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aostling
10-27-2007, 09:43 PM
I have discovered a wonderful TV series, Foyle's War. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0310455/ It centers on the activities of Chief Superintendent Foyle, a police officer in Hastings. It's 1940 and England is at war with Germany. The period is re-created with amazing faithfulness to the hardware and everyday appliances of that era. It is this fact which prompts me to recommend it to all of you. There are steam trains, workshops, wooden barrels, and Spitfires. It will make you want to own a British car, again.

There are 17 two-hour episodes. The Phoenix Library has all of them on DVDs, so you may be able to get them from the usual sources.

I was surprised to learn that there is only one Spitfire left, and it is in heavy rental demand from film production companies. Perhaps it's time to build another.

John Stevenson
10-27-2007, 09:49 PM
There is more then one spitfire left.
Rolls Royce own one that's based at either East midlands or Hucknall near me, it often goes overhead, we are on the East Mid flightpath.

There is also a two seater still flying, owned and flown by a women.
I think the RAF still have two or three in the historic flight and then there are private owners.
i think there are still a few flying in the US.

.

Optics Curmudgeon
10-27-2007, 10:12 PM
Check out Warbird Alley: http://www.warbirdalley.com/acft.htm.

They seem to think there about 50 still airworthy.

Joe

oldtiffie
10-27-2007, 10:37 PM
There is more then one spitfire left.
Rolls Royce own one that's based at either East midlands or Hucknall near me, it often goes overhead, we are on the East Mid flightpath.

There is also a two seater still flying, owned and flown by a women.
I think the RAF still have two or three in the historic flight and then there are private owners.
i think there are still a few flying in the US.

.

Right on John.

That 2-seater owned flown by a woman in the UK was shown here on a (Brit) BBC documentary about a contest from which 3 selected flyers/pilots to compete with the winner to fly the 2-seater Spitfire. (I forget what "mod"/model it is).

Also AIR, the 3 men selected were from the RAF, a civil pilot and one other - al-in-all, from just about as diverse back-grounds as you could get.

They started off in "school" through (I think) Tiger Moths and then another - one candidate was eliminated at each stage. The final candidate (I forget which one - the RAF-trained one?) was selected to be trained under and by the woman-owner of and in the "Spitfire". She was the Instructor. And what she could do with that machine was fabulous. The final candidate was good in the "Spitfire" but nowhere near the ability of the woman.

The intent of the course/contest was to show how much war-time "Spitfire" pilots achieved with only 9 hours training before they were thrown (flown??) into the maelstrom that was fought in the skies over Britain in those "dark days".

The training also included shooting with those (as I recall) 0.303" (??) machine guns and how they were set up.

A great great program - right "up there" with the normal extremely high standard of BBC documentaries and specials (and there are a lot of them).

We have quite a few "war-birds" at the local air-field near here (at Tyabb, Victoria, Australia) - some of which are being restored, others which have been and some that are flown regularly. I don't know about there being a "Spitfire" there but there is a "Mustang" and some US "birds" as well. We often have them fly over here in formation and alone. I don't have to tell you that there are quite some near misses on the roads near Tyabb as some of the "rubber-necks" are distracted in their driving!! Also not surprising, there are "No Stopping" signs on the road as well.

There is at least one "Spitfire" that has been restored and flying in OZ and lots of other "heritage" planes as well.

Others from OZ and NZ will be better able to report the state of things here-abouts in that regard much better than I can.

My wife and I only watch our national TV (ABC TV) for news, current affairs and any BBC documentaries - "Grand Designs", "Time Team", "Antiques Road Show" (shown on commercial TV), a lot on our "Multi-cultural" channel and anything of like ilk that is on, and of course any by David Attenborough and the like as well.

Its great stuff.

Rich Carlstedt
10-27-2007, 11:45 PM
You guys would love this..
Took the guy 11 years
A Mark I Spitfire....
http://www.hsfeatures.com/features04/spitfiremkidg_1.htm
Rich

tony ennis
10-27-2007, 11:50 PM
I believe there is only one air-worthy Me109 left.

aostling
10-28-2007, 12:07 AM
There is more then one spitfire left.


I just played the DVD feature-notes again, and it says "there is only one remaining Spitfire available for hire by production companies." I misinterpreted this statement.

Also, the episode length is not 2 hours as I originally stated, it is 98 minutes.

bhjones
10-28-2007, 12:18 AM
Last summer I was able to crawl through a B-17 that's owned and operated by the Confederate Air Force. I was surprised how tight things were inside. The ball turret guy of course was in a tight spot, but the tail gunner wasn't living in luxury either.

