Here’s an incredible story and video of the accidental take-ff of the Victor long range RAF bomber some years ago. Fortunately nothing serious happened at this instance !

Here’s a Youtube video of the only Me-262 jet fighter still flying…… Say and think of the wartime Germans what you may, they had some awesome engineers and technicians……

ClassicFlyers-nzI have to apologize I guess for leaving this site hidden in the bushes for so long. Fact of life unfortunately is that I don’t have enough time to see to its updates regularly. Such is life…… maybe when I retire in 20 years or so….. for now you’ll just have to suffer very few and irregular update intervals.

The reason I posted this is in fact a wake-up call by one of my readers, sending me info on a wonderful museum waaaaaaaaaay down the world from here….. in New Zealand! If you ever get the chance to visit Tuaranga Airport then please check ut the Classic Flyers Museum here !!!



Luck of a Lancasterlancastercover

by Gordon Thorburn

“….During her career, well over two hundred airmen flew in J. None were killed while doing so, but ninety-six of them died in other aircraft. This is their story, and the story of one lucky Lancaster…..”.

200 pages, hard cover. That may not seem like much. It is less than one page for every man that served on the Lancaster bomber with registration W4964, WS-J, aka J-Johnny Walker. Still, it took me quite some time to read the book. Where ‘read’ is probably not the proper word. I rather ‘researched’ it. And that takes time.

Lancaster W4964 beat all the odds, seeing that it performed well for over 2 years – from April 1943 till October 1944, made 107 operational flights in that period, and survived the war….. and even the century ! Average lifespan for a Lancaster in front-line duty at that time was 22,75 flights only !

Read the rest of this entry »

WW2G-titlrAnd here’s another bit of news. Recently yours truly was asked to assist in researching the whereabouts of a WW2 glider pilot who flew gliders in three distinct European WW2 operations: Overlord Neptune (D-Day landings), Market Garden (battle of southern Netherlands) and Varsity (battle of securing Rhine bridges near Wesel.

Robert Brown’s father was the pilot and together we are trying to find where exactly he landed. And to make more use of all the stuff we turn up in our search, I decided to write a book about the ‘quest’ AND to keep a blog of the work we do on this project. So if you are interested in learning more, follow us here on the blog of WW2Glider !

FSClassics websiteRelated to old aircraft, aviation history and World War2, and linked firmly to the flight simulator hobby so many hundreds of thousands of people all over the world still indulge in, here is !

Set up initially to further the products of FSAddon Publishing, notably their WW2 range of aircraft, it is now expanding into much more. Our latest project, called Normandy 1944, will be featured and followed extensively on this site. The aim of Normandy 1944 is to re-enact the D-Day landings within the flight simulator….. not so much as an action adventure – we don’t do shoot-em-up games – but more of a living, 3D diorama of the situation before, during and after the invasion of June 6t, 1944.

There is room for other information too of course, and ultimately ‘aviation’ is still the main theme of the site!

Arno Gerretsen and Francois Dumas will have a shared booth at the NL2000 group. They are both enthusiasts of Google Sketchup, with Arno being the ‘Pro’ and Francois the ‘Amateur’. Together they’ll do a presentation on Sketchup for Beginners at 15:00 pm.

In their booth they’ll be ready to tell you all about – and SHOW you! – Google Sketchup and its tools, ways and possibilities.

Arno is the ‘main man’ behind, the world’s main forum, wiki-site and container-of-nice-tools for FS developers and enthusiasts.

Francois is of course the owner of FSAddon Publishing, SupportMyFS (soon!),  AVClassics, Silver Cloud Publishing and a few other FS related ventures, and writer, photographer and traveler of anything-aviation for the past 40 years or so.

COME AND VISIT THEM to learn more, or just for a chat about our favorite passtime: Flight Simulator.

Venue: Aviodrome aviation museum, Lelystad, The Netherlands. November 5 and 6, 2011 !

