Spanish Air Force during the WWII

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One single B-25 served in Spain Air Force; it was a Mitchell from the USAAF (serial number 41-30338) that was interned in 1944 and operated between 1948–1956. It landed in Nador (North Africa) on August 4th 1944. It was interned in the Morocco Air Armory; some years later it was decided to put into flying condition and between 1950-1953 served in the airforce. Unfortunately without spare parts, it was scrapped in 1956.

The B-25 displayed at Cuatro Vientos is actually TB-25N 44-29121, once carrying the civil registration of N86427. The B-25 ended up with John Hawke's Visionaire Intl. Co. in 1978 for use in the filming of the dubious-at-best Hanover Street as Brenda's Boys. It was later used in Yanks and Cuba. During that filming, it apparently was making a low pass at Malaga,Spain, hit an obstruction and made an emergency landing. It was subsequently abandoned, obtained by the museum for display. It was restored for static display.
 

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Only two L-10 served with the Nationalist during the war, being coded 42-2 and 42-4. These aircrafts had been acquired by the Republic Goverment in Mexico, but they were captured by the Nationalist in the merchant "Mar Cantabrico", joining the nationalist forces. The first one was the personal aircraft of Genaral Kindelan, main chief of the Nationalist Aviation. After the war, both aircrafts joined the newborn "Ejercito del Aire", receiving the code 91-2. They were retired in 1953 due to the lack of spare parts.
 

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Thanks for sharing, I knew about some of those types in Spanish service but did not realize how longer some of the others carried on.
 
The Northrop Delta was an American single engined passenger transport aircraft of the 1930s. Closely related to Northrop's Gamma mail plane, 13 were produced by the Northrop Corporation, followed by 19 aircraft built under license by Canadian Vickers Limited.When Jack Northrop set up the Northrop Corporation as a joint venture with the Douglas Aircraft Company in 1932, he set out to design two closely related single engined aircraft as the new company's first products, a mailplane/record breaking aircraft, which was designated the Gamma and a passenger transport, the Delta. The Delta was a low winged monoplane, with a fixed tailwheel undercarriage. It was of all-metal stressed skin construction, with streamlining spats covering the main landing gear. While the Delta's wings were common with those of the Gamma, it had a new, wider fuselage, which seated the pilot in an enclosed cockpit immediately behind the engine, and had accommodation for eight passengers in a cabin behind the pilot. The first Delta was flown in May 1933, and received an airworthiness certificate in August that year.

Seven aircraft were built as executive transports for private owners. Of these, three were purchased by the Spanish Republicans for use in the Spanish Civil War. Two of these aircraft were captured by the Nationalists when the ship carrying them (along with four Vultee V-1s, a Fairchild 91 and a Lockheed Electra) was captured at sea. These two Deltas were used as Transports by Franco's forces, while the third Delta was used by the Republican airline Lineas Aéreas Postales Españolas (LAPE) until the end of the civil war when it was handed over to Franco's air force. This picture was taken during the WWII in Morocco, where the Northrops were destinated along with the captured SB-2 Katiuskas.
 

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The Catalina never served in great numbers with the Spanish Air Force, altough this example spent all its operational life in Spain. The first Catalina which arrived to our country belonged to the USAF; during a flight between Canada and Great Britain, the pilot had to landed at Sidi Ifni, Morrocco, by that time a spanish colony. During the WWII Spain was a neutral country, so the american crew and the plane were interned. The Catalina spent seven years at the Barajas airport, when it was finally adquired by the "Ejercito del Aire". During its operational life, it was used as a trainning and naval cooperation aircraft, having its base at Mallorca. In 1957 it was finally scrapped. However, this wasnt the end for the spanish Catalinas; 30 years laters two examples were adquired in Chile to be used as a firefighting planes. Thanks to that, the Cuatro Vientos Museum has its own Catalina, shown in these pictures with the colours of the first Catalina that arrived to Spain and the only one which served in the Air Force.
 

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With the nationalist uprising, the Republic was in need of fighters, so it started a world tour to find military planes to fight the rebels. An order of 50 G.23 was placed to the Grumman´s subsidiary company in Canada, the Canadian Car and Foundry, but after several mounths, only 34 managed themselves to arrive to Spain. At the end of the war, only 11 of these fighters were recovered, wearing the militay code 5W first and R6 later. They were destinated to Tetuan, in the spanish Morocco, where they remained until they were retired in 1954.
 

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The Vega was a six-passenger monoplane built by the Lockheed company starting in 1927. It became famous for its use by a number of record breaking pilots who were attracted to the rugged and very long-ranged design. Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly the Atlantic single handed in one, and Wiley Post flew his around the world twice. The first Vega 1, named the Golden Eagle, flew from Lockheed's Los Angeles plant on July 4, 1927. It could cruise at a then-fast 120 mph (193 km/h), and had a top speed of 135 mph (217 km/h). However. the four-passenger (plus one pilot) load was considered too small for airline use. A number of private owners placed orders for the design however, and by the end of 1928, they had produced 68 of this original design. In the 1928 National Air Races in Cleveland, Vegas won every speed award.

