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  The Fighter Collection

flying legends 2011 Build-Up

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Two shipping containers arrive outside The Fighter Collection hangar containing North American P-51K-10NT Mustang 'Fragile But Agile' and North American P-51D-30NA Mustang 'February'. The aircraft are the mounts of Dan Friedkin and Ed Shipley, two of the pilots of 'The Horsemen' P-51 Mustang formation aerobatice team.

Which is in which container though?

7th June 2011

C-53D Skytrooper/LN-WND of Dakota Norway arrived at Duxford today to take part in a British Airways commercial that is being shot at the airfield. The VC-10 is also taking aprt .

From the 30th June, reports will be more frequent with photographs.

27th June 2011

The Hinton clan spent the morning putting P-51 ‘February’ together and both aircraft are together in Hanger 2/east having the rest of their bits added. Early afternoon and the HAC Hawker Fury was wheeled out into the sunshine and was later joined by the Hawker Nimrod for a bit of a photocall. Many thanks to the HAC team for accommodating the gathered photographers. Although Lotus/Renault were back making a lot of noise with their F1 car there was a bit of flying going on. The T.28 Trojan went up during the morning and later that afternoon departed for Waddington, I think, along with Sally-B. I quite like the Spitfire replica but it could do with the engine boosting so it sounds like a Merlin rather than a lawn mower. Three-thirty and Charlie Brown arrived from the Continent and beat up the airfield in Buchon D-FMVS. Not long after, Brian Smith arrived in Corsair F-AZYS with a very nice topside pass and then a short aerobatic display over the airfield.

1st July2011

4th July2011

Another day. Another container. The P-40F has finally arrived and was off loaded and when I left tonight, the engineers were getting ready to fix the fuselage onto the wings. Steve Hinton took P-51 'Fragile But Agile' for a test flight after I'd left. Hopefully 'February' should fly tomorrow.

5th July2011

It was wall to wall sunshine when I arrived but the clouds that were forecast soon rolled in and produced some very flat light during the afternoon. Fortunately the rain held off until about 10 minutes after I got home. Any who. Pete Kynsey was first up in P-51 ‘Miss Velma’ with a test flight and some aerobatics over the airfield. Nick Grey fired up the T.20 Sea Fury and took it for a spin to the north of Duxford and returned for some aerobatics. He flew again later in the day. Patrice Marchasson took off in the P-40B from the newly mown grass strip, and returned after a test flight with more aerobatics. Next up were three P-51s. Steve Hinton was the pilot of ‘Miss Velma’ with Steve Winstone in the back seat. Steven Hinton, Steve’s son, in ’Fragile But Agile’ and Steve’s brother John in ‘February’. They flew off to the north with a camera ship for an air to air shoot with John Dibbs and on their return did a run and break before landing. Charlie Brown then treated us to a display in the HAC Nimrod which was followed by Stephen Grey in the Mk IV Spitfire.

A very quite day and the weather was windy, blustery with occasional showers. The P-40F was being weighed when I arrived and later in the afternoon was having undercarriage retraction tests. PK went up in the Bearcat, Carolyn Grace took her Spitfire for a spin and Carl Schofield threw the TFC Mk IVX Spitfire around. French registered Skyraider F-AZDP arrived and at five o’clock it was put through its display paces . I think the Fokker Dr I was going to go for a test flight but as I said the wind was very blustery. The Red Bull aircraft were forecast to arrive at four thirty but at four we were told they had turned around due to the weather. They are now on the ground at Duxford.

6th July2011

Spent most of the day watching three Americans and a crane driver putting a P-51 back together. First time I've seen this process and was very interesting, apart from when a couple of rain showers passed through during the afternoon.

30th June 2011

A lot of rain about this morning but it cleared away by lunchtime although still very blustery, and then the Horsemen went flying. This was followed by the TFC T.20. Miss Velma and the Skyraider went up for a couple of passes, a photoshoot I think, and then the Red Bull team went up for their display. A Fokker Dr.1 arrived as the Bulls lined up on the main runway and after the first display by the P-38, it cleared to the north to let another Dr.1 and a French Sea Fury land. The Red Bull Corsair came back in and was followed by the P-38 for another display. Next in was a fully tooled up Skyraider and Cliff Spink took the Desert Buchon for a spin. At this point I left for the bus home but Stephen Grey was about to go up in the Mk V Spitfire and the P-40F was being towed onto the airfield for an engine run.

7th July2011

Weather wise it was the same as the day before. Rubbish and wet in the morning  but sunshine, blue sky and big white fluffy clouds in the afternoon. There was still a rather blustery wind blowing across the airfield that made for some interesting landings and it also put paid to a few practice displays. During the morning two Chinooks turned up, pirouetted in the middle of the airfield and departed. An Apache flew through and also a Merlin with a fast low pass and wiggling from side to side. From 3 o’clock onwards the arrivals started. I don’t think many people down the M11 end took much notice of the Ju.52 flying its display routine as a Mk 1 Spitfire, with black and white undersides, was outside ARCo and had its engine run for the benefit of the owner.

8th July2011