My lasting memory of Mark Hanna (I never had the priviledge of meeting Ray) was when he did an air display in the Mustang formerly known as 'Moose' at East Fortune one weekend in 1999. He stayed for the weekend and answered lots of questions, even letting the public (and staff) sit in the Mustang. Somewhere I have a photo of me in the cockpit with Mark in the foreground.
He thought I was Australian and when I said I was born in NZ, he said he loved visiting NZ. When he left on Monday morning, he did the best impression of a combine harvester I've seen an aeroplane do. He was below the line of hangars! That low level fly past was talked about for ages afterwards - as well as what a swell chap he had been with us and the public.
Less than a week later he was badly burned in a landing incident in Buchon G-BOML in Spain, from which he never recovered.
Last Edit: Feb 14, 2012 16:46:10 GMT 12 by nuuumannn
Post by Gavin Conroy on Feb 14, 2012 19:58:17 GMT 12
Always enjoy the threads on two of my favourite aviators of all time. When I was putting the book together with the pilots I asked John Lamont and Keith Skilling to write some special memories they had of these two great people which they did and I really appreciated that as Ray and Mark had to be included. I always get a buzz when flying alongside the former OFMC aeroplanes and they include the Stearman, Harvard, Kittyhawk, Corsair, and the magnificent La-9. Will always remember asking Mark what the Mk XIV Spitfire was like to fly and he let me jump in the cockpit and explained every detail. It will be quite emotional when the Mk XIV flies again. The displays Mark flew in that aircraft were stunning to say the least. Then speaking with Ray about the time he swapped a Harrier for the La-9 and getting it flying, he played down his role but thank goodness he got hold of the La-9 so we could get to see how awesome it was and no doubt we all know how highly Ray regarded the La-9. Both Ray and Mark were always willing to give encouragement in regards to being around Warbirds, it was infectious at times.
In regards to other forum threads, I have no time for people that whine on, and try and out do each other but covering todays pilots is very important and like Nick says their are so many fine aviators in NZ.
I won't mention anyone by name as having the thrill of flying with dozens of great RNZAF, Warbird, and civilian pilots the following is my main observation. Over the years a lot of us often find ourselves standing in groups at airshows etc with a few of these gifted aviators. The group is sometimes big and sometimes small as aviators change careers, move to a new country, stop flying or pass away. However you will always find the up and coming pilots joining the groups and eventually finding themselves flying some lovely aircraft for the enjoyment of us all. They have all had to work hard to get there and we all apreciate the commitment and drive to make it happen.
By the way, Mumbles that shot of Mark looking over his shoulder in the 109 is just brilliant.
Can only imagine Rays response when he saw this video. Watching this never gets old
Post by johnnyfalcon on Feb 14, 2012 21:00:20 GMT 12
My bestest ever moment watching these two perform was with te addition of TT Bland in a tail chase at Wanaka '98(?) Mustang, Mustang, Yak-3 going hell-for-leather after each other with Mark leading in the Yak. Ray separated to perform a solo tribute to the scene out of 'Empire of the Sun' while TT continued hot on Mark's tail down the Clutha river below the aerodrome level. All-the-while with the music from the movie playing and the pure symphony of these three V-12s is full song echoing off the mountains in the still, pure air that is Wanaka...I still get shivers up my back from reflecting on that very, very special moment. I salute you all!
Post by spitfire14 on Feb 14, 2012 21:44:10 GMT 12
Great photos and memories folks. Thanks for sharing and please keep them coming!
Johnny Falcon, that was the '96 Warbirds over Wanaka and yes great displays. Also loved it when Mark closed the display with a stunning solo display in the 109- magic! Really enjoyed the interview with Mark on the 1992 Warbirds over Wanaka official dvd, talking about the Buchon and dogfighting the Spitfire in it.
Dave, that is an awesome video on the Flypast Forum- two 109's, one each of Hurricane, Spitfire and Lancaster; what a sight and sound- two Daimler-benz, one Griffon and five Merlins WHOAH!!
