Great fun to have this pair buzzing the infield at the 2013 Goodwood Revival:
The top one is a P51 Mustang and the bottom one is a British Spitfire I think. Both are WW2 vintage.
North American P-51D Mustang; Supermarine Spitfire
Two answers in 25 minutes — what a clever bunch on this forum! Thanks very much.
The Spitfire is a late one because it has a four bladed propeller and cannons rather than machine guns
I read not too long ago that Ford of England was brought in to help make the Spitfires with standardized parts, rather than file and force to fit.
'stang and a Spit. Classic. All that is needed is a Jug and Hurricane, or maybe a Tempest and a Lightning.
"The Spitfire is a late one because it has a four bladed propeller and cannons rather than machine guns".
You would be correct Frank. There were at least 15 different variations of the Spitfire. That's at least a Mark IX (nine). The Hispano 20mm cannons didn't work out well because they they were mounted on their sides in the wings and were drum fed rather than belt fed. They had a jamming problem.
If I'm wrong, I'm sure the Brits who post here will correct me.
According to the website MH434 is indeed a Mk IX Spitfire built in 1943.
Both are lovely, what a joy to see them being restored and flown.
Another great plane to see would be an F4U Corsair - it was pretty evenly matched with the P-51D. I believe the Mustang was faster in level flight and the Corsair was faster in a dive. They both would fly over 400 mph which is just crazy for aircraft with piston engines and propellers.
One of my favorite stories about the Corsair is this:
"One particularly unusual kill was scored by Marine Lieutenant R. R. Klingman of VMF-312 (the "Checkerboards"), over Okinawa. Klingman was in pursuit of a Kawasaki Ki-45 Toryu ("Nick") twin-engine fighter at extremely high altitude when his guns jammed due to the gun lubrication thickening from the extreme cold. He flew up and chopped off the Ki-45's tail with the big propeller of the Corsair. Despite missing five inches off the end of his propeller blades, he managed to land safely after this aerial ramming attack. He was awarded the Navy Cross."
My Father was the crew Chief for the VMF 312 Corsair story mentioned above. Very true story. The 50 caliber guns electrical firing mechanism would malfunction when they got very cold, and also had to have nearly all oil removed from the arming mechanism or the firearm would not charge after being cold soaked at altitude
The pilot made 4 separate slow passes at the Betty Bomber reconnaissance plane slowly pulling into position to chop the tail, all the while the enemy gunner in the tail was frantically trying to get his own machine gun, pointed at the pilot a few yards away, to operate
Dad was strongly questioned a few times, along with other crew chiefs on not properly maintaining 50's that would not fire (too dirty?) until the real cause was found
They also carried beer instead of ammunition in one gun ammo tub so the crews could have cold beer after a flight in the heat of the pacific. The beer would be divided between officers and Enlisted. Some of the cold beer was traded to the Army for souvenirs
This one, which I believe is an English-built Canberra bomber from the 1950s, was also entertaining the Goodwood crowds. (I like my new telephoto lens!)
I worked with a WWII Corsair pilot in the early 70's.
He would occasionally talk about the Corsair. He said taking off from a carrier, pilots had to literally stand with both feet on the right rudder peddle (in addition to the ailerons) or the engine torque would bank them left and into the water.
How typical of this forum is that? Seth posts the Corsair story and 35 minutes later David says his dad was the crew chief of the same plane when the story took place....
My dad was a Thunderbolt pilot during the war, after transitioning out of P-40s. He had a great story about jumping Navy planes from the adjacent air station when they were in training. Not much could pull away from a jug in a dive, but one day they jumped a pair of Navy guys in strange looking twin engine planes. They stood on their tails, black smoke poured from the engines, and they went straight up. Turned out it was a pair of early production F7F Tigercats being evaluated, two engines like the one the Thunderbolt had in about the same size airframe.
We have a wonderful airshow in Reading each year called WWII Days. Mustangs, Thunderbolt, Lightening, Corsair, Hellcat, Wildcat, Dauntless, Helldiver, B-17, B-25, B-29, C-46, C-47, Lancaster, Spitfire 22. For three days there's music in the air almost constantly.
The USS Franklin had remnants of the Black Sheep Squadron aboard when it paused in Hawaii for pilot training in early 1945. A number of Corsairs were lost. Most of the rest were lost off Japan just after dawn on 19 March 1945 when a Jap bomber got one down the aircraft elevator as they were bringing planes up to the flight deck. The bomb exploded four decks down, and nearly sank the big carrier.
One of my older brothers was a gunnersmate, and was at breakfast down below, and barely survived it, but then manned one of the two remaining guns for 54 hours straight, and got credit for a kill the next day.
You have to ask why they weren't kept at Battle Station alert at dawn just off Japan.
