Friday, 17 February 2012

Film Stars Arrive at Luton Airport

Welcome, Its May 1978, and we have driven the Mini Van into the gathering gloom to Luton, but a one off event is about to occur, its after 9pm and the lens of the Mamyia is wide open. Out of the darkness a formation of B25's appear and break for landing after a remarkable journey across the atlantic.

Led in by the late Jeff Hawk a somewhat dubious character in the preservation / freight charter market, Five B25's  have routed via Miami across the mid atlantic to the Azores then onto Luton. A sixth B25 flown by a pilot subscribing to the "there are old pilots and bold pilots but no old bold pilots" theory arrives early the following morning via the conventional Goosebay Reykjavik route.

The B25's are here to film Hanover Street  co-starring  Harrison Ford and Lesley-Anne Down.  The aircraft are quickly wheeled into the old Courtline hangar and resprayed in their film colours, to depart 2 days later to the former RAF Bovingdon  for filming.

Unfortunately after filming the fleet moved on to Blackbushe where they were parked out for a while before Jeff Hawk flew them individually at airshows around europe until each was dumped where it went u/s and eventually  sold for scrap in lieu of unpaid bills. as far as I am aware none made it back to the USA.

I believe a film was made of the Atlantic crossing and shown on TV. If anyone knows where I could get a copy please let me know.



N7681C   44-86701

N9455Z 44-30201 'Tokyo Express' you can judge the light by the a/c lights and Britannia's illuminated sign.

NL-9494Z 44-30925 'Laden Maiden'

N86427 painted as 'Brenda's Boys' about to depart for Bovingdon.

And so as the Mini Van disappears into the dark night we say goodbye to Roger and Reggie till next time.

All photo's available as 6" x 4"  prints, please email for details


  1. Cool to see photos of these B-25s as they looked before getting dressed in uniform again. Do you by any chance have any other photos from the same day? Although it is true that they got scattered all around Europe in various state of disrepair, only one has been lost. N7681C burned up in a hangar fire around 1990 after being traded to the Air Force museum at Le Bourget. N86427 went u/s in Malaga during a movie assignment, and was later taken on by the museum at Cuatro Vientos near Madrid. N9115Z was eventually traded to the RAF museum, and sits at Hendon. N9455Z sat in Avignon with a blown engine for some time before being ferried back to Chino. It sat for years on the ramp, but is now being restored for a P-51 owner based in Tulsa, OK. N9494Z went from one location to another in the UK, looking more and more derelict with each move. It was sold to a group in Belgium who is planning a static restoration. So things could have ended much worse, although I would have preferred it if they had kept on flying. Be aware though, that most were marginally flyable when they embarked on the journey!

  2. Forgot though. The film of the ferry flight is apparently available here: