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‘Cats’ on display

Aviation Posted on Sat, October 19, 2019 17:46:02

U.S. and U.K. All contributions welcome!

Manston update

Aviation Posted on Fri, October 18, 2019 18:04:37

“Government planners have decided whether a bid to reopen Manston Airport as a cargo hub should be backed – but their views have yet to be made public. The Planning Inspectorate has sent its recommendations on the controversial proposal to transport secretary Grant Shapps, who will make the final decision on the move. Mr Shapps now has three months to decide whether to grant planning permission to site owners RiverOak Strategic Partners (RSP) in the form of a Development Consent Order (DCO). The decision rests with him as the airport bid is considered a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project. “

He has to justify his opinion of course but it was Grant Schapps that was supporting Manston on one of the rallies that I attended a while back so hopefully he has not changed his tune.

Expanded showcase

Aviation Posted on Fri, October 11, 2019 16:50:32

From the published info it appears that the content of the Duxford showcase on 20th October is more than a token display with close on 20 aircraft listed as taking part in some way or other. Let’s hope the weather plays along!

Madras Airport

Aviation Posted on Wed, October 09, 2019 23:15:28

Madras is the home of the Erickson Collection but also serves as a local airport. However in WWII it was Madras Army Airbase and its purpose was for combat training of aircrews, initially B-17s and later P-39 and P-38 fighters. There is a memorial on the edge of the airfield that I had a quick look at as the rain started a couple of weeks ago.

Dedicated modeller!

Aviation Posted on Mon, October 07, 2019 18:16:56

I knock out the odd model kit from time to time so I am always interested to have a look at other people’s efforts when there is a museum display. The History of Flight Museum in Seattle had a particularly impressive collection of 1/72 models in the WWII section. It became more impressive when the info board explained that they were all made by one individual in just 7 years. There were further WWI kits by the same chap on the upper floor as he needed something to do after WWII was complete! They are all superb.


Aviation Posted on Sat, October 05, 2019 18:02:27

As it was the Wingman’s birthday today we had a little run out Dover way. Not one to miss an opportunity I went past Swingate, best known as the site of the well known Dover radar towers from WWII. However the site previously served as an airfield in WWI and there is a memorial commemorating this.

As a bonus – for me at least – later on I heard the unmistakable sound of a merlin from where we stopped for a bite to eat and sure enough a Spitfire emerged out of the clouds and flew over. Camera in car though!

That’s a shame

Aviation Posted on Sat, October 05, 2019 17:41:22

I’ve seen it mentioned that the long time D/X resident He 111 (CASA 2.111) is off to Hawkinge. Whilst it might get some much needed attention there it will clearly never fly and although it will be closer to me the odds of me seeing it again are remote due to the ridiculous photographic policy at Hawkinge which means I can’t be arsed to go there because they don’t trust anyone.

Nine-0-Nine lost

Aviation Posted on Wed, October 02, 2019 22:21:12

It is being reported that this Collings Foundation B-17 has been lost in a landing accident in Connecticut. It appears that the aircraft that had 13 aboard at the time has been pretty much destroyed and there has been loss of life although full details are not yet available.

Thoughts are certainly with those affected by the tragedy. Very sad to hear.

Yokosuka MXY-7 Ohka

Aviation Posted on Wed, October 02, 2019 00:01:07

This Japanese Kamikaze aircraft was at Castle AFM. It was shut away in a display shed and only visible through small windows making pictures difficult. I assume that the protection afforded the exhibit means it is an original

I’ll see your traffic cone …

Aviation Posted on Tue, October 01, 2019 23:51:43

and raise you a waste bin!

Even good museums aren’t perfect!

USS Hornet

Aviation Posted on Sun, September 29, 2019 19:10:22

This visit was not originally planned but on the last night of our holiday I noticed the museum ship mentioned on a map and as it was more or less en route to San Francisco airport we were able to squeeze in a visit on the way home. After getting confused with the sat-nav we only had around 2 1/2 hours aboard but you could easily spend much longer.

The previous ship of the same name was sunk in 1942 and this vessel was launched in 1943 and went on to serve in WWII, Korea and Vietnam and was the pick up carrier for Apollo 11 and 12. My first aircraft carrier visit!

Castle Air Force Museum

Aviation Posted on Wed, September 25, 2019 08:27:06

We headed a couple of hours south of our Sacramento base today to Castle Air Force Museum. All of the exhibits are outside but as it was a balmy 83F when we arrived that was not a problem. I was less pleased that it was 93F by the time we left but I guess we still had the cool part of the day as temperatures rose another 5F before the day was out!

Anyway, the museum houses around 70 airframes including B-25, B-17, B-29, B-52, Vulcan, F-14, F-15, F-16, F-4, C-47, C130 etc,  i.e. stuff we’ve all seen before. Great as it was to see these in a nice setting there were a number of airframes that I have seen rarely or in several cases, such as the Douglas Bolo and mighty B-36, not at all so I have restricted the pictures, for now at least, to some of the less common airframes.

Erickson Tankers

Aviation Posted on Sun, September 22, 2019 07:06:55

Out on the ramp at Madras when we visited were some of the Erickson Aero Tanker fleet. An MD87 was undergoing some maintenance and there were further air frames that I took to be spares ships for the 87 but of interest to me were Tankers 60 and 66, both of which are DC7s. Tanker 66 was actually missing the starboard inner prop but Tanker 60 looked in good fettle.

The weather lends a hand

Aviation Posted on Sat, September 21, 2019 04:52:18

On Monday I was telling Marcus that although I was keen to see the museum I would not be going to the Erickson Collection as it was a good three hour drive each way. On Tuesday we had a day of site seeing in the rain for most of the day. Wednesday dawned to even heavier rain so the wingman suggested we headed East to the museum anyway. Who was I to refuse!

And what a place it is. The museum is essentially a hangar full of airworthy aircraft with an information board in front of each and some other displays regarding pilots, WWII campaigns and the like. There are no barriers around the aircraft, no big brother watching and you can wander as you please. Of the whole collection of 27 aircraft all but two are airworthy and these are a P-39 recovered from a lake and a Martin Mauler. Two of the collection were away – the P-51 and B-17 Madras Maiden although I have seen the latter in its previous guise as Chuckie. There were two visiting aircraft including the natural metal P-40 which the nice lady on reception stated was an all original aircraft with an Allison engine. Certainly go there if you get the chance.


Aviation Posted on Fri, September 20, 2019 06:32:11

So we were in a movie theatre this side of the pond and one of many trailers was a new version of ‘Midway’. I wasn’t previously aware that this was being revamped but sadly, from what I saw, this is another CGI extravaganza  that left me underwhelmed as a spectacle. Even the wingman was unimpressed with the level of realism. Stick with the original is my advice. 

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