World War 2 Documentary


RAF Scampton Aviation Museum in Lincolnshire

RAF Scampton Living History

RAF Scampton is an operational base close to Lincoln that houses active military, elite flying teams and an aviation museum.   The base provides guided tours around the grounds and through the museum.  Since this is an active base an advance reservation must be made with the Curator but requests are graciously accommodated in person at the main guard house or by phoning the base.  Admission is free and the tours are small.  Museum Curator, Roger Crisp leads several group and individual tours a week and provides visitors with a wealth of knowledge about the base and area history as well as his own personal accounts.

The Dam Busters

The first impressions walking on the base are made by the pre-war buildings. The surrounding seem eerily familiar, unchanged  from news reel films and world war II photos. The base and these historic buildings were all used in the 1955 film The Dam Busters.  The well-documented missions of the famed 617 Squadron from RAF Scampton come to life by just seeing the surroundings and buildings where the actual airmen were based and where the film cemented the images.  The preservation of these original structures makes RAF Scampton a great stop for both aviation and movie buffs.

The Red Arrows

RAF Scampton houses Britain’s most prestigious flying group, The Red Arrows the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team.   A thrill for all aviation fans is the opportunity to see the planes and pilots of this elite corps.  A tour to RAF Scampton takes Visitors inside The Red Arrows hanger  and provides a close up look at the famed red jets.  If you are lucky, you may meet one of the pilots or have the opportunity to see the team arrive or depart from this home base.

The Museum

Historic sites dot the Scampton base, original buildings, tributes to fallen airmen and the elaborate grave of Dam Busters Wing Commander Guy Gibson’s black lab.  The on-site museum houses a history of equipment and aircraft used through the years as well as  World War I era photographs and artifacts.  Models and mementos line the museum cases. There is also a small Chapel inside for those who wish to take a reflective moment.

Visiting RAF Scampton

Prior arrangements must be made to visit the base and museum.  Call in advance and bring your Identification with you for entry onto the base.

RAF Scampton

The base also hosts an annual open house that brings hundreds of visitors to see the artifacts, airplanes and buildings. Check with the base schedule to take part in these festive occasions.

Kelly Sallaway is a Scottsdale, Arizona-based writer currently on assignment in the United Kingdom.

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Thursday, January 6th, 2011 World War 2 Planes No Comments

Aviation Art – B-17 Flying Fortress

World War II produced some of the most exotic and fearsome prop-driven planes ever to soar across enemy skies. One of the most powerful weapons of the war was the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress. A heavy strategic bomber, the B-17 carried out daylight bombing operations while the RAF continued nightly bombing raids. B-17s dropped more than 640000 tons of bombs on European targets (more than the B-24 with its 450000 tons, and the rest of the US bombers put together, with their 460000 tons. But life wasn’t easy for these big bombing platforms. More than 4700 (one out of every three built) were shot down by German fighters and anti-aircraft flak. Let’s go on a raid with these heavy bombers. We’ll take them from English air fields across the channel and into occupied Europe. We’ll run into a hornet’s nest of German fighters, defending their homeland, and we’ll fight our way through to drop our bombs. Then we’ll reverse our field, drop a few more bombs, fight through more German fighter planes and make our way home. Mission accomplished. The background music includes Bing Crosby singing “The Bombardier Song,” followed by sounds of aerial combat from the soundtrack of “Twelve O’Clock High,” then a medley of three World War II songs sung by Vera Lynn — “If I Only Had Wings,” “The Badge From Your Coat,” and “Roll Out the Barrell.”
Video Rating: 4 / 5

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Saturday, December 11th, 2010 World War 2 Planes 12 Comments

