Bruntingthorpe Cold War Jets Day - Sunday 24th May 2015

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MikeyB
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Bruntingthorpe Cold War Jets Day - Sunday 24th May 2015

Post by MikeyB »

Greetings all,

Sorry that it comes over a week late, but I was away on holiday and had limited interweb access, hence the delay in this post.

I was lucky enough to be on holiday in Staffordshire whilst this event was on and so as it was now only one hours' drive away instead of three, it was a 'no brainer' to venture across to Leicestershire and Bruntingthorpe to see the much talked about Cold War Jets Day. This was my first ever visit and for me, this was the first time that I was going to get the chance to hear and smell some of the collections' unique aircraft with the Victor, Lightnings and Buccaneers being the most eagerly anticipated sightings for me personally!

We arrived at the airfield in rather drab conditions at around 11:05am, just in time to catch the Nimrod which was performing the first run of the day. It'd been a very long time since I'd last heard a Nimrod running, with my memory stretching back just enough to remember seeing them flying for the RAF in the 2000's at Yeovilton and RIAT. So, as you can imagine, I was very pleased and relieved to catch this beast blasting down the runway with plenty of spray coming off of the runway afterwards to add effect! I was even more pleased to see that the example at Brunty is wearing its' original special 40th anniversary scheme.

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Hawker Siddeley Nimrod

Next up was supposed to be two of the four Blackburn Buccaneers based on the airfield. This was to be the newly painted RAF Buccaneer, XW544, and it's Royal Navy counterpart, XX894. However, sadly the later had a technical issue and therefore was unable to run, leaving just XW544. All the same, to me I was just grateful to be able to hear one these magnificent aircraft running as it was a personal first. It was a great display of the aircraft too as the aircraft was taxied along the crowd line and then stopped to show off the arrestor hook, followed by a wing fold before returning to the start of the runway to unfold the wings and then perform its' high speed run, which was amazing!

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Blackburn Buccaneer

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Blackburn Buccaneer

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Blackburn Buccaneer

Following the Buccaneer, we next had the fast runs of three Jet Provosts, two of which I believe were T3's and the other a T5. They taxied up and down the crowd line a couple of times in a 'follow the leader' manner before then lining up for their power runs. All RAF examples, it was XM365 which led the run followed by what was supposed to be XP672 and then the T5, XW290. However, unfortunately, XP672 encountered a technical issue and was unable to run with its' two counterparts despite being ready and waiting to go. The team tried to get the aircraft ready to run once the other two had returned, but unfortunately it wasn't to be and the aircraft had to be towed back to its' stand. Here's hoping that the issue wasn't too serious and that the team can get her running again soon!

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Jet Provost

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Jet Provost

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Jet Provost T5

Following the three Jet Provosts was the first of an array of model aircraft displays, coming courtesy of one of the local model aircraft flying clubs. To start this aspect of the display flying was an Extra 260 model in an attractive Red Bull scheme. This was a very impressive display which included smoke and a manoeuvre that displayed the aircraft's 'helicopter' abilities!

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Extra 260 (Model)

After the Extra 260 model, we then went back to full-size stuff, with this time it being the resplendent looking Canberra in her ETPS 'raspberry ripple' colour scheme. It'd been a long ambition of mine to see this aircraft and at long last I was able to along with seeing her perform a fast run. Thanks to the Midair Squadron, this wasn't my first sight and sound of a Canberra running so I knew what to expect. However, I have to be honest and say that I do prefer this aircraft's colour scheme and again, like the Classic Air Force's Armstrong Whitworth Meteor NF11, the extra long nose does make the aircraft a bit more unique and worth seeing.

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English Electric Canberra

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English Electric Canberra

After the Canberra was to be the much anticipated fast run of the Victor, however due to the length of time needed to get her ready, the organisers of the show decided to provide a few more flying displays of the smaller scale. Next up was a display by a CT-114 Tutor model in the lovely colour scheme of the Canadian display team, the Snowbirds. This is most definitely a team that I've never seen before and that the moment it's the closest that I've got to the real thing so far!

