UPDATED 07.02 - Flying Legends retrospective - *1997*

Re: UPDATED 08.01 - Flying Legends retrospective - *1996*

Postby Ben Dunnell on Thu 16 Jan 2020, 11:01 pm

DaveBr wrote:I'm struggling with the foreign Skyraiders, two French and one Belgian. So far I've got:
Douglas AD-4NA Skyraider 125716 F-AZFN
Douglas AD-4NA Skyraider 126965 OO-FOR (guess based on it being Belgian registered)
What was the other French one? F-AZDP from AJBS seems a good guess, but it is a guess.
If the second French one was only there on Sunday that would explain it's absence from the official video.

It was F-AZDQ of Aérorétro, which was there both days. F-AZDP didn't appear until 2009. OO-FOR is correct — a late arrival on Saturday.
Ben Dunnell

Re: UPDATED 08.01 - Flying Legends retrospective - *1996*

Postby DaveBr on Fri 17 Jan 2020, 12:35 pm

Thanks all for the updates.

Updated 1994 Spreadsheet:

Re: UPDATED 08.01 - Flying Legends retrospective - *1996*

Postby DaveBr on Fri 17 Jan 2020, 12:39 pm

1996 Spreadsheet:

Last edited by DaveBr on Fri 17 Jan 2020, 2:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: UPDATED 08.01 - Flying Legends retrospective - *1996*

Postby DaveBr on Fri 17 Jan 2020, 12:40 pm

Obviously, Hoof Proudfoot was pilot of the P-38 in 1996... I'll update.

Re: UPDATED 08.01 - Flying Legends retrospective - *1996*

Postby Elliott Marsh on Fri 17 Jan 2020, 1:04 pm

With a bit of digging and thought I should be able to add some more detail to the pilot list for 1994. I'm also trying to persuade my brother to sign up and contribute here, as he has an amazing memory for these shows.

He's also pointed out that Mark Hanna missed FL94 as he was flying the T-33 at Yeovilton, and missed 96 as well - presumably he was off flying the jets elsewhere. That's the level we're dealing with where he's concerned. :grin:

As for 1996 (in no particular order, sorry!)...

- John Romain flew TFC's Kingcobra;
- OFMC Fury was Ray Hanna;
- G.59 should have been Pino Valenti;
- Hellcat was Steve Privett;
- Wildcat, Stu Goldspink;
- John Webb in the Blenheim;
- Possibly JR in ARCo's Lysander, but not sure on that;
- Charlie Brown flew Black 6 on Sunday, John Allison on Saturday;
- my brother reckons Paul Day may have flown ML417 on Sunday;
- Carolyn Grace was in ML407;
- Jack Brown in MV293;
- Carl Schofield in SM832; and
- OFMC Corsair was Brian Smith.

I'd also assume Christophe Jacquard flew his P-40, but again, not 100%. Fairly certain Eric Goujon flew Temptation on at least one day.

I've been working on 1997 intermittently, but have been prepping for four big VAE interviews I've lined up for the next fortnight, so time's been tight. Hopefully I'll be able to post within the next couple of weeks. I've received some further info from Phil Glover which has been a big help for that year.
Elliott Marsh

Re: UPDATED 08.01 - Flying Legends retrospective - *1996*

Postby DaveBr on Fri 17 Jan 2020, 2:56 pm

I've updated 1996 in the original post above.

Will hold off for Elliott's write up before launching into 1997. Now that we've covered off the back log, we should be able to keep it year to year as originally planned. No hurry though, I was never going to keep up with 2 per week anyway... :smile:

I've already kept spreadsheets for many of the later years, so I've just been adding tabs in the format I had already. I realise the order is a bit random, but I was already in the habit of trying to keep TFC at the top. It was only ever a list of participants and not supposed to document the running order.

If anyone wants the actual spreadsheets pm me and I'll sort out a downloadable version. It's an Excel file.

Re: UPDATED 08.01 - Flying Legends retrospective - *1996*

Postby Ryan. on Fri 17 Jan 2020, 3:37 pm

That 1996 lineup is quite astonishing. Cannot quite believe the amount of aircraft I took for granted, as relatively common to see, in the 90's.

Nine Mustang's as well. :worship:

Re: UPDATED 08.01 - Flying Legends retrospective - *1996*

Postby DaveBr on Fri 17 Jan 2020, 3:59 pm

Indeed, there were some monster lineups in the 90s!

