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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

Maurice's Boeing Stearman

DH inspects the Stearman in the morning

The Harvard is covered up

The Cessna in the hangar

The Auster

Janie the Mustang

An inconsiderate car, right on the runway

The Cessna is pushed out of the hangar

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

Maurice Hammond peers over the wing

Maurice fuels Janie up

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

Maurice finishes up

Maurice puts the pump back

Janie's nose

Inside the cockpit

Visitors arrive at the hangar

A rear view of Janie

Maurice gets a paying passenger in

Maurice looks up

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

Maurice in Janie

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

At the same time, the Harvard is ready

The Harvard is in the air

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

The Stearman pilot gets a handshake

Splattered bugs are cleaned off the Stearman's propeller

A pile of oil drums

DH in the hangar kitchen

DH checks his picnic backpack out

One of the veterans returns for a visit

Janie returns after nearly three hours

Janie lands

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

The Harvard gets a windscreen clean

DH sneaks a few photos of the cockpit

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

The Harvard takes off to do Thurston airshow

The Harvard is off

Janie's off again to do an airshow display

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Maurice's Boeing Stearman

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