View Full Version : Ormond Haydon-Baillie.

30th Jul 2003, 22:06
Would be grateful if anyone can help with photo's and info on Ormond and in particular The Black Knight T-33 G-OAHB and the Cavalier P-51D I-BILL.
Thanks in advance.

30th Jul 2003, 22:48
Alexis, Aeroplane Monthly did an article on the T-33 (which still flies from DUX) a year or so back, which included various pics of it as the Black Knight, with those superb low low shots of OHB over a wheat field.

What do you need to know? Send me a PM if you'd like more about the article...


30th Jul 2003, 23:16
I have that article and the other articles that were printed by the other magazines in 2000. What i'm after are photo's taken by people through it's time on the circuit, 1974 - 1977. I would also like to know if it was kept on display at Duxford from when Ormond was lost to when it was sold in 1981 and if it was displayed in the Black Knight markings.
I also want to know what else Ormond had planned, he brought over 2 Blenheims for restoration. One ended up as the 1st Blenheim ARCO operated, what happened to the other airframe?
Ormond planned a display team, was it to be;
2 T-33's painted the same Black Knight markings?
2 T-33's, one as the Black Knight and one as the White Knight, which i've heard was going to be the same markings as the Black one but with the colours reversed.
or was it to be 3 T-33's in the Black Knight markings?
What was his intention with the CF-100 Canuck? I've read that it was to be restored to full airworthiness for displays, i've also read that it was a delivery flight for IWM?
He had purchased a number of F-86's from Germany, what was his plan for those and what happened to them?
Then there's the Spitfires in India and whatever else he had planned.

31st Jul 2003, 00:09
I'll take a peek at a book or two when I get home...

Right, this is all a bit dated to say the least, I've updated where I think I know the current whereabouts... Hopefully, if you haven't got this info already it might steer you in the right direction!

Can't help with T-33 and CF-100 plans, so far as I knwo the CF-100 was to fly, and the 2-ship Black Knight/White Knight was to remian as such BUT a third T-33 was (and still is, I think) at Duxford.


RCAF9896 - OH-B stayed in Canada, at Vancouver
RCAF10038 - OH-B to BAM, G-MKIV, destroyed

Also not with O-B
RCAF9893 - with BAM, Duxford - used in rebuild of G-MKIV, now being restored for IWM? (Yellow Blenheim at DX)
RCAF 10201 used for current a/w BAM Blenheim

Ex-Indian Spitfires:

MV262 - to WoGB, now with Kermit Weeks?
MV293 - to WoGB now a/w with TFC as G-SPIT
MV370 - to WoGB, then the late Keith Wickenden G-FXIV, under rebuild elsewhere?
NH749 - to WoGB, then the late Keith Wickenden G-MXIV, to David Price, N749DP
SM832 - to WoGB now a/w with TFC as G-WWII
SM969 - to WoGB G-BRAF, flew, with Flying A?
TP276 - with Rudy Frasca
TP280 - with Rudy Frasca a/w
TP298 - to David Tallichet, think this one might have been written off after flew into a mountain?
(NH799 not listed with OH-B, went via WoGB and TFC to AFC as ZK-XIV and w/o I think


01+02, D-9538, D-9540, KE+104, D-9541 - all to to Flight Systems at Mojave in 1979


OH-B also had a third airframe, c/n 200 N12420 which may now be with IWM?

Treadders the Anorak!

31st Jul 2003, 01:26
Fantastic, keep it coming.
That's the sort of thing i want. And more. Thanks alot.
One thing i'd like is to find out what happened to the film of Ormond flying down the length of the Grand Canyon in the T-33. It was taken from the back seat by a girlfriend. I would also like to see footage of his flying as i've only been told stories of it.

8th Aug 2003, 06:05
I've just heard that OHB's second T-33 G-WGHB has been under restoration to flying condition and is nearly finished.
Can anyone confirm this and if it's still registered as G-WGHB, what markings it is going to be finished in, who owns it now and where it is being restored?

8th Aug 2003, 17:20

Suggest you contact ARCO/Propshop for the information. There are few there who were with the original setup with Ormond Haydon-Baillie.
Bit of a confession, my wife still has a pair of white overalls emblazoned with the Black Knight symbol!

