A veteran aircraft of the 1940’s, this hard-working B-25D Mitchell will fly the route used by Bomber Command to relocate WW II lend-lease bombers to the United Kingdom. In honor of all the air crews that perished while moving bombers to the European Theater, “Grumpy’s” flight crew will arrive in the United States carrying the Royal Air Force Pooley Sword commissioned by the Royal Air Force Museum American Foundation.  The sword is to be presented annually to the Royal Air Force Officer on exchange with the United States Air Force who has made the most significant contribution in that year to Anglo/American relations.

Built in North American Aviation’s Kansas City plant, B-25D-30 Mitchell 433318/N88972 was delivered on October 27, 1943 to the USAAF’s advanced flying school at the 402nd Army Air Force Base Unit at La Junta, Colorado. After flying 1,551 hours with the USAAF, the bomber was overhauled at the Kelly Field Depot, Texas. One of 70 B-25Ds included in a 1944 lend-lease transaction, “Grumpy” also served the RAF. Post-war, the hardy aircraft flew as part of Northwest Air Command responsible for the defense of Western Canada. Early in 1962, “Grumpy” was struck off charge and sold by the Crown Assets Disposal Corporation to Joe Goldney of Vancouver, BC. Subsequent private owners have included North Star Aviation of Fairbanks, Alaska (forest fire fighting service) and Noel Merrill Wien of Anchorage, Alaska.

In 1987, after spending more than a decade in storage in Anchorage, “Grumpy” was acquired by The Fighter Collection of Duxford, U.K., and then flown to B-25 rebuilders Aero Trader of Chino, California. The aircraft was ferried in November 1987 to the United Kingdom by the late John Crocker, Aero Trader co-owner Tony Ritzman, and Stephen Grey of The Fighter Collection. For 17 years, “Grumpy” participated as “a fan’s favorite” in many European air shows. After some more storage time at North Weald airfield, the plane was sold in May, 2008 to Historic Flight Foundation, Paine Field, Washington, and restored to airworthy condition by Aircraft Restoration Company in Duxford, England.

sword


It takes 1,400 gallons of gas to fill Grumpy’s tanks each time we stop.  Be a donor.  Join the flight crew.

Historic Flight Foundation, 411 University St., Suite 1200, Seattle, WA 98101.

Donate@historicflight.org


August 28th

Mr. Tim Manna, RAF Museum

Mr. Tim Manna, RAF Museum

Fill 'er Up

Fill 'er Up

Changing Sky

Changing Sky

Through the Looking Glass

Through the Looking Glass

The Office

The Office

Spit Fuselage

Spit Fuselage

In the Sky in 2010

In the Sky in 2010


The list of credits for the B-25 Mitchell bomber includes many “firsts”: It was the first army plane to see action on every fighting front of WW II, the first to sink a submarine, and the first medium bomber to fly from a carrier deck. Yet it was designed in just 40 days, without wind-tunnel tests or prototypes. The plane’s initial flight occurred in August, 1940. Designed to carry a 3,500 pound bomb load and a crew of 5, it easily carries a heavier bomb load at a cruising speed of 200 mph, with red-line at 340 mph. Its wingspan is 67 feet, 6 inches, with fuselage length of 54 feet. It measures 15 feet, 9 inches from the runway to the top of its twin tails. The B-25 empty weighs 20,300 pounds, but when loaded to capacity weighs 35,500 pounds. Two Wright Cyclone engines—each delivering 1,700 hp—drive Hamilton hydromatic propellers. B-25D “Grumpy” is fitted with a special bomb bay ferry fuel tank, allowing the aircraft to remain airborne for over 11 hours.


August 29th

_MG_1954

Good looks, and brains too!

Good looks, and brains too!

Coast of Iceland

Coast of Iceland

Enormity

Enormity

Pilot gives signal for more altitude

Pilot gives signal for more altitude

Feeling small

Feeling small

Winter wing in August

Winter wing in August

Adios

Adios

Teamwork

Teamwork

Landing in Iceland

Landing in Iceland