Duxford Aviation Society header British Airliner Collection header British Military Vehicles Collection

News and Articles

A story of Guppies and Belugas

Guppies

The last Aero Spacelines Super Guppy SGT, originally built for Airbus, is now the sole flying example of this remarkable breed. Flown by NASA. Seen here at the Wings over Houston air show in 2011 it is still in service today.  Photo Keith Bradshaw Back in the early 1960s John Conroy set up a company called Aero Spacelines to exploit a gap in the aviation market for an outsize... more >

By Keith Bradshaw, 4 February 2020

Testing Testing

testing

With the recent Rolls- Royce announcement that they are acquiring an ex Qantas Boeing 747 for use as a flying engine testbed, Keith Bradshaw takes a look back at some of the other aircraft used for engine testing in the past. Although not that commonplace these days due to most “new” engines being developments of older well tried examples, testing a new engine on... more >

By Keith Bradshaw, 20 December 2019

2019… a grand year

2019 review

With another year drawing to a close let us take the traditional look back at what’s been happening here at Duxford over the past 12 months. 2019 saw a large number of anniversaries affecting our collection and aviation in general. The big ones were the first flights 50 years ago of Concorde and the Boeing 747. Our BAC 1-11 also saw air under its wings for the first time in... more >

By Keith Bradshaw, 6 December 2019

DAS and Dan Air an historic pairing

Dan Air

DAS & DAN Keith Bradshaw takes a look back at the much missed independent airline DAN-AIR and its contribution to the British Airliner Collection. One of the major contributors to the world famous British Airliner Collection was Dan-Air. Unusually for an airline they regarded their history with respect and as historic airliners were retired, instead of going to the... more >

By Keith Bradshaw, 18 November 2019

Comet….grandaddy of the jetliners!

Comet….grandaddy of the jetliners!   Date….27 July 1949, Place….Hatfield England, Crew… John ‘Cats Eyes’ Cunningham, Harold ‘Tubby’ Waters, John Wilson, Frank Reynolds and Tony Fairbrother. Event… Maiden flight of the world’s first jet powered airliner, the de Havilland DH106 Comet 1. This is the story by... more >

By Keith Bradshaw, 11 July 2019

60th anniversary of the delivery of our Brit to BOAC

Brittania

In a year full of anniversaries, Keith Bradshaw highlights the 60th anniversary of the delivery of our Brit to BOAC And rule the Atlantic she did. The Britannia and its CL44 derivative were the only turbo prop aircraft to operate regular passenger flights across the North Atlantic between 1957 and 1964. Only the Britannia made the journey non-stop. The Icelandic airline Loftleidir... more >

By Keith Bradshaw, 11 July 2019

Still looking good at 70

Hermes

Hermes! What does this word mean to you? The Greek god of transport? A Mail order delivery company? A French manufacturer of up-market scarves? Or one of Britain’s first pressurised post war airliners? Well you can guess which one gets the Duxford Aviation Society vote. We have many iconic airliners in the British Airliner Collection but one of the rarest is the world’s... more >

By Keith Bradshaw, 11 July 2019

An early DAS acquisition, a de Havilland DH89A Dragon Rapide.

Dragon Rapide

All photos by the author unless noted In 1934 the de Havilland Aircraft Company launched the DH89 Dragon Rapide, based on their previous twin-engine light transport design, the DH84 Dragon. The Dragon Rapide and its military variant, the Dominie, were produced until 1946 by which time 737 examples had been built. The Dragon had itself succeeded the single-engine DH83 Fox Moth... more >

By Keith Bradshaw, 3 June 2019

BOAC Its part in the British Airways 100 celebrations

History of BOAC

For many years if you were in some far-off land trying to get home, nearing the end of a hot and dusty trip to the airport, nothing would lift the spirits more than that first glimpse of an aeroplane tail with its iconic Speedbird emblem. After the inevitable battle through passport, customs and security you would finally climb the steps to be greeted by an immaculately dressed stewardess... more >

By Keith Bradshaw, 27 April 2019

2019 and a history of BEA

Pics from Keiths article

2019 is an anniversary year par excellence! We have already celebrated 50 years since our BAC 1-11 first flew back in January, swiftly followed by 50 years of Concorde in March. However, between those two important events in February, the anniversary of 50 years since the first flight of the Boeing 747 Jumbo jet passed by, Unlike the two British planes it is still in limited production. In... more >

By Keith Bradshaw, 23 March 2019

Concorde from the engineer's seat

Trevor Evans in his office - the engineer's seat in Concorde

2 March 2019 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the first flight of a special aircraft known for its speed and luxury, an aircraft that has become unique as a technological, if not commercial triumph of its era. Nearly 50 years ago, on that Sunday in 1969, I was probably gearing myself up to go to school the next day to face the work culminating in my GCE ‘O’ level attempts... more >

By Keith Bradshaw, 14 February 2019

Pond Hopping

Alcock and Brown prepare for their historic flight

4 October 2018 sees the 60th anniversary of the first commercial jet airliner flights across the Atlantic. Our Comet G-APDB, here at Duxford, was one of two aircraft that took part in that historic crossing.  It all began when two push-bike mechanics, Orville and Wilbur Wright, flew the first, powered, heavier-than-air machine at Kill Devil Hills near Kittyhawk Beach North Carolina... more >

By Keith Bradshaw, 1 October 2018

Repainting the Gate Guard

Hurricane gate guardian at Duxford

Although not one of ours, late last year a new aeroplane appeared on the airliner ramp, a Hawker Hurricane replica. This normally lives atop a pole at the entrance to the public car park here at Duxford. Its owned by the IWM and the weather had taken its toll on the paintwork. Following our Military Vehicle Wing’s success repainting the A34 Comet tank that also sits by the car... more >

By Steve Jeal, 2 August 2018

Duxford Aviation Society at a Duxford Air Show

Fairey Swordfish displaying at Duxford Flying Legends

Many of us will have been to one of Duxford’s superb air shows, but how many have considered what goes on behind the scenes to prepare for such a great day’s enjoyment? Let's take a brief look at DAS involvement in one of these big events. Bear in mind that all this happens three times a year with two-day shows in May, July and September. Several months before... more >

By Keith Bradshaw, 2 August 2018

Happy Birthday Whisky Juliet!

G-APWJ on her 55th birthday

Fifty-five years ago on 29 May 1963, just a normal day for most people at the Handley Page factory at Radlett in Hertfordshire. As they got on with the job of fulfilling the order book for their new turbo- prop, feeder liner, the Handley Page Dart Herald, the sound of an aeroplane taking off from the company runway outside the factory barely raised an eyebrow. However this was no... more >

By Chrissie Eaves-Walton, 29 May 2018

 
Facebook link Twitter link Instagram link