As the Focke-Wulf Fw 190's pilot banks to port, the menacing shape of the Supermarine Spitfire still fills the rear view mirror. The Allied fighter is just waiting for the right moment to open fire...but, instead, the Spitfire draws level and waggles its wings in an invitation to swap places. Thankfully for all involved, this isn't a scene from the latter years of World War Two but a recent one over the friendly skies of New Zealand. It was, in fact, the first time ever that a Spitfire and a Focke-Wulf 190 had flown together at a warbird airshow in the southern hemisphere. Two of the stars of the renowned Classic Fighters event at Omaka, New Zealand, were Spitfire IX PV270 (ZK-SPI) and FW 190A/8N ZK-RFR Stahlgewitter. Eagle-eyed FlyPast readers will have noticed the capital 'W' in the designation. Fox-Romeo is the prototype of the batch of new-build '190s created by Germany-based Flug Werk and the company's initials are used to denote its products. In 2009 the aircraft was purchased by the Chariots of Fire Collection based in Omaka at the northern end of South Island. Graham Orphan manages the collection and spent a lot of time and effort negotiating the purchase of the '190 and getting it shipped to New Zealand.
Morayvia has successfully purchased Hawker Siddeley Nimrod MR.2 XV244 and plans to take forward work originally started by the Nimrod Heritage Group to preserve the aircraft in Moray, Scotland. The Morayvia team, formed in May 201 I, is led by Mark Mair, Stan Barber, Bob Pountney and Sean McCourt. Morayvia is working with personnel of the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), RAF Kinloss and 39 Engineer Regiment on storage of the Nimrod whilst ambitious plans for an Aerospace Centre at Kinloss are developed. XV244 is the last remaining Nimrod at Kinloss and is presently stored in a hangar, however, it will soon be moved to a more economic hard standing, close to the proposed Aerospace Centre. Whilst in storage it will be looked after by a team of volunteers, most of whom are former engineers, to ensure it is kept in the best condition possible. On the April 5, 1982 XV244 was one of the first two Nimrod MR.Is to deploy to Wideawake Airfield on Ascension Island in support of operations to retake the Falkland Islands. The aircraft flew five sorties before being replaced by the more capable Nimrod MR.2 aircraft.
On both sides of the Atlantic, airshow teams are forming to operate ex-Soviet Bloc jets. Last year saw the debut of the Heavy Metal Jet Team, which flew five Aero L-39 Albatros jets at airshows across North America, occasionally accompanied by a rare and exciting Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 'Fresco.' For the 2012 season the Florida-based team has received sponsorship from United Bank Card and has rebranded as the 'Black Diamond Jet Team.' The aircraft retain their distinctive arctic camouflage scheme and a second MiG-17 has joined the fleet. Making its debut in the 2012 season will be the newly-formed 'Red Steel Jet Team' from Texas. The team operates a trio of L-39s along with a Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23UB 'Flogger.' This ex-Bulgarian VVS aircraft is registered N923UB and thought to be the only operational MiG-23 in the USA.
The First World War sits firmly in our collective conscience as a period of terrible human suffering and the loss of almost an entire generation of young men. Yet, paradoxical though it may seem, from that death and destruction there was much to be proud of. Women found employment and earned wages on an hitherto unprecedented scale. Men displayed a willingness to support their country and make sacrifices for their fellow men-in-arms as never before. The newly-independent countries of Australia, New Zealand and Canada forged their identities on the slopes of the Gallipoli Peninsula and Vimy Ridge. Many men found their voice through the graphic and evocative war poems that are still recited today. There were also great advances in technology. Aircraft began to play an increasingly significant role in warfare and the lumbering, clunking tanks began to dominate the battlefield.
WEATHERING is a great pastime that I thoroughly enjoy. It's enthralling and I love immersing myself in a new project and developing a model from a showroom fresh example into something which has the looks of a real working locomotive in miniature. I started my journey into weathering in the 1990s when I was modelling in 'N' gauge. Back then it was a simple process for me which barely scratched the surface of the potential of this subject. In recent times I've grown my skills more than I thought I could. This is thanks to the support of Hornby Magazine weathering expert and co-author of this Weathering Skills Guide, Tim Shackleton. Listening to and learning from specialists such as Tim is perhaps the very best way of developing modelling skills and if you ever have the opportunity to discuss the subject first hand with a demonstrator at a model railway exhibition take the opportunity!
In early 1938, the United States Navy was in need of an all-new carrier-based fighter aircraft and made a request for design proposals. The Navy required an aircraft with a high top speed but a low stall-speed to allow for carrier landings; it would also need a long range for lengthy patrols over large areas of open ocean. In June of 1938, a contract was signed with the aircraft manufacturer Vought, a company that had a long affiliation with the US Navy between the wars with spotter aircraft and seaplanes. Rex Beisel led Vought's design team, assembled to create the company's two responses to the Navy's request; it was their second proposal, the XF4U-1, that would eventually become the legendary Corsair. Beisel was the only son of a coal miner from Cumberland, Washington, USA. He joined the engineering department at Vought in 1931 in the role of Assistant Chief Engineer and after writing a significant technical paper on the cooling of radial engines, he was promoted to General Manager.