Discussion in 'CycleChat Cafe' started by User, 28 Aug 2007.
I live right next to the runway at B'ham airport, so I'm sick of the noise of aircraft.
But a Spitfire nothing sounds quite like it, It makes the hairs stand up on the back of your neck.
I always love watching Spitfires. I lived near Morecambe for a few years and the Battle of Britain flights above the Bay were undescribably good.
My brother was a RAF fireman until recently and he was immune to the sound of most aircraft. BUT whenever a Spitfire (or Hurricane, Lancaster bomber etc.) was around, he and his crew, and anyone else in earshot stopped what they were doing and looked up in awe and admiration.
Just mention the word 'Spitfire' to my mum and the tears well up in her eyes. As a young girl in WW2 she often saw dogfights in the skies above central Essex (not far from the Hornchurch and North Weald air bases).
A beautiful aircraft with an unmistakeable roar...only rarely do engineering and aesthetics come together - especially in the brutal efficiency of war - to make a true icon.
Ironically, Mitchell, the inventor, never got to see the finished product.
He died of cancer before the first was completed.
cool. i remember sitting in the house with my sister when we heard this really loud plane engine. we both looked at each other and then just legged it out the front door to watch two fighter jets go over the house. well cool.
Slightly OT, but I always found that watching the Red Arrows giving a display was very exciting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Given your location Keith, I thought you might be partial to the odd helicopter gunship or two...accompanied by a drop of Wagner...
When I was a child I lived out in the middle of nowhere and our house was in a corridor for military low level flight. The planes used our house as a navigation aid and hence passed close...wow.
I remember Tornados and, latterly, F-15E's screaming over the treetops 20 or so metres above the ground, engines blazing. Not much to compare to that!
...but looking back on it, perhaps a little dangerous, but of course I was oblivious to that.
Was at a classic car rally once, just pottering round, came across a guy with some huge Cadillac or something, bonnet up, engine ticking over, so we, along with a few other people, stopped to look, have a listen. Then we heard another engine start up, sounded a bit different. Tom said "That almost sounds like a Merlin!" and we looked over to where the sound was coming from and.. it was. In fact there were two, each bolted to a trailer, which was very securely pegged to the ground, and with a 'sawn of' stub of propeller on the front. Result: whole crowd legged it over to see, leaving cadillac man all alone...
Amazing. We were kept behind a rope, of course, but the sound was incredible and when the operator revved up (they had a sort of control board bolted on the back) all those in front ducked, thinking it was about to take off!
And let's have a word for the Hurricane, who suffers from being the slightly less curvy cousin, but nonetheless did a better job in some respects I understand...
I shall resist asking why you would empathise with the 'less curvy cousin' (although I am basing this entirely on what I read on Patrick's blog on that 'specialist' website he created) and limit my comments to agreeing with your sentiments about the Hurricane.
It's argued that the Battle of Britain was indeed won by the more numerous Hurricane. Its wood and canvas construction was also far easier to 'field repair' after sustaining damage, resulting in a higher percentage of them being combat ready at any one time.
The Hurricane went on to become a very effective fighter bomber, serving till well after the War was over.
The sound of the Merlin's development (The Griffin) was a consistent part of my early life. I loved watching the Shackleton flying around and remember watching some of the last in service climb out over Findhorn Bay one summer's evening.
But Tornados, Typhoons and the like are just a noisy pain in the arse when they go over.
I just like to champion the underdog and the less appreciated...
I like a low flying jet as well - just something about the sheer earth rending noise and power. Although I'd probably not like them so much if I lived near an airbase, I realise.
I saw the red arrows flying straight over ringinglow in perfect formation the other day, only looked (and sounded!) about 100ft off the ground.
Only firing five shots when you thought you'd fired six.
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