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CT-114 Tutor (Model)

After this we had an aircraft model well suited to the event that it was displaying at. This was a model of Vulcan XH558 in her previous all-white colour scheme. Superbly flown, you could easily have mistaken this one for the real thing. It got even better when the Vulcan displayer's father got his Victor model into the air and the two performed a brief duo display! Again, you would have been forgiven for thinking that it was the real thing! Oh one can dream! After this, the Vulcan landed and then we were treated to an equally impressive display by the Victor. The only thing that would have made this display better would have been a blue sky!

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Vulcan (Model)

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Victor (Model) & Vulcan (Model)

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Victor (Model)

Continuing the Cold War model jet theme was a Hunter which too looked resplendent in an original RAF colour scheme. The only difficulty was getting a decent photo as the thing moved so fast!

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Hunter (Model)

We were then treated to a Lightning model display which, like the Hunter, moved ever so quickly, but elegantly and was well received by the crowd.

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Lightning (Model)

After the Lightning, it was onto something a little bit different, but something that is all too rarely seen in UK skies nowadays, an A-10. This model was in a US Air Force desert camouflage scheme.

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A-10 (Model)

After the A-10, it was then over to another Cold War jet model, an impressive VC-10 complete with in-flight refuelling hoses as well. This one was definitely a model that you had to look twice at to realise that sadly it wasn't the real thing!

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VC-10 (Model)

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VC-10 (Model)

After the VC-10 model, it was the return of a second display by the Extra 260 model which was just as impressive as the first!

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Extra 260 (Model)

After this, it was back to some more the full-size action, coming from one of my highlights of the day, the Handley Page Victor 'Teasin' Tina'. There is no doubt that she was one of the stars of the show as nearly everyone on the showground moved to the crowd line once her engines had fired up. She was just as loud and powerful as I had imagined with many car alarms being set off in the process as proof of this! Fantastic! :biggrin:

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Handley Page Victor

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Handley Page Victor

Next, it was eyes to the skies again as the RAF BBMF's Dakota came speeding in from the south west, over the Victor which had just dropped its' braking parachute. Although not a display, you could have almost been forgiven for thinking it as the crew performed four passes over the airfield. Having said that, the passes were much more exciting and closer to the crowd than what the display would have probably been so thumbs up to the Dakota crew and Bruntingthorpe organisers for putting this together! :up:

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RAF BBMF Douglas Dakota

After this it was a return to the Radio Controlled aircraft with the CT-114 Tutor in the Snowbirds Display Team colour scheme providing its' second display of the day. This time however, there was the addition of smoke which helped to make the display appear even more life-like.

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CT-114 Tutor (Model)

Then, it was the return of the Victor and Vulcan duo with an extended duet display which, like the first display, was very popular with the crowd.

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Vulcan (Model) & Victor (Model)

The Hunter model then took to the skies again for a second time, performing almost identically to that of earlier.

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Hunter (Model)

The Cold War theme then continued as the beautiful Lightning model also provided a repeat performance during its' second display, albeit for a slightly bouncy landing.

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Lightning (Model)

After this, it was then onto the real thing with the Lightning Preservation Group's XR728 making a run up and down the crowd line before lining up at the end of the runway in preparation for its' fast run. Then, it was roar to shake the whole of Leicestershire as XR728 thundered down the runway with both afterburners on.....AWESOME!! :rock: I didn't know quite what to expect apart from the fact that it would be loud, but all that I can say afterwards is that I hope I get the chance to experience it again!

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English Electric Lightning

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English Electric Lightning

After the Lightning did its' run, it was back to the R/C models and a return of the A-10. It was another classy display, which was close to the crowd and well received!

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A-10 (Model)

Then, for its' third time, the Extra 260 model performed a repeat display. Again, ever impressive, but having less of an effect on the crowd as three times of seeing the display was more than enough if truth be told.

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Extra 260 (Model)

Next up for the full scale aircraft was a fast run by the single running Hawker Hunter at Bruntingthorpe, XL565 (although it is hoped that it shall shortly be joined by an ex-FRADU one too). I absolutely adore Hunters, but I have to admit she did seem rather tame compared to the Lightning previous....mind there's very little out there that's louder either! All the same, a lovely example in RAF colours and always pleasing to see up close!

