8th March 2013
Wall to wall fog was covering Cambridgeshire, but it wasn't cold. That's apparently for next week. Following on from their first event at Duxford last year, Grosvenor Shows’ Spring Quilt Festival returned to the Conservation Hall of AirSpace with a wide range of stands selling patchwork and quilting supplies. For a Friday, there was a lot of people there and apparently it gets busier over Saturday and Sunday. The only other noticable change since my last visit has been a move around of The Fighter Collection fleet in Hangar 2.
Camera Used: Sony Alpha A57 SLT + Sony16-105mm/f3.5-5.6 Lens & Sony Alpha A35 SLT & Sony 70-300mm G SSM/f4.5-5.5 Lens
11th March 2013
It wasn't the snow flurries that were the problem today but the wind chill and although I was well wrapped up, wearing two pair of gloves had little effect and at times I had problems handling my camera. The Fighter Collection are continuing engine runs on some of their fleet following winter maintenance this time with the Hawk 75. Meanwhile up in Hangar 5, conservation on the V-2 rocket continues with the nose being detached and more internal details on show.
12th March 2013
At least the snow held off until I got home and although it wasn't as bad as yesterday, it was still bitterly cold. Following on from the Hawk 75 having an engine run the day before, the next TFC aircraft to venture air side was the Grumman FM-2 Wildcat but not for an engine run. As part of the certification process for a return to flight, the aircraft needed to be weighed. Having had its empty weight recorded, the Wildcat was towed onto the airfield to be fueled so the weight of the aircraft fully loaded could be checked. Meanwhile in Hangar 5, Montgomery's staff car has had its European Theatre of War camouflage sanded down to reveal the sand colours when the Humber was used in the Western Desert. it is to be returned back into desert camouflage for a new display when Lambeth re-opens. The M3A3 Grant Tank used by Montgomery, that was brought up from Lambeth and stored in Hangar 5, was moved to the Land Warfare Hall, I assume for a bit of maintenance in the workshops. Apart from an Army Apache and a Robinson R44 the only other flying I noted was by a visiting Chipmunk.
13th & 16th March 2013
The BAS Twin Otter was having a bit of maintenance carried out on the engines as on the 15th it flew out of Duxford, apparently for the Arctic this time, but is rumoured to be returning in a couple of weeks. The HAC Spitfire Mk.V/BM597 was booked to appear at the RAF Northolt night photoshoot on the 14th as this actual aircraft was operated by Polish Squadrons during WWII and being finished in its Polish markings, was going to display in front of Polish veterans who were holding a reunion at Northolt that weekend. Unfortunately a radiator leak kept it grounded. Instead Charlie Brown put on a very good aerobatic display just as the sun was setting over West london in the HAC Hurricane instead and after an overnight stop returned to Duxford the next day. Spitfrie IA/AR213/JZ-E has moved out of Hangar 2 and due to re-appear soon in different markings - if rumours are to be believed.
21st March 2013
A passing Apache helicopter or two from Wattisham are normal during the day for Duxford and don't usually garner a passing glance, except this time it was a mixed formation of Apache & Lynx so I managed to grab a quick reference shot. The doors and runners to Hangar 4 were being checked which gave a photo opportunity to grab a shot of the Phantom FGR2 from an angle not normally available. Highlight of the afternoon was courtesy of The Fighter Collection as P-47 Thunderblot/'SNAFU' was brought out into the cold and taken to the top end of the runway to be tied down and given a maximum engine run.
27th March 2013
Having arrived at Duxford from RAF Coningsby in November 2010, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Hurricane PZ865 has been undergoing a major servicing at the Aircraft Restoration Company since then and today it went for its first post restoration flight in the South East Asia Command colour scheme and markings of ‘EG-S’ of No 34 Squadron based in Palel in India in 1944. The Fighter Collection Hawk 75 was outside for a compass swing and was then due to head south to La Breguet, France. Weather permitting. Meanwhile in Hangar 5 a rather large crane was being used to lift the heavy navy guns off the ground so scales could be placed under them to weight them before they return to London.
27th March 2013
With the bitter wind chill it was definitely a three pair of gloves day. I only had two pairs and suffered a bit trying to hold and operate my camera. After a 10 minute handling flight to the north of Duxford, the TFC Hawk 75 was fueled up and Patrice Marchasson headed south for the weekend with a final destination of Le Bourget, Paris. Meanwhile, Terence the Tug was playing musical aeroplanes with the ARCo/HFL fleet in hangar 2.
30th March 2013
Easter Saturday and it was snowing during my journey in. Apart from that not a lot else was happening but an opportunity to get a few monopod shots before the public crowded into the hangars.