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In Reach

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Stoke comes to Medway

AviationPosted by Peter Smith Thu, January 18, 2018 17:57:11

Spitfire RW388, currently on display in the Potteries Museum, is to be dismantled by JGD Aerotech starting Monday and transported to Medway Aircraft Preservation Society. After restoration it is scheduled to be returned in 2019 and displayed in a purpose built extension to the museum (hopefully allowing better photo opportunities eh Gaz). Should look good anyway as Medway turn out some cracking work.

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Runway excursion incident!

AviationPosted by Peter Smith Sun, January 14, 2018 13:30:26

Well this could certainly have been a lot worse after this plane departed a runway on landing in Turkey last night. Pleased to hear that there are no reported serious injuries after the 737 bogged down in the mud part way down the cliff.

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VC 10 Bash Bruntingthorpe

AviationPosted by Gary Sat, January 13, 2018 16:45:08

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New addition

AviationPosted by Peter Smith Wed, January 10, 2018 18:03:45

Auster MkV RT486 was put up for sale a few weeks ago and has reportedly been acquired by the RAF Manston history museum. It has WWII history, flying reconnaissance for operation Market Garden. It was recently based at Southampton but had developed engine problems but it sounds like its flying days are now over.

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Freighter returns

AviationPosted by Peter Smith Mon, January 08, 2018 00:17:10

After a trek from Ardmore in New Zealand a Bristol Freighter arrived at Filton, Bristol this week, fuselage early in the week and the wings a couple of days ago. It is believed to be the only aircraft of its type in Europe and is scheduled for restoration by Aerospace Bristol where it will go on display in due course. Be nice to see this old workhorse once it has been refreshed. More if you click here.

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Bit of a shame

AviationPosted by Peter Smith Wed, January 03, 2018 18:06:39

The P-40 discovered in the Sahara over 5 years ago after being untouched for 70 years has now gone on display at the El Alamein museum after being 'restored'. The end result has not been well received. Originally the aircraft was slated to be returned to the UK for display at Hendon but Egyptian authorities elected to keep it. At least the aircraft is preserved although inside would have been good.

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Another year

AviationPosted by Peter Smith Sat, December 30, 2017 18:49:10

Looking back over the last 12 months and its been a reasonably full year once more. Four air shows, including a couple of firsts in Abingdon and a Shuttleworth event, some museum visits, several old airfields and memorials, an interesting tour of the C-54 at North Weald and my first wreck pilgrimage, up a Scottish mountain. There's been one or two gripes, mainly relating to cones and fencing, the odd surprise - P-51s 'kissing' at DX, a Twister coming down at Abingdon - but generally a good year with good companions on more than one occasion.

Next year is of course the 100th anniversary of the formation of the RAF so there will be events to mark that and I'm sure to end up at one or two. Cosford springs to mind if they keep their promise and drag some museum exhibits out in to the open. Legends is always on the calendar but we'll see what's in the line up before committing as this year was a little disappointing and I thought the IWM show in September was far better. IWM is also changing with a new membership scheme having started and Friends of Duxford will be no more once my membership expires in May. Not decided what to sign up to yet as the new scheme has just added stuff that is of little interest but that seems to be the way of the world where 'improvements' are concerned.

So here are a few reminders from 2017. Next year I'm hoping to get a bit further afield again so watch this space. Oh yes, and a Happy New Year all.

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AviationPosted by Peter Smith Thu, December 28, 2017 22:48:20

Feltwell was an RAF Bomber field in WWII and then a Thor missile site but didn't have hard runways. The base is still in use by an Intelligence Squadron of the USAF so I didn't go poking my nose in but I did seek out the memorial to 75 NZ squadron RAF at St Marys church.

