North American B-25J Mitchell (N6123C) from the Red Bull "Flying Bulls" at the ILA 2006, Berlin-Schönefeld (Germany)
(Internationale Luftfahrt-Ausstellung, ILA or International Aviation Exhibition - also known as Berlin Air Show)
The North American B-25 Mitchell was an American twin-engined medium bomber manufactured by North American Aviation.
It was used by many Allied air forces, in every theater of World War II, as well as many other air forces after the war ended,
and saw service across four decades. The B-25 was named in honour of General Billy Mitchell, a pioneer of United States military aviation.
By the end of its production, nearly 10.000 B-25s in numerous models had been built.
With its cool retro look, the gleaming silver Mitchell is a very special highlight, even in the Flying Bulls valuable collection. Built in Kansas City in 1945, it shared the good fortune of the Corsair in never having to fly off to war. Instead it was used as an electronic test platform. Later it was flown to Arizonaís Davis Air Force Base, an aircraft cemetery, to be mothballed. Apparently it was well treated there, because in the 1970s a fire fighting firm purchased the aircraft in order to put it to work putting out fires from the air. However, it was never put to that use. And now the aircraft enthusiasts enter the picture: in the 1980s a flying club in Kansas City bought the Mitchell, rechristening it the Fairfax Ghost. The club continue to fly the plane until 1994, when it was discovered and purchased by Sigi Angerer, later to become the Flying Bulls chief pilot. The collection, after all, already included the Corsair, the T-28B and the Grumman Widgeon, and a B-25 would be – at least temporarily – a new highlight. But first there was lots of work to be done, because the Mitchell was not at all in good shape. First it got a complete overhaul in the United States, it was restored and converted into a civilian version with a comfortable interior. By September 1997 the work had been completed to the point that the Mitchell was ready to undertake the flight to Europe across the North Atlantic. At the beginning of 2001, the aircraft was moved to Salzburg Airport, Austria.
Now the Mitchell cuts a good figure, whether serving as a photographic model at "Hangar 7"
or taking part in one of the many great air shows in which it flies.
- Matthijs van Wageningen
- Created on
- Friday 19 May 2006
- airplane, airshow, aviation, B-25, Berlin Air Show, Berlin-Schönefeld, Flying Bulls, Germany, ILA, International Aviation Exhibition, Internationale Luftfahrt-Ausstellung, Mitchell, N6123C, North American, Red Bull
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