Thursday, September 27, 2012

Two Aussies @ Wellington

There have been a couple of new Aussie registered aircraft at Wellington in the past few days.

The first is the arrival of Vincent Aviation's latest British Aerospace Jetstream J32, VH-OTP. I assume this will be going on to the NZ register shortly along with a repaint?

The second was a Piper PA42-1000 Cheyenne, VH-BUR. This aircraft is registered to Burley Aircraft of a NSW, Australia address. It is over here performing navaid checks for the Airways Corp of New Zealand.

Home to New Zealand

After a very enjoyable 3 week trip, it was time to come home. I was travelling on Air NZ [which I always enjoy flying long haul on] via Hong Kong. It's a looooong trip home, although slightly shorter than the trip over, but actually reasonably comfortable [if you get the right seat that is, and I did], and in the inflight service is always very good.

What follows are some pictures of aircraft from the stopover in Hong Kong [ICAO code: VHHH] and the final picture is of the sunrise over the Tasman Sea.

I hope you have enjoyed this snapshot of the aviation aspects of my holiday! For the non-aviation sode of things, you can take a look at my world travels blog for those details.

The aircraft, top to bottom are:
Boeing 777-219, ZK-OKG, registered to Air New Zealand - my ride home!
Boeing 777-258/ER, 4X-ECD, registered to El Al Israel Airlines
Boeing 777-237/LR, VT-ALB, registered to Air India
Airbus A340-642, D-AIHN, registered to Lufthansa
Boeing 777-3F2/ER, TC-JJE, registered to Turkish Airlines [the rego is unconfirmed, but likely correct]

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

RAF Museum at Hendon - Fighters and others

In this final post from the Museum, I have a few samples from the collection of World War 2 fighters and other aircraft. Again, this is only a tiny selection of what was on display... you'll just have to go visit for yourself!

Top to bottom are:

Messerschmitt Bf109G
de Havilland Canada Chipmonk T.10
Republic Thunderbolt
Curtis Kittyhawk III
Hawker Hart Trainer

RAF Museum at Hendon - the Helos

The museum has a wide range of ex-military helicopters on display. In addition to what you will see here is the nose section of a Chinook [!] and a helo that was formerly used to transport the Queen. Very very nice!

Anyway, here are a few examples for you:

Westland Whirlwind HAR10... "Whirlwind" - what an appropriate name for a helicopter! :-)
AgustaWestland EH101
Westland/ Aerospatiale Gazelle
Sikorsky Hoverfly
Westland Belvedere HC1

RAF Museum at Hendon - time for the jets

The RAF Museum also has a number of jet aircraft on display. I wish I had room [and time!] to show more of them, but here is a small selection. Keep in mind that like most of the aircraft in the museum, they are reasonably accessible [you can get very close to them; some even have steps up to the cockpit].

Top to bottom are:

Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightening II mockup. Really nice!
Messerschmitt Me262
Panavia Tornado F.3
British Aircraft Corporation [BAC] Jet Provost T.5A

RAF Museum at Hendon - Very old aircraft

Here are a few of the very historic aircraft at the museum. These old aircraft are spread thoughout the various buildings, but particularly in the equally historic Grahame-White Factory building.

Top to bottom are:

Bleriot XI
Vickers Vimy
Caudron G.III

RAF Museum at Hendon - The Quiz!

What do the following three aircraft have in common?

No, I'm not talking about the fact that they are all at the RAF Museum :-) Perhaps take a look at the manufacturer... yep, all made by Supermarine!

Supermarine Spitfire Mk Vb

Supermarine Stranraer

Supermarine Seagull V

RAF Museum at Hendon - Intro

One of my final "aviation related" activities [apart from my flight home, of course!] was a visit to the RAF Museum at Hendon [effectively a suburb on London these days].

I last visited here about 3 years ago. A few things had changed - enough to make it worthwhile visiting again - and so I spent the best part of a day walking around the various buildings, including the old Grahame-White Factory building, which was closed the last time I visited.

Obviously, there's no way I could every publish every aircraft, and even if I wanted to, many of the displays were dimly lit, which was great to look at, but not quite so good for photography.

A highlight of the visit was a video presentation that is run several times during the day. It's a bit hard to describe, but basically, it's set up in one of the display buildings, with a small "stadium like" seating setup, and  projections is on to a main transparent screen, a second flat "zeppelin airship" shaped screen behind that, and uses the various aircraft in the building by highlighting them from time to time. VERY WELL WORTH visiting!

