Monday, 25 May 2009

Manston Museum Open Day

Sunday 24th May and the Hurricane and Spitfire Museum at Manston was having an open day to raise funds for the museum. It coincided with a bit more activity than usual at this large airfield as it was the base for the Red Arrows and RAF Typhoons for the Southend Airshow weekend.
In addition to seeing the 'heavy metal' flying about ( I am more interested in the vintage pre 70's stuff)I attended to get Wing Commander Peter Ayerst's signature as he was attending the Aviation Bookshops signing event on the day. I have his book 'Spirit of the Blue' a fighter pilots story and it tells his story of a life long career in aviation.

Starting with the RAF in 1938 and fighting as part of the Advanced Air Striking Force in France in 1940 being the first RAF pilot to engage a Bf 109 in combat, instructing during the Battle of Britain and shooting down an He 111 bomber, then North Africa in 1942, instructing in South Africa 1943, escort duties on D Day 1944 and flew spitfires in support of the mass daylight bomber raids deep into Germany in 1945. By the wars end Peter had flown every operational mark of Spitfire and Hurricane in the RAF's inventory!! Alex Henshaw chose him to be a test pilot for Vickers at Castle Bromwich where he flew production Mk XIs, XVIs and 22s. He left the RAF but returned to finally retire in 1973. Now in his late 80's it was a great privilage to meet Wing Commander Ayerst.

Red Arrows in 'Arrowhead' formation

The 'dead sparrows' above a 747

The team put on a short display for the masses attending the free event at Manston which was very well received, sadly the Typhoon only did one pass but its take off and immediate 'climb out' was absolutely breathtaking.

Eurofighter Typhoons parked up at the end of sunday afternoon notice how the 'canard' wing is tilted when parked

On returning From Southend Airshow the Typhoon made one fast pass including this roll before landing

Air Sea Rescue Sea King

G -MKBA Cargo 747, MK Airlines originally established in 1990 in Ghana serving African routes operating a fleet of Boeing 747 freighter aircraft and is now the largest dedicated cargo airline based in the UK and the 21st largest cargo airline in the world as measured by amount of freight carried.