Welcome to our FULL FLAPS Eurofighter Typhoon episode.

During our trip to RAF Coningsby the TLG team was given unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to the Typhoon operation. Coningsby is one of two RAF stations in the UK which operates the Typhoon in the QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) role, safeguarding UK airspace. We toured the hangars, sat in cockpit of an operational Typhoon, and were given a highly detailed explanation of everything that makes this spectacular aircraft such a potent weapon. We were also each allowed to fly the Typhoon sim under the expert instruction of our host Flt Lt Nick Callinswood who went above and beyond in making sure we got more from our visit than we could ever have hoped for.

We had so much fun that we thought it deserved two episodes, so you’ll have to wait until next weeks to see how we got on in the simulator. Huge thanks to Nick and everyone at RAF Coningsby. 

We’re continuing with our trip to Lincolnshire, Bomber County, where we’ve been focussing on the Avro Lancaster. But in this episode we move right up to date with our visit to RAF Coningsby, one of the RAF’s Typhoon bases where our host for the day, Flt Lt Nick Callinswood, gave us incredible access as we explored and sat in an operational Typhoon, and gave all four of us instruction in the Typhoon flight simulator.

So we’ve divided the full flaps episode into two parts as there’s so much great stuff: the tour around the aircraft will be part one, or the leading edge slat, the flight sim experience part two, the trailing edge.

In the studio, James is interesting again when we ask him a question, and tells us that a Typhoon is faster than a Puma. We also talk about personalised aircraft registrations; and Ron Goodwin’s estate benefits nicely from Jez’s Typhoon Quick Facts which were so long, the entire Battle of Britain them tune had to be played twice.

The ever popular, ever brilliant but testing quiz turns typically niggly, with more needle than you’d find in your grandmother’s sewing kit, as Jez and James continue to try and stitch each other up. But we think the clip in the Typhoon hangar at RAF Coningsby will make the pain of listening to all that other nonsense worth your while. Please enjoy. We did. 

On our recent visit to Bomber County, Lincolnshire, the TLG team visited RAF Scampton, home to 617 Squadron and from where, in May 1943, 19 specially converted Lancasters set out on that historic raid. 

This is our FULL FLAPS tour around the Scampton Heritage Centre, which included sitting at the desk of Wing Cdr Guy Gibson in the very office from where he planned and ran Operation Chastise, and touring the original hangars where those Lancaster's were prepared.  

Huge thanks to our wonderful guide Colin Clitheroe, a volunteer whose incredible knowledge, passion and warm humour made this an unforgettable experience. As the MOD has confirmed it will be selling RAF Scampton, the Top Landing Gear team urge you to visit the heritage centre as soon as possible AND lend your backing to the Save Scampton campaign. We'll be talking to the campaign's founder in the next Pod. 

After Roy and James tried to go it alone in the previous pod, Top Landing Gear is back at full strength for this one. Throughout this series we’ve been focussing on the Avro Lancaster which this year celebrates its 80th anniversary. And this episode features the Lanc’s most famous mission of all, Operation Chastise, ‘The Dam Busters Raid’. 

On our recent visit to Bomber County, Lincolnshire, the TLG team visited RAF Scampton, home to 617 Squadron and from where, in May 1943, 19 specially converted Lancasters set out on that historic raid. Jez outlines exactly what was involved in one of his best ‘Quick Facts’ to date, yet despite his extensive research he bombed somewhat in the TLG ‘Dam Busters’ Quiz.

We’ll play a clip of our tour around the Scampton Heritage Centre, which included sitting at the desk of Wing Cdr Guy Gibson in the very office from where he planned and ran Operation Chastise. Our Full Flaps edition will cover that visit in full, and in a bonus episode we’ll hear from Annette Edgar who’s launched an ambitious campaign to save historic RAF Scampton as a heritage site, following its scheduled closure in 2022. 

With the Curling Brothers unavailable, Roy And James got together to mark the 85th anniversary of the first public display of the Supermarine Spitfire prototype K5054.

We catch up on the latest aviation news, answer a superb 'Ask James' question and conduct arguably the best Top Landing Gear quiz ever! 

It is also the perfect excuse to repeat our interview with the Spitfire pilot Jim Schofield. Chief pilot at the Boultbee Academy Where YOU can fly in a Spitfire!

Jim has flown over 100 types and a century of front-line fighters: 1917 Bristol Fighter, SE5a, Spitfire, Mustang, Viggen, Jaguar, Harrier, Tornado, Gripen, Typhoon, F-15, F-16, F/A-18 and F-35. He was one of the first pilots to land an F-35 on a ship at night. He is a UK and US instructor, a display pilot evaluator, a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, a member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, father of two and a lovely lovely  man! 