Lastly, entry is free :-)

Anyway, here are a few pictures to start with. Further posts will highlight a few other areas in the museum. Enjoy! Top to bottom are:

Advertising wall
Westland Lysander
Short Sunderland - this is open for visitors to walk through
Bristol Beaufort
Consolidated Liberator

Leaving Belfast for London (Gatwick)

About 8 days ago [yes, I'm still catching up on my posts from the trip], I left Belfast to return to London [via Gatwick]. Again I braved the perils of Easyjet :-), and apart from being treated as cattle to be rounded up and controlled [aka: business as usual for this airline], the flight itself went well enough. On landing at Gatwick [ICAO code: EGKK], we hopped off the plane via the airstairs, walked down a flight of stairs, onto the tarmac, then into buses for a trip to the terminal. Not quite as much fun as that might sound... but not as bad as the 90 minute wait for our bags! Atrocious!

I'm not sure is this is Easyjet or Gatwick being useless, but to put it in perspective, I spent less time on the Gatwick Express train and 2 London Tube trains, in rush hour, than I spent waiting for my bags! I guess neither the airline or the airport care at all, but I'll certainly look at things a little closer next time I go to book flights.

Oh well, never mind. I did get some pictures at Belfast International [ICAO code: EGAA] before departure. Top to bottom they are:

Airbus A319-111, G-EZIX, registered to Easyjet
Airbus A320-214, EI-CVB, registered to Aer Lingus
Boeing 757-21K, G-WJAN, registered to Thomas Cook Airlines
Airbus A321-211, G-TCDA, registered to Thomas Cook Airlines [2 pictures]

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Leaving Glasgow for Belfast # 2

Apart from Easyjet, I got to see a few other aircraft and operators at Glasgow in my short stay there.

Top to bottom are:

Airbus A310-304, C-GTSX, registered to Air Transat
Saab 340B, G-LGNL, registered to Loganair [contracted to Flybe]
Saab 340B, G-LGNJ, also of Loganair
Saab 340B, G-LGNB, also of Loganair
Airbus A319-131, G-EUPL, registered to British Airways
Boeing 737-436, G-DOCE, also of British Airways
Boeing 757-224, N17104, registered to United Airlines

Leaving Glasgow for Belfast # 1

Time came to leave Glasgow for Belfast. Good news is that the taxi services are fairly regulated, so it was just under 20 pounds for a taxi fare to the airport. Easy! I was travelling on Easyjet [no the best experience by any stretch - they make Virgin Atlantic look good!!], so I arrived in plenty of time to check in. This also gave me time to walk about and get a few photos.

In this post, I've put a few of the Easyjet photos I took. An A320 and a couple of A319's.

The flight itself was only a 20 minute flight [still enough time to be herded around and treated like muppets by Easyjet], so as is usual, most of the time was spent in the airport. At least the short flight meant less time for the cabin crew to try and up-sell stuff. Oh yeah - it was cold, wet and blowing hard at Glasgow [ICAO code EGPF] - reminded me of Wellington actually, although the flight itself was smooth.

Anyway, here are the aircraft.

Airbus A320-214, G-EZTJ
Airbus A319-111, G-EZBL
Airbus A319-111, G-EZMS

Take a look at that last photo... the aircraft looks rough as guts... and it's not just the lack of a recent wash... glad I wasn't flying on that one...

Monday, September 17, 2012

National Museum of Scotland - National Museum of Flight # 5

This is my last post from the National Museum on Flight at East Fortune, and I've selected a few aircraft from yet another hanger. This one contained a real surprise... a [presumably formally] Australian registered de Havilland - I don't have further details [without making one of my horribly wrong guesses], so if you can fill in the details, that would be much appreciated!

If you are ever up around Edinburgh, this museum is well worth a visit! There's plenty more to do than what I have shown, including various other buildings with displays, something for the kids, a cafe etc etc. You can easily spend 4 or more hours here [as we did] - so well worth the visit!

Anyway, the other aircraft are:

BAe Jetstream J31, G-JSSD
de Havilland DH104 Dove 6, G-ANOV, [UK] Civil Aviation Authority
Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer Series 3, G-BBVF
Britten-Norman BN2A-26 Islander, G-BELF, Scottish Ambulance Service

and... finally... hosts and tour guides for my brief stay in Edinburgh, Ken and Moira! Thanks guys!!