Aeroplane Monthly 1992-07
M.Oakey - Grapevine
Enthused by Ma Jianming's article on China’s PLAAF Museum in February 1991’s Aeroplane, Australian reader John Sheraton visited it recently and found no fewer than three PLAAF-marked Curtiss C-46 Commandos on static display - not the sort of thing you see every day.
Nothing to do with this month’s main story, but a startling shot of the rear end of John Woodhouse’s recently-acquired ex-Maltese DC-3, formerly N9050T, mounted in Fleet Pond, Hampshire, to publicise his new American-style restaurant Dakota’s. Alarmed reports of the "crash" have come from pilots in the adjacent Blackbushe circuit, from airliners overflying to Heathrow and from train drivers on the main London line which runs past the lake. "The rest of the venerable old lady is spread around inside the restaurant", reports Melvyn Hiscock, who took the picture. “As a publicity stunt it could be considered a success. As an aeroplane it could be considered b*****ed”. Wonder if they do Bar-B-Q wing ribs, or buy food supplies for the restaurant at SPAR?
Immaculate Hawker Hurricane IIC LF751/"BN230", restored by the RAeS’s Medway branch four years ago, has just won an interim prize in the Scania Transport Trust Awards Scheme, and a place in the 1992-93 finals.
Lufthansa’s Junkers Ju 52 D-AQUI, pictured here at Biggin Hill in 1988, is coming back to the UK in September 1992 for displays and pleasure flights.
North American P-51D Mustang 45-11483 and B-25J Mitchell N96216/45-8811 are part of a new warbird collection, Flying Legend, recently established at Dijon in eastern France. It also includes a T-28, PT-17, Jungmeister and ex-British Yakovlev Yak-11 G-AYAK, flown over by new owner Christophe Jacquard in February.
The Aircraft Restoration Company’s second Blenheim continues to take shape at Duxford. Painted in an all-black night intruder scheme guaranteed to raise enthusiasts’ eyebrows, the bomber now has both engines and one wing in place.
Former Jersey Airlines de Havilland Heron G-AORG is back in its original livery as Duchess of Brittany after 30yr with the Royal Navy. Now operated by a Jersey-based group of enthusiasts, the Heron is nevertheless operated in public transport fashion, with two pilots, load sheets, safety cards, uniformed ground handlers and even aircraft steps in Jersey Airlines livery.
Pictured at Duxford on May 16, 1992, ex-Indian Air Force Supermarine Spitfire FR.XIV MV293/G-SPIT is nearing completion of its restoration in the hands of the Fighter Collection. Some systems work is still to be finished, and the aircraft is expected to fly later this year. It is painted in the all-silver scheme and markings of an FR.XIV of No 2 Sqn RAF, based at Wahn, Germany, in 1948-49.
Unique Caudron Luciole G-BDFM left for France on May 22, 1992, on a tour to mark its 60th birthday. The lightweight two-seater was scheduled to have appeared at the La Ferte-Alais show by the time this issue is published.