1st August 2013
On what was reported to be the hottest day of the year, there was a gusting wind that made it bearable although the wind was gusting across the runway which did make for some interesting take-off's and landings by the visiting GA aircraft. P-51 'Ferocious Frankie' was having a compass swing down at ARCo and then it was refuelled but because of the wind didn't have a test flight. The first arrivals arrived for the four day ChipFest taking place at Duxford although one of the Chipmunks was infact a Bulldog. The restoration of the WWI Mk.V British tank continues in Hangar 5 with a garish red undercoat having been applied prior to the top coat. Meanwhile in hangar 2 the deconstruction of P-47 'SNAFU' continues with two shipping containers arriving today.
Equipment Used: Sony Alpha A57 SLT + Sony16-105mm/f3.5-5.6 Lens & Sony Alpha A58SLT & Sony 70-300mm G SSM/f4.5-5.5 Lens
3rd August 2013
Saturday started off very nice with a warm breeze, blue sky and sunshine and big fluffy clouds. The Chipfest was still going strong with a couple of new Chipmunks arrivng during the morning. In hangar 2, the fuselage of P-47G 'SNAFU' was on it's transport cradle and during the afternoon was manhandled into its container. Bye, bye. Late afternoon and B-17 'Sally-B' fired up for the short trip down to Damyns Hall for a display. Unfortunately between engine start and moving to the holding point for engine checks, 'Sally-B' and a good part of Cambridgeshire got caught in a torrential downpour with winds gusting to 30Kts. After sitting for about five minutes with engines running, the crew taxied back to their parking place and shut down sitting out the rain in the aircraft.
6th August 2013
A busy day for the museum visitor wise as they were still queuing out of the main entrance at 10.45 this morning. TFC were having a bit of a shuffle around with their fleet with the aircraft from the eastern end sitting out in the sunshine. Meanwhile the OFMC P-51D, 'Ferocious Frankie' had its first test flight since the new Packard engine was installed with Maurice Hammond in the cockpit as it was he and his company that rebuilt the engine.
7th August 2013
A bit of war bird flying today. First up was the ARCo Harvard 'TAZ' which was flying circuits most of the day and by mid afternoon the TFC P-40B was parked on the airfield and Stephen Grey took it up for a test flight but no aerobatics over the airfield on his return. For the last couple of days, museum exhibits were being photographed with the large mobile items moved to the hangar base outside Wing Co Joe's cafe and the smaller items outside hangar 5. The British Antarctic Survey Twin Otter, VP-FAZ, returned to Duxford at the start of the week and today was joined by VP-FBL with FAZ going walk about during the afternoon with some circuits on its return.
8th August 2013
Apart from a couple of Chinook helicopters that flew through during the morning it was relatively quiet day until the ARCo T.9 took to the skies on a training flight with a potential new Spitfire pilot. The TFC GLadiator had a test flight during the afternoon and will be seen, subject to serviceability, during the Duxford Air Show at the start of September. The Plane Sailing Catalina had a brief flight and apart from Classic Wings plying their pleasure flights was about as busy as it got flying wise.
12th August 2013
There are a handfull or so of two-seat Spitfires flying in the UK and to help identify them they are usually referred to as where or who they belong to. There is the Duxford/ARCo T9, the Grace Spitfire and today the Welsh Spitfire, because it's based in North Wales, arrived and parked up at ARCo. Sitting on the grass at ARCo was the engineless Blenheim/Bolingbroke IVT with the Mk.1 nose in a newly painted night fighter scheme but carrying Finnish Air Force markings on the fuselage. All is not as it seems though as RAF roundels are on the upper wings. Also from ARCo the Me.108 went for a test flight and as I was only spending the morning at Duxford, I didn't see it return.
18th August 2013
It was the 2013 'Sally-B' Roll of Honour day at Duxford. After the unveiling of the list of donors names on the rear fuselage of the Flying Fortress and a chance for supporters to get a look inside, there was a short display later during the afternoon. One of the best display's I've seen which was anything but pedestrian.
19th August 2013
As the museum doors opened, the HAC Spitfire flew over with a run and break before landing after a weekend away and this was closely followed by a bright yellow Miles Hawk trainer from Old Warden. The Hawk later went up to do some circuits. The HAC Nimrod II was brought out of the hangar and parked out on the airfield and despite all attempts, including hand cranking the engine, would not start. An unusual visitor during the afternoon was a Royal Navy Sea King from No 711 NAS based at Culdrose that flew through enroute home. The Grace Spitfire rounded off the afternoon with a couple of flights.
23rd August 2013
The day started with two aircraft out on the airfield for engine runs. TFC Bearcat was run up first followed by the P-40B that also had an engine run in the afternoon. The ARCo T9 two-seat Spitfire left for the short hop to Sywell and returned mid afternoon and just after that had taken off from Duxford, Spitfire/TD248 flew in from its home at Humberside. It was moved straight into the ARCo hangar for some maintenance and six hours later was back outside and on its way home to Humberside in time for tea. En-route to Little Gransden for their air show on Sunday a Belgian Air Component A109 helicopter called in to Duxford for a pit stop. Fuel for the helicopter and food for the crew. P-51 ‘Ferocious Frankie’ had its first public display of the season, after its engine problems earlier in the year, with a display at Clacton.
27th August 2013
The Fighter Collection Wildcat and P-40F were out in the hot sunshine today for some air tests. I'd forgotten how nice the Wildcat sounds in the air. They were parked on the jet pan as the airfield grass was being cut and preparations around the museum site have started for the air show next week. Meanwhile an advance party from Force India arrived to set up for the F1 testing on Wednesday.
An excellent day out with wall to wall sunshine and temperatures at +24C, according to the tower, but during the afternoon with very little or non-existent wind and high cloud there was a bit of haze that made flying shots a bit difficult. The day didn't go well for any one expecting to see the F1 testing as it had been cancelled as the car apparently went tech so Force India packed up and went home but there was more war bird flying during the day than I expected to see.
TFC came out to play again with the Harvard and Mk XIV Spitfire flying but first the engineers had to play musical aeroplanes in the morning to get the two aircraft out of their hangar. Both went flying late afternoon with the Spitfire doing a spot of aerobatics on its return. Pete Kynsey took his Cosmic Wind for an airing later in the afternoon with some excellent aerobatics over the airfield and when he parked up by crash gate C, got an appreciative round of applause from the gathered museum visitors that were there. The Me.108 took advantage of the good weather with a couple of flights and Cliff Spink flew in with the Desert Buchon but not without a spot of aerobatics over the airfield first. He later went for a couple of flights in the Stearman. When I was down the M11 end I was surprised to see the two-seat Spitfire/G-ILDA being pulled out from the ARCo hangar as I wasn't aware it was at Duxford. It later left for Goodwood.
30th August 2013
It was the turn of ARCo/HFL to provide a bit of war bird action today and with some of their fleet heading down to Shoreham for the air show over the weekend, they didn't disappoint. The two-seat T9 Spitfire had an air test with some some aerobatics to follow before landing and the appearance a bit later by the pair of Buchon's with a practice aerobatic routine above Duxford. Having been refueled they and the Spitfire fired up and did a scramble type take off blowing the freshly cut grass all over the place. B-17 'Sally-B' followed almost immediately they had left.