The Red-winged Blackbird

Gallery Article by Dave Bailey, aka The Rat on Jan 7 2019

Silly Week 2019



After the discovery in 2017 of 140 Supermarine Spitfires that were buried in Myanmar after WWII, well-heeled aviation buffs descended on the site to make purchases. All were in crates and in pristine condition, all they needed was reassembly, engine checks, fuel, and pilots. One of them was recently retired RAF Squadron Leader Simon Boothman, who decided to honour his surname by becoming a racing pilot, like the legendary John Boothman (no relation), a pilot in the famous Schneider Trophy races of the 1920s. 

Click on images below to see larger images

During visits to North America on exchange tours he had developed a fondness for the red-winged blackbird, a colourful harbinger of spring, and as fierce in its defence of its territory as the Spitfire was. He decided to paint his aircraft in a striking scheme of red and black, and he headed west to try his luck at Reno. The Mk22 was, without a doubt, the most elegant warplane in the Unlimited Class, and it was no surprise when it took top place in its very first appearance. S/L Boothman intends to keep racing as long as his body allows him, and future appearances in the winners ranks are all but assured.

Enjoy the photos.

The Rat

Photos and text by Dave Bailey