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Classic Wings Magazine
01/13/2017 at 04:41. Facebook
YIKES IT'S A SHRIKE....!

It sure looks like a Curtiss SB2C Helldiver but the colour scheme suggests otherwise. The combination of this livery, plus a three bade propeller, and a lack of arrestor hook give the identity of this aircraft away as a Curtiss A-25A Shrike. This variant was also built without the folding wings of the SB2C series which did away with unnecessary complexity, weight and...
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Classic Wings Magazine
01/10/2017 at 21:51. Facebook
BREWSTER'S BARREL

Well it's great to have a break in the traffic over the festive season to enjoy time with family and friends, but it's also great to be back in the office and in the hangar getting stuck into the myriad of fun and exciting things we're privileged to be involved with in the world of heritage aviation. Within the next week or so we'll do an update of activities around the...
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DESERT DERELICT

This Junkers Ju 52 has certainly seen better days. The Allied vehicles passing in convoy seem to suggest changing fortunes at a now abandoned Luftwaffe airfield. Here we see the big tri-motored transport which had perhaps come to grief in a landing accident, subsequently being salvaged for useful parts like the engines, tail surfaces, ailerons etc, and then torched with a...
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MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM CLASSIC WINGS!

Well the time has come to shut down for the year, although we will have some staff operating from the hangar and offices for most of the festive period as we have joy-flights continuing and the next edition continues to receive attention.
We hope your 2016 has been a good one with more ups than downs. For us the dominant activity was our involvement in the...
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TEN DAYS IN CHINATOWN

OK that sounds like the title of a cheap novel or a 1970s Kurt Russell movie perhaps, but it is what it has felt like at the Classic Wings hangar over the last week or so as our neighbour, JEM Aviation attracts these machines like moths to a flame! Whilst many in the heritage aviation world associate JEM Aviation with aircraft like the Fw190, Yak-3 & -9, and the P-40 and...
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MUSTANG FIRST FLIGHT!

Heartiest congratulations to Peter Gill on the completion and successful test flight of CAC Mustang A68-199. The aircraft was last flown as long ago as 1978 - nearly 40 years ago. Test flight was carried out by Nick Caudwell with 80 year old restoration engineer Peter Robinson in the back seat, whilst fellow Mustang operator Judy Pay flew chase in her T-28B Trojan....
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CROWDED CARPARK....

Further to our recent post about the oh-so-impressive North American P-82 / F-82 Twin Mustang, we just had to run this photograph of nearly completed examples parked out on the ramp at the NAA plant at Inglewood, California in 1948. Despite having been developed and flown during 1945, operational deployments did not begin until 1948, so these machines will be approaching...
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SPROUTING WINGS

It's been a busy week back at the Classic Wings hangar! In fact two long-term, local project aircraft have sprouted wings in as many days! The first was Trevor Collins' ('TC's) stunning 1934 Fairchild F-24C8c. This aircraft was acquired by TC in the USA several years ago as a derelict wreck. After an infusion of lots of new woodwork, new fabric of course, engine overhaul etc.,...
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SEAFIRE SALUTE

How's this for a wonderful atmospheric image of Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm Seafire IIIs on deck amid a bustle of naval activity. It's a great photograph of a time in history, just as it's happening, rather than something posed for propaganda purposes as we see so often. Note the chocks placed at the wing-roots of the nearer two aircraft. If only a few more of these maritime...
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JU 88 MEMORIAL SERVICE

In this interesting WW-II photograph, we seem to be witnessing a funeral being performed at a Luftwaffe Junkers Ju 88 squadron. One can't help wondering if perhaps it is not a real funeral but some kind of pantomime since all of the participants seems to be laughing or smiling, and the casket at left seems to be heavily decorated with text. The notation on the end...
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HERE BE DRAGONS!

Well here's something you don't see everyday, and this one is actually for sale! This is a genuine de Havilland D.H.84 Dragon airliner. One of my first memories of this type was when a friend of my father described it as, "A large single-engined biplane with half an engine on each wing!"
First flown in 1934 the Dragon was designed by Geoffrey de Havilland to be a twin...
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MUSTANG IN STEREO....!

I first became aware of the P-82 'Twin Mustang' as a boy watching an old black and white movie on TV. I was of course, always glued to any aviation topic on TV, but especially so with WW-II era aircraft. I'd been watching this line up of Mustangs taxiing past the camera in pairs. It did not take long to realise something was off. Take-off footage showed these aircraft...
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AQUATIC ARYAN

Sometimes referred to as the 'German Catalina', Dornier's elegant Do 24 was an elegant flying boat that had the unusual distinction of serving actively on both side of the conflict during WW-II. This was due to six aircraft being evacuated from the Dutch East Indies, to serve with the Royal Australian Air Force in the Pacific theatre. One of the Dutch Do.24s had in fact sunk the...
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P-40 UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT!

For all those fans of the exquisite Maude family Curtiss P-40E Kittyhawk, here she is in all her glory on display at the now opened 'Dangerous Skies' exhibition at the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre at Omaka Airfield, Blenheim, N.Z. The aircraft has been placed in a setting designed to reflect its time serving in Alaska, even though it did not take on its polished...
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SOMETHING A LITTLE DIFFERENT....

OK, so this handsome German machine photographed during the early WW-II era was a twin-engined, biplane, seaplane that also could drop torpedoes! Designed in 1930, only 142 were built. They served well until retirement around 1944. Wingspan was 23.7 meters - just short of 78 feet, so this was not a small machine, but one that did its job and then was passed...
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RINGS A BELL....

The first jet aircraft to be successfully designed, built and flown in the USA was Bell's P-59A Airacomet. The prototype made its first flight on 1st October 1942, less than a year after the USA entered the Second World War. This initiative was the result of a request by USAAC Major General H.H. 'Hap' Arnold requesting the technology from Great Britain after witnessing the...
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STRAIGHT FOR THE JUG....

Here's another great period image of a Republic P-47D Thunderbolt. There sure is something about the early 'razorback' style cockpit of the early P-47s.
CELEBRITY LIGHTNING

For something as beautiful as a P-38 Lightning to end up parked so ignominiously on its beak seems entirely wrong, however it did happen from time to time. This is reportedly an aircraft flown by Major General Elwood 'Pete' Queseda, a pioneer of tactical air power during his time with the Ninth Air Force on the western front during WW-II. His innovations included placing...
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MORE FUN, MORE QUICKLY

The Omaka airfield community has been juggling between the 'Dangerous Skies' museum opening - it opened to the pubic for the first time today - and some fun flying to allow members to let their hair down after a long campaign.
So with a long weekend here in Marlborough, NZ, the toys came out and we all had some fun. Here are some of the highlights!
IT'S SHOW TIME!

After many months of working in the relative background, the Trustees of the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre are finally lifting the veil on our new WW-II exhibition which opens to the public on Tuesday 1st November. As many will know, we at CW magazine have been deeply involved in this project with Publishers Jane and Graham Orphan both founding Trustees of the NZAviation...
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