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Sunday, June 22, 2014

Duxford, Cambridgeshire...

Yes! yet another post about a place we visited during our holiday in the UK. (We have been home 7 weeks, and I've still not finished that travelogue! lol )
On Good Friday, DH and I were on our way back to London when I noticed a sign for the Duxford exit ramp. I had heard about this place from a friend but thought that because our itinerary had been so jam packed, that we would have to miss Duxford. That had been disappointing as I knew that DH would have loved the Imperial War Museum there, especially when my friend had described all that was there.


So here we were on Good Friday and really close...so we took the off ramp and our new destination was just near the exit. In Australia most things are closed on GF and we wondered whether the museum would be open. By the number of cars in the carpark, it looked like it was open...and the queue at the doorway was another good indication :-). So we joined the queue to wait the 20 minutes until opening time...10am. This site in Duxford had been an important part of the Royal Air Force, being an airfield in both world wars. Duxford is just one of a number of Imperial war Museum campuses in the UK. 

One thing we noticed about this place was, that it was a HUGE complex and it features both historical precincts as well as new, purpose-built Exhibition Halls. Where to start in such a large place? We decided to head to the Air Craft hall for the AirSpace displays, as DH loves aircraft of all types. (as much as he loves trains/locos from all eras) 
There were cut-away aircraft engines...

There was some replica fabric of what WW1 planes' wings were covered with...

And of course there were LOTS of aircraft! Some on the floor...





And some 'hanging up'!








Another view...

A closer look at that Spitfire...


 One way to move aircraft?


From the other end of the hall...

DH had seen some signs indicating that one of the Concorde prototypes was in this museum...perhaps his most favourite aircraft???? he was rapt!!!!

We are underneath the Concorde here, just about to climb the stairs to go inside



This Concorde was purely for testing and despite having some seats, it did not ever carry passengers. We were able to go inside and walk through...


Much of the space in this aircraft was taken up with equipment that was used to collect data as the test flights were conducted...

There wasn't much headroom...even for a 'shorty' like me!

As well as various types of aircraft, there were also exhibits representing space craft...
 This rocket was huge!

Then DH and I went back outside and we were planning to walk to the building where there was the Historic Duxford Exhibition which was based on the years 1918-1961 when Duxford was a RAF base and airfield, but DH noticed a lot of planes parked on the tarmac...then we also noticed that there was a Spitfire doing loop-the-loops...so we stopped to admire...





DH also took some photos of that plane up in the air that I mentioned we had heard...



 We watched as the pilot did all sorts of exciting looking manoeuvres and we kept watching until he landed...I particularly wanted to see if the pilot was an older person...he wasn't! He looked to be 30ish.

There was so much to see at Duxford so I will continue to share our experiences there in another post!
(UK readers would possibly already know that there is an airshow coming up at Duxford on July 12 and 13; sounds like a great weekend.)

2 comments:

Susan said...

So glad to keep seeing more of your travels Maria. Another beaut museum full of interesting exhibits. Good job you made the time to take a chance to see if it was open. Thank you as always :D)

Janice said...

I cant believe how much you saw on this trip Maria...amazing. Love to you both, hope you have enjoyed your anniversary celebrations. Jx