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aviationanoraks.co.uk stays at the Historic Dockyard Chatham for another week this week with photos of HMS Gannet from 1878, which has been beautifully restored to its 1886 configuration.

ImageIMG_0572 by aviation anoraks, on Flickr

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We conclude our two visits to the Historic Dockyard Chatham this week at aviationanoraks.co.uk with a look around the RNLI historic lifeboat collection, the largest collection of these boats in the UK

ImageIMG_1088 by aviation anoraks, on Flickr

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Our latest upload at aviationanoraks.co.uk features our visit last September to the Battle Of Britain Memorial at Capel-le-Ferne in Kent.
This was our first visit for about ten years, so the Wing visitor centre and Battle Of Britain experience were new to us. The experience is worth paying to enter, as the money helps with the upkeep of the site, and the drama of the experience contrasts with the peace of the Memorial which looks out to sea towards France.

ImageIMG_1171 by aviation anoraks, on Flickr

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New this week at aviationanoraks.co.uk are photos from our visit to the RAF Museum at Cosford last November during the MBCC open week.

ImageIMG_1424 by aviation anoraks, on Flickr

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This week aviationanoraks.co.uk covers our pre-Christmas visit to Newark Air Museum.
A bright but cold day spent around the collection, topped off with a good value hot lunch in their new cafe.
Good to see the ongoing restoration work on the exhibits, and the Monospar is looking almost complete externally now.

Rain a few hours previous gave us chance to play about with the camera:
ImageIMG_1583 by aviation anoraks, on Flickr

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New this week at aviationanoraks.co.uk are photos of Gloster Meteor WD686 at Croome Park, Worcestershire in January.
WD686 was the last aircraft to fly out of RAF Defford upon its closure, the airfield being located on part of the Croome Estate.
It was restored at Old Sarum by the Boscombe Down Aviation Collection and put on loan to the National Trust / Defford Aviation Group at Croome.

ImageIMG_1697 by aviation anoraks, on Flickr

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For our latest update at aviationanoraks.co.uk we stay at Croome Park and cover our visit to both the very interesting RAF Defford museum run by the Defford Airfield Heritage Group, and also a walk around the grounds of beautiful Croome Park.
Both are worth a visit when times allow, the museum especially for aviation history buffs as it certainly packs a lot of information into a small area.

ImageIMG_1305 by aviation anoraks, on Flickr

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A few technical issues with the website which should be resolved later today, but this week our latest highlight is from our visit to the Century Of Valour exhibition held until just before lockdown at The Gallery in Lincoln.
The exhibition charted one hundred years of military aviation in Lincolnshire and although there were no actual aircraft on show there were plenty of artefacts on display, including Guy Gibsons Victoria Cross.
Lots of local stories depicted as well, from pilots and crew to that of a pigeon that was awarded the Dickin medal.

ImageIMG_1394 by aviation anoraks, on Flickr

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We are fully up to date with photo sets at aviationanoraks.co.uk now, and with nothing happening so far this year due to lockdown we have been going through our archives to find updates that may be of interest.
Our first, which is on our latest page for the next week, goes back to a number of consecutive weekend visits in 2005 when the RAF Museum were dismantling their B-24L Liberator at Cosford prior to it being moved to Hendon.
This was a very rare opportunity to see under the skin of this former RAF and Indian Air Force aircraft.

ImageDSCF0018 by aviation anoraks, on Flickr

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Aviationanoraks.co.uk go back to 2004 this week and the first part of a stopover in California on the way to New Zealand for a grand tour of aviation and other sites.
We visited Riverside airport the day after their airshow specifically for a flight in Classic Rotors Museums H-21B Shawnee, the last ‘Flying Banana’ helicopter still airworthy, but were also allowed to walk the ramp and view up close a pair of A-10s that were still on site.
All photos are scans of prints as at that point digital photography was yet to be embraced, so please forgive the quality.

