The week after Legends is usually a quiet time at Duxford after the hustle and bustle of the air show, so I wasn’t expecting to see much action. A good time to catch up on some hangar shots. As the Citi7 bus was weaving its way through the village of Whittlesford, I could see off in the distance a Harvard performing a sweeping curve as it was approaching to land at the airfield. As the bus drove down the incline to the Museum gates from the motorway roundabout, I could see from my upstairs front seat position a good smattering of airframes parked out on the grass in the Aircraft Restoration Company compound and The Fighter Collection P-40B parked on the airfield. I had a quick wander through the hangars first. The TFC collection has a temporary addition in the shape of Skyraider F-AZDP. I took a few stock shots of the Skyraider and its missing starboard wing tip that had sliced into P-51 Mustang ‘Big Beautiful Doll’ at the air show on Sunday.


As I came out of the American Air Museum the P-40B was flying in from the east for a bit of a display. I must be going deaf as I never even heard it take off. By the time I had wandered down to the M11 end of the airfield, and where I stayed for the rest of the day, the ‘Cliff Spink School for Future Spitfire Pilots’ was in session. A student, having passed a check flight in the Harvard I had seen flying earlier, was doing a series of take offs, circuits and landings from the front seat of the T9 with Cliff in the back. Not long after the T9 had parked up, a Jet Ranger helicopter touched down on the grass in the ARCo compound as Richard Lake, the owner of the ‘Desert’ Buchon which was also parked out on the grass had arrived. After that Cliff then took the blue and yellow Stearman for a spin with a young passenger, who had also arrived in the helicopter, in the front seat. The twin engined Beech, which had been in the workshop, was pulled out by tractor and up towards the crash gate. First one and then the other engine had a smokey run. Around lunchtime the HAC Hurricane departed Duxford presumably for Fairford.


Early afternoon and Richard Lake fired up his Buchon and took it for a bimble around Duxford airfield. He taxied it slowly up to the western end of the airfield. Turned around opposite the Land Warfare Hall and taxied back again. Won’t be long before he’s flying it now. Following an afternoon tea break, Cliff Spink took the ‘Desert’ Buchon flying and threw it around the sky above Duxford. Between all this going on, a Mk 26 Spitfire also went flying with I believe one of the co-owners of the Mk 26 who works for ARCo in the back seat. Yes, although it’s very small it’s a two-seater. The ARCo flying display’s had drawn to a close and time to catch the last bus into Cambridge from the museum. As I was leaving, the Old Flying Machine Company pair of Spitfire and Mustang was parked out on the airfield for a late departure to spend the weekend at some little air fete in Gloucestershire. Another quiet Friday at Duxford was drawing to an end.

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Imperial War Museum, Duxford - 15th July 2011