Blenheim MkI in the open at Duxford

Discussion in 'Warbird Displays' started by buffnut453, Aug 17, 2013.

  1. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

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    Thought folks might be interested in a couple of pics recently posted on Britmodeller showing the restored Blenheim MkI in the daylight at Duxford. Consensus is that the Finnish marking is spurious as the camo pattern is wrong for a Finnish airframe and the Finns never used fighters (this beast has the 4x.303 gun pack under the bomb bay).

    She's looking absolutely gorgeous, though! Wish I could get back to Blighty to see her flying.

    [​IMG]

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  2. rochie

    rochie Well-Known Member

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    looks great and fantastic to see it almost finished, but why a Finnish paint scheme ?

    would of been nice as PT-F of 62 Sqn flown by Squadron Leader A S K Scarf and his crew
     
  3. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Good shots!
     
  4. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

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    As mentioned, there is a belief that the Finnish scheme is incorrect.

    Don't get me started on Scarf's aircraft. There was a long thread about this on Britmodeller a few years ago. There are several problems with the "accepted wisdom" that Scarf flew Blenheim L1134 and it wore the code letters PT-F. Firstly, PT was the unit code for 27 Sqn not 62 Sqn. As noted above, 27 Sqn was designated as a fighter unit and was the only Blenheim unit in the Far East to have gun packs fitted to their aircraft (they also wore the Far East Command fighter scheme with the port underside in black, starboard underside in Sky Blue (per the colour pics in the LIFE archive) and a Sky Blue fuselage band. We also know from photographic evidence that the aircraft with the codes PT-F was serial number L8618, this airframe being captured by the Japanese.

    To add to the confusion, L1134 seems to have been a 62 Sqn machine - it doesn't appear in the 27 Sqn ORB. It is therefore possible that L1134 wore the codes FX-F which are correct for 62 Sqn (and I believe L1134 was on the books as belonging to that unit).

    The available options are that Scarf really flew L8618 on his VC sortie, and the codes PT-F are correct or he flew L1134 (ie the serial number is correct), in which case the codes were probably FX-F. Sadly, we'll probably never know for sure.
     
  5. JtD

    JtD Member

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    It's great to see it out in the open.
     
  6. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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  7. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Incorrect markings or not, it's great to see it finished at last. Hopefully, I'll get to see it live at the September air show, although I agree, I'd rather have seen it in RAF markings.
     
  8. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Agree with Terry but either way it will be great to see it back in the air.
     
  9. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    Yes, well done to the team again (!), this'll be the third time this aircraft has been restored to flying condition. Built as a Fairchild Bolingbroke, it gets more like a Blenheim with every restoration. Just hope the next overhaul is scheduled and not as a result of a prang. Looking at the photos - very nice - the scheme looks like an early war Fighter Command one and the Finnish roundels might be representative for an occasion perhaps, although I'm only hypothesising. I doubt the restorers would be so clumsy as to complete the aircraft as a Finnish Mk.I in that camouflage.
     
  10. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I think you could be right Grant. Having looked at the photos again, now that I'm more awake, it struck me that the colour scheme is more early war RAF, and I think it's very possible that the Finnish markings are for a special occasion, or perhaps TV documentary use or something similar. I'll try to find out when I go to the air show on Sept 8.
    It's good to see the fighter nose section (once converted into a car !) back where it belongs, and I really do hope the aircraft doesn't prang again, destroying this unique feature.
     
  11. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    Good one. Photos of the Blenheim and other stuff too, Terry. :)
     
  12. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    I'm planning to do the September show too, work permitting. Thanks for the heads up, I'll be looking out for the Blenheim. I have to say, with no offence intended to our Finnish friends, that I don't like those Finnish markings at all....... sorry Finland!
    Cheers
    Steve
     
  13. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

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    The colours are all wrong for a Finnish Blenheim. The camo should be black and dark green uppers with silver, pale grey or pale blue undersides. There are rumours that the port side of the airframe has different markings but they're, sadly, not visible in the available photos. I'd appreciate any info from our UK-based brethren on this particular restoration - I always preferred the MkI Blenheim to the long-nose variants.
     
  14. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Given I don't get swallowed up by the crowds, I'll see what photos I can get.
    Steve, let me know if you're going. Myself and Karl (rochie) will be there, and hoping to meet up again with Gary and Tony (Geedee and Rocketeer) on the Sunday.
     
  15. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    Here's a bit of info that might assist in dispelling the paint job confusion at least. Looks like the Finnish roundels are temporary.

    From this page:

    Blenheim Society
     
  16. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    I surely will. I'm hoping not to get dragged off to work, having just finished a four month stint......which makes a change :)
    Cheers
    Steve
     
  17. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Nice one. I'll send a PM with the relevant details, once I've finalised arrangements.
     
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