Stories and anecdotes from part of my life in 2 British police forces, years in saddles of motorcycles - and other places I've blundered into ©
The Grumman F6F Hellcat! The plane my Uncle Darrell flew during WWII! HUZZAH! Eric Brown mentioned in one of his books, that if you look at what the plane accomplished, rather than just looking at things like tops speeed, range, etc, you could easily make the argument that the Hellcat was the best fighter of WWII. But Brown loves the Hellcat, only the SeaFire is loved in his heart more. I have always loved his comparison of the deisign philosophies of the two planes, the SeaFire being a ballerina with a knife, and the Hellcat, a prize fighter with an ax.The F6F is my favorite, judging by the way that I am built, if I were a plane, I would be either a Wildcat or a Hellcat, and since Uncle darrell flew one, Hellcats are how Badgers tool around the skies. When i have been at Oshkosh for the airshow, I am always impressed by how just a few F6Fs and F4Us can shake the air and ground with thier P&W R2800 radials. I can just wonder what an ESSEX, with 100 F6Fs, F4Us, SB2Cs, and TBMs warming up for an Apha Strike must have sounded like (Late war ESSEX carrying 3 16 plane VF squadrons of F6F/F4Us, 2 VTB squadrons of TBMs, and a VB squadron of SB2Cs.)
Always loved the Mustang - the D variant with the 20mm cannon, rather than the six .50 caliber, was probably the best allied plane of the war and was on a par with the FW 190.
Scott/Sparkflash: I agree with you both. Comparing the cockpit of a P51 to a Spit, one wonders if they intended to install a Coca Cola dispenser in the former! As for the warm ups on an Essex deck, I reckon they could add an extra 5 knots! Glad you enjoyed the Hellcat, `good kit`. What a great ancestry you have. "Winkle" lived through a Golden Age indeed. As for Oshkosh, that is on the list.
PS @ Sparkflash: (From previous post) Love the pointing on the brickwork!!I used to use a pub near a hamlet called Froxfield, Hants. The barman was a former WW2 Spitfire pilot. It was a pub renowned for its excellent casked ales. I was `propping up` one evening and a London trendy + bimbo + Lotus came in and ordered a Southern Comfort and lemonade and a shandy. Barman shot me one of his `bandits at 3 O`clock` glances. Then the bloke asked for a packet of smokey bacon flavoured crisps. It was too much! Our man folded his arms and said, "This is a country pub not a bloody restaurant". Exit Rupert and Fiona. We lined up the pints for our Reg.
It's quite an old building - take a stroll around it (pint in hand) and you can see which bit was added to what. Inside (with some rather magnificent fireplaces) the floor tiles are all very old and cracked - Health & Safety are apparently not happy about it, but I believe it's probably listed as such. Doubtless they'd also get their knickers in a twist about them using the same knife to carve off slices of ham, beef or smoked salmon... Across the road, out of shot, is a rather nice war memorial, dedicated to all the people who did the unthanked work, such as carting the injured and dying about and delivering supplies. It's used as a flower pot now, but there's a trough for the horses to drink from underneath it - fitting with the tribute, I think. It's got a little more upmarket from when I first drank there - the "table" outside was actually just an old, giant, electric-pylon cable reel, on its side. Quality!
http://www.roll-of-honour.com/Cambridgeshire/NewtonCambridge.html Also, no trip to Duxford is complete without a look at the BAC TSR-2 - vastly ahead of its time and arguably the cancellation of which was the final nail in the coffin for the British military aviation industry.
SCOTT: Found this link, thought you'd like. he had a much better camera than me!http://www.richard-seaman.com/Aircraft/AirShows/Duxford2002/Tigercat/index.html
Ahh De Havilland!They owe me a flight in PA474, I serviced some of her instruments back in the 80s. I also did some of RR299s too, but she crashed before I got my jolly.
Tony. Treating myself to a visit to the Yorkshire Air Museum either Saturday or Tuesday next. Will take camera - but I've a long way to go before i can get close to The Flying Kiwi (see link or my `Blogroll`)
How odd, I had no idea that the props on a Tigercat turned the same way. You would have thought contrarotating, to cancel torque.
*sigh*I see once again the curse of the Southend Airshow is upon us. Low cloud and rain forecast for the Bank Holiday weekend... :*
Found myself dreaming about these pics (especially the other guy's Spitfire ones - brilliant link)whilst tidying my spanners in the shed. Time for a project worthy of the toolbox and the new patio. Mrs. Aco has given the nod of approval.Terrestrial though - I've inherited a very broken military Land Rover from my mad mate Louis (who did fly Spits). It has no cab so I'll be on Ebay after Biggles' goggles and bomber-jacket. Louis' don't fit me. Seeing me begin to shift the sand and flags for said new patio, my neighbours pitched in and our local Bobby showed a mean turn of hand on the shovel. Society can be better than we often report.
Oops! Meant to add 'society we owe to the lads who flew these contraptions'.
ACO: We certainly do owe these aviation pioneers and their flyers more than they got - which was the defeat of our aircraft industry not by the Luftwaffe in the 40's but by the hands of our own elected ministers and the stifling class system and liquid-lunching old-boy attitude of industry `managers`.
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