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User / Baz Richardson (catching up) / Sets / Helicopters & planes
Baz Richardson / 11 items

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We spotted this rather grand old lady of the skies twice flying over Cremyll in south-east Cornwall when we were there on 28 November 2017. Can it really be 50 years old?

According to www.helis.com/database/cn/192/ it was delivered in 1965 and entered the record books by making the first transatlantic flight by a civilian helicopter. A special extra fuel tank was fitted in the cabin. (See www.helis.com/database/news/transatlantic/)

It subsequently spent 16 years with British Airways (1970-86) and has been with British International since then, other than an eleven-year period (Jan 93 - May 04), when it was with other carriers. It has been based at Newquay Airport since May 2017.

Tags:   Helicopters Sea King helicopters G-ATFM Sikorsky S-61N Mk II British International record-breaking helicopter

N 10 B 1.5K C 3 E Jul 7, 2019 F Jul 24, 2019
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This small aircraft flew low over the seafront at Looe during the recent Lugger Regatta. They would certainly have had an excellent view of all the boats. I checked its registration details and found that it is a 2007 Comco Ikarus C42 FB80 Cyclone belonging to Solent Flight Ltd, a Hampshire-based flying school.

Tags:   Aircraft Comco Ikarus C42 FB80 Cyclone small aircraft

N 21 B 2.3K C 10 E Jun 22, 2019 F Jun 22, 2019
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Sywell Aerodrome is located 6 miles north-east of Northampton and was originally opened in 1928. During the Second World War RAF Sywell was used as a training facility and was later an important centre for the repair of Wellington bombers. Extensive sheds and hangars from this time still remain on the site.

These days the aerodrome caters for private flying, flight training and corporate flights. There is one fixed-wing flying school, one microlight school and a helicopter school. Sywell has three all-grass operational runways and a fourth all-weather concrete runway.

There is a 1930s Art Deco hotel with a bar and restaurant facilities with access to a large garden overlooking the apron and runways. On the day we visited to have lunch we were entertained by a pilot from The Blades aerobatic display team, practising in the skies above.

Tags:   Northamptonshire light planes helicopters airports Sywell Aerodrome

N 170 B 37.6K C 29 E Oct 21, 2018 F Oct 26, 2018
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Having only a few seconds before been driving along a steep wooded river valley it came as a bit of a shock to come across this outstanding RAF interceptor of the '60s and '70s. It was mounted on a plinth on the premises of Castle Air just off the A38 near Liskeard in Cornwall.

It is actually 31 years since this plane took its last flight in November 1987. According to Wikipedia, the Lightning remains the only UK-designed and built fighter capable of Mach 2. It was designed, developed, and initially manufactured by English Electric and was operated by the RAF, the Kuwait Air Force and the Royal Saudi Air Force.

The Lightning was initially designed and developed as a high speed interceptor to defend the V bomber airfields from attack by anticipated future nuclear-armed supersonic Soviet bombers such as the Tupolev Tu-22, but it was subsequently also required to intercept other bomber aircraft such as the Tupolev Tu-16 and the Tupolev Tu-95. The Lightning had an exceptional rate of climb, ceiling, and speed but was limited by its fuel capacity. Later developments provided greater range and speed along with aerial reconnaissance and ground-attack capability.

Tags:   RAF Lightning F6 XS936 interceptors fighters planes Explored

N 38 B 2.9K C 26 E Jul 3, 2019 F Jul 3, 2019
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We've recently been popping over to Sywell Aerodrome in Northamptonshire for a spot of lunch, and today came across a former USAF Mustang. This was the plane whose performance was vastly improved through fitting it with a Rolls Royce Merlin engine. Eventually, the definitive version, the P-51D, was powered by the Packard V-1650-7, a license-built version of the two-speed two-stage-supercharged Merlin 66, With drop tanks fitted, the plane was then able to escort American heavy bombers all the way to Berlin.

"Contrary Mary" was built in 1944 as a single seat P51D fighter and was then known as "Miss Velma" .It was later converted to two-seat TF-51D configuration. It was damaged in a short landing at Duxford a couple of years ago and needed restoration including a new wing.The repairs were undertaken in 2018 and it was repainted as "Contrary Mary".

For details of the development and history of the Mustang fighter please see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_P-51_Mustang.

Tags:   Northamptonshire Sywell Aerodrome USAF Mustang P51D WWII fighter aircraft


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