1st June 2014
A lovely hot day at Duxford for the start of June and another day of war bird flying. The OFMC Spitfire/MH434 was taking part in the Wings to Wings air-to-air photography event with the two Rapide's from Classic Wings along with 'Taz' the Harvard. There were two outings with Paul Bonhomme throwing in some excellent aerobatics over the airfield after the second sortie. The main action was from The Fighter Collection again. The Hawk 75 was up for a bit of aerobatics first thing but the main attraction was when Pete Kynsey took the Hellcat for its second and third test flights. Between the two he flew Spitfire Mk.Ia/P7380 on a test flight with some aerobatics thrown in as well.
26th June 2014
The Catalina was on crew training again and out of the three days this was the best with a bit of speed, power and noise as it flew circuits and displays. The Fighter Collection had TF-51/Miss Velma, the Hellcat and Nimrod out on the grass. the Nimrod hadn't flown by the time I left. Miss Velma went flying first with a test flight to the north and then an excellent high powered aerobatic display over the airfield by Pete Kynsey. On landing he literally jumped out of that and into the Hellcat with another test flight to the north but no aerobatics on the Hellcats return. Later Miss Velma went flying again and I'm sure the TFC engineer in the back seat did not enjoy the flight as they did aerobatics over the airfield to check out the fuel flow into the carburetor while inverted. Cliff Spink flew the other Mk.1 Spitfire/N3200 with a nice display routine. A possible Old Warden debut on Sunday?.
Camera Used: Sony Alpha A57 SLT + Sony16-105mm/f3.5-5.6 + Tamron 18-270mm f3.5-6.3 Lens & Sony Alpha A58 SLT & Sony 70-400mm G SSM/f4.5-5.5 Lens
3rd June 2014
The weather forecast was reasonably correct with it being rubbish with a spot of rain in the morning and reasonably nice in the afternoon. After the worst of the weather fronts had passed through, P-51D 'Ferocious Frankie' left for Lee-on-Solent to take part in the D-Day anniversary events and just after lunch the silver Spitfire/SM845 left to join the rest of the Richard Lake fleet of war birds at Humberside Airport. Actually not all of them are there as his desert coloured Buchon is at Duxford still undergoing a spot of maintenance. In hangar 2/south, the TFC Nimrod is undergoing routine maintenance prior to returning to flight. Just before the May air show, the IWM had a bit of a shuffle around with some of their large exhibits. In hangar 3/north the Vosper 60ft Motor Torpedo Boat has been moved into the spot that the midget submarine, now in a Maritime Museum in Portsmouth, used to inhabit and the Sea King has been repositioned next to the Lifeboat.
5th June 2014
A group of primary school children descended on hangar 3 this morning, and along with Paul Bonhomme, gave a 'hand' on a bit of a make over on Spitfire/MH434. Later Paul took his Red Bull XtremeAir Sbach for an aerobatic display for said school children and as is the way, the clouds rolled in and it went quite dark. I doubt he heard it but he got a round of applause from them when he touched down. He was joined later by Steve Jones in the other Red Bull Sbach and they both had a practice display to the north of the airfield. Late in the afternoon and SpitfireT9/MJ627 went for a test flight and while waiting for it to return a Nanchang CJ-6A did a low fast pass along the grass runway. The Grace Spitfire was parked outside the control tower and the HAC Spitfire was being fueled as I left as they were both flying after the museum had closed.
6th June 2014
The TFC Corsair was out on the airfield and had an engine run before the museum opened with a second one later in the morning. The Duxford based Catalina left to spend the weekend at Le Touquet and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Chipmunk/WG486 arrived and after picking up some paperwork, left for the trip back to RAF Coningsby. Early afternoon and the Grace Spitfire/ML407, which as a single seater saw action 70 years ago to the day over Omaha Beach, flew south for a visit to Goodwood before returning later in the afternoon.
8th June 2014
A lovely hot Sunday in Cambridgeshire and first out of the blocks was the Duxford based Auster Autocrat/G-AGTO that flew off to the south and hadn't returned by the time I left at 4.30. The B-17/'Sally-B' drew a small crowd as it had a low rev engine run and a bit of a polish in preparation for it's trip to the Biggin Hill Festival of Flight next Saturday. Later in the afternoon P-51/'Ferocious Frankie' was outside on the grass basking in the sunshine as it was due to head off down to Folkestone for their air show but just after 4 o'clock it was towed back into the hangar. There were a few GA visitors during the day with the Stearman/G-AROY with a very nice colour scheme and a little red Champion Decathlon, with the risque registration of G-OCOK and until recently owned and flown by James May from Top Gear, being the more noticeable. Late afternoon and the Chipmunk pair were flying a display routine over the airfield.
