Thursday, 13 April 2017

Russ Snadden 'Black 6' - blue skies

I read on the Black 6 FB page that Russ Snadden passed away in early March. I never met him but remember that I was thrilled when he contacted me back in 2006 to talk about the JG 300 history (Jean-Yves Lorant, Richard Goyat) which had I translated into English from the original German/French text. Which I was very happy to do of course. I think all who visit this blog will be forever grateful to Russ and his team for their magnificent restoration of "Black 6". Thanks to him many of us here would never have had the chance to see a genuine Bf 109 in the air.

".. 'Black 6' is the bitter sweet story of the efforts of (mainly) one man, Russ Snadden and his small team at RAF Benson - against the indifference and even antagonism of the MOD/RAF hierarchy - to restore Bf 109 G-2 'Gustav' 'Black 6' back to flight. Incredibly against such odds he prevailed and for a short while Black 6's distinctive DB 605 engine note thrilled all who were lucky enough to hear it (Below; a photo taken at the VIP 'Roll out' at Benson in 1991). ..The MOD meanwhile  were not really interested in supporting this restoration even when it was successfully flying again. Following a landing accident it was grounded and put on static display at Hendon. In the meantime a few lumps of rusty metal were found on the Goodwin Sands and the decision was taken to spend a small fortune in recovering what turned out to be a Dornier Do 17 of unknown provenance in an open ended restoration project of very little interest to anyone. For a fraction of the same expenditure 'Black 6' could still be flying..."   Ian Waudby