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What other aircraft do you think the BBMF should be able to operate?

Discussion in 'Everything Else Heritage' started by martin1656, Jul 8, 2018.

  1. martin1656

    martin1656 Part of the furniture Friend

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    The BBMF these days are become more than just a living memorial to those pilots who flew during the Battle of Britain so what other aircraft would you like to see them be able to operate, if they were able to release an aircraft from say either of the RAF museums that might potentially be restorable to flight ?

    Personally I would like to see them have a Mitchel and mustang , as both flew in RAF service,
    and to really put the cat amoungst the pigeons, have them have the ME109 black 6 , as a counterpart to the spitfires, if she could be made flyable again, as to be able to operate an me109 as well as spitfire combo would explain the story of both types of aircraft.
     
  2. big.stu

    big.stu Member

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    Slighter harder to achieve than most, but I'd love to see them have a Mosquito...
     
  3. AndyY

    AndyY Member

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    Given that rumours keep surfacing of the politicians/MoD wanting to cut the funding for the BBMF, I suggest adding any more aircraft types falls into the catagory beloved of this forum of WIBN!

    (For the sake of accuracy and avoiding promulgating errors, there was never an aircraft designation ME109. Although often referred to in this way by Joe Public, RAF personnel and even the Luftwaffe at the time, the manufacturer's designation was the Bf109, it being designed by the Bayerische Flugzeugwerke. Subsequent designs such as the ME110 correctly use the ME designation. I'm sure there are suitable railway analogies but none come to mind!)
     
  4. OldChap

    OldChap New Member

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    YouTube historian Military Aviation History would argue differently as it seems both terms bf. and Me at the time by the Luftwaffe). See this YouTube video for details:

     
  5. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Part of the furniture

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    An EE Lightning.
     
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  6. K14

    K14 Member

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    That'd work for the Cold War Flight: Lightning, Bucc & Vulcan.
     
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  7. martin1656

    martin1656 Part of the furniture Friend

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    I can't understand why the RAF don't have an active vintage fast jet flight, when some types are not allowed on the civil register, for instance lightning, can't be flown on UK civil register, but that adds another question, should an Cold war flight include an mig 29 Poland and germany still use them.
     
  8. AndyY

    AndyY Member

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    I don't think there is anything in that very interesting video which disagrees with what I said - the correct designation of the aircraft is Bf109, but lots of people, including the Luftwaffe, often referred to it as the ME109. One thing he doesn't mention, but it is my understanding that the manufacturer's 'build plate' attached to these aircraft all identify it as the Bf109, unlike those fitted to later aircraft designs such as the ME110.
    It's totally understandable to me that references to 'ME109' started to slip into official documents as the war progressed, but that doesn't affect the fact that Bf109 was the correct designation.
    From 1992 to 2005 I was seconded by my employer to work at MBB (subsequently DASA and then EADS) at Ottobrunn on the outskirts of Munich. The archive of the 'Messerschmidt Stiftung' was based there, and they always refererred to the Bf109. They have two airworthy examples of the Bf109 (and a Bf108) based at the Manching airfield.
     
  9. Enterprise

    Enterprise Well-Known Member

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    Avionics too complex to maintain. I understand the hybrid analogue/digital period presents particular difficulties.
     
  10. AndyY

    AndyY Member

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    I can, it's all down to cost! The RAF aren't funded to operate a 'museum service'. Perhaps they should be, but that is a question for the politicians. But they know that funding historic aircraft doesn't win many votes, whereas building schools and hospitals does............
     
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  11. big.stu

    big.stu Member

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    And safety - there's a good reason why there are currently no Frightnings flying - it's too damn hard to keep them in the air (and that was true even when they were a frontline RAF aircraft - cf RAF Dogger Bank!).

    There is an almost airworthy Bucc (maintained and ground run, ready to be returned to air if a contract appears requiring it) still on the mil register with HHA at Scampton.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2018
  12. 61624

    61624 Well-Known Member

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    A Mosquito would be top of my list, but how about a Halifax or Wellington to increase the Bomber Command representation. A Sunderland would be good but very limited in terms of ops I would imagine (a scarcity of emergency landing sites!)
     
  13. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Resident of Nat Pres

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    The 110 also carried the Bf prefix. Moot point really as I can’t see the BBMF ever operating warbirds from foreign air arms.
     
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  14. Ploughman

    Ploughman Well-Known Member

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    One to consider would be an original Hercules unstretched and no in flight refueling.
     
  15. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I’m reminded of a comment from @LMS2968 that we seem to find endless ways to ask the question “what is your favourite locomotive?” and this seems a disguised way of saying “what is your favourite aeroplane?”

    Others have pointed out the technological complexity of flying some more modern types; and the fact that the RAF isn’t funded as a museum; to which I would add that not all aircraft on a wish list would necessarily be available.

    Having said that, and assuming this is a bit of fun: my take is that - assuming the intention is a memorial to the RAF, not just the Battle of Britain - any list should be broad in time and function, not deep. So if you have a Lancaster, a Halifax adds less than, say, a Tiger Moth.

    With that in mind, I’d choose the following. I have taken as parameters:
    1. Broad in date and function
    2. No concern for the job of the RAF as a museum; technological complexity to operate; or availability
    3. Limited to 10 aircraft (to force some hard thinking)
    My list:
    1. S.E.5a - pre-eminent fighter at the formation of the RAF (to that end I’ve ignored significant aircraft that were operated by the RFC or RNAS but not the RAF).
    2. Vickers Vimy - representative of the British projection of power in the interwar years, and notable as a record breaker for major distance flights.
    3. DeHavilland Tiger Moth. You have to have a basic trainer to tell the whole story; you could choose several (Avro 504k; DH Chipmunk etc) but the Tiger Moth was the aircraft of choice at what was the period of peak RAF power and importance, so by definition is the most significant training aircraft.
    4. Spitfire - somewhat inevitable. I toyed with the idea of being contentious and saying the Hurricane, but in the end would go with a Spitfire. Since to me that aeroplane is all about grace; and because the ultimate action was the Battle of Britain, it has to be an early model - a Mark 1.
    5. Avro Lancaster - a representative from Bomber Command is inevitable, and therefore a Lancaster is inevitable
    6. Short Sunderland - the war would have been lost had the Battle of the Atlantic been lost, so a Coastal Command aeroplane is needed. Patriotism towards British manufacturers in what is after all a quasi national memorial gives the nod to the Sunderland over the Catalina.
    7. Gloster Meteor - the first British jet in active service.
    8. Avro Vulcan - projection of power, Cold War style. An icon of the era.
    9. Vickers VC10 - you have to have a transport; and rather than the obvious Dakota, how about an iconic British design that lasted almost fifty years in RAF service - half the life of the RAF.
    10. Hawker Siddeley Harrier - a technological revolution and an aeroplane with a distinguished combat record in modern times, notably in the Falklands. A game changer there when nothing else could have operated.

    Tom
     
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  16. Hunslet589

    Hunslet589 New Member

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    BP Defiant....

    The type took part in the Battle of Britain and there is a complete example in Hendon.

    Add to that the fit of a merlin engine which makes maintenance easier alongside the existing spits and hurricanes.
     
  17. 35B

    35B Part of the furniture

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    A really interesting list, and which demonstrates how hard it is to bottle these up. You've missed two important selection criteria for a balanced history:
    1. imported or joint venture aircraft (I'm thinking Phantom, Hercules, Jaguar, Tornado, Typhoon in particular);
    2. helicopters
    To bring these two categories into play, I'm going to suggest tinkering with the basic trainer and transport items on the list, and having:
    1. Gazelle - the basic trainer helicopter, also representing co-operation with European aircraft makers
    2. Hercules - to my mind, the iconic big transport aircraft of the late 20th century.
    I'm very conscious that this leaves key designs off the list, in particular the Hunter, Lightning, Chinook, Jaguar, Phantom and Tornado.
     
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  18. big.stu

    big.stu Member

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    Not necessarily :) My choice of Mosquito is not actually my favourite aircraft, just what I thought would be a good fit with the other BBMF aircraft.
    They already operate Chipmunks for tail-dragger conversion - so a Moth would be a good choice from an earlier period.
    Now here you have two of the top three in my favourites (the Lightning is the other). Binning the Harrier was a travesty...
     
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  19. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Fair point - I could live with a Catalina rather than the Sunderland to represent the imported aircraft; or the Hercules as you say. I did wonder about helicopters, but don’t feel I have enough knowledge to judge the ultimate significance, though I almost put the Cierva Autogiro on the list, partly as a proto-helicopter, and partly because of the role acting as calibration targets for early radar installations: a vital, but largely overlooked story in our history of military aviation, and in particular representing the important 1930s historical strand of air defence rather than offence.

    Tom
     
  20. Copper-capped

    Copper-capped Well-Known Member

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    Fairey Swordfish?
     
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