Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Duxford Imperial War Museum

Nerd alert! Pictures of airplanes without a lot of commentary to follow.

The worlds fastest Concorde.  This was the 2nd Concorde built and it was always used as a flying testbed / record setter.  It was clocked at 1600mph (mach 2.5) during a flight from the UK to the US.  I figured that you don't normally get this vantage point (looking down on the cockpit)

MkXIV Spitfire.  Very late model Spit. with a Griffon engine.

Sir Richard Branson's trans-Atlantic baloon module.

In the restoration hangar a Hawker Sea Fury.  This one's a little more interesting because the motor on the floor is a sleeve-valve Bristol Centaurus.  In the states we're used to seeing them powered by a more conventional 3350.

Unknown model Spitfire fuselage awaiting evaluation for restoration.  I've seen more Spitfires in the last week than in my entire life prior.

A beautiful Mk20 Sea Fury.  This one was owned by someone in the US and only returned to the UK in 2006?  We've seen it race in Reno....

V-1 buzz bomb and launcher.

This is interesting.  The lights mark the WWII airfields that the 9th Air Force operated B-26 Marauders out of.  My grandfather flew B-26's out of there until 1944.   I'm going to do some digging to se what remains of the fields and what museums exist there now.  The location is North East of London.  You can see Cambridge on the upper left, that is where I am now.

Duxford was home to the US 8th Air Force who operated P-47's (below) in anti-tank / artillery campaigns and a little bomber air coverage.

A rare razorback P-47 underway in the restoration hangar.

One of the flying Spitfires undergoing a winter IRAN (Inspect and Repair As Necessary). 

An early Mk5 Spit.  Looks very different compared to the later (more familiar) Mk8-12's.

A very late Mk14 Spit. with clipped wing tips to improve low level handling.


I know what some of you are thinking; "more airplanes, big deal".  This post isn't for you, it's for me and the rest of the airplane geeks.  I'm sure that they're re-running the Britney episode of Glee, go watch that.

One of the prettiest airplanes ever created, the Dehavilland Mosquito.  Tough to get a good picture of it in such close quarters.

Mosquito hanging above the Avro Lancaster, both powered by Rolls-Royce merlin engines (same as the P-51 Mustang).

The gigantic Shorts Sunderland anti-submarine craft (next to the fugly Miles Magister).  this is for our friend Mark that used to work on them before becoming a resident alien in the States.

Heinkel He-111 bomber in the conservation hangar.  In the conservation hangar they trying to maintain the planes in their original states (or as close to it as possible).  Which generally means attempting to stop corrosion and rot without remanufacturing the systems or repainting things. 

 Also in the conservation hangar, a Hawker Hurricane.

Outside you could book time in a North American T-6 Harvard (Texan).  379 pounds for 20 minutes (about $600).  I could have been talked into it had he not said "the ceiling's too low for acro". 

Who wants to go outside?


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