Sunday, 17 April 2016

The Other Kind of Gannet

As part of BBC Nottingham's "Big Day Out" today, a lot of museums and attractions in the county were offering free entry today; with Newark Air Museum on my doorstep on a decent spring day, it was a no brainer to head out there.

Certainly a lot of people had the same idea as me; the place was packed with families getting stuck into bite size scotch eggs and bags of Haribo on the picnic tables while the serious aviation geeks queued up to be photographed in various open cockpits, struggling to get into the tight spaces because of tem billion pounds of photographic guff hanging round their necks.

I just wandered around, lining up shots of the big planes, and with also an eye out for any wildlife amidst the masses of cold war jets that form the bulk of the museum's collection. I was rewarded with a pied wagtail sitting atop the cockpit of a Canberra bomber, and a pair of mating peacock butterflies in the gravelled auto-jumble car park.

My favourite aircraft in the collection is the hysterically misnamed Fairey Gannet AEW early warning aircraft. Neither fairy like in its lightweight delicacy, nor gannet like in its sleek swiftness, this particular Gannet is a maritime patrol aircraft with all the aerodynamic qualities of a concrete piano. Laden down with a radar dome like a pregnancy of octuplets, how it reached the end of its carrier take off run without plummeting straight into the sea is beyond me.

With a top speed of 250mph, it was painfully slow even by pre-war standards, let alone the jet era it flew in. But it must have been successful as it had an operational career of 35 years and was exported to several countries. I think that's why I liked it.

Like me, it has a fat belly and lumbering speed, and still managed to succeed despite its disadvantages. OK, maybe not that last bit. For me.



All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 17.04.16


  1. Nice shots, Simon. I especially like the first one.

  2. Nice photos Simon - sounds like an interesting day out. I always enjoy looking round aircraft museums. You seem to be seeing more butterflies than me! :)

  3. Beautiful aeroplanes Si. When you said 'the other kind of gannet; I thought you were going to speak about gorging yourself on those scotch eggs!

  4. Ha! Didn't have any today, and nor did I eat any of the other visotors' ones!

  5. Great captures here Si, love the colours and the information behind the planes. Looks like you had great weather for it too! - Tasha

  6. Incredile plane, just pictures.