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Pics : RAF Lancaster Jubilee Display June 2012


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#1 Martin Bull

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 11:18 AM

OK, we've had a big fuss here with the Royal Jubilee. As usual with a British Holiday Weekend, the weather has been horrible and the road traffic has been a nightmare.

My wife and I decided to spend the weekend in the very historic town of Rye, on Romney Marsh in Kent. I don't really 'do' public Royal events, but Mrs B asked what celebrations were happening in Rye. I looked at the website - usual things, fetes, charity runs, garden parties, and...............a display by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight ! I couldn't quite believe the coincidence, and neither could Mrs B......

On arrival in the town, the local Press seemed excited.....

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The aircraft were due to arrive at 16:00 on Saturday with best viewing 'on the Town Quay'. Now, I've seen the BBMF many times, and of course airshow regulations prevent flying directly over crowds. At airshows, I'm used to seeing the same old side-on views. So I sat down with the map and figured that the actual display would take place over the open expanse of Romney Marsh. Or so I hoped......

So, come Saturday and we walked out under cloudy skies onto the very lonely marsh and selected our spot. Just the two of us by an old gate. We could see a small crowd up on the church tower, and at 16:10 a familiar shape appeared....

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We were treated to an almost-overhead display by the BBMF's MkIX Spitfire......

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The Lancaster and Hurricane displayed on the other sides of the town. Maybe my great theory had backfired.......the Lancaster disappeared and then headed for us out of a dramatically-breaking sky....

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This was more like it ! For the next ten minutes, we were treated to a wondeful 'private' airshow, almost directly overhead. My camera doesn't have a mega-lens and I actually had trouble avoiding the aircraft 'over-filling' the viewfinder as it roared back and forth.....

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Our 'unofficial' viewing point gave us views which you can't get at airshows, such as these head- and tail-on shots, gear down and bomb-doors open....

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And, for a finale, the Lancaster seemed almost to line up on us, approaching directly overhead......

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I swung the camera up, but it really was far too close......

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The blast of 48 Merlin cylinders going right overhead that low was simply amazing.

And away they went.......

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My wife was grinning broadly, and all I could say was : 'Bl**dy marvellous !'

And it didn't cost us a thing........
  • Kai-Petri, urqh, The_Historian and 5 others like this
"Stand by to pull me out of the seat if I get hit" - Guy Gibson

#2 urqh

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 11:33 AM

And Martin said....God Bless the queen and all who sail in her....

Now thats what royal celebration weekends are for...

Excellent Martin...I bet you had kittens...Good one.

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#3 Martin Bull

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 11:36 AM

And Martin said....God Bless the queen and all who sail in her....


Actually, I said God Bless the BBMF and all who fly in it...:o...I turned to Mrs B and said we'd probably never get an opportunity to see the Lanc' that close overhead again.......:)
"Stand by to pull me out of the seat if I get hit" - Guy Gibson

#4 The_Historian

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 11:48 AM

Sheer, sheer magic, Martin.:cool::cool:
Regards,

Gordon

#5 Clementine

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 12:28 PM

Wow! Your photos are truly the next best thing to being there. Lucky you, and thanks for sharing!

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#6 SKYLINEDRIVE

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 01:43 PM

Thanks a lot for sharing Mister Bull! Those birds are truly amazing! I saw the Battle of Britain flight a few years back at Duxford, unfortunately the weather was quite bad so my pics are rather crappy!

#7 Biak

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 02:14 PM

My heart is pounding just looking at the pic's! I can imagine the thump and rumble of those engines going overhead.

