Airshow: Southend Airshow 2004

Another sea front air display (well Thames estuary actually).  I decided to try a different vantage point and opted to join an organised boat trip that moored out in the estuary.  Unfortunately vantage points were quite restricted.

Highlights included Red Arrows, Tornado, Harrier, Nimrod, Catalina

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Museum: Fantasy of Flight 2004

Fantasy of Flight is home to one man’s personal collection of historic aircraft and personal mission to create a theme park around the wonder of flight.  It is an outstanding achievement and incredible collection of aircraft, of which many are still capable of flight.

Highlights included P-51’s “Cripes A’Mighty 3rd” and “INA the Macon Belle”, Spitfire Mk XVI, Short Sunderland, Constellation, 

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Photo Shoot: Kissimmee 2004

Kissimmee Airport is home to Warbird Adventures who provide flight experiences & training in North American T-6’s.  Adjacent to them is the workshop of Tom Reilly’s Flying Tigers Warbird Restoration Museum.

Highlights included T-6 Texan, Corsair and B-17 “Liberty Belle”

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Airshow: RIAT 2003

The world’s largest military airshow.

Display highlights included the Red Arrows with the F-117 Stealth Fighter, Frecce Tricolori, B-2 Spirit, German F-4 Phantom, demo of A330 Tanker, B-1B, and Eurofighter Typhoon.

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Airshow: Flying Legends 2003

Europe’s largest warbird air display, hosted by the Fighter Collection at IWM Duxford.  Unfortunately the show was marred by the loss of the Royal Navy’s Fairey Firefly and its pilot and crew.

Highlights included Mustangs, Spitfires and a Lavochkin La-9 plus many more.

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Museum: Fleet Air Arm Museum

A first (serious) visit to this excellent museum.  Why serious, I had previously visited Yeovilton as a small boy when as a family we used it as as stopover to break up the journey from Kent down to Devon & Cornwall on summer holidays.  However, this was first visit armed with a camera and more knowledge & interest than a little kid with big dreams!

Highlights included BAC Concorde prototype, Westland Wyvern and a superb carrier experience.

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Airshow: RIAT 2002 Departures

Another frantic departures day, and for me often the best way to view aircraft that had been in the static park.  With the show marking the centenary of flight, the collection of aircraft was more diverse than previous years.

Notable highlights included Hawker Hunter, Douglas DC-4, Boeing 727, Folland Gnat and Vickers VC-10.

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