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My long-awaited visit to the superb National Memorial. Autumn leaves and although a nice bit of sunlight would have been ideal no real complaints for November! An Arboretum is apparently the word for a collection of trees and shrubs and not a lot of people know that! And now for me, a change in policy as for once most of the photos are self-explanatory and I shall only pass comment on certain ones like the Royal Signals Memorial, having served nine years with the Corps!

Hi Dave, I left her behind for this jaunt! However we're going to the Donington Aeropark which you noticed when taking off and on to the Arboretum, the National Memorial, on Sunday, and two weeks later it's the Lapland jaunt with the kids and grankids so she's bound to get in somewhere, perhaps posing with a reindeer!!! Watch this space! Cheers GL.

The Vampire T.11 began as a private venture for de Havilland. The company considered it a logical step to offer a trainer version of the Vampire which was then in service with a number of nations across the world. Modified from the night fighter variant of the Vampire, the T.11 trainer would see over 3000 RAF pilots become qualified on the type before it was replaced by the Folland Gnat.

The Midland Air Museum is a unique aeronautical collection. Started in 1967 by a small group of aircraft enthusiasts as the Midland Aircraft Preservation Society (MAPS) they started to collect books, photographs and aircraft parts. With no permanent home they started to display at air displays and fetes to raise money for further acquisitions. In 1975 a lease was acquired for a small plot of land on the north side of Coventry Airport which laid the foundations for a permanent museum. MAPS changed its name in 1977 to Midland Air Museum (MAM) and became a charitable trust. With just five aircraft on display the museum opened to the public on Sunday 2nd April 1978 with 67 visitors! Following the arrival in 1983 of the Vulcan bomber B.2A XL360 and the Argosy freighter in 1987, the museum further developed by moving onto its present site. The Sir Frank Whittle Jet Heritage Centre was established and a World War II Robin Hangar was acquired and erected in 1995 giving the museum valuable covered space for restoration projects and displays. After a period of consolidation several new exhibits were acquired from the late 1990s onwards and there is now a fine collection of aircraft for enthusiasts. Including of course two EE Lightnings, my own particular favourite aircraft, of course.

As my quest to photograph all EE Lightnings has come to a halt with 41 out of 44 photographed and the other three "out of reach" I have extended my quest to several other aircraft types and the Hawker Hunter is one of them! This is number 27 with a helluva lot more out there!!!

This aircraft served with Linton-on-Ouse's Station Flight from 1956 and also served with 19 Squadron, 66 Squadron, 111 Squadron, the AFDS, 4 FTS and the TWU among others! She was grounded in 1981 and placed on the gate at Halton in 1986.

This is the oldest gate guard in existence. WT612 first flew in July 1954 and was actually one of the development aircraft. It didn't have a long career being grounded in 1957 and she was then used until 1984 as a ground instructional airframe being gutted internally in the process and after which it was rescued and placed on the gate at Henlow. In early 2004 she was removed to RAF Wittering for a repaint before being returned, looking immaculate, to Henlow.

Yeah, Dave, and it was an all-wooden aircraft! GL

The Sea Vixen is a twin boom, twin engined, 1950s-1960s British two-seat jet fighter of the Fleet Air Arm. It was a capable carrier-based fleet defence fighter that served into the 1970s. 140 production Sea Vixens were manufactured and first flown from Christchurch, Dorset. A single example remains airworthy today in the UK and is displayed regularly at air shows. And this was the reason I recently attended the Bournemouth Air Festival only for the Sea Vixen's display to be cancelled at the last minute as the pilot was called away on military duty. Not best pleased but I'll have another go next season! The Vixen at de Havilland Heritage has a working wing function and the wings are regularly folded as a visitor attraction!

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