What got you in to this crazy hobby?

What got you in to this crazy hobby?

Postby CJS on Fri 17 Mar 2017, 7:50 pm

Been thinking recently about why I seem to have developed a penchant for all things aeroplane. Three things from my childhood did it I think...

1. Standing in my paternal grandparents' house in Lincolnshire watching Phantoms playing overhead in the mid 1980s

2. Endless chats with my maternal grandfather about his experiences in the (R)OC during and after WW2.

3. Living a mile or so and right under the flightpath in to Dunsfold (Harriers? Oh yes :rock: :music: )

What bugs me is why I went to only a few Dunsfold shows back then and never got taken to RIAT other than once or Duxford a handful of times. I was clearly not persuasive enough as a child!

So what got you into it?

this may be a thread I posted at some point in the past - if it is I apologise! :grin: :surrender:
"Forewarned is forearmed"
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Re: What got you in to this crazy hobby?

Postby Pen Pusher on Fri 17 Mar 2017, 8:11 pm

My interest in all things aeroplanes started when I was born in RAF Hospital Ely and held upside down by the ankles by a Wing Commander doctor and given a good smacking. :biggrin:

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Re: What got you in to this crazy hobby?

Postby iainpeden on Fri 17 Mar 2017, 8:17 pm

Hi Chris. Hope to say hello this July! A bit older than you so I blame The Victor comic which gave me some idea of all the war stories; then a family move from London to Dorset and a visit to maternal grandparents. Coming back down the A3 I told my dad a Lancaster was coming up behind us. He didn't believe me until the 4 Merlins drowned out all conversation. We were driving past an airshow at Blackbushe - we had a. Travel break at the show and I was hooked - probably 1967 or 1968. Also remember a Vulcan at low level right along the Dorset village high street just a couple,of miles from Bovington and Sea Vixens when we were caravaning at Lossiemouth.

And I have never grown out of the hobby/ interest.
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Re: What got you in to this crazy hobby?

Postby CJS on Fri 17 Mar 2017, 8:18 pm

It's somehow addictive isn't it?! Yep, be good to catch up in July again. :up:
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Re: What got you in to this crazy hobby?

Postby Airshowhammer on Sat 18 Mar 2017, 1:28 am

Dad used to take me to Hatton Cross/Heathrow to watch the planes come into land. Will never forget the 3 Concorde's.
He also took me to Biggin Hill when i was 4 in 2001 i remember being on my dads shoulders and seeing a King Cobra crash!
Also bought me loads of die-cast models.
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Re: What got you in to this crazy hobby?

Postby FarnboroJohn on Sat 18 Mar 2017, 7:38 am

Being a child in Farnborough in the Sixties and Seventies, when it had more than one working runway so the Dakota, Devons and Shacks used to pass over Cove Junior School when on finals, plus a mad collection of jet hardware in the PE fleet: Meteors, Canberras, Hunters of various marks, often with bits stuck on, occasionally stuff on trials like Buccaneers (later a permanent addition), Lightnings, Vulcans. IIRC there was a Beverley as well and a visiting Argosy: Andovers and the Met Flight Hercules with its lance-like boom out of the nose. Plus the show every second September.

Later Doug Arnold's burgeoning Warbirds of GB collection at Blackbushe caught my attention. I was even lucky enough to work weekends as a volunteer dismantling the ex-Indian Air Force Spitfires he acquired - he had the sense to get professionals to put them back together. The collection never really went anywhere, though. Mr Arnold was an odd chap: he obviously was an enthusiast and liked having a wide range of aircraft but seemed unable to resist a deal. I remember him grousing bitterly that he should never have sold on SL721 (I agreed with him) but it was very much hindsight, I don't think he hesitated at the time.

Holidays in North Wales always included a visit to Valley first for Gnats then Hawks - plus at least one afternoon sitting up in the A5 pass watching whatever turned up: mostly the local trainers but sometimes Jags, Canberra once and even a mighty F-111!

Then a camera and a driving licence led to base visits and other airshows.... and here we are!

John
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Re: What got you in to this crazy hobby?

Postby borismorris on Sat 18 Mar 2017, 11:32 am

My old man was part of a wartime aircraft recovery group and often came home with interesting tales of their finds. I was too young to go on the digs of course but we did go to a number of shows in the 80's and seeing the E.E. Lightning do its thing at Valley is still etched in my memory now. Hard not to feel nostalgic about all the British types that flew back then.
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Re: What got you in to this crazy hobby?

