This was held of the week end of the 6th and 7th of September 2003. I understand that the weather on the 6th proved inclement, with rain later on at least fouling play. We attended on the 7th. This proved to be a near perfect day for being outside for considerable periods and looking heavenwards.
The day started with high overcast skies, gradually clouding as the day progressed to quite heavy, but high, cover come late afternoon.
The Airfield is in Cambridgeshire, which is in that south east part of England, north of London, known as East Anglia. In common with most in the UK the runway is aligned East - West to match our country's prevailing winds. The Airfield buildings and thus the viewing area is to the North, which makes for very difficult photography. Especially for me with my electronic equivalent of a box brownie. Since as a photographer, I am a very good Boiler Surveyor (as a surveyor, I say nowt!!) matters are not improved.
The results being that I have a lot of pictures taken from the darker side of the ground exhibits and even more of dots in the sky.
However, for those interested in such things and unable to attend, here are the results, I hope you enjoy them:
The Red Arrows
Dots in the Sky
Overall, the day was a good one for a flying display and there was certainly lots to see.
The Red Arrows lived up to their reputation and performed magically. The Grandkids were enthralled.
It was fascinating to watch a French Guy flying a microlight and leading a flock of Geese. Even though being a fat <whatever> my mind wandered to thoughts of Apricot and forcemeat stuffing and the like. (Being English, not necessarily for the Geese).
The South Africans came over with a Boeing 747 and performed it more like a stunt plane. Quite a sight, never thought that it was possible to turn one so sharply or fly it so slow without the use of cranes and sky hooks. (Note to self - make sure that I don't fly in that plane without seeing the stress relieving certificates for it!!).
However, there was some downsides.
The display was to mark the 100 year anniversary of the Wright Brothers and the first acknowledged powered flight.
I was expecting some sort of chronological parade of aircraft. This did not happen. Instead there was a series of flying tableaux with no connecting theme. Good ones, excellent for a flying display, but not really on topic, except that they were in the air.
Duxford is part of the Imperial War Museum. As such it is the premier museum of it's kind in the country. As the celebration of 100 years of flight this must surely be the flying display of the decade for them and the country.
The Red Arrows were there. I would have been very surprised if they weren't. But where was the Battle of Britain flight? One Dakota was all they could manage to scrounge up. Not impressive. Should have thought that they would have been there in strength. Not one WW2 British Bomber.
Prices at the stalls, such as for Ice Cream
found me filling the bald patch on my head with my eye brows. £2 for a
single cornet. I think not. With a wife and three grandkids in tow, if we had
not packed a picnic we would have had to leave early.
The admission prices were fair, even good for the amount that was exhibited, but then to factor in such inflated catering prices was a great disappointment. Gave the impression of outright raw greed.
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