The Rafwaffe or No.1426 (Enemy aircraft Flight) was a Royal Air Force flight formed during World War II to evaluate captured enemy aircraft and demonstrate their characteristics to other Allied units. 

The unit was established 21 November 1941 at RAF Duxford, made up of a small group of pilots who had previously been maintenance test pilots with No. 41 Group RAF. Attached at first to 12 Group, its mission was to demonstrate captured types to Allied personnel and expose them to "the appearance, performance, and even the sound" of hostile types.

The aircraft in the unit changed throughout the war as further later marques came into the RAF's hands in various ways, including capture by Allied troops, forced or mistaken landings by German pilots, and defections. The flight co-operated with the RAF Film Unit, for which the usual British markings were removed and original German restored. Aircraft were then passed to the AFDU at (RAF Duxford 1940-1943) where they were extensively tested before passing them on to the flight. Several aircraft were lost to crashes, or damaged and then cannibalized for spare parts. Others were shipped to America for further evaluation. In March 1943, the unit moved to RAF Collyweston. Beginning in early 1944, the flight made a round of U.S. Army Air Force bases in Britain. After D-Day, the perceived need for the flight declined.

The flight ceased operations at Collyweston on 17 January 1945,  reforming at RAF Tangmere on the same date, with unit codes EA, as the "Enemy Aircraft Flight" of the Central Fighter Establishment, which finally disbanded 31 December 1945.

Aircraft of No. 1426 (Enemy Aircraft Circus) Flight at Collyweston, Northamptonshire. Focke Wulf Fw 190A-3, PN999, undergoes an engine service while airmen re-paint the wings of Junkers JU 88S-1, TS472. PN999 was formerly 'Red 9' of I/SKG10, the pilot of which became lost while flying a night fighter-bomber operation to London and landed by mistake at Manston, Kent, on 20 May 1943. No. 1426 Flight collected PN999 from the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough, on 29 June 1943, after it had undergone tests at the Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment,Boscombe Down, Wiltshire. TS472 was captured intact at Villacoublay near Paris in September 1944 and was delivered directly to No. 1426 Flight, with whom it undertook some local flying in January 1945. Both aircraft were eventually passed to No. 47 Maintenance Unit at Sealand for storage in November 1945.

[Via © IWM (CH 15610)]

Focke Wulf Fw 190A-3, Werk Nr. 313, at RAF Pembrey, Carmarthenshire, after being mistakenly landed there by its German pilot, Oberleutnant Armin Faber, the Gruppenadjutant of III/JG2, on 23 June 1942. This was the first Fw 190 to fall intact into Allied hands, and was immediately sent to the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough, where initial flight trials were conducted, and where it was also repainted in British markings and given the RAF serial number MP499. In July, MP499 was flown to the Air Fighting Development Unit at Duxford, Cambridgeshire, where its performance was extensively tested in comparative trials with Allied aircraft. The aircraft was then passed to No. 1426 (Enemy Aircraft Circus) Flight, who continued flying it from Duxford and Collyweston, Northamptonshire, before it was finally struck off charge on 18 September 1943.

[Via © IWM (MH 4191)]

Messerschmitt Bf 109F-4/B, NN644, of No. 1426 (Enemy Aircraft Circus) Flight based at Collyweston, Northamptonshire, parked at Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire, during the unit's 11th tour of operational stations giving flying demonstrations. This aircraft, 'White 11' of 10(Jabo)/JG26, was hit by machine gun fire while attacking a corvette in the English Channel on 20 May 1942, and was forced to make a wheels-up landing at Beachy Head. The aircraft was taken the Royal Aircraft Establishment and then delivered to No. 1426 Flight on 21 August 1943. It was transferred to the Enemy Aircraft Flight of the Central Flying School at Tangmere, Sussex, on 31 January 1945 and went into storage at No. 47 Maintenance Unit, Sealand the following November.

[Via © IWM (HU 93024)]

Messerschmitt Bf 109F-4/B, NN644, of No. 1426 (Enemy Aircraft Circus) Flight based at Collyweston, Northamptonshire, parked near the control tower at Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire, during the unit's 11th tour of operational stations giving flying demonstrations. Although painted in RAF colours, the aircraft retains the 'White 11' and bomb symbol markings of its former Luftwaffe unit, 10(Jabo)/JG26.

