Following months of record breaking rainfall, it was an absolute delight to find summer had finally arrived over Bomber County on Saturday 21 July. With East Kirkby expecting up to 300 Buell motorbikes at their annual meet, and the promise of a pair of 1945 vintage Taylorcraft Auster Mk.Vs dropping in, the warm and dry weather was really welcome.
The day also brought two other treats; firstly an Olympic torch made an appearance and secondly there was a surprise marriage proposal by one of the passengers on the 1pm Lancaster taxy run. As you’ll see from the pictures below, the proposal was accepted!
Returning to the visiting Austers, these most welcome visitors were camouflaged TW467 (G-ANIE) from Elmsett in Suffolk and TW439 (G-ANRP) from Wickenby, Lincolnshire. Both remained on static display for a good part of the day, and in salute to Just Jane performed a flypast at 500 feet over the parked Lancaster on their departure.
Amongst the other visiting general aviation aircraft were two other noteworthy types; G-AZCP, a 1970 Beagle Pup and Jodel D.150 Mascaret G-BACL.
Avro Lancaster NX611 Just Jane performed two taxy runs, with former Battle of Britain Memorial Flight pilot Ed Straw at the controls. Any regular watchers of the Lancaster taxy runs may have noticed (and heard) these runs were performed at higher engine RPMs, with all four Merlin 24s running at 1800 RPM; this resulted in a more aggressive sounding taxy run with some relatively fast acceleration at stages during the outing on to the grass strip.
As Just Jane came to a halt at the end of her first taxy run, Fred Panton had a huge smile on his face and commented “now that’s how you taxy a Lancaster”. It would appear future Lancaster runs may take on a slightly different format from now on!
The next major event at East Kirkby is the ‘Props & Pistons’ event on Monday 27 August. This event should bring together a number of exotic and expensive cars, along with flying displays by aircraft of the BBMF, two P-51 Mustangs and a Spitfire.