When most of us grow slightly older, we fritter away our disposable income on a small sports car or a Harley Davidson. The aviation geeks amongst us may even buy a share in a light aircraft to satiate our love of all things that fly. But Andre Tempest has taken his love of planes one step further. A few years back, when the RAF was disposing of its fleet of Victors, he put in a sealed bid and found himself the owner of a full sized V-bomber, designed to deliver the UK’s nuclear deterrent to somewhere in the Soviet Union.
I was interested in hearing why anybody would want to own their own Victor so, on a brilliantly sunny, spring day, I went to visit Andre and ‘Lusty Lindy’, as the aircraft is known, at Elvington, near York.
As promised, here’s the interview with Syd Marshall. Syd is a volunteer guide at the Battle of Britain memorial Flight museum, and what a great interview it turned out to be. I wasn’t expecting to meet a WW2 Lancaster crew member so it was not only a pleasant surprise, for me, but Syd had some great stories to tell about his time as a flight engineer on Lancaster bombers.
For episode 43 of Flying Podcast I’m still in Lincolnshire. I was at RAF Coningsby during May and took the opportunity to pop in to see the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight people. They very kindly allowed me in to have a look around their hangars and to speak with some of the lucky folk that get to look after the aircraft of the Flight. For those few of you not familiar with the works of the BBMFâ€¦ they keep a select flight of historic warbirds in airworthy condition. If you have ever seen a fly-past of Lancaster, Spitfire and Hurricane well that’s the BBMF.
Lancaster NX611 'Just Jane' at Lincs Aviation Heritage Centre
Continuing with the Lincolnshire theme, today I’m at Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre. The centre is home to several WWII aircraft, most notably a Lancaster bomber and a Dakota; both of which are available for taxi rides. I started my podcast interview with Andrew Panton who runs the museum and concluded with a chat with Paddy Green, owner of the resident Dakota.
Just recently I was at the NEC in Birmingham for the Flying Show so I took the opportunity to have a chat with various people down there. First up was Steve Bridgewater, Commercial Director at Air Atlantique’s Classic Flight.
Classic Flight do a superb job of keeping some classic old British Aircraft in airworthy condition. They have recently opened `Airbase’ at Coventry Airport. Airbase is not a museum in the conventional sense but more a working hangar that allows visitors to go and have a look around. They actually call themselves a ‘safari park for classic aeroplanes’.
In addition they also offer pleasure flights in several of their aircraft.
It sounded like an interesting story, so for episode 34 of Flying Podcast I firstly asked Steve to explain the history of Classic Flight.
On episode 21 of Flying Podcast today, I’m talking to Nick Forder, Transport Curator at Manchester’s Museum of Science and Industry.
Nick has a superb insight into the history of AVRO aviation and how that was inextricably linked with the history of aviation in the Manchester area.
The interview with Nick takes place in the Air & Space Hall, hence the sound of happy children in the background. As we wandered around the collection Nick describes the AVRO aeroplanes and the part they played in powered flight over the last century.
After our museum tour, Nick introduced me to Peter Teagle, who now works as a volunteer at the museum. Peter is the ex-Assistant Chief Designer at AVRO, Woodford. Peter worked on many aircraft at AVRO, and later BAE, including, as you’ll hear, the BAE Advanced Turbo Prop aircraft. Peter is now helping build a couple of replica A V Roe aircraft on-site at the museum and we had a brief chat towards the end of the podcast about exactly what he and the team are up to.
An interview with Ian Reed, Director of Yorkshire Air Museum at Elvington Airfield. Ian tells us about what the museum has to offer including information about the airfield’s history, museum exhibits and the aircraft on display.