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Monday, 8th October 2012 ~ Not a lot happens on a Monday at Duxford. Today was no different apart from the Victor being extracted from AirSpace with the aid of 'Christine', a big yellow tug on loan from The Yorkshire Air museum at Elvington. The Duxford heavy duty tug is down in the main IWM Museum in Lambeth moving tanks onto low loaders for delivery to Duxford for temporary storage during the renovation of the main Museum. The floor space is required in AirSpace for a Banner presentation ceremony.
Having helped push the Morane MS.502 Criquet(Storch) from Hangar 5 to Hangar 3 the week before, I was volunteered to help with it again. Between removing the wings, holding down the rear fuselage while the main wheels were being detached and loading wings onto a covered trailer, I managed to find time to take a few photos of the dismantling for its journey to Germany and return to fligh. It rained a bit as well.
Tuesday, 9th October 2012 ~ Apart from the weather which was cold with thick fog til mid morning, the only other talking point of the day was the first flight of the Rolls-Royce owned Spitfire PR.XIX/PS853/(G-RRGN). It arrived at Duxford in August 2010 and since then completely stripped down and rebuilt by the engineers at ARCo. It took off with John Romain at the controls for a few circuits of the airfield before an air test to the north of Duxford then JR returned with a nice topside run and break before landing. It flew again twice after that.
Wedensday, 10th October 2012 ~ Another quiet day at Duxford but the Historic Flying Limited Spitfire T9 took off just after the doors opened and hadn't returned by the time I had left. The only flurry of activity was mid morning when The Fighter Collection and The Aircraft Restoration Company/HFL did play musical aeroplanes as they moved around some of their aircraft from their respective hangars.
The 'Buchon' is flying at the Duxford Autumn Air Show air show on Sunday and was taken down to the ARCo/HFL compound and parked next to the Rolls-Royce Mk.XIX Spitfire which I believe flew for the fourth time after I had left. The photos are in the order they were taken.
Thursday, 11th October ~ Apart from a bit of sunshine when I arrived, it turned into a windy, cold, dark and eventually a slightly wet day out. The scaffolding in front of the Ambassador had been moved so a reasonably decent shot could be taken of it and the contractors were still trying to get the stub wings off the Varsity then the blue sky became cloud covered as the weather front from the south gradually drifted north. An Apache helicopter did what looked like a practice display routine up and down the grass runway .
Friday, 12th October ~ As the PR.XIX Spitfire was put away in hangar 2 yesterday, I knew it would have to come outside again as the F-86 was on static for the air show and it was parked in the middle of the hangar. I spotted the Stearman being taken down to ARCo, it had been at the front, so I made a beeline for hangar 2 and as I rounded the corner the PR.XIX and T.9 were already outside on the grass and in the sunshine, eventually followed by the Mk.Ia and the TFC Mk. XIV. A quick impromptu photo call then took place before they all went back inside.
The Fighter Collection saved the day when they pulled five of their aircraft out onto the airfield for some engine runs. At the same time Terence the Tug delivered the Rolls-Royce Mk.XIX Spitfire from ARCo and it was was tucked up in Hangar 2/North. Probably the end of test flights for this week. At that point, with TFC ground running their aircraft, I beat a hasty retreat from Duxford as it was starting to rain and its a 30 minute walk to Whittlesford station to catch the train to Cambridge.
The Fighter collection fleet were also out in force with their Spitfire FR.XIVe and Corsair along with the Harvard were all flown several times. Hawker Hunter F.58A/G-PSST arrived with an aerobatics display over the airfield before landing. As it was to be the Hawk TMk.1's last display, ever, a special flypast had been authorised with the display Tucano and the pair of them flew a practice routine over the airfield several times with the Hawk nose up, airbrake out trying not to stall and the Tucano nose down trying to maintain maximum speed.