Saw a Spitfire up close yesterday...

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cruxiformcruxiform Frets: 1314
edited August 2 in Off Topic
...and it was totally awesome. I was out on the motorbike and rode down to Selsey.  The roads were relatively quiet, the weather was nice and fish and chips were eaten by the sea. All good stuff. Anyway, I dropped into Goodwood on the return to home. After seeing a Ferrari and Porsche ripping it around the motor circuit, I went over to the aerodrome. Just by luck, there was a twin seater Spitfire there just about to be fuelled up after it had taken somebody out on one those 'experience' flights. The pilot said he was about to leave to fly back to Cambridge so like a little kid I waited for it to start up and take off. It's the closest I've been to a Spitfire and that Merlin engine made my knees tremble when it started up. 









Listen to that!
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  • BlackjackBlackjack Frets: 80
    @Cruxiform obviously I don't know where you live but if you can get to Biggin Hill (about 20 mins Jct 4,5 or 6 M25) then Google Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar.  They do tours round their hangar where the maintain, restore and operate Spitfires from. You can even sit in one. It's my home airfield and they are a great bunch of guys. Let me know if you decide to go!! 
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  • cruxiformcruxiform Frets: 1314
    Blackjack said:
    @Cruxiform obviously I don't know where you live but if you can get to Biggin Hill (about 20 mins Jct 4,5 or 6 M25) then Google Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar.  They do tours round their hangar where the maintain, restore and operate Spitfires from. You can even sit in one. It's my home airfield and they are a great bunch of guys. Let me know if you decide to go!! 
    Wis awarded for that. I'm not far from Biggin Hill. Will definitely let you know if I go!
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  • cruxiformcruxiform Frets: 1314
    edited August 2
    Double post.
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  • HAL9000HAL9000 Frets: 3082
    This close...?


    You may have noticed me at the R.E.M. gig - I was in the corner, under the spotlight.
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  • darthed1981darthed1981 Frets: 664
    I love that clip.

    Spits are amazing, love to see them flying.
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  • lasermonkeylasermonkey Frets: 788
    I was lucky enough to sit in a Spitfire a few years ago. The pilot got me to go through the take off procedure too, so I got the feel of the rudder pedals and control column. It was a bit of a schoolboy dream come true, if I'm honest.
     I've been in quite a few old warbirds, including a Lancaster, Anson, B-17, B-29 and B-24, but the Spit was the biggest thrill, as I'm a huge fan.
    My wife asked me to stop singing Wonderwall.
    I said maybe.....
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  • VibetronicVibetronic Frets: 169
    I flew in one last year and got to fly it a bit with the control column, absolutely amazing experience, particularly when he did a victory roll at the end. It was from that same place at Biggin Hill that's been mentioned.
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  • ESBlondeESBlonde Frets: 1884
    I stayed in the Petwood hotel last month (former 617 Sq officers mess) and on the way home stopped at the end of the runway at Conningsby home of the BBMF. They were pulling out the Lanc, a pair of spits and a hurrican. The pilot was kind enough to come over and tell the gawking public they would be starting up in 40 mins and taking off withing the hour. Unfortunately I couldn't stay but have experienced the sound a number of times. the BBMF hanger is right beside the road and you can go into the visitor centre their too. East Kirkby (privately owned and up the road from Conningsby) have thier own lancaster that gives taxi rides and when it moves past the crowd the wing tip goes over your head!

    The crackle of a merlin engine as it throttles back in mesmerising.
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  • ChalkyChalky Frets: 4513
    I flew in one last year and got to fly it a bit with the control column, absolutely amazing experience, particularly when he did a victory roll at the end. It was from that same place at Biggin Hill that's been mentioned.
    May we know how much it cost? And how long was the flight?
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  • Chalky said:
    I flew in one last year and got to fly it a bit with the control column, absolutely amazing experience, particularly when he did a victory roll at the end. It was from that same place at Biggin Hill that's been mentioned.
    May we know how much it cost? And how long was the flight?
    They had a Spitfire at the Silverstone Classic this weekend. It was £10 to sit in it, £40 to sit in it with the engine running.
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  • VibetronicVibetronic Frets: 169
    Chalky said:
    I flew in one last year and got to fly it a bit with the control column, absolutely amazing experience, particularly when he did a victory roll at the end. It was from that same place at Biggin Hill that's been mentioned.
    May we know how much it cost? And how long was the flight?
    I've got no idea I'm afraid - it was a present and I didn't want to ask, but I'm guessing not cheap! The flight was about 25 minutes, but with about another 20 minutes sat in it while it taxied and waited for permission to take off.
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  • lasermonkeylasermonkey Frets: 788
    Twenty minutes with the engine running on the ground? I bet that got the engine good and hot!
    My wife asked me to stop singing Wonderwall.
    I said maybe.....
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 25750
    The sound of the Merlin is without doubt the greatest piston-engine sound ever - even if it wasn't associated with Britain's finest hour - and is surprisingly distinctive. I live roughly on one of the flight paths from central England to the Leuchars Airshow, so I sometimes see planes going over… I've seen the Vulcan here when it was still flying, and one day I was sitting idly doing something in the house when all of a sudden I heard an aircraft engine, and just had time to think "that's a Merlin!" and run out into the garden, to see the tail end of a Hurricane disappearing over the trees at what looked like about 500ft (probably a bit higher really).
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • Drew_TNBDDrew_TNBD Frets: 22371
    Emp Fab loves the sounds of spitfire engines being revved the fuck up.
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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 12000
    Spits are amazing planes .. I was luck when I was a kid as the Battle of Britain film was made a cycle ride from my home. They used a local aerodrome to shoot take-off's and landings and my friends and I would cycle over to watch as the Spitfires were fired up and took off ....


