Monday, September 28, 2009

Europe Trip #19: Aircraft Over London

During my various sightseeing days I managed to photograph a few of the many aircraft flying over London. I'm not sure which airports they were headed in to [I never got my head around where the various airports were in relation to the city!].

Anyway, here they are:

British Airways [Connect], Avro 146, G-BZAY
City Jet, Avro 146, EI-RJS
VLM Airways [???], Fokker 50, OO-VLK
British Airways, Avro 146, G-BZAU
Air France, Avro 146, EI-RJP ???????????? *** Pardon??
[???], MD 900, G-EHMS - rescue helicopter
Lux Air, Embraer EMB-135LR, LX-LGK
Helicopter - unknown ID or details

*** can anyone explain why an aircraft with Air France logos would have an EI- rego? Is this just a leasing thing?

Europe Trip #18: RAF Museum Hendon - 13 - Last of the jets

In this final post about the jets, I've included two of my favourite aircraft - the Hawker Hunter and the Harrier jumpjet.

I've seen a New Zealand-based Hunter flying at Ardmore airfield in past years [ZK-JIL] and it's an impressive sight - and sound! I haven't seen the Harrier flying [apart from video obviously], but it's one of those aircraft that captures the imagination and makes you wonder why they don't build more V/STOL fighter aircraft [OK - I know that the Americans have, but it's 40 something years later!].

Finally, this is the last of my posts from the RAF Museum at Hendon in the UK. As I have said before, it is well worth the visit - in fact, I strongly recommend it. I hope you've enjoyed these photos. Do come back over the next few days as there will soon be a few pictures from around London followed by the Duxford museum collection which is arguably even more awesome!

Europe Trip #17: RAF Museum Hendon - 12 - Big and Fast

OK, here's two more jet aircraft to gaze longingly at! The Avro Vulcan is an awesome beast! I mean, it is just HUGE! The museum have poked it into the corner [and I mean right in to the corner] of one of the buildings and it seems to stretch out forever!

The other is the mighty Eurofighter Typhoon. This appears to be one of the prototype aircraft, and is a stunning sight and because of the walkways on the second and third levels of the building, you can walk right up to, almost level with, the aircraft even though it is suspended from the ceiling. It's a nice looking plane also. Just a thought, it'd look good flying around Ohakea with some Kiwi roundels on it :-) Clearly this is no ordinary museum when it has a front-line fighter hung off the ceiling :-)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Europe Trip #16: RAF Museum Hendon - 11 - 3 more jets

Practical jet powered aircraft were first produced in the early 1940's - not surprising considering the world was busy trying to find better, faster, more efficient ways of trying to kill each other during World War Two.

The Germans were the first to put up a jet fighter in combat, the awesome Me 262. Here are three pictures of this aircraft, followed by some others.

Messerschmitt Me 262 [3 pictures]
Hawker Siddeley Buccaneer S2B
Heinkel He 162
Panavia Tornado P02

[updated thanks to feedback]

Europe Trip #15: RAF Museum Hendon - 10 - Jets!

For some reason jets fascinate me. I like the piston powered aircraft of course, but I guess jet powered aircraft are generally fast, sleek and rather noisy :-)

The list of fixed-wing turbine aircraft was less numerous than the others [naturally], but still very impressive. This post is the first of four for the jets. In this first post we have:

BAC Lightning F6
Gloster Meteor F8
de Havilland DH 100 Vampire
English Electric Canberra PR3
BAC Jet Provost T.5A
McDonnell Douglas Phantom FGR2
Phantom cockpit

Europe Trip #14: RAF Museum Hendon - 9 - Helicopters

Helicopters are interesting machines! Seemingly a collection of loosely held together parts, vibrating at random, ready to separate at a moment's notice :-) Having said that, they are clearly an invaluable tool in peacetime and war.

The museum had a range of helicopters - all of which had military [and some civilian] roles at some stage, including troop transport, equipment haulers and rescue. The first helicopter in the list was equiped in a VIP configuration and used on the Royal Flight to transport the Queen and other royalty from time to time.

Top to bottom are:

Westland Wessex HCC4
Agusta Westland EH101 Merlin/ Heliliner
Westland Belvedere HC1
Westland Whirlwind HAR10
Sikorsky Hoverfly
Saunders Roe Skeeter AOP Mk 12

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Europe Trip #13: RAF Museum Hendon - 8 - Last of the multi-props

This last post in the series of multi-engined propeller aircraft includes a number of German aircraft. I guess it just shows the depth of this museum that they have such a wide range of English, German, American, Italian, Japanese and aircraft from other nations in the three buildings that I visited. Now, if only they were airworthy!

Top to bottom are:

Heinkel He 111H
Junkers Ju 88
Messerschmitt Bf 110
Short Sunderland
Bristol Blenheim IV

Europe Trip #12: RAF Museum Hendon - 7 - More multi props

Continuing the series of multi-engined propeller aircraft, here are 3 views of the mighty Boeing B17 Flying Fortress bomber, plus 1 each of the North American B25 Mitchell, Airspeed Oxford and the de Havilland Mosquito.

Europe Trip #11: RAF Museum Hendon - 6 - First of the multi props

After the single engined types, here is the first of 3 posts on some of the multi-engined types.

Like the singles, there was a good variety of aircraft - none of which I had ever seen up close before! Because of the size of some of these aircraft, I have included multiple shots where I think that may be of interest.

Top to bottom are:

Bristol Beaufighter TF.X
Bristol Beaufort
Consolidated Liberator B.VIII
Avro Lancaster [3 pictures]
Handley Page Halifax [2 pictures]