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Hucknall 1973

AviationPosted by Gary Thu, December 28, 2017 19:06:37
Whilst researching what I've seen over the years, I came across this on a Nottingham history forum and these pictures were taken by a forum member called 'Antoni' and lives abour 4 minutes away from me. These photographs taken by him are of the last ever airshow put on for Rolls Royce employees and future customers at Rolls Royce Hucknall during the summer of 1973. The reason they never put on another show there was because a local zoo owner 'bitched' about the noise and was the cause of a lion eating a lion cub due to the noise and stress of it all. What was the cause of the noise ? The Blue Angels in F4s thats what. I watched along with around 450-500 'freeloaders' from the local golf course which was owned by 'The City of Nottingham' city council and being Labour through and through turned a blind eye and allowed we 'lower-classes' to stand and watch the action free of charge and from behind the airfield boundry fence. In fact Rolls Royce used to send an RAF Land Rover to sell programmes to us and at least one time they 'dispatched' and ice-cream van to us which ran the whole length of the crowd-line. You would not get that in the 'naughty field' at DX would you ? I was there that day and the Blue Angels made their way to Hucknall without ATC and followed the 'M1' to get to Hucknall having the M1 at the threshold of the runway at the Watnall village end. Great dynamic performance and had to cover my 'lug-holes' and thought they were the greatest thing since 'sliced bread'. On landing, one burst a tyre and the two landing behind it applied the 'after-burners' and went round again. I also remember the Red Arrows there and sat on Their Folland Gnats watching the action too. The 'Fat Albert' was 'all-white' and not in it's today colours of blue white yellow. These photographs were 'lifted' from this Nottingham history forum and were taken by the poster called 'Antoni' who it appears was an employee of Rolls Royce Hucknall. That is his wife and daughter in the second photo.

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AviationPosted by Peter Smith Wed, December 27, 2017 16:42:37

Whilst away I also called past Watton airfield, large sections of which are now a depressing feeling housing estate although there is no mistaking the roots of the place with names such as Lancaster, York, Washington, Hurricane, Canberra etc adorning the road signs. The main runway is still more or less in place but destined to be taken over for agricultural purposes and there are a couple of nice memorials at the entrance to the estate which was nice to see.

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Nice gimmick!

AviationPosted by Peter Smith Tue, December 26, 2017 17:04:11

A little way down the road from Tibenham airfield and pretty much in the middle of nowhere is a bed showroom. They've plonked this purple thing on the front lawn to make it easier to spot!

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AviationPosted by Peter Smith Mon, December 25, 2017 18:58:44

Tibenham in Norfolk can trace its history back to WWI when it was an RFC landing ground. However it was most active with the USAAF in WWII as home to the 445th Bombardment Group who were involved in the disastrous Kassel raid of September 1944 when only 4 of 35 Tibenham based Liberators returned to base. The field is still active and has been home to Norfolk gliding club for many years. I had a bit of a look yesterday and also went to All Saints church where there is a memorial within.

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AviationPosted by Peter Smith Sun, December 24, 2017 18:00:28

Shipdham, in Norfolk, was home primarily to the 44th Bombardment Group (heavy) and hosted B-24 Liberators from October 1942 until 1945 which was longer than any other USAAF UK base. The airfield remains active as an unlicensed field so I didn't go for a wander but I did seek out the memorials at All Saints Church and at the chapel at Shipdham cemetery. The latter has been relocated after previously being affixed to the disused control tower.

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AviationPosted by Peter Smith Mon, December 18, 2017 23:29:12

Festive greetings to all who pop by for a read, regularly or otherwise. Have a good one!

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Blenheim to Hawkinge

AviationPosted by Peter Smith Tue, December 05, 2017 18:19:45

A local rag reports that a Blenheim IV is moving from Duxford to Hawkinge museum tomorrow for restoration:

The majority of the Blenheim project, including a fuselage, centre section and a pair of wings are due to arrive at the Museum tomorrow. The cockpit section will be arriving from Canada in a few months time.

I assume this is spares or bent bits from the current airworthy MKI (Gaz - do you know more?) that they will be working with.

Once finished of course we won't be allowed to snap it because that's they way Hawkinge play unfortunately.


Does look like Denham crash wings.

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