Sunday 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.
Their 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.)