1st July 2014
Today the P-26 Peashooter completed its journey from Chino when it was offloaded from its container and parked in the corner of The Fighter Collection Hangar. The boys from Chino will be arriving towards the end of the week to put the Peashooter and the silver P-40C together. Many thanks to TFC for the close up look around of the P-26. Outside and the Duxford Aviation Society has started work on stripping the paint from the H-P Herald. A bit of a surprise down at ARCo with the re-appearance of Spitfire 'MH424/H-53' which was last seen dismantled in hangar 3 around 2007 and then went into storage.
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
29th July 2014
Last Duxford visit for July and a Scorchio day with the temperature topping 25degC by mid afternoon. The Boultbee two seat Spitfire (G-ILDA) left for Goodwood first thing having been at ARCo for a bit of a servicing following its appearance at the Farnborough Air Show. In amongst the GA visitors, modern military put in an appearance with a couple of Squirrel helicopters (ZJ275/ZJ278) from RAF Shawbury stopping off for a comfort break for the crew and a bit of fuel for the helicopters and a Tutor (G-BYUX) from Barkeston Heath called in as well. The only other war bird flying was a visiting Chipmunk (WG407) and the based Stearman which went off to the north for a while. The TFC Mk.XIV Spitfire went to the tie down area for a few power runs. As part of the Summer Families Activities a small replica trench system has been constructed in the Gun Butt between hangars 2 & 3 with a costumed interpreter explaining the intricacies of the First World War and life in the trenches. Photos in the order they were taken.
2nd July 2014
A bit of war bird flying today. The ARCo T9/PV202 was first up for a day out at Sywell. Both the Duxford based T.28 Fennecs were flying with the silver one up first for some general handling and circuits followed by the camouflaged T.28 and both flew to the north for some formation practice flying. Having dropped of its passenger, the camouflaged Fennec then had a small display practice over the airfield. In hangar 2, TFC engineers are pushing on with the Spitfire Mk.XIV rebuild with the propeller now in place
3rd July 2014
Surprise of the day was the appearance, for two passes, of the Kennet Aviation Seafire FXVII/SX366 on its second flight from North Weald following a rebuild from a landing accident back in 2011. Hopefully will be appearing at Flying Legends. The ARCo Spitfire T.9 and the Grace Spitfire T.9 were flying sorties throughout the day and the Beaver returned from a short break at Goodwood.
4th July 2014
The boys from Chino were hard at work in the TFC hangar having attached the wings to the P-26 Peashooter, although not fully rigged yet, they were starting on the P-40C with the help of a crane. If it wasn't for the brisk wind blowing across the airfield it would have been hot at Duxford. I think the wind stopped Classic Wings from flying but not the war birds. The Hawk 75 was up first with some aerobatics over the airfield and early afternoon the OFMC Spitfire/MH434 took off for a display to the north and was away for just over an hour. P-51/'Ferocious Frankie' and the B-17/Sally-B were due to fly late in the day.
6th July 2014
Apart from a bit of rain just before the museum opened, it turned out to be a very nice warm sunny Sunday - eventually. It was another Classic Wings 'Fly With A Spitfire Day' but instead of one of the Duxford based machines, Spitfire XVI/RW382 flew up from its home in Biggin Hill for the event and returned after the last pass with the Harvard. Old Warden resident Dragon Rapide/G-AGSH was out and about and flew three circuits before returning back to Bedfordshire. Late afternoon and B-17/Sally-B returned following its air show appearance at the RAF Waddington Air Show over the weekend and the TFC TF-51/Miss Velma had a handling/test flight followed by some aerobatics by the P-40F when it returned over the airfield following handling checks to the north.
