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A special day, and not just one !

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    A special day, and not just one !

    To-day, Tuesday, in Chichester Harbour. I'm working on a friends boat when I hear the not entirely unexpected, unmistakeable growl of a Merlin in the distance.

    We had a total of three visits perhaps by the same Mk.9 Spitfire. Two were straight across the harbour, one, East to West at about 2,000 feet and some time later the return at around 1200 feet. Prior to that, the Mk.9 had arrived and performed three loops and one barrel roll. Delightful !

    For most of the time I was using a powered sander close to my ear, not especially noisy but, enough to separate you from external sounds. Even so, I could, over the sander, pick up the sweet musical growl of the Merlin some few miles away.

    I know that I shouldn't be but, I'm still amazed when middle aged men see me looking skywards and ask what it is that making that sound !

    I read of someone special in aviation and I confess I've forgotten who, saying "I can't envisage the day when I hear a aircraft up in the sky and I don't look up"

    Last edited by Moggy C; 3rd July 2016, 22:14. Reason: pointless quote deleted


      To-day visibility wasn't good. Even so we had two visits from a Spitfire- rather higher than usual and one from an unidentified aircraft with a Merlin growl accompanied by a whistle that I've heard before . I caught a glimpse of squared off wing tips and guessed that it might have been a Mustang.

      Who could have foreseen, that more than seventy years after their invention, I'd be standing by Chichester harbour mesmerised by the sight and sound of these testaments to ingenuity.

      My grateful thanks to Boultbee.


        By way of a change, there appeared to-day at about 5.0pm what looked like a pair of P.51's tail chasing. The weather was poor, with broken stratus at about 1,000 feet. The aircraft were largely out of sight over Chichester harbour but, were seen occasionally.

        Earlier a Spitfire and a Mustang had flown over in reasonably close formation in one of those rare moments to-day when cloud vacated the sky.


          Thurs. 10th.

          High cloud and a gentle breeze gave two visits by the Boultbee Spitfire to-day. Both flew West to East at about 2,000 ft, with the first flight at about 2.30pm giving two immaculate barrell rolls overhead and the second at about 5.0pm in straight and level.


            Drove over to Goodwood to-day to check on the building of the new cafeteria and viewing area. Still closed after about two years. We were told that there is some liability dispute about the quality of the building which, incidentally, looks very futuristic, as a single story construction.

            Evidently the roof, which should have been constructed as load bearing to support the army of spectators envisaged, is less than that. It seems that the current roof will have to be removed and re-instated with more adequate support.

            Apart from that, it was a fairly nice weather day with a strongish breeze. A two seat Spitfire, Kilo Juliet or, perhaps Juliet Kilo was on the ramp being refuelled and checked. To one side a Harvard was fired up and taxied to the hold.

            The racetrack was in use, with many Morgan cars ripping around the circuit. We watched the Mk9 fire up with a passenger in the rear seat. Lots of cameras clicking as it trundled around to the hold for departure.

            We left and arrived back, stopping at a local pub near to our home. At around 5.30pm a Spitfire came over at about 2,000ft and performed two accurate barrel rolls before disappearing to the West.


              One sortie yesterday, three to-day. Boultbee blessed us with three visits to the Chichester Harbour/Hayling Island/Emsworth patch of sky by an always elegant Spitfire. A lot of aerobatics on two of the sorties. Looking around me as the Spifires compelling growl echoed between shoreline and shoreline, I saw more people (men) looking up, rapt and attentive.

              I wonder if it is possible to buy a DVD of the sound of an angry Merlin ? Sweeter than a babies chuckle !


                Two visits to-day, Thurs. About 1.0pm a Spitfire and another fighter I didn't recognise, appeared for some 'tail chasing'. They were at between 1500 and 2000 ft, south of Chichester Harbour. I did notice that the lead aircraft; the Spitfire, when both were in something like a rate four turn gained slightly in the turn which, I suppose, is to be expected.

                On descent from the loop with the Spit leading, I noticed that a slight gap opened before levelling out. I was surprised to see these aircraft appear because the weather to-day was at best a mixed bag.


