I thought I’d throw in another air museum photo before moving onto something new tomorrow.
Today it’s the back end of a DeHaviland Sea Vixen, a twin-boom carrier-based fleet defense aircraft that was introduced in the 1950s and saw service into the 1970s before being replaced by McDonnel Douglas Phantoms.
The asymetric cockpit is an interesting feature.
Today I went for a drive out to Rufford Abbey (although most of my time was spent wandering the surrounding Rufford Country Park). It was a nice day and the place was very busy, but I shot a couple of rolls of film with my Texas Leica (the Fujica GW690). The first roll was a little loosely wound when I removed it from the camera, so I’m expecting there may be some light leaks, but I took care to ensure the second roll was tightly wound on the takeup spool before closing the camera back and that came out fine. I shot half the second roll at Rufford Country Park, and the remaining frames at a couple of places I stopped off at on the way home. Pictures to come at some point (although I’ve got loads of other stuff before then!).
The Avro Vulcan bomber is a truly impressive aircraft. It’s huge delta wings span almost 100 feet and it’s an imposing feeling when you walk beneath. The Vulcan was one of three aircraft that formed to so-called V-Bombers – the other two being the Vickers Valliant (two Vs in one!) and the Handley Page Victor. – Britain’s nuclear capable bomber force from the 1950s to the early 1980s. In the mid-1960s the V-bomber fleet counted almost one-hundred-and-sixty aircraft, with Vulcan making up the largest part with seventy aircraft in service.
Seeing one of these fly is a majestic experience, the noise of the engines and the shape of the huge delta wings was unforgetable and I remeber seeing them in flight sometimes as a child, and was also fortunate enought to see one of the (then) surviving airworthy aircraft making a display flight at an airshown in the 1990s.
Sadly, none of the surviving Vulcans is in airworthy condition any longer, although there are three which are taxiable, and the one pictured here at Newark Air Museum is on static display (although it is possible to go inside the aircraft).
A couple of days back I posted about the Shooting Star (or the Lockheed T-33A, as it was formally known), today I have a picture of a Meteor. A Gloster Meteor NF-14.
The Gloster Meteor was the first British jet fighter, and the only one to see service during World War II. Several versions were produced, and the NF-14 was designed as a night-fighter variant to supercede the DeHavilland Mosquito. The NF-14 entered service in 1954 but was already being replaced by more advanced aircraft just a couple of years later.
Of all the aircraft at Newark Air Museum, it was the Lockheed T-33A that got the most attention from my camera. Something about those zebra stripes on its nose did it for me a guess.
Although originally put in service as a jet fighter, the Shooting Star (or T-Bird as it was otherwise known) spent much of it’s operational life serving as a training aircraft. Amazingly, despite first going into service in the late 1940s, the Bolivian airforce only retired theirs from service in 2017!
Here’s the nose of the Handley Page Hastings at Newark Air Museum. It’s a quite colourful mix of silver, orange and red, but these also transfer quite nicely to black and white tones. The paintwork and detail on the fuselage also stand out quite nicely thanks to the light I had.
Here’s a close-up of the Avro Shackleton that appeared in the wider shot I published yesterday. My dad did some of his National Service stationed in Northern Ireland back in the 60s and told me that he once got a lift back over to to the mainland in an RAF Shackleton.
Three of the largest aircraft at Newark Air Museum, all in a row. From right to left: A Handley Page Hastings, an Avro Shackleton, and at far left, and Avro Vulcan. There will be further pictures of each of these impressive aeroplanes to come shortly.
Depending on when you visit, it’s possible to go onboard each of the aircraft. I’ve only been aboard the Shackleton (on a previous visit) and, despite the large size, it’s incredibly cramped inside. I managed to work my way all the way down the length of the plane to the nose, but it involved a few places where I had to climb over bulkeads and similar to get there.
I always found the English Electric Lightning to be a noteworthy aircraft. It’s shape felt distinctive, with it’s nose cone and dual exhausts. It was renowned for its climb rate.
But the reason I have an affinity for it is that I remember seeing (and, more to the point, hearing) them flying low over the North Sea just offshore from Mablethorpe when I was a child. Just north of Mablethorpe there is an RAF bombing range at Donna Nook (it’s also famous for it’s seal population) and I expect that these impressive sightings were part of pilot training exercises.
Sometimes there would be F4 Phantoms and, most impressive of all, Avro Vulcans flying over the sea parallel to the shore carrying out similar exercises.