Posts tagged “Swordfish

Flying Legends 2011 – Piston Heaven

If you were to read some of the comments on the web about this years Flying Legends airshow, you would think it was a disaster and a poorly run show. It wasnt.
What it was, however, was the usual feast of sights and sounds that have built its reputation over the years. For a serious piston head it is a must do show.

Sadly there were a couple of incidents, if you put this many aircraft into the air at one time then there are bound to be. I am not qualified to comment on how or why they occurred, so I wont. All that matters is that the correct number of pilots were drinking beer in the pilots tent after the show.

It was my first visit for a few years as I have been out of the Country on the corresponding weekends, but it hasnt changed much. It doesnt need to. My words cant describe it so I will let the pictures do the talking. But suffice to say, 4 Rolls Royce Kestrel powered Hawker Biplanes in the air at the same time…….magic.
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HMS Vindex

HMS Vindex was an Escort Carrier in the Royal Navy. Commissioned in 1943 it was originally laid down as a refrigerated cargo ship but was finally launched in May 1943 as an Escort Carrier.

The late father of a very close friend of mine served on her from late 44 until the end of the war. I have been given access to his photo albums and below are a sample. I believe he was an aircraft electrician although I am unsure which Squadron he was attached to, there are pictures of Swordfish and Wildcats which served on HMS Vindex with 825 Naval Air Squadron

The Squadron posed with a Swordfish

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Duxford knows its onions – a photoblog

Have you heard the one about the airshow without a cloud in the sky? Unusually for the UK and especially in October the rarely seen phenomenon of a cloudless day was seen in the skies over Cambridgeshire on Sunday the 10th October.

The Met men had predicted a near perfect day for the day before, they got that wrong as usual. With this in mind, the weather forecast of a near perfect day was looking somewhat dubious as I drove past the Cardington Airship hangars on the way to Duxford. At least I think I did, they may have been demolished for all I could tell such was the low cloud base. By the time I reached Madingley however as if by magic it was a glorious morning.

The ideal location for photographs comes at a price at Duxford, a long walk and a field full of piles of rotten onions. That said this was more than made up for by the spectacularly good Chocolate Cake on sale at Duxford Primary School where I parked. Its a really nice facility and a triumph of free enterprise. For the record, they offer parking for the day for a fee but they dont condone leaving their grounds. However they dont stop you. It’s all run by the PTA and all monies raised go back into providing facilities for the school. I’ll admit you aren’t paying for the airshow, but you are putting something directly back into the community it affects. And in any case, if the school didnt offer the facility its doubtful that I would have driven halfway across the country to get to the show.

October shows at Duxford can sometime be a bit of a Curates Egg, this one was quite good. In fact just before the flying proper started it produced one of the highlights of my airshow year. Without too much pre-show fanfare, indeed it has been flying for just less than a week, the RNHF Swordfish LS326 arrived. Its first airshow for two years (and that was a one off) and its first landaway in over 10 years. It didnt display and left just before the Naval Flypasy (more of this later) but it was wonderful to see. Heres hoping that all the hard work by the Engineers at the RNHF pays off and she stays trouble-free.

It was happy birthday to the B-17 SallyB. The big day was commemorated with a flypast by the girl herself accompanied by some Little Friends, the USAF from RAF Lakenheath joined in as well with 2 F-15C Eagles. If the idea was to have the Eagles fly over at the same time as the Warbirds, it didnt quite go to plan. But they were welcome nonetheless.

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