Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Luton Airport in the 70s

Welcome, grab your Zenith B and jump into the back of the Mini Van as we point it in the direction of  Luton and the year 1975.

Its raining so it must be August but there are some interesting aircraft on the light aircraft stand, first is Cessna Citation N230CC.

Next we find Piper Cheyenne SE-GLB

Fast forward to september and its stopped raining, and we find  a regular visitor Aviaco's DC8 EC-ARB

At last the sun has come out to welcome executive BAC 1-11 ( or Bark as they call them in the US of A ) N18814

Awaiting delivery to the USA is the now defunct Courtline Tristar G-BAAB

Another regular visitor is RAF VC10 XV108 on an inbound trooping flight from Germany.

And so as the Mini Van speeds off  around the perimeter road we say goodbye to Uncle Roger and Reggie for another day.

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Thursday, 17 November 2011

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Battle of Britain Day 1982

Welcome Viewers,

Its September 1982, so its time to crank up the 990cc's in the Austin Metro and point west to RAF Abingdon  for the annual Battle of Britain Display. Today we are expecting something unusual with the first showing of Argentine aircraft captures in the Falklands.

First up is an Augusta 109

First of the overseas visitors is Danish Air Force 2 seat F16 ET209

In a strange colour scheme is an Argentine Huey

The furthest away from home today is Indian Air force 2 seat Jaguar J1002

Still airworthy but unfortunately not in the flying display is Meteor F8 VZ467

Another Falklands veteran Pucara A533

Former gate guardian Spitfire F22 PK624 making a rare appearance outside

One of Abingdons long term residents a Super VC10 hiding its identity under a cocoon. The British Airways Super VC10s earmarked for tanker conversion were stored outside at Abingdon for a number of years. firstly open to the elements then just before they were moved to Filton, in made to measure  plastic bags  for a year or so before being left in the open again.

And so as the Metro disappears in a cloud of dust round the Oxford bypass we say goodbye to Uncle Roger and Reggie until their next adventure.

All photos are available to purchase as 6" x 4" prints , please email for details.

Number 3 in an Unending Series

Friday, 4 November 2011

A visit to the McAlpine Hangar


Today we once again make our way  around the Luton perimeter road to visit the McAlpine Aviation hangar to view the visiting HS125s. There is always something unusual to be found inside the hangar  with the large number of executive aircraft passing through. So jump into the Morris Marina and lets go. By the way I still haven't found the source of the rear axle clonk so keep listening for it as we go.

We start  with HS125-600B 5N-ARN  one of an increasing number of  Nigerian exec jets passing  through in the early 80s

Next another HS125-600B HZ-DAC  one of several Saudi 125s maintained by McAlpine.

Here is the Mercedes Benz HS125-3BRA D-CAMB  parked on the light aircraft stand.

A rare beast to be found this side of the pond  a short range HS125-3A N229P belonging to the Lady J Corporation.

Another unusual registration to be found on an HS125-600B in the early 80s YU-BME.

Another rarity seen for one day only, an HS125-600B sporting 2 registrations  for its delivery flight, the former LeBourget resident F-BKMC with its new reg G-BETV awaiting painting in Tenneco Colours.

Ready to depart after maintenance we find HS125-600B HZ-YA1.

So we thank McAlpine for allowing us access to their hangar and head back down the airport hill till next time.

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Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Boeing 707 Retrospective


Join us today as the Morris Marina points in the direction of Luton for a look back at some of the Boeing 707s that have passed through over the years. By the way while you are in the back can you listen out for a clonking from the rear axle.

We start with the United Arab Emirates executive 707 A6-HRM

British Airways G-AWHU passing through on a football charter

British Midlands G-AYVG  ex lease to PIA for Haj flight operating a charter without titles in the mid 70s

British Midland again, this time G-AZWA back from lease to Kuwait Airways for Haj flights mid 70s

Possibly the most expensive 707 used for spares. N725CA in Bangladesh Biman colours enroute to the USA for breaking arrived from Ostend for work to be done by Monarch before the transatlantic flight with an intermittent radio. There followed 10minutes of Luton Approach giving the wind speed and direction and vectors to land on 08 followed by CA replying understand runway 26, which finally ended with the controller clearing the area and giving CA permission to land on any runway he wanted CA duly landed downwind on 26 and found that Luton's 6000 feet was a bit marginal for this  and ended up with its nose hanging over the edge of the 08 turn circle with a fine view of the Vauxhall works frying its brakes in the process,it was then isolated for 2 hours to cool down before work commenced. Once repaired it departed on the correct runway 26 but as a parting gesture blew a hydraulic pipe when the wheels were retracted showering 300 brand new vauxhalls  awaiting delivery with break fluid , landing the insurance company with a bill for damaged cars for more than the plane was worth.

Templewood Aviations G-BHOY in semi Air Malta colours after lease.

As the Marina disappears into the distance down the  airport hill, we say goodbye till next time.

All photographs are available to purchase for 50p each plus £1-50 postage for any number. Please email orders to retrospotting  we only post to U.K. addresses. At the moment payment is only accepted by Cheque in GBP drawn on a UK bank.