Looking back at these shows is kind of bittersweet for me, because I wasn't there. In retrospect there was no good reason for not being there - I was in Norfolk most summers through the 90s twiddling my thumbs and doing rubbish summer temp jobs. My aviation interest had waned in my late teens/early twenties though and I didn't get it back until I first went to Duxford around 2000-2001.

Re: UPDATED 08.01 - Flying Legends retrospective - *1996*

Postby Mike on Fri 17 Jan 2020, 10:11 pm

Ryan. wrote:That 1996 lineup is quite astonishing. Cannot quite believe the amount of aircraft I took for granted, as relatively common to see, in the 90's.

Nine Mustang's as well. :worship:

Whenever the subject has come up in conversation in the years since, many of us agree that the Saturday of FL 1996 represented the absolute pinnacle of the Warbird movement in this country.

I'm glad I was there to witness it. I'm also glad that, having been given tickets to the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, I was away from Duxford on the Sunday.

Re: UPDATED 08.01 - Flying Legends retrospective - *1996*

Postby Ben Dunnell on Sat 18 Jan 2020, 12:58 am

DaveBr wrote:1996 Spreadsheet:

An additional static visitor was the BBMF Chipmunk WG486, still in its Gatow Station Flight scheme, which arrived during the display on Saturday if memory serves and stayed for the rest of the show.
Ben Dunnell

Re: UPDATED 08.01 - Flying Legends retrospective - *1996*

Postby ThreeM on Sat 18 Jan 2020, 11:34 am

1996 marked not only my first Flying Legends, attending on the Saturday, but also my first visit to Duxford.

Many highlights but for me the most memorable was the spectacle of the 'bombing' of the airfield by the B-25s, alternating with wave after wave of low flying P-51s as fighter escort carrying out 'strafing runs'.

There was also a curious connection with my past in the flying programme. Pages 2-6 feature an account of the wartime flying experiences of American Ervin Miller. 31 years prior he had been the commanding officer of the Air Training Corps squadron I was a member of. A lovely, softly spoken chap whose day job at that time was personnel manager of the MG car factory in Abingdon.

The squadron held an aviation-themed painting competition which I happened to win. Thinking that I had some artistic talent he handed over a few black and white photos of his Spitfire V and 'commissioned' a painting! After many false starts the watercolour was eventually handed over and I often wonder what became of it.

Re: UPDATED 08.01 - Flying Legends retrospective - *1996*

Postby DaveBr on Tue 04 Feb 2020, 9:39 am

I've started watching the 1997 video (and putting together the participants list) on the train this morning.

My first reaction is that the 3 ship of Hurricanes (with a 4th onsite from the BBMF) must have been a big deal in 1997.

Re: UPDATED 08.01 - Flying Legends retrospective - *1996*

Postby danjama on Wed 05 Feb 2020, 1:00 pm

Great thread, following with interest.

Re: UPDATED 08.01 - Flying Legends retrospective - *1996*

Postby Elliott Marsh on Thu 06 Feb 2020, 5:40 pm

Must admit I'm struggling to find time to wrap 1997 at the minute, but once I've finished the articles I'm working on I'll dive right back in (probably another couple of weeks).

Dave, if you complete your watch of the 1997 footage and want to get things underway, by all means do! I'm not precious about other people taking the lead if they get ahead of me.
Elliott Marsh

Re: UPDATED 07.01 - Flying Legends retrospective - *1995*

Postby FlyingMachinesTV on Thu 06 Feb 2020, 8:33 pm

Elliott Marsh wrote:1995

Contrary to the VHS/DVD commentary, MH434’s solo was flown by Brian Smith, not Rod Dean.

Thanks for the correction Elliott sadly I won't be able to get Raymond Baxter to re-record that bit for the show's appearance on our streaming channel :)

Re: UPDATED 08.01 - Flying Legends retrospective - *1996*

Postby DaveBr on Fri 07 Feb 2020, 10:12 am

Not sure I'm qualified to lead, since I didn't attend these '90s shows... I might get chance to post the list and a few observations over the weekend. Would still be excellent to get your write up Elliott - no hurry. :-)

Re: UPDATED 08.01 - Flying Legends retrospective - *1996*

Postby Elliott Marsh on Fri 07 Feb 2020, 10:23 pm

And we're back! Having wrapped one article today, I found some time to knock this one up this evening. My next job is to incorporate other people's insight into the original post, and update that up to 1997, but that will have to wait. Please also accept that this is a fairly candid commentary, a little flippant and light-hearted in places by design.

