On Sunday I went for a stupidly long bike ride and towards the end of my ride, just to the southeast of Bedford, while I was stopped, gulping down another gel to power me to the ride’s end, I heard old engine noises in the air. Over to the east I could see planes flying quite low, but above me was a familiar site, looping around and flying in formation and separately.
The two planes were, I’m pretty certain, a pair of WWII-era fighters – a Spitfire and a Hurricane.
Specifically they are a Supermarine Spitfire Mk LF IXe MK356 and a Hawker Hurricane Mk II PZ865. I know this because a little further down the road I saw a sign to the Bedfordshire Vintage Air Show that had been taking place that day, and checking their site revealed that these two came from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. I happen to know where the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight is based because back in 2016 I went on Dave Yates’ Framebuilding Course which was in his farm adjacent to RAF Coningsbury. While we were building our frames, we constantly “buzzed” by RAF pilots who were getting their licences in order to fly Hurricanes, Spitfires and even a Lancaster bomber.
These two planes I saw at the weekend were probably also ones I’d seen back in 2016.
I tried grabbing some shots on my phone, but even with 4x Zoom, and some clever Adobe magic in post-processing, these photos aren’t going to win any awards. But once heard, the growl of the engines is unmistakeable!