Friday, May 06, 2011

Avro Lancaster PA474

Having read on the DR news site that Lancaster PA474 of the RAF's Battle of Britain Memorial Flight was staying the night at Billund airport, Oleg and I decided to go and see it. It had flown over cemetaries the day before to mark Denmark's liberation day, and to salute fallen Allied aircrews and today, according to DR, the aircraft would be open to public viewing between 0900 and 1100.

We left Aarhus at 0900 and got to Billund at around 1020, but there was nothing sign posted, the airport info desk was a mere public computer terminal and the tourist information booth had a herd of zombies standing in front of it. We jumped back into Oleg's car and trolled about for a bit, quizzing a grizzled biker who Oleg identified as a plane spotter along the way. Eventually we found the little hillock where the plane spotters were camped and soon after spied the Lancaster on the far side of the airport. This was a bit of a drag as our time was running out and it meant we couldn't be sure of getting there on time if we drove around. We opted to stay on the hillock and watch from afar with our telephoto lenses. This it turned out wasn't such a bad idea, though we ended up staring across the airport for over an hour, as it meant we were in the optimal position when the aircraft did a fly over of the airport terminal. On the whole it was a very enjoyable little outing, and a most gratifying sight to see such a beautiful aircraft performing a low fly so close by.


Grimsby Mariner said...

not many sounds can beat the moise of four merlin engines working away can they?

moif said...

It is a nice sound, but the rest of the airport was very noisy and it was only during the fly by that the engine sounds really made an impression.

Oleg said...

We had actually gone with the intention of getting as close as possible (which we abandoned, as we didn't find it in time).

We also wanted to hear those merlins, but we were generally to far away. We couldn't really hear them start, due to background noise and sheer distance.
They weren't particularly loud during the flypast, even though there were no jets running at the time.

Taking photos was rather a fall back position.
On the other hand we were using our fairly long lenses as telescopes for much of the time.

Overall, it was well worth the trip, though.

moif said...

Deffo! Had it been a more permanent event however, we could have had a lot more time, and possibly more aircraft to see. Denmark is so small though, we have so few events and as far as I know, no renovated old aircraft flying at all.