The event

My first recollection of Flying Legends 1997 is that something had happened that precluded many European warbirds from attending, and so the event felt, at the time anyway, a little like 'Legends lite' with (at a rough count) just the Dutch Catalina and B-25, French Mustang and Italian G.59 from the continent. Which is bonkers with hindsight, as you look back at the quality of the flying and the line-up itself and think God, what a show. I think 94-96 had spoiled us, and only in comparison to those classics did 97 feel a little lacking.

The flying programme

Tigercat, Bearcat x2, Hellcat & Wildcat

Blenheim, Lysander x2 & Gladiator

Spitfire x8 & Bf 109G 'Black 6'

B-25 x2, P-47, P-51C/D (?) & P-51D (D-Day set-piece)

Catalina x2 & Avenger

Corsair x2

Grumman Goose

Diamond Nine Tiger Moths

Bristol F2b & SE5a

Dewotine D.27

BBMF Lancaster, Spitfire & Hurricane

Hurricane x3

P-63 Kingcobra

Fiat G.59

B-17, P-47 & Mustang x6 (one landed back on)

Bearcat x2

P-51C Mustang Joker

The Balbo (27 including Joker):
- Spitfire x4
- Spitfire x4
- Hurricane x2 & Bf 109G
- Mustang x4
- Thunderbolt & Mustang
- Skyraider & Corsair x2
- Tigercat, Bearcat x2 & Hellcat
- Blenheim, B-25 & P-51C

What was new?

P-51C Mustang 'Princess Elizabeth' was TFC's new addition, making its UK airshow debut. It arrived shortly before FL97 direct from Fighter Rebuilders at Chino, CA, and I recall it made its maiden flight from the UK (following reassembly) on Saturday morning (first in the hands of Steve Hinton, then Stephen Grey). Of course, after appearing at a show other airshows in 1997 this Mustang was stripped down and effectively rebuilt. Its next Legends was 2005's, believe it or not. It also looked substantially different in 1997 - its nose art wasn't anywhere near as refined, and it was painted silver. The latter bare metal appearance and completed 'Princess Elizabeth' lettering made it one of the best looking warbirds ever restored, in my opinion.

The French Dewotine D.27 (operated by OFMC and flown at the show by Brian Smith) was something I feel people slept on at the time. I certainly don't remember there being much of a fuss made of it in the magazines, despite it being a tremendous little performer.

The Grumman Goose was another newbie, fitting the 'random twin' segment spearheaded by the Twin Pioneer in 1996. A second Goose was parked up next to it on the flight line!

Context, memories and observations

We're pre-poster curse here - Princess Elizabeth is front and centre on the poster, and made it! More on the poster curse in years to come...

Jerry Mead didn't commentate - instead, we had Brendan O'Brien behind the microphone for the first time at Legends. Mead would return in 1998.

The Cats' opener was classic Legends-y stuff, with Tigercat & Bearcat formation passes and aeros preceding a tail chase (with some mixed aerobatics) and then a Tigercat solo.

The Spitfire sequence had a bit of everything. An opening three-ship formation pass led by SM832 (with EP120 & ML417); a dogfight between Black 6 (Dave Southwood doing Dave Southwood things) and TE566; an EP and ML duo aerobatics, and Carl Schofield & Jack Brown going berserk over the grass in the two Mk.XIVs with the other Merlin Spits chasing them down.

The D-Day set piece put up each B-25 with fighter escort - three Spitfires with one, the Jug, Princess Liz and Moose with the other for a few passes. Liz and Moose flew a fantastic close formation sequence (Messrs Grey & Hinton) before the formations got it together.

The G.59 landed during the naval segment on Saturday - a late arrival, presumably.

Though we'd seen the Dutch Catalina before, this was the first time both Cats had flown together.

Ray Hanna and John Lamont flew OFMC and TFC's Corsairs. This was one of the best displays in Legends history at the time, and it holds up decades on. Just exceptional stuff from two masters.

The Lancaster landed on! A far too infrequent sight.

As Dave says, the Hurricane trio was a big deal at the time. BBMF's machine was in the circuit (I think) when they were getting airborne, so four were running/airborne at the same time - was that a first in the modern era?
Moose landed back on after the Mustangs got airborne having suffered a coolant leak.

