1st May 2015
It was a moving day at Duxford with the B-24 being moved down to the jet pan and parked up just before the doors opened. Up in the AAM, the DC-3/C-47 was lowered from the ceiling but needed the lightweight wheels changing for proper ones to take its weight and that hadn't been completed by close of play otherwise it would have been in AirSpace as well. While that was going on, the SR-71 Blackbird was moved into the sunlight and then moved down to AirSpace followed in by the B-24. After all that, the Buchon took to the air with a practice display for its appearance at Old Warden on Sunday.
20th May 2015
The Aerostars were first up today but they went off to the north to practice together as a team but they did display over the airfield in the afternoon. The Blenheim was next up, for the benefit of another film crew, and the best display routine from it yet. TFC were out to play with flying and engine runs. The Hawk-75 flew several test flights with some aerobatics thrown in along with the Mk.V Spitfire and the Staggerwing. The British Antarctic Survey Twin Otter went walk about for an hour or so and touched down on the grass on its return and after a crew change went off again and the Sharkmouth Mustang was doing lots of training flights during the afternoon. The Grace Spitfire was flying as well and a Royal Navy Lynx dropped in for a spot of fuel and just before I left a Danish registered Chipmunk arrived and I think is parked up overnight. Photos in the order they were taken
Camera Used: Sony Alpha A-58 SLT + Tamron 16-300mm f3.5-6.3 Di VC PZD Lens & Sony Alpha A-77II SLT & Tamron 150-600mm f5-6.3 SP Di VC USD lens
2nd May 2015
The TFC Nimrod was out on the airfield for an engine run this morning but the engineers were still working on the engine in the hangar when I left. Sitting out on the jet pan this morning were five French registered GA aircraft who departed during the afternoon for Headcorn. Classic Wings were busy having one of their 'Tiger & Tanks' days where you go flying in a Tiger Moth and have a spin in an APC up at the Land Warfare Hall tank track and a Chipmunk being the only war bird visitor. The 'temporary' American Air Museum in AirSpace is open to the public over the weekend but liable to close come Tuesday when more airframes are moved in.
4th May 2015
Being a Bank Holiday Monday, I wasn't expecting much flying to be taking place at Duxford apart from Classic Wings and a few GA visitors. I was wrong about that. The Grace Spitfire started up first thing and went off to the North during which time a red and white Gnat, based at North Weald, flew in for two practice displays after which the Spitfire returned with a run and break and landing. Apart from the high cloud diffusing the sunlight, which cleared for the afternoon, I had problems trying to photograph the Gnat as it was to small, to fast and to high. Photographing piston engined aircraft is much easier. The Catalina was up next with a training flight including a display and lots of circuits. It went up again after I had left. Just before mid-day another Gnat from North Weald, yellow this time, flew in for a practice display and again to small, to fast, to high. The Yak-3, which had been parked next to the Grace Spitfire in hangar 2 for a couple of weeks for a bit of maintenance, powered up and took off for home but not before a couple of passes over the airfield. Photographs in the order they were taken.
7th May 2015
Started out a nice day at Duxford. The Catalina was crew training again with plenty circuits and the Grace Spitfire was flying passengers again and the Red Bull Matadors Aerobatic Team arrived and parked up on the grass opposite the tower. Come lunch time and a rain front was heading toward Duxford but the Red Bulls took off just as it arrived and headed to the North. I went and had my lunch in the old gun butts between hangars 2 & 3. Just as I finished lunch, the rain eased and the Red Bulls returned for a practice display. The Harvard that had been hanging from the roof of the American Air Museum, was trundled down to the AAM Annex in AirSpace to join the C-47 which had moved in earlier. In the AAM the B-29 had been slightly re-positioned and preparations were being made to lower the A-10 Thunderbolt. Highlight of the afternoon was the Blenheim going for a short flight as it was being filmed, again.
8th May 2015
The day started with another aircraft movement from the American Air Museum with Christine, the big yellow tug on loan from the Yorkshire Air Museum, slowly pulling the B-29 down to the jet pan to park it up for about a week. The B-52 will be pulled out of the AAM only as far as the front hard standing so the other aircraft can be removed and then it and the B-29 will be returned and only pulled out as and when the contractors require it. Classic Wings were having another one of their 'Fly In A Spitfire' weekends with MJ627 having flown up from Biggin Hill. To round off the morning Spitfire Mk.IX/TD314 went flying to the north and then a spot of aerobatics over the airfield on its return. Early afternoon and the Buchon and Spitfire Mk.1a/N3200 took off and we had a tail chase/dog fight over the airfield primarily for a group of Americans tourists that were visiting the museum and ARCo at the time. Only down side to the day, photography wise, was the wall to wall cloud, bad lighting and light rain that started when the Buchon/Spitfire pair took off.
