2nd April 2015
As the gale force winds of the last few days had subsided and with the prospect of a bit of sunshine, I wasn't expecting too much to be happening at Duxford this close to Easter. Apart from a lot of family visitors, the Fire Section were playing with their new Tonka toy as they put it through its paces and the glazing panels at the front of the American Air Museum have started to be removed. Inside hangar 4, the Autogyro has been moved across the walk way to make room for exhibits coming out of the AAM. In 3 hangar, work appears to have started on the Blenheim to get it airworthy for the forthcoming airshow season after its winter hibernation.
Camera Used: Sony Alpha A-58 SLT + Tamron 16-300mm f3.5-6.3 Di VC PZD Lens & Sony Alpha A-77II SLT & Tamron 150-600mm f5-6.3 SP Di VC USD lens
30th April 2015
The Catalina had engines running when doors opened this morning and then performed two practice displays and after refueling headed off to Le Touquet in French France. The camouflaged T.28 Fennec was going to go for a test flight and some aerobatics over the airfield but as it began its take off roll the nose wheel threw a wobbly and bounced off down the runway, minus aeroplane. The airfield was effectively closed until the T.28 was removed late in the afternoon. The Blenheim had a row rev engine run outside ARCo and then moved back to its parking place in hangar 3 which fortunately meant the war birds were moved outside for all the photographers, and there were a lot of them, to drool over. At the American Air Museum, they were dismantling the FSM Mustang and the P-47 was spied in hangar 5 behind the F-15 and the Avenger is in its new home in hangar 3.
5th April 2015
For a Bank Holiday Easter Sunday the weather was quite nice with blue sky, sunshine and quite warm. By early afternoon it had reverted to type with dark clouds and a bit cool. Not a lot was happening although Classic Wings were flying and there were a couple or four GA visitors. Hangar doors were open though and it would have been remiss of me not to take advantage of that opportunity.
7th April 2015
A very warm, sunny spring day that brought out the crowds to the museum and more haze in the sky. Fortunately there wasn't much flying to photograph apart form a few GA visitors, Classic Wings appeared to be having a training day, the Cub went flying again and there were two display's from the Bulldog. Spent an enjoyable couple of hours outside hangar 2/east as the ARCo engineers played 'Warbird Shuffle' with their aeroplanes.
12th April 2015
Biggest problem at Duxford today was not the wind but the gusts. Camera bag got blown over at one point and the tower reported a gust at 35Kts(40mph). Trying to pan smoothly with a fully extended Tamron 150-600mm lens was a bit of a challenge at which I failed and unfortunately resorted to machine gunning in the hope that a) I got an image fully in frame and b) in focus at the same time. Lot of deleting to do now. Apart from the Tiger Moths and Rapide of Classic wings, it didn't curtail any flying activities with the 'Fly In A Spitfire' experience with the Biggin Hill two-seater with the call sign 'Tiger 1' taking place, quite a few GA visitors and the North Weald based Hunter doing a run and break and a missed approach. Later on I saw the Hunter flying over head when I got home so may have passed through Duxford on its way to North Weald again.
13th April 2015
Weather wise a day of two half's being bright, warm and sunny in the morning and dark, cloudy and cold in the afternoon. At least it wasn't windy like the day before. TFC were out to play with their Wildcat having an engine run late morning. An Apache helicopter was doing circuits in the morning and another came back to do the same in the afternoon along with an S-76 from Stansted doing basically the same as the Apache. The Stearman was flying and mid-afternoon the Buchon went for a test flight for about 20 minutes with a run and break on its return. It was arrivals day for the H&H Car Auction on Wednesday. There wasn't actually anything that caught my eye apart from a 1959 Daimler Ferret MK 2/3(Estimate: £10,000 - £13,000).
14th April 2015
The day started with the Catalina emerging from hangar 2 into the warm spring sunshine having completed its winter hibernation. Engine runs and then crew training to follow. The Fighter Collection were out and about again, this time with the Bearcat making noise and throwing out a smoke screen. During the afternoon the Nieuport 17 Replica went for a test flight and the German registered, apparently soon to be UK registered, Yak-3 paid another visit and sat on the grass in the sunshine. One of the most elegant aircraft I have seen at Duxford, in the shape of a 1955 built Cessna 195B/N3064B, dropped in for about an hour as the crew had a look around the vehicles for tomorrows H&H car auction.
