Text: Serge Van Heertum - Translation: Marc Arys
Pictures: Serge Van Heertum & Marc Arys
© sbap 2018
 

The 2018 season has already started and this time the Imperial War Museum (IWM) at Duxford organized its first airshow of the season in May, baptized the "Duxford Air Festival".
The weekend of May 26 and 27 was indeed a real aerial festival offering the visitors a savoury mix of warbirds, civilian teams, solo displays and jet fighter...
After the morning walk along the booths, having a maiden flight or visiting the various museums and hangars, time had come to gear up and watch an impressive airshow, put together by the Imperial War Museum.
During these two days, opening of the festivities was done by a newcomer at Duxford, or rather a revenant, the Republic P-47D Thunderboldt 45-49192 "Nellie" alias "No Guts - No Glory!". Besides the "Jug", the skies of Duxford were also thrilled by the sound of Spitfire, Corsair, B-17G, Catalina, DC-3 and other Sea Fury, of which three were present.
Noteworthy was the presence of the Fairey Swordfish from the Navy Wings association, back into the airshow circuit after some years of absence.
Another surprise, although not a real warbird in the literal sense, but very interesting after all, was the Farner Werke F+W Schlepp C-3605, which gave a spirited demonstration, emphasizing on the quite incredible maneuverability of this Swiss build aircraft.

The weekend gave us the opportunity as well to admire a foursome of De Havilland DHC-1 Chipmunk and another double quartet of Harvard and Texan, height machine with the characteristic sound of their propeller tips nearing the speed of sound.
A North American T-28B Trojan in its elegant metallic and bright yellow livery, bringing back to mind the aircraft of the Training Command, which some Belgian pilots flew in the 1950's during their training in the United States.
Civilian teams were present in numbers as well as in quality. Always bringing back some nostalgia, the Tiger Nine flew superb formations, not evident to fly with their lightly loaded Tiger Moth. This splendid formation team was followed by the dynamic "Trig Team" with a pair of Pitts S-1D Special. Also present was the "Global Star" team on the European scene again, after a long journey in China. The particularity of this team is the set-up of their aircraft: an Extra 300SC, an Extra 300, an Extra 260 and a CAP 232. Led by Mark Jeffrey, the team offered a splendid show, with an intermittent smoke system, controlled by Wifi.
The last team was the AeroSuperBatics Wingwalkers... Waaouww, a new team would you say... Well not exactly. This team is the former Breitling Wingwalkers, which had to adapt after the Swiss watch manufacturer pulled out as a sponsor, and awaiting a new Maecenas.
Let us not forget either, that the RAF is celebrating her centenary and the "old lady" had dispatched her Chinook Solo Display to Duxford. It is always stunning to see the maneuverability of this huge flying machine, weighing almost 10 tons. Although the team has passed on to the HC.6 or HC.6A model, the display was flown by an HC.4.
Furthermore on the military side, we had the guest of honour, la France and her "Armée de l'Air". So the public could admire the aerobatic display of the Extra 330C from the "Equipe de Voltige de l'Armée de l'Air" (EVAA - Aerobatic team of the French Air Force). But also the power of the Rafale during a spirited display flown by Captain Sébastien "Babouc" Nativel who was not reluctant to put "the throttle into the instrument panel" and unleash the power of the two SNECMA M88.
And finally, only on Sunday, the "Patrouille de France", presenting her intermediate program due to air traffic restrictions from the various London airports. However, it was a great display under a summery sun, showing off the blue, white and red outlines in the British skies.
This first opus of the season of the Imperial War Museum at Duxford was a huge success which foresees great expectations for the airshows to come.

The SBAP teal wishes to thank heartily Mrs Esther Blaine, IWM Public Relation Manager, and her team for their welcome and granted facilities during our visit. Also our thanks to the media escort team for their support and walk/talk on the flight line.
And for our readers who still have not made the trip to Duxford, there are two more airshows in 2018 to fill this gap: the fabulous Flying Legends in July and the Battle of Britain airshow in September.

 
Morning walk on Duxford Airfield...
 
Preparing for the show
(Serge Van Heertum©)
All is under control
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Everything is good to do the right picture
(Serge Van Heertum©)
British Colours... - Thanks to the media escort for the flightline walk- Karrier Bantam Vintage Airfield Control Truck
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Interesting morning training flight...
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Vickers-Supermarine Spitfire PR.XI (PL983)...
(Serge Van Heertum©)
...with Vickers-Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk XVIe (TD248)
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Many choice in the different shop
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Second World War ambience
(Serge Van Heertum©)
A look the the airliners...Handley Page Herald
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Britten Norman Trismlander tail
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Airspeed Ambassador engine clos up
 (Serge Van Heertum©)
Bristol Britannia metal reflection
(Serge Van Heertum©)
RAF 100 years...
(Serge Van Heertum©)
...team ready to fly!
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Return in the past...
(Serge Van Heertum©)
...charming past!
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Hawker Typhoon RB396 restoration team
(Serge Van Heertum©)
The goal is to make "Sheila" fly again
(Serge Van Heertum©)
The imposing Napier Sabre engine
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Artist view of the RB396 in action during WWII
(Serge Van Heertum©)
The large audience is ready ... the Air Festival can start
(Serge Van Heertum©)
 
Duxford Air Felstival... Here we go!
 
