Sunday 24 July 2022

Day Out

I was bored. I'd been for a walk in what I refer to as my back garden (the PandaCows are back!), I had planned to go to my Dad's as there were a couple of little jobs he needed help with, but he was feeling poorly, so that was canned. Then I thought "It's a nice day, I could go to the Museum of Army Flying" at Middle Wallop (yes there really is such a place). I'd driven past it a few times & never gone in because - well it looked quite small & you know - it's the army. But in fact it was really good. OK so the aeroplanes they have aren't the most exciting, being mostly gunnery spotters, but a great deal of thought has gone into the displays making them "come to life" (ish), it has a very similar style to the Fleet Air Arm Museum further down the A30 at Yeovilton which is one of the best.

This item struck me. Apparently it's what they did before there were aeroplanes to do gunnery spotting. I can certainly so no down side to that at all, his limbs are well protected so he'll have no problems climbing down - if he still has a head.

And here's another thing, how are we going to get jeeps to the front line to move the troops about? How about turning each jeep into an autogiro with some disposable parts & tow it behind an aeroplane? It'll fly just fine if we paint it to look like an aeroplane. Apparently the test pilot was so stressed after a test flight, the whole idea was scrapped in as long as it took him to write a report (in very shaky handwriting).

The museum has examples of all the assault gliders used by the army (Hotspur, Hadrian, Horsa & Hamilcar), the Hamilcar - a huge tank carrying glider - isn't complete, it was found behind a pub in Wiltshire being used a chicken shed. The thing that struck me about the Hamilcar was this, you can see from the picture that it's properly big & it's made of wood.

The thing I've ringed in red is the fire extinguisher. 


You're flying this enormous wooden plane into a war zone & that's the fire extinguisher? Not even two of them?

So yes, the Museum of Army Flying gets a thumbs up from me. there were lots of activities about the place for kiddies - even a soft play area & they weren't too precious about the exhibits. There was a Westland Scout with signs inviting you to sit in it & fiddle with the controls - which were still connected & as you can see from the pic, the walkway goes right through the Hamilcar & there can't be too many of them left. If there were they wouldn't have had to turf the chickens out of this one.

On the way home I stuck to the A30 as it's a more pleasant drive than the A303 / M3 & it took me past a petrol station selling unleaded for <£1.80 / litre. Shortly after that I caught up with a guy in a Boxter - one of the flash ones with numbers on the back - 918 is it? A fair bit of bling & a wing on the boot. he seemed to think he could out-drag the Stylus. He doesn't any more.

The last thing of note was a couple of '50s Fairthorpe specials in the Blackbushe "show area". I stopped & had a walk round them.

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