                  Great display on Fri. by a single Spitfire over Chichester Harbour. Loops, barrel rolls and all precisely flown at comparatively low altitude. This took place about 1.0pm, the weather was mixed with scatteredcloud and sharp visibility.
                  Delightful and good to see so many passers-by, so interested.


                    Two Spitfires appeared to-day at about 1.0pm in close formation East to West, height about 1500ft. South of Chichester Harbour, they gave a succession of barrel rolls and loops maintaining formation.

                    At 3.30pm a solitary Spitfire flew over West to East. It performed immaculate barrel rolls before disappearing to the Easr. Since Boultbee came to town, this area around Chichester Harbour is certainly the place to be for ringside seat spectating !


                      We shall be down in that neck of the woods in a couple of weeks, shall have to keep my eyes open.
                      Where do they fly out from ?
                      Engine Failure:.... A condition which occurs when all fuel tanks mysteriously become filled with air.



                        They're from Goodwood. About 10 miles as the Spitcrow flies from Chichester Harbour !
                        Last edited by John Green; 6th July 2016, 16:46.


                          Thanks, we shall be staying on the west of Hayling Island.
                          Engine Failure:.... A condition which occurs when all fuel tanks mysteriously become filled with air.


                            Apart from the absence of the 109's, to-day could have been a re-run of a day in the Battle of Britain. Ok, a pardonable exaggeration. Was there some event at Goodwood ? Festival of Speed perhaps ?

                            From just before mid-day we had, every half an hour or so, a pair of Spitfires in right echelon passing from East to West and then back some fifteen minutes later. A solo Mustang performed a couple of loops over the harbour entrance.

                            The Spitfires opened the distance between them and carried out some loops and rolls. Around 3.0pm a pair of what looked like Mirage jets - they had a delta planform, appeared in the distance and departed over the sea to the South East.

                            For Spitfire activity it was certainly the busiest and best day that I've seen. I didn't get much work done.


                              In this neck of the woods Spitfires are like London buses, you don't see any for a week or two (maintenance ?) then three come along all at once.

                              To-day, we had at least four separate sorties. I hadn't seen any depart to the West except one travelling West at some distance over the Northern end of the harbour almost parallel with the M27. At different times three came back West to East at around 1500ft. except for one that dived low over the seaward end of the harbour then climbed to provide an accurate and pleasant barrel roll. Thanks Boultbee.


                                As I mentioned elsewhere. We saw two in formation circling the harbour
                                at 1:30 pm today, just before going on harbour boat tour. Saw another just as we
                                got back.
                                Engine Failure:.... A condition which occurs when all fuel tanks mysteriously become filled with air.


                                  about 11.0am from East to West, just a bit North of the harbour, formation of three Spitfires in left hand echelon. An impressive sight, no more than 1500ft.


                                    By way of a welcome change, there appeared to-day, over the top of the harbour, a very energetic Mustang complete with whistle. At about 1.0pm it appeared from East to West and then launched into a series of loops and rolls, backwards and forwards across Chichester Harbour.

                                    An hour or so later, a front rolled in with a cloud base estimated at 7-800ft accompanied by light to medium drizzle.


                                      Yesterday, Friday was busy in the skies over Chichester Harbour. East to West there appeared a pair of Spitfires in left echelon. They split and performed aerobatics in the distance over Portsmouth.

                                      Mid afternoon another Spifire came over again from the East in straight and level. And finally, a rare treat, at about 6 or 700ft directly over my head, a solo Spitfire heading West at a good turn of speed.

                                      Weather overcast for most of the day, occasional sun, visibility about 10 miles measured by the fact that I could see the South Downs from the harbour.


                                        Three sorties to-day Wed. Weather mixed bag. Cloudy, occasional sun. Vis. good. Mustang appeared about 12.0 and over flew the harbour anti clockwise for about 20 minutes. No aerobatics. Might have been a familiarisation exercise. Next a Spitfire at some dstance mainly over Emsworth and higher than is usual

                                        Highlight of the day was a solitary Spitfire that came from the South West over the harbour in a diving turn towards the North at approximately 500 feet, then continuously turning, climbed away to the South West with a burst of a growl of power that slightly echoed around the South of the harbour.