Thursday, 27 July 2017

Lightning Pull by Rugby ATC Squadron

Saturday 8 July 2017 had been arranged for the lads and lasses of Rugby Air Training Corps 29F Squadron to pull a Lightning at Bruntingthorpe to raise money for charity.

The original plan had been to pull XR713 on account of it having no engines or fuel, however due to the fact that that aircraft had been delayed following a repaint, plans changed and the Lightning in question was now XR728, which in addition to having both engines installed had an amount of fuel on board as well and of course hydraulic oil etc. making it a dead weight of 20 tonnes.

With about 15 cadets, the task was not going to be an easy one and the following pictures show how progress was made and the effort required. 

There was time for taking pictures and have pictures taken and the weather was kind also.

The Lightning Preservation Group kindly presented every cadet with a couple of bookmarks with Lightnings on them.

Safety Briefing

Safety briefing before the pull

Time to go and do some pulling

The lads and lasses line up before the big pull

Officers and Cadets of the Rugby 29F Squadron Air Training Corps

Under the watchful eyes of Richard Norris

Getting the momentum going, not as easy as it might seem...but then it is 20 tonnes

Are some of them slacking off?

Any surface can be used for pushing and what effort it takes

Once the momentum has been achieved it is a short downhill stretch

Having a rest before the return journey

Right fit for the tight cockpit

Starting on the second leg

Always pushing from behind the wheels

Regaining momentum after a slow down

With a little help from some friends XR728 is on the home straight
LPG's Richard Norris explains some of the visible parts of the Lightning

The Grace Spitfire Gathering 2017

Saturday 3 June 2017 was the date for this year's Grace Spitfire Gathering, an event that brings together supporters of the Grace Spitfire, all of whom there on the day can be seen on the group photograph above.

As exemplified by the photographs, the weather was perfect for the flying displays that were part of the day, Richard Grace flying ML407 in the morning in a solo display and in the afternoon Richard flew Seafire IIIc PP972 and Dave Puleston piloted Spitfire ML407 in two solo displays and a superb formation display.

Seafire IIIc

Mr Barry Jones and the beautiful Fury

An original SE5a and WWI veteran

SE5a Cockpit

Dave Puleston preparing to take off in ML407, the Grace Spitfire

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Bruntingthorpe Spring Cold War Jets Open Day 2017

Over the years it has become "traditional" for the Cold War Jets Open Days to be held twice annually, one on the Spring Bank Holiday weekend, the other on the August Bank Holiday weekend. As the years have passed the event has grown in popularity, exemplified by the number of people it attracted on Sunday 28 May 2017.

It is also becoming more and more obvious that the aerodrome is becoming increasingly more crowded with motor vehicles that are being stored, which provides the aerodrome owners with good income, substantially more than the two annual open days. The racing activities contribute a fair share to that income also. Hopefully there will be space for future Open Days to exercise the aircraft and enthusiasts to come and enjoy the spectacle.

That said, the collection of aircraft, both static and (potentially) running is growing, not very fast, but "new" aircraft appear from time to time, the Lightning F3 XR713 was the latest to arrive last year and F-4 "Black Mike" is in the process of being dismantled to join the airframes already at Bruntingthorpe.

Preparations for the Open Day started on the previous day with aircraft being cleaned, tyres pumped up and engines being tested. Some aircraft performed a test run to ensure all systems were operating as they should.

The Delphin being brought to the runway for a testrun...saves fuel, but plenty of sticky fingermarks

Graham Smith "pilots" whilst John Ward watches from the backseat of the L29 Delphin.

Canberra WT333 tested and parked up temporarily before being moved into position
TS-11 Iskra making its way through the aircraft and people on the runway for its test run.

Not seen running for a number of years the ex-RAF Comet "Canopus" moved under its own power....
Geoffrey Poole's immaculate Hunter T7 prepares for a test run

Jake Jarron was on hand to talk to anyone interested in Lightnings. He later performed a fast taxi.