15th April 2015
You can go for years without seeing a Yak 3 then two come along in two day's. The German registered Yak, that arrived yesterday, was in hangar 2 today and this morning Yak 3 'White 100' arrived first thing and in the afternoon had what looked like a Display Authorisation flight as it's down to appear at the VE Show next month. The Grace two-seat Spitfire flew four sorties during the day and ARCo Harvard/'Taz' flew several times as did the Stearman. The Catalina had an engine run with the new port engine producing very little smoke but the old starboard Pratt & Whitney threw out a smoke screen right across the airfield. TFC had their Nimrod outside for an engine run but it was reluctant to start and the HAC Nimrod was taken down to ARCo as was the Blenheim after its winter stay in hangar 3.
17th April 2015
Following all the flying activity during the week, it was very quiet at Duxford today. Only notable change was the HAC Hurricane in the paint bay in hangar 5 with a team from Vintage Fabrics giving it a change of markings. Hopefully, if accessible, piccies of the new scheme tomorrow. With Cambridge Airport runway closed, some of their GA types have been using/parked at Duxford with the grey Rockwell 690D Jetprop 900 being the most interesting.
18th April 2015
Classic Wings 'Fly in a Spitfire' was taking place today with the Biggin Hill two-seat Spitfire/MJ627 using the call sign 'Tiger 1'. Five flights in all and as there are non tomorrow it should be back at Biggin Hill by now. Back in two weeks and every other weekend after that. The rest of the Classic Wings fleet were also flying, with the Tiger Moths doing formation departures, despite the gusty conditions and the ARCo Harvard/'Taz' flew a few circuits in the bright sunny clear blue sky. Lots of GA visitors, mostly PA-28's but the EC120B helicopter took the prize as the most colorful visitor.
21st April 2015
With the glass panels removed the contractors have started to lower the window mullions to the front of the American Air Museum and in hangar 5, the HAC Hurricane was still having the finishing touches to the No.303 (Polish) Sqn scheme it now carries applied by the team from Vintage Fabrics. Long time resident of the AirSpace conservation hall, the Typhoon, has decamped from there and now slumming it in Hangar 3 to make room in AirSpace for the aircraft from the AAM. Despite the wall to wall blue sky and sunshine, there was a haze hanging in the air making lighting conditions far from ideal for photography. OFMC Spitfire/MH434 flew at lunchtime with an air test over the airfield and to the north and then with a bit of aerobatics thrown in on its return. Later in the afternoon, ARCo/HAC Spitfire T9/PV202 flew lots of circuits on a training flight during which the 'Sharkmouth' Mustang took off and headed to the north on an air test with just a run and break on its return. Not many GA visitors today but the Pup with the PUP registration stood out. The TFC Mk.V Spitfire and Bearcat were due to fly but hadn't by the time I left Duxford
22nd April 2015
Sitting out on the hangar base this morning was the Gannet and Buccaneer from Hangar 3 as the 60ft Vosper Motor Torpedo Boat was transferred to a low loader for the journey down to a Naval Museum at Gosport. TFC were outside again with the Bearcat making smoke again and the Mk.V Spitfire having an engine run. The Bearcat was due to go flying much later in the day. The Grace two-seat Spitfire was flying passengers and the ARCo/HFL two-seat Spitfire was doing aerobatics training.
26th April 2015
It was back to gloves and wooly hats again as the elements turned a bit chilly. Now the glass is out and the mullions removed, they should start to remove aircraft from the American Air Museum next week with I believe the B-17 being first. The HAC Hurricane with its new markings, which still have to be finished off, is back in its usual parking space in hangar 3. Classic Wings had their 'Fly With A Spitfire' day where passengers in the two Dragon Rapides can take air-to-air photographs of the OFMC Spitfire followed by the Harvard in an air-to-air shoot with the Spitfire and then they both returned to the airfield with a run and break with the Spitfire turning left and the Harvard right. Following the last flight, there was a display over Duxford by the Spitfire. Not many GA visitors today although Pheonix Helicopters did arrive en-masse early afternoon. The only thing missing from their arrival was 'Ride of the Valkyries' blasting out of the museum PA system.
28th April 2015
Big noticeable change at Duxford is that the Victor is back outside again parked on the jet pan at the Alpha hold. If it's still parked there come the air show and with the grassed viewing area at the M11 end cut by 50%, I can see a wailing and gnashing of teeth from so called air show enthusiasts at the restricted space and view down there now. Having been resident in hangar 5 since its move up from London in 2012, P-51D/Etta Jeanne II has moved down to the Conservation Area of AirSpace pending its move into the American Air Museum next year. In the AAM, the Avenger looks like the first aircraft to be lowered as hand winches have been attached to the ceiling hanging points and in hangar 5 Christine, the big yellow Dennis-Mercury tug from the Elvington Air Museum in Yorkshire, has returned to Duxford to help with the AAM move. TFC had their Nimrod out on the airfield for an engine run and in hangar 3, Vintage Fabrics were back putting the finishing touches to the HAC Hurricane.