Thunder Day gets ready to roar

Douglas Dakota fires up during engine test
Douglas Dakota fires up during engine test

Live aircraft are set to bring the new Yorkshire Air Museum season roaring to life on Sunday (April 3) for the first of the new season’s Thunder Days.

The WWII Douglas C-47 Dakota made a smooth start up last month, following the successful replacement of two cylinders, pistons, heads and valves on the troublesome starboard engine, along with the resetting of all the valve clearances and timings of both the Pratt & Whitney engines.

WWI biplanes running together

WWI biplanes running together

The aircraft also performed well in the well-subscribed Nightshoot photographic event recently.

Like the post war De Havilland Devon twin-prop, both these aircraft start amidst a belch of smoke, and sometimes a flame or two, making a great spectacle for visitors to enjoy at close, but safe, distance, under the watchful eye of the Allied Air Forces Memorial and Yorkshire Air Museum’s volunteer fire team.

This highly trained group will be providing early birds with some fire team activities, giving people the chance to have a go knocking down some bollards with a jet of water.

Later, they will be performing a realistic rescue scenario, to hone their Civil Aviation Authority accredited skills.

The evocative WWI bi-plane fighters, in the form of the Royal aircraft Factory SE5a and the diminutive Eastchurch PV8 Kitten, designed as a ‘Zeppelin killer’, will be started up both late morning and during the afternoon, complementing the newly opened Gas Bags to Super Zeppelins exhibition.

The real thunder will be provided by the mighty jets of the Nimrod MR2 XV250, with its four Rolls Royce Spey engines, and the ever-popular and impressive Handley Page Victor XL231, which will make the ground shake as the four Rolls Royce Conway’s power up.

The heady smell of aviation fuel will fill the air after these aircraft have done their stuff.

Admission: £12 adult; £10 concession (seniors, students, serving forces personnel); £5 child (5-15) and £30 family (two adults and three children).

Programme of activities

10am Museum opens

10.30am Fire Team activities

11.15am SE5a and PV8 Kitten

1pm De Havilland Devon

1.45pm Douglas Dakota

2.30pm Nimrod XV250

3.15pm Victor XL231

3.50pm SE5a and PV8 Kitten

4pm Aircraft emergency Rescue (from Nimrod)