Inside Issue #79 of Warbird Digest

Photo by John Dibbs

I am excited to announce a new addition to the Warbird Digest team. Many of you are familiar with John Dibbs’ wonderful photographs from the pages of this publication. John has joined the team as Creative Director. As an experienced photographer and designer, his input will be invaluable as we continue to improve of our offerings. While he is well known for his photography, many of our readers may not be aware that John’s passion is the history of the aircraft that he photographs. When we first sat down to discuss how we could work together, it was immediately apparent that we were kindred souls. We are excited about what the future will bring in our partnership.

Along with that announcement I am sure you have noticed we have made a few changes to Warbird Digest with this issue, including an expanded page count. Our goal is to continually improve the quality of the publication, and we hope that these changes enhance your reading experience. We have also added several new departments to the magazine, areas of interest that we believe will appeal to the warbird owner as well as the enthusiast. We are anxious to get your feedback on both our new departments and the enhanced design of the magazine.

We recognize that some of you are seeing the magazine for the very first time. We have begun to extend our distribution to European warbird owners, starting with the United Kingdom’s. You may also be reading this issue because you received it at Flying Legends, The Fighter Collection’s outstanding annual event that takes place at historic Duxford Airfield, Cambridge, England, each July. We are excited to be working more closely with the fine folks at The Fighter Collection, as well as other European warbird operators.

We also recently spent two weeks visiting warbird restoration facilities and operators in the United Kingdom. Like their counterparts in North America, these shops are busy with  a wide range of interesting projects for owners from around the world. We are excited that these contacts will provide our readers in-depth coverage of some of these projects as they return to the air. Our cover story in this issue is one such historic aircraft; although it first flew some time ago, we felt it was worth revisiting the history of this rare Spitfire Mk. Ia, a star of the recent movie, Dunkirk.

On the subject of Spitfires and film, we offer our readers the inside look at the production of Spitfire, a stunning documentary that will premiere in London on July 9th, just prior to its theatrical release. Having had the opportunity to review much of the film, I can highly recommend it. The film was made possible through the cooperation of a number of Spitfire owners who provided the amazing flying sequences seen in the film. Films like Dunkirk and Spitfire give warbird operators a unique opportunity to showcase their aircraft and expose them to the public. These films are worthy of our support.

Our profile of John Dilley in this issue was especially meaningful for me. I have known John for over 30 years, and in fact he gave me my first Mustang ride when I was 17 years old. Now retired from the warbird industry, John still has a vivid memory of his early days flying Mustangs in the infant period of the warbird movement; and he was candid in sharing them with our readers. I think you will find it an entertaining read.

Thank you for your support of Warbird Digest!

Tim Savage


Flight Log – UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD, Progress reports from the warbird industry, including the unveiling of Memphis Belle.

In Focus – EXCLUSIVE SPITFIRE DOCUMENTARY – Warbird Digest goes behind the scenes during the making of Spitfire The Feature Documentary, a new feature film.

Collecting – BRITISH WORLD WAR TWO SUPER MODELS – Warbird Digest guide to aviation ephemera. This issue we look at the range of British recognition models from World War Two.

Tailspin – SHINE ON YOU CRAZY DIAMOND – Warbird Digest ’s guest columnist, Nick Grey.

MAKING OF AN ICON – The legend of X4650. The immaculate restoration of Comanche Fighters’ historic Spitfire Mk. Ia.

‘ ET’ COMES HOME – After extensive research the Cavanaugh Flight Museum has refinished their A-1H Skyraider in its original combat colors. Warbird Digest delivers the whole story.

SPELL OF THE NIGHT WITCHES – Low and slow was the name of the game for the “Night Witches.” The The Shuttleworth Collection has preserved an important part of World War Two history: the Polikarpov Po-2.

TWO WEEKS – Art Nalls accomplished what many deemed impossible: the civilian operation of a Sea Harrier. Warbird Digest looks back at the challenges of returning this amazing aircraft to the air.

‘DILLEY DID IT’ – John Dilley was a pioneer of the warbird movement and he sat down with Warbird Digest to share a glimpse of his career.


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