Text: Serge Van Heertum - Pictures: Serge Van Heertum, Marc Arys, Bruno Ghils & Philippe Decock - Translation: Marc Arys  © sbap 2015
Flying Legends, sounds like 12 cylinders in line singing in unison, depicting a not to miss aeronautical event allowing us to wander between those glorious airplanes who wrote the pages of air war history in Europe, the Pacific or in Northern Africa. The 2015 edition did not fail its renown and presented about fifty warbirds for the greatest pleasure of our eyes and ears. Organised in partnership with the mythical Fighter Collection and the prestigious Imperial War Museum (IWM), the historical airbase of Duxford vibrated on the sounds of Rolls Royce, Wright or Daimler-Benz during those two splendid days. As the flying part starts in the afternoon on can use the morning to loiter around and visit the various exhibitions, have a flight in an historical plane or doing some shopping at the multiple booths to complete your bookshelves or display cases... On payment of a few pounds you can also access the flight line and have a closer look at the aircraft that were beautifully restored with love and passion and be flown during the airshow later on. During this flight line visit you can walk upon figurants dressed in period costumes, pilots, mechanics, groundcrews, MP or WAAF allowing to take some pictures with the airplanes in the background staying in the mood of those by-gone years. One could also cross the path of a joyfull twosome driving their old car and who could be seen during the first glorious days of the movies, Laurel and Hardy.
After this loitering morning let's move onto the exceptional airhsow which again offerd the public novelties and surprises. Divided into various scenes, the 2015 show was opened by a flight of 11 Spitfires together in the skies of Camrbidgeshire. This Spitfire dance was followed by the first part of Navy aicraft, the famous Corsair's FG-1D & F4U-7) and their carateristic Gull Wings in company of the Fighter Collection Grumman F8F-2 Bearcat. At the novelties level the headliner was undoubtebly the brand new Curtiss P-36C gleaming in its polished metal livery. Built in 1939, this P-36C (version intended for the US Army Air Corps as where the export version was designated H-75) was used by the test center of Wright Patterson after participating in the air races of Cleveland in 1939. It will stay operational until 1942 before being relegated into the static fleet of a technical school. 

It was also the last P-36C built before moving onto the next model, the P-40. Having been acquired by various owners, in Canada among others, this plane was acquired by the Fighter Collection before being restored at Chino with the "first" flight done by Steve Hinton. This aircraft, powerd by a 1.200 HP Pratt & Whitney, is flown in a metal livery, the colours of the US Army Air Corps, wearing a yellow strip around the nose, one at the back of the fuselage and white and red striping on the rudder as usual during the pre-war period. 
On to the "escort-fighters", the North American P-51D en TF-51D, daisy-skimming or escorting "Sally B" the magnificent B-17G Flying Fortress. 
Another rare participant was the Messerschmitt Bf-109G-4 "Red 7" from EADS which allowed us to listen to the characteristic sound of its Daimler-Benz DB-605A. The "Rote Sieben" (Red 7) was in fact licence-built in Spain and originally equipped with a Rolls Royce 500/45. Better known as a HA 1112 ML-1 "Buchon" the plane was acquired in 1966 by the production firm for the movie "The Battle of Britain" from Guy Hamilton. After the filming and a mishap, D-FWME was transferred to Meryl D. Schulke from Orlando in the United States in 1974. Another mishap in May 1986 and the airplane was restored as an exhibit. The aircraft reappeard on the old continent in 1994/1995 and the remains went to La Ferté Alais before being bought by the Messerschmitt Air Company (MAC) in 1997. Being rebuilt and modified as to accomodate the Daimler-Benz DB-605A, Red 7 took to the air on August 23, 2004, flown by Walter Eichhorn. In 2007 the aircraft was taken over by EADS and has since participated in various German airshows and its appearance during the Flying Legends was a première in Britain.
The scenery dedicated to the Luftwaffe would not be complete without a Junkers Ju-52-3M "Tante Ju" and a Bücker Bü-131 Jungmann training aircraft wearing the rings of the Olympic games of 1936.
Then we had the between war biplanes, the Gloster Gladiator, Hawker Fury and Hawker Nimrod. Those 5 splendid machines wear their squadron markings with pride and their metallic paint reflecting nicely in the saturday sunrays. 
Of course, the third aircraft needed to be emphasized as a novelty flying for the first time at the Flying Legends is the Bristol Blenheim Mk I, on which we already reported in our pages of the Shuttleworth Military Pageant. (www.sbap.be/events/2015/028shutmil2015/028shutmil2015.htm) This time this beautiful aircraft participated in the commemoration scene of the Batlle of Britain flying together with 3 Spitfire Mk Ia and 1 Hawker Hurricane Mk XII. Personnally, seeing this unique formation flying on Sunday against a dark-grey backdrop, dragged me back in history and gave me the shivers. In short, an unique image as only the Flying Legends can procure us... 
From the Blenheim on to the carrier aviation with the Grumman FM-2 Wildcat, the Grumman TBM-3M Avenger (from Switzerland) and two Hawker Sea Fury's (FB.10 & FB.11). Sadly, one of the two Sea Fury's encountered a technical problem and could not fly his demonstration but participated in the grand finale on Sunday evening. 
From the navy to the observation with a magnificent trio of Piper Grasshoppers : a L-4A, a L-4j and a L-4H. 
Back to a French aircraft now wearing the neutral colours of the Helvetic confederation, the Morane Saulnier MS 406 of Daniel Koblet. Beautiful demonstration of this little fighter with its Red and White colours, difficult not to be seen during the second world conflict. 
Making way for the bare and polished metal with the North American B-25J Mitchell and the Lockheed P-38L Lightning from the Red Bull collection. Amazing arabesques for the B-25 and a powerfull and elegant demonstration for the "Fork Tailed Devil" reflecting the sun on its skin and offering some spectacular shots. 
Last but not least was the Douglas DC-3 wearing the colours of the Helvetic chronograph manufacturer Breitling. Always elegant, this aircraft still maintains its youthfull looks despite its age. A pleasure for the eyes and the ears. But the show was not over yet! 

(Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Philippe Decock) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Marc Arys) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Marc Arys)
(Marc Arys)
(Bruno Ghils) (Bruno Ghils)
(Serge Van Heertum)
(Bruno Ghils) (Marc Arys)
(Bruno Ghils) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum)
Spitfire's Dance
Spitfire Mk Vb (BM597) - Spitfire Mk Vb (EP120) - Seafire LF IIIc ( PP972) - Spitfire LF VIII (MT928)
Spitfire LF IXc (MH434) - Spitfire LF IXe (SL633) - Spitfire TR Mk IX (ML407) - Spitfire FR XIVe (SM845) 
Spitfire FR XVIII ( SM845) - Spitfire PR XIX (PS853) - Spitfire PR XIX ( PS890)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Marc Arys) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Marc Arys)
(Marc Arys) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
In the NAVY:
Goodyear
FG-1D Corsair - Chance Vought F4U-7 Corsair - Grummann F8F-2P Bearcat
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Bruno Ghils) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Marc Arys) (Philippe Decock)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Bruno Ghils)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
Curtiss Company: 
P-36C - Hawk 75 - P-40C Warhawk - P-40F Warhawk
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Philippe Decock)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Philippe Decock)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
Escort flight: 
North American P-51D "Miss Velma" - "Moonbeam Mc Swine" - KH774 (RAF) - TF-871
Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress "Sally B"
(Serge Van Heertum) (Marc Arys)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Philippe Decock) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Marc Arys) (Marc Arys)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Philippe Decock)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Bruno Ghils)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Philippe Decock)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Bruno Ghils)
Luftwaffe: 
HA-1112-M1L Buchon C.4K31 (Gelb 10) - HA-1112-M1L Buchon C.4K102 (Desert)
HA-1112-M1L Buchon C.4K75 (Bf-109 G4 Rote 7)
Casa 352L T.2B-212 (Junkers Ju-52-3M) - Casa 1.131E (Bücker Bü-131 Jungmann)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Marc Arys) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Marc Arys)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Bruno Ghils)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Marc Arys) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Marc Arys) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Marc Arys) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Bruno Ghils) (Bruno Ghils)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum)
Between the wars: 
Gloster Gladiator Mk I (N5903) (K7985)
Hawker Fury Mk I (K5674) - Hawker Nimrod Mk I (S1581) - Hawker Nimrod Mk II (K3661)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Marc Arys)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Philippe Decock) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Bruno Ghils) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
The Battle of Britain:
Bristol Blenheim Mk I (L6739) - Hawker Hurricane Mk XII (P3700)
Supermarine Spitfire Mk Ia (N3200) (X4650) (P7308)
(Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum)
Fly Navy:
Grumman TBM-3R Avenger - Grumman FM-2 Xildcat
Hawker Sea Fury FB.10 (RAN 369) - Hawker Sea Fury FB.11 (WH589)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Marc Arys)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Bruno Ghils) (Philippe Decock)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Philippe Decock) (Bruno Ghils)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Marc Arys)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Philippe Decock)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Marc Arys) (Bruno Ghils)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
Observation at war:
Piper L-4A (42-36375) - Piper L-4J (43-681) - Piper L-45H (43-29854)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
Swiss neutrality:
Morane-Saulnier D-3801 (MS406)

(Philippe Decock)

(Serge Van Heertum)
(Marc Arys) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
Full Metal Bull:
North American B-25J "Mitchell" - Lockheed P-38L "Lightning"
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Marc Arys) (Marc Arys)
(Marc Arys) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Marc Arys)
(Marc Arys) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Bruno Ghils)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Marc Arys)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
Air transport:
Douglas DC-3-277B "Dakota"
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Philippe Decock)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
The Flying Legends signature: The "Balbo"
The Flying Legends tradition was once again abide by and and the show was concluded by the "Balbo" flight, gathering most of the aircraft that had flown during the airshow. 
And so we could witness a formation flight of no less than 24 warbirds... Magnificent, marvellous, superb!
(Serge Van Heertum)
The men and the machines









Many thanks to all, pilots, technicians, ground crew and organizators for this great "Flying Legends" 2015 edition!
(Serge Van Heertum) & (Marc Arys)

The Flying Legends 2015 was a success and we can do no other thing than thank all the teams and their efforts and applaud the show they presented to the 36.000 spectators during these two days.

If you love warbirds, do not hesitate to cross the Channel, drive up to Cambridge and pay a visit to Duxford... Take a step back in time and enjoy a fabulous week-end.

The SBAP-team wishes to thank all the people involved who made this happen and particularly Ms Esther Blaine, Public Relation Manager of the Imperial War Museum, and all the members of her staff for the warm and cordial welcome and the facilities granted during our stay.

 

Thanks to Mrs Esther Blaine and the media team for the facilities!
(Serge Van Heertum)

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