3rd August 2014
Apart from today being the 100th Anniversary of the start of the First World War it was also a British Microlight Aircraft Association Bonus Day at Duxford with about two-thirds of the 60+ booked microlights and homebuilts turning up in somewhat blustery conditions. The ARCo two-seater Spitfire T9/PV202 left first thing for Tibenham and B-17 'Sally-B' along with the OFMC Spitfire and P-51 were leaving late in the afternoon for some evening display slots. A Yak-52 arrived flown by the pilot for the B-17 and an ex RAF Gazelle helicopter dropped in for a bit of fuel as well. When I left around 4.30pm the car park was still packed with vehicles and even parked on the grass verges around the edges.
31st August 2014
The main event of the day at Duxford on Sunday was the Royal Anglian Regiment Diamond Jubilee presentation of new colours for all Battalions, being held opposite the Land Warfare Hall, with the regiment Commander-in-Chief the Duke of Gloucester in attendance. The other main event was would the war birds that had gone down to Shoreham for the air show, return to Duxford before the museum closed at 6 O'clock. They did, just. Sally-B touched down first and then as the Hellcat was landing on the grass, ARCo formation with TFC TF-51 'Miss Velma' mixing it with them called in for a run and brake. The Mk1 Spitfire did a separate run and break before landing. Photos in the order they were taken.
Camera Used: Sony Alpha A-58 SLT + Tamron 18-270mm/f3.5-6.3 & Sony16-105mm/f3.5-5.6 Lens & Sony Alpha A-77II SLT & Sony 70-400mm G SSM/f4-5.5 Lens
7th August 2014
With the Met. Office issuing bad weather warnings for Friday and Sunday, I though I'd better make the most of the sunshine while I could. The TFC Corsair was sitting out on the grass ready for an engine run, but it didn't, and was returned back to hangar 2. Down at ARCo 'Taz' the Harvard and two seat Spitfire T.9 were outside as they were due to go down to Headcorn Aerodrome in Kent as part of the Aero Legends experience taking place on Friday but I believe that may now have been cancelled due to a spot of bad weather being forecast. Instead the T.9 went up a couple of times during the day instead. The T.28 Fennec did a display routine over the airfield as well. By lunchtime, visitors to the museum were still queuing outside to get in. There were a few visiting GA aircraft during the day the best of which was a Bell 429 helicopter calling in for a spot of Jet fuel. Photos in the order they were taken.
9th August 2014
With it being very quiet and not a lot happening during weekday visits to Duxford, I was fully expecting the same for Saturday and probably leaving early. It was not to be. A French Army Socata TBM700 pitched up first thing with the crew having a day visit to the museum then later on some war birds came out to play. The OFMC P-51' Ferocious Frankie' was first up and after a flypast headed off to Bruntingthorpe for a corporate event there and then down to Dunsfold to stay for a couple of weeks. OFMC Spitfire/MH434 was up next for a Wing to Wings flight with the Classic Wings Dragon Rapides. The Duxford based camouflaged Rapide/G-AGJG made the short hop to Fowlmere for an event that was being held there. The HAC Hurricane put in an appearance and flew off for about an hour on display duty. There was a few GA visitors with the Partenavia P.68B Victor/G-HUBB and the orange metalic painted Vans RV-8A that shimmered in the sunlight catching my eye. Although the weather was very nice, the calm before the winds and rain that are forecast for Sunday, the clouds always seemed to have a knack of floating in and blocking out the sun just as there was something interesting to photograph. How did they know? Photos in the order they were taken.
13th August 2014
As it's quiet at Duxford at the moment I've dug out and dusted off my Sony 500mm/F8 Reflex lens as I've not tried it on my Sony A77II camera body yet. Fortunately the Classic WIngs Tiger Moths were flying all day so plenty of targets of opportunity to test the limited settings I have with this lens on. Works better on this camera than the other I have tried and has potential to saty fixed on it. There was going to be a photo opportunity later in the afternoon with the two Mk.1 Spitfires getting airbourne for an air-to-air photoshoot. Unfortunately one of them developed a problem as it was lining up to take off and the mission was scrubbed.