About 10 years ago when I was still living in Seattle, a B-17 a B-25 and another WWII vintage bomber style aircraft were flying over my home for an air show or something. They made a few loops around the area over an hour or so. I only mentioned this because of how the sound of these aircraft made nearly everyone I could see stop and look to the sky. They sounded great.

During the war years, the sound must have really been something when a hundred or more of these things were flying overhead.

Swarf&Sparks
10-28-2007, 02:08 AM
If old warbirds interest you, have a look at
http://www.panamajacks.com.au/
He's at Jandakot airport, not far from here and I see several old fighter aircraft over Cockburn Sound on a regular basis.
Cheers, Lin

platypus2020
10-28-2007, 11:50 AM
I have discovered a wonderful TV series, Foyle's War.

About a month ago, I finally got the last part of the series, a great series, very well acted, with interesting, factual based stories.

Jack

Norman Atkinson
10-29-2007, 07:10 AM
We had three Spitfires on the strength. That is RAF 31 Squadron at RAF Hendon- now the RAF Museum. We had 2 RAF Auxiliary Squadrons which were 601 and 604 ie Counties of London and Middlesex.
My mate from those far off days servied Merlins and Griffons.
He also serviced something called a DH Devon C1 which was replacing our ancient Avro Ansons 12's and 19's. One was numbered VP-981 and she actually belonged to RAF Coastal Command's AOC in C.
So I guess that today's score sheet should be brought up to date.
Johnnie and I are members of the RAF 31 Goldstar Squadron Association.
Last night, I came back from sitting with the present and past squadron bosses at our annual dinner. I was sitting with the Armaments gaffer who had arranged the ' lighting up' of a bunch of Al Quaeda who had just enjoyed their last gasp of tobacco! No more details- my boys are still armed ready to go.

I can tell you that our Tornado GR4's were the ones which appeared over Buckingham Palace for 'Queenie's Birthday Bash' and the Lancaster, the Hurricane and the ------ you've guessed it, the Spitty were originally serviced by crews in old 981. It's now replaced by a--- Stars and Stripes Forever- Dak or DC3. Rightly so, she's still a fine old bird.

Our last 'Squadron' Spitty is SL721 and from all reports is airworthy at San Diego Museum.

OK, I doubt that you can get 'First in the Indian Skies' but the new book is
Johnathan Glancey's The Spitfire- a Biography is a damned fine read.

I have a sort of other connection. RJ Mitchell the designer died in my 7th Birthday.

For those who make it back across the Pond go to see the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. Go to to see my other old girls in the Cosford end of the Museum. There are two more Devons and - oh, yes- a pair of Antarctic Austers.

A funny story! Britain was bombed the other week. A Tornado came down from RAF Lossiemouth in the North of Scotland and turned in to head for the bombing range at ----Moscow. Yep, it is now called Spadeadam but it was called-- Moscow, a hill farm in my mountain rescue patch.
One bomb came off the wing but nothing on the other one.
A 1000lb bomb had-- come loose earlier. If anyone finds it, it is the one painted blue-- and is made of -----concrete!

Bye!

Just got a 'signal' from Old Tiff to mention this post. Wacko, me ole matey! Roger!!!

Got another story- Arnhem- Brit show but featured a lot of your lovely Dakotas. Wanna real story? A Bridge Too Far.

Swarf&Sparks
10-29-2007, 07:34 AM
Speaking of wartime aircraft, I visited an aviation museum near Edinburgh, back in the early 80s. It contained, among many fascinating exhibits, a "goblin" rocket fighter and the remains of Hess's bf110.
A quick google yields no results.
Anyone know what this place is called and whether it's still in existence?
Cheers,
Lin

Norman Atkinson
10-29-2007, 08:54 AM
Lin,
Museum of Flight at East Fortune just off the Great North Road(A1) between Berwick on Tweed and Edinburgh.

Got to give it to Berwick which is still at War with Germany.
Since the WW1, I hasten to add.

Speaking about 'add', the Museum is less than 40 miles from a place called
'Black Adder' I've Bean- no, been. Rowan Atkinson is Mr Bean

Norman Atkinson

Swarf&Sparks
10-29-2007, 09:35 AM
Thanks Norm, that sounds like it.
I even tried google earth, to locate it from my vague memories of the drive out there.
I shall go forth and google again.

"I have a cunning plan, my lord" :D

oldtiffie
10-29-2007, 10:00 AM
Thanks Norm, that sounds like it.
I even tried google earth, to locate it from my vague memories of the drive out there.
I shall go forth and google again.

