EAA Airventure at Oshkosh in 2017 saw a rare gathering of Bell Aircraft Cobras. Three P-63 Kingcobras and a P-39 Airacobra attended the ‘World’s greatest Aviation Celebration’, amongst them all Cobras belonging to the Commemorative Air Force (CAF): the P-39Q of the Central Texas Wing, the world’s sole flying P-63F of the “P-63 Sponsor Group” and the most recent addition, the P-63A of the Dixie Wing from Peachtree City, Georgia.
Flying low over the jungle on tree top level the exploits of the Cessna O-1E Bird Dog in South East Asia are legendary. However, this venerable warbird is maybe one of the lesser known and unglamorous aircraft types flown during the Vietnam War, being manned by USAF and South Vietnamese pilots. Nevertheless some of the Bird Dog’s relive a renaissance today, as they are a cheap and affordable warbird, and a joy to fly!
The DG Flugzeugbau DG-800S is a high performance single-seat glider with an impressive wingspan of 18m and a maximum glide ratio of 51,5 with winglets installed. As for comparable gliders it becomes obvious from a first sight that pure aerodynamics and esthetics are combined in these kind of aircraft. Time to go for a nice photo session with such an engineering piece of art!
Doing air-air with classic aircraft from the 1930s is always a pleasure, even more so if it is an immaculately restored Bücker Bü 133 Jungmeister on a nice autumn Sunday morning. The Jungmeister D-EMKP “LG+07” biplane was painted in a scheme inspired by the one adorning Germany’s first-ever Luftwaffe’s aerobatic squadron.
The Bücker Bü 131 Jungmann was the first design of Bücker Flugzeugbau with a first flight in April 1934 and quickly became the standard teaching plane of the Luftwaffe. Originally around 5000 copies were build and used by many airforces worldwide, even still after the end of WWII. Many examples are left today in private hands. They are appreciated by their owners for the ease of maintainability and sheer flying pleasure.
The months of June and July 2013 saw the final operations of German F-4F Phantoms. With Jagdgeschwader 71 "R" at Wittmund officially putting Luftwaffe Phantom operations to an end and handing over the QRA task to the Eurofighter, the two Manching-based Phantoms were the last German examples to soldier on for some more days. During those final days also arose a unique photo opportunity - a Phantastic "Phantom Pharewell Photo Phlight"!
When talking about the "Black Spitfire", the sole example of this classic fighter to be airworthy in the Middle East region, everyone in Israel with an interest in classic airplanes or aviation history refers to it also as "Ezer's Spitfire".
The big news on the German Warbird scene in 2009 was the arrival on one of the rare airworthy Polikarpov I-16 "Ishak". It reflects the pleasant trend to operate an ever growing number of historic aircraft in Germany and for sure this special example adds an additional flavour to the already existing fleet.
The Royal Jordanian Falcons are a small group of Professionals that represent the excellence of Jordan aviation. Based in Aqaba on the shores of the Red Sea this team and their five Extra 300-L aircraft can be seen on airshows around the world, but mainly around the Middle East and Europe.
The CASA 1.131-E is the licence-build Spanish version of the Bücker Bü 131 Jungmann. Around 550 aircraft were build in Spain from 1938 until the 1960s and served primarily as an initial trainer aircraft for new Spanish AF pilots. The type stayed within the Spanish AF with the military designation E-3B until 1986, thus making it the longest Jungmann-flying Air Force in the world – with an astonishing service time of 50 years!
The first three next-generation NH90 Tactical Transport Helicopters (TTH) were handed over to the German Army at Eurocopter’s Donauwörth facility in the presence of a large group of guests from the German Federal Ministry of Defence, the Federal Office of Defence Technology and Procurement, NAHEMA (NATO HElicopter Management Agency) as well as the German Army on December 13th, 2006.
The Hispano Aviacion HA-200 "Saeta" ("Arrow") is one of the last designs fully developed by Willy Messerschmitt. It had its first flight on August, 12th 1955 in Sevilla.
50 years later I have been invited to do an air-air photo session with the only remaining airworthy HA-200 in Germany. It is part of the impressive collection of the "Messerschmitt Stiftung" and operated by EADS from their site in Manching.
While being at the FINA CAF Airsho (2004 report) I hade the possibility for several flights in historic aircraft, including one in a Curits C-46 Command to go on a photo mission. While up in the air, a Mitsubishi Zero, 2 P-51 Mustangs, 3 B-25 Mitchel and a Gruman US-2B Tracker joined on our wings and provided excellent photo opportunities.
Besides the Yak-3 D-FJAK of Achim and Elmar Meier the D-FLAK of Maxi Gainza is the second Russian warbrid that has been based at Freiburg, right in the middle between the Black Forrest and the river Rhein. The D-FLAK, as the Yak-3U (c/n 0470202) is registered in Germany, is also a equipped with a powerfull Allsion V-1710 V-12 engine, but offers in contrast to the one with the red cowling a second seat behind the pilot, who also has complete flight controls available.
The Yak-11 was the trainer aircraft for all pilots of the Warsaw Pact states from the 1950s up to the 1970s. To free up production capacity for other aircraft Russia decided to outsource the manufacturing to Czechoslovakia. During the 1950s 707 Yak-11 left the Let aircraft factory in Kunovice. Czech aircraft were designated C-11 (civicny: exercise).
On a very nice summer day in 2006 I had the opportunity to have a nice photoflight with the Piper Cub D-EJGI.
After a long day of work getting up in the air was a very nice way to end the day, therefore we met with Hans, who was going to be my pilot on this flight, not very long before sunset. After the preparation of both aircraft we made our briefing, talked about safety, formations, flying directions before taking off from Manching.
In September 2004 I have had the exclusive opportunity to do an air-air photo shoot with the Do-24 ATT which was staying in Oberpfaffenhofen (near Munich) at that time. Iren Dornier was keen on getting some photos of his aircraft in front of the stunning scenery of the German Alps. So we met on a nice and warm summer afternoon at the airfield and briefed the flight.
"Bravo Hotel, line-up runway 07 right for photo mission"
Finally, after months of preparation and strong support by the Messerschmitt Stiftung and the EADS Heritage Flight I am sitting in the photo-ship on that hot August day 2003 and can listen to the radio traffic of the Messerschmitt Bf-108 D-ESBH that is lining up on the runway in front of us and which is the main target of that photoflight.
During the summer 2003 I have had the possibility to make a photo flight with the then only flying Jak-3 in Germany.
The Jak-3 with the registration D-FJAK is based in Freiburg, a city in the southwest of Germany and beautifully located between the banks of the river Rhein and the Black Forest.