This weekend was spent flying our vintage planes (two Tiger Moths, a Cub, a Bird Dog, a Cornell, two Safirs, a Texan and a Broussard) from Kjeller to Bodø in northern Norway for an airshow there. Bodø is at 67 degrees north, which is north of the Polar Circle, so they get midnight sun up there. We flew in formations according to cruising speeds, so the Tiger Moths, the Cub, the Bird Dog and the Cornell flew together most of the way. I flew the Cub. The trip is around 500nm in total, and we had to make three fuel stops, at Tynset (ENTY), Værnes (ENVA) and Brønnøysund (ENBN) before we got to Bodø (ENBO). This is a bit of a trip at 75kts, so we started early on Friday. The weather at Kjeller was appalling, so we were forced to fly at low level for the first half hour or so before the weather cleared up. The further north we got, the better the weather also got, which was a good thing. I didn't get to take any pictures on the first two legs, but after Værnes I kept the camera in the left leg pocket of my flight suit, and took it out every now and then. The Cub I flew is newly restored, and had two hours on it since overhaul before I took it flying on Friday. It needs some adjustment of the carburettor, as it runs a bit rich, but that was solved by leaning it a bit more. Other than that it is the only Cub I've ever flown that flies absolutely straight and level hands-off, so I was able to take some rather nice pics in-flight, even in formation.
As we flew north after our fuel stop at Trondheim Værnes airport, Norway starts to narrow, and we got closer to the coast. As you head north, the coastline of Norway becomes steeper and more rocky, but very, very beautiful.
Hitting the coast after flying mostly inland
Got up early, didn't have time to shave
Shallow water and a sandy bottom makes for beautiful colours in the sea. The circles at the top of the pic are fish breeding pools, which are found all along the Norwegian coastline
Flying along a narrow fjord
Getting ever closer to the open ocean
Fuel stop at Brønnøysund
Downtown Brønnøysund. The ship you see in the picture is one of the Hurtigruten ships. Described as the world's most beautiful sea journey, the ships travel almost the entire western and northern coast of Norway, from Bergen to Kirkenes. 5 days each way, and 11 days for the full round-trip, it is an absolutely staggeringly beautiful journey
More beautiful sea colours
Our little formation
The island of Ylvingen, closest to me, and Vega beyond. Two very beautiful places.
That's the North Atlantic out there
Lots of small islands
Our newly refurbished Tiger Moth
Mountains and water
Love the colour of shallow water on sandy bottom
Between the rocks
Mountains to our right and the vast North Atlantic to our left
The city of Bodø in the distance
Safely down on display
I only brought a compact camera because of space issues in the Cub, so there aren't many pics of the airborne aircraft during the show, but I did walk around and snap some pics of the planes on the ground.
Red Bull DC-6
C-17..more on that later
T-33, recently bought by a Norwegian AF F-16 pilot
P-38, Hunter and Viggen
The Viggen. Best-looking fighter jet ever, along with the F-14 and BAC Lightning, IMO
At the same time as the show, 332 Sqdn celebrated its 70th anniversary. I got to meet up with 332's first commander, Wilhem Mohr. Somewhat of a legend in Norwegian military aviation, he flew Spitfires from North Weald and forward bases after D-Day, and went on to become head of the post-war Norwegian Air Force, and retired a Lt.Gen. At 94, he still has a handshake like a bear!
He also signed our Tiger Moth, next to Eric Brown's signature from last weekend
The Italian Frecce Tricolori team put on a good show
After the show on Saturday we had dinner in Bodø city. This is the harbour at midnight
We spent a few hours on Sunday in the Norwegian Museum of Aviation, which is quite nice. I hadn't been there for ten years, so it was nice to come back.
The cockpit of a FW-190 under restoration
Next weekend there will be an airshow at Andøya in the Lofoten islands, so we left our planes in Bodø and were originally supposed to hitch a ride on a Hercules back to Oslo, but we asked to fly on this bird instead:
Which we got to do. The crew did a max-performance takeoff and a low flyby of the show before heading south. Awesome!
View from one of the three small portholes along the left side of the cargo compartment
All in all, an awesome weekend, with one of the most amazing flights I've ever had. Six and a half hours of Cub flying, followed by a nice airshow, and topped with a ride on a C-17. A man can have a worse weekend than that