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A special day, and not just one !

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    Flawless skies with absence of weather to-day Wed. 5th July. At about 11.50 a single Spitfire came from the South West corner of Chichester harbour. Performed a single loop and disappeared to the East.

    There followed a biplane of unknown make; possibly a Tiger Moth some way into the distance which, in its turn was followed by a Harvard performing gentle rate one/two turns over the harbour.

    The weather is so good coupled with excellent visibility that we might see some more aerial activity this afternoon.


      Following up: Around 4.0pm, slightly more hazy that this morning, another spitfire came over to the South of the Harbor from West to East and at about 2500ft. A spirited display of aerobatics culminating in at least two, that I could see from my vantage, loops followed by a roll.


        Not a bad effort to-day. Cloud, early on was overcast at about three thousand, this gave way to scattered at about 2500ft. Visibility was good with the Southdown hills visible thru' haze. This morning - I didn't get the time, we were visited by a Harvard arriving overhead from East to West.

        At 2.45pm, a pair of fighters - one was a Spitfire with another aircraft flying in starboard echelon - might have been a Mustang, came over the seaward end of the harbour from East to West at about 2,000ft and disappeared to the West in haze.

        At about 3.0pm a solitary Spitfire came into view from the West at about 1500ft. It came directly overhead and I did my usual 'dance of the dervish' hoping to attract attention and get a wing wobble of recognition. It was particularly appealing to see the plan outline of the dark Spitfire starkly outlined against a brilliant blue sky.

        We were treated to a loop and a roll. At some point either before or after the Spit another aircraft whose make I cannot confirm but, that looked much like the mentioned Mustang came in at about 1500 ft., over the seaward end, at quite a lick.


          Wall to wall cloud over the South Coast to-day Thurs. 10th inst. Cloud base at about 2000 ft. Visibility excellent. The South downs in plain view from the coast. At around 11.0am we had a visit from one of the many Chinooks that inhabit Thorney Island airfield. The Chinook looked to be practicing let downs just below the cloud base.

          The cloud started to thin and became broken at about the same height. At about 12.40pm a Spitfire was first heard and then seen some distance away over the Eastern side of Chichester harbour. It performed a leisurely barrel roll and went off to the East.

          Altho' you'd have to pick your weather -not easy, look at the rain and general uncertainty we've had recently - and then. there's no guarantee that you'd see anything, this part of GB has to be the place to come to spot, on an almost daily basis, a clutch of WW2 heavy metal, as well as some modern stuff, and including the most sought after; the Spitfire.

          About 3.20pm another Spitfire was heard over to the West towards Langstone harbour. By this time the cloud had completely disappeared and we had wall to wall blue sky. This Spitfire performed a loop over the seaward end of
          Langstone came around in a wide circle and transited towards the East.

          As I write, another Chinook has 'wokka-wokkered' its way thru my overhead and out over the sea towards the South West.
          Last edited by John Green; 10th August 2017, 16:17. Reason: Don't which day of the week it is




              Right over my head, in Chichester harbour on a bright day with scattered cloud at about 2000ft and clear visibility, at about 1220pm came a Spitfire travelling from North to South and in very brisk fashion delivered two barrel rolls, one aileron roll and three loops right over the top of the harbour.

              They must have a number of different pilots for these sorties. Some deliver their aerobatics in almost a leisurely fashion, others are very brisk giving consequently a more outrageous snarl from the engine.


                Gin clear vis to-day Sunday 13th. High altitude cirrus and lower scattered cumulus gave an almost perfect flying day. At around 12.0 noon I was visiting a friend on a sailboat at Northney Marina. There appeared at some distance and at about 1500ft. two helicopters and two single engine aircraft flying semi aerobatics in the vicinity of the helicopters. I couldn't at that distance identify them.

                After a trip into Chichester, Mrs. G and I stopped at Emsworth Harbour for coffee and crumpets. At about 3.20pm two helicopters appeared overhead at about 1200ft accompanied by two single engine aircraft now easily identified as a Hurricane and a Spitfire. The Hurricane led and the Spitfire was in port echelon. They both carried out a tightish turn almost overhead and went off to the North East in the direction of Goodwood. It was a huge pleasure to see these two eminent aircraft in close proximity.


