Frankie leaves Duxford

News March 2018

Nigel Lamb displaying P-51D Ferocious Frankie, which has now left the UK for Turkey.
BEN DUNNELL

Duxford’s longestresident North American P-51D Mustang, G-BTCD Ferocious Frankie, left the Cambridgeshire airfield in the hands of Lee Proudfoot during the morning of 16 January, heading for the MSÖ Havacılık Müzesinin (Air and Space Museum) at Sivrihisar in the central Anatolia region of Turkey.A leading light of this operation is aerobatic pilot Ali İsmet Öztürk, who visited the UK with his much-modified Pitts S-2S Ali’s Purple Violet in the mid-2000s.

The former Royal Canadian Air Force fighter arrived in the UK from California for Stephen Grey in 1980 wearing an overall red scheme, but was soon repainted at Heathrow into USAAF camouflage with the nose artwork Moose on the port side and the name Candyman to starboard. After a period based in Geneva, the P-51 made its debut at the Biggin Hill Air Fair in 1981 with Ray Hanna at the controls, and subsequently moved to Duxford along with the rest of The Fighter Collection’s burgeoning fleet. In April 1999 it went to Duxford’s other major warbird operator, the Old Flying Machine Company, and three years later adopted the personal markings of P-51D Ferocious Frankie, flown by USAAF ace Maj Wallace E. Hopkins of the 374th Fighter Squadron, 361st Fighter Group, who was credited with eight victories and 1.5 damaged. The OFMC’s operation of Spitfire IX MH434 is, incidentally, unaffected by the Mustang’s departure.

The Mustang as Moose at Duxford on 21 May 1989, while operated by The Fighter Collection.
MIKE SHREEVE