Thursday, 23 June 2016

Cold War Jets Open Day, Bruntingthorpe, May 28, 2016

It has been a longstanding tradition at the Bruntingthorpe Proving Grounds for the owners to be hosting an Open Day on a twice annual basis and as the years pass by these events are becoming more and more popular and attract ever increasing crowds.

Lightning F2A basking in the sun in front of the LPG QRA hangar hosing it two F6s

With the cancellation of air shows  up and down the country due to the CAA's new regulation for making air shows safe and potentially destroying an entire industry in the process, events such as this one may well be the only way we, the aviation enthusiasts, will get our fixes in the future.
For this event the weather was variable, but generally during the action it was mainly grey and overcast not making for good photography, but at least no rain and the sun did make an appearance albeit a bit late in the day.

Here is a summary of the action and what was on show.

Raspberry Ripple Tornado GR1 being lovingly restored to full running order

This smart looking Gnat T1 is also under restoration to full running order

Graham Smith's Aero L-29  Delphin looks attractive in its Bulgarian Air Force training colours

Jet Provost resting after failure during its fast taxi-run at the start of the proceedings

Phil Cartwright's immaculate F-4F Phantom II nose with the cannon pod now added. Phil is now also the owner of an ex-Luftwaffe F-86 Sabre, the tail section of which could be seen around the back of the Super Guppy. Phil has since recovered the nose section from Germany and that is now at Bruntingthorpe too.

Always a favourite Canberra WT333 being taxied by Dennis Brooks

HP Victor returning to its pan after a flawless performance

Jet Provost T5 returning from a blast down the runway

Jet Provost T4 also made a successful run with Ollie Suckling at the controls

Two Buccaneers returning together after their individual runs, Ollie Suckling and Dennis Brooks "driving"

The as yet unmarked FAA Hunter FGA9 is a welcome addition to the "running community" at Bruntingthorpe

Geoffrey Poole's beautiful Hunter T7, with brake chute doors open, returning to the head of the Bruntingthorpe runway

Lightning F6 XR728 with all up, down and out, with Dennis Brooks at the controls

Lovely visiting Auster

Foxbat, flown by Graham Elvis, about to depart for Otherton

Foxbat with friend Graham Wiley and piloted by Chris Bourn also about to depart for the same home.

As has become a part of the proceedings at Bruntingthorpe, large flying aircraft models were displayed with great levels of expertise. One very beautiful Canadair CT-41 Tutor in RCAF Snowbird colour was caught by a gust of wind and crashed onto the runway in the final stages of its landing causing a great deal of damage.

The Vickers VC10 about to roll out is three refuelling baskets. Hard to see it is a model.

Superb model of Vulcan B2 XH558 taking off for its display.

Model XH558 about to touch down. Expertly and realistically flown.

Eye-catching Vampire F1 ready to roll

Vampire F1 high speed pass

Knife-edge pass concludes the Vampire F1 display

Easily the best looking large model was this Turkish Air Force North American F-100D Super Sabre, complete with simulated afterburner, only the long pitot tube missing otherwise almost indistinguishable from the real thing.

F-100D Super Sabre on a gear down pass, but problem is looming, note the angel of the nosewheel

Yes, it was not locked down and collapsed on touch down. Not too much damage though.

And finally..... we were treated to a few low passes by Spitfire LF16E of the BBMF, making the day a little more special.

Bruntingthorpe's population of "operational" jet aircraft is increasing slowly and with some interesting types. The Gnat T1 in Red Arrows colours was evident on the flightline, the Tornado is also moving closer to is first trial run, the Sea Vixen has now been expertly repainted by Donna Harding (It will make a great companion for the Hunter FGA9 and the FAA Buccaneer) and the raspberry ripple Jaguar T1, which was in one of the bubble hangars. Much further away is the ex-Luftwaffe Lockheed F-104G Starfighter that is now owned by Geoffrey Poole, whose Hunter F7 look immaculate. He will need a General Electric J-79-GE-9 turbojet engine to get it moving under its own power.

With the new FAA regulations around displaying at and organising of airshows, Bruntingthorpe provides a unique environment for experiencing jets, small and large, at close hand and in all their noisy glory. Its popularity is evidenced by the increasing number of visitors and the necessity to extend the crowd line along the runway by a couple of hundred meters. More catering would also be a welcome addition. Still a great day out to meet pilots, volunteers and friends and make new ones.

Great job by the driver of the new Bendy Bus, David Walton, all aircraft owners, operators and volunteers and the Air Cadets. 

Theo Claassen
Burbage 12 June 2016