                  Still looking to watch Spitfires but by way of a different venue, we went to the Eastbourne airshow. We thought that we were there in good time - just to watch the last of the Red Arrows disappear over Beachy Head. The weather was kind with cloud broken at between three and four thousand feet. Plenty of warmth with a gentle to fresh breeze from the West.

                  Given that the BBMF were not there, the whole airshow had a slightly low key element. Sparkling and sprightly displays by two Spitfires, a Mustang and a slightly less brisk Me109 (lookalike ?) were key features. Peter Teichmann's Hurricane featured but the display was muted.

                  The Breitling Stearmans showed up as did an F16, a Eurofighter and a Catalina. The crowd was as large as ever I've seen it, evidenced by difficulties in finding parking space which is something I had not before experienced. The non appearance of the BBMF made all the difference between an excellent airshow and one that was not quite up to former Eastbourne standards.


                    Yesterday, Tuesday was a good Spitfire day. Broken cloud at about 3-4000ft. Reasonable visibility. South Downs could be see thru haze. Between 3.0pm and 4.30pm we were visited by three separate Spitfire sorties. All except the last were somewhat higher than usual; about 2,000ft.

                    The first two were seen to the west over Langstone Harbour travelling briskly in an easterly direction and performing a series of rolls and loops. There followed a period of aerial silence until, at sometime close to 4.30pm, a Spitfire came over low - 500ft - and fast at the western seaward end of Chichester Harbour, commenced a climbing turn and disappeared to the east at a rate of knots ! The engine sound echoing around the harbour basin.

                    I meant to mention that on the way back from the Eastbourne Airshow on Sunday, I drove the coast road from Beachy Head, dropping down to West Dean with the Cuckmere river on the left and Birling Gap leading to the sea. I reminded myself that this is the location mentioned by Robert Stanford Tuck in his book "Fly for your Life" (is that the correct title?) when during the B of B he was either chasing a 109 or, being chased thru' the Birling Gap, which is simply a geological reduction in height of the cliffs we call the Seven Sisters. I wonder if that scenario has ever since been recreated perhaps for a film ?
                    Last edited by John Green; 23rd August 2017, 12:56.


                      To-day, Friday, with cloudless skies gave us three Spitfire sorties and one Harvard. From the Harvard came the better aerobatic display performed over Chichester harbour. One Spitfire arrived at about 3.0pm, another at 4.0pm and a third at about 5.20pm. All three visits were at about 1500ft and some distance away from my position on the western edge of the harbour.

                      Recently, I've noticed that more and more people are stopping and pointing. The trouble is that the speed of the Spitfires is such that they are usually thru' and gone from the arc of visibility before people can react.


                        There is no end to the aerial surprises around this neck of the woods. The day was grey and scuddy with a stiffish breeze, the kind of day when you're glad to be on the ground. Visibility was good. At about half past four, at about 1500ft, travelling from West to East there came a very rare moment indeed.

                        There appeared a living, breathing, throbbing representation of the TV Go Compare advert that a few days ago some of us were getting a bit sniffy about. To wit, what looked like to my uncertain eye, a DH Rapide.. Twin engine biplane, pointy wings and elegant. Proceeding on its stately way with all the elegant majesty associated with a 1930s design intended to help open British air routes and popularise air travel.

                        Wonderful sight and sound.


                          Quite a pleasant day. Warm, dry with average visibility of about four miles at ground. We drove to Goodwood to check any changes in the ongoing work to the field. Grass is now growing where before there was only bare earth. Much of the field tat could be seen in front of Boultbee is grassed and looks level. While we were there, a large roller was being trundled over suitable areas.

                          The new cafeteria and spectator viewing building is still closed with no work going on. Rumour has it that it will, eventually, be demolished and a new structure put in its place.

                          Spitfires 520 and 232 were parked at the rear of the Boultbee hangar. 232 did not move but 520 was in action for most of the afternoon. Parked nearby were the Harvard and Chipmunk. At least three passenger flights were made in 520. The belly roar of that Merlin echoes around the Goodwood field in a most satisfying way.

                          The Two Spits themselves look from close up to be immaculate in appearance. There was a third Spitfire parked by the control tower. This intrigued me and I took it to be a visitor. Not so. This aircraft is a fiber glass replica that looks, at least from a distance, like the real deal, complete with D-Day invasion stripes.