"I have a cunning plan, my lord" :D

Hi Lin.

Don't "go forth (of Firth?) and multiply" as allegedly commanded elsewhere, else you'll blow the Darwin Awards (prediction/theory??) out the water (in the Firth?).

We got it right in my generation (of which I am the oldest of eight) as the "male line" finishes with us with this branch as none of us have male kids either at all or that were our "naturals", as all male children - 2 - are adopted). Most have no kids at at all - and that can't be bad.

Mind you - the sisters are a bit "scary" as well. I suspect - to put it kindly - that they've got buckets of testosterone - running out of their ears!!! One of 'em threatened me with a "Fitzroy upper-cut" - and she not only meant it - she'd do it!! My eyes water just thinking about it!! I think we'll send her to WA as you "Sand-gropers" deserve something like that!!!

Norman Atkinson
10-29-2007, 10:06 AM
Lin,
I was teasing. Hess came over to get the Brits to sue for Peace in his Me bf110 to the Duke of Hamilton. Berwick on Tweed was the odd place which was neither England nor Scotland in 1914- and therefore did declare war.
By the time that the war ended, Berwick was in Northumberland and part of England, and did not sign the Armistice.

Blackadder is or are, both a place and a river--- on the border between England and Scotland. If only dear old Captain Blackadder had known-- and this Goes Forth lark is a pun because your Museum etc is in the Firth of Forth.

And I live in Gos-forth. In a mental home with Matron.

Trust me, I am a Avie--moron!

Norman Atkinson
10-29-2007, 11:29 AM
Sorry, fellas!

Trying to get the inside of BBMF workshops at Coningsby.
Can't win 'em all.

recoilless
10-29-2007, 01:28 PM
BHJones: The same group of planes, (B-17, B-25) was at the Porter Co. Airport in NW Indiana this summer. My 8 yr old daughter is a B-17 freak, absolutely loves that plane. Had my mom take her and her younger brother to see them, got to crawl/walk inside the B-17. Great thing for these kids to experience. For $350, you could get a ride on the flying fortress, the loop went over my house and yes those engines are loud!! Berliners had to have heard them revving on the tarmac during the last big one.

Peter S
10-29-2007, 08:43 PM
Lin,

re. the Hess aircraft - one engine and some fuselage remains can be seen in the Imperial War Museum in London - I was having a good look at it a few weeks ago. The engine has been "sectioned", not scientifically, but by hitting the ground very hard. You can get up close to it (no handrails) and examine various internals. It is an inverted V12, I think Daimler-Benz (but could be Junkers, can't recall).

p.s. "Goblin rocket fighter" - not sure about that one, not a de Havilland Goblin jet engine as first flew during WW2? Also found in the Vampire I think, a very cool looking little aircraft. Have seen them flying around Auckland in recent years, like something out of "BatMan".
-------------
I am pretty sure Rolls-Royce owns two Spitfires. I see they flew one of them 37 hours last season and were about to put in another re-built Merlin to keep it airworthy. Now thats pretty cool to see a company taking their heritage so seriously.

oldtiffie
10-29-2007, 09:36 PM
Lin,

re. the Hess aircraft - one engine and some fuselage remains can be seen in the Imperial War Museum in London - I was having a good look at it a few weeks ago. The engine has been "sectioned", not scientifically, but by hitting the ground very hard. You can get up close to it (no handrails) and examine various internals. It is an inverted V12, I think Daimler-Benz (but could be Junkers, can't recall).

p.s. "Goblin rocket fighter" - not sure about that one, not a de Havilland Goblin jet engine as first flew during WW2? Also found in the Vampire I think, a very cool looking little aircraft. Have seen them flying around Auckland in recent years, like something out of "BatMan".
-------------
I am pretty sure Rolls-Royce owns two Spitfires. I see they flew one of them 37 hours last season and were about to put in another re-built Merlin to keep it airworthy. Now thats pretty cool to see a company taking their heritage so seriously.

Peter.

My memory is not what it might be here.

So far as I know, the "Sea Venom" was the marine version of the DH "Vampire".

We had "Venom's" on HMAS "Melbourne" (OZ Navy Carrier) when I was on it 1964-67. I think - but again am not sure - that "Venoms" had RR "Ghost"
jet engines in them.

Swarf&Sparks
10-29-2007, 10:53 PM
Peter, you're right, memory deceives me.
The aircraft was the Me 163b Komet. I think there was also a goblin aero-engine on display.

Re Hess's 110, however, I have a photo of the wreckage in that museum. This was in '82. Probably been moved since.