Aviation Art – Medium Bombers B-25 and B-26

World War II produced some of the most exotic and fearsome prop-driven planes ever to soar across enemy skies. You met the North American B-25 Mitchell during the Doolittle Raid (see “Favorite WWII Aircraft – 30 Seconds Over Tokyo”). Now here it is in the European theater, where it teamed up with the B-26 Marauder as America’s medium bomber one-two punch. Heavily armed, the B-25 proved to be a sturdy aircraft with speed and range. It served well as a medium bomber, but later models, designated as attack planes, had the bombardier’s nose compartment removed and replaced by four .50 cal machine guns and four more in blisters on the sides. Eventually the Army added a 75mm cannon in the nose. It fired roughly but it could do severe damage to a tank or ship at a range of nearly two miles. The other half of America’s medium bomber team, the Martin B-26 Marauder, was also used both in Europe and in the Pacific, though it got off to a rocky start before the war, flying so poorly that pilots nicknamed it “The Widowmaker.” It was faster than the B-25 and performed better, but its smaller, higher wing called for a fast landing speed and some of the early models damaged their gear with hard landings. In warfare, however, the plane surprised everyone, ending up with the lowest loss rate of any Allied bomber. By the end of the war, the B-26 had flown 110000 sorties and dropped 150000 tons of bombs. Background music is “Overture to Ruslan and Ludmilla,” by Mikhail Glinka.

World War II produced some of the most exotic and fearsome prop-driven fighter planes ever to soar across enemy skies. One of the most unusual was the double-tailed, high-altitude interceptor, the Lockheed P-38 Lightning. Because it had twin Allison V-1710 supercharged engines, it was able to fire a Hispano 20mm cannon and four Browning .50 caliber machine guns from the nose. Used extensively in the Pacific against the Japanese, the P-38 also saw service in Europe, bombing and strafing ground targets. The Germans hated them enough to call them “fork-tailed devils.” Music is from World War II and includes “You’re a Sap, Mr. Jap,” and “Hot Time in the Town of Berlin.”

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Wednesday, December 8th, 2010 World War 2 Planes 2 Comments

Aviation Art – P-51 Mustang

World War II produced some of the most exotic and fearsome prop-driven fighter planes ever to soar across enemy skies. North American Aviation came up with the P-51 Mustang which entered service during the middle years of the war. A fast, sleek, durable fighter, the Mustang started as the P-51A and P-51B, powered by the Allison V-1710 engine with a supercharger that limited abilities at high altitude. The P-51B and P-51C began to see action in 1943, usually carrying four .50 in M2/AN Browning machine guns and external tanks for added range. The breakthrough P-51 came with the P-51D, when a bubble canopy was added and the Allison engines gave way to the Packard V-1650, a supercharged version of the Spitfire’s Rolls-Royce Merlin engine, with wing guns increasing to six .50 in Brownings. Improvements continued to come in the P-51E, P-51-F, P-51G, P-51H, and P-51J. The brilliant fighter went on to sweep the skies, acting as bomber escorts, and with their numerical superiority, managed to sweep the skies clear of German fighters. Music is from World War II and includes “There Are No Wings on Foxholes,” and a medley consisting of “If I only Had Wings,” “The Badge From Your Coat,” and “Roll Out the Barrel,” sung by Vera Lynn.

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Friday, December 3rd, 2010 World War 2 Planes 9 Comments

Gatwick Aviation Museum – A Sanctuary of War Ridden Aircrafts

On the southeastern suburbs of England, sits a quiet, homely and picturesque county called Surrey – a province that overlooks a number of regions in the United Kingdom. A historically acclaimed town with a population of over a million people, this beautiful country boasts remarkable tourist attractions for an enthusiastic traveler to bask in. Surrey is eagerly known for its landscaped woodlands – which are among the best attractions that stand out in its areas.

One of the other leading attractions in Surrey is the Gatwick Aviation Museum situated on the border of the Gatwick London Airport.  The museum is neatly tucked around a charming village in Charlwood, Surrey. Considered as an international attraction this aviation museum was first built in 1987 by a local businessmen showcasing his private collection of aircrafts. After which in 1999 it became a registered facility to entertain children, people & war heroes to witness the crafts that were used in the times of the World War II. It soon became an international phenomenon and attracted thousands of tourists year round.

The Gatwick Aviation Museum has a vast collection of British aircrafts that took to the skies during the gruesome WWII. These birds of fury were known to be among the best-manufactured aircrafts that featured innovative and advanced machinery and weaponry during its time.  However, after years of flying these preserved aircrafts sit pretty at the museum for you to see.

A traveler is graced with more than just a sight of these warplanes; you will be offered a educative tour around the hangers, descriptive tours about each plane and information about this highly accomplished museum.

