Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Hollande seeks Rafale jet deal with Qatar

Hollande seeks Rafale jet deal with Qatar: Doha, Qatar (UPI) Jun 24, 2013

French President Francois Hollande has sought to press the gas-rich Persian Gulf emirate of Qatar to buy 24- to 36 Dassault Rafale combat jets during a weekend visit amid a defense build-up by the region's Arab monarchies to counter Iran.
Qatar is expected to unveil a tender to replace its aging fighter fleet of nine Dassault Mirage M-2000ED ground-attack jets and three Mirage M2000-Ds,

Monday, June 17, 2013

Exhibition of Enemy Aircraft, Hyde Park, London September 1945

Exhibition of Enemy Aircraft, Hyde Park, London September 1945:

WNr. 191454 'Yellow 11' Me 163 B

Prior to the RAE Exhibition of Enemy Aircraft at Farnborough in October and November 1945, the RAF organised an exhibition of enemy aircraft in London's Hyde Park from 16-22 September 1945. The aircraft came from no.6 MU RAF Brize Norton and comprised a Me 163, He 162, Me (Bf) 108 Taifun, Bf 110 G, Fw 190, Ju 88 G and an Fi 156. It is most likely that these went back there afterwards, although the He 162 went to Canada.  Most of the aircraft at Brize Norton were scrapped or put on the bonfire in 1946 or '47. According to Clive Barker, there were more than 70 enemy aircraft at Brize Norton at the end of 1947 mostly parked outside. Among others there were approximately 20 Me163s and 20 Ju 52s. The bad winter of 1946/47 took it's toll on most of the larger aircraft which were either blown over or struck by flying debris. By the end of 1948 all had been dismantled and buried in pits on site along with their regular job of disposing of surplus Spitfires, Spitefuls and Liberators.

The photograph below was used in the 13 September 1945 issue of  'Flight' magazine to illustrate the upcoming event

Captured Butcherbirds - Fw 190 F-8 "JFE " May 1945

Captured Butcherbirds - Fw 190 F-8 "JFE " May 1945:

Fw 190 F-8, WNr. unknown, captured by the British according to 'Captured Butcherbirds' on a Deutsche Lufthansa assembly line at Travemuende and test-flown during May 1945. It was eventually marked 'JFE', the initials of the CO of 127 Wing, Wing Commander J.F. Edwards

Messerschmitt M.35 - German pre-war aerobatic champions

Messerschmitt M.35 - German pre-war aerobatic champions:

 An interesting photo series depicting a decorated pilot in and around BFW M.35, more usually known as the Messerschmitt M 35, a twin-seat radial-engined sports and touring aircraft of the early 1930s. The M.35 is particularly interesting as the last of a line designed by Willy Messerschmitt. It was an aircraft that led directly to the Bf 108 Taifun.

BFW had declared bankruptcy during June 1931 following a second crash of its M.20 'airliner' in April 1931. The previous October an M.20 had crashed in Dresden on a flight to Vienna with the result that an order of ten of these aircraft from DLH under Erhard Milch was cancelled. Messerschmitt ressurrected his old company Messerschmitt Flugzeugbau GmbH (Ltd) to continue his design work.

Over the period 1927-33 Messerschmitt designed a series of six sports aircraft, the single seat M.17 and M.19, and the two-seat M.23, M.27 M.31 and finally the M.35. With the exception of the M.23, none sold in large numbers. They were all single-engine low-wing cantilever monoplanes with open cockpits and fixed undercarriage. The M.35 kept the extended fuselage of the M.27 and combined it with an undercarriage of single leg, spatted form. 

Two different engines were used. The M35a had a 112 kW (150 hp), seven-cylinder radial Siemens Sh 14a and the M.35b a 100 kW (135 hp) four-cylinder inline inverted air cooled Argus As 8b. The former was the shorter and faster of the two. The aircraft first flew in 1933. The aircraft was first shown to the public and potential buyers at the 1934 Aerosalon in Geneva. In that year, Rudolph Hess won the Zugspitz trophy in an M.35. Assuming that the pilot in the flight suit in these pictures is not Hess, is it perhaps Will Stor who won the German Aerobatic Championship in an M.35 in 1934-35. In 1935 the women's prize was taken by Vera von Bissing in a similar machine.

Despite these successes and strong performances at other venues in the late 1930s, only 15 M.35s were built, 13 registered in Germany, one in Spain and reputedly one in Romania. 

Bv 222 V-4 X4+DH Tobruk/Tripoli resupply flights September 1942

Bv 222 V-4 X4+DH Tobruk/Tripoli resupply flights September 1942:

currently on offer on courtesy mybutterfly1964

Bv 222 V-4 X4+DH somewhere in the Med, possibly off Tobruk - note the HD 151 gun turret above the cockpit and the Viking ship badge of the LTS (See) 222 below the cockpit. Between September and October 1942 X4+DH made some 25 landings off Tobruk flying from southern Italy -regular pilot during this period was Oblt Walter Blume a former DLH Flugkapitän with some 53 crossings of the Atlantic in his logbook. During October 1942 X4+DH flew back to Travemünde for maintenance and overhaul just prior to the British El Alamein offensive. On 24 November 1942 Bv 222 V-6 X4+FH was shot down by Beaufighters north of the island of Linosa while on 10 December a Kette of three Bv 222's including the V-4 X4+DH en route to Tripoli from Pantelleria was also set upon by Beaufighters of 227 Sqn who sent the V-8 X4+HH into the sea in flames with the loss of all nine crew. Pilot Blume who survived this encounter wrote a report two days later that was very critical of the enormous seaplanes's defensive capabilities; " the B-stand has not the slightest value when attacked from the rear since, as was the case two days ago, attacking aircraft are able to fly some two metres lower than the Bv 222.."

In Pictures: First Flight of the Airbus A350 - Landing

In Pictures: First Flight of the Airbus A350 - Landing:
Following takeoff at 10am local (see the photos), MSN001 landed at Toulouse-Blagnac airport at 2pm. Here are images of the low pass and subsequent landing on runway 32L. 
Images from the live video feed provided by Airbus.

In Pictures: First Flight of the Airbus A350 - Take Off

In Pictures: First Flight of the Airbus A350 - Take Off:
The first A350, MSN001, took off from Toulouse-Blagnac airport at 10 a.m. local time, launching a flight test campaign that will last around one year. 
First flight is expected to last around four hours. The aircraft will fly over the runway shortly before 2 p.m. and then return for landing.
(all images are screen grabs from the Airbus live video feed)