ImageScan 17 by aviation anoraks, on Flickr

ImageScan 18 by aviation anoraks, on Flickr

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More from our California stop-over in 2004 this week at aviationanoraks.co.uk with photos from a whistle stop tour around the mightily impressive Planes Of Fame museum at Chino.
This was a first time visit and could have spent many hours around there, time we didn’t have unfortunately on this day, but just to see most of the collection was enough to make me want to return in the future (which fortunately I did a couple of years later).

ImageScan 36 by aviation anoraks, on Flickr

ImageScan 2 by aviation anoraks, on Flickr

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The final visit during our 2004 California stop-over was to the Western Museum Of Flight, then located at Hawthorne airport.
For a small museum they have some absolute gems, the YF-23 and YF-17 being just two. See photos (scanned prints still) of these and others at aviationanoraks.co.uk this week.

ImageScan 1 by aviation anoraks, on Flickr

ImageNorth American XAT-6E Replica by aviation anoraks, on Flickr

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NZ trip part 1.
When we arrived in New Zealand it was straight off the flight and on a coach to the Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT) in Auckland, who very kindly opened extra early (around 7am if my memory serves me correctly) for this group of tired aircraft enthusiasts from Europe!
This was before their new building was constructed and some aircraft were still outside or in store, but they happily showed us around everything, which was a first taste of the wonderful hospitality we were to experience throughout New Zealand.
Photos from our March 2004 visit are now live at aviationanoraks.co.uk

Curtiss P-40E
ImageScan 5 by aviation anoraks, on Flickr

Lockheed RB-34 Lexington
ImageScan 16 by aviation anoraks, on Flickr

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NZ trip part 2.
The day after our visit to MOTAT it was onto the coach again and a visit to the Subritzky collection in the countryside at Dairy Flat.
A number of aircraft were under restoration at the time of our visit, including a P-40 that has since flown and moved to the US, and the remarkable Vickers Vincent - that is one big biplane!
Scans of the photos taken during our visit are now on our Latest page at aviationanoraks.co.uk

P-40
ImageScan 4 by aviation anoraks, on Flickr

Hawker Hind with Spitfire XVI at rear
ImageScan 8 by aviation anoraks, on Flickr

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NZ trip part 3.
Immediately after our visit to Dairy Flat it was back on the coach and off to North Shore airfield, the home of Stan Smiths wonderful collection of vintage aircraft.
The rest of the day was spent taking flights in aircraft from his collection (I flew in, and fell in love with, his Percival Proctor!), wandering around the hangars, and just generally soaking up the atmosphere at this very pleasant airfield.

ImageScan 12 by aviation anoraks, on Flickr

ImageScan 10 by aviation anoraks, on Flickr

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NZ trip part 4.
More scans from 2004 this week at aviationanoraks.co.uk with photos from our visit to Ardmore airfield.
The main reason for the visit was so that some of the group could take a scenic flight around Auckland in a C-47 while the rest of us had permission to wander around the airfield looking at the various aircraft based there.
I made a beeline for the Bristol Freighter we had passed on the way in (this aircraft now being under restoration at Filton), after having watched a number of Harvards being prepared for the journey South to Wanaka.

ImageScan 1 by aviation anoraks, on Flickr

ImageScan 11 by aviation anoraks, on Flickr

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NZ trip part 5.
The first airshow we had the pleasure to attend in New Zealand was the open day at RNZAF Ohakea.
The weather was dry and warm, which allowed for a flying program including the Red Checkers team, mightily impressive Air Force B757 (which seemed to fly a more aggressive display than any of the times I have seen it in the UK since) and other RNZAF aircraft past and present.
The hangar displays were also very interesting, with a Kaman Seasprite, Bell 47’s, DH Vampire and more on show.
Also open was the station heritage centre, which had some fascinating displays and a TA-4K and Strikemaster on show outside.