Some of the planes showcased will be the Sea Hawk that was a Single seat Jet fighter that ruled the skies in the 1950′s, the BAD Jet Provost a trainer aircraft, the Hawker Hunter the British Bluebird Jet fighter, the Hawker Siddeley Harrier that includes a number of unique features, the Sepecat Jaguar one of the foremost ground attack aircrafts, the English Electric Lightning a supersonic fighter jet aircraft are among the many exhibits.

Travelers looking for a conveniently situated Gatwick airport hotel for accommodation requirements can look forward to reserving a room or two at the prestigious Copthorne Hotel London Gatwick. By being one of the leading Gatwick airport hotels that offer you nothing but fine facilities and services you will be spoiled for choice.

Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry.

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Wednesday, December 1st, 2010 World War 2 Planes No Comments

Aviation Art – P-39 Airacobra

World War II produced some of the most exotic and fearsome prop-driven fighter planes ever to soar across enemy skies. Bell came up with the design for the P-39 Airacobra, which was the leading US fighter at the beginning of World War II. It had no supercharger, which put it at a disadvantage and started a rush to create a better pursuit plane for American flyers, but the P-39 nevertheless had an excellent World War II record with the British, the Australians, the Poles, the Portuguese, the Free French, the co-belligerent Italians, and especially the Russian Air Force which took great numbers as lend-lease. In fact, thanks to the Russians (and the others), the P-39 ended up with the greatest number of kills of any US fighter. It carried a 37mm T9 cannon which fired through the nose cone, as well as a varying number of .50 caliber machine guns in the wing and nose. The engine, an Allison V-1710, was mounted in the fuselage behind the pilot. A later model was designated the P-63 Kingcobra. Music is “Goodbye Mama, I’m Off to Yokahama,” and “Der Führer’s Face.”

RC Airshow in NY
Video Rating: 5 / 5

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Tuesday, November 30th, 2010 World War 2 Planes 16 Comments

Aviation Art – P-40 Warhawk

World War II produced some of the most exotic and fearsome prop-driven fighter planes ever to soar across enemy skies. Curtis was on the scene early with the P-40 all-metal Warhawk fighter that first flew in 1938. An outgrowth of the earlier Curtis P-36, the P-40 was a beautiful plane, but it had no two-stage supercharger which ultimately made it inferior to the Luftwaffe’s Me-109. Nevertheless, while waiting for American designers to catch up to other World War II aerial combatants, the P-40 worked hard and fought heroically on several fronts. It is perhaps best known for the service it did in the Chinese theater, where American airmen entered the war against Japan as “mercenary” soldiers and flew the shark-toothed P-40s of the Flying Tigers. But the P-40 also saw service in the Middle East and North Africa as a lend-lease British plane (several had been built for the French, but the French were out of the war) and as an American fighter. A later model, the Kittyhawk, also became the US Army’s chief fighter in the Pacific. Music is from Johann Pachelbel’s “Canon in D Major.”
Video Rating: 4 / 5

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Wednesday, November 24th, 2010 World War 2 Planes 12 Comments

Aviation Art – WW II Soviet Air Force

World War II produced some of the most exotic and fearsome prop-driven fighter planes ever to soar across enemy skies. The Soviet Air Force was not all that ready when World War II broke out. They had sent some of their newer planes to Spain to test them again German aircraft, but industry was running behind. At the beginning, Germans had little trouble with Russia’s antiques, but an infusion of newer lend-lease aircraft from the US and Great Britain, as well as the rapid improvement of Russian industry, soon leveled the playing field. By the end of the war, Soviet aircraft production was putting up numbers superior to German industry. In all, some 150000 Soviet planes were built during the war, and more than 125000 of them were built for combat purposes. Chief killers among the Soviet fighting planes were the Yak-9, the Ilyushin IL-2 Sturmovik, the MIG-3, and the American P-39. Music is the Soviet National Anthem, followed by “Farewell of Slavianka,” and “Katyusha,” all three performed by the famous Soviet Army Chorus.

German WWII Aircraft After the War

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Monday, November 15th, 2010 World War 2 Planes 42 Comments

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