The two fighters in the first picture were easily recognized as two of the most famous fighters of the second world war war. The British Supermarine Spitfire is considered by many (including me) to be one of the most beautiful planes ever to leave the drawing board. The Mustang is considered by most (including me), to be the best fighter of World War II.
Here is a picture of my favorite Model T era fighter of the Great War. The Sopwith Camel. My favorite fighter of World War II is the Mustang. Second favorite is the Marine Corsair (Pappy Boyington's Black sheep Squadron. Pacific Theater). Favorite bomber is the B-17 Flying Fortress. Semper Fi. Jim Patrick
I couldn't afford a real one so I built this one from scratch.
Started with Starduster Too prints and made some changes.
I got the chance to fly a Canberra flight simulator while I was stationed at Clark AFB in the Philippines, back in 67 before I went to Viet Nam. Forgot to set the altimeter, landed 900 feet below the runway.
Here is a link about another very successful WW2 airplane
The P-47 racked up more kills in the ETO than the Mustang;
and the Thunderbolt-flying 56th Fighter Group—the ONLY 8th AF group to
keep the Jug to the end of hostilities—scored more air-to-air kills than any
other 8th AF outfit. Their over-all kill-to-loss ratio was 8:1. Their nearest
competitor, the 4th FG, had an over-all kill-to-loss ratio of only 4.5:1.
Statistically, the Jug was king in the ETO.
Gen Kepner, head of Fighter Command in the ETO said in
1945, "If it can be said that the P-38 was the first to hit the Germans
in the vitals and that the P-51 is delivering the coup de gras, it was
the Thunderbolt that broke the back of the Luftwaffe." I also have a
document in my possession in which Kepner refers to the P-47M as the
best American fighter. The M-model had a top speed somewhere between
470 and 480 mph (and some combat reports specify true, level-flight airspeeds
approaching 500 mph). Think that's nuts? Well, consider the fact that one
of the three prototype YP-47Ms had its engine tested at 3,600 HP for 250
hours without a failure. This particular airplane still exists (at the Yanks
Museum) and it is the fastest surviving prop-driven airplane of WWII.
The high altitude speed record for piston-powered aircraft,
504 mph, is still held by the experimental XP-47J.
FOR A SHORT TIME, the Mustang held one significant edge over
the Jug: Range. But after the Allied invasion of France, even that was
no longer an issue. A short time? Yes. The Mustang arrived on the
European scene around January of 1944 and only began operating in
serious numbers in February (after the Jug had already killed off the
cream of the Luftwaffe). Four months later, in June, the 9th Air Force
had established airfields in France and so, with range no longer a
limiting factor, Thunderbolts rampaged across the countryside, pretty
much at will.
German ground troops were more than holding their own during
Battle of the Bulge. That is, until the blinding snowstorms finally
cleared up and 9th Air Force Jugs could once again take to the air.
Then, they put a quick and decisive end to the German Ardennes Offensive.
All ten of the leading Thunderbolt aces survived the war.
Nobody else’s airplane can make that claim.
The Thunderbolt was built in larger numbers (15,683) than
any other fighter aircraft ever produced in the United States.
The Jug was exactly the kind of heavy-duty ground-attack
airplane needed in Korea. Everyone knew of its outstanding
effectiveness as a dive-bomber, not to mention its ability to survive
heavy ground fire, but some misinformed person at the top actually
believed the legend of the P-51 and sent it, instead of the P-47, to do
ground-attack work in Korea. Of course, the Mustangs were too fragile
for the kind of war wherein the enemy can shoot back with big guns at
close range, and they got thoroughly clobbered.
The Mustang fit very neatly into the thin sliver of
time when it was actually needed, but in so doing, it took the credit
for a job already substantially done by a far more versatile and
valuable airplane. 27-kill P-47 ace, Robert S. Johnson once told me, "If we'd
had the long-range P-47N nine months earlier, you'd have never even
heard of the Mustang."
Oh, and by the way, any myth you've heard about the Jug being some kind of
overweight, unmaneuverable truck will be exploded once you view this video.
She's as graceful as any Spitfire:
LOL Dick I thought the same thing. I've always thought that story was awesome, then that guy posts below "Yeah my dad was the crewchief" Ha! What are the odds?
Hey Wayne - they actually have a Hellcat AND Wildcat there? Do either of them fly? I've never seen either one in person. Somebody may know better, but compared to the Mustangs and Corsairs that are in flying shape I think there are very few actual flying Hellcats, and the Wildcats are even more scarce.
this is the program I work for, the RQ4 Global Hawk
Great photo! Your work always impresses me. I wish I had half the restoration skills you do. Where's the Hudson???? That's my favorite.
No more words necessary!
MH434 is the Spitfire forever linked in everyone's minds with the late, great Ray Hanna. No one demonstrated the Spitfire's abilities better.
First time I saw MH434 & Hanna was 1971 at the Kings Cup Air Race, hosted at my local airfield White Waltham. Due to its proximity to London Heathrow, all aircraft approached along a corridor from the west. While waiting for the racers, we were promised an air display, so we were all looking west for approaching craft. Entry to the field was Members Only, but the public road along the perimeter hedge was lined with plane-spotters sitting on their car roofs.
Now I should point out that there were a number of VIP bigwigs (Civil Aviation Authority etc) present, and to keep them away from the riff-raff in the clubhouse they had a VIP Tea Tent right out on the grass in front of the hangar off to the left of us.
I turned to my mate Willy ' Did you hear an aero-engine? No? It's gone now, my mistake' Then we heard a roar from behind us,spun round to see a Spitfire, wheels down, lift over the people along the hedgerow and drop below the hanger to our left, only to immediately re-appear in a right-bank, wingtip skimming the grass, coming round the VIP tent, up into a victory roll and land immediately from the roll across the front of the clubhouse. About 6 miles out in the corridor he had dropped to roof-top height and hedge-hopped all round the fields to get behind us.
As the Spit taxied to park up the VIP tent was in chaos. At least 2 tables were overturned, ladies were wiping tea off their Sunday frocks, gents sponging tuna salad from their trousers - for the next 10 mins we could hear the sound of broken crockery being swept into bins. It was brilliant!
Hanna was famous for his low flying and ignoring the CAA rulings on display flying. My wife Linda's first husband, John Carter, used to organise vintage vehicle shows and had Hanna do several Spitfire displays for him. On the first, they had a site meeting with the CAA to get the permit. The official said' This site is surrounded by trees, so you must stay above tree-height' and turned to Hanna 'None of your low-flying tricks or I'll take away your licence'. After he'd gone Hanna said 'Ignore all that hot-air, I'm too popular for them to ground me. I'll approach from the West, flip the Spit on its side to come between those 2 stands of trees, do a victory roll in front of the crowd then straight into a half-loop which will bring me up to treetop height to start the display as discussed.'
At Goodwood 1998 he flew the length of the starting straight so low that most of the people in the grandstand were looking down at him -
here's a YouTube clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnc78LW7V1U
Bless the men, (and women), who built them, flew them and sometimes gave the ultimate sacrifice in them for our liberty.
In 1988 I was able to go overseas for the first time and visit family in England. One museum I was able to spend a day at was RAF Hendon. This was the first time I had seen in real life planes like an Albotros, Fokker Triplane, Sopwith Camel, SE5a, Seagull, Hurricane, Stuka, He111, Ju88, Me109, Me262, Flying Fort, Sunderland, Halifax, Wellington, Beaufighter plus all famous US stuff like the Mustang, Corsair, Air Cobra, Hellcat and many, many others. All the planes I used to build model kits as a kid all in one place!!!
What beauty. This topic may be OT, but I have thoroughly enjoyed it. Keep it up guys.
Not many opportunities to post aircraft stories, so seeing as Chris and I are fellow
Albertans, I thought that I’d steal a little space on his thread to tell this story.
Many years ago when I was helping a friend clear out a very large accumulation
from a mutual friends estate, a pair of spoke aircraft wheels complete with petrified
tires were found well buried in a pile under the basement stairs.
As we were separating the junkiest stuff in to piles for disposal, the question was
asked - ‘dump’, ‘scrap’ or ‘auction’, and my friend declared them ‘dump’ as they were
more tire than metal. I took a quick look and suggested they were quite old and a
proper home should be found for them . . . They put them in my truck !!
I had local aviation notables Stan Green and George LeMay look at them, and they
agreed I should be very selective as to who I gave them to, but would not partake
in their custody. With no internet to do research, I would occasionally try to find
more information about the aircraft they might have been on to no avail, as most
photos of old aircraft did not clearly show the wheels or they would have covers
I did however remember that years earlier, in a conversation about my Model A
with the gentleman who’s estate we later cleaned up, the subject of spoke wheels
came up and he mentioned that he had some aircraft wheels that he as a young
man had retrieved from an “abandoned” crashed plane on the ‘South Hill’.
Every few years I would give the wheels some thought and I even posted photos
of them to this group when a discussion was appropriate.
I had originally cut one of the tires off the rim, but a second thought had me leave
the other in place. Taking a new approach, instead of searching for plane photos
to match wheels, I searched for info on the “Palmer Tyre” and much to my surprise
I found that Palmer also made the wheels. I guess tires breaking loose from the wheel
when landing in a cross wind was a problem, and this tire / wheel combination
Further research indicated that the wheels I had were sized for a De Havilland,
so back to the internet and local aviation history. Problem was, how could both
wheels be involved in a crash and not be damaged?
When I was very young my older brother worked for the local “Calgary Flying Club”
where one of his duties was to service instruments and install and test the compasses.