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Hawker Hunter

Then, a bit of good fortune during the day allowed the L-29 Delfin to perform a fast-taxi in her beautiful new colour scheme. I say good fortune because at 12 o'clock noon it seemed unlikely that we'd see the Delfin running under its' own power as the owner was having trouble with the ignition. However, persistence paid off and hats off to the owner and the team for getting the aircraft running! :smile:

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Aero Vodochody L-29 Delfin

The penultimate aircraft to run was what was supposed to be the third Buccaneer, although due the issues with the Navy one earlier, now the second Buccaneer of the day. This was the other RAF camouflaged example at Brunty (XX900) although I have to say she was looking a little worse for wear especially compared to her pristine stablemate. All the same, she sounded just as lovely and performed a near identical display to that of the first Buccaneer. Wonderful!

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Blackburn Buccaneer

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Blackburn Buccaneer

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Blackburn Buccaneer

For the final taxy run, the runway was handed over to the largest performer of the day and probably one of the most eagerly anticipated. This was of course the unmistakable Vickers VC-10 ZD241 kept in running condition by owners GJD Services. Thankfully, I have had the privilege of seeing VC-10s flying as I'm sure the majority of you on here have too. However, it's great to know that at least one of these classic airliners is being kept to run under her own power and long may it continue. Her sound as she thundered down the runway was immense and it was the perfect way to end an amazing show! :rock:

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Vickers VC-10 & VC-10 (Model)

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Vickers VC-10

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Vickers VC-10

Once the show had finished, I was keen to then take a closer look around the airfield and the statics to see what gems it held as this was my first ever visit. Besides, the long queue of traffic getting out also didn't make me want to get back into the car any sooner! So, I started my venture along the top of the bank on the east side of the airfield, behind the live aircraft. This certainly helped to provide so rather unique photo opportunities with the Buccaneers and one of the Jet Provosts!

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Blackburn Buccaneers

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Blackburn Buccaneer

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Blackburn Buccaneer

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Jet Provost

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Blackburn Buccaneer & Hawker Hunter

After this, myself and my friends paid a visit to the Lightning Preservation Group's authentic QRA sheds on-site to get a closer look of their wonderful aircraft. Both aircraft looked amazing alongside each other and hopefully they'll be joined by a third as the group's most recent acquisition was available for viewing. The Lightning in question, XR713, came from former-RAF Leuchars recently, following the closure of the airfield for RAF activity. Originally, 111 Squadron's mascot, it's good to know that the aircraft has a more secure future and gone to a good home!

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English Electric Lightning

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English Electric Lightning

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English Electric Lightning

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English Electric Lightnings

Moving on around the airfield, it was onto the 'heavies' on static. As a bonus, one of the Tristars in storage was towed down for the western side of the airfield to be placed next door to the Lightnings to allow the public a closer inspection of the former RAF aircraft. With the recent news of six of them being purchased by AGD Systems for a return to flight and serviceability, it was clear to see that this was one of the chosen ones as it was already wearing it's new US registration. In addition to this Tristar, I also noticed the special schemed ex-RAF Tristar at the far end of the airfield so couldn't resist trying out the zoom on my camera. Unfortunately, I am not sure on the fate of this particular airframe.

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Lockheed Tristar

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Lockheed Tristar

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Lockheed Tristar

Soon after taking the above shots, the Tristar was towed back to the western side of the airfield and in its' place the Nimrod was returned. Next door was the ex-Boscombe Down De Havilland Comet which unfortunately this time around was not serviceable for fast runs. I have to admit, she did look a little 'grubby', but I know the team there are working hard to get her running again as they were offering viewings inside as a way of raising funds to purchase some spare parts for her.

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De Havilland Comet

Next to the Comet was the main area for restorations and storage. I would consider it an aviator's paradise! It was full of all sorts and many special aircraft types. By the time I got there, all but one of the Buccaneers had been towed back and everything else was already there. In addition to the aircraft already mentioned, there was a Starfighter, Sea Vixen, Sea King, Sea Harrier, Victor cockpit, F4 cockpit plus another Jet Provost. The ex-FRADU Hunter was also there looking fresh with a new coat of paint along with another ex-RAF Hunter. In the tents nearby was also the Iskra, a Gnat and an ex-Boscombe Down SEPECAT Jaguar!