10th May 2015
A busy Sunday at Duxford. Classic Wings were holding one of their 'Fly With A Spitfire' days with the Dragon Rapides and Harvard flying with the OFMC Spitfire/MH434. TFC were out to play with the Mk.V Spitfire/EP120 going up for a test flight and later for a spot of aerobatics over the airfield. Late in the afternoon the Wildcat fired up and flew to the north on a test flight with aerobatics over the airfield on its return. B-17 'Sally-B' had her first flight of the year spent mostly at Cambridge Airport on crew training.
11th May 2015
The morning entertainment at Duxford today was outside the American Air Museum where the B-52 was pulled out onto the hard standing a week earlier than planned. It had a brief excursion onto the airfield so they could reposition it on the hard standing for parking outside the AAM. How long it and the B-29 remain outside depends on how long it takes to get the rest of the aircraft down off their wires. The afternoon entertainment was at the other end of the airfield when the Shark Mouth Mustang went up for a test flight with Harvard 'Taz' doing circuits.
13th May 2015
The move of aircraft out of the AAM continues with the Navy Phantom taking up residence in its new home in hangar 3 and I was impressed that they managed to shoe horn the F-111 into hangar 5. The A-10 is in the other side of hangar 5 next to the other Thunderbolt but not easy to photograph and inside the AAM, contractors spent most of the day lowering the B-25. TFC were out to play today with the Nieuport Replica basking in the sunshine while the H-75 Hawk was outside for an engine run and the Harvard and Spitfire Mk.V joined it out on the airfield. A Yak 3 flew in for a display authorisation before landing. The TFC Harvard flew off for a maintenance check flight and then the Mk.V Spitfire took off and returned for a display routine before landing. The Sharkmouth Mustang went up for a flight in the morning but in the afternoon it came out to play properly as two pilots took turns for circuits and aerobatics routines. First time I've seen it flying off the grass strip. Photos in the order they were taken.
15th May 2015
When I left on Wednesday, the B-25 was hanging by its cables wheels up just above the ground in the American Air Museum. Today it was tucked up in the paint bay of hangar 5 as it's due to emerge in a new colour scheme in a couple of months. The AAM move of the day was the wingless U-2 fuselage as it made its way from the top of the museum site to the bottom. It was squeezed in between the Blackbird and the wall and then the Huey was positioned between them. The flying highlights were the Blenheim leaving Duxford, just after the doors opened, for its first air show appearance at the families day at RAF Odiham and immediately following that the Biggin Hill two seat Spitfire arrived for the weekend as it was flying passengers with Classic Wings.. Later in the morning the HAC Spitfire depart to spend its weekend in Kent. TFC had some of their fleet outside with the Bearcat and Gladiator both having engine runs. Later in the afternoon the Wildcat and Hawk-75 went up for air tests and two displays from the Wildcat.
30th May 2015
Despite the visitor queue snaking around the corner first thing and still queuing to get in at mid-day, it was a quiet Saturday at Duxford. Classic Wings were having one of their 'Fly With A Spitfire' events and I though a nice looking 1946 Luscombe 8F Silvaire would be the GA visitor of the day but it was out trumped a little bit later when an even nicer looking 1952 built Cessna 195 Businessliner arrived.
21st May 2015
Following the arrival of Yak.3/'White 100' The Fighter Collection's Gladiator and Hawk-75 left for the long journey to La Ferté-Alais, in Northern France, for their air show over the weekend. It was a lot quieter, flying wise, than yesterday but in the afternoon the TFC P-40F and the OFMC P-51/'Ferocious Frankie' took off one after the other. After about 5 minutes to the north, the P-40 returned for a spot of aerobatics over the airfield and as it touched down, Frankie flew in for some more aerobatics and went flying again with a different pilot later on in the afternoon. The Sharkmouth Mustang was flying again with some more aerobatics followed by the arrival of the Royal Aircraft Factory BE.2c Replica for its appearance at the Duxford VE Day Anniversary Air Show at the weekend. The HAC Hurricane, with a Polish squadron marking applied to the cockpit area during the morning, took off for a photo shoot to the north but came back for three aerobatic displays over the airfield. After I had left the HAC Hawker Fury arrived. Photos in the order they were taken.
25th May 2015
I didn't get any good photos of the German registered Me.108 when it arrived on Friday to stay for the weekend so first port of call today was the' tank bank' as I could see movement around it as the crew was getting ready to head home. Following the air show Duxford was a bit bereft of war birds today with two in France and five in Holland for an air show there. Late morning and another war bird departure with the Buchon heading north and early afternoon and B-17 'Sally-B' fired up and headed off towards the American Cemetery at Maddingley for a fly past on Memorial Day before heading north for East Kirkby. There were a couple of Jets in the circuit during the afternoon with a Hawker Hunter T.7 from North Weald doing missed approaches which then flew away to return later for a bit of aerobatics and a few more missed approaches, and a Hunting Jet Provost T3 of The Classic Jet Preservation Group, also doing missed approaches. Mid-afternoon and at the same time, the Hawk-75/Gladiator called in on there return from France as did Sally-B on return from its Bimble around the countryside.