Sanicole Air Show 2015: B-25 360 Cockpit View

  • Sep 16, 2015 1:03pm GMT
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We've seen 360 cockpit views from aerobatic planes, airliners, fighters and jet demonstration teams, and its great to see the warbirds get in on the fun too.

Watch this stunning view from the cockpit of the Dutch B25 Mitchell bomber while they perform their demo at the Cosby Victory Show in the UK earlier this month. The Mitchell is escorted by two P51 Mustangs which you'll see breaking away to the right when the formation crosses the show so be sure and select a right view from time to time to see the fighters.

I'm heading to the Sanicole Airshow in Belgium where the B-25 will make its next appearance and I'll be filing more stories, photos and video from the show. Check out their impressive line up using this link: Sanicole Airshow

Royal Netherlands Air Force Historic Flight’s B-25 Mitchell bomber, PH-XXV, (based at Gilze-Rijen AFB in Holland) was built by North American at its factory in Kansas City, Missouri in 1944 as a B-25J-20-NC. It then joined the US Army Air Force until it was put into storage at Davis Monthan AFB in 1958.

The Mitchell was subsequently sold, joining the civil register as N320SQ, and was converted for cargo operations. During 1989 the aircraft was bought by the Duke of Brabant’s Air Force in Holland and restored to its original configuration. The Mitchell’s current scheme represents an aircraft flown by the Netherlands East Indies Air Force from Australia during World War 2. The B-25s of No. 18 Squadron were painted with the Dutch national insignia (at the time a rectangular Netherlands flag) and carried NEIAF serials.

The Royal Netherlands Air Force Historic Flight operates an impressive fleet of historical aircraft (see photos below the video) that flew with the RNLAF or RNL Navy Air Services. An exception to this is the Stinson L5B of the late HRH Prince Bernhard who was not only a supporter of Dutch military aviation, but also of the group.

The Dutch government was the first foreign buyer of the bomber. During World War II, the Mitchell served in fairly large numbers with the Air Force of the Dutch government-in-exile. They participated in combat in the East Indies as well as on the European front. On 30 June 1941, the Netherlands Purchasing Commission, acting on behalf of the Dutch government-in-exile in London, signed a contract with North American Aviation for 162 B-25C aircraft. The bombers were to be delivered to the Netherlands East Indies to help deter any Japanese aggression into the region.

In February 1942, the British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) agreed to ferry 20 Dutch B-25s from Florida to Australia travelling via Africa and India, and an additional ten via the South Pacific route from California. During March, five of the bombers on the Dutch order had reached Bangalore, India and 12 had reached Archerfield in Australia. It was agreed that the B-25s in Australia would be used as the nucleus of a new squadron, designated No. 18. This squadron was staffed jointly by Australian and Dutch aircrews plus a smattering of aircrews from other nations, and operated - at least initially - under Royal Australian Air Force command.