Classic Aircraft - February 2012

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FEATURES

BLACKBIRD AT 50
A celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Lockheed Blackbird family, from the first A-12, which made its maiden flight in 1962, to the last SR-71s

BIRTH OF THE BLACKBIRD
The conditions of secrecy in which the first Lockheed A-12 made its maiden flight 50 years ago remained for the entire programme — and for years afterwards. Now, though, the men involved can tell their fascinating stories

BRITAIN’S BLACKBIRD
Just one SR-71A can today be found on British shores. Fittingly, the example at the Imperial War Museum Duxford is closely associated with Mildenhall’s legendary Det 4

THE LONG GOODBYE
Many felt that the USAF should never have retired the SR-71 in 1990, and their views seemed to be vindicated when, in 1995, the type was returned to service. However, this comeback was itself short-lived

BLACK MAGIC
A Classic Aircraft exclusive — we go air-to-air with the Israeli Air Force’s black Spitfire IX and talk to its pilot Oded ‘Dedi’ Rosenthal

YEAR OF THE DRAGON
How pleasing that Aer Lingus should have decided to salute its history by returning to flight in 2011 DH84 Dragon Iolar
‘GROWLER’ ROARS AGAIN
Not for many years has Shackleton WR963 looked better, thanks to the considerable efforts of the Shackleton Preservation Trust

GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
…or, more correctly, ‘Not Gone but not Forgotten’. British Midland was one of the UK airline industry’s greatest success stories before being rebranded as bmi, but the name has since been brought back to some prominence

T-28
Never has there been more interest in Europe in the North American T-28, that most warlike of trainers. Talk to those who own and fly the type, and it’s not hard to see why

‘A £16-MILLION WHITE ELEPHANT’
That was how the Daily Mail once described the Bristol 188, and it wasn’t wrong — except that the cost of this research jet carried on going up

THE MAGIC OF MORANESAULNIER
To the French, Morane- Saulnier is as famous a manufacturer’s name as is de Havilland on British shores. However, its products, not least the charismatic Morane ‘parasols’, deserve wider recognition

REGULARS

NEWS
Seven pages of top stories from the aircraft preservation scene...
• Plans to save Woodford’s Vulcan
• Harriers arrive at Cosford and Yeovilton
• Rescue hopes for Aviodrome
• New Hellcat project launched
• Jerry Yagen’s Mosquito ‘rolled out’ ...and much more!

AIR MAIL
Win a Corgi model for our Letter of the Month!

HINDSIGHT
Historical reflections from Bruce Hales-Dutton in Aircraft’s opinion column

DAVID HALFORD’S DISPATCHES
Our much-travelled contributor David Halford reflects on his recent assignments and unusual aspects of aviation history
FLIGHT BAG
Reviews of the latest aviation related products for the discerning enthusiast