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Flying Legends 2009
 
Curtiss Hawk 75A-1 - G-CCVH - Fighter Collection, The - United Kingdom   Hawker Fury FB10 ISS - F-AZXL - France - Privately Owned - France   Supermarine Spitfire TR Mk IX - G-CCCA - Historic Flying Ltd. - United Kingdom   Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress - F-AZDX - Association Forteresse Toujours Volante - France
 
North American B-25J Mitchell - F-AZZU - Societe de Developpement et de Promotion de la Aviation - France   North American B-25D Mitchell - N88972 - Historic Flight Collection  - United States   North American TB-25N Mitchell - PH-XXV - Royal Netherlands Air Force Historical Flight - Netherlands   Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk Vb - G-MKVB - Historic Aircraft Collection - United Kingdom
 
North American P-51D Mustang - G-BTCD - Old Flying Machine Company, The - United Kingdom
 
Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk IX - G-IXCC - Spitfire Ltd. - United Kingdom   Hispano HA-1112-M1L Buchón - G-BWUE - Spitfire Ltd. - United Kingdom   Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk XVIe - G-OXVI - Spitfire Ltd. - United Kingdom   Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk IXb - G-ASJV - Old Flying Machine Company, The - United Kingdom
 
Focke Wulf FW190-A8/N Würger - F-AZZJ (w/o 12-06-2010) - France - Privately Owned - France   Focke Wulf FW190-A8/N Würger - F-AZZJ (w/o 12-06-2010) - France - Privately Owned - France   Focke Wulf FW190-A8/N Würger - F-AZZJ (w/o 12-06-2010) - France - Privately Owned - France   Focke Wulf FW190-A-8/N Würger - D- - Meier Motors - Germany
 
Hawker Hurricane I - G-HUPW - Minnmere Farm Partnership - United Kingdom

Flying Legends 2009

Words Mike Freer, photography Mike Freer, Remco Donselaar and Michael van der Mee. Video Jan Loedeman

This year’s eagerly awaited Flying Legends 2009 held over the weekend of July 11th & 12th was hugely successful with people from all over the world attending this classic event organised by the Imperial War Museum in conjunction with The Fighter Collection. On view this year were numerous aircraft types from all over Europe and the USA, including some new to Flying Legends.

The sight of two Focke-Wulf 190s on the flight line caused a moment of excitement for the author as this was a type he thought he would never see fly. More of which later. Added to this was the surprise appearance of a Hawker Fury ISS and a Sea Fury T20, also new to Flying Legends. This year’s show was shaping up to be a classic one and we were not to be disappointed.

There were numerous Spitfires on the flight line including a familiar Spitfire FR Mk XVIII SM845/SE-BIN previously known as G-BUOS from Historic Flying Ltd. The Spitfire is now operated by Biltema, a newcomer from Sweden. The glorious sound of Rolls Royce Merlin and Griffin engines warming up heralded the start of Flying Legends 2009.

There then followed a unique formation display by three P-51D Mustangs flown by ‘The Horseman’ display team; their only performance in the UK. The team was recently formed in the USA and comprises well known warbird operator/pilots Jim Beasley (flight lead), Dan Friedkin (No 2 right wing) and Ed Shipley (No 3 left wing). The Mustangs used were UK based machines: Woodchurch Warbirds' 44-72218; the Old Flying Machines Company operated 44-13704 and the Fighter Collection’s two seat TF-51D 44-84847.

The coughing and spluttering sound of six Wright R-2600 Cyclone radial engines starting up, heralded the start of a unique and, probably, never to be seen display, that of three North American B-25 Mitchell bombers. With squeaking brakes, the aircraft taxied across the grass field and took off to perform a fabulous display. B-25J 44-29507 of the RNLAF Historic Flight was joined at Duxford by 45-8811, recently acquired by the French operator Societe de Developpement et de Promotion de l’Aviation (SDPA). The third aircraft in the flight, B-25D 43-3318/KL161 ‘Grumpy’ will, sadly, soon be heading to the USA. This aircraft has been at Duxford with The Fighter Collection for some time now, but has recently been sold to the Historic Flight Foundation in Washington.

