This would usually be part of the Online Fighter Log update available to Friends of TFC- it answers a lot of “which aircraft was where and when this week end” type questions so here you go:
A busy weekend in May…. The Hawk75 and Gladiator made our first European outing of the 2015 season with Stephen and Patrice at the controls for the trip to La Ferte Alais. The transit necessitated a brief stop-over at Abbeville for fuel before flying on to LFA were TFC engineers Roy and Paul were waiting for their arrival having departed Duxford at 5am Thursday morning via Folkestone. With some quite complicated logistics Nick who was due to fly the Gladiator in the show made the transit to LFA from Geneva on Thursday evening. Operating away from base is always a challenge particularly when your tools and spares provision needs to fit into a modern family saloon!
The VE Anniversary show at Duxford was combined with the departure of three TFC aircraft Spitfire V, P-51D, Corsair) to the Oostwold Airshow , Groningen, Holland. EP120 was able to make the dash across the channel on Friday (beating the weather) at the hands of Alan Wade as it was not required for the Duxford show; regrettably the MkXIV wasn’t able to depart for the show due to an as yet undiagnosed over-fuelling issue with the carburettor. With the weather closing in on us the P-51D and Corsair weren’t able to make their planned slot to leave Duxford on the afternoon of the Sunday show and finally left at 08:20 local time Monday morning (another lay-in missed !).
All aircraft made the recovery back to Duxford on Monday, with the Hawk75 and Gladiator first to arrive in the late afternoon and our Dutch contingent finally returning 18:45 local time. All in all a very successful weekend both here at Duxford and across our European commitments. Many thanks to those of you who visited us in the Friends area and had a close up look at the Bearcat.
And finally…. ‘A little knowledge is dangerous’…..on occasion we have to respond to inaccurate information placed on public forums and disseminated as factual. We were recently made aware of a thread running on one such forum suggesting the Sea Fury FB11 needs a new centre section! You might imagine that as Chief Engineer these are things I would normally know a little about, particularly if one were actually needed (which it isn’t).
To be absolutely clear; the Sea Fury hasn’t fallen off jacks; it isn’t on jacks simply because it doesn’t need to be on jacks. However, there is a small area of damage to the lower spar boom port side were a bolt was incorrectly orientated in the landing gear retraction mechanism and which on retraction test (some years ago) caught the underside of the boom flange. The damage is repairable and a scheme has already been identified in accordance with the aircraft repair manual and our resident design organisation, therefore no one need worry that the aircraft is not being currently progressed for the absence of a replacement centre section. Our priorities are set by the Principals and Chief Engineer dependent upon our developing workloads, Inspection Programs and ultimate goals; suffice to say we have not forgotten about G-BUCM and its time will come….shortly…..