North American B-25J “MITCHELL” of Flying Bulls fleet is heading for Sliač Airport

1. July 2018 6 Aktuality

With its cool retro look, the gleaming silver Mitchell is a very special highlight, even in the Flying Bulls valuable collection. On the first weekend in September this most dazzling aircraft will attract the visitors of International Air Fest Days SIAF 2018 on its premiere.

Without a doubt one of the most beautiful aircraft of the North American fleet, the performances of the Flying Bulls’ “Mitchell” remain a highlight – as well as its perfectly polished exterior, which still makes the B-25 what it used to be all along: one of the most dazzling aircraft of the USA fleet. Qualities of the aircraft were recognized by its Flying Bulls pilots when they were asked the qestion of aircraft preference - Airbus 380 or B-25?

Raimund Riedmann - Flight Operations Manager & Chief Pilot Fixed Wing is not in a doubt in this. According to his response  Mitchell is flying in its purest form, without electronic aides and computers. Pilot Hans Pallaske also preferes B-25 which really demands excellent flying skills. For the Lufthansa pilot Frederic Handelmann flying B-25 Mitchell is always immensely fascinating. It is a dream come true for the avid pilot.

The aircraft story

This North American B-25J “MITCHELL“ was built in Kansas City in 1945. It shared the good fortune of the Corsair of the Flying Bulls fleet in never having to fly off to war. Instead it was used as an electronic test platform. Later it was flown to Arizona’s 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.

The aircraft enthusiasts enter the picture

In the 1980s a flying club in Kansas City bought the Mitchell, rechristening it the Fairfax Ghos. The club continue to fly the plane until 1994, when it was discovered and, after some discussion, purchased by Sigi Angerer, former chief pilot of The Flying Bulls. 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 US. 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. 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.

 A bit of history

Between 1941 and 1945, North American Aviation produced about 10,000 B-25 aircraft, characterized by their distinctive twin tail. The aircraft’s trademark features are its glass nose and tail guns. Some versions came equipped with a turret on the upper and lower side of the fuselage instead of a rear gunner station.

The most frequently built version of the aircraft is the B-25J, which is also owned by the Flying Bulls. Compared to older aircraft types, it comes with many improvements such as de-icing equipment. The glass tail of the demilitarized version is one of the Flying Bulls fleet’s most popular photo locations and vantage points. The two 14-cylinder twin radial engines produced by the Curtiss-Wright Corporation power the aircraft’s propellers with 3400HP, allowing for top speeds of more than 500km/h.  

Source: (press info)

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