Postby minnie the moocher on Sat 18 Mar 2017, 12:01 pm

My dad was ex RAF - canberras so I think that is where it started? As a kid ( and still do) I lived within cycling distance of Donna Nook, Binbrook, and North Coates - no planes at NC but was still worth a visit - so used to spend quite a bit of time spotting. I got interested in airfield history as a result of a night class and as I'm surrounded by them (Waltham, Kelstern, Strubby, Manby, Ludford Magna, Donna Nook) it sort of 'took off'. I get to fly now and again so I guess its now ingrained and there is no hope for me :biggrin:
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Re: What got you in to this crazy hobby?

Postby Danny on Sat 18 Mar 2017, 12:55 pm

Mildenhall Air Fete for me. Who couldn't be hooked after that as a young boy?
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Re: What got you in to this crazy hobby?

Postby aceyone on Sat 18 Mar 2017, 1:02 pm

Living within hearing range of Biggin Hilll and holidays on the Norfolk Broads !
Don't know about those jets ,they spoil a very nice place
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Re: What got you in to this crazy hobby?

Postby TKK 140 on Sat 18 Mar 2017, 1:15 pm

First interest in aircraft, Lightnings flying over a military tattoo and later on the Phantoms.
Warthogs flying around locally and another vote for Mildenhall Air Fete's.
TKK 140

Re: What got you in to this crazy hobby?

Postby paullangford on Sat 18 Mar 2017, 1:35 pm

My parents taking me to RAF Leuchars in 1968, sitting me in a Spitfire, and then seeing F104's & Lightnings tear up the sky on reheat...and seeing the mighty Vulcans.

.....which then started my addictions & ultimate downfall including Airfix kits, Speed & Power magazine, Greenham Common Air Tattoo, Mildenhall Air Fete, spotting at the Queens Building LHR, watching Concorde on reheat over my flat, Gliding, Parachuting, then beer, fast bikes, fast lenses, fast times, air stewardesses .....gets a bit hazy after that :cuppa:
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Re: What got you in to this crazy hobby?

Postby MarkVTX on Sat 18 Mar 2017, 2:26 pm

A workmate asked me what I was up to over the Whitsun weekend, probably shrugged my shoulders and he said did my wife, six month old daughter and myself fancy going to an airshow in Mildenhall. That was Air Fete '87, loved the experience and have been consumed with the airshow 'scene' ever since.
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Re: What got you in to this crazy hobby?

Postby wv383 on Sat 18 Mar 2017, 2:42 pm

Two things really which actually very much mirror those of FarnboroughJohn.

Firstly, Blackbushe when it was still a real airport. My father knew a good few of the aircraft mechanics that worked for the airlines on the 'other' side of the A30 and he regularly took me up there, particularly on Sunday mornings, to have a good look around and get me tours onboard the aircraft being worked on. Something that is well nigh impossible these days. After Blackbushe closed, there were regular visits to the place to watch the parachuting and over the years see the line of Dragonflys, new additions to Doug Arnold's lineup and the B-25s that were used in 'Hannover Street'.

Secondly, Farnborough. Although I lived in Fleet (still there) and Crookham rather than Farnborough itself, I still got the odd glimpse of what was there and, even on Crookham, could clearly hear the infamous prop rig. Regular visits to the airshow, which were in their heyday at that time, along with views through and over the fence to see what was happening or if anything new had been added to the dump.
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Re: What got you in to this crazy hobby?

Postby tankbuster81 on Sat 18 Mar 2017, 3:40 pm

Dad taking me and my brother to Heathrow, plane spotting, playing chase with the security cars that patrolled,and asked us to move on many times.The I Spy books, and then my brother took me and mum to a Biggin Hill show, when i was 9, and the seed was sown.
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Re: What got you in to this crazy hobby?

Postby st24 on Sat 18 Mar 2017, 5:27 pm

Well they've being going for so long I think the XH558 threads on here got me into aviation........That or wanting to put live Hornets in my ears and setting fire to them, one of the two.....
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Re: What got you in to this crazy hobby?

Postby Thumper on Sat 18 Mar 2017, 5:44 pm

Father in the RAF, lived nextdoor to RAF Coningsby and had his own aircraft at Biggin Hill. It didn't start off well though! Until I was about 5 I used to cry and hide under the table when the Phantoms came over low and (I'm not getting into an argument about this again) 'sonic booms' really had me upset! That all changed after those first few years and my days were then filled with airshows and base visits, helping my Dad restore Merlin and Griffon engines in his workshop and my favourite 'playground' was Roger Windleys. One day my Father picked me up from school in his pickup truck with half a Venom strapped to the back of it! Back in those days the words "interesting chap" were used rather than "eccentric" or "nutter" :lol:

We then moved to Sussex and my Father continued to fly at Shoreham, once I flew the nest my interest in aircraft never went away.
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Re: What got you in to this crazy hobby?