 
North American P-51D Mustang - G-BTCD - Old Flying Machine Company, The - United Kingdom   North American P-51D Mustang - G-BTCD - Old Flying Machine Company, The - United Kingdom   Commonwealth CA-18 Mustang 22 (w/o 10-07-2011) - G-HAEC - Woodchurch Warbirds - United Kingdom   North American TF-51D Mustang - NX251RJ - Fighter Collection, The - United Kingdom
 
North American B-25D Mitchell - N88972 - Historic Flight Collection  - United States   North American B-25J Mitchell - F-AZZU - Societe de Developpement et de Promotion de la Aviation - France   North American TB-25N Mitchell - PH-XXV - Royal Netherlands Air Force Historical Flight - Netherlands   Curtiss P-40N Kittyhawk - F-AZKU - Amicale Jean-Baptiste Salis - France
 
Yakovlev Yak 3UA - D-FJAK - Germany - Privately Owned - Germany
 
Yakovlev Yak 9UM - D-FAFA - Tempelhof Aviators - Germany   Yakovlev Yak 3UA - D-FJAK - Germany - Privately Owned - Germany   Yakovlev Yak 9UM - N82112 - Germany - Privately Owned - Germany   Yakovlev Yak 3UA - D-FJAK - Germany - Privately Owned - Germany
 
Hawker Sea Fury T20 - NX20MD - Fighter Collection, The - United Kingdom   Hawker Fury FB10 ISS - F-AZXL - France - Privately Owned - France   Hawker Fury FB10 ISS - F-AZXL - France - Privately Owned - France   Hawker Sea Fury T20 - NX20MD - Fighter Collection, The - United Kingdom
 
Touchdown Aviation
 
Douglas AD-4N Skyraider - F-AZDP - Amicale Jean-Baptiste Salis - France   Douglas AD-4N Skyraider - F-AZDP - Amicale Jean-Baptiste Salis - France   Douglas AD-4NA Skyraider - G-RADR - Kennet Aviation - United Kingdom   Supermarine Seafire F Mk XVII - G-KASX - Kennet Aviation - United Kingdom
 
North American P-51D Mustang - G-BTCD - Old Flying Machine Company, The - United Kingdom   North American TF-51D Mustang - NX251RJ - Fighter Collection, The - United Kingdom   North American P-51D Mustang - F-AZSB - Amicale Jean-Baptiste Salis - France   Cavalier F-51D Mustang II - NL405HC - Biltema - Sweden
 
North American P-51D Mustang - G-BTCD - Old Flying Machine Company, The - United Kingdom
 
Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress - F-AZDX - Association Forteresse Toujours Volante - France   Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress - F-AZDX - Association Forteresse Toujours Volante - France   Avro Lancaster BII - PA474 - Battle of Britain Memorial Flight - United Kingdom   Piper L-4J Grasshopper - G-RRSR - United Kingdom - Privately Owned - United Kingdom
 
Jünkers Ju-52/3m - D-CDLH - Deutschen Lufthansa Berlin-Stiftung - Germany   Jünkers Ju-52/3m - D-CDLH - Deutschen Lufthansa Berlin-Stiftung - Germany   Messerschmitt Me-108D-1 Taifun - D-EBEI - Deutschen Lufthansa Berlin-Stiftung - Germany   CASA 1.131E Jungmann Srs 2000 - G-BSAJ - United Kingdom - Privately Owned - United Kingdom
 

The appearance of a pair of German registered Yak fighters was most welcome. Yak-9UM D-FAFA made its debut at Flying Legends and Chris Vogelgesang made a welcome return in Yak-3UA D-FJAK.

Douglas AD-4N Skyraider G-RADR/Bu No 126922 of Kennet Aviation was joined by a French example F-AZDPl/Bu No 124143 operated by Amicale Jean-Baptise Salis. On a naval theme, two other “stars” of the show were the first time appearances of a Hawker Sea Fury T20 and Hawker Fury ISS. Hawker Sea Fury T20 NX20MD/WG655 is no stranger to the UK air show scene having once flown with the Fleet Air Arm Historic Flight. Sadly, it suffered an engine failure on 14 July 1990 and crash landed in a field near RNAS Yeovilton resulting in serious damage to the airframe. The aircraft was later put up for disposal and eventually came to rest in the USA where it was beautifully restored by Sanders Aeronautics in California. It was crated up and shipped to the UK in time to appear at Flying Legends. Hawker Fury ISS F-AZXL is one of the batch of ‘Baghdad’ land based machines sold to the Iraqi Air Force and has no folding wings or tail hook.

