Spitfire over Thames

A few minutes ago apparently. I missed it, but a friend phoned and left the sound of the Merlin on my voicemail. It was doing aerobatics and she couldn't quite believe her eyes, got a lump in her throat and felt patriotic.

"I struck up a conversation with an old gent who was also watching it. He thought they were filming something. Quite fab."
It could be the one from Duxford. Seen it fly a few times. Lovely plane, and lovely sound!
I have a confession to make. I get an erection whenever I see and hear one of the following.

Flying Fortress.

Not in any order.
px4llp said:
Ill raise you a Dakota and a Herc.
Forgot those 2. Have jumped from Herc, would have liked to have had a go at the Dakota.
px4llp said:
Ill raise you a Dakota and a Herc.
I'll raise you a Thunderbolt. There's something delicate about the 1940 Spitfire mark compared to the brutes which cleared the skies over Germany in 1944. Oh, and a P-38 - arguably the most beautiful WW2 machine.

Much prefer the Hurricane, though overlooked by its glam sister, That and the B-17.
This baby's for sale. No price tag. Look at those gull wings.

This magnificent Corsair was the subject of an 11 year, 20,000+ man hour restoration by Airpower Unlimited. It is the most extensively Corsair restoration to date. All original military equipment has been installed. Every part and system has been either overhauled or zero timed. This Corsair has all the original Military and Civilian records and logbooks. This is the first time this Corsair has been offered on the open market. This restoration will never be duplicated. It truly is amazing.
Would love to but the corsair but where would could you park it, the square belongs to the razz man and your muckers would steal the tyres
tiger stacker said:
Would love to but the corsair but where would could you park it, the square belongs to the razz man and your muckers would steal the tyres
Make sure the wings still fold. It was a carrier plane after all.
Nothing beats the sound of a Merlin.

Instant 'head-whipping-round' and occasionally walking into lamp-posts.

I will say that that 'bent-winged barsteward from Connecticut' comes a close second.
Beautiful as the Mossie is, I think it's younger, slimmer brother, the Hornet must take the honours as the best looking piston twin ever!

One of the nation's best known test pilots and highly decorated World War II pilot Squadron Leader Neville Duke has been honoured at the Central Church of the Royal Air Force.

As well as his supreme wartime efforts attracting wide acclaim, in 1953 Squadron Leader Duke broke the World Air Speed Record by flying his Hunter aircraft at over 727mph. He later went on to become one of the nation's best known test pilots in the 50s earning him iconic status on a par with the famous sportsmen or movie stars of the time.Today's Service of Thanksgiving at St Clement Danes Church in London culminated in a flypast by a Spitfire courtesy of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

The unprecedented flypast over the church highlighted the relevance and stature that Squadron Leader Duke maintained within the Royal Air Force and throughout the world of aviation.

The service was attended by friends and family members, serving military figures and veterans, all of whom came together to pay tribute to this colourful and highly respected individual who died in April 2007, aged 85.

Reverend (Group Captain) Richard Lee presided over the service which included tributes from Air Chief Marshal Sir Michael Graydon, former Chief of the Air Staff, and Mr Peter Twiss, the first man to travel at over 1,000mph in an aircraft, breaking the World Air Speed record in 1956.

In his address to the congregation, Air Chief Marshal Sir Michael Graydon said of Squadron Leader Duke:

"He was the epitome of skill and courage - a national hero. He remains a classic role model for future generations. The Royal Air Force gave him the foundations; he repaid that debt in full and in the process made us proud to be British."

Squadron Leader Duke DSO OBE DFC** AFC MC (Czech) joined the RAF in 1940 after being obsessed by aviation in his youth, and gained his Wings in 1941. He was posted to 92 Squadron at Biggin Hill flying Spitfire sorties over northern France which saw him open his account of 'confirmed' victories. After a few months he was reassigned to a very different theatre of operations - the Middle East - where he would fly the Tomahawk.

He was soon to discover this aircraft was inferior to the Spitfire when 14 of his squadron were lost and he was shot down twice, but despite this he continued to fly and his score began to mount. Re-equipped with the superior Kittyhawk and with eight confirmed victories under his belt Neville was awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC).

His wartime career continued as an instructor in Egypt before returning to operations in Tunisia and seeing his victory tally increase, earning him a Bar to his DFC. Within three months of transferring back to the frontline he had achieved a Distinguished Service Order for his incredible efforts. At the end of this hectic period he was promoted to Squadron Leader whereupon he returned to the Fighter School as Chief Instructor.

Although finding tuition satisfying, he once again longed for operations and was posted to Italy to command 145 Squadron flying the Spitfire. In a matter of weeks he had again achieved multiple victories and was awarded with a second bar to his DFC. His efforts during World War II meant he was the highest scoring fighter pilot in the Mediterranean theatre.

Squadron Leader Duke's post-war future remained firmly in aviation and he was Chief Test Pilot for the Hawker Aircraft Company at a time when jet aircraft were exploring the sound barrier.

The record breaker was not only admired by his team but won the admiration of Winston Churchill for carrying out his display at the 1952 Farnborough Air Show following a tragic accident which claimed the lives of the crew who were close friends of the Squadron Leader's.
The Spit was from BBMF and did a low level beat up of our building at Wycombe on the way out back to Benson (They always stage BBMF from there for any London events) before returning to Coningsby.

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