Army Air Corps Museum

Discussion in 'Warbird Displays' started by Geedee, Dec 30, 2011.

  1. Geedee

    Geedee Well-Known Member

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    #1 Geedee, Dec 30, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2011
    Today, Tony (Rocketeer) and I visited a local museum to us. This is the Army Air Corps Museum at Middle Wallop in Hampshire and is about 9 miles from home. I last visted this museum back in 1998... and a few times previous to then..back when they had two Pucara's from the Falklands conflict on display on the outside.

    So...first impressions......hmmmmm. Walked into the entrance hall and was told no tripods or monopods allowed !. Fercrissakes...Tony and I were the 5th and 6th people there...the bl**dy place was almost deserted !!. Like i was going to be tripping people up every time I took a piccie.

    This was not a good start !.

    I had to walk away at this point in case my mutterings were overheard. If you are intending to visit this museum and take pictures...you'd better bring a humongous flash !....more on that later.

    The Museum itself has a bit of a mix-match of displays... some very well thought and laid out, while others...hmmmmm...welll...'nuff' said. You will have to remember that this is not a general aviation based Museum, it is solely to do with the Army Air Corps so do not expect to see front line fighters and bombers....its mostly gliders and light observation planes. It does chart the history of flying with the Army, right from the get-go to bang upto date.

    The lighting in the main hall is...how shall I put this....hmmmm.... f'kin cr*p. Why oh why , would you want orange lights everywhere ?. Even setting the camera white balance to tungsten and other settings...every thing turns out a horrid orangey-yellow....and the camera is not lying...that is the actual colours in the halls !!!!. Totally bizarre. The only reason I can think of is its to with reducing the decomposition of the fabric on the gliders. For photographic purposes...forget it !

    Anyroadup, enough of the whinging...on with the pics. Tony will be adding his shots and I have quite a few to add over the weekend as well

    On the outside of the Museum ares two airframes (non Terry type !) but as it was kinda chucking it down with rain at the time...weather was so bad even the birds weren't flying !... I didn't rush to get close ups.. mw1.jpg mw2.jpg mw3.jpg

    Once past the entrance hall and the staff (note to the museum....you might want to at least put enthusiastic peeps at the front desk, till machines !!... you get straight to the displays that start to take you through the history of the AAC
    mw4.jpg mw5.jpg mw6.jpg

    The crash site and memorial is about 5 miles from my house. I've lived in my village since 1976 and I have yet to make the trip to pay my respects to these two aviators.

    Then it was abrief glimpse into one of the halls and the frankly weird lighting ! I must apologise for any blurred / fuzzy / not quite in focus shots. I damn near passed out holding my breath trying to hold the camera steady !
    mw7.jpg mw8.jpg mw9.jpg
    More shots to follow.
     
  2. Geedee

    Geedee Well-Known Member

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    #2 Geedee, Dec 30, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2011
    Then it was onto some of the larger displays. It was interesting to see how the uniforms had changed form the days of the balloons to modern attack choppers. I know that the mannequins cost money but a real shame they all look so ruddy 'camp' !.

    P'raps there's an opening on the market for the production of mannequins for 'Museum' use only and not for displaying shop handbags and silly clothes ?.
     

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  3. Geedee

    Geedee Well-Known Member

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    The next few displays I took pics of, caused me to stop and bow my head in respect. I didn't realise just how many of our early flyers never came back. I liked the display with rifle infront of a red poopy field and the poem 'In Flanders Field'. mw15.jpg mw16.jpg

    Then right next to this simple display was a sort of memorial to the ealry VC holders. It's a sobering moment when you discover the age of these guys who never came back !.

    mw17.jpg
     
  4. Geedee

    Geedee Well-Known Member

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    Then we come to some of the WW2 displays. Being army, of course they would have one of the ubiquitous 25pdr artillery guns on display. mw18.jpg mw20.jpg
    I loved some of the 'cartoons' penned by the guys back durinmg the variosu conflicts...
    mw19.jpg

    Then on to one of the few WW2 set displays. It was a crying shame to see the wreck of a Merlin from a WW2 Hurricane on display and with no apparent attempt at conservation. If they don't do something soon to stabilise that remains, they'll end up with nothing but a pile of ali dust. Not want I want to see anywhwere !. Of note was the original 'Nose-art' used in the peice. Tony had to be pried away from a rather nice Me109 stick grip that was on display at this set.

