Flying Legends Airshow~Part 4

16 Sep

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Flying Legends

 

 Day 4 – Saturday July 4th

Since I had inspected the breakfast room the evening before, and saw that it was going to be a “Cold, help yourself to cereal and toast” setup (and the choices really didn’t look that appetizing), I elected to skip breakfast that morning and just have one of my granola bars instead.

1

That got me off to an earlier start for the day than I had expected, which put me at the Jet Age Museum in Gloucester 30 minutes before they opened. One of the docents saw me pull into the carpark and came out to inform me that they couldn’t let me wonder around the outside static display aircraft or into the museum until 10:00. I told him that was no problem, that I would just wait in the car until they opened. The next thing I knew, here came that same guy carrying a tray containing a cup of hot coffee (with sugar & cream) and a croissant, just for me. I thought, “This is the best service I’ve ever had at any museum anywhere in the world.”

2

I was the only visitor at their museum that early, and all the folks there couldn’t do enough for me. It was a small museum but they had the front section of a Vulcan bomber on display, as part of their museum tour, and they escorted me into and around the cockpit and navigation/weapons stations. I discovered that for as big as that plane is, the crew stations are very confined. I did however, manage to squeeze into the pilot’s seat for a photo op.

3

Next it was on north to try to catch the Baginton Air Pagant which was being put on at the Baginton Airport. As it turned out, Greta got confused with all the road construction in the immediate area and couldn’t find the entrance to the airport. So, I had to settle for visiting the Midland Air Museum, which was located right there adjacent to the airport runway, and was one of the museums on my list. And, I was able to see a few of the airshow flyovers from that vantage point.

4

 

The Coventry Transport Museum was an absolutely marvelous collection of beautifully restored British made bicycles, motorcycles, automobiles and trucks, from the earliest days of motorized transportation to the present. The museum took up a whole city block (not as big as a city block in the U.S.) and exhibited displays on four levels of the building.

5

The Cold War Jet Collection located at the Bruntingthrope Aerodrome in Leicestershire was closed, but I was able to take a few pictures of their outside static displayed aircraft through the fence. Bruntingthrope Aerodrome is where the world’s last airworthy Avro Vulcan bomber (XH558) was restored to flight condition in 2007. This beautiful airplane will be grounded for safety concerns after the 2015 airshow season.

6

The Bruntingthrope Aerodrome is also the home of the world’s last airworthy de Havilland Comet 4C (XS235), which is kept flight certified by the Aerodrome volunteers there.

7

 

Greta couldn’t find the National Motorcycle Museum in Bickenhill, so I called it a day and headed for the Quality Inn Hotel in Birmingham for the evening.

8

When I got to Birmingham, Greta took me to the correct street number, but one block to the north of the actual location. I re-entered the address and she took me right back to the same place. I finally asked a man on the street if he could tell me where the Quality Inn Hotel was, and he said, “It’s just right around the corner on the next street over.”   That happened more than once on this trip. The rooms at the Quality Inn were very nice, but were accessed by a maze of up and down stairways that gave my knees a real workout, even without my suitcase.  I had to ask the clerk to move me to another room which was accessed by fewer stairs. He was glad to do that for me, and my knees were glad too.

9

 

—–To Be Continued—–

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