ARC (http://www.arc-duxford.co.uk/)

8th Aug 2003, 18:14
Bus 429.
ARCO have been no help at all, i have spoken to John Romain as i thought he would be the best person as he was on OHB's crew, and nothing.
If your wife should wish to part with those overalls, please let me know as they are one of the items on my wishlist.

8th Aug 2003, 23:01
I don't think the wife will part with them (even though they probably wouldn't fit her now!). Why would you want them?

9th Aug 2003, 02:11
I would like them because what started out as a project to have a painting done has got me into wanting to collect whatever i can to do with OHB. I have afew ideas for the future but it's prooving very difficult to obtain anything. I am also searching for the same type of helmet he wore to have painted up the same as his.

9th Aug 2003, 03:43

You'll be lucky to get anything. With respect to ARC - I was not a member of the (BAM) team in OHB's time but during my later tenure, I got the impression that they really enjoyed their time with OHB and held (perhaps the present tense is more appropriate) him in high esteem.
My wife has no wish to part with the overalls and I doubt any original team members would be willing to part with anything that reminds them of the era.
If procuring memorabilia was the object of your contact with ARC, I'm not surprised you received little assistance.

9th Aug 2003, 05:20
Remember seeing it at Greenham Common sometime in the late 1970s. (painted bright yellow overall)

As I remember it crashed (in germany) soon after, so not seen again.

hope this is of use

rgds BEX

9th Aug 2003, 07:11
Is there any chance of taking a picture of the badge on the overalls?
Did you wife work for OHB? Has she any photo's of OHB and his aircraft that she could copy for me? I'll cover all costs.

9th Aug 2003, 07:22
I-BILL was at Greenham in June 1977 - I remember it well as although I didn't go to Greenham that year, I saw my first P-51 the same weekend - an American one over for a jolly.

I-BILL crashed a month or so later; I believe the canopy departed the airframe during a display at Mainz (?) taking OH-B out of the picture. A very sad loss. And along with Spencer Flack he was very much one opf the founding fathers of the UK warbird movement.

That US P-51D I saw also was ill-fated... back to the US, fatal accident, rebuilt, back to Europe, another fatal accident (might have been the one that robbed us of ace aeros pilot Chris Schweitzer...).

I think if you check back through Flypast Letters pages over the last couple of years, you will find a shot of OH-B flying his Sea Fury (G-AGHB) down the ramp at Duxford at, oh, a few feet or so.

9th Aug 2003, 07:30
I have all the traces of articles from the past 2 or 3 years that mentioned OHB. I have also just obtained a vast amount of magazines coering the '70's in the hope of more.
I really want to make contact with John Rigby, who took some fantastic images of OHB.
It just doesn't seem to be enough, i have an artist who is producing pencil drawings for me and i am hoping he will do an oil as well.
As far as I-BILL goes, i've heard umpteen different rumours as to what caused the crash from stalling it to the passenger wearing clogs and them coming off his feet to jam the controls, but nothing concrete. What i want to know is that aeroplanes full history and if like so many others it has been used in a rebuild.

9th Aug 2003, 07:48
The canopy version was the only one I heard, but maybe someone has the official report...


44-74694, c/n 122-41234

SOC McClellan AFB, 15/8/58
N7720C, M Ratcliffe, 63
N16S, Louis Long, 66
N6851D, Jerry Taylor
Converted to Cavalier standard between 67 and 68
I-BILL, Ditta Billi, Florence, 68
OH-B, June 77
Crashed at Mainz-Finthen, 3 July 77.

Not mentioned in Paul Coggan's excellent "Mustang Survivors" published this year, so doubt anything was salvageable. Not morally anyway...

10th Aug 2003, 03:42
I was at Duxford when OH-B flew the CF100 in. After he landed he did one or two other flights, presumably with friends and family. I heard a rumour afterwards that the ferry permit covered only the flight from Cranfield to Duxford and that the authorities were not pleased about the extra circuits. Perhaps someone can confirm this.

10th Aug 2003, 04:28
Similarly, Haydon-Baillie appeared at RAFC Cranwell in a Sea Fury in 1974. No simple VRIAB, he proceded to beat up the southern aerodrome at a stupidly low height despite the orders from ATC. Summoned to see Wg Cdr Flying, he was told to take himself and his aeroplane off the base sharpish.....

Then he turned up in some sort of Ruritanian band master's uniform at the Graduation Ball..........

