View Full Version : B-57 in France

4th Apr 2003, 01:52

Could someone here can shed some light on the background of this RB-57 cockpit noticed in France.

The USAF had RB-57s there but at Laon in the late 50s and it seems an odd aircraft for a French aviation enthusiast to have.


4th Apr 2003, 02:19
It's a time traveller - according to the caption, the photo hasn't been taken yet!:ok:

Interesting item though - pity it isn't complete.

4th Apr 2003, 19:36
According to Otger van der Kooij's 'European Wrecks and Relics' it's an EB-57E, tail no. 55-4278. No previous history given, but I don't think the USAF had EB-57's in France. Perhaps it came from somewhere else. I'll have a read of my copy of Robert Mikesh's B-57 book tonight and see if there's any good info in there.

Apparently the nose is outside an aviation shop - is it any good? Could be a place to put on the wish list for future holidays!

4th Apr 2003, 20:40
Anyone ever see the four-ship B-57 aerobatic team The Black Knights that the 38th BG fielded while based at Laon?

4th Apr 2003, 23:00
Honest? Aeros in a B-57 team? Wow! Wish I had...


4th Apr 2003, 23:32
Only seen photos. I think the team was fairly short-lived, 1956-ish. Must've been an impressive sight. Mind you, didn't the USAF or AFRES once launch a C-130 formation (though I imagine not aerobatic) display team? Bit off thread, but the one I'd really love to have seen was the Fleet Air Arm's Sea Hornet team, especially the formation loops with all props feathered.

4th Apr 2003, 23:39
Nopax, thanks for the gen. You say the same as an ex-B-57 pilot I mail with in the states, he had deduced from pito head positioning and other clues that it was probably an EB-57E and said that there were none in France. I too have Mikesh's book and will search it tonight. I also have e-mail friends who flew the -57 in Vietnam and will pass on the serial etc. Thanks again, I knew the answer was out there.

I have no other gen on this relic, I recd the pics because of my Canberra Tribute web site. It is, as you say, a place that may be worth visiting in in the vicinity.

One of the blokes I mail with used to fly with the Black Knights, this is one of his pictures.

http://www.netcomuk.co.uk/~lesb/Black Knights-2.jpg

5th Apr 2003, 01:22
Never seen them in colour before. Nice.

Prof Denzil Dexter
5th Apr 2003, 02:16
Visited the very boutique in 2002. Walked in thinking it was some sort of museum, only to be told very poliltely by the owner that it was indeed a shop, selling all kinds of old aeroplane bits!

A nice Beechcraft C-45 on a pole by the main gate too. I've got a very nice picture, but cant work out how to insert it into the message!

7th Apr 2003, 20:28
Excellent! Thanks for the tip, Denzil - I'm sure that Mrs.Nopax would love to visit Cannes, and once we are there, well....:cool:

Reminds of of a place in Poitiers, called 'Chez Manuel' It's a museum rather than a shop, but filled with a centuries' worth of French domestic and agricultural ephemera. It has a Sikorsky HSS-1 (S-58/H-34) in the back garden, sadly now looking quite poorly after years in the outside. Also one of those little Nords on the roof.

Well worth a visit - it's on the main road North out of the town.

Returning to the main subject, the B-57 in question is an EB-57E, it was a Davis-Monthan (AMARC/MASDC) some years back - I don't yet know how it ended up in France.

Red Spitfire Driver
10th Apr 2003, 00:38
Just a little bit more to add.

55-4234 to 55-4301 Total of 68. Martin B-57E-MA - (built by Martin Baltimore).