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Sunday, 24 May 2015

FLYING TO LONDON TO SEE THE QUEEN! IN A DRAGON RAPIDE

The Imperial War Museum at Duxford has a marvellous collection of old battle planes from the earliest days. DJ is admiring one of the last flying B-17s but sadly it is only used for display flights.
We were due to fly in this...A De Havillande Dragon Rapide on a sight-seeing tour over London. The plane seats eight. Plenty of room for us all!!! No moving about, Please! No air-conditioning, no flight attendant, no toilet and the lucky woman in the front seat got to shout any messages to or from the pilot. Only an hour there and back so off we go.

We climbed quickly over the fields and headed south. The plane is so small that we all got a window seat and could keep an eye on the altitude, the passing scenery and the engines.
We came in over the Thames downstream and flew over the Olympic venues...
The Millenium Dome, the Isle of Dogs and The Thames Barrier.
Then, moving upstream towards the centre of town we hovered over Buckingham Palace (right in the middle of the pic), Green Park and St James Park and then turned to view all the amazing new structures that have appeared on the scene recently. The Queen may have been at home but if so she was busy and didn't come out to wave. We all spent a lot of time looking down and pointing. It's possible others on the ground may well have been looking up and pointing too.


This is the Shard across the river from the Walkie Talkie and others. I have a link here if you want to check your knowledge of the skyscrapers.
We swung back and forward over the river...So much to see. Pretty difficult to talk because of the noise level so there was a bit of nudging and pointing all the time.









We went out of London westwards towards Heathrow airspace and then swung north.

And then eventually headed home over the M25

Because there was to be a big Air Show this weekend, lots of pilots were out practising their routines and stunts. We shared a lunch table with the pilot of this Curtiss Hawk. He finished his gammon steak in yorkshire pudding and then took off to do some incredible stunts, low flying and rolls.
Another pilot was learning how to fly a Spitfire. I gathered he was a trained stunt instructor but had not flown a Spitfire before.

And I'm pretty sure this is the last flying Bristol Blenheim rehearsing its flight.
A great day out! The weather held, the flight was superb and the show was great.
Cheers Gillian

3 comments:

love those cupcakes said...

How absolutely brilliant! I'm really envious.

Madelene said...

I went to Daxford with my husband last year but I had no idea you could arrange this kind of experience.
Wish I'd known. He would have loved it.
I'll keep it in mind for next time.
Thanks for sharing. :)

trish said...

Fabulous set of views.What a wonderful day.
Great jacket Dave.