Tour of the South East 2017

Tour of the South East 2017

MGCC visit to Gatwick Aviation Museum

MGCC visit to Gatwick Aviation Museum

Sunday 21st May saw a gathering of MGs young and old to participate in the Car Club run to the Gatwick Aviation Museum. We met up at Botley Hill Farmhouse in Limpsfield to sign on, get our tulip route guides and have a coffee before setting off on the 30 mile run.

There was an aviation theme to the run as we visited Biggin Hill Airport and Kenley and Redhill Aerodromes before arriving at the museum. The route was designed by Terry Giles who has an interest in things aeronautical through his job.

The museum is located in the village of Charlwood near Gatwick and it is possible, by crossing a field at the museum site, to get up ‘close and personal’ to the aeroplanes taking off and landing at the airport.

The museum has a great collection of aircraft, aircraft parts and aviation ephemera. For me the most impressive aeroplane is the English Electric Lightning F53. This was designed to intercept Russian bombers operating at high altitude during the Cold War. It was capable of a speed of Mach 2 at 36000 feet and could climb up to 70000 feet. It could climb vertically but had a limited capability in respect of flying time. The museum attendant told us that they run up the Avon engines from time to time.

Other aircraft of note were the Gloster Meteor, Sea Vixen, Sea Hawk and a Harrier ‘Jump Jet’.

The MGs were invited to park by the Avro Shackleton MRS that is located outside the museum hanger. This aircraft is a development of the WWII Wellington heavy bomber.

Chris and I enjoyed this run and met up with some MGers whom we had not seen for a little while. We can thoroughly recommend a visit to this museum.

Patrick Sellers

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