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Vintage aircraft - a good day out

 
WordChazer
Posts: 412
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on 09/14/2014

If you're a fan of vintage aircraft and machinery, can I recommend Duxford Imperial War Museum as a very good value day out?

My friend and I attended the second and last day of the final air show of the season today.

For the princely sum of £25 we saw five solid hours of flying and more aircraft on the ground. That's £5 an hour.

The highlights included the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight AND the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum's Lancasters (the only two airworthy examples) a Tacano trainer, Hawks, Hunters, a Catalina, a Hurricane, a positive bevy of Spitires, lots of aerobatics and a bunch of First World War replicas including one flown by musician Bruce Dickinson, who is not only a qualified pilot, he is also a rather good fencer as well. The Red Arrows performed and there were a bunch of other aircraft on show that you could poke around for an extra £2.50.

Duxford allows visitors to bring in their own picnics, although it requests that, as litter and aircraft engines don't generally mix, people take their litter home or bag it up securely and leave it by one of the bins on site. That was certainly preferable to forking over half my weekly income for a sub-standard greasy junk food mix, as so often happens at these places.

There are loads of exhibits and special showcases as well, themed around the history of conflict in the 20th century. It's an educational site too with something for all ages. See the website for more details.

The air show today was a sell out, mainly thanks to the Lancs. It took several hours to get into the site due to the horrendous traffic jams, but once in, it was awesomeness personified.

 


Described by one of my clients as 'a literary grammarian', writing, researching and reading are requirements for sanity, at least this side of the keyboard.
RupertTaylor
Posts: 108
Message
on 09/15/2014

One of the Lancs is from nearby - well 80 km, which counts as nearby in Canada. It was flown across the Atlantic without a problem. The F-35, the latest whizz-bang from Lockheed Martin at $100 million per plane, was not allowed to fly across the ocean for airshows in Europe because of safety concerns.

WordChazer
Posts: 412
Message
on 09/15/2014

That's a good point, Rupert.

The Lancs are still flying and there are plans for a third ('Just Jane') to be made airworthy before long.

The Vulcan flew its last for now this weekend, as there isn't the money to keep the airworthiness of an old jet going. Early jet engines are much more expensive to maintain than pistons and also much less environmentally friendly.

The sound of EIGHT Merlins in synch was enough to bring tears to my eyes. I also have some seriously good photos which I'm planning to make into Zazzle items. There may be an article of some sort out of it but my brain hasn't had the chance to process it all yet as work was a bit of a Monday 'Mare today.


Described by one of my clients as 'a literary grammarian', writing, researching and reading are requirements for sanity, at least this side of the keyboard.
RupertTaylor
Posts: 108
Message
on 09/15/2014

Remember the V bombers from my school days in Stamford. The town was surrounded by air bases - Cottesmore, Luffenham, and Wittering all within a few miles. Valiants, Vulcans, and Victors were buzzing (howling? screaming? no roaring seems closest) around all the time and every once in a while one of them came crashing into a field of sugar beets.

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