10th June 2014
Another hot day for my 70th visit of the year to Duxford. Cliff Spink flew the Desert Buchon back to its home base at Humberside airport. Around mid-day a red, white and blue T3 Jet Provost/XN634 performed a missed approach and a bit later the Nord 1002(Me.108)/NJ+C11 flew in and parked up at ARCo. The TFC Corsair had a trip to the tie down pan at the 06 end of the runway for a maximum engine run and at ARCo the F-86 was in the sunshine for a bit of an engine run. Meanwhile the poor old Shackleton is back out on the Jet Pan, minus its wings, and moving closer to going into storage.
12th June 2014
Virtually wall to wall sunshine and very little wind made for a 'Scorchio' day at Duxford. Apart from the school parties, it was very quiet during the morning but the flying action picked up later in the afternoon. Spitfire T.9/MJ627 went for a test flight and then later on headed down to its new home at Goodwood. The TFC Spitfire Vb/EP120 headed out to the ORP and tied down for an engine run during which Anna Walker arrived in a spotless Tiger Moth/G-BJZF which was put to bed for the night in the TFC hangar. The pilot of the Catalina was having a DA flight with several landings and a couple of display routines followed by a display by Rats in the Spitfire Mk.1/P9374 which I believe is on air show duty this weekend.
13th June 2014
War bird action started first thing when the HAC Spitfire departed Duxford for the weekend closely followed by the Catalina which is due back Sunday afternoon. Then it went dead until early afternoon when GA aircraft taking part in the Around Britain Air Rally started arriving. Some are staying for the night and leaving Saturday. In between the arrivals the Red Bull Matadors in their XtremeAir XA41 aerobatic aircraft had a 10 minute practice display and TFC had their Hellcat and Corsair out on the airfield for some engine runs during which a Sikorsky S-76C/G-PACO arrived and after a bit of fuel then started circuit training. Late afternoon and the HAC Hurricane joined the TFC fleet out on the airfield while overhead the BoB Buchon was put through its paces for I believe its appearance at the Biggin Hill air show on Saturday.
17th June 2014
The Shackleton fuselage is finally ensconced in hangar 5/north where it will reside for the next couple of years before any restoration/conservation work on it is carried out. To get it in, some of the resident large objects had to be moved outside into the sunshine and even the CASA 2.111 made a brief appearance when it was pulled out, turned around and pulled back in. Flying wise, the BAS Twin Otter went walk about and of the two GA visitors that arrived while I was there, the bright red ex-Royal Chipmunk stood out a bit.
19th June 2014
Weather wise it was a rubbish day with low cloud and trying to rain, but it didn't stop Classic Wings from flying though. TFC had TF-51D Mustang/'Miss Velma', now on the UK register as G-TFSI, out on the grass for a bit of an engine run. A little bit earlier the Beech GB-2 Traveller/N16S, finished in Royal Navy colours, dropped in and thanks to the pilot who actually slowed down and waved as he went passed me as I was taking photographs of it from the Tank Bank.
20th June 2014
For a short time today there were four airworthy Mk.1 Spitfires based at Duxford when X4650 flew up from Biggin Hill, followed by a Piper Cub to ferry the pilot back, to join its stable mate already resident with The Fighter Collection. Mid afternoon and John Romain took to the air in P9374 and after a fly past headed off to Sywell. Before his Spitfire flight, JR took the silver Fennec up for an air test and a couple of circuits. The Catalina had a couple of practice displays and I think it was then off to an air show over the weekend. In the TFC hangar their Spitfire Mk.XIV now has its Rolls-Royce Griffon 65 attached and on its way to completion and flying again. This morning, Duxford became a heliport again when and S-76 and Dubai Air 142 called in again for fuel on their way to the racing stables at Newmarket and around mid-day a Cessna Citation 550/N550J arrived and parked up on the jet pan and looked to be staying for the weekend.
24th June 2014
Another warm and quiet day at Duxford although I did get wet going home on my motorbike as there appeared to be a wall of rain just between Bar Hill and Cambridge Services. The Catalina was up and down all day with circuits and short display routines with what looked like a spot of crew training. TFC came out to play in the afternoon. The Bearcat returned from its holiday in France and after it was tucked up in the hangar, Miss Velma had a successful engine run.
25th June 2014
To say it was quiet at Duxford today would be stretching it a bit with over 1,300 school children attending a 'Second World War Day Experience' throughout the museum. Meanwhile the Grace Spitfire was first up and flying sorties all day along the with Catalina with more crew training. The ARCo Mk.1 Spitfire went flying, with a bit of a display over the airfield on its return, and later in the afternoon the T.9 followed. TFC aircraft were outside again with engine runs and eventually the Nimrod flew for the first time this year with a bit of a display once the test flight to the north was completed.