Gavin, that clip is classic....love watching it also haha Awesome that Mark let you sit in the Mk XIV Spitfire. Never saw it flying originally but as much as all the Spitfire marques are beautiful and I love the classic shape and sound of the Merlin powered Spitfires, there is just something about the XIV- oozes power, speed and aggression with that beautiful long nose. Can't wait to see NH799 fly!!
This clip features Ray leading the Red arrows in the late 1960s (The footage starts with the modern hawks, then goes back to the gnats). This footage reminds me a lot of the RNZAf jetobatics film - but look at how LOW they go. You can actually see the artistic Hanna Creativity!
If it was supposed to be easy. everyone would be doing it...
James, did you ever write that book you were talking about years ago all about MH434?
No. I wasn't planning on writing it, but compiling and editing it. While some were very helpful with photos, that's where it stopped. It's still on the long list of possible book projects, but dormant.
Great shot nuuumann! And what a memory for you....like you say, doesn't happen everday!
Dave, I meant to also say re your point of no other Kiwi pilot getting the honour that Ray Hanna did; I remember thinking at the time that it was a bit strange that they never did a missing-man or some tribute to Mark at Warbirds over Wanaka 2000, apart from a poem and a few photos at the front of the programme. Sure, he wasn't a Kiwi as such but his dad was and that made him part-Kiwi and his contibution to Warbirds over Wanaka and the New Zealand Warbirds scene was huge! They flew a missing man in honour of Ray at the 2006 show which was great to see.
Since Wanaka '96 seems to be a favorite - here is some more Mark & Ray. (Some have been posted a while ago in Black 02 thread).
Apologies for the small size -- these were scanned many moons ago, and I just grabbed these from iPhoto.
Now, the kicker. Who took the 109 photos ? This has been "nagging" me for something like 16 years --- the photos were in a bunch of stuff I had developed on site - i.e. at the airshow. I got my photos, but some one else's negatives.. Seeing Johnnyfalcon's photos made me wonder :-)
Last Edit: Feb 15, 2012 11:31:02 GMT 12 by davekiwi
Hi Johnny Falcon, once you've scanned the pictures, you can reduce the size of the image using some sort of photo editing software. You can download free editing software that is practically the same as Photoshop, called Paint.net. Look it up online.
Once you have that, open each picture and go into 'image', where you can change the dimensions in pixel size or by real measurements. I scan mine at 800 pixels across - take a look at my images in this thread.
You can clean the image up by using what's called 'noise reduction'; that gets rid of the graininess, but be careful, if you use too much, you lose detail. See my Corsair pics as an example of too much noise reduction - they look a bit 'painted'. You can also alter the colour, brightness, contrast etc...
I'm no expert at this and I just play around, mainly because most of my pics that I post are scans of photos that are not great quality anyway. There are guys on here who do a far better job than I and could give you better advice, but getting photo editing software is a start - better if it's free.
Last Edit: Feb 15, 2012 23:03:23 GMT 12 by nuuumannn
Continuing on the Hannas, like most of you I only had a fleeting acquaintance with Mark and not at all with Ray, but I thoroughly enjoyed their flying. Their company, The Old Flying Machine Company is a shadow of its former self and both owner/operators had big plans for it. Here are some pics of some of the OFMC's aeroplanes.
One aircraft that Mark was a big fan of was the F-4 Phantom, since he flew them with the RAF. Somewhat ambitiously, OFMC purchased a Phantom with the hope of flying it as a display aircraft. This is an image of Phantom FGR.2 XV474, formerly of 74 Sqn, which Mark flew with. Note the sponsorship logos.
Sadly, that dream never happened - imagine an OFMC fly past comprising Spit, Mustang and F-4! XV474 today sits silent in the museum at Duxford now, next to a step ladder.
Here is one of the OFMC Harvard in a rather imaginative and attractive scheme, which I can recall has been posted on this forum before in the Harvard thread.
It was repainted like this, very dull; certainly not as neat as it appeared in the faux RNZAF markings - the off colour Autumn weather doesn't help, either.
