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and safely home

Aviation Posted on Thu, December 05, 2019 14:35:08

After an epic round the globe flight the Silver Spitfire landed safely back at Goodwood earlier after not attracting am awful lot of publicity, it seems to me, during its 4 month trip. Anyway congratulations to all involved and its grand to see the merlin engine can still perform so well.

I did toy with going to Dover to see it fly over but don’t really have the time at present and it could have been a wasted trip as the Spit was fog bound at Lelystad for a while. I kept tabs on flight tracker and as it was at over 5,000′ heading for the channel it seemed unlikely a decent snap was in the offing so I stayed in Ramsgate. I did pop up to the cliff as it was approaching my lunch break when it was arriving over the UK but didn’t get a sight of it.

Visit to USAAF Glatton 1-12-2019.

Aviation Posted on Tue, December 03, 2019 21:40:29

On the way down to IWM Duxford on Sunday morning, I called into the former USAAF Glatton just after Peterborough on the A1 and first thing that came into view was the water-tower which has stood firm all these years. I had a look around the airfield area just old times sake. Traces of perimeter track are still there and I must check if the ‘Blister’ hangar adjoining a mediam sized hangar at the flying club is an original one off the airfield and if it is indeed standing on it’s original position. There is a memorial in Connington Church but there sadly is no access to it because since I last viewed it with ‘H’ someone has gated off the entrance and you are reminded that it is ‘private property’ so do be aware of this if you want to view that memorial and the stone pilots heads looking toward the airfield. The memorial by the water tower is still there and in good condition and has not been vandelised in anyway. It does help I suppose with a house overlooking across the road keeping tabs on things. On the Village Green there is a memorial on a post similar to the one myself and Rebecca and Peter saw at Thorpe Abbotts. Anyway I took some snaps but not too many because it was bloody nippy and up and coming was the 10 o clock bag search at Duxford.

IWM Duxford visit 1-12-2019

Aviation Posted on Mon, December 02, 2019 22:34:59

Called into IWM Duxford 1-12-2019 to see if there was any movement on the Bristol Beaufighter but I found it as always in it’s normal position in the TFC Hangar. CR.42 still no change there, drip tray under the engine and the term that springs to mind is ‘how long is a piece of string’. Sally B was under going the works in hangar two and opposite was the Plane Sailing PBY also under going winter engineering. P-47D Thunderbolt ‘Nelle B’ was in the hangar along with a Sywell Mk V Spitfire. All red Fokker Triplane was in the same hangar and at the back of Sally B was the ARCO Lysander and with some other tits and bits. It’s Wild Hawg has been moved since I was last there. Did manage two shots with the mobile phobe of the Spad replica in the AAM hangar. No sign of the TFC Mk 22 expected or the Sea Fury.

Bad day at Duxford

Aviation Posted on Sun, December 01, 2019 23:15:53

Called in to Duxford today having nothing much to do whilst ‘Little Legs’ was at work and this left me pondering what to do. So drove down for two hours via a stop for breakfast at Peterborough Sevices. Parked up in the Duxford carpark as normal and gained access to the entrance ready to pay to get on the premises. So far so good as I thought. Nobody at the bag-search desk so I walked to the end of the line where I was greeted if you can call it that by an elderly jobsworth type who asked if I was a day ticket adult’ ? which I replied yes all very nicely nicely and all. At that point he said can I take my bag to the table for a bag-search which I agreed and said nothing other than ‘OK’ but it was clear as day he had taken a dislike to me and started getting shitty with me and bloody clever. I did not react and kept calm on the grounds that I was wondering which way this was going to go, opened my bay for inspected and moved various tits and bits around and thought that was it. Not so, wanted me to open my black camera bag which it clearly was and having a face like a smacked ar*se because he found nothing (all on video I assume with audio ) then have the bleeding cheek to ask me if I was carrying in the bag any concealed weapons !! at this point and started to laugh and look pretty smug. I told I had not and he then said oh right and I then said I’m not laughing and did not find it funny and looked straight at him. At that point he backed off and he allowed me to go to the payment desk. I’m now thinking is this new IWM action which he is carrying out ? or is he simply just a twat that for whatever reason took an instant dislike to me for his own amusement ? Honestly Peter I’m thinking balls to it because if this is the way the IWM is going this sorry mate your on your own. Beware of either him or IWM implementations during future visits. I thought my money was as good as anybody elses but it appears thats not the case. I felt bleeding insulted by this twat and to even ask if I was carrying weapons being ‘White British’ and unlike some proud of that fact gave me the impression that he singled me out. Wrong colour skin I guess. If I was a ‘colour’ he more than likely would have said nothing in case he got into hot water. Seriously thinking of complaining to the IWM although in my own heart I know they won’t even blink and eyelid and I’m thinking now its time to call time on Duxford for good.

Cannock Chase War Cemeteries

Aviation Posted on Tue, November 19, 2019 23:54:36

I’ve visited the odd war cemetery in the past, particularly a couple in Germany dedicated to downed RAF crews. At the weekend I found myself near Cannock so went to visit, primarily, the German cemetery there which commemorates German ‘soldaten’ that lost their lives on British soil in WWI and WWII. In the main this means German aircrew. It seemed a little strange seeing lines of headstones in this country with what were clearly Germanic names. Its a sombre place, made more so by the grey stones and gloomy weather and brings home a little the futility of the conflicts.

Flying Legends 2020 confirmed ?

