Log in

No account? Create an account

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



Amazing pictures!
I'm glad I've got them, because I want to remember every detail!
There's an odd-looking building in the 3rd picture on the bottom left. Is it that one concave building that melted cars? :S
It was the Shard that melted a car - the one in the photo is the Cheesegrater, I believe!
Ah. It does look like a cheesegrater! XD
The bendy-looking one to the right of it is the Walkie-Talkie! We also have the Gherkin and the Testicle.
Amazing! And I can see my flat in the second photo!
Oh, cool! I was promised that we would go past Crystal Palace, and I kept a lookout, but I am rubbish at landmarks :(
Jealous! :-)
I cannot overstate how amazing this was and how grateful I am that I got to do it!
Not making me any less jealous! ;-)
It's all good, no worries :-) Cracking pictures.
It was a leeetle hazy, but anything looks good with a biplane wing in the frame!

Made from plywood!

My dad fondly recalls flying in a biplane from Birmingham to Guernsey for a holiday. I wonder if it was one of these.

Wow! They certainly stayed in service for a while after the war.
Excellent! Looking good with your plane, too. :D
The thought occurs - have you contemplated learning to fly?

I can only imagine how much fun that flight must have been. I do hope there were canapés and champagne. =:)
Not even a coffee!

I've thought about it, but it is expensive (although if one wants something enough, one finds a way). More than that, though, I know from motorcycling that I tend to lack confidence in my machine, my own skill, and my navigational abilities, none of which would be brilliant in the air...