    My pump-action drivel gun is smoking hot today!
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  • JalapenoJalapeno Frets: 2983
    Drew_TNBD said:
    Emp Fab loves the sounds of spitfire engines being revved the fuck up.
    Don't we all dearie ? ;)

    Imagine something sharp and witty here ......

    Feedback
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  • impmannimpmann Frets: 5657
    They fly a two-seat Spit out of Sywell, which is about 10mins from my front door. Every so often it comes over the house - its a great noise and no piston engine sounds quite like a Merlin.


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  • Drew_TNBDDrew_TNBD Frets: 22371
    Jalapeno said:
    Drew_TNBD said:
    Emp Fab loves the sounds of spitfire engines being revved the fuck up.
    Don't we all dearie ? ;)

    I live right next door to the RAF Museum in Colindale, but I've never actually been in it!! The wife and kid have been!
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  • ChalkyChalky Frets: 4513
    Drew_TNBD said:
    Jalapeno said:
    Drew_TNBD said:
    Emp Fab loves the sounds of spitfire engines being revved the fuck up.
    Don't we all dearie ? ;)

    I live right next door to the RAF Museum in Colindale, but I've never actually been in it!! The wife and kid have been!
    If they still have the quiet little room with the descriptions of how folks won the Victoria Cross, go take a quiet look. Like visiting the cemetries of northern France, it can change a man's outlook on life.
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  • chillidoggychillidoggy Frets: 10640
    Fretwired said:
    Spits are amazing planes .. I was luck when I was a kid as the Battle of Britain film was made a cycle ride from my home. They used a local aerodrome to shoot take-off's and landings and my friends and I would cycle over to watch as the Spitfires were fired up and took off ....



    I remember seeing some of the sets at Hawkinge aerodrome when I were a lad, too. The place is now a massive housing estate, and the museum is pretty much all that's left.


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  • lasermonkeylasermonkey Frets: 788
    Many years ago at the Shuttleworth Collection, we were standing behind their Spitfire when it started up. The prop-wash was intense! We were all covered in gass and ants by the time it had moved off, but I'd not have missed it for the world.
    My wife asked me to stop singing Wonderwall.
    I said maybe.....
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  • darthed1981darthed1981 Frets: 664
    Chalky said:
    Drew_TNBD said:
    Jalapeno said:
    Drew_TNBD said:
    Emp Fab loves the sounds of spitfire engines being revved the fuck up.
    Don't we all dearie ? ;)

    I live right next door to the RAF Museum in Colindale, but I've never actually been in it!! The wife and kid have been!
    If they still have the quiet little room with the descriptions of how folks won the Victoria Cross, go take a quiet look. Like visiting the cemetries of northern France, it can change a man's outlook on life.
    The galleries seem to still be there but not to be open, which I've always wanted to know the explanation for.  As you said, they were wonderful little places to lose oneself.

    Sadly, every time Hendon goes upmarket it loses a little character, the atmosphere created by the security guards recreating Nazi Germany in there doesn't help!
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  • VibetronicVibetronic Frets: 169
    here's my flight. (This was actually last year, the camera date is wrong!). Doesn't really do it justice - the sound of the engine cranking up properly before take-off was brilliant. Victory roll is at about 13:20ish on the youtube video. I had the control column for about 10 minutes of this and was bricking it quite a lot, it was so sensitive to any movement.



