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FlyPast October 2020

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The October 2020 issue of FlyPast features a whole new concept for our uncertain times – a drive-in airshow. The Shuttleworth Collection came up with a successful idea – allowing people to attend an airshow at the hallowed Old Warden airfield from within a dedicated vehicle allocation area. It was perhaps the world’s first ‘socially distanced’ airshow. The first edition of the event took place on July 18. It proved a success and certainly featured some memorable flying – including the distinctive and ever popular de Havilland DH.88 Comet, which graces this month’s cover.

The story of the Griffon-powered Seafire – the final development of the venerable Spitfire family. With the ultimate sea-going variant weighing twice as much as the first examples of its land-based counterparts and capable of flying more than 100mph faster, we examine this potent aircraft. Our retrospective includes rarely seen images and exclusive profile artwork.

Assistant editor Jamie Ewan speaks to warbird legend Steve Hinton about his love for the F8F Bearcat, and his recently resurrected example of the famous Grumman type.

Having survived everything the enemy threw at him, John Hemingway is now the last known veteran of the Battle of Britain. Jonny Cracknell recounts some of his incredible story.

Morten Jessen and Andrew Arthy describe the often-overlooked role Luftwaffe Focke-Wulf Fw 190s played across North Africa, Malta, and Sicily between 1942-43.

Robin Brooks recounts the service and resurrection of a much-travelled Gloster Meteor F.8 – WK914.

Also, in the first of our features celebrating de Havilland’s 100th anniversary, Ken Ellis describes how the firm managed to survive following the disastrous loss of a pair of Comet jetliners in 1954. In addition, we delve into details of one of the USAAF’s leading combat units during World War Two, and its fabled commander, Don Blakeslee – the 4th Fighter Group. And while the world might appear to have slowed down due to the coronavirus pandemic, the warbird restoration family battles on – we bring you news of two Spitfires that have returned to the air in the UK, and there’s more to come.