The oldest surviving RAAF Neptune has just been acquired by HARS and moved to their storage facility at Parkes NSW for reassembly . It first joined the RAAF in 1951. Although its history was not apparent to me at the time I saw this aircraft awaiting collection from the museum at Point Cook when I visited in October. Its service life ended in 1966 and she then spent many years in store at RAAF Wagga Wagga before being moved on in 1997.
A fast taxi run and short hop turned in to a first flight for the Xp-82 Twin Mustang project on New Year's Eve when the a/c accelerated much more quickly than expected leaving marginal room for pulling up safely. As result a 5 minute go around resulted with all systems and controls reported to be fine. Be interesting to see this up close one day.
So, another year has zipped past with worrying haste, possibly brought about by spending a good part of the year looking forward to October and going down under to visit Temora amongst other places. (Incidentally if you want to read more on the airshow at Temora, Warbirds Digest have just published their reviewhere)
For me though a good year starting with some old airfields in late winter before heading off for the RAF 100 show at Cosford. Great except for the traffic getting there. I had more traffic problems getting to Flying Legends but fortunately took a detour and avoided a road closure that probably would have meant missing a show that was a lot better than 2017. The highlight of the year was of course my first visit to Australia where I managed a two day airshow and a few museums seemingly without boring the wingman too much. I am lucky that she panders to my hobby as much as she does so I guess a big thank you to her is in order - again!.
So to 2019. Will be heading northwards as spring arrives so look out for whatever comes to light in Lincolnshire. We have the DC3s coming to Duxford in June but don't know how much we will be fleeced for to get up close but details are out in February I believe. As ever I expect to be at Legends in July but will decide when it is clearer on the content. Other than that there are a couple of museums that I am hoping to get to which means heading overseas but nothing arranged as yet.
Whatever you have in mind for the New Year I hope it is a good one for you.
If you have a good memory or are interested anyway you may know of the Gossamer Albatross. It was a man powered aircraft that won the Kremer Prize in 1979 for crossing the channel from Folkestone and landing on the beach at Cape Gris-Nez. Some of the support work involved Manston and at that time Squadron Leader Robert 'Paddy' Brown was working there with the ATC and became close to those involved. I understand that he flew Hurricanes at one point and his Mae West and log books are on display at Manston museum. S/L Brown passed away 5 years ago but last year I was introduced to his widow. I was chatting to her the other day when my interest in aircraft became apparent and she gave the framed photo below of the Gossamer Albatross completing its flight. It is signed by Bryan Allen, the pilot, and Paul MacCready, the designer.
If you still haven't finalised you list for Santa this year then you might want to look at theAerial Collective website (so long as you think Santa might be generous) and ask nicely for a warbird flight. Apart from the usual Spitfire and Mustang offerings the 'coming soon' section gives the possibility of rides in the Blenheim and a Lysander, so something a bit different there.
Two DH Vampires were caught in a hangar fire at Melun-Villaroche airfield near Paris over the weekend. One was destroyed and the other is not looking good. Sad to hear but at least there are no reported injuries.
After a few years sojourn to Canada the RAF Museum now have their Typhoon back where it is being assembled for display at Hendon. Would have been nice to catch it when it was at Coningsby for a few weeks in the summer but at least it is safely home.
You might have seen stories in the last few days of the recovery of this MKI Spitfire from a Norwegian mountain. It is a rare PR version and will be restored to flight but I have to smile at the Independents report stating that it has been found 'intact'!
This is an image of some of the recovered parts. Most of the parts might ultimately be recovered but its not my version of intact but hey ho!
P-51D 'Pecos Bill' has reportedly crashed in to a parking lot in Fredericksburg, Texas yesterday taking the lives of two people on board the aircraft. Our thoughts are with all those affected by this tragedy.
Web sites continue to come and go, either literally or in their appeal, so this site remains an outlet for my hobby, featuring what I've seen or stories that interest me with occasional contributions from valued friends.