Prelude to Classic Fighters, Easter Weekend

Discussion in 'Warbird Displays' started by nuuumannn, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    Hi Guys, Over the last few weeks I have made visits to Omaka, where the Classic Fighters airshow is due to happen over Easter. There's been much going on in preparation as you'd expect, so here are a few pictures I've taken. These ones were taken two days ago.

    Locally based Stearman Kilo Oscar Yankee looking smart in the sun. This year's show is focussing on the United States air forces, so no doubt it'll be taking part. Note the Fokker Dr 1 in the background.

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    One of several Fok. Dr 1 reproductions based at Omaka, this one is in the markings of 12 kills ace Leutnant Richard Wenzl of Jasta 11. There was another undergoing maintenance in the hangar behind.

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    One of a couple of Nieuport repos at Omaka, this little '11 was in the process of being resprayed in Lafayette Escadrille markings at the time I took these pictures a few weeks ago. Not enought detail to see whose aircraft it is going to represent.

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    Outside the Aviation Heritage Centre is this Hurricane mock-up that was originally built for the Battle of Britain movie and it changes colour schemes depending on themes for airshows and other events. It wears the markings of JS327, a Canadian built Mk.XII of 804 Sqn, Royal Navy based aboard HMS Dasher. The US Stars were in support of Operation Torch, the US led invasion of North Africa in November 1942; British aircraft were painted in US markings to give the impression it was a US invasion only. JS327 was shot down on 8 November by Vichy French Dewoitine D.520s and force landed on a beach near Oran, Algeria. At the time I took these the paint had barely dried.

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    Peeking out of the JEM Aviation hangar is what, in my opinion will be the star of the show, despite the US theme, which is ironic since it is the most prominent machine on the event advertising and poster. Not every day you see one of these through the hangar doors...

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    Will post more photos after the event.

    :)
     
  2. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Great stuff Grant - looking forward to pics from the show.
     
  3. Jeff Hunt

    Jeff Hunt Well-Known Member

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    Two thumbs up.

    Jeff
     
  4. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    #4 A4K, Mar 27, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2013
    Great shots Grant!

    Was that the reason for the 'Torch' markings? I always thought it was just a recognition marking, like invasion bands for D-day and US aircraft with RAF fin flashes.
    (the 'Torch' US flag markings were a recognition marking in any case, so maybe you're right)
     
  5. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    Hi Evan, yep, pretty much; the Brits wanted to convey this impression; RN aircraft often appeared with 'U.S. NAVY' painted on the fuselages for this reason, it was also believed that there might be less opposition from the Vichy French (!) if the supporting aircraft were American. Obviously didn't work for JS327, shot down on the day the invasion took place.

    The Brits committed quite a force; a total of seven carriers, fleet carriers Victorious and Formidable, older carriers Argus and Furious and three CVEs; Avenger, Biter and Dasher. RAF effort included anti sub patrols by Hudsons and Sunderlands out of Gibraltar, so a big effort. Avenger was sunk by U 155, but in retaliation, U 331 was torpedoed by an Albacore after attacks by a Walrus and Hudsons.

    The airshow's going to be divided into two day's events with each day being themed; Saturday will be the US in the Pacific and Sunday in Europe. No doubt the numerous Nanchangs, Yaks and Harvards that turn up will represent the Japanese, as they have done in the past. At Omaka, they usually paint Meatballs on the side of the Nanchangs, which looks pretty cool. There's going to be a Grumman Avenger at the show, which should be cool to see. Other aircraft include the usual suspects, Corsair, Mustang, P-40 (x2), Spitfire (x2 maybe three if XIV NH799 is finished in time, although I doubt it) etc, but also the Anson I and FW 190. there's also a growing contingent of jet warbirds, including Strikemaster, maybe two of those, Vampires (maybe a Venom), L-39s and maybe an L-29, but they are building a scale mock-up of a Bachem Ba 349 Natter vertically mounted on its launch ramp, which they'll blow up on Sunday, like they did with the V 2 in 2011. They built a full size wooden V 2 - looked quite convincing.
     
  6. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I wonder what the pre-flights are on a Natter - light blue touch paper and retire, maybe?!!
     
  7. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    Look up at the Natter and say "It's going to do what with me inside it? This is some kind of a joke, right? I transferred from JG 400 at Husum to avoid being blown up in a Komet and now you want me to fly that?!"
     
  8. Junglerot

    Junglerot New Member

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    Vichy France and the UK did not play well together. Most importantly was Mers-el-Kebir where the RN shot up the French fleet, killing nearly 1,300 French sailors. There were also the invasion of Lebanon and Syria and the attempted invasion at Dakar. To Vichy and most of her military the UK was "Albion perfide" and to expect a friendly reception from them for British forces during TORCH was unrealistic. It was hoped, mostly in vain, that US forces would get a less hostile reception, and much of the planning of TORCH was designed to give the operation an American appearance, at least initially.
     
  9. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    Cheers mate - always learn something new! :)

    Sounds like a great airshow line-up. If I may make a request, could you try and get some detail shots of the Blunty and Vampire/Venom please?
    Specifically need details of nose undercarriage wells for each, and interior of intakes and exhausts on the Blunty if possible...

    Cheers!
     
  10. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    Hi Evan, the jets fly from Woody and access is a bit of an issue, sorry. A few years back I would have been able to help, but not anymore. :( Building RNZAF models? I have a photo somewhere of one of the ground instructional airframes in the same 'Lizard' colour scheme that the Skyhawks wore in the 80s and 90s with low viz roundels. Looks quite different to the usual green and brown.
     
  11. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Nice shots!
     
  12. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    Grant - cheers mate and no worries!

    Yep, have 2 main modelling themes: NZPAF/ RNZAF, and Deutschen Luftwaffe 1939-45.

    Got some Air Force mate's pics of Blunty's (Strikemasters to those who are wondering what we're talking about!), but never had my own camera at the time, so couldn't take all the detail shots I would have liked to. (right place, right time - no equipment to make the most of it!)

    The A4 scheme on the Blunty sounds terrible(!), but if you could post that pic I'd appreciate it - may help with other details. Cheers mate!
     
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