During The Cold War standing at the dip under the runway a F111A took off from Upper Heyford every minute. The swing wing aircraft were carrying nuclear bombs. Most American Air Bases in England however were and are in East Anglia at Bentwaters, Mildenhall and Lackenheath. During the first Gulf War hundreds of A10 Warthog Tank Busters were in the sky over Suffolk. Summer air shows in the 1970s at Greenham Common near Newbury were spectacular but those days won’t come back, unfortunately. Aviation accidents mean displays are recently more constrained. Farnborough shows both commercial and military aircraft. Travel to Farnborough from Waterloo London railway station and cycle along the Basingstoke Canal and watch from afar. Time passing means that the Grumman F111 and McDonald Douglas Phantom F4 look like Vietnam war period aircraft. Time passes: During the Second Gulf War a Mosqito aircraft crashed into Aconcagua mountain glacier Argentina after the Second World War revealed by melting half a century later. Pause in Duxford aircraft hangar and see the complexity of aircraft underneath fuselages and wings of half built renovated aircraft and perhaps compare this with human anatomy. Duxford, near Cambridge houses the American Air Force Museum and large collections of other mainly RAF aircraft. Fairford in Gloucestershire is the main air show for The West Country. Imprints of abandoned airfields are left in maps but are harder to detect cycling past them. Cycle to Upper Heyford from Oxford. Visit Blenheim Palace on the way back to Oxford.
Upper HeyfordApril 11, 2009