(Serge Van Heertum©)
 

Aircraft Type: Republic P-47D Thunderbolt
Built by: Republic's Evansville (Indiana)
Year of Manufacture: 1945
Serial number : 45-49192
Engine: Pratt & Whitney PW 2800-51MI
Current operator: Fighter Aviation Engineering LTD
Civil registration: G-THUN
Colour scheme: "Nellie" 48th Fighter Group - 492 Fighter Squadron

This P-47D Thunderbolt was built in 1945 at Republic's Evansville factory in Indiana. Serial No 45-49192 the aircraft was built originally as a P-47D-40-RA. Detail of its service with the USAAF is not known, although it served with the Air Training Command during the last few months of the Second World War, and was probably stored at Tinker AFB in Oklahoma with the Air Material Command.
The plane was restored to full operational status at Hensley Field in Texas in 1952. When the Rio Pact had been signed by the USA, the plane was transferred into the Military Assistance Program in September of that year.
In 1953 it formed part of a group of P47's which found their way to the Peruvian Air Force, who paid the princely sum of one dollar for each. A total of 25 aircraft were transferred in hands of the grateful Peruvians and stay in service until 1967, initially as a front line fighter and then as a fighter trainer. Six Thunderbolts, number 119 among them, were stored in the open at the Piura Air Base until 1969 when, after long and difficult negotiations, the aviation historian and enthusiast Ed Jurist was able to recover them, with over 45 tons of spare parts, to the USA.
Each of the aircraft was given a new FAA registration, the Vintage Aircraft International Ltd machine being allocated N47DD Peruvian 119). The Confederated Air Force had N47DA (Peruvian 114) and was back airworthy on the August 26th , 1971, after four months of reassembly.
On December 2nd, 1971 the N47DB was airborne again and by February 1974 all six P-47D's were airworthy and being operated by the CAF from Harlingen, under their adoption; scheme. N47DD wore the colours of a 12th Air Force machine, from the 86th Fighter Group, 527th Fighter Squadron, which was based in Italy during the war.
In April 1975, Ed Jurist sold all his aircraft to the well-known David Tallichet. The deal included a De Havilland Mosquito, a P-51 Mustang, a Spitfire and the six Thunderboldt. Each of the aircraft was flown to Barstow-Dagget Airport, by David Tallichet himself, where they were stored in the open for some time. The collection was effectively split up with the formation of Tallichets Yesterdays Air Force with wings of the organization being set up around the country.
N47DD was delivered to the Kansas Wing of the Young America Foundation, at Forbes Field in Topeka, in February 1977. The silver paint applied by the CAF had worn and the Peruvian markings were showing through and the aircraft was looking rather disheveled. The airframe was stripped to bare metal by a team of volunteers, and the scheme and markings of Colonel David Schilling from the 56th Fighter Group, 62nd Fighter Squadron, were applied with the aircraft forming the star exhibit in the new YAF museum at Forbes field, which opened on July 2nd, 1977.
Two and a half years later, in January 1980, N47DD was sold by David Tallichet to a B-52 pilot from Texas. Robin Collard had just restored and subsequently sold a P-51D (44-63810) "Stump Jumper" and was looking for a new challenge.
After some preparation, N47DD left Kansas on February 8th, 1980 bound for Del Rio, Texas, although it made a night stop in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The following morning, the engine refused to develop sufficient power to take off normally, and then failed completely leaving the ferry pilot no option but to force land in a field about half a mile from the end of the runway.
Maintaining the "Jugs" safety record to the full, the pilot suffered only minor injuries. The Thunderbolt was badly damaged. Robin Collard intended to restore the aircraft to flying condition, although in June 1980 all the parts, the two fuselages and the complete project were sold to Jon Ward. Everything was then shipped out to Truckee-Tahoe airport in Nevada, where the massive rebuild job was started. Four years later, the project was sold once again, this time to Ward's friend, Jim Kirby who, in turn, parted with it, to the benefit of The Fighter Collection, in late 1984. The aircraft was about 70% complete at this stage.
The aircraft was sent to Steve Hinton's Fighter Rebuilders in Chino, California. Fighter Rebuilders had just completed a P-47G-15 for the Planes of Fame Museum at the time. With an overhauled P& W 2800 engine installed, and the metal work, systems fit and testing completed, in August 1985 the aircraft flew again for the first time since the crash of February 1980. It appeared at the 1985 Gathering of Warbirds at Medera, CA, USA in the hands of Steve Hinton himself. Afterward the plane was disassembled for shipping to the UK in October the same year and arrived at The Fighter Collection, Duxford on January 22nd, 1986.
After 10 years in the UK "No Guts-No Glory!" was sold to Claire Aviation Inc. and shipped back to the United States on March 1st, 2007. Finally the plane returned to the UK in 2018 and is now operated by Fighter Aviation Engineering LTD.
The P-47D wears the code "F4" and the identifying character "J". The squadron markings have a distinctive red checkerboard nose with red nose band and red rudder markings of the 492 Fighter Squadron.
The 492 Fighter Squadron was equipped with P-47 this in early 1944, flying their first combat missions in the type in April 1944. The squadron moved into Europe after assisting with the Normandy invasions with bombing and ground attack. The 492 Fighter Squadron still exist and is now based at RAF Lakenheath flying the F-15E Strike Eagle. As the P-47 Thunderbolt worked up to operational status, it gained a nickname: the "Jug" because its profile was similar to that of a common milk jug of the time.

 
The 492 FS red checkerboard on the engine cowl
(Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©)
"Nellie" did is first European appearance
(Serge Van Heertum©)
The characteristic water drop of the canopy
(Serge Van Heertum©)
P-47D was equipped with 8 .50 Browning M2 machine gun
(Serge Van Heertum©)
"Jug" on taxi
(Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
First successful show, en route for the 2018 season
(Serge Van Heertum©)
"Nellie" was in hand of Stu Goldspink for first public appearance
(Serge Van Heertum©)
 
The "Tiger Nine" formation 
 
(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©) Romeo and Juliet new wave ;-)
(Serge Van Heertum©)
 
AeroSuperBatics Wingwalkers
 
(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©)
Show is over...
(Marc Arys©)
Franco-British friendship immortalized
(Marc Arys©)
 
Equipe de Voltige de l'Armée de l'Air (EVAA)
 
(Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
Capitaine Alexandre Orlowski on Saturday...
(Serge Van Heertum©)
...and Capitaine Alexis Busque on Sunday
(Serge Van Heertum©)
 
 BoRAF Boeing CH-47 Chinook HC.4 solo display
 
(Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
 
The "Trig Team"
 
(Serge Van Heertum©)
(Marc Arys©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
Richard Grace as leader
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Dave Puleston as wingman
(Serge Van Heertum©)
 
De Havilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk quartet
 
(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©)
 
Boeing B-17G Super Fortress "Sally B"
 
(Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Serge Van Heertum©)

Little starting problem with fuel leak
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Security first... Ready for intervention in case of...
#1 (Serge Van Heertum©) - #2 (Marc Arys©)
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Marc Arys©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
 
North American T-28B "Trojan"
 
(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©)
 
North American T-6 Harvard & Texan felstival
 
(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©)
 
Farner Werke F+W Schlepp C-3605
 
(Serge Van Heertum©)
(Marc Arys©) (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©)
 
The "Global Star" team
 
(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©)
 
Canadian Vickers PBY-5A Canso (Catalina)
 
(Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©)
 
Goodyear FG-1D Corsair
 
(Serge Van Heertum©)
(Marc Arys©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©)
 
Furies' Duo: Hawker Fury FB.11 & Hawker Sea Fury T.20
 
(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©)
 
Douglas C-47A Skytrain
 
(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©)
 
The Great War Display Team
 
(Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
The newcomer in the team:Avro 504K replica 
(Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©)

(Marc Arys©) Back to the Great War...the last of the last...
(Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
 
Navy Wings: Fairey Swordfish Mk.1
 
(Serge Van Heertum©)
(Bruno Ghils©) (Bruno Ghils©)
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Marc Arys©)
(Marc Arys©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
 
 Navy Wings: Hawker Sea Fury T.20
 
(Serge Van Heertum©)
(Marc Arys©) (Marc Arys©)
(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©)
 
French Air Force: Rafale C solo display
 
(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©)
 
 French Air Force: The "Patrouille de France"
 
 (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Marc Arys©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Marc Arys©)
(Serge Van Heertum©)
(Marc Arys©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©)
 
Air Festival Finale: Supermarine Spitfire Mk Ia
 
(Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
Back to the BoB
(Serge Van Heertum©)
A magnificent demonstration provided by John Romain
(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©)
The solar star wins the horizon, the Air Festival is over
(Serge Van Heertum©)
 

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