A Grand Day Out

Last Sunday was our anniversary. Five years if you want to know. For once we had no obligations or chores to do, so we just hopped in the car and took off. our best daytrips have always been when we didn’t have a fixed plan and so it was in this case. We headed in the general direction of the Brandywine region, which is a little to the southwest of Philadelphia, where the states of Maryland, Pennsylvania and Delaware all meet up. On the way up, we took the back roads and stopped for brunch at a small diner – excellent food and dirt cheap. We left a large tip (yes, i have lived in the US long enough now that i know about tipping!!)

After crossing the Conowingo dam and entering Pennsylvania, Diane spotted a sign that said “Airshow”. Remembering that we actually didn’t have a plan for the day, she proceeded to veer off the road and headed in that direction. Note that I say that it was her who made the decision to go for this, not me. It turns out that it was a small local airshow, probabaly 500-1000 people max there. However, being small, it was not crowded and a whole lot more fun. You could get right up and close to the aircraft, and even get in some of them. There was a mixture of warbirds (B 25 Mitchell, Gruman Avenger, T6 Harvards and a P51 Mustang), some stunt planes (including one who landed his aircraft on top of a pickup truck), some civil aircraft, and some large scale models. All took turns to fly and the skill level was high. For me, the most memorable part was the Mustang opening his display with a fast low pass through a stand of trees at about 150 feet. The later versions of the mustang are powered by Packard Merlin’s, a licence built version of the Rolls Royce Merlin that powered such legendary British aircraft as the Spitfire, Hurricane and Lancaster bomber. Growing up near Chichester airfield, which has it’s compliment of spitfires, I am quite familiar with the distinct growl of the V-12 Merlin Engine with it’s high pitched supercharger scream. It was nice to hear one again now that I live in the States.

I wasn’t able to get particularly good photo’s of aircraft in flight, as I only had a small point and shoot with me, and it didn’t take kindly to fast moving objects in the sky.However, below are a selection of photo’s that I was able to get.

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Diane checks out a possible replacement for her Prius!

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This is a model of an A-10 – powered by 2 miniature jet engines running at 160000rpm – flies at up to 200 mph. The pilot put on a good display.

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The A-10 Model in it’s hanger……

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With an equally big model P-47!

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Outside, the stunt pilots were getting ready.

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Yes, this guy did just land on top of a pick up truck – some pretty nifty flying!

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The star of the show in my eyes was this Mustang – great aircraft and highly skilled pilot flying the display. Apparently his day job is flying MD-80’s for a regular scheduled airline. I hope he doesn’t fly like this on the day job!

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Take-off!

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And Landing

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B25 Mitchell on display

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With a Grumman Avenger (I think). Both flew later in the day. For a single engine plane, the Avenger is enormous – makes you wonder how it got off an aircraft carrier!

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Civilian Lockheed Electra – Diane liked this one because it was shiny!

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Army Air Force trainer

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Mitchell being towed out to tje flight line by an SUV

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Mitchell taxing out to the take off point.

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Followed by The Avenger.

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Mitchell in flight

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Along with the Avenger

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And Finally, the Mustang coming in to land

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All in all, for a small local show, it was well worth it.

Afterwards, we kept going and ended up in Wilmington, DE. It’s like any small city, but has a very nice park and walk along the Brandywine river, so we had a pleasant stroll for a few hours. And finally, on the way home, we stopped for diner again at another small restaurant, which had the biggest cheesecake I’ve ever seen!

All in all, a very pleasant day and we retired to bed tired, but happy.

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One thought on “A Grand Day Out

  1. Nice post and happy anniversary 🙂

    My favourite plane there is the B25, I love the proportions and shape of that little bomber. The later version of the Mustang is for me the best looking WW2 allied fighter. I actually prefer its looks to the Spitfire.

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