Text: Serge Van Heertum - Pictures: Serge Van Heertum & Marc Arys - Translation: Marc Arys  © sbap 2016
  

Flying Legends, a name that echoes every year as a great mass of Second World War aviation history, where only beautiful engineered piston engine driven machines are allowed. Well, whereas for at least a decade no jet aircraft was flown during this event, 2016 saw for the very first time an exception to this rule. And what a "jet" dear readers, no less than the American plane of the future, the Lockheed-Martin F-22 "Raptor". Why such modernity during this show dedicated to ancient machines? The F-22 based at Langley Air Force Base made the trip to the two shows of the weekend of July 09 and 10 - Fairford and Duxford, to commemorate the American aviators who took part in the two world conflicts on the European continent.
Not without some emotions, the F-22 made a couple of fly-by with the North American P-51D "Miss Helen". A feast for the eyes! After a break, the Raptor made some more impressive fly-by and what retained our attention was the particular sound of this airplane. Like a dirge, so amazing.
But let us leave the jet behind and focus on the "Flying Legends" proposing again a unique show, blending Spitfire with gleaming the Curtiss or the stubby Bearcat. In short, a non-stop show with beautiful planes which requires, and maybe we are not always aware of this, huge investments and lots of time to restore, to document, to maintain and to fly these witnesses from the past.
So these few lines are dedicated to all the people working behind the scenes who make all those airplanes live again depicting the past.
The plateau was well furnished as you will see through our page, but no big surprise from the USA like during precedent editions. But about 40 beauties flew a tremendous show, once again.
Noteworthy was the presence of a newcomer to Duxford, a superbly restored Sea Fury Mk II in prototype colours, coded SR661. This plane was till recently based in Australia and arrived in England in April of this year. Delivered to Air Leasing (Sywell), the aircraft was reassembled and test flown and prepared for the Duxford event. Flown by Richard Grace, she was a real pleasure for the eyes and the ears.
The 2016 edition was once again a marvelous event despite a biased weather, but which finally gave us the opportunity to have some pictures with an azure blue background sky.
The only way to conclude this page is to invite all warbirds passionate to attend Duxford and the Flying Legends at least once in their life. They will be able to appreciate the unique atmosphere, pay a visit to the various exhibitions, see animations like only our British hosts can provide, wander along the flight line and meet the bit players in original clothing taking pictures as "if they were there", attend a fantastic airshow and finally witness the "Balbo", this great finale, which became somehow the signature of the "Flying Legends".
Two days who flew by rapidly (as did the "Raptor") and we are already seething with impatience for the 2017 show, knowing the organizers are already busy to patch together a new edition full of piston engine roar.
We would like to thank heartily the media/press team in general and Miss Esther Blaine, Public Relation Manager, in particular for their support and the facilities granted during our stay, but especially for their warm-hearted welcome. It is always a real pleasure to attend their event!

  
(© 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 & Marc Arys)
Morning activities
 
De Havilland Canada DHC-7-110  (British Antarctic Survey)
(© Serge Van Heertum)
De Havilland DH-89-A  (Scillonia Airways livery)
(© Serge Van Heertum)
De Havilland DH.104 Dove  (D-INKA)
(© Serge Van Heertum)
Consolidated PBV-1A Canso A 11005
(© Serge Van Heertum)
De Havilland DH.82A Tiger Moth DE974 (Classic Wings)
(© Serge Van Heertum)
De Havilland DH.82A Tiger Moth  PG657  (Classic Wings)
(© Serge Van Heertum)
 North American T-6H Harvard Mk4M  (Air Britain)
(© Serge Van Heertum)
"Wacky Wabbit" at take off
(© Serge Van Heertum)
 The Duxford Firemen awarded and...
(© Serge Van Heertum)
...our sympathetic guide during the tarmac walk ;-)
(© Serge Van Heertum)
 
(© Marc Arys)
 
(© Serge Van Heertum)
The Stars:

Supermarine Spitfire Mk Ia  R9649
Supermarine Spitfire Mk Ia  N3200
Supermarine Spitfire Mk Vb  EP120
Supermarine Spitfire Mk IXb  MH434
Supermarine Spitfire Mk IXT  ML407 
Supermarine Seafire LF IIIc  PP972
Supermarine Spitfire FR XIVe  MV268
Grumman F8F-2P "Bearcat"
Goodyear FG-1D "Corsair"
Curtiss P-36C
Curtiss Hawk 75
Curtiss P-40C "Warhawk"
North American P-51D "Miss Helen"
North American P-51D "Miss Velma"
North American P-51D "Moonbeam Mc Swine"
North American P-51D KH774 (RAF)
North American B-25J "Mitchell"
Lockheed P-38L "Lightning"

