Air Enthusiast 2001-01
G.Cruz - Homegrown 'Pedros' (2)
B.2I-1 (c/n 091) sporting the camouflage scheme of most B.2Hs. After undergoing extensive trials in the GEV (INTA), it was assigned to 90 Grupo de Estado Mayor (90th High Staff Group) as T.8-77. Later, it received the EdA serial T.8B-77 and, finally, after being converted to a bomber, it became B.2I-1. This machine was the prototype of the Merlin-engined versions.
B.2I-48 (c/n 178) first flew in February 1957, being delivered to the Gando-based 46 Ala Mixta (46th Mixed Wing) as '462-7'. Note unit's emblem on the tail.
T.8B-124 (c/n 118) was first flown in October 1959. After serving with no less than five EdA units, it was sold to Warbirds of Great Britain late in 1976. In England, the aircraft, built as a transport, was converted to 'bomber' status, a ventral gondola and a turret being installed. Col 'Lefty' Gardner, from the Confederate Air Force, found the flyable T.8B at Blackbushe, Hampshire, UK, in December 1976 and purchased it. Finally, after overcoming some problems, the aircraft could be flown to the USA on September 24, 1977. There, the CAF's Arizona Wing decorated the aircraft as a KG 51 machine.
Immaculate aspect of a brand new B.2I on the Tablada grass parking zone
Taxying in after completing its routine at the Confederate Air Force Airshow 1999 at Midland, Texas, the Arizona Wing's N7261S - presently the only airworthy 'Pedro'.
Operating from Malaga, BR.2I-131 was re-engined C-2.111C B.2HR-81. This picture was taken after 1968, as denoted by the 'Battle of Britain' camouflage worn by the B.2I in the background.
Post-Spanish Air Force view of 'Pedro'. Subject of the colour artwork, transport T.8B-124 (G-BDYA) parked at Blackbushe, Hants. It carries Luftwaffe markings, but the small-sized Spanish roundel can be seen under the wing.
B2I-37 was sold to Spitfire Productions and ferried to Duxford, Cambs, in mid-1968 for the film 'Battle of Britain', with the UK civil registration G-AWHB. It wore several Luftwaffe codes, including 'U6+GN', illustrated. Today the aircraft is under restoration by Aces High at North Weald, Essex.
The Arizona Wing's N72615 (T.8B-124) on the ramp at Midland, Texas, October 1999.
A 29 Agrupacion machine undergoing engine runs at Tablada.
At CASA's Tablada parking zone, a transport T.8B showing the clean lines of the C-2.111F (sometimes referred to as C-2.111T) after deletion of the dorsal turret and the ventral gondola.
One of the maintenance hangars at CASA Tablada containing some B/BR.2Is of the 25, 26 and 27 Light Bomber Wings undergoing the inspect and repair as necessary (IRAN) process. In the foreground is B.2I-44 '27-3', one of 70 machines fitted with the first Merlins purchased from UK.
Devoid of all armament, B.2I-67 '27-15' over the Spanish southern coast. Noteworthy are the well-worn three-tone camouflage and the lack of spinners.
From April 1965 a new EdA coding system was introduced, the most evident feature being three-digit unit numbers. A BR.2I, is pictured in October 1966 while overflying an Armada vessel, with 271 Escuadron markings.
Over the Mediterranean, two Ala 26 B.2Is. Like all C-2.111Bs, B.2I-40 '26-16', is fitted with the standard nose-mounted 12.7mm Breda Safat and the two rearward-firing 7.92mm MG 15 machine-guns, one mounted in the dorsal gun position and the other in the ventral gondola
Flying high over the African coast, BR.2I-13 wearing the two-tone camouflage applied to the machines used during the filming of 'Battle of Britain'. Note the small size of the nationality and unit markings.
T.8B transports were mostly used by second-line units. T.8B-124, at Reus in June 1967, assigned to the 982 Flight, a transport and liaison unit based at Son San Juan. At the end of its career, it was equipped with cameras and delivered to the 403 Escuadron thus becoming the sole 'T.8R' in the EdA. This aircraft is still flying, with the Confederate Air Force.
No.46 Mixed Wing succeeded 36 Mixed Wing at Gando on April 1, 1965. The new unit's 462 Escuadron received the former 362 Escuadron's complement of B and BR.2Is. B.2I-43 '462-7' photographed during a routine patrol over the Spanish Sahara territory. The tail unit badge is clearly seen.
Former 25 Ala machine in the markings of 26 Ala. At that time, unit markings were often painted over the crudely erased ones of the unit the aircraft had been assigned to previously.
Poor quality but one of the very few illustrations showing an Ala 28 BR.2I. These were the first Merlin-engined C-2.111s and they experienced some troubles with the propellers - hence the lack of spinners. Barcelona, September 1956.
Three B/BR.2Is of the Gando-based 29 Agrupacion oh the apron circa 1960.
Several propeller types were tested with the Merlin engines. Taken at Tablada, the prototype (c/n 091) fitted with four-bladed Rotols and devoid of EdA markings other than the rudder-mounted St Andrews' Crosses
Illustrated is very probably BR.2I-3 (c/n 133), wearing fresh 96 Escuadrilla markings '96-5'. It sports the same three-tone camouflage scheme as most B.2Hs.
At its Gando base, a B.2I was assigned to the second Escuadron, 362nd, of 36 Ala Mixta, as denoted by the fuselage code numbers.
In October 1959 the Moron-based Ala 27 de Bombardeo Ligero (27th Light Bomber Wing) was transferred to Malaga. Two Ala 27 B.2Is flying over the Mediterranean during an air-sea co-operation exercise. Nearest is B.2I-102 '27-36', one of 16 re-engined examples which were not delivered to the EdA when fitted with their former Jumo powerplants
Author provides scale to the cockpit of BR.2I-133, former Jumo-powered aircraft B.2H-44, when assigned to the Cuatro Vientos-based 96 Escuadron, June 1964.