The Old Flying Machine Company Spitfire IX/MH434 was being worked on as it continued through its winter maintenance. The Mk1 nose on the Blenheim looks a bit more of a permanent fixture now as the rivet attachments that were sticking out around the nose/fuselage joint, the last time I was there, had gone. The HAC Hurricane XIIa/Z5140 (the one up for sale) still has the top engine panel off.
It was trying to snow as I waited in Cambridge for the Citi7 bus to Duxford to arrive at the Emmanuel Street bus stop. Within sight of Duxford, there was a slight sight seeing detour through Hinxton and Ickleton because of resurfacing work going on at the roundabout on the A505/1301 just outside Sawston, but apart from that the bus trip in was uneventful and we still arrived on time.
Duxford on a Saturday during the winter months is a quiet and peaceful place. Well most of the time. Being the start of half term, there were two coach loads of Cubs, or whatever they are called these days, and as I got closer to the American Air Museum I could hear orders being barked out in an American accent of sorts.
HANGAR 2 - The Fighter Collection.
The only noticeable change was that the Harvard IIB/FE695 and Spitfire LF.VB/EP120 had been moved to either side of the hangar with a nice big clear area in front of the doors!!.
With nothing in front or underneath it, the P-47 looks just a bit little bit surreal hanging there above the floor.
Apart from a cutaway of an RAF 1A 90hp engine in a display case there are no changes.
AMERICAN AIR MUSEUM
A group of re-enactors, dressed in period USAAF/WWII military clothing were marching up and down the area outside the glazed front of the AAM. They eventually returned inside and set up their displays under the nose B-17 ‘Mary Alice’ and under the wing of the B-24 ‘Duggan’. The ‘Little Patches’ artwork on some of the leather jackets referred to B-17G-25-BO/42-31679 of the 91st Bomb Group based at Bassingbourn from 1943. The name ‘Little Patches’ came about as on the aircraft’s first mission to Frankfurt, it returned to base with lots of little holes in it caused by flak over the target. ‘Little Patches’ survived the war with over 100 missions under its belt only to return to America to be disposed of for scrap.
On a little table next to the nose of the B-24, was a tribute to Colonel Robert E Vickers Jr USAF(Retd) who passed away in January. He was a Trustee of the American Air Museum and Co-Chairman of the AAM Legacy Society.
While I was inside the American Air Museum, a patriotically coloured Acrosport 2/G-CGAK was doing a few circuits around the skies of Duxford. Not sure what happened, but the next time I looked out towards the airfield it was parked on the grass with a few people fussing around it and then it’s tail was being held up in the air. It was parked out on the flight line by the Classic Wings office the next time I saw it.
Tom Blair’s Mk IX Spitfire is still parked in the eastern end of the south hangar but for some reason the balloon winch on the back of a lorry has now been moved into the aircraft parking area and blocked off the side view. To get a decent side view I sneaked around the back of the lorry.
Also noted on my visit was a curtain sided trailer parked down in the ARCo area. Mmmm.