Built in 1944 as a UC-64A with US serial 44-70515, this Norseman was delivered to the UK and flew briefly at the Norwegian training base at Winkleigh, Devon in May 1945. On joining the R Norwegian Air Force it was given the identity 'R-AF', flying on wheels and floats. In 1959 it was sold as LN-TSN and again to Sweden in 1963 becoming SE-CGM. It is now operated by the Norwegian Spitfire Foundation. Making its first appearance in the UK since 1945 at Duxford in 2017, it is seen here overwintering in the museum hangar at Gardermoen and flies from Kjeller aerodrome in summer.
Outstanding among the delightful collection of KZ types kept at the Danmarks Flymuseum is the KZ IV twin-engined ambulance aeroplane from 1944, one of only two built. Considered by the museum as one of their most prized exhibits, KZ IV OY-DIZ was designed and built for the Danish flying ambulance service known as 'Zonen' and benefitted from the concession allowed by the wartime occupying German forces for medical flights. Powered by two Gipsy Major X 130hp engines, it possessed excellent short-field performance. It crashed in 1979 but after an extensive rebuild, remains in flying condition.
The fourth and last in the present series of BA retros is this 747 in the 1980s 'Negus' livery. Although BA's 747-100s and 200s appeared in this scheme originally, by the time that the first 400s were delivered in 1989, the 'Landor' livery (now applied as the retro scheme on G-BNLY) had been adopted.
In December 2018 this ERJ became the second aircraft to carry the eye-catching World of Tanks livery, promoting a videogame of that name. Like the first, a Belavia 737-300, I was very lucky to catch a glimpse of sun as it landed at Gatwick at the end of a service from Minsk - this is only the aircraft's second visit to the UK in these colours, the first being on a grey day. By the time it was side-on, the sun was gone.
Making its first fully sunny arrival at Heathrow, the superb BEA retro on finals from Zurich. BA, you have done a fine job here. Note the red under the wings, although for reasons quoted as something to do with 'reflectivity', they have not been able to do the same on top. For me this iconic livery is the best of their retro set - a scheme I last photographed on an operational aircraft in 1971.
Taken just 9 hours into 2019, making the best possible start to the aviation photo New Year... Bell's Turbo Dak is seen here departing Bournemouth but came back a few minutes later with a fault. The long flight from Canada was not without difficulty either, having got stuck for over a week in a snowstorm at Goose Bay, eventually arriving at Bournemouth from Reykjavik on New Year's Eve. It is apparently on its way to a survey job in Croatia.
Another member of the HNA empire, Chongqing-based West Air inaugurated service in 2010, adding its first international route to Singapore in 2016. At the time of writing the fleet comprised 30 A319/320.
Pulling off runway 04L after landing, this A320 was reportedly in store for eight months till August 2018, but now sports this special livery featuring Paul Frank, an American cartoonist and fashion designer.
Three Uni-Top B742Fs are presently stored near the end of Wuhan's runway 22L. I was fortunate in that Air France let me use the empty business-class cabin to catch some photos of them as we took off, as there were no other right-hand window seats free.
Special scheme promoting Pand-Auto, described as a car-hailing platform for new energy vehicles which will be exploring autonomous technologies, launched in conjunction with Baidu, the local equivalent of Google (barred in China).
Rather like when the state-controlled Aeroflot was broken up with the demise of the USSR, one of the benefits for the enthusiast travelling in China is discovering airlines that you'd barely if ever heard of - Kunming-based Ruili was one such example for me. Such is the nation's burgeoning airline industry that they already have 18 737NGs, including this ex-Air Berlin example, and have 737MAXs and 787s on order.