Having accompanied him to work on a few special days, I remember sitting
in one cockpit in a chalked up Tiger Moth while he brought the tail up and checked
the compass accuracy from the other.
A little more research and this 1929 photo of the “Calgary Aero Club’s” 60 M Moth,
crashed and standing on it’s nose turned up. Can’t see the wheels, so still not conclusive,
but the Aero Club still exists today as the Calgary Flying Club so more research needed.
Here we go . . .
And here . . .
84 years later the wheels are back to their rightful owners . . .
Yes they were excited !!!
I threw in this as a bonus – Some of you will have used one . . .
Very well said Bob! My dad actually received activation papers during Vietnam as a Thunderbolt instructor pilot, about the same time I got my own draft notice. At the time they were debating between the B-26 Invader and P-47 for ground attack (not sure where they were going to get the jugs). They ended up going with the Invader, so at close to 60, he didn't have to go again. He was being trained at the end of the war to get a jug off a carrier deck to support the invasion of the home islands - he was very glad they dropped the bomb...
Seth, yes they have had both there and flying. The Hellcat doesn't make it each year, but the Wildcat is usually there. The CAF's Val and Zero sometimes come as well (both Tora replicas, would love to see their real Zero sometime). The Dauntless and Helldiver are the only ones flying, and there's usually an Avenger.
One year at Willow Grove they had a full Grumann Cat flight - Wildcat, Hellcat, Tigercat, Bearcat, Panther, Cougar, Tiger, and Tomcat. The group came by in formation with the Wildcat going as fast as he could go, and the Tomcat wings forward, everything hanging out going as slow as he could go. On the second pass the Tomcat moved back to the rear, cleaned up at midfield, and did a very impressive missing man pull out. Sent chills up the spine
Is that an early E6B computer? My dad (can you tell I idolize my dad?) went to work for Jeppesen & Co straight out of the Air Corps, Mr. Jepp's first employee after his wife Nadine. Many years later he retired as President. Mr. Jepp and Nadine were sort of my honorary grandparents growing up in Denver without much family around. Lots of interesting storys at the dinner table...
I don’t recall if there was a model number on the one that I gave them,
but it was a Dalton Navigation Computer so it would at least be similar.
I got it in a box of unrelated items at an auction. The rolling chart had
separated at the join, and someone made a mess of things in a repair attempt.
A friend who’s dad had been a pilot knew what it was and how it was used,
so I opted to try to repair it. A little glue, some TLC and it worked again.
By coincidence, I had years earlier saved a large book published in Britain
for ‘Royal Air Force use only’ that covered it at great length, so I included
it when I gave them the wheels and computer.
My Dad was an inspector on the P-47 at Republic in Evansville, IN during the war, i remember them flying in formation when leaving the factory, he was sent to ca in 1942 to continue inspecting, i was 2 so i don't remember a lot of detail.
LST's were also made there as it is on the Ohio River, there were hundreds of acres of hemp planted for the manufacture of rope, it still grows wild along the river.
The republic plant became a International Harvester plant and then a Whirlpool plant until they moved to Mexico, both companies produced refrigerators.
Art good story and a good home for the wheels.
Below is my favorite squadron photo from the spring of 1975 taken at Edwards AFB, CA.
We were headed to F-4 Phantoms but we had a chance to go have our squadron photo taken with what we were told was the last flying P-51 on active duty. I'm 70% sure that is serial number 44-72990 that was modified by Cavilier Aircraft and it was used as a chase aircraft for some of the helicopter testing. There was a line of test pilots wanting to fly chase for the helicopters. That's me sitting on the right wing second from the fuselage. I was going through Weapon System Officer (WSO) training at George AFB. My hair was thicker and darker back then.
Respectfully dreaming of flying,
Hap l9l5 cut off
That's cool Hap. One of my good friends was a 'GIB' in an F-4. He earned a DFC for bringing back his bird after the part of the canopy was blown out by 'Triple A' over Viet Nam and the pilot was injured. It was a 'less than graceful' landing but you know what we fly boys say about 'landings'.
Hap, you would be saddened to see what's left of George today. Southern California Logistics Airport still has abandoned housing, and pads where more buildings were torn down. It's a place where old airliners go for storage or crushing. Mega warehouses built on spec sit waiting for their first tenant.
10 Tanker just moved from there to ABQ, after a busy summer dropping retardant on fires all over the West.
Not to worry, though, as an impressive new federal prison is thriving across the road..
I too love Thunderbolts, but my favorite plane from WWII is the KOMET. Most people wouldn't want to be within a mile of one fueled up, but I'd fly it in a second just to see what it was like.
Craig - climb in, hold on, and hope you don't melt... Now the Natter, that must have been a ride as well.
Did the Natter ever fly?