, having completed several of these over the past decades. However taking on the build of a long extinct twin engine aircraft which last rolled off the line some six decades earlier - tools, jigs and most likely drawings having long since been destroyed or lost, was something completely different! This article takes a look at the type and follows John’s vision.

OPERATION BERLIN EXPRES - Across the Pond in a P-51

P-51 Berlin ExpressAs part of the build up of US forces in Europe from mid 1942, large numbers of aircraft were ferried from the USA to the UK via the northern route as part of an operation known as Bolero. By the end of 1942 920 aircraft had departed on the long and perilous journey almost all of them delivered by their combat crews. The largest loss occurred in July 1942, when six P-38s and two B-17s had to force land on the Greenland ice cap. One of these aircraft of what was later popularised as the ‘Lost Squadron’ was recovered in 1992, the famous P-38 ‘Glacier Girl.’ In this detailed article pilot Lee Lauderback shares his insights into flying a single engine fighter over a hostile but often stunningly beautiful route as he retraces Bolero in a P-51 called ‘Berlin Express.’


Bristol Fighters

How Classic Wings Magazine came to own the world’s largest collection of Bristol Fighters –well, for a short while at least! Built for the film High Road to China, but not used, one of these machines would star in the 1981 film ‘Death Hunt’ but thereafter disappeared. Sometime later two examples surfaced and were placed on display at each of the Planes of Fame facilities – perhaps the others were still around somewhere. Many years of thinking about these machines led to some intense detective work, and this was rewarded with the ‘discovery’ of the remaining five aircraft- stored high off the ground in shipping containers at the Planes of Fame facility. It was time to mount an expedition and free the Brisfits from decades of incarceration!


Curtiss FightersIt has been 10 years since we last ran a comprehensive assessment of surviving Curtiss Hawk fighters resident on the southern side of the Equator. Going back a little further, our very first foray into tallying up the survivors and the projects was way back in 1995. Perhaps the most interesting figure to consider when evaluating the P-40 activity ‘Downunder’ over the past 22 years, is the number of aircraft that were returned to flying condition during that period. Amazingly, a total of 16 P-40s have been brought to airworthy status between Australia and New Zealand over the past two decades. In this article the Editor takes a look at the current state of play of play with the type- and there is plenty going on!


Saab B18 Bomber

Surrounded by hostility, Sweden managed to stay neutral during WWII, however the Swedish military, in particular the Air Force, soon found out that nobody wants to sell combat aircraft to a neutral country when they were needed at home, and as a consequence Sweden had to build its own aircraft. One of these was the impressive multi role SAAB B 18 medium bomber. The story begins in the mid 1930s and ends with the hunt, recovery and rebuild of the only survivor which now takes pride of place at the Swedish Air Force Museum.


· Flying Legends
· EAA AirVenture

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