2nd July 2013
Weather wise it was a naff day with complete cloud cover, rather dark and it did try and rain during the afternoon. TFC saved the day with an aeroplane shuffle so they could extract the Bearcat from the middle of the hangar for an engine run. Apart from the three SAAB T-17 Supporter's of the Royal Danish Air Force, a BBMF Chipmunk flew in and parked up at ARCo and a desert camouflage Auster 5 paid a visit and parked by the control tower. The Blenheim nose that has been resident in hangar 3 has gone on a little journey to the Coventry Transport Museum for an exhibition and will return to Duxford later in the year. The door to hangar 4/north-east was cracked open a bit so it would have been remiss of me not to stick my camera in for a different viewpoint of the Strikemaster. Parked down at ARCo was a red British Antarctic Survey Twin Otter but not VP-FAZ that was resident a few weeks ago but VP-FBL. The BAS aircraft fleet consists of four Twin Otters and a Dash 7.
4th July 2013
There must be something happening at Duxford soon. Lots of contractors riding around in fork lifts and panel vans and big tents and crowd barriers being erected. Anyway, 'Taz' the ARCo Harvard flew out to Goodwood first thing and around mid-day the HAC Nimrod trundled out onto the airfield and eventually went flying. Later in the afternoon, TFC came out to play. The P-40F did an engine run followed by the Bearcat and the Biggin Hill Mk.1 Spitfire and the TFC Mk Vb Spitfire with its clipped wings now sporting pointy bits. There is now a breeding pair of Twin Otters resident at ARCo as VP-FAZ returned this afternoon minus its lumps and bumps. You can go months without seeing an Auster and then two come along in one week. Air Harrods were back with one of their their S-76 helicopters for a few circuits before heading back to Stansted and an occasional visitor in the shape of a Cessna 525A CitationJet 2 parked on the jet pan for an hour or so while the pilot paid a visit to ARCo.
5th July 2013
TFC were active again today with the Mk V Spitfire having an engine run and in the afternoon Pete Kynsey flew the Gladiator and Bearcat with PK giving a superb display in the Bearcat. Elsewhere, apart from the usual GA visitors and Classic Wings Tiger Moths about the only other flying was the BAS Twin Otter - VP-FBL - which flew a survey grid pattern over the airfield before heading over to Grafham water to do the same and the Stearman. Oh, and it was hot.
9th July 2013
With the countdown to Flying Legends at the weekend continuing there was plenty of Duxford based warbirds flying around today, mainly with visiting American pilots. One interloper was the Bentwaters based Yak-3M over for a practice display and a pair of Squirrel helicopters from RAF Shawbury called in for some fuel. Weather wise it was hot but with a slight breeze to take the edge off it.
10th July 2013
Despite the cool conditions and total cloud cover this morning, it turned out quite warm again by late afternoon. Despite most of the TFC fleet sitting outside, most of it stayed firmly planted to the grass but probably flew after the museum closed. John Romain was first up in the Mk 1 Spitfire/P9374 with an air test followed by some aerobatics over the airfield. Pete Kynsey took the TFC Spitfire Mk V, with its pointy wingtips, for a long test flight and he must have been happy with it as we had another display of aerial maneuvers. Yak-50/F-AZXK, which is a temporary resident at Duxford at the moment, performed another aerobatic routine and TFC P-51D/Miss Velma flew off and returned with a few high speed maneuvers. The first foreign visitor for the air show arrived late this afternoon in the shape of P-51D/"Moonbeam McSwine" from France. There was a big schools science and engineering event on in AirSpace today and the Army had a few big Tonka-toy type trucks and stuff outside for the kids to climb over. As part of this event an Apache helicopter landed on the jet pan for a couple of hours so the school kids have a look around.
11th July 2013
Despite the Americans going on day trip to the south coast in three Spitfires, one Mustang and a PC-12, there was more than enough pilots about at Duxford for an enjoyable day of action. Just a few highlights mainly from the afternoon.
13th/14th July 2013
Just a brief preview of the Flying Legends Weekend with more photos to follow later in the Airshow section. An excellent two days of warbird flying but with two of the hottest days of the year with very little wind, which photography wise, created a lot of problems because of haze with either a white sky or aircraft in silhouette. It was rare to get a bit of blue sky.