Postby parsley on Sat 18 Mar 2017, 6:34 pm

All started by an uncle on my father's side who worked at the Hawker Siddeley production line at Kingston and took me to the 1969 Families Day at Dunsfold.The noisy aircraft were an immediate draw...it went on from there with my first cousin's husband who was a fanatical number cruncher in the 50's visiting airfields all over the South East on his pushbike - he started taking me and my siblings up to Heathrow on Sunday afternoons to give my parents a break !...from there came the first purchase of a Civil Aircraft Markings and various local air events,my first big one being Greenham Common 1974.
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Re: What got you in to this crazy hobby?

Postby minnie the moocher on Sat 18 Mar 2017, 6:56 pm

Thumper wrote:Father in the RAF, lived nextdoor to RAF Coningsby and had his own aircraft at Biggin Hill. It didn't start off well though! Until I was about 5 I used to cry and hide under the table when the Phantoms came over low and (I'm not getting into an argument about this again) 'sonic booms' really had me upset! That all changed after those first few years and my days were then filled with airshows and base visits, helping my Dad restore Merlin and Griffon engines in his workshop and my favourite 'playground' was Roger Windleys. One day my Father picked me up from school in his pickup truck with half a Venom strapped to the back of it! Back in those days the words "interesting chap" were used rather than "eccentric" or "nutter" :lol:

We then moved to Sussex and my Father continued to fly at Shoreham, once I flew the nest my interest in aircraft never went away.


I remember visiting Roger Windleys as well with my dad in search of bits and pieces (did you ever see the jam sandwich graveyard of slightly bent police cars?), Rundles was another source of spares. Various bits and pieces off various craft are still in the garage - some of them I know what they are and what they came off and some - no idea
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Re: What got you in to this crazy hobby?

Postby xkekeith on Sat 18 Mar 2017, 7:36 pm

Cycling down to the 06 threshold at Southend with my mates and seeing who would duck last when a Carvair landed.
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Re: What got you in to this crazy hobby?

Postby pbeardmore on Sun 19 Mar 2017, 12:03 am

My dad worked for a firm that manufactured refueling hose so he got us tickets to the 1976 Farnborough show,

I still have the Programme, wonderful memories.
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Re: What got you in to this crazy hobby?

Postby Adie1980 on Sun 19 Mar 2017, 9:13 am

TVS Airshows at Bournemouth (Hurn) airport in 1984, 1986, 1988, 1990 & 1991.
My uncle was also a real spotter, used to take my brother and I to the end of the runway at Upper Heyford in the mid-late 1980s to see the F-111s constantly taking off and landing, incredible.
Also trips to the Queen's building at Heathrow for long days out!
First RIAT in 2009, gutted I missed the whole '90s/early 00's era
Attending RIAT 2018, FIA 2018 & Bournemouth Air Festival 2018
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Re: What got you in to this crazy hobby?

Postby fs9demon on Sun 19 Mar 2017, 11:22 am

Having a field right next door to Church Fenton in the 80's helped a lot, especially on airshow days :smile:

Although my father tells me aged 3 a Buccaneer on a low fast past on airshow day crept up behind us and scared me to death (even with those big blue ear defenders on) that I had to be taken home :lol:

My one vivid memory above all else on the arrivals days, was seeing a pair of olive-drab RDAF Drakens come out of the low cloud in formation for a pairs approach landing and been mesmerized by the shapes (I'd never seen a Draken before :facepalm: )

After that airshows at Leeming, Finningley, venturing to Mildenhall's Air Fetes and been under the Vale of York's AIAA to this day have kept my eyes firmly in the sky at the slightest noise
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Re: What got you in to this crazy hobby?

Postby Kelpydog 9 on Sun 19 Mar 2017, 5:03 pm

Growing up in Belfast in the 6o's/70's about 2 miles from Shorts - now George Best airport - there were always Sea Vixens overhead..and Buccaneer's (Shorts did their conversion)..and occassional Shackleton from Ballykelly...but the noise is my outstanding memory...the Short Skyvan..but most of all the massive Belfast transport 'plane. The whole city knew when Shorts ran one of those up to power !! I'm sure the ground shook even at 2 miles !
Then from '69 onwards helicopters...24/7 'copters ...always one overhead and we lived near Stormont so saw loads close up too...all i wanted to do when i left school was fly helicopters.
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Re: What got you in to this crazy hobby?

Postby reheat module on Sun 19 Mar 2017, 5:19 pm

Being born about 4 miles away from (what was) RAF Finningley and seeing the aircraft fly in/out daily.
Watching the Vulcans overhead from the back garden.
Speaking with dads friends working at RAF Finningley, including numerous visits.
Realising the career offered fantastic opportunities and a great trade and training for the future.
It was raining in Doncaster when I was in, so I called at the Careers Office to get a coffee and get dry...
All of the above.
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