1st February 2014
Blue sky, wall to wall sunshine and for about the first time in a week, no rain forecast during the day. The wind was a bit blustery with a significant wind chill in the morning and an adrenaline ride home on my motorbike with the cross wing along the A14. Not a lot had changed since my visit last Saturday. In hangar 5 the F-15 is undergoing a wash and brush up and the survey on the P-51 was continuing. In hangar 4 the WWI Motor Bus had moved from the south side of the hangar to the north to avoid a leaking room roof. Hangar 3 and the blue Harvard/G-BUKY had temporay waterproof wing covers attached, and the Zero cockpit section was also adorned with plastic sheeting to ward off the rain. Hangar 2 and TFC have started maintenance work on the Wildcat. It was a bit dark inside AirSpace so I experimented with the in-camera HDR function to see if I could get a decent picture without having to resort to flash.
Sony NEX-6/Sony E 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 Zoom Lens + Sony Alpha A57 SLT + Tamron 18-270mm f3.5-6.3 oom Lens
7th February 2014
Friday's are usually quiet at Duxford and today was no different. In 5 hangar the Sopwith Camel had its wings attached, probably for a weight check before going back down to London, but was positioned behind the F-15 and scaffolding so no decent shots of it. The TFC engineers were busy tinkering away with their fleet of war birds and in AirSpace work is continuing on the Shackleton survey and preparations were being made to remove the starboard fin from the tailplane. Meanwhile hangar 3 has a new temporary resident in the form of Spitfire FRXVIIIE/SM845 which was still dripping rain water on the hangar floor from its short trip up from ARCo before the museum opened. Many thanks to the MA's for the close up walk around.
26th February 2014
With the Spring Quilt Show taking place in the conservation area of AirSpace from the 7th to 9th March, most of the resident aircraft have been moved out with the Victor parked outside by the main doors and the Lynx moving back to hangar 3. The Shackleton is parked back on the Jet Pan with the bits removed from it taken to hangar 5 for storage and a bit of restoration. Beagle Pup/G-AZDG was moved up from ARCo and the engineers started playing musical aeroplanes as they tried to shoe horn all their aircraft into the limited space available in hangar 2/North. In hangar 2/South, the TFC Bearcat was up on jacks and later in the afternoon underwent gear retraction tests. With the airfield open again to visiting aircraft, it was closed til the damaged roof on AirSpace was made safe, and amongst a few GA visitors a Griffin from Shawbury dropped in for a pit stop with both the aircraft and crew taking on fuel. It returned to Shawbury after about an hour on the ground. Despite the blue sky and sunshine and outside air temperature of +11C when the Griffin left, as the wind increased so did the wind chill and it was definitely a gloves wearing day.
8th February 2014
Just a quick visit between the sunshine, rain showers and gusting wind as I had thought I had my wide angle lens with me yesterday so a quick Bimble to get the shots I missed yesterday.
13th February 2014
A bit of a break in the weather here in Cambridgeshire with a bit of sunshine although a shower did pass through around mid-day and the wind was still a bit blustery. Since my last visit the P-51 in hangar 5 has started to have its paint stripped off. No I don't know what the new colour scheme is going to be. A bit of refurbishment has taken place in the entrance to hangar 4, as part of Historic Duxford, in what used to be the briefing area used by the 78th Fighter Group, USAAF, when they were based at Duxford during WWII. The area is aimed primarily at school parties with the jacket and hats available to try on. I think it could do with some old school style radiators instead of the modern hardware though. Spitfire/MH434 has been replaced with a Chipmunk in hangar 3 and at the other end the Me.108 has been replaced with Spitfire/SM845. The missing aircraft I came across later on down at ARCo. Hangar 2 and it's the turn of the Bearcat to undergo a bit of winter maintenance. Meanwhile in AirSpace the deconstruction of the Shackleton continues with both the fins and one of the Griffon Power Eggs removed.
19th February 2014
With a second bout of wind damage to the roof of the AirSpace hangar, a few changes getting in as most of the car park is closed off with pedestrian barriers and only the tills in the visitor centre being open. Entrance to the main site is through a side gate. Being half term the place was crowded. With AirSpace closed access to view the Shackleton de-construction is on hold but in hangar 5 the paint stripping on the P-51 continues. Highlight of the visit was John Romain taking what's referred to as the 'Silver Spitfire' for a test flight and then a superb aerobatic routine over the airfield on his return.
21st February 2014
Apart from families enjoying a half-term outing in the sunshine it's still quiet at Duxford but with plenty of work going on in the background. The doors to hangar 2 were open so a couple of record shots from a different angle. They were open as the Silver Spitfire/SM845 had been given a polish, judging by the cleaning cloths and spray bottles on the hangar floor, and taken down to ARCo. Alas it wasn't for it to fly as its owner arrived in his Cessna CitationJet to look over his new war bird and after about half an hour he left to return to Humberside. The only other arrival while I was there was the Boultbee Chipmunk 22 although a couple of the Duxford based aircraft did fly including the Bulldog. Contractors were also on site removing and making safe the wind damaged roofing panels so much so that AirSpace will be back open again for the weekend.