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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 8128
    You need to come and live in Lincolnshire, we get the BBMF and all sorts of other weird and wonderful stuff flying over nice and low very regularly. 

    We pause the telly when eurofighters fly over as we are on the approach to the ranges they have on the Wash.. no point in trying to listen to anything through that.. 
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  • cruxiformcruxiform Frets: 1314
    here's my flight. (This was actually last year, the camera date is wrong!). Doesn't really do it justice - the sound of the engine cranking up properly before take-off was brilliant. Victory roll is at about 13:20ish on the youtube video. I had the control column for about 10 minutes of this and was bricking it quite a lot, it was so sensitive to any movement.



    I am very, very jealous!
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  • BlackjackBlackjack Frets: 80
    The flights from Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar are £2550.00 for 30 mins, £3900.00 for 45 mins or 
    £4800.00 for 55 mins.  They are a fabulous operation, a truly lovely bunch of guys.
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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 12000
    Fretwired said:
    Spits are amazing planes .. I was luck when I was a kid as the Battle of Britain film was made a cycle ride from my home. They used a local aerodrome to shoot take-off's and landings and my friends and I would cycle over to watch as the Spitfires were fired up and took off ....



    I remember seeing some of the sets at Hawkinge aerodrome when I were a lad, too. The place is now a massive housing estate, and the museum is pretty much all that's left.

    The film was made at a lot of ex-RAF bases .. my local aerodrome was used for the take off sequences when the main squadron in the film had to decamp to a 'field' ... there were only a few Spits and three Hurricanes so they were filmed over and over with different numbers ... there's a great film with a Scots guy who put the film's aircraft together to create what amounted to one of the world's biggest air forces.

    Riddley Scott has just signed on to make a new Battle of Britain film .. CGI will no doubt be used.
    My pump-action drivel gun is smoking hot today!
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  • lasermonkeylasermonkey Frets: 788
    They blew up one of Duxford's hangars during the filming of The Battle Of Britain, and I bet they're regretting that at the IWM to this day!
     I'm intrigued by what Ridley Scott will come up with. I very much hope they will use as many real aircraft as possible, as although there's no reason that CGI couldn't do convincing aerial combat, nothing I've seen so far has impressed me.
    My wife asked me to stop singing Wonderwall.
    I said maybe.....
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  • Drew_TNBDDrew_TNBD Frets: 22371
    Chalky said:
    Drew_TNBD said:
    Jalapeno said:
    Drew_TNBD said:
    Emp Fab loves the sounds of spitfire engines being revved the fuck up.
    Don't we all dearie ? ;)

    I live right next door to the RAF Museum in Colindale, but I've never actually been in it!! The wife and kid have been!
    If they still have the quiet little room with the descriptions of how folks won the Victoria Cross, go take a quiet look. Like visiting the cemetries of northern France, it can change a man's outlook on life.
    The galleries seem to still be there but not to be open, which I've always wanted to know the explanation for.  As you said, they were wonderful little places to lose oneself.

    Sadly, every time Hendon goes upmarket it loses a little character, the atmosphere created by the security guards recreating Nazi Germany in there doesn't help!
    There's a nice little boozer up the top o' Greyhound Hill called, imaginatively enough, The Greyhound. Best roasts I've ever had.
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  • ESBlondeESBlonde Frets: 1884
    They blew up one of Duxford's hangars during the filming of The Battle Of Britain, and I bet they're regretting that at the IWM to this day!
     I'm intrigued by what Ridley Scott will come up with. I very much hope they will use as many real aircraft as possible, as although there's no reason that CGI couldn't do convincing aerial combat, nothing I've seen so far has impressed me.
    I still have the original BoB movie guide book, apart from some cracking photos it tells the story of Group Captain Hamish Mahaddie who scoured the world looking for aircraft to make the film. They only found 3 Hurricanes that could be made flyable and selected 36 spitfires of all marks. they made 12 of them flyable (some already where) 12 that could run up and taxi and 12 that were set dressings. They also made a number of other props aircraft and models to be blown up or crashed 9one had a ford car engine so it could do the scene where it runs into a petrol bowser. Of course the BoB had mk 1 and II spits with 3 bladed props, single rads and short noses but they were rare as hens teeth so the other marks were dressed to look the part but not used for close ups. Dressing included false backs for the bubble canopy types, round wing tips for the clip wing varients. A number of the flying spits were Griffon powered with 5 blade props that turn the other way so were uses at a distance for the mass fight scenes.
    It is interesting to read how the combat scenes were filmed, the planning was meticulous because you can't ask a spitfire flying at 200mph to wait over there while you fix something, everything is constantly moving very fast.

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