Wow, what a day! There are times in life when your mind fails to take in what lies before you, it is simply too stupendous to comprehend in one sitting. I experienced that once before when first standing on the rim of the Grand Canyon. Today was another such day. 15 Spitfires parked in a line along the flightline. Another three in front front of The Aircraft Restoration Company, later to be joined by the Silver Spitfire. This was aviation porn on an incomprehensible scale…!!! And it only got better from there…
I arrived early, at about 7h15, only to find out that the gates only opened at 08h00.
While looking at the queues forming rapidly, imagine my surprise when I overheard the two gentlemen in front of me conversing in Afrikaans. Turns out they are from Pretoria (some 60km from Johannesburg which is where I stay in South Africa. Daan and Danie are airline pilots with Comair and were also on a Flying Legends RIAT binge trip! We had a lovely chat and I was pleasantly surprised that they had heard about the HFS Spitfire MkIX Cockpit from a friend who had attended the AeroSA airshow!
After having been overwhelmed by the flightline walk I happened past the Simply Spitfire MkIX. What a beautiful piece of work, built by Terry Arlow over very many years. I had been in contact with his son Steve Arlow through the Facebook Spitfire Projects group. He had mentioned he would be at Duxford and it would be nice to meet. He also mentioned that “they would be there with the MkIX ” Not until I saw their Spitfire did I realize the connection and what he was referring to! What a nice young man. We spent a very long time chatting, also with Paul, another enthusiast Spitfire cockpit builder from Belgium. All so very interesting! I will introduce Steve and Terry to the Virtual world tomorrow by taking my demo kit along. I am sure that they may benefit from making something like that part of their Spitfire experience offering 🙂
Next I was hugely excited by discovering Romain Hugault had a stand and was selling various books and artworks at the show. I am a huge fan of his work. If you haven’t come across the name, Google it!
Not only were his works for sale but the man himself had popped in for a book signing session. We had a little chat and I explained what I was doing with the HFS Spitfire. Imagine my surprise when he not only signed my book but set about drawing a beautiful MkIX for me! I am so chuffed!
Next up I met David Jandečka, who had come to Duxford from the Czech Republic with his charming lady friend in part to meet with me. I am deeply humbled. David has been building the HFS Throttle Quadrant and I guess we must have done something right for him to say that. Well, I was relieved he hadn’t come over to beat me up! 🙂
Then the flying started. 15 Spitfires in the air! Amazing!! And it went on and on. So many rare and wonderful aircraft. Total sensory overload. Don’t know if I will be able to survive tomorrow!! 🙂