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A Day With Janie: P-51D Mustang, Hardwick Airfield, Norfolk - 17th July 2005

The day after a 40s dance at Hardwick Airfield, which Nosher missed due to "The BBs" commitments, there's a chance to make up for it by turning up for a "secret" open day. It's a gorgeous day, and several aircraft are parked up ready to go: a North American P-51D Mustang, AT6 Harvard, Stearman and a Cessna. All are owned by Maurice Hammond, and are due up for "rides" and, for the Mustang and the Harvard, an airshow near Bury St Edmunds. Before they can even take off, however, a car which has been erroneously parked right in the middle of the grass-strip runway has to be towed away. Unlike regular airshows, where there are ropes and security, this is an informal affair and it's great to be able to get right up to the planes. Sitting in the prop-wash of the Mustang "Janie" as she fires up her 27-litre Merlin is an experience in itself. Later on, after Maurice returns for an hour-or-so whilst in-between gigs, Nosher and DH even use the starboard wing as a sunshade.

next album: Borough Market and North Clapham Tapas, London - 23rd July 2005
previous album: Steve Ives' Leaving Lunch, Science Park, Cambridge - 11th July 2005

2005 Maurice's Boeing Stearman

Maurice's Boeing Stearman

2005 DH inspects the Stearman in the morning

DH inspects the Stearman in the morning

2005 The Harvard is covered up

The Harvard is covered up

2005 The Cessna in the hangar

The Cessna in the hangar

2005 The Auster

The Auster

2005 Janie the Mustang

Janie the Mustang

2005 An inconsiderate car, right on the runway

An inconsiderate car, right on the runway

2005 The Cessna is pushed out of the hangar

The Cessna is pushed out of the hangar

2005 A miscreant Peugeot 406 is unceremoniously hauled out of the way by a small Massey-Ferguson tractor

A miscreant Peugeot 406 is unceremoniously hauled out of the way by a small Massey-Ferguson tractor

2005 Maurice Hammond peers over the wing

Maurice Hammond peers over the wing

2005 Maurice fuels Janie up

Maurice fuels Janie up

2005 It's DH's turn to peer over the wing

It's DH's turn to peer over the wing

2005 Maurice finishes up

Maurice finishes up

2005 Maurice puts the pump back

Maurice puts the pump back

2005 Janie's nose

Janie's nose

2005 Inside the cockpit

Inside the cockpit

2005 Visitors arrive at the hangar

Visitors arrive at the hangar

2005 A rear view of Janie

A rear view of Janie

2005 Maurice gets a paying passenger in

Maurice gets a paying passenger in

2005 Maurice looks up

Maurice looks up

2005 The 9-cylinnder Pratt and Whittney radial (re-built in 1956) fires up on the Stearman

The 9-cylinnder Pratt and Whittney radial (re-built in 1956) fires up on the Stearman

2005 Maurice in Janie

Maurice in Janie

2005 Where we're sitting, not far away, the propwash and noise are incredible

Where we're sitting, not far away, the propwash and noise are incredible

2005 At the same time, the Harvard is ready

At the same time, the Harvard is ready

2005 The Harvard is in the air

The Harvard is in the air

2005 Janie takes off, accompanied by a fantastic roar from the Merlin engine

Janie takes off, accompanied by a fantastic roar from the Merlin engine

2005 The Stearman pilot gets a handshake

The Stearman pilot gets a handshake

2005 Splattered bugs are cleaned off the Stearman's propeller

Splattered bugs are cleaned off the Stearman's propeller

2005 A pile of oil drums

A pile of oil drums

2005 DH in the hangar kitchen

DH in the hangar kitchen

2005 DH checks his picnic backpack out

DH checks his picnic backpack out

2005 One of the veterans returns for a visit

One of the veterans returns for a visit

2005 Janie returns after nearly three hours

Janie returns after nearly three hours

2005 Janie lands

Janie lands

2005 Nosher gets DH to take a touristy photo of him standing by the Mustang

Nosher gets DH to take a touristy photo of him standing by the Mustang

2005 The Harvard gets a windscreen clean

The Harvard gets a windscreen clean

2005 DH sneaks a few photos of the cockpit

DH sneaks a few photos of the cockpit

2005 The veteran explains what it was like to fly the Mustang in the war

The veteran explains what it was like to fly the Mustang in the war

2005 The Harvard takes off to do Thurston airshow

The Harvard takes off to do Thurston airshow

2005 The Harvard is off

The Harvard is off

2005 Janie's off again to do an airshow display

Janie's off again to do an airshow display

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Maurice's Boeing Stearman