View Full Version : Why None Of These Flying ?

Oscar Duece
22nd Oct 2003, 21:39
With all the great historic british machines gracing our skies and airshows. Why have certain ones been left out or are poorly represented, while others are found in multiples, even with the same operator / group.

Are there an airworthyness issues involved or are we all just fixated with spitfires etc.

Ones that spring to mind:
Fairly Gannet, what a monster and an airworthy T5 is for sale in the US, plus I heard someone did look at restoring a AEW one at Sandtoft ?? What happended.

PB Deffiant. Is there one still under restoration to fly ??

Mozzy: Has no one any interest in getting one flying again. I remember seeing a almost complete advanced project for sale in Canada ??

Anyone care to add some more??

Shaggy Sheep Driver
22nd Oct 2003, 22:03
Gloster Javelin, Supermarine Swift?


Genghis the Engineer
22nd Oct 2003, 22:45
Four reasons I think

(1) It takes a lot of work to gain initial approval of a type, but once one of a type is approved, everybody else can jump on the bandwagon.

(2) It takes a lot of money

(3) There are very few Engineers in this country with the ability and authorisation to "recommend" to CAA that an aeroplane, new to the civil register, should be allowed to fly.

(4) Spares supplies vary enormously depending upon type, age and how it was retired from service by the military.


23rd Oct 2003, 00:40
There's only one Defiant left in the RAF museum, though I think a couple of non-airworthy replcias are under way wiht some original parts...

There was a flying Gannet on the UK reg, not sure where it is now...

Over and out, my pint's getting warm...

Oscar Duece
23rd Oct 2003, 02:13
My question was aimed at the types that don't have technical issues. Such as the Javelin, who has enough trouble technically getting airborne in its service days let alone now.

It is after seeing how much support and hard cash has been raised for the Vulcan in the hope of getting it airbourne, with no firm plan (if it's really lottery of bust, why wasn't I told that before stumping up 50-00). when for a fraction of that money we could have a Gannet or such others, not currently flying and not subject to complex technical issues, in our skies again.

Yes the Gannet was operated on a civvy reg on the late eighties, that one is at Sandtoft, where it will rot away like everything else there, Vampires, Provosts (piston), Meteor and B25.

While the like of the BBMF have 7 spitfires, but no mozzy, lysander etc and the RNHF have 3 stringbags, but no Gannet, Fury or Sea Hawk ?, Sycamore, Wessex.

When examples of all these, are out there waiting support and cash to get unique examples flying again.

So how about trading a spit for the Canada mozzy ? Or do they need all 7 to keep the British public reminded that the spitfire won the war sinlge handed.

23rd Oct 2003, 06:13
The RNHF have the three Stringbags as they each represent the different variants that served with the Fleet Air Arm; the Mk.I (W5856) II (LS326) and III (NF389).
They do of course have a Sea Fury and Sea Hawk, though both under repair at the moment.

In the 1980's The Royal Navy had a few Gannets in store for possible use with the RNHF, as well as a Harvard.
Unfortunately when the Navy pulled out of financing the Flight they had to be sold to raise much needed finance.
In fact XT752, the Gannet up for sale in the US was one of those aircraft.

23rd Oct 2003, 06:35
The Gannet in question?


Pretty interesting price. Wonder if it's in shape for a pond crossing? ;)

23rd Oct 2003, 12:22
Halifax, preferably the Hali III.

Realistically though, I'm looking forward to seeing a few Ansons, and the Duxford Beaufighter take to the air again. Agreed with the point above re BoBMF Spitsto a certain extent although it is nice to see the difference between the different marks. Maybe a few (pun not intended) could be sacrified to finance a Mossie rebuild.

PS When are they going to realise that there were no Dakotas or Lancasters in the BoB? Overdue for a name change methinks.

Onan the Clumsy
23rd Oct 2003, 15:16
I never realised the Gannet had two engines.

What do they mean by quoting engine and prop time in units? That's a new one to me as I've only ever seen hours.

Genghis the Engineer
23rd Oct 2003, 16:26
It's a more complex system than hours, used by a number of military aircraft - basically it's measured by an internal device which takes into account the "severity" of useage. It's more realistic in terms of component life and maintenance scheduling.


