A report and photographs of this winter event by Chris Bland.
This new venue was planned to be a combined static display and fly-in. The event was held at the end of the flying season (13th-14th November). I was unable to attend the whole weekend, but made my way across country on a beautiful, but cold Sunday. Saturday had apparently been a little windy, but Sunday was almost perfect flying weather.
The Wroughton site has large concrete runways to fly off. More space than anyone really needs in-fact. It is a fabulous location. The only problem was the low winter sun which the pilots had to contend with, particularly in the morning.Another real plus is the museum. It is not always open, but it contains a wide variety of interesting exhibits. This weekend the hangers had been opened so I was able to take advantage and have a good look around.
Steve Holland would have won the most highly visible trophy for designer flying gear – an oil rig suit.
At least we can see him coming. Being armistice day we all came to order, under Steve’s command, at 11am to observe the traditional one minute silence. The flying then really got underway. There was a wide variety of models present, but unfortunately the cold seemed to have kept many members away. It was good to see Dave Horton progressing with the flying of his triplane.
The predominate models though were from the other end of the development of flying – jets. In fact, right up-to-date was this home built model of a Eurofighter Typhoon.
There were only a handful of models on display in the museum. I was told it had been better on Saturday, but I was a little disappointed. I did enjoy what was on show though including Tony Hooper’s newly acquired Me109 and this fabulously painted Pitts.
John Greenfield flew his rebuilt Me262 after it’s crash in Europe a few months ago. I was standing next to him and he seemed to be really enjoying the flight and then the engine trouble started! They were not shutting down to idle properly and on landing approach he had to contend with one running faster than the other. Despite two attempts he could not counter the inevitable swing. This resulted in the model running off the runway. It was really unlucky to hit a lump of concrete and run over a drainage grill causing substantial damage. A more serious rebuild will be required this time. I hope he puts it back together again. As you can see in the photograph, it really does look great.
Emily Hooper with her own built Greenly. The plane says it all!
The museum is a real gem with such a large variety of exhibits in its two hangers. These include a DC3, Constellation, DH Dove, missiles, fire engines, steam boat, hovercraft and a great selection of engines, many of which have been cut open and sectioned to expose their workings.
Here are some photographs taken inside the museum:
Please click image to enlarge.
This orb formed the gondola of the balloon in which Auguste Piccard rose to the record breaking height of 51000ft in 1932. Professor Piccard was Herge’s inspiration for the Tintin character Professor Calculus.
One of several missiles on display. It is quite surprising how large some of these are.
The Osel Mantis submersible can go to a depth of 720m and is highly manoeuverable. It appeared in the James Bond film “For Your Eyes Only”.
In conclusion, I had a really interesting day out. It’s a great organisation the LMA, why not join us?
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