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BluBear

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Everything posted by BluBear

  1. Chaps, rather than posting a thread for every nice aeroplane video we find, how about we just keep them in here for all to see and anyone can add to it if and when they find something of interest? I'll start off proceedings with this rather lovely example of why I freaking love Mustangs!
  2. Something I've been meaning to do for a while is visit the sites of all seven (eight including Brenzett) former USAAF Ninth Air Force Advanced Landing Grounds in Kent, by bicycle. The most well known of course is RAF Lashenden, now Headcorn Aerodrome which is a popular General Aviation, Skydive and Warbird flight experience hub. It's also just down the road from where I live, so naturally that's where I started the ride. With help from the book 'UK Airfields of the Ninth then and now' by Roger A. Freeman, a healthy dose of Wikipedia and a few drops of Google Streetview, I plotted the most direct route in Strava to easily accomplish all eight sites in an afternoon. The weather wasn't perfect; actually quite blustery and hard-going down on the marshes, but considering the minimal elevation overall, it made the ride that bit more rewarding. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the memorials to a couple of the sites, but I managed to snap pictures of the rough area where the runways would have been back in 1943/44 instead. Sites visited in order: Lashenden Headcorn (actually near Egerton and incidentally the site PapaBear, Fenrir and I used to fly model aircraft from) Ashford Kingsnorth Brenzett (An honorary entry for the US AAA battery based there, it was an anti-V1 RAF base primarily) Woodchurch High Halden Staplehurst For those of you interested in the stats of the ride, there's a link to my Strava entry at the bottom of the post, it turned out around 58 miles in the saddle. Here's the route map, with the locations of the airfields: And onto the sites... RAF Lashenden Aero Legends were operating both of their Spitfires today, the single-seater Mk.IX TD314 was on 'sit-in' experiences and the two-seater T.IX HN341 was performing pleasure flights. The latter seemed to follow me round the ride for the first 20 miles or so, which made the experience all the more poignant. Quite the soundtrack! RAF Headcorn The memorial is actually located on Bedlam lane which runs along the South East perimeter of the site, the airfield would have been directly behind me taking these pictures: RAF Ashford Looking approximately South West from what would have been the eastern perimeter, the NNW-SSE runway would have run from right to left in this view. RAF Kingsnorth Looking North East, this is where the NE-SW runway intersected the main road. Spitfire NH341 flew overhead just as I took this picture. Marvellous! RAF Brenzett Now a small museum which has a number of interesting artefacts, including an intact Vampire sadly languishing outside (not good for wood), a bouncing bomb recovered from Reculver and the last time I was there a fully operational link trainer. RAF Woodchurch The original ALG was located to the North of the village and South East of Little Engham Farm, which is a private strip owned by the Warbird pilot Rob Davies who famously bailed out of his P-51D Big Beautiful Doll at Flying Legends 2011 (some of us dogz were there to see it). He used to put on a great little airshow here called Wings n Things back in the early 2000s, sadly rising insurance costs and mounting risk assessments knocked it on the head. He's still active, test flying and transporting Warbirds around Europe and working with Aero Legends as a camera ship pilot in his T6 Texan that he still flies from here. These pictures are views from what would have been the Southern threshold of the N-S runway, looking North-ish. RAF High Halden Unfortunately, the memorial did not materialise on this one, it may have been moved to the village. This however, is the view roughly looking south at what would have been the northern threshold of the N-S runway. RAF Staplehurst I've been cycling around this site for years without realising the significance of the surrounding fields, for some reason I thought it was located to the west of the town. This fantastic, well kept memorial was erected back in 2010 with an opening ceremony which included a flypast by Rob Davies in P-51D Big Beautiful Doll along with the wartime pilot of the P-51B etched into the stone in attendance. Despite the leaden skies and howling wind, I took the time to sit on the grass and sign the visitor book, looking out over the fields and trying to imagine what it was like 74 years ago. That's all folks! For further information, Wikipedia has a decent amount of information on WW2 ALGs in general and goes into some detail for each one I visited today. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Landing_Ground#United_Kingdom_(Kent) Here are the stats of the ride: https://www.strava.com/activities/1645043553
  3. Thanks chaps. What next indeed... Well there are plenty of former Battle of Britain sites around these parts of course. I just threw together a tentative Strava route that includes West Malling, Rochester, Eastchurch and Detling, about 67 miles with considerably greater elevation what with going up the North Downs and such, could be fun though. Or I could start at Manston, go through Ramsgate then down to Hawkinge, Lympne and back which is around 64 miles (closer to 100 if I tag on Lydd/Littlestone).
  4. BluBear

    Screenshot 2018-06-14 14.36.48.png

    Oops haha
  5. BluBear

    The Big Fat Aeroplane Video Thread!