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Blackburn Buccaneers

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Blackburn Buccaneer

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Lockheed F104 Starfighter

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Hawker Hunter

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Sea Harrier

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Hawker Hunter

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Westland Sea King

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De Havilland Sea Vixen

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Jet Provost

Last but not least, the biggest standout of the static was undoubtedly the Super Guppy! An enormous beast that dwarfs most aircraft, this was my first ever sighting in the flesh of a Super Guppy. I've seen it's replacement, the Airbus Beluga, on a number of occasions so it was good to see the predecessor at long last. Just across from the Super Guppy was also an ex-RAF BAe Jetstream which was looking a tad bit sad without its' engines. All the same, it was good to see one of these airframes being preserved and still in its' original RAF colours.

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Aero Spacelines Supper Guppy

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BAe Jetstream 31

By the time I had finished my tour, nearly everyone had gone! So, at this point we decided to leave although this wasn't without stopping for one more time. Upon arrival, I noticed an interesting array of aircraft on display at the entrance as somewhat 'gate guardians'. They consisted of an ex-Army Air Corps Westland Scout, a very tidy ex-French Air Force Dassault Mystere IV and a very interestingly painted SEPECAT Jaguar in bright green Jaguar Car Company colours. The pick of the bunch for me had to be the Mystere as I don't think I'd ever seen one before. An excellent way to end a great day!

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Westland Scout

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Dassault Mystere IV

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SEPECAT Jaguar

For me, the Cold War Jets day for May 2015 was a superb event which showcased everything that is great about the airfield and the people who dedicate so much of time into keeping these vintage jets running. It was my first visit and I just hope that it isn't my last. I'm pretty confident that I will return again one year!

Thankfully, the weather was pretty kind to us as it didn't rain after lunchtime at all. The show was well organised and yes, I can understand some people's frustration about the positioning of the R/C aircraft, but I'm sure that this is something that the Bruntingthorpe team has addressed and will be looking to resolve for future shows. I wish them all the very best of luck in the future with their many exciting projects!

Once again, if you have read through this then I sincerely thank you! It takes a fair amount of time to do this, but I do enjoy explaining what actually happened at the shows as opposed to just giving you the photos! Next on the agenda for me, RNAS Merryfield Open Day on Wednesday 10th June!

As always, all comments and criticisms welcome! :smile:

Cheers,
Mike :smile:
Last edited by MikeyB on Sat 06 Jun 2015, 12:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Pringles
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Re: Bruntingthorpe Cold War Jets Day - Sunday 24th May 2015

Post by Pringles »

Very interesting report supported by some great photos :clap: I've only been two one CWJ day but I have to agree about the Lightning - a staggering amount of power!
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Burleysway
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Re: Bruntingthorpe Cold War Jets Day - Sunday 24th May 2015

Post by Burleysway »

Brilliant write-up Mike and some good photos. I was working at Brunty that day so it's good to see things from a visitors perspective. :clap:

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Lee606
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Re: Bruntingthorpe Cold War Jets Day - Sunday 24th May 2015

Post by Lee606 »

Fantastic write up! I'd highly recommend the CWJ open days.Getting your face taken off by a lightning and your ears blown inside out by the VC10 becomes an addiction after your first visit! :)

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Weather Watcher
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Re: Bruntingthorpe Cold War Jets Day - Sunday 24th May 2015

Post by Weather Watcher »

Great report and photos - you have increased my desire to attend one of these days.

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Stu
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Re: Bruntingthorpe Cold War Jets Day - Sunday 24th May 2015

Post by Stu »

Nice post :clap:
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MikeyB
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Re: Bruntingthorpe Cold War Jets Day - Sunday 24th May 2015

Post by MikeyB »

Thank you very much for the kind comments guys! Much appreciated! :smile:
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n0143773
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Re: Bruntingthorpe Cold War Jets Day - Sunday 24th May 2015

Post by n0143773 »

Thanks for a brilliant read - and some great pictures to!

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