1st October 2014
The sun continues to shine in Cambridgeshire and another nice warm day at Duxford. An unusual sight in hangar 3 this morning with an RAF Grob Tutor being crawled over by a trio of Serco engineers from Wyton. Apparently it didn't want to go back home after its visit yesterday. It had an engine run and was sitting out on the airfield waiting for a crew when I left. There were some war bird movements today but mainly the ARCo engineers moving a T.IX and Mk.IX Spitfires from the workshop into hangar 3 and taking a Mk.1 down as a replacement. Fortunately the Grace Spitfire was flying with a couple of sorties. Just before I left a 'sort of' Mustang arrived in the shape of a Titan T-51 Mustang Replica 'The Millie P' for a visit and a spot of fuel.
Camera Used: Sony Alpha A-77II SLT & Tamron 16-300mm f3.5-6.3 Di II PZD Macro lens
31st October 2014
P-51D(P-51K)/44-11631/'Etta Jeanne II' will be on display in hangar 5 over this weekend only as conservation work on the airframe was halted while it was painted up and will continue as soon as possible from next week. Having been parked in the corner of hangar 2, just out of reach from public viewing, the Grace Spitfire has now moved into hangar 3 and is parked next to MH434 and a bit more accessible to view. Although it was very warm with diffused sunshine from high clouds, there was a strong stiff breeze coming up from the south and blowing across the runway. Classic Wings Tiger Moths suspended flying as the gusty wind was making for some interesting flying although there was a visiting 1961 vintage Piper PA-22-108 Colt/G-ARKP and the desert camouflaged T-28 Fennec was doing circuits.
2nd October 2014
Although it was cloudy when I left home, visibility was good, it was light and quite warm. Thirty-five minutes later down the A14/M11 and visibility was somewhat restricted, it was dark but still warm with it. The airfield was closed to fixed wing aircraft but from the south out of the low cloud/mist came a big yellow RAF Sea King following the line of the M11. It circled the airfield, just under the cloud base, while they phoned home to Wattisham for a weather report which must have been better than at Duxford as they then headed off to the east. By mid-day, the cloud was breaking up and the sun shining through and Spitfire T.IX/MJ627 arrived and parked up at ARCo for a bit of a servicing. The Me.108 went for a slow bimble along the taxi way as its brakes were checked and a Squirrel HT2 of the Army Air Corps dropped in so the crew could have a cup of tea. The RAF Grob Tutor spent another nigh in hangar 3 before it was flown back to Cranwell when the weather lifted enough. The Blenheim was sitting outside ARCo when I first arrived and during the afternoon it was being worked on and then there was an engine run. A first flight is apparently still a ways off. In the order they were taken.
9th October 2014
A quick couple of hours at a very blustery Duxford before the rain coming from the south passed through and winter maintenance is under way with B-17/'Sally-B' undercover in hangar 2/north and the Catalina to fill the other side of the hangar in due course. TFC are starting to strip down their aircraft or in the case of the P-40C, put it back together again. With the H&H Car Auction over, vehicles were being moved out of AirSpace to be loaded onto trucks and trailers for their new owners if they sold. One car that stood out in the sunshine was the New York Yellow Taxi Cab or to give it its official title a 1948 Chevrolet Fleetmaster Taxicab, that sold for £11,200.
22nd October 2014
The roof on AirSpace survived the high winds that swept over Cambridgeshire from the tail end of Hurricane Gonzalo yesterday although the Catalina had been moved from its usual parking space outside 2 hangar down to the shelter of hangar 3. Still very quiet around the museum although there were a couple of war bird movements with the Duxford based Bulldog going for a flight and P-51/Ferocious Frankie was moved down to ARCo where it had a brief engine run. Sitting forlornly outside the workshops down at ARCo was the tail unit of the F-86A Sabre as it's dismantled ready to be containerised for its return the the USA.
25th October 2014
I only went to Duxford today because the sun was shining so I thought I'd make the most of it. Half term activities have started in AirSpace with an interpreter dressed as a First World War pilot giving a talk about aircraft development during that period along with a large scale model of a DH9 that the kids can help put together. Talking of models, Concorde has a smaller version of itself nestling under its wing. In hangar 5, the F-15 seems to be completely stripped of its former identity now and there is a nice line up of war birds in hangar 3. The Gladiator in hangar 2 is devoid of a few more pieces of airframe as its winter maintenance continues. Meanwhile outside, it look liked a Bonus Day out on the airfield for General Aviation types. A gaggle of microlights arrived and parked on the grass and about as many larger GA type visitors were parked on the jet pan along with a nice war bird in the shape of Chipmunk/G-BBMZ.
27th October 2014
I only went to Duxford again to take advantage of the wall to wall sunshine while it's available. The only noticeable change from Saturday is that the Catalina is now inside hangar 2 for winter maintenance. Mid morning and a bright yellow Harvard, with a neat piece of artwork on its cowlings, arrived and parked up at ARCo. The HAC Hurricane spent the day basking in the sun to make room in the workshop for the Harvard to be worked on. Very late afternoon and a Hercules, with 882 on the nose an tail, made a low approach with its wheels down towards the hard runway and over the threshold powered up and continued on its journey low level to the north. Was apparently going to fly back over the airfield on it return south but the museum closes at four o'clock now. As the Herc was flying over the yellow Harvard was being prepared for its flight back to its home base.
28th October 2014
Taking advantage again of another sunny day at Duxford although the forecast for the rest of the week is cloudy with a spot of rain. To make room in the AirSpace Conservation Hall for the Quilt Show this weekend, the Victor has again been moved outside. Also outside but down at ARCo was the fuselage of the BBMF Spitfire PR.XIX/PS915 getting a thorough wash down after paint stripping. Also at ARCo, their two seat Spitfire/PV202 took to the air just after lunchtime to carry out a last wish by spreading ashes over the airfield with a low pass and victory roll at the end.
30th October 2014
This morning in glorious sunshine the IWM Duxford P-51D/9246 was unveiled outside the American Air Museum in the markings of P-51K/44-11631/'Etta Jeanne II' of the 82nd FS, 78th FG as flown by Lt Col Huie Lamb(Rtd) from Duxford during 1944-45. There were a few variations to the colour scheme over the time it existed and the markings, including unfinished bits and hand painted serials, are re-created from original WWII photos of its appearance at Duxford at one point in time.The first 'Etta Jeanne' was named after his younger sister, was lost on its first mission when Huie Lamb had to ditch into the North Sea on the 29th December 1944. 90-year old Huie Lamb was back at Duxford as a distinguished guest and Duxford veteran to see the unveiling of the P-51. The ceremonies took place at exactly the same time on the same day 70 years ago as Huie Lamb set off from Duxford on a mission in 'Etta Jeanne II'.
TFC were also active today with TF-51D/'Miss Velma' sitting out on the airfield when doors opened and it was joined during the afternoon, after the clouds had rolled in and turned dark and cold, by the Corsair and Nimrod for engine runs. Just before 3 o'clock, Carl Schofield fired up 'Miss Velma' and after a short air test to the north rolled in over the airfield for a 10 minute flat, due to the low cloud base, display for Huie Lamb and guests who had congregated outside the American Air Museum. meanwhile in AirSpace, traders were setting up for the quilt show which will be open to the public for the next three days