Aviation Posted on Tue, November 19, 2019 23:05:11

Has anyone heard if Flying Legends 2020 is happening next year ? We are now entering mid November and I have not seen anything to confirm that this airshow is taking place unless I have missed something. All I have seen elsewhere is that when punters have asked about the show is they have been told it’s normally held the second weekend of July and that’s your lot. Are they about to announce the show is taking place shortly ? or have they called it a day ? Was this years September Show 2019 a taste of things to come considering that it was more or less a full-blown Flying Legends type show staged over the two days. IWM Duxford May and September shows are confirmed and I understand tickets are about to come on sale. It’s about this time people start thinking about booking hotels and planning. Anyone heard if we are on for this year ?

Wheaton Aston airfield

Aviation Posted on Mon, November 18, 2019 23:42:28

Also known as RAF Little Onn, Wheaton Aston airfield in Staffordshire was built in 1940 and became one of the biggest training areas for RAF air crew in WWII. The base was abandoned by the RAF in 1947 and was then used as a Polish resettlement camp for many years. There is a very short video here and the dilapidated buildings at 2.21 are now the smart cream buildings in the shot below.

Since the camp closed the base has returned to agriculture and runways and tracks were pretty muddy farm land when I visited. However, some buildings remain including the control tower which is protected.

RAF Cosford Museum

Aviation Posted on Sun, November 17, 2019 22:46:52

Although I went to the Cosford centenary airshow I didn’t have the chance to look around the museum as well so my visit yesterday was the first time I’ve been since 2005. This means it was also the first time that I had seen the Steel clad Cold War Hangar. To be honest I was not impressed. There are some great aircraft within its confines but trying to take pictures of them is almost a pointless exercise. The three ‘V’ bombers are present but the Vulcan is the only one that you can get anywhere near framing. From the walkway you can look down on the Avro York but the nose is partly under the walkway. If you go downstairs the lighting is dreadful and a tank is parked in front of the starboard wing. The HP Hastings has a DC-3 almost on its roof (see pic below) and smaller aircraft are strung from the rafters amidst a load of girders. Pretty much one of the worst museum display areas I have come across, especially for a major museum.

The other hangars are better. The placement of information boards is always frustrating but I accept that they have to be there and it is possible to get the odd reasonable picture but now that some of the former Hendon exhibits are also on site there is an element of squashing things in. I think less could be more in fact but as the museum, apart from parking, is free its hard to really complain.

Overall though it is an interesting place and great company made for an enjoyable day out.

Inreachoftheskies meet November 2019.

Aviation Posted on Sat, November 16, 2019 22:58:29

Cosford Conservation Centre

Aviation Posted on Sat, November 16, 2019 19:09:17

As mentioned below, we spent today at the RAF museum in Cosford, starting at the conservation centre for the end of their annual open week. Normally this hangar is not open to the public and this was my first experience. The aircraft present include the Hampden – the fuselage is largely complete and, I believe, destined for Hendon in the near future. The wings are off to one side and seemingly yet to be worked on.

The Lysander was also present. Reported to be ‘finished’ following a recent roll out it was also missing wings. The Lysander sat alongside the Me 410. This is one of two survivors and has been in the main museum for many years. It is in for remedial work but given that work is unfinished on other projects it seems a shame it wasn’t left on proper display for longer.

The Hendon Wellington is another long term project. The wings appear to be finished but the fuselage is currently devoid of fabric and looks a long way off a return to Hendon.

The German LVG is coming along with bare wings next to the aircraft and also present was the Dornier 17. This was the aircraft recovered from Goodwin Sands some years ago and I watched arrive at Ramsgate Harbour. It is the first time that I have seen it since. The wing section is upside down and will remain that way as it is too weak to turn and the fuselage resembles a colander. Staff suggested it is likely to remain in the conservation centre rather than go on proper display. 

Too many cones?

Aviation Posted on Sat, November 16, 2019 18:39:17

This chap doesn’t look happy about something!

(Actually just spent a great day with Gaz at Cosford putting the world to rights as normal 🙂  )

Merlin at Loughborough

Aviation Posted on Tue, November 12, 2019 22:26:34

This landed on football pitches on the campus here at Loughborough this morning. A nice bonus.

Maid of Harlech protected

Aviation Posted on Tue, November 12, 2019 18:25:13

The well known P-38 wreck off the coast of Harlech has been given protected status I see. The resting place of the Lockheed P-38 Lightning is the first military aircraft crash site in the UK to be protected for its historic and archaeological interest.

BBC story:

No Airplanes, but……

Aviation Posted on Sun, November 10, 2019 21:59:27

Just got back from Tokyo. Saw this, thought of you guys.

Capel Poppy Drop

Aviation Posted on Sun, November 10, 2019 18:01:11

You might have seen it on news reports but Aero Legends organised a poppy drop over the BoB memorial at Capel this morning to coincide with the 11.00 a.m. silence. Flying out of North Weald were Dakota ‘Drag Em Oot’ accompanied by 2 Spitfires. A Harvard cam along for the ride, presumably as a camera ship.

The Dak did a few circuits dropping 750,000 (bio degradable!) poppies and the Spits flew in formation at the start and end. A bright day fortunately although low sun was not helpful for snaps. Extremely well attended, all grass verges within a 20 minute walk of the BoB centre took a bit of a hammering and traffic gridlock ensued when it was all over! Still, very well done and great that it attracted so much support.

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