Oscar Duece
23rd Oct 2003, 16:40
That T5 Gannet in the states look temptong doesn't it. Low hour airframe and good engine times.
I must admit I don't know exactly what the engine setup is. What is a Double Mamba engine, and who thought of that name for it ??:rolleyes:

23rd Oct 2003, 16:47
A broad thread.
The interest in Spitfires seems to be exponentially greater than any other aircraft; the BBMF are locked in a vicious cycle, and it's not their fault. At least they are preserving them! At one stage they were the only Hurricane operators in the world. That, at least is much better, and (quite an achievement) they are still operating 2 Hurris.

Defiant. One survivor, nailed to the ground by the RAF Museum. Missing the underside outer wing bolts and the tyres have no inner tubes. One 'full scale model' by the Boulton Paul Society in Wolves. Nice, but not a flyer!

Let's say you get the Defiant off the RAF Museum and under rebuild to fly. These days you can, with a lot of money go get P-51, Spitfire, Harvard (etc) parts from the nice suppliers, and the paperwork is not all 'new type'. The Defiant will all be new and nothing will be off the shelf. Think, it's a Merlin, but the coolant setup, fuel supply etc, while not really hard to redo, will be a one off...

If I recall correctly, the Canadian Mozzie project by the Zaleskys was good, but expensive. Projects are generally. There is one Mozzie being restored to fly in British Columbia, and a series new build production in N.Z. by a retired yacht designer builder. There's speculation about the Flighter Collection's example. Bigger = much more expensive + difficult.

Richard Melton has a Walrus kit for restoration, avaliable for sale. It's unique (only three other grounded survivors) but no-one's bought it. I'd love to see it fly, but those with money are apparently not bothered!

The LAST Blackburn Beverley is under threat of scapping at the closed Museum of Army Transport - despite interest and effort by some enthusiasts, led by the Yorkshire Air Museum, many enthusiasts have taken a 'so what' or 'it's big, difficult and I can't see the point' attitude.

Hope this adds a bit...

23rd Oct 2003, 18:06
I bet somebody in the RNHF will - in 20 years time - say, why the heck didn't we buy that airworthy Gannet/ spares for a hundred grand (probably a lot less in reality) in 2003?

I thing it would attract a lot of interest here and should be repatriated.

Two Mambas, gearbox and contraprop sounds like a case of - take out your wallet and repeat after me 'help yourself' as far as a civvy operator is concerned but with the RN volunteer/ knowhow it surely should be considered.

I know it will never replace the Firefly......

BTW - re they planning to acquire another??


23rd Oct 2003, 19:40
"Mozzy: Has no one any interest in getting one flying again. I remember seeing a almost complete advanced project for sale in Canada ??"

Whats happened to Kermit Week's TT35 RS712 in Florida??

Did hear that it wasnt flying much but if its still extant - surely theres a viable purchase??

That Gannet certainly deserves to be back home dos'nt it, and what happened to that equally gorgous Sea Venom that flies in the US??

The Shack AEW2 should make the trek east also along with the ETPS Lightning thats being restored in Minneapolis (same crowd who have the Gannet??)

Feather #3
23rd Oct 2003, 19:47
Kermit's "Mossie" is in the EAA Museum at OSH. Serviceability unknown, but good luck if you think you can get it out of there!!??

G'day ;)

23rd Oct 2003, 20:12
RS712 is unserviceable, suffering from severe delamination by all accounts. The American climate hasn't been kind to her. She's been inside the EAA Museum building at Oshkosh since at least October 1993 when I photographed her there.

TV959 (the TFC - but thought now to be EX TFC - machine) is potentially restorable to fly, with a two year timescale mentioned. Although that would require a) a vast sum of money, and b) her alleged new owner to be willing to return her to flight.

Glyn Powell is currently manufacturing Mosquito fuselages in New Zealand, but his first one has taken an age and is 'only' a static. Airworthy ones would presumably take a lot of time and money (bit of a recurring theme here...)

So never say never (just be ready with an open chequebook :ok: )

24th Oct 2003, 01:50
The N reg Sea Venom was on the North America airshow circuit this summer.


henry crun
24th Oct 2003, 04:31
StbbD, That looks like an ordinary single seat ex Swiss Venom to me.

The Sea Venom was a twin seat night fighter version.

24th Oct 2003, 06:17
Good eye Henry,

To be honest, I thought the Sea Venom was a two seater as well and you are right, that one doesn't look that big, nor does its nose look like a radome. However, the one pictured is N-202DM which is listed as a "DH112 Sea Venom" on the FAA Registry. How could the feds possibly get that wrong? ;)

De Havilland apparently produced 816 single seat Venoms, 283 night fighters and 393 Sea Venoms. How many versions was the designation DH112 used for?