At one point during the 8th AAF segment, the four Mustangs pulled out of a loop pretty much head-on with Sally B and its fighter escorts. Halcyon days!

This was the show where Sally B famously took its M11 end ski jump.

Hinton Snr and Paul Bonhomme flew the Bearcats - the double 8-pt hesitation roll was a highlight of that particular sequence.

One of the Hurricanes landed after the first Balbo pass.

Watching the video footage, Brendan O'Brien says 32 aircraft took part in the Balbo (which wasn't referred to as such at that time, as far as I can make out - at least not officially), including seven Mustangs, G.59 and P-63. The footage is conclusive in disproving that statement, and I'd log them in at 27 strong.
Last edited by Elliott Marsh on Mon 10 Feb 2020, 5:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Elliott Marsh

Re: UPDATED 07.02 - Flying Legends retrospective - *1997*

Postby DaveBr on Sat 08 Feb 2020, 11:19 am

Nice work Elliott. I certainly got the feeling from the video that it was somewhat low key compared to the previous couple of years. Was there something specific which kept the Europeans away, weather, regulation or something?

I didn't pick up anything else that you've missed. OFMCs Yak 3 (G-BWOE) was on the flightline and pops up a lot in the video. Believe this is the same machine that ended up running into a cherry picker at Wanaka in 2018.

You've listed 7 P-51s, btw so all good there. :-)

I'll get the list up shortly. Need to have another look at the Balbo first though.

Re: UPDATED 07.02 - Flying Legends retrospective - *1997*

Postby Elliott Marsh on Sat 08 Feb 2020, 11:59 am

I have it in mind that it was something "CAA" related - insurance, DAs, something like that - but where and when that was reported, I don't know. I was certainly aware of it at the show itself, so maybe it had been reported in advance (or on commentary at the event, but that seems less likely).

Noted on the Mustangs - clearly not running at full brain power! It's funny, I remember afterwards feeling disappointed that there had been so few P-51s there, which is an odd thought to have given how many flew! The shadow of 94-96's 8/9 strong gatherings is to blame for that, I guess.

In the meantime I've started on 1998's notes.
Elliott Marsh

Re: UPDATED 07.02 - Flying Legends retrospective - *1997*

Postby DaveBr on Sun 09 Feb 2020, 10:38 am

Here is my best effort at the participation list for 1997. I don't have many pilots and I've got too many aircraft in the balbo. I'm guessing the balbo must have been different each day though.

It's very difficult to determine which aircraft *didn't* take part in the balbo - Mustangs for example. The official video footage also switches randomly between the two days (balbo aircraft take off in both directions!). There are definite shots of the Wildcat and both B-25s in what seem to be balbo elements, but Elliott doesn't have them in his balbo list... anyone got an 'official' list, pilot briefing or similar?

The commentary mentions the P-51C being the only airworthy early mark Mustang in the world. Was this true?

I've also been wondering when did the TFC fleet peak in numbers? I guess this depends where you draw the line between owned and/or operated. You could argue, for instance, that TFC currently operate 3 Comanche owned Spitfires.

**Spreadsheet updated in post below**
Last edited by DaveBr on Sun 09 Feb 2020, 12:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: UPDATED 07.02 - Flying Legends retrospective - *1997*

Postby Ben Dunnell on Sun 09 Feb 2020, 11:15 am

From the flying programme I have, this is the list of pilots in display sequence order, with all the usual provisos about late changes:

Tigercat — Pete Kynsey
Bearcats — Steve Hinton and Paul Bonhomme
Hellcat — Steve Johnson
Wildcat — don't know, but Stu Goldspink is listed as flying it in the Balbo

Blenheim — John Webb
ARC Lysander — John Romain
Sabena Lysander — Jean-Michel Legrand
Gladiator — don't know

Spitfire XIV SM832 — Carl Schofield
Spitfire IX ML417 — Lee Proudfoot
Spitfire V EP120 — Nick Grey
Bf 109G — Dave Southwood
Spitfire IX TE566 — Charlie Brown
Spitfire IXT ML407 — Carolyn Grace
Spitfire XIV MV293 — Jack Brown
Spitfire XI PL965 — Andy Gent
Spitfire IX MJ730 — Andy Sephton