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#8 gtblackwell

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 02:33 PM

Martin, Thank you so much for more than a few nice memories. Rye is indeed magical place with the marsh and sea, an out of this world quality. One of my favorite places in the UK. Then those nice photographs ! I particularly like the Lanc against the copper-pink sky, it conveys an image of a single plan returning late to base. I have only seen them on the ground. I taught and still practice design for nearly all my life and I am fascinated by the Lancaster, it manages to be both awkward and beautiful at the same time. Makes me feel I am standing next to greatness as does the Spitfire....because I am . Listening to a Merlin, or four just enhances that feeling.Years ago I stood on the block conning tower of a base north of Cambridge, now a farm and tried to imagine what it had been like in the war. I have been an Anglophile for much of my life and thoroughly enjoyed the celebration of the Queen this morning on the TV but would not have liked the mass crowds, Given your choices I would have gone to Rye !!

A question, why are the bomb bay doors open on the Lancaster? But mainly you have made my morning and easily diverted me from work !!! at this very moment I am watching a Lanc fly over Buckingham Palace while sitting in Alabama, amazing ! Probably the same one you saw and heard in person.

Gaines

Gaines

#9 Martin Bull

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 03:08 PM

A question, why are the bomb bay doors open on the Lancaster?


Hello Gaines - I'm very glad that you enjoyed the thread ! :)

As with most airshow teams, the BBMF have a standard display format. Many of their public appearances are simply a flypast ( as with todays' Buckingham Palace event). But some are selected for a full 'display' - the BBMF made no fewer than fourteen appearances at various places around the Country on Saturday, but only two - Rye and Folkestone - got the full 'treatment'.

The Lancaster usually makes one pass each way then another with the bomb-bay doors open - which always gives a very good idea of the capacity of the enormous bomb-bay . Then the undercarriage is lowered with flaps 'down' and engines throttled back for another pass at slowest possible speed. Finally, with everything 'up', a final pass is made at hard throttle and as low as is allowed.

The sound on that last pass is deeply evocative - my Wife has only a passing interest in aircraft and WWII but was quite moved. One can only try to imagine what 1000 of these machines must have sounded like.

The BBMF Lanc is a remarkable flying memorial to the 55,000 Bomber Command dead in the same way that B-17G Sally B ( privately operated ! ) fulfils the role here for the fallen of the 8th Air Force.
"Stand by to pull me out of the seat if I get hit" - Guy Gibson

#10 gtblackwell

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 07:14 PM

Martin, I truly did ! We were visiting our daughter , about 15 years ago when we heard a wonderful sound that I knew were piston engined planes so we ran out to see a B 17, 24 and P 51 fly over. We drove out to the local airfield, a WW 2 training base now private , and found the Collins Foundation was doing one of there "visits". For 300 USD you can ride in either bomber for about 40 minutes. Given the cost of maintainng them, fuel, pilots, a bargain but I am frugal !! My wife and daughter insisted so I choose the B 17 " Nine o Nine". One of the nicest memories of my now long life. I could not imagine how loud the interior would be nor the amount of oil running out of those radials ! A great experience and neat to see the 24 and 51 out the turrets and waist gun ports. They end by making one very low pass over the runway at about 200 knots then lift and loop around to land. Tight as I am it was beyond worth it.


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I really appreciate your nice description of all the maneuvers the BBMF goes through. Now it makes sense and that is a huge bay compared to the B 17 !!!! It is hard to believe so many young men died in Bomber Command, so very sad, and thousands of others wounded or in POW camps . I can only read large print now, love my big LED screen, but I found a copy of Len Deighton's Bomber in large print, 3 of your pounds!!! I read it 20 years ago and an 30% thru it now !!! To my mind an excellent read. Would love to see in in a serious movie format. Something diametrically the opposite to Memphis Bell....the movie.... !!!

Cheers,
Gaines

Edited by gtblackwell, 16 June 2012 - 06:03 PM.
Grammar errors


#11 Kai-Petri

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 05:34 AM

Thanx Martin, great photos again! Also glad to see the marvellous concert on tv, and the people going nuts... ;)
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#12 gtblackwell

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 04:11 PM

Today on the NBC "Today" program, yes I know, it is degenerated into a reality show !!! they showed a video taken from the navigators position as they flew over Buckingham Palace. Those few seconds were worth all the silliness on the Today Show. Credit to them, they did cover the celebration quite well for we Yanks.

GB




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