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Barnstormers Logo ISSUE 432 - June 2016
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Duxford Battle of Britain Airshow 2015 - Part II
By Kevin Moore, Contributing Editor & Photographer
Watford, Ontario, Canada
One of the aircraft we looked at last week was the American built
Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, "Sally B," based at Duxford.
Last week we visited Duxford and the Battle of Britain Airshow 2015. We return to Duxford this week and continue our look at the many different aircraft that performed during the airshow including the de Havilland Hornet, the Slingsby T.6 Kirby Kite, training biplanes and more.
The beautiful Bristol Blenheim in formation with 3 Hawker Hurricanes.
One of the loveliest formations during the airshow was that of the Bristol Blenheim in formation with 3 Hawker Hurricanes. These four historic aircraft made several passes within the airshow box due to a restriction requiring them to refrain from flying over the nearby motorway due to a back up of traffic. However, they still put on a wonderful display and made several passes.
The iconic American built Boeing Stearman, also known as the Kaydet, served as a training aircraft with several air forces during World War II and was a popular post-war civilian aircraft.
Another American built aircraft participating in the airshow was the venerable Boeing Stearman which flew both solo and formation passes with the Stampe, Bucker Jungmann and DH Tiger Moth. The Stearman, also referred to as the Kaydet, served as a primary training aircraft with the United States Army Air Force as well as the US Navy and the Royal Canadian Air Force, under the Lend Lease Act, throughout World War II. The Stearman has an average maximum speed of 135mph, cruise of 96mph and a service ceiling of about 13,000'. More than 10,600 were built and many continue to fly throughout the globe.

Trainers formation consisting of the Boeing Stearman, Bucker Jungmann,
Stampe SV4 and the de Havilland Tiger Moth.

The Stearman was joined in formation passes with the Stampe, Bucker Jungmann and Tiger Moth, showing off the training aircraft nicely. All four of these aircraft were utilised by assorted countries as training aircraft and proved to be some of the best available to the air forces they flew with. They had similar specifications, were rugged and could be used in other capacities as well. All are historic in their own way and examples still fly in many different countries today allowing newer generations of pilots and aviation buffs to see them in action, hopefully, for many years to come.

The beautiful Hawker Nimrod II took to the air in a lovely display. She underwent a 14 year restoration to get her back to flying condition, completed in 2006.

