Nosher Flies in a P-51D Mustang, Hardwick (and the Whole of Suffolk) - 17th July 2011

OMG! OMG!! Nosher, Isobel and The Boy are hanging around Hardwick airfield on the day after Maurice Hammond's hangar dance deciding what to do and looking around at some of the 1940s vehicles floating around (after the traditional sausage-and-bacon-fry-fest that is a campervan breakfast). Whilst Nosher is taking photos of the parked Mustangs, Isobel wanders over to say that there's a spare seat in "Janie", Maurice's first Mustang restoration. It takes ahout 400 millseconds to decide to splurge out and have a flight - after all, the plane's been over the house about a hundred times and it's always been on the list of things to do. And it's incredible, in particular as we're flying pairs for a chunk of the flight, with Maurice's other Mustang "Marinell" - the sight of another WW2 fighter plane up so close is just amazing as we roam over the countryside of Suffolk. After a while, Maurice and "Marinell" peel away and Nosher and pilot Dave head over in "Janie" to Brome and Diss for a circuit or two, then fly on to Stowmarket before briefly looking at Latitude Festival and the coast at Southwold, then finally meeting up again for a dual fly-past of the airfield at Hardwick prior to landing. The view of the world from the clear plexiglass tear-drop-canopied cockpit is just poetry. Massive props to Clive "Chickens" for brokering the spare seat.

next album: Mike's Do, Two Bridges, Dartmoor - 12th July 2011
previous album: Maurice's Hangar Dance, Hardwick, Norfolk - 16th July 2011

Nosher clambers in to Janie

A quick glimpse of the cockpit instruments as Dave's foot swings in

A puff of smoke from Janie's exhaust as the 27-litre V-12 Merlin engine starts up

Isobel gets a photo from the sidelines as Nosher sits in the Mustang

Nosher, Dave and 'Janie' taxi down to the far end of the grass-strip runway

Taxiing back for take-off

The view of the gathered crowds just as the plane rotates

A view of the Norfolk/Suffolk borders

Marinell and Janie fly side-by-side

Marinell in the clouds

Air-to-air shot of Marinell

The view from Marinell: Nosher flies around in the back seat of Janie (photo © A. Seager)

Marinell over Suffolk

Nosher and Isobel's pad, bottom left

The tree-lined avenue of the nearby Cornwallis Hotel and the B1077 to Eye (bottom)

An aerial view of the 'Brome Triangle'

Flying past Diss

Dave looks out over the Sea as we cross the coast near Sizewell

Southwold: the lighthouse on St. James' Green is in the middle, bottom

Another aerial view of Southwold, and the myriad beach huts along the coast

Up near Beccles, the river and some of the Norfolk Broads

We re-engage with Marinell

Marinell the Mustang is back in formation

View from the back, as the canopy is opened up for a bit prior to landing

Back on the ground, Fred and his new friend Max pose by Marinell

Nosher and Fred (just before The Boy escapes)

Isobel and Fred have a look around Janie

Janie, the Harvard and a US-Army truck

Amelia, Suzanne, Fred and Isobel mill around in front of the Boeing Stearman

Dave, the pilot, and Nosher pose in front of Janie for compulsory (if cliché) photo

Janie watches the approching storm

Clive's truck hangs around in the rain

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Nosher clambers in to Janie