    Loved the piccie of the Spittie taxying up the main road !..
    mw24.jpg

    And the display to one our greatest night fighter pilots. If you ever want a great WW2 read, get the book book 'Night Fighter. I've worn out three copies of this book as it follows the exploits of John and his crew

    mw25.jpg
     

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  5. Geedee

    Geedee Well-Known Member

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    Had no-idea that a glider had been towed across the Pond...and back in '43 to boot !
     

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  6. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Great stuff Gary. Last time I was there, back in 1995, I seem to remember the lighting was rather dim. Are the Soviet-made AFVs still parked outside? I couldn't get pics of them at the time, as it was persisting down !
     
  7. Geedee

    Geedee Well-Known Member

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    Cheers Terry.

    Lighting was dim ?...dude...you need your own spotlight in some places !!. There are no vehicles parked outside (unless they've got Klingon cloaking devices fitted :)). I wonder if they have been transferred to Duxford for the Tank / Land Warfare Museum ?
     
  8. DBII

    DBII Active Member

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    Still nice pictures. The ones I tried taking inside the musuem in Korea is much worse. My flash died and most of the lights were off becuase it was close to closing time.

    DBII
     
  9. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Thanks Gary. They've probably moved to the Tank Museum at Bovington.
     
  10. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    Always thought that was RCAF thing as opposed to RAF transport command ,I`ve got the story around here some where amd will dig it out
     
  11. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

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    Excellent shots Gary. I like your commentary to.:lol: Museum lighting can be a real b!tc, but you fared really well sir. And as for the holding your breath, DON'T! Just relax and breath steady and watch for the spot that is the most stable. Mine is at the end of a exhale. If you hold your breath you get shaky and pass out like you said.:lol: It's just like target shooting a rifle.
     
  12. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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  13. Rocketeer

    Rocketeer Member

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    Here are a few from me.
    As Gary said, we had to find our own camera steadys!!

    The green lump is from Hangar 5 and shows bullet damage from the Luftwaffe raid in August 1940. A bomb exploded in the hangar and blew the door off crushing several airman who were trying to close it.

    Middle Wallop was one of the most unchanged Battle of Britain airfields (and is still grass). There are many original buildings with camo traces on the walls.
     

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  14. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Cool shots Gary!
     
  15. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

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    Excellent shots Tony!!:cool: :thumbleft:
     
  16. Rocketeer

    Rocketeer Member

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    Did you see the lovely Bf109 grip!!
     
  17. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

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    #17 Aaron Brooks Wolters, Dec 31, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2012
    Yessir, I did. I take it your sorta kinda fond of that little piece of history.:)
     
  18. Geedee

    Geedee Well-Known Member

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    I understand that if you take fingerprints you will find Tony's DNA on it ! :-0

    Then its into the surreal lighting of one of the halls. You are met by a Huey in medic camo and a rather smart airworthy Jeep !. Whassat ?...an airworthy Jeep ? !!!. Yup..it was an early attempt to get a Jeep into the frontline. ...all you had to do was cadge a tow from a passing Stirling / Dak and when you get to where you are supposed to be, drop the tow, land, ditch the blades an you is off !! mw28.jpg mw27.jpg mw30.jpg mw29.jpg mw31.jpg

    Then, if that is not bizzare enough, you have the option to pump up an inflatable and whizz off into the wild blue yonder. OK, this item does not have the fully inflated wing but you get the picture ! mw32.jpg mw33.jpg
     
  19. Rocketeer

    Rocketeer Member

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    I love those grips Aaron! I first saw it about 20 years ago in a store room and suggested they put it on display!! It is the best (probably never fitted) condition KG12 I have ever seen....I prefer mine as it has 5 kill marks.

    I have been wondering how we (as a forum) could establish an online museum of our stuff...!!
     
  20. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Tony, Gary, great stuff and thanks for posting!
     
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