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Saturday, 6 October 2012

A Grand Day Out

Hi there.

A few weeks ago me, Mr Clicky and DS went to stay with our friends B and S in Hertfordshire.  
We decided on a day out at Duxford airfield, where the Imperial War Museum have their airplanes on display.  Now, I probably need to warn you, if you don't like planes you might want to stop reading now. 

Duxford has six h-u-g-e hangars stuffed full of aircraft as well as a reconstruction of the WW2 ops room.
There were aircraft that pop up in films.
The boys engrossed in the guidebooks in front of a Junkers JU 52.  It was used in the film "Where Eagles Dare," Clicky Needles' gang compulsive viewing for a wet Sunday afternoon.  ("Broadsword calling Danny Boy!".......)
 Boeing B17 Flying Fortress, used by the American Airforce in WW2.   This plane; the Sally B and another were used in the filming of "Memphis Belle."
 The third film star and without any doubt my favourite,  Douglas DC 3; the Dakota.  Much travelled in by India Jones and James Bond alike it is a beautiful machine.  First built in 1936 there are still some in daily use.  This one is hanging (!) in the American hangar.
 Stupidly I didn't take a picture of the hangar designed by Lord Foster, it is spectacular.   Outside the hangar is The Duxford Memorial Wall.  This is a stunning but sobering wall of glass with each of the American aircraft that flew to Europe in WW2 on operations but did not return, etched upon it.
The sun cast shadows that made it even more poignant. 
 Just look how long it was.
 When you get inside you are nose to nose with a B 52 bomber, it dwarfed the other aircraft around it.
Not the best picture but the people give you an idea of scale.
F1-11 fighter bomber in front.
U2 spy plane in the background.
The shiny rivets of a B 17 Liberator bomber.
 Huey helicopter; just for Teresa, her hubby flew them during Vietnam.
Over the top of the B52, A10 Warthog
and underneath a Mustang the American version of the Spitfire.

 Into the Battle of Britain hangar now and a Hawker Hurricane
 and ~ of course ~ Supermarine Spitfire.
A crashed Messerschmitt.
Also the Gloster Meteor; Britain's first jet aircraft, designed by Sir Frank Whittle.  I had to get a piccy of this because our family farm overlooked the airfield where this was built and where it first flew from.  The Gloster Aircraft Company built 2750 Hurricanes there during the early years of the war and then 3300 Hawker Typhoons.
In 1945 the Meteor gained a world speed record of 606 mph and it was eventually put into service by 12 nations. 
Because the farm was on higher ground there were machine gun emplacements in our fields to protect GAC from bombing.   The airfield has long since gone and it is now an industrial area, housing estate and huge Tesco, which has pictures of the Meteor etched onto it's massive windows.  The new pub is called The Whittle and the roads are named after the craft made there including Hurricane Way.  I'm really pleased the history isn't being lost.

This Harrier was in the process of being restored.
We walked through Concord in the AirSpace hangar and saw more Dakotas, a Wellington Bomber, the 'V' Force, ~ Vulcan, Victor and Valiant ~ Harriers and more aircraft than I can remember.  Unfortunately the light wasn't great and I couldn't get any photos.

All the while two Tiger Moths and a Dragon Rapide (all bi planes) were flying, making the noise that only vintage planes can.

It really was a full day out and (as you can possibly tell!) we all had a wonderful time.

Righto see you soon, with no planes mentioned at all.

Byeeee.............Clicky Needles.


  1. We've been a few times to Duxford with the boys and they've loved it. As a good day out is one where the boys are happy then I've enjoyed it too :)

    I don't think the Memorial Wall was there when we last went (probably 5+ years ago) - I can only imagine how it makes you feel :(

  2. Makes me very proud that all those planes were built nr Gloucester - and what manufacturing have we got now --- nothing. All those jobs lost!
    dojo x

  3. Thanks for the post...air travel is still amazing to me...sorrowful when used for war, but so fantastic when it brings folks together. My youngest daughter just texted me that she landed safely in southern California : ) So glad your family spent an interesting day and you shared it with us! xx from Gracie

  4. It sounds like you had a great time out with your family! Thanks for sharing your trip :)

  5. What a fabulous day you had. I should have been in heaven with all those planes about, I have loved them since I was a tiny child.


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Clicky Needles.