Tag Archives: east fortune

National Museum of Flight, East Fortune

Charlotte lands an airship at the Museum of Flight, East Fortune.
(Click on the link)

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The best 4×4 by far?

There is a wartime Willys Jeep at the Museum of Flight at East Fortune, tucked away behind a Spitfire fighter and some other, more recent and more scary-looking, warplanes. I told the 10-year-old that I used to have one (the jeep, not the Spitfire). I was expecting a turned-up nose, but instead I got ‘What? Really? One of those? Wow! Coooool!‘ ‘It wasn’t brown like that one,’ I said. ‘It was green, the colour of olives’. ‘Cool, really cool! Where is it? What did you do with it…?

I sold it, years ago, as you do with things that years later you wish you had kept. Shame in a way, both for me and for her. Not sure I would want to run it now though. On a good day I managed twenty miles to the gallon, despite having rebuilt the engine. On a bad day, in the lowest of low gears and driving cross-country, it did between five and ten. So… not the greenest of vehicles, despite its colour. I have found an old photo of it. The picture really is black and white (there is nothing wrong with your monitor).

If you want to know how these things got the name ‘Jeep’, they were designed for the US military as a ‘General Purpose Wagon’. My parts manual had MB/GPW on the cover. I’ve no idea what the MB stood for. But the GP bit stuck… jeep. Not a lot of people know that.


Filed under Uncategorized

East Fortune, Concorde, airships, et.al.

Today I made another trip to East Fortune. During the previous one I was the dutiful son-in-law. For this one, the dutiful grandfather. The contrast between the two visits was a real eye-opener for me. For the first there were reminiscences (father-in-law was in the Fleet Air Arm in the 1940s). For the second there was sheer wonderment – at biplanes, helicopters, Concorde (East Fortune has Concorde alpha-one), airships and rockets – all close-up and hands-on. And engines, of course (but those were for me, not for them).

The highlight, for a ten-year-old, was her flight-simulator-bloody-brilliant-landing of the R34 airship (here, then click numbers 2 and 3). She’s not in the photo, unfortunately. I was so gobsmacked by the way she controlled the thing that I forgot to take photos. I even found myself having to explain the differences between helium and hydrogen, and how it was stored in airships. The ten year old was taking it all in, as expected. But so was the three-year-old. As we drove out, a lot later, he asked ‘Papa, what’s a gasbag?’

Point taken.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized