The week after Legends

admin corsair, flying-legends, Grumman Bearcat, TFC - engineering

Hangar Talk

I can only liken the feeling in the week following Flying Legends to climbing the steepest and highest mountain; (months in the planning and weeks in the execution) only to throw yourself off at the top once you reach the summit, such is the anti-climax post FL. This years FL brought us some extra challenges that we took on the chin and combined with the tenacity of our principals, volunteers, engineers, pilots and with the assistance of our partners at IWM Duxford developed innovative ways of bringing people closer to the action whilst simultaneolusy moving them further away!! ( Irish logic I know) Much has been written about the revised CAA regulations and whether you agree with them or not, they are here to stay, at least within the medium term and finding ways to minimise there impact is key to delivering and safeguarding the Flying Legends brand. It is also unfair to point the finger of blame entirely at the door of the Civil Aviation Authority; it is important to recognise the support of a number of individuals within the authority, who working within the confines of regulation and due process, have helped us to complete the UK civil certification of Curtiss Hawk P-36C (G-CIXJ) that arrived with us last ‘Legends’ from prolific Curtiss Hawk builder, Matt Nightingale’s, California Aerofab Inc, California USA. It has taken a sustained and combined effort between multiple agencies, individuals and organisations to complete the certification process in time for Flying Legends 2016; at a time when vintage and historic aviation is being scrutinised at microscopic levels it was refreshing to receive pragmatic and practical levels of support and assistance from the General Aviation Unit and its Design and Airworthiness Surveyors. We are also indebted to our fellow aviation ‘geeks’ at ACRO Aeronautical Services for once again reviewing the multitude of design and modification queries we generated as we completed the aircraft survey and type design review ahead of the (E4) design report being submitted to the CAA.

Anyway, here we are a week after a successful FL 2016 and we are about to launch the Corsair and Bearcat to Farnborough for the weekend and are already stuck into the annual inspection on the P-40C and Spifire MkXIV. The landing gear hydraulic issue we ran into on the P-40F and the reason for it not flying at FL is almost resolved; new seals have been manufactured by SKF Economos for the landing gear control valve and we have tested the first batch this week. We now need to manufacture a new batch of spring retaining clips for the poppet valves before completing final landing gear functional checks. This month all seems to be related to seals as we are now progressing into the manufacture of new leather cup seals for the Gloster Gladiators Hobson carburettor accelerator pump; the pump has sprung an internal leak caused by the leather seals by-passing during operation allowing fuel to enter the upper linkage chamber. Over the coming weeks we shall be removing the rear fuselage fuel tank on the P-40C to carry out an inspection on the rudder control cable pulleys; removing the propeller from the P-36C to fine tune the static balance; fitting new wing fuel cells to the Spitfire XIV (assuming the contractor actually finishes them; 7 months and counting!), installing new seals in the Wildcat brake pedal foot motors (told you it was all about seals this month) and finally having a well earned break away from computers, mobile phones and aeroplanes…

Legends – Friends update and another Mustang video

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OK, some of you  may be  coming along  to  the show  this weekend, we  certainly  hope so.  The  marquee will  be  in the  same location as  last  year at the  Western End of the  airfield.


To  get you in the  mood for aviation  action of the  highest  order  here is a 360  degree video  taken out of the r ear  seat  of MissVelma, many thanks to Stuart at, just scroll around with your mouse to change the view, neat! :



Old Warden, the advantage of second site

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Somehow  our   man with a  camera knew to be at  Duxford and then intuitively follow Stephen down the road to an airfield at Old Warden, that intuition paid off as we just happened to be displaying at the Shuttleworth collection (who knew?)E64C5482 E64C5520 E64C5590 E64C5769 E64C5810 E64C5901 E64C5925 E64C6008 E64C6110 HM1D2154

Which  reminds us about  booking tickets for Flying Legends …. Just click  HERE

Spitfire MkV June Wallpaper

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This months wallpaper features Stuart Goldspink firing EP120 for the show on Saturday  (OK, that is  enough Spitfires – Editor)


The Fighter Collection in May 2016 -P40 C

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Following on from the Corsair our  presentation of the   P-40 C

The P-40 C is  planned to be  displaying at  Flying Legends  2016 – there is  still  time  to  book  your  tickets  online  HERE

The Fighter Collection in May 2016 -The Corsair

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Our  Corsair at  the  Duxford  May  Airshow this weekend,  first in a series of  slideshows of Fighter Collection aircraft  at the  show.



The Corsair is  planned to be  displaying at  Flying Legends  2016 – there is  still  time  to  book  your  tickets  online  HERE

Getting ready for tomorrow

camera Mustang TF-51, TFC, Wildcat

First job was pulling what was needed out of the hangar, before getting fuel for what needed it. Patrice arrived in something that the Wildcat would probably want a word with, and Brian Smith had a quick blast in the Mustang just in case the Wildcat  didn’t have a firm enough word with  the Zero.







La Ferte Alais

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Harry was  sent to record  TFC at LaFerte this year.   His report is  short on the written word due to   a  strange encounter with   French hospitality, this is what  he remembers:

TFC’s deployment to La Ferte Alais this year consisted of the MkVB Spitfire and the Hawk 75, arriving in the safe hands of Nick Grey and Patrice Marchasson respectively, with the Spitfire following the Hawk by a couple of days.

Fridays practice had to be scrubbed thanks to being caught out by heavy rain shower (with a bit of hail thrown in for good measure – they  could have  stayedin England  if they wanted that  sort of weather!) this all rolled in whilst waiting for an impressive practice by the Aeronavale Rafales to finish.

After a few minutes hoping for it to pass (with Nick and Patrice strapped in, and everyone else sheltering under the wings) the decision was made to get the aircraft back into the hangar ASAP, which is easier said than done when there is no tow bar for the Spitfire  (Roy, take note)! I think we must have nearly set a record for the fastest a Spitfire has ever been pushed away, with no less than 17 people pushing, and Nick Grey leading the way!


Nick getting ready for his practice


Taking Shelter under the Hawk 75


Pushing the Spitfire in (thanks toNigel Hitchman)13227772_1589660718012266_6234184951743507087_o


The Spitfire safely returned to the hangar


On both the show days Nick Grey displayed the Spitfire alongside George Perez in the French Mustang, and Patrice flew a spirited display in the Hawk.


Stephen just   checking all is OK, like  Fathers do!



The  arty   pics



Patrice in the Hawk




Nick in EP120