Chance Vought F4U-4 "Corsair"
Hawker Nimrod Mk I  S1581
Hawker Nimrod Mk II  K3661
Hawker Fury Mk I  K5674
Douglas DC-3 (LN-WND)
Douglas DC-3 (N431HM)
Beech D18S (N21FS)
Beech D18S (N223CM)
Casa HA-112 M1L "Buchon" C.4K-102 "Europe"
Casa HA-112 M1L "Buchon" C.4K-31 "Desert"
Boeing B-17G "Sally B"
Gloster Gladiatior Mk I  N5903
Hawker Hurricane Mk XII  P3700
Bristol Blenheim Mk I  L6739
Grumman FM2 "Wildcat"
Grumman TBM-3R "Avenger"
Hawker Sea Fury Mk II SR661
Casa 1.131E (Bücker Bü-131 Jungmann)
Lockheed L12A Electra (NC14999)

   
Spitfire ballet
  
(© Serge Van Heertum)
(© Serge Van Heertum) (© Serge Van Heertum)
(© Marc Arys) (© Marc Arys)
(© Serge Van Heertum) (© Serge Van Heertum)
(© Serge Van Heertum) (© Marc Arys)
(© Serge Van Heertum)
 
Corsair and Bearcat duo
 
(© Serge Van Heertum)
 (© Serge Van Heertum) (© Serge Van Heertum)
(© Marc Arys) (© Serge Van Heertum)
 (© Serge Van Heertum) (© Serge Van Heertum)
Curtiss family
 
(© Serge Van Heertum)
 (© Serge Van Heertum) (© Serge Van Heertum)
 (© Serge Van Heertum) (© Serge Van Heertum)
 (© Serge Van Heertum) (© Marc Arys)
 (© Serge Van Heertum) (© Marc Arys)
 
The Heritage flight...when the past meet the future
 
(© Serge Van Heertum)
 (© Serge Van Heertum) (© Marc Arys)
(© Marc Arys) (© Serge Van Heertum)
A jet in the piston world...
 











(© Serge Van Heertum & Marc Arys)
 
Classic transport wings
 
(© Marc Arys)
 (© Serge Van Heertum) (© Marc Arys)
 (© Serge Van Heertum) (© Serge Van Heertum)
 
The Flying Bulls
 
(© Serge Van Heertum)
(© Marc Arys) (© Serge Van Heertum)
 (© Serge Van Heertum) (© Serge Van Heertum)
(© Serge Van Heertum) Fly me to the moon!  (© Marc Arys)
(© Serge Van Heertum)
 
The Wild Horses dance
 
(© 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)
 
Fortress over Europe
 
(© Serge Van Heertum)
(© Serge Van Heertum) (© Serge Van Heertum)
Biplane at War
 
(© Marc Arys)
(© Serge Van Heertum) (© Serge Van Heertum)
Jagdgeschwader
 
(© Serge Van Heertum)
(© Marc Arys) (© Serge Van Heertum)
(© Serge Van Heertum) (© Serge Van Heertum)
(© Serge Van Heertum) (© Serge Van Heertum)
 
Glorious Gladiator
 
(© Marc Arys)
(© Serge Van Heertum) (© Serge Van Heertum)
 
Combat above the Channel
 
(© 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)
(© Marc Arys)
 
Navy Wings
 
(© Serge Van Heertum)
 (© Serge Van Heertum) (© Marc Arys)
 (© Serge Van Heertum) (© Serge Van Heertum)
(© Marc Arys) (© Serge Van Heertum)
Fury into the sky
 
 (© Serge Van Heertum)
 (© Serge Van Heertum) (© Serge Van Heertum)
 (© Serge Van Heertum) (© Marc Arys)
 (© Serge Van Heertum) (© Serge Van Heertum)
 
Anna Walker and the 1936 Olympic games
 
 (© Serge Van Heertum)
 (© Serge Van Heertum) (© Serge Van Heertum)
The North Workhorse
 
(© Serge Van Heertum)
 (© Serge Van Heertum) (© Serge Van Heertum)
(© Marc Arys) (© Marc Arys)
Electra Elegance
 
(© Serge Van Heertum)
(© Marc Arys) (© Serge Van Heertum)
(© Serge Van Heertum)
 
The great final flight..."Balbo"
 



(© Serge Van Heertum)
(© Marc Arys) (© Marc Arys)

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