Sorry, but he was viewed as an overconfident cavalier. It isn't done to speak ill of the deceased, so I'll desist. But let's just say that quite a few people weren't surprised when he bought the farm...


10th Aug 2003, 04:48
I have to agree with BEags. He was in the same mould as some other 'cavaliers' who are no longer with us. I firmly believe he made a contribution to aviation but sadly, at times, it was very questionable, and he upset the authorities on numerous occasions. I doubt that he would have gotten away with some of his stuff and daring-do today.


11th Aug 2003, 20:47
He certainly wouldn't get away with flying the Sea Fury between the Tower and hangars at Duxford these days... did I hear aright that there was a telephone cable strung between the two and that he went under it? Also heard tell of motor racing competitors on the runway (Dx was used for such activites in those days) finding a mirrorful of T-33 pursuing them...

11th Aug 2003, 22:34
I've heard of motor racing events withs OHB trying to compete with the Sea Fury. This is all great stuff guys, keep it coming.

14th Aug 2003, 04:28
The US Mustang referred to by Treadigraph was probably NL5747, owned then by the Mustang Pilot's Club, based at, I think, Van Nuys, CA and flown across the 'pond' by a guy called Tony Ostermeyer. It was a 2-seater (but single sticker). I managed to get a back seat ride in her from Wethersfield in, I think, June '77. If it is the same one, it ended up on the French register and, as Treadigraph said, was involved in its second fatal crash into a Swiss mountain. I believe it had also had a non-fatal crash soon after its return to the USA.

14th Aug 2003, 16:33
<< I've heard of motor racing events withs OHB trying to compete with the Sea Fury. >>

I assume you know that OH-B raced the Sea Fury at Reno?

15th Aug 2003, 04:47
Yes i did know that. I've found out that it was the 1st Canadian registered aircraft to race at Reno and other air racing events and OHB ddi really well in all the races he participated in.
My comment was ment in regard to motor racing events that went on at Duxford, which when OHB was on site and flying would tend to stay rather low and give people the impression he was joining in the race.

15th Aug 2003, 05:35
Duxford was indeed used for motor racing back in the seventies; I competed there a couple of times myself. More technically they were actually 'sprints' as there was no direct head to head competition as you might get at Silverstone or Brands Hatch, but just one car on the course at a time, competing against the clock with the winner being the car to finish the course in the fastest time.

I am not sure if the runway was ever used as part of the course however as there was a gliding club in residency at the time and they would no doubt have first call on the use of the runway.

The first time I competed there the course was around the apron just to the west of the control tower (no aircraft parked there in those days) with the finishing line half way along the perimeter track going towards the 06 holding point.

On the second occasion, the course had been moved across the runway to the southern perimeter track (now dug up) with a few artificial bends incorporated with bollards.

I cant recall being chased by any Sea Furies or T33s though!

15th Aug 2003, 17:36
Youve probably heard this story, but Ill repeat it just in case. During the 1972 races a couple of fans (later to become Unlimited competitors as it happened) were driving out from Reno to the Stead Airport when they saw a smart young chap hitching. They stopped and asked if he wanted a lift. "Quite so," he replied in an English accent. As they drove along they chatted about the forthcoming days racing. "Where will you be sitting today?" the fans enquired. "Well, hopefully in the cockpit of my Sea Fury." It was O-HB, and he subsequently lead the Unlimited Consolation Race from the start, winning at 355.74 mph ahead of the Bearcats of Jack Sliker and John Church whose race speeds were 11 mph slower than OH-Bs, but just .08 mph apart.

OH-Bs Sea Fury was the first Canadian-registered aircraft to take part in the Unlimited Class at Reno I think there was a Canadian entry in the Sport Biplane class before his time but not the first in the U.S. National Air Races. One or two Mosquitoes and a Spitfire took part in the Cleveland NARs before the big iron air racing ban after 1949.

15th Aug 2003, 22:19
Thanks for that Aerohack, i hadn't heard that one. And thanks for correcting the Reno info.

30th Mar 2004, 20:25
I've been told the most probable cause to the crash of I-BILL was after a touch and go he applied full power and torque rolled.

I have been told he had a Chipmunk which is still airworthy. Any idea's as to which and where it is?

T-33 G-WGHB is not under restoration to fly as i had been led to believe. The fuselage is lying derelict on the back of a trailer at Booker. It is apparently for sale at around 10K.