[Via © IWM (HU 93025)]

Junkers Ju 88A-5, HM509, of No. 1426 (Enemy Aircraft Circus) Flight based at Collyweston, Northamptonshire, parked in front of the hangars at Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire, during the unit's 11th tour of operational stations giving flying demonstrations. Formerly 'M2-MK' of Kustenflieger 106, this aircraft fell into British hands on 26 November 1941 when its crew became disorientated following an abortive anti-shipping sortie in the Irish Sea and landed by mistake at Chivenor, Devon. HM509 joined No. 1426 Flight, then at Duxford, Cambridgeshire, on 11 December 1941, remaining with them until 26 July 1944, when it was struck off charge.

[Via © IWM (HU 93020)]

Junkers Ju 88A-5, HM509, of No. 1426 (Enemy Aircraft Circus) Flight base at Collyweston, Northamptonshire, is inspected by American personnel of the 8th USAAF at Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire, during the unit's 11th tour of operational stations giving flying demonstrations.

[Via © IWM (HU 93022)]

Junkers Ju 88A-5, HM509, of No. 1426 (Enemy Aircraft Circus) Flight base at Collyweston, Northamptonshire, in flight over the English countryside with Flying Officer D G M Gough at the controls.

[Via © IWM (HU 93021)

Junkers Ju 88A-5, HM509, of No. 1426 (Enemy Aircraft Circus) Flight base at Collyweston, Northamptonshire, in flight with Flying Officer D G M Gough at the controls.

[Via © IWM (HU 93023)]

Messerschmitt Bf 110C-5, AX772, of No. 1426 (Enemy Aircraft Circus) Flight based at Collyweston, Northamptonshire, on the ground at a USAAF base in England.

[Via © IWM (HU 93018)]

Messerschmitt Bf 110C-5, AX772, of No. 1426 (Enemy Aircraft Circus) Flight based at Duxford, Cambridgeshire, in flight. Originally '5F-CM' of 4(F)/14, this aircraft was intercepted by RAF fighters while on a reconnaissance mission on the morning of 21 July 1940. After being forced down near Goodwood racecourse, Sussex, it was taken to the Royal Aircraft Establishment and repaired with parts from another Bf 110C-5 forced down earlier. After handling trials with the RAE, it was flown to the Air Fighting Development Unit at Duxford, Cambridgeshire, as AX772 on 13 October 1941. On 5 March 1942, AX772 was transferred to No. 1426 Flight with whom it flew on a number of flying demonstrations and tours until moving to the Enemy Aircraft Flight of the Central Flying School at Tangmere on 31 January 1945. It was finally stored at No. 47 Maintenance Unit, Sealand, in November 1945.

[Via © IWM (HU 93008)]

Junkers Ju 88A-4, EE205, of No. 1426 (Enemy Aircraft Circus) Flight is started up at Collyweston, Northamptonshire. Originally 4D-DL of 3/KG30, the aircraft landed by mistake at Broadfield Down airfield (Lulsgate Bottom), near Bristol, after a night raid on Birkenhead on 23/24 July 1941. It was taken on charge by the Royal Aircraft Establishment and, after tactical trials with the Air Fighting Development Unit, was flown to No. 1426 Flight, then at Duxford, on 28 August 1942. In 1945 EE205 was transferred to the Enemy Aircraft Flight of the Central Fighter Establishment at Tangmere, Sussex, and finally to No. 47 Maintenance Unit for storage in November 1945. German markings have been temporarily re-applied to EE205 for film work.

[Via © IWM (CH 15606)]

Mechanics look over the cockpit of Messerschmitt Me 410A-3, TF209, at No. 1426 (Enemy Aircraft) Flight at Collyweston, Northamptonshire. This aircraft was formerly F6-OK of 2(F)/ 122, which landed intact and was captured at Monte Corvino, Italy. It arrived for testing at the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough, on 14 April 1944, and was also evaluated by the Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment, Boscombe Down. TF209 flew with the Fighter Interception Unit at Wittering from August 1944 until March 1946 when it was transferred to No. 6 Maintenance Unit at Brize Norton.

[Via © IWM (CH 15616)]

Fuente: 

Imperial War Museum | Wikipedia
1

Diario de la Guerra: 

Nación en conflicto: 

Idioma recurso: 

5
Your rating: None (1 voto)