ImageScan 12 by aviation anoraks, on Flickr

ImageScan by aviation anoraks, on Flickr

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NZ trip part 6.
Next stop on our grand tour of New Zealand was to Omaka airfield.
This was before the museum was created, our visit being to see inside and out the Bristol Freighter based there, and to have a look around Stuart Tantrums facility and the collection of World War I aircraft, some of which we were requested not to photograph due to the owners wishes.
Photos are now up at aviationanoraks.co.uk along with some from a wander around the hangar and other aircraft there, including the two P-40s seen the previous day at Ohakea.

ImageScan 14 by aviation anoraks, on Flickr

ImageScan 7 by aviation anoraks, on Flickr

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NZ trip part 7.
A highlight of the New Zealand tour was a visit to RNZAF station Woodbourne, to see the retired A-4K Skyhawks and the technical training facility with its collection of DH Devon aircraft.
Also there was one of the recently retired Boeing 727’s, which we were allowed to enter via the rear air-stair.

ImageVersion 2 by aviation anoraks, on Flickr

ImageScan 7 by aviation anoraks, on Flickr

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NZ trip part 8.
It was a very dull and wet day when we arrived at the Ferrymead Aeronautical Society at Christchurch, but a warm welcome awaited us and we were given a guided tour of their collection and also the restoration building.
A small collection but with some very interesting types, the Mosquito restoration was at a very early stage and the LC-47H was in the process of being prepared for a repaint. The Vickers Viscount fuselage was sitting on a dummy undercarriage with the wings alongside. The former SAFE Air Bristol Freighter nose section was displayed with the doors open and a period Morris Minor alongside to show one of the roles performed by this unusual type, I believe since our visit the Minor has been repositioned coming out of the aircraft!

ImageScan 5 by aviation anoraks, on Flickr

ImageScan 4 by aviation anoraks, on Flickr

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NZ trip part 9.
The 6th April 2004 saw us visit the Royal New Zealand Air Force Museum at Wigram.
The presentation of the aircraft in the main hall was stunning, with varying light levels to give different atmospheres, it would have been very easy to sit and watch the changes for a couple of hours!
We were also privileged to be given a tour of the storage and restoration hangar, which was not normally open to the public.

ImageScan 13 by aviation anoraks, on Flickr

ImageScan 22 by aviation anoraks, on Flickr

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NZ trip part 10.
Next stop was the Ashburton Aviation Museum.
At that time a fairly small museum but filled with some unusual and interesting types, including a rare Porterfield 35W and a selection of crop dusters.
The museum has since expanded somewhat, with a new building and more aircraft including a former RNZAF Skyhawk and an ex-RAF Harrier!

Yeoman crop duster and Tiger Moth
ImageScan 3 by aviation anoraks, on Flickr

Porterfield 35W
ImageScan by aviation anoraks, on Flickr

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NZ trip part 11.
The 2004 New Zealand trip continues this week at aviationanoraks.co.uk with photos from the outstanding Warbirds Over Wanaka airshow.
Absolutely stunning scenery coupled with aircraft that had not been seen flying in the Northern hemisphere for some years made this show a dream come true!

Having technical issues at present so instead of a couple of photos I have pasted from our Twitter feed:

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Our Warbirds Over Wanaka 2004 photos are going to remain as our latest feature for another week, so now normal service has been resumed here’s a couple of photos of the gorgeous Catalina, on the runway and from inside during our memorable flight after the airshow flying had finished for the day.

ImageScan 42 by aviation anoraks, on Flickr

ImageScan 3 by aviation anoraks, on Flickr

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NZ trip part 12.
Our last aviation related visit whilst in New Zealand was a few hours spent around the Croydon Aircraft Company at Mandeville.
An impressive collection of de Havilland types were in the hangar during our visit, with more under restoration along with a Percival Proctor I and Beech Staggerwing.
We were supposed to take flights in their Dragonfly but unfortunately bad weather put paid to that plan!
Still, a very interesting visit and rare opportunity to see under the skin of some historic types.
(Just one more NZ set to go, which will be uploaded next week).

DH Fox Moth
ImageScan by aviation anoraks, on Flickr

Staggerwing
ImageScan 1 by aviation anoraks, on Flickr