    What a glorious racket!
  6. BluBear

    Flying Legends 2018

    Looks great doesn't it? Can't wait to see that with a Glad, Spit 1, Hurri 1, Emil and Blennie. I understand Berlin Express did indeed fly yesterday. Whoop! EDIT: Berlin Express has just been withdrawn from the line-up 🤔
  7. BluBear

    Flying Legends 2018

    Just to mention that I booked an Air B&B for me and Tom last week just down the road from the hotel, so we are sorted.
  8. BluBear

    The Big Fat Aeroplane Video Thread!

    Damn I miss the Tigercat at Duxford, what an absolute beast!
  9. BluBear

    Need a force feedback base for your WartHog?

    I want this.
  10. BluBear

    hello Dogz

    Hi Fatal. Our squad Clod night is Thursday, where we fly on our own (public) server, we were almost in double figures last night. I guess the reality is, the ten or so regularly active dogz are already dividing their time between 46, great battles, DCS and clod over multiple time zones; so any time for extra curricular activities is limited at best. Sure we like to get involved in events when possible, like SofW for example but right now I reckon we just don't seem to have the time. We had been discussing whether clod was getting stale recently and thought about popping over to other servers for a change, but then FT makes some cool changes to our server and all is good again. 😎 Thanks for the invite though, obviously it extends back to you. These are just my thoughts, no doubt some other mangy mutts will have their own stinking opinion. 😁 S!
  11. BluBear

    Flying Legends 2018

    BREAKING NEWS! Bernard Chabbert will NOT be commentating at this year's Flying Legends! WHOOP!
  12. BluBear

    Flying Legends 2018

    I got a weekend ticket for a shade under £60 last night, it has now gone up to £70.
  13. Full inflight video and discussion of the incident from Miss Velma's emergency landing last year. A great insight into the decisions and problems with a misfiring engine. Great airmanship. Originally posted on the Key forums.https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/...irport-landinghttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBpq...ature=youtu.be And there's me thinking he pulled the pin at the time!
  14. BluBear

    Flying Legends 2018

    Last chance to get early bird tickets chaps (before 21/5)
  15. BluBear

    Piece of Cake - 30 years ago

    Great little article here chaps: WHEN PIECE OF CAKE CAME TO HEADCORN – 30 YEARS ON https://warbirdtails.net/2018/03/17/when-piece-of-cake-came-to-headcorn-30-years-on/ One of my all time favourite aviation film/series. Been meaning to give it another watch, it's been a while. I used to have it on repeat as a lad, wearing out PapaBear's VHS recording from the original showing on ITV.Also, I've lived down the road from Headcorn most of my life and never realised it was used as a base for filming; you learn something new every day! I urge anyone with a passing interest in the Phoney War, Spitfires (one famously under a bridge piloted by Ray Hanna) and jolly good banter to watch this, also read Derek Robinson's book, it's brilliant. Whilst you're at it, read Paul Richey's Fighter Pilot, which must have heavily influenced Robinson's work.
  16. One would imagine it wasn't fully up at point of impact, but said impact planted the undercarriage into its wells!
  17. Just watched the entire half hour, well worth it. However, for the short of time, here's the summary video:
  18. BluBear

    Hawker fury

    Blooming lovely Dave
  19. BluBear

    Piece of Cake - 30 years ago

    I'd heartily recommend reading Robinson's other period aviation novels. Damned Good Show (Bomber Command) and Goshawk Squadron (Great War) are the two others I have which are also fantastic reads. Most of them have some kind of link, with familiar names appearing as they progress through their RAF career. Skull Skelton for example is the main protagonist in Damned Good Show. I really need to pick up 'A Good Clean Fight' which continues the story of Hornet Squadron, set in North Africa in the spring of 1942 flying Tomahawks.
  20. BluBear

    Flying Legends 2018

    I think she looks smashing mate, love the new scheme! I believe she test flew from Sywell where she was shipped in, assembled and repainted by Grace's team. Nellie has since taken up residence at Duxford after a flying visit to Lakenheath for a photoshoot with the current serving Squadron of F-15s. See here: http://www.thetfordandbrandontimes.co.uk/news/second-world-war-era-fighter-planes-visit-us-air-force-base-in-suffolk-1-5509249
  21. Sorry I missed this, hope to make it in two weeks (be sure).
  22. Incredible airmanship. Hope the aircraft has been recovered.
  23. BluBear

    Whatcha Flyin'?

    Some of us are still on rusty old 1.5... Soon* to upgrade I fly any of these, in no particular order: Spit 109 Sabre P-51 FC3 (F-15, A-10A, Su-33 etc) Harrier Huey Hawk (almost never cos it's porked) I think that's it... *could be this month, could be next, or the next...
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