Looking to improve the design, Lockheed delivered the Vega 5 in 1929. Adding the Pratt Whitney R-1340 Wasp engine of 450 hp (336 kW) improved weights enough to allow two more seats to be added. A new NACA cowling increased cruise speed to 155 mph (249 km/h) and top speed to 165 mph (266 km/h). However, even the new six-seat configuration proved to be too small, and the 5 was purchased primarily for private aviation and executive transport. A total of 64 Vega 5s were built. In 1931, the US Air Corps bought two Vega 5s; one designated C-12 and one as the C-17. The C-17 differed by having an extra set of fuel tanks in the wings. The Vega could be difficult to land. In her memoir, Elinor Smith wrote that it had "all the glide potential of a boulder falling off a mountain." In addition, forward and side visibility from the cockpit was extremely limited; Lane Wallace, a columnist for Flying magazine, wrote that "Even [in level flight], the windscreen would offer a better view of the sky than anything else, which would make it more of a challenge to detect changes in attitude or bank angle. On takeoff or landing, there'd be almost no forward visibility whatsoever."
 

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Four of these modern aircrats were serving in Spain as mail planes when the Civil War broke out; three of them fell in hands of the republicans and the other one was captured by the nationalist, that was used to supply the soldiers that were under siege at Santa Maria de la Cabeza Monastery. This aircraft was nicknamed "Vara del Rey" in honor of the man who captured the plane; this DC-2 was at Sevilla at the moment of the uprising, preparing to take off and bombing the nationalist ships that were trying to cross the Strait of Gibraltar. Captain Vara del Rey managed himself to shot the plane and prevent the attack. The republicans used their DC-2s as bombers and VIP Transport. Two of them were lost during the war; one was destroyed on the ground and the other one was lost due to an accident. They were used by the menbers of the goverment to scape to France when the war ended.

This aircraft (first picture) was acquired in 1935 to Switzerland to be used by the L.A.P.E. (Lineas Aereas Postales Españolas). When the Civil War broke out, it was confiscated by the Republic, being used as VIP transport for the menbers of the goverment. With the end of the war, it was donated to the S.A.E.T.A. (Sociedad Anonima Española de Trafico Aereo), receiving the name of "Morato", the famous nationalist ace. The EC-AAB was nicknamed "Ramon Franco", the brother of the dictatorship who died in an accident when he was performing a mision flying a Cant Z.506 Airone. In 1940 all the DC-2 were transfered to the airline Iberia, being retired of servide in 1946.
 

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The DH.60 was developed from the larger DH.51 biplane. The first flight of the Cirrus powered prototype DH.60 Moth (registration G-EBKT) was carried out by Geoffrey de Havilland at the works airfield at Stag Lane on 22 February 1925. The Moth was a two-seat biplane of wooden construction, it had a plywood covered fuselage and fabric covered surfaces, a standard tailplane with a single tailplane and fin. A useful feature of the design was its folding wings which allowed owners to hangar the aircraft in much smaller spaces. The then Secretary of State for Air Sir Samuel Hoare became interested in the aircraft and the Air Ministry subsidised five flying clubs and equipped them with Moths.

Moth trainers were however ordered by a number of foreign air forces including those of Argentina, Australia (as noted above), Austria, Norway, Portugal, Sweden and the flying arm of the Danish Navy. Finland licence-built 22 Moth trainers, but equipped them with the old Cirrus engine. The bulk of military Moths however were civilian sport aircraft impressed by their countries air forces and used as trainers and liaison aircraft. Like this, civilian Moths ended up flying for both the Nationalist and Republican air forces during the Spanish Civil War. This was repeated on a larger scale during the Second World War where Moths ended up flying, amongst others, for the air forces of Egypt, New Zealand, China (with several captured ex-Chinese aircraft flying for the Japanese), Ireland, Italy, Iraq, Belgian Congo, Dutch East Indies (later taken over by the Indonesian AF), South Africa, New Zealand and the U.S. Navy.

Source: de Havilland DH.60 Moth - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

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More pics
 
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Three modified D.H.89Ms were delivered to Spain in 1935 for police duty in Morocco. A Vickers E gun was mounted in the nose, a bombsight was built into the floor, and twelve 27-lb bombs could be carried in a rack under the fuselage. The mid-upper gunner was provided with a Vickers F gun and a second gun fired downward through the floor. When the Spanish Civil War began in 1936, these planes saw combat on the Nationalist side. One famous incident involving the use of a DH.89 was in July 1936 when two British MI6 intelligence agents, Cecil Bebb and Major Hugh Pollard, flew Francisco Franco in one from the Canary Islands to Spanish Morocco, at the start of the military rebellion which began the Spanish Civil War.

When the Civil War ended, some of them were acquired by civilians and some others were sent to the spanish Guinea, to be used as liaison aircrafts. Only a few of them remained at the peninsula or in the north of Morocco.
 

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After the war the newborn Air Force used 180 units of the I-15, which about 70 were captured during the conflict, 44 were recovered from various airfields or were returned by France, and 66 were completed between 1939 and 1941, which were in various stages of production in the workshops of the Republic. The I-15 formed in groups 32 and 33 from Alicante and 34 and 35 of Valladolid, and I-15 bis in Group 24 of Reus.Some specimens extended their operating life until 1955.
 

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More pics
 

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