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Dogfight [by the_gneech]

Bikes & Planes

On Saturday, my friend Doug from the Modern Vespa forum came over to help fit a new belt and rollers to my stricken GT200. It all went smoothly except for the bit where Doug accidentally hit me on the head with a torque wrench, and we rode to Westerham for lunch in order to test it out.

Wings and wiresSunday was a London Advanced Motorcyclists ride to the Shuttleworth Collection. Although it's only on the other side of London, I'd never visited the museum before (because it's on the other side of London, thus most routes there are less than pleasant).

The collection of aircraft goes back to the Edwardian dawn of flight. Many of these early birds are reproductions, but it's still a weird experience to enter one of Shuttleworth's eight hangars and see these weird, da Vinci-ish contraptions hanging from the ceiling like chrysalises. Also in this hangar is a glider of the type young Germans trained on between the wars, when they weren't allowed an Air Force.

My great love is, of course, First World War aircraft, so you can imagine my feelings when I walked into Hangar 3 and found myself nose-to-nose with a Sopwith Pup.

De Havilland DH-51Their De Havilland DH-51 bore a sign explaining that it was wearing a temporary paint job for the very British Airways ad I posted last week; it's the first aircraft you see, at the start of the video.

The lovely thing about the collection is that as many of the planes as possible are restored to and maintained in an airworthy condition, and you can see them flying at the airfield's regular displays. The weather has to be just right, especially for the really old stuff, but it must be a spectacle indeed and I hope I can get myself to one soon.

(A few more photos here, for those who like pictures of planes.)

Nosalgic curves
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Nice pics!! I thought you'd seen the collection fly already.
You'd think I would have done, but I've never made the effort to get myself over there before!
Ah, you really must. I did quite some time ago and it was definitely worth it :)
Good pics. I like 'Airmen Prefer Shell'!
Shell had some weird and wonderful posters - some more here. The oddest one at the museum was of three boys in bellhop/chauffeur uniforms squirting petrol into the mouth of a rearing mechanical horse.
Wonderful! I remember your mentioning not so long ago that this was a place you'd never been, so I'm glad that's no longer the case. =:)
Cool! Must visit the collection sometime...
Ah, that's very close to us, though only went there for the first time about 11 months ago when I was extremely heavily pregnant, maybe even overdue. They have lots of owls and other birds of prey there too.
I'd like to see the rest of it some time - the garden looks lovely too.