P-51C — Stephen Grey
P-51D G-BTCD — Steve Hinton
B-25 N88972 — John Romain
B-25 N320SQ — Edwin Boshoff
Spitfire IX ML417 — Lee Proudfoot
Spitfire IX TE566 — Charlie Brown
Spitfire IXT ML407 — Carolyn Grace
P-47 — Stu Goldspink

Catalina VR-BPS — John Alsford
Catalina PH-PBY — Schreurs (don't know first name)
Avenger — Tony Haig-Thomas
Skyraider — Laird (don't know first name)
Corsair G-FGID — John Lamont
Corsair N55JP — Ray Hanna
Swordfish — Greaves (don't know first name)
Goose N4575C (Aerofloat) — Pete Kynsey and Bob Swainston
(The other Goose was indeed static only, and I'm sure had a different owner, though I could be wrong.)

Diamond Nine — led by Ken Whitehead

F2B and SE5a — don't know

D27 — it says 'Hanna' on the list I have

BBMF — don't know

Hurricane G-HURI — Steve Privett
Hurricane G-HURR — Dan Griffith
Sea Hurricane — Tony Haig-Thomas

P-63 — Carl Schofield

G59 — Pino Valenti

B-17 — Keith Sissons
P-47 — Stu Goldspink
B-25 N88972 — John Romain
B-25 N320SQ — Edwin Boshoff
P-51C — Stephen Grey
P-51D G-BTCD — Ray Hanna
P-51D F-AZFI (by now owned by Yankee Delta rather than AJBS) — Michel Dubreuil
P-51D G-SUSY — Steve Noujaim
P-51D G-HAEC — Cliff Spink
P-51D N51RR — Norman Lees
P-51D G-BIXL — Pete John

In the Balbo, all flown as above except Brian Smith was in the OFMC Corsair, and no pilots are listed alongside the P-47 and P-63 as Stu Goldspink and Carl Schofield were in the Wildcat and Spitfire SM832 respectively. ML407 is not listed as taking part in the Balbo.

Spitfire VIII MV154 is listed on the programme, but without reference to my notebook from the time I don't know whether it actually took part.
Ben Dunnell

Re: UPDATED 07.02 - Flying Legends retrospective - *1997*

Postby DaveBr on Sun 09 Feb 2020, 12:47 pm

Great stuff, thanks Ben!

I've updated the spreadsheet. Noticed I had missed off the P-47 all together, not sure how that happened!

I believe the P-47 flew in the balbo, as there's a shot of it in the same vic as the Wildcat. If Stu Goldspink was in the Wildcat, obviously someone else flew the P-47 in the balbo. The commentary states Mark Hanna flew the Dewoitine, but it's hard to believe he flew just that and nothing else all day.

I listed the same owner for the Geese (?) on the basis they were both in the same livery, but it was only an assumption. If they were G- registered I'd look them up, but I'm not so au fait with looking up US N- regs.

I haven't seen any evidence that MV154 was there.



Re: UPDATED 07.02 - Flying Legends retrospective - *1997*

Postby Mike on Tue 11 Feb 2020, 3:45 pm

Just to be picky, G-HAEC was always registered as a CAC-18 Mustang 22, not a P-51D (I wont go into the complex and convoluted history of that particular airframe).

Re: UPDATED 07.02 - Flying Legends retrospective - *1997*

Postby DaveBr on Wed 12 Feb 2020, 7:50 am

Mike, yes that's a fair point...

However, interestingly not listed as a CAC-18 Mustang 22 in the original paper registration from May 1985:

When I started making participation lists my starting point was generally the Flying Legends programme. They started listing individual aircraft in 2004 and for some years prior to that you could buy(?) a list on the flightline walk. It was always called a P-51D-25 in the programmes.

Incidentally, I have no idea what the -10, -20, -25 etc. suffixes signify. I should probably find out... :-)

Re: UPDATED 07.02 - Flying Legends retrospective - *1997*

Postby Archer on Wed 12 Feb 2020, 11:30 am

Build lot number, as far as I know, but don't ask me what a specific number stands for as they also denoted minor spec changes. The status is mostly academic for P-51s flying around right now as most of them are not conforming to the full wartime spec anyway. There should be a two letter designator behind that as well to denote the factory where they were built, eg. P-51D-25NA.

I see that the (then) DBAF B-25 is shown as a B-25J-20. First time I've seen that designation for it. It was built as a B-25J but I think that it left the service as a TB-25N. It is now on the Dutch register as a N.American B-25N.
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