Welcome to Mike's World of stirring Postpseudohibernation

Summer, perhaps

I've been muttering for months about the grey of the skies - these traditions must be kept alive, after all - but there have been days recently when there's been enough of the wild blue yonder for a backcloth against which aircraft could slip their surly bonds for the benefits of watchers of the skies, and even photographers. It's definitely Showtime; I'm making shameless use of my closeness to Old Warden and, to a lesser extent, Duxford though my reaction to Flying Legends will influence how much longer I shall be going to the edge of the M11. I'm pretty sure it's not just due to the post-Shoreham restrictions - about which I have some strong, if prejudiced, views - but the variety of participants at both these venues seems to me to be noticeably less. I wonder how much of this is due to financial pressures, with residents seeming to form a larger proportion of the show turns, though this gave me at least an unexpected benefit at Shuttleworth's recent Military Pageant. Two or three of the displays seemed to have expanded to fill a longer than usual slot, with the pilots taking the opportunity to enjoy themselves visibly! One of these turns was the BE.2e, which was constrained by its TVAL BE.2e, Old Warden 02.07.17design to be stately; its purpose was after all to enable the the observer to have a stable enough platform from which to make an effective report on the fall of the artillery shot which its originators on the British side of the lines were unable to see for themselves, and I wonder how sprightly it was expected to be if the pilot really had to move quickly away from flak or worse. Fokkers. The aircraft is one of a pair built in New Zealand by TVAL, a company funded by film magnate Peter Jackson; don't hesitate to support this astonishing enterprise by buying a couple more Lord of the Rings box sets. I had an opportunity to have a close look at and around it,a couple of days later when our Aviation Society had a tour round the Shuttleworth aircraft, escorted in the case of our group by one of their engineers, and I was very impressed by the build and finish; and the commentary from an expert from a different discipline than mine was fascinating as well as educational! The second Hurricane UP-W R4118 Old Warden 02.07.17 display which gave me, and evidently many of the sizeable audience, great pleasure was by a Hurricane. This started as a trio of Hurricanes, a sight not seen for quite a while, before UP-W/R4118 pulled away for its solo; this took advantage of the time available to throw the aircraft around against an ideal blue sky background, with the pilot patently enjoying himselBristol M1C, Old Warden 02.07.17f as much of those of us watching. The third display was also from a single-seat fighter, albeit one that was largely unappreciated in its own time suffering not least from the British from the British military against monoplanes; as a consequence its only frontline service was in Mesopotamia in the closing months of the First World War. Shuttleworth have had their Bristol M1.C for some time, but its displays have always been very limited, and I discovered on our group tour that it's only recently that the engine has been persuaded to work correctly. The result was a display as energetic as that of the Hurricane's, also enhanced by the blue sky, and equally as evidently enjoyed by its pilot; there was a consensus from those around me that he really didn't want to come down - and that none of us wanted him to!

I did have an event back in May, but it needs more space and time; I'm still sorting through the snaps, but here's a foretaste....

Rafale M iger Meet 17, Landivisiau

 

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