15th July 2013
Having sneaked into Duxford after the air show last night, the Red Bull B-25 went for a little bit of a walk about today with a trip to Cambridge Airport to do a few circuits and I believe headed north after that, presumably to get some British ATC experience as this was its first visit to the UK. When it returned we had a practice display and once landed the crew swapped over and we had one more circuit. It is now parked on the grass opposite the tower and it, the Corsair, and a Do228NG and Swiss AF Super Puma that arrived this afternoon, are down to leave Duxford on Thursday for the air show at Fairford next weekend.
17th July 2013
A hot, hazy and quiet day at Duxford. Museum staff are still clearing the site from the air show at the weekend. In the western end of The Fighter Collection hangar, 'Princess Elizabeth' is being drained, disconnected, and dismantled for crating up in the container that arrived today for her journey back home to Texas after her short stay in Cambridgeshire. The eastern part of the TFC hangar has been cleared so the floor can be given a good clean. In Hangar 3, the Shuttleworth Collection's Hawker Hind, that developed a problem after its arrival for the Legends air show, was being work on by some of the Collection's engineers and many thanks to Lee, who was working on and later flew in his Stampe SV4C, for access around the rest of the hangar. Outside and apart from the usual flying by Classic Wings and visiting GA aircraft, Cliff Spink left early in the ARCo/HFL Spitfire T9 for Sywell and later on Percival P.44 Proctor V/G-AKIU did a fly through. The Dornier Do228NG and the Swiss Air Force Super Puma, that arrived on Monday, were parked on the grass outside AirSpace as they were taking part in a corporate event staged by the Swiss technology company RUAG AG. Did I mention it was hot.
18th July 2013
A crane turned up early afternoon outside the TFC hangar and the fuselage of P-51 'Princess Elizabeth' was seperated from the wings. Eventually the fuselage and wings were bolted to the framework it arrived in and loaded into the container. The Shuttleworth Hind had its problem sorted and after an engine run it was a question of waiting for a pilot to turn up and fly it back to Old Warden. The T-28 Trojan went flying with a display above the airfield when it returned and following its first flight the day before, John Romain flew the Rolls-Royce Hertitage Trust Spitfire XIX on a couple of test flights. The visiting Swiss AF Super Puma and the Dornier Do.228NG both left for Fairford.
19th July 2013
Following the containerisation of P-51 'Princess Elizabeth' the highlight of the day was the departure of the Red Bull B-25 & Corsair. After take off there were two low, fast passes over the airfield by the pair before they headed west then south for the air show at Fairford. John Romain flew the Rolls-Royce Spitfire XIX again with a very nice display of aerobatics over the airfield. Been a while since I've seen an MC-130P doing circuits at Duxford. It spent about an hour during the afternoon doing take offs and landings.
25th July 2013
Wasn't expecting much of anything happening today but there were enough war birds out and about to make it interesting. The T28 was out first although I didn't think it was that humid at the time. The Pitts returned home and the Catalina flew back to base. There was another 'Wing to Wing with a Spitfire' day with the Classic Wings Rapide and the OFMC Spitfire taking part. There were three sorties and after the last one, Nigel Lamb returned in MH434 for some aerobatics over the airfield. To get the MkXIV Spitfire out of the TFC hangar for an engine run, P-47/Snafu made a brief appearance in the sunshine. With all the speculation as to whether it is staying or going to America, I though I'd better take advantage of the brief appearance to increase the number of photos I have of it.
26th July 2013
A quite busy day for a Friday. There were a couple of Display Authorisation flights with the T.28 and a Harvard with a rude registration. Who said the Germans didn’t have a sense of humour. The Catalina departed for Newcastle Airport to take part in the Sunderland Air Show over the weekend which was followed later by the Buchon and after Charlie Brown had touched down in the HC Spitfire, he climbed into the HAC Nimrod and headed north to join the air show fleet. During the afternoon the TFC P-47 Thunderbolt ‘SNAFU’ made the short hop down to Stansted Airport to take part in the 70th Anniversary celebrations since a new hard runway was laid down for what became the 9th largest U.S. Air Force base in East Anglia. On its return to Duxford late in the afternoon, Stu Goldspink then gave a superb 20+ minute display over the airfield the majority of which I watched instead of photographing.
28th July 2013
The Museum was holding its 'Spitfires, Merlins & Motors' event during the day and a report and more photos to follow later in the Airshow section. During the day the HAC Nimrod and B-17 'Sally-B' returned from air show duty up north. Meanwhile in hangar 2, two engineers from Commanche Warbirds, based in Texas USA, were strating to dismantle P-47G 'SNAFU' for crating up in shipping containers for the long journey across the Atlantic.