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Husky Airways

Bikes & Planes

On Good Friday, Howard and I travelled to Leeds to spend the long weekend with his brother and family. Setting off separately, we met at Newark Air Museum, conveniently situated just off my route north and of great interest to me because they possess one of my favourite aircraft, the Saab Viggen.

We asked (OK, Howard asked while I shifted from foot to foot looking anxious and embarrassed) whether there was any chance we could photograph my bike next to the Viggen. To my amazement we got permission, even though the plane was in a hangar rather than on display outside. The volunteer who supervised the session was obviously pleased to meet someone with so much interest in Swedish aviation, and later let me sit in the cockpit of the Viggen's predecessor, the Draken (which he tried to tell me was better!).

[Spoiler (click to open)]Honda and Viggen

Bonus: Newark's Vulcan looking lovely in the late afternoon light.

[Spoiler (click to open)]Vulcan

It was an excellent weekend. We went out for a curry on Friday night and spent Saturday at Eden Camp, a Second World War prisoner of war camp turned museum. Each hut has a theme, taking you through the war until you reach the prefab at the end. Seeing them all required grit as it was such a cold day, but we were fortified by 'POW Quarter Pounders' and 'Torpedoes' (hot dogs) from the NAAFI. Here are some road signs, demonstrating that road signs were often removed to confuse the enemy:

[Spoiler (click to open)]Road signs

We had two proper dinners, chicken on Sunday and toad-in-the-hole on Monday, I read an entire novel and built a snap-together model aeroplane I'd bought at Newark, and on Sunday evening two dogs and a cat were brought round to visit for my especial entertainment. Coming back to work this morning was a rude shock.
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Newark air-museum has improved quite a bit in recent years: some time back around 2005 I visited it wuth Utlah and they were only just completing the new hangar-funded-with-millennium-lottery-money, and a lot of their best exhibits were still looking distinctly sad-and-neglected outside in the open or under tarpaulins.
A lot of the planes still look tatty, to be honest, but it's a lovely collection and feels like it's being run with love even though it's expanded into a big collection.
To my amazement we got permission, even though the plane was in a hangar rather than on display outside.

Oh wow, that's cool! How nice to see that there are still sensible people left in today's world where everyone's usually so scared of what might happen.
It was pretty quiet although it was a Bank Holiday, which was part of the reason we got away with it! But it's lovely when people go that extra mile to let you have a good time.
Glad you had such a good time! Is that the first cockpit in which you have sat? I imagine it being something of a rare privilege.

Eden Camp? Oh, so close! As it happens Meg and I weren't at home - in fact, we were not far from Whitby and thus even closer to you. Nevertheless, the two of you would be welcome to stay with us and the kittens.
Yes, I thought of you (and other pals en route, like wardy)! One day we will do that Scotland trip.

Heh, it wasn't even the first Draken cockpit I've had a go in (I didn't tell the nice chap) but it's always amazing. So many controls and instruments - my admiration for pilots knows no bounds. (Looking hot in the uniform is a bonus, of course.)
Oh, that top shot's just a classic! How very cool of them to go along with it. =:D (Nicely framed, too. Clearly not taken by my mother, a renowned head-chopper =:)

Reminds me, I should sift through the photos from last year's visit to the Fleet Air Arm Museum, and see if there are any worth posting.

and later let me sit in the cockpit of the Viggen's predecessor, the Draken

Hee! Perhaps just as well it presumably wasn't fuelled up, I suppose.. =:)
So nicely framed that even Howard's thumb blends in pretty well ;) (To be fair, the lens is off-centre and still catches me out sometimes too.)

I'd be delighted to see Fleet Air Arm pics! I haven't been round the museum since I was a teen.