Alice Dryden (huskyteer) wrote,
Alice Dryden

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Chocks Away

For my birthday last year, Howard very kindly and thoughtfully bought me a flight in a de Havilland Dragon Rapide. Poor weather prevented me from taking it on my birthday, or on the subsequent new date, but yesterday I finally took to the skies.

Bear in mind that I love biplanes so much why don't I just marry them, and this was my first experience actually flying in one. I was pretty excited.

The aircraft seats eight plus the pilot, and everyone gets a window seat. Passengers have to be distributed carefully to keep the weight even, and thus I found myself right at the back by the door, which I would be in charge of in the event of an emergency. This was a position of great responsibility, and meant that everyone trod on me while getting out.

Bumping across the grass to the runway and taking off in a taildragger biplane was a new experience, and very noisy and shaky as the twin props dragged us up into the sky. Once aloft it was still noisy, but smooth and stately, as befits the golden age of air travel.

We flew from Duxford to London, avoiding Stansted but passing by City so they could tell us what altitude to fly at. Then it was a flight up the Thames and back down, so passengers on both sides got to see all the landmarks, with lots of banking for better views.

An old friend who lives in Cambridge had cycled over to join us, so after I'd landed we had a spot of lunch before looking round the museum.

The icing on the cake was the first edition, non-fiction W.E. Johns book I picked up in the aviation bookshop.

The Dome looking lovely for once

...yes, I took this because it has MI6 HQ in it

Stay, city, smokily enchanted

Tags: planes
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