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G. I. Flight

It's all very well to have fighters capable of hundreds of miles per hour, and bombers able to drop literal tonnes of bombs; you do also need some clue as to where to aim them.

That's where the spotter plane comes in. Whilst there were aircraft which could take very accurate cameras and shoot images from miles above the Earth's surface, there was also nothing like up-to date information gained from an often-vulnerable spotter plane a few hundred feet up and flying absurdly slowly. They made for easy targets, unfortunately, but their images were invaluable.

There's another problem with warbirds - sticking someone who's literally never flown before and giving them 1100hp and an aircraft which needs to land at near 100mph tends to break more aircraft than not. If you can take a cheap, strong, easy to build aircraft and get them to start flying around with more like 60 hp and a landing speed of 35mph then learning to fly becomes somewhat easier.

So light, strong, cheap and plentiful aircraft very much have their place and GI Flight gives the ultimate demonstration of that. Piper Cubs, one of aviations true masterpieces, are still very sought after today - some designs are just right and never grow old. This year another type of aircraft joins the Cubs - the iconic Tiger Moth.

Tiger Moths are English, but this particular one wears entirely accurate markings and has US stars on it. This did happen, as the US did indeed operate non US aircraft. Because it's the US they could pick and choose aircraft, so far from all types of British aircraft wore US colours, just the best ones. The Tiger Moth is one such example of this collaboration; another US pick? The Mk IX Spitfire you'll see at the end of the show. So there you go, more iconic warbirds, only with these don't worry if you blink - you won't miss them.

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