There was a whole bunch of other bits there, including a Linc Trainer :)

Swarf&Sparks
10-29-2007, 10:55 PM
Here's the "linc", if anyone's interested :D
http://www.aeroflight.co.uk/mus/uk/eastfortune/eastfortune.htm

Peter S
10-30-2007, 12:20 AM
Tiffie,
The Ghost was another de Havilland engine, but considering the company became part of Rolls-Royce in 1966 (via Rolls-Royce purchasing Bristol, who had previously bought DH in 1961...) I suppose Rolls-Royce were supplying parts in your era.
I see the Ghost was used in the Comet, but also in the Venom and Sea Venom (developments of the Vampire).

Lin,

I guess there are parts from the Hess aircraft in both museums, I imagine it was easy to divide up after landing itself.
BTW, there is a good collection of original German and Japanese WW2 jet aircraft at the Chino museum in Los Angeles if you are into that.

Norman Atkinson
10-30-2007, 02:56 AM
Peter and Co.

It is so easy to confuse 'names' in the fullness of time.
As far as I know, the ME 110 had Daimler Benz DB605B inverted vee 12 engines. Junkers( guessing) were plane makers. I recall the fright of a Ju 52/3 coming in= and the centre propellor stopping. I suppose these corrugated affairs are still flying. This particular one was Belgian and would be the forerunner of Sabena Airlines.
The ME163 was the 'Komet' and was rocket propelled. I cannot recall one but I do recall the V1 Doodle Bug and slept in a barrack block which had been clouted by one.
Somewhere, 'we' got confused about the ME108 which was named 'Taifun' or Typhoon as Hawker had the famous 'Tiffie'. Apologies, matey! Now the Eurofighter is also a Typhoon. The Taifun- ME's- was the scene of much barnying with my old mate who had a rebuilt one. Well, it was one side because his opposite number was French. I claimed that it was a Nord1000.
A bit of research revealed that we were both right. The Nord was built in France but to German plans!

Vampires were never intended for battle. It did have DH Goblin Engines and often there is confusion because DH made engines as well but the airframe came from English Electric. We got one at RAF Hendon and only for enough time for it to melt our tarmac.

I'm a propellor man and will leave those people who operate ' Primus stoves ' to their thing.

Peter S
10-30-2007, 06:55 AM
aviemoron,

I think you are almost certainly right that the Hess engines were DB, but for your interest Junkers supplied engines to many different aircraft makers, including Messerschmitt. For example they manufactured more than 67,000 Jumo 211 inverted V12s alone, not to mention thousands of other diesel and petrol wartime engines. The Jumo 211 was used in Dornier, Focke-Wulf, Heinkel and Junkers aircraft as well.

Not sure what you mean about the Vampire, I am sure it was a DH air frame, although I think both air frame and engine were license built in other countries, eg Switzerland and Australia off the top of my head. Maybe EE built some too?

-----------------
Apologies for continuing the off-topic posts, I can't resist trying to straighten out stories (and probably contributing plenty of new errors myself!)

Swarf&Sparks
10-30-2007, 06:57 AM
Speaking of vampires :D
I remember as a kid, one parked on it's nose in a paddock, somewhere round Wanneroo, used as advertising.

Story was, it was pranged by a student at nearby RAAF Pearce and sold at salvage price, airframe only.

Norman Atkinson
10-30-2007, 07:38 AM
Peter S,
It's me marbles. You are, of course, right about the Junkers.
The Junkers were like Krups and made everything!

This Vampire thing? I am pretty sure about English Electric. They made Vampires and kitted out our 2 Squadrons replacing the Spits and went to RAF North Weald. It was G/Capt Cunningham what melted the Hendon tarmac and he, of course, flew Comet 1 which flew at Farnborough in 1949. This introduces Canberra which also flew over- but did not land. It was on the Secret List but was certainly in a RAF Warton hangar-- home of English Electric. My mate had a lame Proctor to mend there and was arrested!
Back to the Vampire. I was under the impression that several Goblin engines went to the USSR, were copied and fought against us all in the Korean War- but in Migs. I just missed that little lot but we were actually flying Seafires off carrier decks. My mate, long gone, was a Fleet Air Arm 'driver'

Really, we have gone orf at a tangent and I am really into Jaguars and Tornados. We are trying to buy one of the Jags but 5000 is a bit much for my old age pension! Got a quarter scale Tornado offered- oh. yes- but Madam threatened a worse fate than being machine gunned by a He 111K!

I did fancy my own 'Gateguard' Ah, well?