Fancy having a go at taking Images of old aeroplanes? Well I do, and will take any opportunity to do so. Some would think that after serving in the RAF for 38 years I would be fed up with the subject. I tend to go to the Imperial War Museum at the old RAF Duxford site. I may at first seem expensive to gain entrance to the site at £26.35 or £23.70 if over 65, but there is a way! If you become a member for £60 per year you get free access to the museum and the regular Flying Days. If you want to become a member with a friend the cost is £90 for joint membership. You still have to pay for major air displays but as a member you get a 10% discount for these days. You also get 10% discount in the museum shop. This year there have been a total of 5 Flying Days so if you were to attend all 5 that would equate to £12 per visit a saving of £71.75. If you go on joint membership the saving is £173.50 based on normal membership. Take a look at their web site This is Duxford’s 50th Anniversary and their last display this year is the Flying Finale on Sat 14th Oct 2023. This is a paid for event but again attracts a 10% discount for members.
Access to the aircraft at Duxford is unparalleled. Aircraft allocated to the flying display are parked just a few metres away from the viewing line, so close that you can feel the draft from their propellors as they start up for their display. So what do you need? Any digital Camera and a lens that is at least 300mm equivalent at 35mm used either hand held or with the assistance of a monopod. Like motor racing, if you want to achieve a sense of motion it is necessary to use a shutter speed that will not freeze the movement of the propellors. I find that around 1/200th to 1/250th suitable to give a subtle blur to the rotating propellor. 
The best conditions I find are sunny days with a good splattering of cumulus clouds. If the wind is in the prevailing SW direction, aircraft take off towards the W and start their displays by coming in over the Aircraft Restoration Company hangar at the left-hand side of the display line. This gives great shots as the aircraft turn in towards the runway with the sun coming in from over your right-hand shoulder. From this position to the left of the display line you also get a good opportunity to catch aircraft as they come into land.
Flying Days usually start between 1pm and 2pm so visiting on these days gives plenty of time to visit the aircraft exhibitions. It is impossible to ‘do’ Duxford in a day so membership makes sense, giving the opportunity to visit a different area each time. The only sad thing for me is that many of the aircraft that are now museum pieces I worked on in my time in the RAF.  
Duxford is easy to access and is located on the junction between the A505 Royston to Cambridge road and the M11 at junction 10, takes me about 1 hour 15 mins so about 1hour 30 mins from King’s Lynn. There is plenty of parking on site which is located on the left-hand side as you approach. If you decide to go on a Flying Day parking is just past the entrance near the old RAF Officers Mess. The site is accessed from here via a footbridge over the A505. Those with disabled badges get to park in the normal visitor’s car park.  
There are 3 restaurants on site, The Armoury Café located next to the visitor centre, The American Museum Café located in the American Air Museum and the Workshop Café located opposite the Control Tower. The Workshop Café is closed during the winter. Food and drinks menus can be downloaded from the site by following this link Prices are reasonable; however, you can take your own picnic for consumption outside if you wish, where you will find plenty of tables.  
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