Welcome to our full length interview with Emma Brealey, director of the magnificent Petwood Hotel in Lincolnshire. During the Second World War it served as the officers' mess for a number of RAF squadrons including 617 Squadron - The Dambusters.

Petwood's ties with the RAF are particularly strong and it continues to host squadron reunions and gatherings. The hotel also boasts a wealth of memorabilia, and as you'll hear from Emma some wonderful stories. 

WARNING! This interview was conducted before, during and after a delicious dinner with Emma in the squadron bar. As such it starts well but the TLG teams ability to remain coherent was severely compromised!! Look out for the bloopers at the end!

Visit the magnificent Petwood Hotel this year and make it the perfect base for a wonderful aviation themed holiday in 2021  https://www.petwood.co.uk/

 

 

Welcome to the second magazine episode of Series Three, all about the magnificent county of Lincolnshire and its long-standing aviation connections.

Lincolnshire was the base for our incredible T.L.G trip last year where we visited NX611 'Just Jane' at the Lincolnshire Heritage Aviation Centre (see the last episode!), visited the BBMF and the Typhoon squadron at RAF Conningsby, watched the Red Arrows at RAF Scampton, and even got a chance to go gliding and microlighting. (These episodes coming soon!) 

This episode focuses on 'Bomber County' and an establishment we regard as the spiritual home of Top Landing Gear - The wonderful Petwood Hotel. A enchanting timeless place to visit and stay with enormous links to the RAF dating back to the WW2 when it was requisitioned as an officer's mess and became home to 617 squadron - The Dambusters l

Our special guest is the hotel's director and TLG friend Emma Brealey. 

The Petwood is open now and makes the perfect base to explore Lincoln's distinguished aviation heritage. We urge you to visit! www.petwood.co.uk

Hello and welcome to our second Full Flaps episode featuring the fabulous ‘Just Jane’ NX611 Avro Lancaster based at the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre.

In this second bonus episode the TLG team are allowed inside the Lancaster… James takes the captains seat and is put in charge of the brakes. While Just Jane’s owner and museum visionary Andrew Panton gives us an interior tour of the aircraft and talks us through the engine start up. (whilst looking nervously at James)

The episode ends with a 5 minute uninterrupted sound recording of the four Merlin engines being fired up and Just Jane taxying off. Spine tingling.

The Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre. is re-open now and after 2020 needs your support. Visit the museum or book your once in a lifetime, bucket list, Taxi ride experience today! Let's get Just Jane in the air once again!!! 

 

With the Avro Lancaster celebrating its 80th anniversary in 2021, what better time to feature this iconic aircraft on Top Landing Gear. The whole of series three is built around TLG’s road trip to Bomber County, Lincolnshire, which is the base not only for the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and their Lancaster, PA474 ‘City of Lincoln’, but also for another very special Lancaster which could be joining the BBMF Lanc in the skies in the not too distant future.

The aircraft in question is NX611 ‘Just Jane’, which is being restored to flight at the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre at East Kirkby. It is already providing taxy runs for the public, and the hope is that one day it will carry passengers aloft in what would be the experience of a lifetime. The man behind this thrilling project is Andrew Panton, and he is our guest in this Full Flaps edition. He tells us the very personal story of how the whole thing started and just what is involved in getting a World War II heavy bomber back into the skies.

There’s lots more going on at East Kirkby too, and over the course of this two-parter Andrew fills us in on everything that they’re striving to achieve. In Part II Roy, James, Jez and Rob were lucky enough to climb aboard Just Jane on the move and share their boyish excitement about getting up close and personal with not just one, but two historic WWII aircraft at this wonderful wartime airfield.  

May 18, 2021

The Avro Lancaster

We’re delighted to be back with a brand new series of podcasts. This series is built around our recent trip to Lincolnshire, Bomber County, and our visits to the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and Typhoon Squadrons at RAF Coningsby, our Dam Busters tour at RAF Scampton, our microlight and gliding adventures, and a dinner to remember at our base for the trip, The Petwood Hotel, which was once the Officers’ Mess for 617 Squadron, the Dam Busters.

But our first episode is all about the Avro Lancaster, which celebrates its 80th anniversary this year, and about one Lancaster in particular, NX611 ‘Just Jane’, which is being restored to flight at the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre at East Kirkby. Our special guest is Andrew Panton, the man behind this exciting project.

We also have all our usual features, including Ask James and Jez’s Quick Facts, and there’s quite a turn up for the books in the outcome of the hugely popular and always highly anticipated Top Landing Gear Quiz. Plus Roy updates us on his impressive progress in going for his microlight licence, but embarrassingly admits that when he was taken for an adrenaline flight in an aerobatic Eagle biplane, he asked to go home early. It’s a crying shame. Despite that, we do hope you enjoy listening. It can only get better…

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