16th August 2014
Another weekend and more war bird activity than my visits during the week. Spitfire TIX/PT462 touched down just before the museum opened and about 20 minutes later was tucked up in hangar 2/north for the weekend. Apart from a few GA visitors it went very quiet, apart from Classic Wings plying their trade, but the Pitts Specials of the TRIG team did drop in for a very short visit at lunch time and after taking on fuel were off again. The weather went from warm, blue sky and sunshine to cloudy, very breezy and a tad cool to the point I was considering digging out my gloves from my camera bag. Late afternoon and the HAC Spitfire/BM597 was extracted from hangar 3 and parked out on the airfield and a short time later was joined by the TFC Gladiator/N5903 and they took off within minutes of each other for an overnight stay at their respective display venues. Photos in the order they were taken.
17th August 2014
I was somewhat surprised that the weather forecast turned out to be reasonably accurate. A rain front was due to pass over Cambridgeshire around 11 o'clock. It was about 15 minutes early and caught out a Network Rail Ecureuil II helicopter that was doing survey work along the Cambridge/London railway line that runs just to the east of Duxford. It touched on the jet pan for a weather divert due to visibility or rather the lack of it. The afternoon turned out as forecast with blustery winds and scattered sunshine. The wind didn't stop Classic Wings although they were just flying one Dragon Rapide and a Harvard. It was the Official Roll of Hour Day for B-17 Sally-B and her supporters and as it was being pushed back onto the grass for start up, the grace Spitfire returned from displaying at Sywell then the B-17 went up for a spirited eight minute display routine for her supporters and museum visitors. Photos in the order they were taken.
20th August 2014
Unusual to see a Cessna 172 inside one of the hangars so either either The Old Flying Machine Company have down sized their fleet or the 172 is taking advantage of the empty space while Spitfire/MH434 and P-51/'Ferocious Frankie' are still away on air show duty. Sitting outside the American Air Museum was a Russian ground to air missile, that has been parked next to the B-52, and a short time later it was moved into hangar 5. TFC had their Hellcat out on the airfield this morning for a brief engine run and in the afternoon, TF-51/'Miss Velma' went up for an air test to the north for about 25 minutes and a spot of aerobatics over Duxford on its return. ARCo/HFL were equally busy down the M11 end of the airfield with their Spitfire T9/PV202 and 'Taz' the Harvard flying various sorties throughout the day. Outside the ARCo workshops was the Beech C-45H Expediter, following a spot of maintenance, and had a rather smokey engine run. Meanwhile some of the ARCo aircraft contents of hangar 2 were pulled out into the sunshine to extract the Bronco which was taken down to the workshops. It was my first opportunity to have a proper look around the latest Spitfire arrival at Duxford, TD314. Photos in the order they were taken.
21st August 2014
The day started with the RAF Display Tutor dropping in and using Duxford as a base for air show appearances. First off first thing was B-17 'Sally-B' who flew the short distance across counties to the RAF Marham families day. Around mid-day, the Tutor fired up and headed off to Marham for its display slot and after it returned and was fueled, headed out in formation with the Duxford based Bulldog for I believe for the Clacton air show. ARCo and TFC also had a little bit of a shuffle around with a couple of their aeroplanes. Photos in the order they were taken.
23rd August 2014
Amongst the scattered sunshine and showers, there were a lot of aircraft movements at Duxford with a Bonus Day for owners of Vans RV aircraft who had half price landing fees and museum access. Fortunately it wasn't all Vans with a good variety of other General Aviation types arriving and leaving during the day and a couple of turboprops thrown in as well. The TRIG Pitts headed off down south to Carfest in Hampshire and the Duxford based Stearman and Catalina had short flight's during the morning and the Grace Spitfire was off to do two displays during the afternoon. Photos in the order they were taken.
29th August 2014
With an air show on at Shoreham this weekend, there were plenty of war bird departures from ARCo,TFC, OFMC the Catalina and B-17 'Sally-B'. ARCo were holding a Friends of Duxford “Behind The Scenes at ARC” event which culminated in the two Buchons and two Spitfires performing a mass take off and then they flew back in formation over ARCo for an impressive pass before heading south. Not often you see The Fighter Collection's heavy aircraft taking off from the grass, but they all did one take off and one landing on the grass before heading off in pairs for the weekend. The Jet Provost T5A did a run and break then touched down and parked up among the GA aircraft opposite hangar 5. Photos in the order they were taken.