8th July 2014
With the Met Office having issued a weather warning for Cambridgeshire of torrential rain and thunderstorms this afternoon I wasn't going to stay late and beat the rain home but I left at around 4.30pm still waiting for the rain and thunder. The Piaggio P-166CL2/I-FENI, which arrived from the RAF Waddington Air Show the day before, left today for it's round Britain tour with the crew having spent most of yesterday and today wandering around the war birds out on the airfield. I think they enjoyed their Duxford visit. TFC war birds were out and about during the day with air tests and aerobatic routines. As we were watching Steve Hinton throwing around the Wildcat, the P-40C was towed out onto the airfield for an engine run. During the afternoon a silver XtremeAir XA-42/F-HAUL arrived and having seen its 'you cant fly an aeroplane like that' display before, I'm looking forward to seeing it displaying again over the next couple of days.
11th July 2014
The atrocious weather over the last few days at Duxford had put paid to any air tests and display flying and even the local birds were walking everywhere. Today was looking the same but started to clear mid afternoon and for the last two hours of opening time advantage was taken of the improved conditions. The Red Bull B-25 was first up and the P-26 Peashooter took to the air for a handling flight and then into a display routine which was basically flying around in an an oval pattern with a few climbs and dives thrown in. The P-40C also had its first flight and just went up for an air test. We were being turfed out at six o'clock by the museum staff when the Constellation called in. It had gone down to Farnborough this morning as the weather at Duxford was below minimum limits for it. Fortunately museum staff let us stay a bit later to catch the landing and parking. As it's not only Duxford suffering from the weather, a few of the continental war birds booked may not make it due to inclement weather they are having.
14th July 2014
I think that was the quietest departures day after Legends I can remember with just the Norwegian DC-3 and the French registered Hurricane and P-51/MoonbeamMcSWINE leaving for home. The DC-3 turned after take off and came back for a fast....ish, low....ish pass over the airfield and the Hurricane went off with a Vans photo ship in tow. The P-51 climbed to height after take off and over the M11 roundabout pointed the nose down for a fast topside pass along the flight line before climbing out again. The Catalina returned from static duties at RIAT and the Grace Spitfire was flying as well as the Boultbee T.9. As most of its fleet was out on the airfield following the air show, the eastern end of the TFC hangar had its annual spring clean before the fleet returned and in the western end, the boys from Chino were dismantling the Peashooter. In all the years I've been photographing this procedure, it's the quickest I've seen an aircraft containerised. 'Gone in 30 Seconds' came to mind.
16th July 2014
A very quiet day with the big tents still being dismantled and the site slowly returning back to normal after the air show. Flying wise there were a few GA visitors and the only other aircraft movements were in AirSpace when the Typhoon was pulled out into the sunshine so the Victor could be moved from one corner of the conservation area to the other. In hangar 2 north/west, the Grace Spitfire was receiving a bit of maintenance between having the D-Day stripes being removed. All was quiet in TFC with the Wildcat moved outside briefly to give a bit of space inside for the engineers to work.
25th July 2014
Very little has happened and its been very quiet around Duxford since the end of the Flying Legends air show. The only noticable difference has been the return of the Dart Herald to Airliner row now its fuselage has been stripped of paint and the Giant Wurzburg radar that stood outside the American Air Museum has been taken down and moved into hangar 5. The paint stripping on the F-15 continues and the recently arrived P-40C is up on jacks in the Fighter Collection hangar as repairs to the Allison engine, which broke during the Saturday display of Flying Legends, are carried
26th July 2014
A nice hot day that brought out the crowds for the 'Spitfires, Merlins and Motors' event. On the Jet Pan were the Mk.1 Spitfire/N3200 and the HAC Hurricane with the RAF Regiment Historic Flight living history group giving RAF ground crew type demonstrations throughout the day. On the grass near the control tower were Spitfire/MH434 and the BoB Buchon which for parting with £20 you could sit in a cockpit of the one of your choice with a free t-shirt thrown in as well. The flying consisted of the BoB Buchon, the Grace Spitfire which over the PA system was called a Mk.19, and the TFC Mk.V Spitfire. The TFC Mk XIV didn't quite make it. When the Buchon was flying to the north of the airfield, holding for its display slot, it was bounced by a BBMF Spitfire on its way to an event and what appeared to be a little bit of a dog fight broke out with the BBMF Spitfire last seen making a dash to the east.