It is with sadness in our hearts that we must inform our readers of yet another one of history’s great Canadian aviators passing away last Friday, September 23rd, and exchanging this earthly existence for that place where they really belong: the sky.
Glenn Norman posted the article below on Facebook and we’ll have it on some other places on the Internet too.

Our thoughts are with his dear wife Kate Beckett, his children and family and his many friends all over the world.


Michelle and I first met Glenn Mathews and his wife, Kate “Not-the-one-on-Castle” Beckett, when they sent us a lovely E-mail saying how much they’d enjoyed watching a clip from our DVD “Flying the Finch” on YouTube.

We discovered Glenn was a WW2 Air Crew Veteran, one thing led to another, and before you knew it, the couple made the trip all the way from Victoria B.C., to Guelph Air Park, Ontario, where – thanks to “The Tiger Boys,” and Pilot Bruce “Rotten” Paylor – Glenn managed to get up for one more flight in his beloved Fleet Biplane.

During the inevitable “hangar-flying” that took place after the flight, we began to hear more and more of Glenn’s extraordinary stories. And the more we listened, the more incredible this man’s life became to us.

We managed to convince Glenn to write up his aviation tales, then he allowed us to post them on our aviation web site   So, throughout June, 2010, we, and our WhyFly visitors, got to hear the life story of this amazing man and his incredible adventures.

Because of the last interview we did with Glenn, we came to think of him as Why Fly’s “Godfather.”  🙂
We stayed in touch and even managed to convince Kate to contribute some of her own wonderful images to WhyFly.
We had hoped the couple might manage another trip “Back East,” but I’ve just learned … that possibility no longer exists.

At 1 a.m. on Friday, Glenn passed away, with his beloved Kate sleeping peacefully by his side.

We’ve known for some time that this moment was coming, and yet now it has happened … Michelle and I find ourselves heart-broken.

Not just for the loss of this wonderful man, but for the gaping hole he has left in the life of “His Kate” – and all the rest of us who had the honour of knowing him.
Glenn was one of the ever-decreasing members of “The Greatest Generation,” that Band of Brothers (and Sisters) who took to the air and offered up their lives in the cause of Democracy.
It is because of Glenn and his fellow Veterans that I am here today.
As I was born in post-war England, I owe them my life – literally … and it is a debt I remember – and try to repay – each and every day.

So – most sincerely – Rest In Peace, dear Glenn. And know you will not be forgotten.

As for Kate … may you gain some solace from knowing that the love you and Glenn shared will be with you all the days of your life.
It will never change. It will never weaken. He will always be there whenever you need him.

For – truly – Love Never Dies.


And now, may I present to you the story of Glenn Mathews’ life – written in his own hand (with a couple of extra-special videos added on for good measure).

We will miss you dear friend.
It was an honour to have known you.

With love, and deep undying respect,

Glenn Norman & Michelle Goodeve


The Life & Times of Glenn Mathews:

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Part Five

Part Six

Glenn Mathews goes Wing-Walking

Our final interview with Glenn

Yesterday I added a new museum to the list, the National Air Force Museum in Ohio, North America. The problem for some of us is that these wonderful places can be too far away to visit. It is not for everyone to just hop in a plane and fly to Europe, or vice versa.

The nice thing about THIS museum is that you can see a LOT of it on-line, on their awesome website here.

So unfortunate to have two wonderful relics crash. And so FORTUNATE to have both pilots safe and nobody hurt…. The Big Beautiful Doll Mustang got hit from below just at the tail by the bulky Skyraider it was flying with. Apparently the Skyraider pilot lost sight of the P-51 in his left turn somehow.
Awesome video… put it at HD and fullscreen!

Climbing out of the Mustang and using his parachute was amazing in itself…. at 500 feet ! Well done !


The loss of P-51 Big Beautiful Doll at Flying Legends 2011. from David Taylor on Vimeo.

Wow, how weird! The site I have the least time for lately – THIS one – is attracting the most visitors of all of my sites except for FSAddon !

That in turn tells me I need to spend more time on it……. THANKS for visiting all of you interested in Classic Aviation !!

