009 – Journey to Notodden – Part 2

It wasn’t until I arrived in Norway that I learned that Thore Thoresen is a well-known aviator in the country. He is as much a part of the story as is the T-28! When he is not flying exciting airplanes, his “day job” is as a mechanical engineer designing oceanographic instrumentation. He says, “I was born into aviation. My dad was a private pilot and curator at the Norwegian Museum of Science and Industry. My first memories in life are from the airport and seaplane base in the weekends. I started building and flying model airplanes early on, which I still enjoy doing. I think I knew just about every airplane type there was by the time I was five. RC model design, building and competition took most of my time for many years. I started flying gliders and soloed at fifteen. Later I got involved as a volunteer with Anders Saether’s Scandinavian Historic Flight which operated a Harvard, a P-51 and an A-26.”

This was a fantastic period for Thore. “I learned a lot about warbirds, and we went to airshows all over Europe with the Invader and Mustang. RC was still my main activity, but eventually I got my Private Pilot License. I started out on the Piper L-4. I soon moved on to aerobatics in a Decathlon, and started competing. After a couple of seasons, I flew in the Advanced category in an Extra 230. I’ve flown in two World Championships, and I’m a 7-time Norwegian champion and Nordic champion in 2015. Around 2005, I started flying the Harvard. After flying the Harvard for a couple of years, time finally came to fly the Mustang. This was certainly the high point of my flying career, and I certainly feel very lucky to have done that.”

Sadly for Thore, the P-51 was sold out of the country. “The urge to fly a high performance aircraft was strong, and the T-28 had always been high on my list of desirable airplanes. I started looking at the possibility of getting a T-28 to Norway, and when my friends Runar Vassbotten and Frode Granlund, who previously owned a Stearman and a T-6, showed interest, things started to happen. Runar and Frode formed the Norwegian Flying Aces, and after looking at a great number of Trojans, we found a very nice example in Canada. The Norwegian Flying Aces bought it and imported it to Norway. I got checked out in the T-28 in Australia, flying with Matt Handley at Aerotec, and was ready when the plane arrived in Norway in June 2017. I love flying the T-28, and look forward to many missions ahead!”

On Saturday afternoon, it was finally time for the air-to-air photo mission of the T-28. My photo ship was the Harvard, flown by Thore’s good friend Joakim Kobro, He flies a Boeing 737 for Norwegian Air Shuttle and the Stearman and Harvard for the Norwegian Flying Aces and also owns an RV-4. Kobro is a true aviator, and I was happy to be flying with him.

 

Jan Erik Arud captured this image of me providing ballast in the back seat of the Harvard. Joakim Kobro did a terrific job of flying me into perfect position to photograph the T-28.

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The sunlight was perfect, the sun angle was perfect, the background was perfect, and the flying was perfect. A picture speaks a thousand words…

All things considered, this was one of my most successful photo flights, thanks to Thore and Joakim. Also, a special thanks to Runar Vassbotten for his generous help and cooperation during this successful visit to the Norwegian Flying Aces in Notodden.

As darkness fell, the pilots got ready for their night show. Here are a couple of random photos taken at the show.

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The T-28 created an impressive silhouette against the spectacular sunset.

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Joakim Kobro flies LN-FTX, the Norwegian Flying Aces Stearman into the sunset.

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Sunday, September 3 was the day of the Telemark Air Show, and it was a good show. My only disappointment was the sun angle…I spent the entire day shooting into the sun. Still, through the miracle of Photoshop, I was able to come up with some pretty decent images of some very interesting airplanes. The show began with Thore Thoresen demonstrating why he is the national aerobatic champion in Norway, as he put his Extra EA-230 (LN-CAN, MSN L30004) through its paces. Having watched him fly some relatively tame routines in the T-6 and T-28, I was unprepared for his breathtaking aerobatics in the Extra. It was an impressive start to the show.

LN-ACN, MSN L30004 is Thore Thoresen’s Extra EA230

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LN=BIF, MSN T437228, Fairchild M-62A (PT-19) registered to Nedre Romerike Flyklubb Veteranflygruppa

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It might not have been be the most heart-stopping performance of the show, but this plane certainly gave the most artistic. LN-GUD, MSN 59.A.14.016,  SZD  59 ACRO, registered to Ingebretsen Vidar Stene

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Here’s an interesting airplane. LN-HJD, MSN 334, is a EUROPA XS, registered to Espedal Ole Christian

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LN-KGB spent the day giving rides to enthusiasts.

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LN-LBS, Kjetil Dalseid’s  YAK52W did what a Yak 52 does best…aerobatics

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The oldest performer at the air show was probably this DH-82A LN-MAX, MSN 85738, registered to Nedre Romerike Flyklubb Veteranflygruppa

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LN-NCC departs after the show

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LN-OCK, MSN 1268. Sud Aviation SE 3130, regustered to Christer Breiseth Myhre

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LN-OJJ, MSN 12, was an interesting IAR 316B registered to Johansen Kåre Ja

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LN-OUS, MSN 154777 is a UH-1E registered to Bakke Stig Erling

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This EC-135P2 operated by Norsk Luftambulanse AS was not a participant of the air show, but it sure made a nice addition to my collection of photos from Notodden. LN-OON is MSN 1033

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Joakim Kobro showed off some impressive aerobatics to the crowd in LN-PFX, the Harvard-4 registered to Norwegian Flying Aces .

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Sameiet Warbird Aviation also brought its AT-6D, LN-WNH, MSN 8814552

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LN-XTR, MSN 66, EXTRA 300, registered to Skauen NilsReidar

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It was finally time to make my way back to Oslo. Carl-Christian Gunnestad, another of Thore’s friends and fellow pilot with was one of the pilots I spent time with during the weekend. He was flying a Cessna 206 on floats, and had offered to fly me back to Oslo, rather than having to endure another long bus-and-train ride. Not only was it totally convenient, but on the way to Oslo, I was treated to some of Norway’s breathtaking scenery.

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There was one more surprise waiting for us. I knew that Carl-Christian had been talking with Joakim, who was returning home in his RV-4, but I didn’t know what they were talking about. About 20 minutes into the flight, Carl-Christian said, “Look out your right window.”

What a way to end a memorable trip to Norway!

P.S. My article on the Norwegian Flying Aces T-28 can be found in Issue 77 of Warbird Digest.

 

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