We drove down to East Kirby air museum on Saturday in the Landi to an airshow. East Kirkby is just down the road from RAF Coningsby and the home to England‘s second working Avro Lancaster bomber from WWII though it’s not yet of flying status. The weather was great all day until around later afternoon when thick grey clouds began to gather blot out the white cloud and blue sky we had a shower that lasted about twenty minutes, they it brightened up again with sunshine blue sky and some big puffy white clouds! I chose the back roads and so missed most of the holiday traffic heading for Skegness and Mablethorpe, we drove straight into the airfield with no talkback of traffic, we left in similar style too after a coffee sandwich anda custard tart in the back of the truck, arriving home around seven, completing a round trip of around 160 miles at a noisy 50 -60 MPH, my window was wound down and my elbow was resting on the frame in proper Land Rover style. Julie had the front vent open she said it was as noisy as being on the bike!
East Kirby Air Museum http://www.lincsaviation.co.uk/ is all about this Avro Lancaster bomber from WWII called “Just Jane”
Fred and Harold Panton decided to purchase this bomber and kept the airfield buildings as they were in memory of third brother Christopher Panton who died in a Lancaster on operations over Germany during the war. The airfield started life as dummy airfield and served to fool the German air force from more important airfields. unfortunately Fred passed away in June. But the centre is well established now so there is no thoughts to closing the place, in fact it was revealed at the show that they are looking at putting “Just Jane” back into the air in the next couple of years subject to tests and a detailed non invasive inspection of the main spar using a laser thingyimijig
You can get really close to the aircraft at East Kirkby. See how “Just Jane” seems to be sitting in the actual crowd in the above photo. If you stand at the fence you can look up into the glazed nose and stare up at the open bomb bay.
One of two North American Mustangs flying today
For the first time I saw some radio controlled aircraft. They all sounded like you’d expect, a loud sharp whine as they started up. they only ran a couple of feet on the grass and they were airborne, the handlers flew them for the crowd on several occasions. during a break in the flying programme. I wonder just how much this hobby costs!
Next came a copy of a Russian jet trainer called an Albatross…..
…….Oh sorry that’s a model too!
The model of the Russian jet trainer was quite stunning to hear, a real tho small jet engine propelled it into the sky, I first heard it whilst on walkabout around the stalls and thought there was a jet car performing, it was really quite loud. The operator was the British champion and skillfully “flew” around the sky at quite a rapid pace.
One of the Bouncing Bombs from the Dambusters
A chap called Nigel took to the sky in a YAK 52, formerly a Russian trainer, they had exceptional short-range tanks, the thinking was when the pilots had fully trained on them they couldn’t then fly to the border to defect!
Climbing with smoke still on
After his performance Nigel had to top his fuel up before flying to Surrey for another show, he left as soon as his wife came out of the commentry box and jumped in the back seat.
Watching the YAK leave, who’s the fool in the shorts?
Another real aeroplane honest!
Spitfire wings…Belgian made….German design
The Avro Vulcan
Out of the grey cloud in the distance came the worlds only flying Avro Vulcan. The sun gleamed along the wing leading edge as she tip toed around the sky performing turns and twists showing first her back then flat belly on different passes.
OOOH Just look at those curves!
A Tiger Moth conversion known as a JACKAROO
Next came the crazy gang, their official title is,”Captain Neville’s Vintage Flying Circus” They perform stunts not seen since the barnstorming times on the 1920’s, things like flying into balloons to try to burst them..Flying under bunting suspended from poles with just a couple of feet to spare..Penalty shoot-outs..flour bag bombing.. just to mention a few tricks they do. It was amazing and looked so much fun.
A Chipmunk trainer
Can you see the orange ball at the cockpit, this crazy aviator lines up on the goals below him! The rest followed on with footballs and tried to score past the goalkeeper who was wearing the biggest gloves Ive ever seen!
A Tiger Moth lines up the goal, ball ready to go
The crazy gang all taxied quite close to the barriers and smiled and waved to us as they made their way back to their holding place. I really enjoyed their performance and can imagine similar even crazier stunts (no Health an Safety in those days) by those early barnstormer pilots over there in the USA in the 1920’s. They were mostly guys from WWI who entertained crowds, joining barnstorming flying circus groups and travelled around the country taking the paying public to the skies to earn a living.
A pair of American Mustang fighter aircraft were up next they took off at an angle and gave me some great photo shots. This pair are owned by the same person, he runs a company that knows all there is to know about the engines under the hood!
When this fighter was first developed by the Americans the engines turned out to be weak and underperformed. Then someone suggested fitting our Rolls Royce Merlin engine, instantly it became a war winning aircraft with superior performance stats to anything the Germans had at the time. The Merlin engine is the same that powers the Spitfire’s Lancaster’s and the Mosquito, all war winning machinery!
Poetry in motion x2
The Mustang whistled as she flew through the air. This was due to the wind flowing over the machine gun barrels in the wings making them whistle like piccolo’s, it was a really weird sound.
The Blades display team
The Blades with gathering grey cloud as a backdrop
The Blades with smoke on…Its a display thing!
These aircraft are Extra EA-300’s, not wanting to get “geeky” I’ll just say that they were made originally with aerobatics in mind by a bloke called Walter Extra in the 1980’s. This aerobatics team are all Ex Red Arrow display pilots and have all since left the RAF. They now have ordinary jobs and do this stuff at weekends!
The shower arrives but soon passes…Get my best side Julie!
Supermarine Spitfire Mk 16
The Spitfire arrived at the end of the day, unfortunately so did the fekkin grey cloud and the short shower hence the dark photo above. It was still a great sound though and the pilot gave us a great show.
Julie need a bigger brolly!
The rain and grey clouds moved on quickly and the blue sky and sunshine returned. The day had been very enjoyable and the bit of rain hadn’t actually spoilt anything