OFMC's now sadly deceased Mustang G-HAEC was a Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation built example and once wore 3 Sqn RAAF markings, but became Big Beautiful Doll in the mid 1990s, a stalwart of the British airshow circuit for many years until it clipped the wing of a Skyraider at Legends last year and was destroyed. Thankfully, no one was killed.
We are all familiar with NZ3009.
Also this one, which was, from what I read, one of Mark's favourites. Undergoing maintenance:
Ray in the cockpit at Legends '97
I thought I might include this pic because I like it. Note the array of types in the background, Mosquito, P-40, Staggerwing, two Lysanders, Gladiator, Fury, two Rapides about to do a beat up...
It always gave me a sense of pride to see that Corsair in those markings at airshows in Britain - soppy fool - and I had the same conversation quite often whenever it made an appearance; I would overhear people state that it wore Fleet Air Arm Pacific markings, so I'd timidly butt in and proudly state that it was a Royal New Zealand Air Force Corsair. That was usually met with stony silence and a withering look that said "f**k off.."
The Hannas also had a Sea Fury under rebuild, but often got their time in on this Baghdad Fury, note the absence of an arrestor hook.
Looks rather more warlike in the Iraqi markings than the FAA ones.
More to come...
Last Edit: Feb 16, 2012 1:07:51 GMT 12 by nuuumannn
Continuing the Old Flying Machine Company post, to illustrate the diversity of types that the Hannas collected, here are some more of their aircraft.
L-39 used in the opening sequence of the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies - the film did, though...
OFMC's CASA built He 111 hiding behind a Messerschmitt... again. This was purchased in Germany and flown to Duxford slung underneath a Heeresflieger CH-53. Note the IA-58 Pucara captured in the Falklands, in the background.
The Bf 108 is an original German built example and is operated by Lufthansa and the Deutches Technic Museum.
This little French parasol fighter is a Dewoitine D-27 and was operated by the OFMC on behalf of its owner; it made its UK airshow debut at Legends '97
One of a number of Hunters operated by OFMC over the years, this was one of the Patrouille Suisse display team. It's dull camouflage was off set by the big Swiss flag painted on its underside.
Formerly owned by OFMC, this T-33 Silver Star never actually flew with them and remained a static example. It was restored to flying condition and sprayed in this tidy Canadian scheme by the Aircraft Restoration Company. This photo was taken in 2001 just after it had been wheeled out of the paint shop. I was surprised to read recently that it was written off after take off from Duxford in 2006.
Three of the former Eastern Bloc jets that the Hannas began collecting.
MiG-17 in North Vietnamese colours
East German MiG-21
and finally, Polish built MiG-15UTI, or WSK SBLim-2.
In the background can be seen the F-86A operated by the Golden Apple Trust, the oldest airworthy Sabre in the world. To the right is the tail of the T-33 as OFMC had it decorated.
The following is a list copied from another forum, but modified. Included are aircraft such as the Dewoitine and Sabre that were operated by the OFMC on behalf of their owners, as well as airframes that were not completed by the time the OFMC sold them.
Spitfire IX, P-51D, Buchon, Fury ISS, Bf 109G10, FG-1D Corsair, Spitfire PR.11, P-40E, T-28, Spitfire LF.XVIe, F4U Corsair, Dewoitine D-27, S.E.5a, Broussard, TBM-3 Avenger, Pilatus P-2, Jungmann, Stearman, French built Fieseler Storch, Yak-50, AT-6, T-33 Silver Star, SBLim-2A, L-39 Albatros, Hawker Hunters, Sea Fury T.20, MiG-17, MiG-21, Phantom FGR.2, Yak-11, Yak-3, Harvard Zero Conversion as well as the wreckage of an actual A6M - I think, Sea Fury TT, F-86A, Su-22, Meteor, Spanish built He 111, Harrier GR.3, TS-11 Iskra, La-10.
That's all folks, diggetty diggetty...
Last Edit: Feb 16, 2012 1:07:14 GMT 12 by nuuumannn