Since retiring at the end of June my weekend visits to Duxford have been curtailed a bit, apart from the occasional air show, as I now have the time to wander around the museum on any week day. I was there on Saturday to catch The Vintage Aviator Ltd/Royal Air Force Museum R.E.8 replica flying for possibly the last time as I wasn't going to see it at the Old Warden evening show that day. Many thanks to Joe and The Old Flying Machine Company for the close up access to photograph the R.E.8 and the Albatros DVa while they were in temporary residence in the OFMC hangar.  

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On a bright clear day you can usually get some interesting patterns forming on the aircraft parked in the hangars from the sun shining through the windows high up in the hangar walls. Having spent an hour or so outside photographing the R.E.8, the sun had climbed a bit in the early autumn sky and was only covering the aircraft near the outside walls rather than a bit further in. Still a good opportunity to wave my camera around above my head on the end of my mono pod in hangar 3.

The R.E.8 (Harry Tate) finally ended it's visit to Duxford as the conditions were near perfect for the short transit flight back to Old Warden for the air display that evening. As Gene DeMarco was swinging the prop and Clare Tector, a Shuttleworth Collection pilot, was flicking the switches and turning the handles on the outside of the cockpit to start the engine, the replica B.E.2 and Fokker Dr.1 Triplane from Sywell were circling in the clear blue sky overhead before they all flew off to Old Warden.

Along with the replica TVAL/RAFM Albatros DVa, the R.E.8 had been sharing space with the OFMC in Hangar 3 since the Duxford Summer Air Show due to the wind being above safe speeds for both of them to return back to Old Warden at the time. The Albatros had left on the 13th September with Stu Goldspnik flying it as he is qualified to pilot that aircraft but Gene DeMarco is the only pilot in the UK qualified to fly the R.E.8 and he was having a bit of a tour of Europe before he returned home to New Zealand.

Having been pulled out of hangar 4 on the 18th September, the de-construction of Varsity T.1/WJ945 by Parkhouse Aviation continues apace for it's move down to the new Classic Air Force attraction at Newquay in Cornwall. Having first flown in February 1953, WJ945 was delivered to Duxford on retirement from RAF service in October 1974 and continued flying in civilian hands for about another 10 years. The Airspeed Ambassador is due to have it's wings attached in the next week or so.

Duxford Bimble ~ 22nd September 2012

Having been parked on the grass as part of the static line up for the Summer Air show, the Amiot AAC.1 Toucan (Ju52/3M) has now been moved to the hard standing down near the M11 end of the airfield.


Sony Alpha SLT A-57 + Sony 16-105mm f3.5-5.6 lens.