Nina and I have been traveling quite extensively. We visited Aruba (and our daughter living there for a few years), then Florida (where one of our dearest nieces lives), followed by Washington, Alaska and California, before heading home via Paris.

I was fortunate to visit the Fantasy of Flight (professionally), the Boeing Museum in Seattle and subsequently fly to Ketchikan, Alaska, where we had a 2,5 hour flight through the foggy Misty Fjords in a DHC-2 Beaver. That was one of my dreams fo these past 8 years of ‘bush flying’ in MS Flight Simulator. I even visited the people in the Tower at Ketchikan Airport.

The I flew a small Vans RV4 owned and built by an enthusiastic Alaskan Airlines pilot, followed by a Taylorcraft owned by yet another Alaskan pilot! We – and me in particular with all this flying stuff – had an awesome time with our friends in Seattle!

And last but not least I visited the USS Hornet aircraft carrier in San Francisco, found Schelville Airfield (and a few other little fields) near Napa, and finally made it to the old Castle AFB, now a museum, down in Merced, CA.

I’ll be posting pictures of all of this of course, but now I have to catch up with work, work and some more work and, oh yes, AVClassics !

Don’t get me wrong, I am not opposing speed sports in any way. Have been racing carts and cars myself and would have loved racing motorbikes. But racing dogs, horses, turtles or aircraft is a bit outside of my circle of interest.

Then again, if that’s what others like doing, let them. Each to his own and we only live once.

No, what I am alluding to is the ‘Ultimate’ class at Reno. That’s the class where people with too much money and not enough culture destroy perfectly good historic WW2 fighters to change them into something they were never built for and never meant to: silly race planes with cut-off wings and nitro engines.

That’s where I draw the line, personally.

I will support each and every person and initiative that tries to keep old WW2 warbirds alive, even if it means adding some modern day radio or navigation equipment to satisfy general safety (good) or rules set out by not-understanding government authorities (not so good). And maybe these pilots flying the souped-up, cut-off Mustangs and Bearcats even love their planes. Good for them.

But pulleez, if you have that much money, do me a favor, get yourself an NFL team and show off in another way.

Leave the few icons we have left and thank our democracy to in their original state!!

September 17-18-19 at the Goodwood Estate, south of England, THE event for vintage motoring enthusiasts and vintage airplane lovers alike, coming together in the unusual and unique setting of Goodwood. Check out the ‘Featured‘ page !

Historic Flight Foundation has worked 6 years to get this wonderful DC-7B back to where it belongs: in the AIR !!!

Today the Gloster Gladiator for Flight Simulator X was released, modeled by Simon Smeiman of South Africa. Today’s ‘computer airplanes’ look really incredibly realistic compared to the simulators 20-30 years ago. Almost real!

I  was able to take lots of pictures of the ‘real thing’ so Simon could model the cockpit as close to reality as possible. The photographs were taken of the still flying Gladiator of the Shuttleworth Collection in the UK, based at the Old Warden airfield on the Shuttleworth Estate. Absolutely worth a visit, or even more than one!

I’ve posted a few pictures of the real and of the model below…. just click on the link Read the rest of this entry »

… and not much happened. HERE, that is. Because we worked very hard on getting Why Fly filled with lots more content and quite some changed ‘under the hood’ as well. That means that AVClassic had to sit and wait a bit. But it is good to see that we have started attracting visitors already and I’ll be adding more content here too.

Don’t forget to check out the Google Calendars we have here. I can’t announce all changes,but AM adding new content and events every couple of days.

Thanks for your interest and support !!!

Added a bunch of great Canadian aviation museums to the ‘North America’ museum list today. And also to the map of course.

Yes, no new additions these past 2 weeks. That’s because yours truly was away on a trip through Europe. We’re back now and I’ll continue to add new content. we have some great tips fro various readers that all need to get included. Thank you for contributing !!!
Oh, and if all goes well the posts here will also be echoed on our Facebook page automatically!

We greatly value ANY help in keeping this site running!

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