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  Flying Legends 2016 Part 1
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Text:

Urs Schnyder

Pictures:

Urs Schnyder & Michael E. Fader

   

Itís the second weekend of July and we are looking forward to Flying Legends. Like every year we hope for good weather and a lot of interesting flying. Unfortunately the weather canít be influenced, and this year the Saturday was grey in grey and cold. The Sunday was better. The occasional showers had stopped by the time the flying started and the weather was getting better and better as the day went. For the first time tickets for the airshow were only available by advanced booking.
There was also a major change to the crowd line, with the whole of the hardstand now available for the audience. As a result of the Shoreham accident, the crowd line was modified so no aircraft could pass overhead the audience. That of course meant that the flying was a bit further away than it was in previous years.
There were 27'100 sold tickets for both days with the Saturday surprisingly more frequented with 14'708 sold. I have no doubt that the International Air Tattoo being held at the same weekend ist he culprit for not having sold all tickets. This was already the case last year.

Static display

The lineup of aircraft is always interesting to visit. Being able to get close to the planes, you can always discover things that are not obvious when further away.
One such is the Bristol Blenheim, which inside the lower canopy displays a road tax disc. The reason for that is that the canopy was once used as the front part of an electrically powered car. Another aspect is the gun turret of this aircraft, Anyone sitting in there, having only a rifle caliber machine gun to oppose any oncoming fighter must have been very brave indeed.
Remarkable is the highly polished finish of some aircraft that are left in natural metal. They can actually be used as a mirror.
Or you can simply watch pilots doing their preflight checks before taking their aircraft up for a flight test.

 
Sopwith Snipe (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) Hawker Nimrod (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) Hawker Fury (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader) Hawker Fury (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader)
 
Gloster Gladiator (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader) Curtiss P-36C Hawk (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) Curtiss H75-C1 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) Curtis P-40A Hawk (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader)
   
Lockheed Electra (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) The polished P-38 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) Bristol Blenheim Mk.1F(Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader) The road tax disk (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)
   
Beech 18 Team (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) Messerschmitt Bf-109 Bouchon (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader) preflight check (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) North American P-51 Mustang (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)
   
North American P-51 Mustang (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) Supermarine Seafire (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) Grumman Bearcat (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader) Grumman TBM-3 Avenger (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader)

Spitfires

Shortly before 2 pm, Merlins and Griffons burst into life for the moment that everybody has been waiting for. Flying Legends 2016 is about to begin. And as they take off in twos and threes, one is immediately reminded of the events that happened so many years ago on this airfield.
The aircraft form up into formation and then do a fly past after which they split up into  the traditional tailchase.

 
   

Supermarine Spitfire (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Supermarine Spitfire (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader)

Supermarine Spitfire (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader)

Supermarine Spitfire (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

 

Supermarine Spitfire (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader)

Supermarine Spitfire (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader)

Supermarine Spitfire (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader)

Supermarine Spitfire (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader)

Corsair and Curtiss

While the Spitfires were still doing the tailchase, the Corsair and Bearcat took off and disappeared to a holding area. As soon as the Spitfires were on the ground, they swept in for their formation display. They then separated for their individual flying.
Duxford is probably the only place in the world where you can see two P-36s and an early P-40 flying in Formation. However, it seems that the weather gets more uncooperative the rarer the aircraft flying.

 
 

Curtiss Hawk's  (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Curtiss P-36C Hawk (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Curtiss Hawk's (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader)

Curtiss Hawk's (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader)

 

Curtiss P-40A Hawk (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader)

Curtiss P-40A Hawk (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader)

Vought Corsair (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader)

Vought Corsair (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

 

Vought Corsair and Grumman Bearcat (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Vought Corsair and Grumman Bearcat ( icture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Vought Corsair and Grumman Bearcat (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader)

Grumman Bearcat (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader)

Heritage Flight

This was a real first. I never expected a modern jet to appear at Flying Legends. The reason of course was that the F-22 flew in formation with a P-51 Mustang. I knew that they do this in the US as part of the heritage flights, but I didnít expect it here in Europe.

 
 
(Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader)  (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)  (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)  (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)
 
 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader)  (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader)
     
 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)  (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)
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Classic Formation and Flying Bulls

This was the first time that the classic team displayed at Duxford. They consist of a C-47 and two Beech 18s.  All the aircraft have a long history and an almost as long list of previous owners before they ended up in Switzerland with the new owner Hugo Mathys who formed the classic team with them.
Well known visitors at Duxford were the Lockheed P-38 Lightning, the B-25 and the Corsair of the flying Bulls. Most of their flying was in formation, which must have been quite demanding for the pilot of the B-25 considering the different performance compared with the two fighters.

 
 
 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)  (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)  (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)  (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)
   
  (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader)  (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)  (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)  (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)  
 
 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)  (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)  (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader)
 
(Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader) (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader) (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader) (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader)
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B-17 and Escort

The takeoff of some of the Mustangs was spectacularly low. So low in fact that it was possible to see he shadow of the plane on the grass. The planes then formed up into formation, with the P-51 tucking in close to the wing of the B-17. They then did a few flypasts before separating and letting Sally B doing their solo before the Mustangs flew in formation.

 
 
(Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader)  (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)  (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)  (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)
 
 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)  (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)  (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)  (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)
 
 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)  (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)  (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)  (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)
 

(Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader) (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader) (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader) (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader)
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last update 5. August 2016

Written 1. August 2016

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