Amongst this year’s Gallic invasion at Duxford was the fabulous B-17G ‘Pink Lady’ F-AZDX operated by Association Fortress Toujours Volant en France. The author was surprised to see this aircraft appear following last year’s reports of retirement.

Flying Legends is always well supported by the Battle of Britain Historic Flight and the Shuttleworth Trust who this year sent along their Westland Lysander G-AZWT/V9367 and Gloster Gladiator G-AMRK/K7985.

Among the lighter aircraft on display were a number of World War One replica fighter aircraft along with a pair of Piper Cubs masquerading as USAAC spotter aircraft. Of interest was another first timer to Duxford in the shape of the beautiful Dutch owned Beech YC-43 Staggerwing registered N295BS.

As far as the author was concerned the real “stars” of this year’s show was the pair of Focke-Wulf 190s that graced the flight line. Both are new build replica machines built by Flug Werk Gmbh in Germany and are designated FW-190a-8/N (N for Nachbau which translated into English means “reproduction”). The French example F-AZZJ performed a scintillating flying display while the resident example owned by Spitfire Ltd was statically displayed. Hopefully, we will see her fly in the UK soon.

The grand finale was the mass take off and Balbo flypast of many of the performers. An awe inspiring sight to bring a lump in anyone’s throat.

Association Forteresse Toujours Volante - France
 
Westland Lysander Mk III - G-AZWT - Shuttleworth Collection - United Kingdom   Gloster Gladiator Mk I - G-AMRK - Shuttleworth Collection - United Kingdom   Hawker Hurricane IIc - PZ865 - Battle of Britain Memorial Flight - United Kingdom   Hawker Hurricane I - G-HUPW - Minnmere Farm Partnership - United Kingdom
 
Douglas C-53D Skytrooper - LN-WND - Dakota Norway - Norway   Douglas C-53D Skytrooper - LN-WND - Dakota Norway - Norway   Beech YC-43A Staggerwing - N295BS - Netherlands - Privately Owned - Netherlands   Beech YC-43A Staggerwing - N295BS - Netherlands - Privately Owned - Netherlands
 
Fokker DR-1 Dreidecker - G-FOKI  - United Kingdom - Privately Owned - United Kingdom
 
Fokker DR-1 Dreidecker - G-FOKI  - United Kingdom - Privately Owned - United Kingdom   Fokker DR-1 Dreidecker - G-CDXR - United Kingdom - Privately Owned - United Kingdom   Nieuport N23 Scout - G-BWMJ - United Kingdom - Privately Owned - United Kingdom   Fokker DR-1 Dreidecker - G-BVGZ - Real Aeroplane Company - United Kingdom
 
Morane Saulnier 406-C1 - HB-RCF - Association Morane Charlie Fox - Switzerland   Hispano HA-1112-M1L Buchón - G-BWUE - Spitfire Ltd. - United Kingdom   Hispano HA-1112-M1L Buchón - G-BWUE - Spitfire Ltd. - United Kingdom   Supermarine Spitfire TR Mk IX - G-CCCA - Historic Flying Ltd. - United Kingdom
 
 
Touchdown Conclusion
 

Flying Legends 2009 was, once again, a huge success, both in crowd attendance and a truly international line-up of historic aircraft. Walking through the crowd, one was amazed at the number of different tongues that were heard. It appeared that visitors from every corner of the globe were present; such is the international appeal of this event.

Visitors were not to be disappointed at what was on view. Included in this year’s line-up were a number of new-comers to Flying Legends. From Sweden came a superb Cavalier F-51D Mustang belonging to Biltema. Also from the same operator was Spitfire F XVIII SM845, which though once resident in the UK, was making its debut under new ownership. From Germany a superb looking Yak-9UM in Russian Air Force markings made a striking first appearance. A large Gallic contingent ventured across the Channel and included two new-comers in the shape of a B-25J Mitchell operated by SDPA and a Hawker Fury ISS. The delightful Beech YC-43 Staggerwing made it to Duxford from Holland for the first time to complement a superb line-up of classic warbirds.

The author’s award for “stars” of the show must go to the two fabulous Focke-Wulf 190s that graced the flight line. The Duxford based example owned by Spitfire Ltd was joined by an example from France that participated in the flying display. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I’d see a “Butcher Bird” fly, so to see this was a very special moment.

Having attended every Flying Legends, the author would rate this year’s event as probably one of the best ever. Certainly worthy of a five star rating.

 
Touchdown Rating - 5 out of 5
 
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