                          Eventually the Harvard started, with some slight back firing and taxied for a sortie. The Chipmunk was in use thru' out the afternoon. All in all, a very pleasant day enlivened with some banter with the hangar staff and casual onlookers.


                            To this day, if I hear an aircraft flying over head I will stop what I am doing to look at it.
                            My home town put in a dirt strip back when it had six thousand people, sadly that airport had more traffic with the original dirt strip and the town being less than half as big as it is now, even though far more are parked there year round.
                            Where I am at now, some gent put a small private but available to public for a fee, dirt strip near a former tiny town, about five miles from here.
                            There are three small aircraft parked there all summer and I slow down to look every time I drive by.


                              Weather to-day in Chichester harbour was CAVOK in the morning, something less so pm. Some GA activity from aerobatic practioners but, on a day when it would be expected to see some Spitfire movement - zilch. The weather has been iffy, tho' there were three or four days during this month when flying could have been expected

                              Perhaps the Boultbee Spits are undergoing maintenance. I cant remember whether I've already mentioned that my mother-in-law, as a young girl worked at the Bromwich facility making Spitfire components during WW2. The intention is to take her over to Goodwood and ask Boultbee whether she can have her photo taken alongside what could well be one of 'her' creations.


                                None seen for over a month then two pop into view. To-day, along the South Coast, the conditions were sublime. Gin clear, cloudless with visibility 'for ever'! I haven't seen a Spitfire for about one month or, slightly more.

                                I'm removing anti fouling from Bill's multihull but fortunately did not have the belt sander running inches from my ear. At about 2.30pm I picked up the sweet music that exceeds all expectations and there in the overhead, clear and distinct was a Spitfire picked out black against the intense blue, ambling along, throttled back, telling me and all those interested that there was no hurry, the battle was won and the Spitfire was Lord of all Creation. Why am I so moved whenever I see, what after all is simply a piece of metal ?

                                This sortie came from the East, in the direction of Goodwood and was followed by another Spitfire at about 3.30pm also on a Westerly heading. No aerobatics from either. Just on passage. Let us hope that November is a good month for weather. After November there might not be too much Spitfire activity.


                                  Ever since you started this thread I've been travelling more hopefully to do my boating at Hamble. I drive along the Northern edge of Goodwood aerodrome on my way from home. I open the car windows straining to hear. I keep my eyes as skyward as possible all along the A&M27, while I'm boating and all the way home again.

                                  Nothing, not one.

                                  I did it yesterday, and now you tell me I should have gone today instead.



                                    Luck of the draw! There seems to be no set pattern regarding appearances. I've even seen them up on rather poor weather days when I would not have been flying.


                                      Feast or famine ! You don't see or hear one for days and then magic ! Along come six, one after the other. Yes, six separate Spitfire sorties, starting at 12.50pm over Chichester harbour and ending with a barrel roll flourish at 3.45pm.

                                      The weather or lack of it, was again, excellent. what cloud there was, was thin and high. Visibility ? At ground level, the South Downs some twenty miles away were sharp and clear. The first Spitfire arrived at ten minutes to one and performed a graceful orbit over the harbour as tho' announcing the arrival of the main attraction.

                                      The second came in ten minutes later. This time a barrel roll followed by an orbit. Between 2.0pm and 2.45/3.0pm three more separate sorties were made, unusually commencing West to East. All flights were around 1500ft. One of these in particular featured a loop and barrel roll.

                                      I had biked down to Bill's boat so as soon as the Sun started to lose its attraction, I put my tools away, jumped on my bike and was away, thinking that I'd seen the last Spitfire of the day. I'd cycled about a mile when I heard the familiar rumble, wobbled to a stop in my haste to scan the horizon and almost immediately, at a time approaching 4.0pm saw another Spitfire inbound from the West, perform a loop followed by a roll and departing to the East performed another roll somewhere over the Witterings.

                                      That one had to be to-days Grand Finale. Six more nerve tingling memories to add to the store. Heartfelt thanks to all who make these visits possible. If you read this forum and these remarks they are intended to show unlimited appreciation.


                                        And I'll be passing the airfield at about 15:00 on Saturday for a prize-giving at 16:00 at Hamble River Sailing Club. Just one will be fine.



                                          If they are coming from Goodwood, easiest way is phone them up explain you like watching them when you are down there and ask if they have any future flying dates planned.