You are also correct about it being ex Swiss AF. Produced in 1955, serial number J1616.

I better go break out the recognition books. :O

Bonus shot anyway!:


29th Oct 2003, 04:00

I agree about all the british aviation history that is not flying and should be, at least in this country

maybe we should have a word with those nice chaps in South Africa if they will send us over a couple of Lightnings or Buckaneers (hope ive spelt it rite). And maybe Atlantic will get chance to bring thier shak over from the USA.

I know it costs alot of cash to do it but maybe, just maybe

See Ya


29th Oct 2003, 19:40
I heard some time ago that Glynn Powell sent 2 fuselage halves to DeHavilland Canada for the wiring and hydraulics to be fitted.

Any news on when they're due back in NZ ?

23rd Dec 2003, 00:50

There has indeed been a deposit put on Wally's Gannet.... and there is a plan to fly it back to the UK in March / April next year...

Got your interest now haven't I!

I am serious, but we haven't inspected the aircraft yet (booked for Jan) nor learnt to drive it.... but it can't be that hard can it?

I am looking for ANY info on the type, pilots notes etc and am happy to pay or collect if required.

Help Please

Dr Jekyll
23rd Dec 2003, 04:51
Is it time the BBMF had a Bf 109? Or would that be too controversial?

23rd Dec 2003, 05:09
Maybe when they rename it the Luftwaffe Memorial Flight - until then I guess most people are happy with the current machines.

Dr Jekyll
23rd Dec 2003, 14:52
My point is that the Bf 109 is relevant to the battle of Britain, while the Lancaster isn't. Incidentally I meant as well as Spitfires and Hurricanes, not instead.

The Battle of Britain display at Hendon includes a 109, a 110, a JU88 and an He111, that isn't called the Luftwaffe display.

Oscar Duece
23rd Dec 2003, 19:02

Well done than man.

If I had the cash spare, would have got it myself. Just for the sake of doing the right thing by a big British brute of a plane.

There is a guy in the Uk (I think) that used to fly the AEW3 example, now resting @ Sandtoft (ferried there in '97). I'll dig up his name if I can.

I understand there's a fair spares package with her as well. Otherwise the Faa museum might be able to help with sources.

When you get her flying let me know, could be happy to pay costs for a back seat ride.


23rd Dec 2003, 19:46
Think it was a chap named Neil Moffatt that used to fly the Gannet on thge UK circuit...

23rd Dec 2003, 20:27
Yep Neil Moffat was the man.Flew on the display scene 87-88, as it was being used by Dowty on prop noise reserach. Superb to see one airborne again - a real growler, like a mini Shack.Kinda faded away after that although there was some talk about it being resurected a couple of years ago. However from reports, it seems that its in a bit of a state at the mo.

Best of luck to anyone involved with that Gannet from the US attempt - Id rather put money on that than the Vulcan!....

23rd Dec 2003, 20:51
Great news on the Gannet, good luck with the purchase and ferry!:ok: (can't say how much I'd be willing to spend, but I'd be interested in the front seat!)

Wanted to add something to the Mossie topic being discussed here: if I remember correctly one of the main problems with getting a mosquite airborne again is on the money side. The costs of restoring one to airworthy condition will be about three times as much as what the aircraft will be worth after the restoration. Compared to a Mustang, for which spares can easily be had (and, compared to a Mossie, cheap too), anyone looking to invest in an aircraft will be deterred by figures like these. I'm guessing similar issues will keep many types on the ground.

23rd Dec 2003, 20:52
Used to live not far from RNAS Lee-on-Solent when Gannets were an everyday sight. A formation of Double Mambas certainly got your attention, but nothing equalled the sound made by Wyverns carrying out simulated dive bombing/rocket attacks on Portsmouth Dockyard during the annual Navy Days.

23rd Dec 2003, 21:14
Weren't Wyverns the same? ie, Double Mamba? (except the prototype which had some vast & complex 24-cyl RR piston engine)

23rd Dec 2003, 21:20
Production Wyverns had the Armstrong Siddeley Python driving contra-props. The noise they made in a steep dive was partially engine/prop generated, partially aerodynamic. I can remember it still.