The Hawker Nimrod first flew in 1930 with the first production aircraft entering service in 1932 with 408 Squadron on HMS Glorious. It is an open cockpit, single seat fighter aircraft that operated with the Naval Service. Further development of the aircraft lead to the Nimrod II with slightly swept upper and lower wings, an arrestor hook and a headrest fairing to help ease strain on the pilot during carrier catapult launches. The first of these variants were delivered in March 1933. This aircraft was restored by the restoration arm of Aero Vintage and Historic Aircraft Collection Ltd, beginning in 1992. Work began with re-manufacture of the complicated roll-formed spars from drawings found in Denmark and the Kestrel engine which was found in Canada. The Nimrod II first returned to the air in November of 2006 at Duxford.
The Slingsby T6 Kirby Kite is one of 25 that were originally built
and one of only 7 that survive today.
Another training aircraft, though somewhat slower and quieter, is the Slingsby T.6 Kirby Kite, s single seat, open cockpit glider that first flew in 1935. The T6 was modified from the Grunau Baby glider but had longer, gull-shaped wings and a rounded fuselage which was skinned with plywood. Further development of the Kite included the addition of spoilers and an enlarged rudder pre-World War II and then, post-war, raised wing pylon and a main landing wheel. It was produced until 1939 with 25 of the type having been built. Of those built, 22 remained in the UK with the other three having been exported to Canada, Rhodesia and South Africa. During World War II, Kirby Kites still flying were utilised by the RAF as training aircraft for those pilots who would fly the assault gliders of the RAF. A further use of the Kite was to test the ability of British radar to detect aircraft made largely of wood by having them fly toward the UK from over the Channel. These tests showed that even wooden aircraft with very little metal used in their design could still be detected. However, the strength of the return on radar was dependent on the amount of metal on board the aircraft. After the war, the remaining gliders were transferred to the Air Training Corps. Today, only 7 of the type still exist.
The lovely lines of the DH.87 Hornet Moth are evident at any angle.
One of the prettiest aeroplanes to take part in the airshow was the de Havilland Hornet Moth, a single-engine cabin biplane that first flew in 1934. Initially built with a tapered wing, they were found to be the cause of some flight issues such as having a tendency for the wing tips to stall during 3 point landings. Replacement wings with a squarer shaped tip were offered by de Havilland in order to resolve the problem for aircraft that were already built as well as new builds, from that point forward, which would total about 68. Though originally designed & built for the RAF, there was little interest in its use as a training aircraft so focus changed into producing it for a civilian market. However, several were utilised by the military during World War II, mostly by the RAF as a liaison aircraft. The Hornet Moth also saw service with militaries of Portugal and South Africa and saw civil service in 12 countries including the UK, Canada, Australia and France.
Though the Autogryo that participated in the airshow, the Europe Calidus,
is a modern day version, an autogyro was utilised during World War II.
The first autogyro, developed by Spanish engineer Juan de la Cierva, was first flown in January of 1923 in Madrid at Cuatro Vientos Airfield. Autogyros use an unpowered rotor to develop lift in, what is known as autorotation, utilising an engine powered propeller to generate the thrust required to gain autogyrational lift with the main, overhead rotor. This allows the aircraft to operate at relatively slow speeds. They are operated by means of three primary flight controls, similar to conventional aircraft, by means of a control stick, rudder pedals and throttle. However, in rotor aircraft, the control stick, which operates the tilting of the rotor, is known as the cyclic. The cyclic provides both the roll and pitch control of the aircraft, though not all autogryro type aircraft use the tilt rotor system. There are also secondary flight controls which include the rotor transmission clutch or pre-rotator. When this is engaged by the pilot, the rotor begins spinning before take off. During World War II an autogryo was used by the RAF for calibration of Britain's coastal radar stations during and post-Battle of Britain.
The big, twin rotor Boeing CH-47 Chinook, heavy lift helicopter
and crew showed off the aircraft's capabilities.
The RAF operates the second largest fleet of Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopters outside the United States. They provide the RAF with heavy lift capabilities with variants of the type having operated with the air force since 1980. RAF Chinooks have seen action in the Falklands War, the first Gulf War, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Lebanon and Afghanistan as well as service within the UK. Despite the size of the helicopter, it has a maximum speed of 183mph and can climb at almost 2000ft/min. Typically, they are operated with a crew of 3-4 people, depending on what duties the aircraft has been tasked with, while carrying 55 troops and equipment. Take-off weight is more than double the empty weight, maxing out at more than 50,000lbs.
This week we had a look at various aircraft that performed during the 2015 Battle of Britain Airshow at famed Duxford including the four-plane biplane formation. Next week we'll have a look at the remaining performers including Harvards.
This week we returned to the 2015 Duxford Battle of Britain Airshow in the UK and had a look at assorted aircraft such as the de Havilland Hornet Moth, the Slingsby T6 Kirby Kite and the Boeing Stearman. Next week we'll return for a final look at the airshow and the many Spitfires, Hurricanes, Harvards and the famous RAF Red Arrows.
The beautiful 1930s sailplane, the Slingsby Petrel, on the grassy flightline.
The unique lines of the Bristol Blenheim are most evident in her glass nose.
The Boeing Stearman/Kaydet, with its big radial engine, left. The four-plane biplane formation, right, is as lovely from behind as it is from the front.
It's amazing to see what the Boeing CH-47 Chinook can do in the hands of a skilled pilot, left.  Arguably, the most recognisable wing shape in the world, the elliptical wing of the Spitfire, right!
At this angle, you can really see the gull-shaped wing of the Slingsby T6 Kirby Kite.
The size of the Chinook, along with the noise of the twin rotors
carrying all that weight, makes it a very recognisable helicopter.
By Kevin Moore, Contributing Editor & Photographer
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