Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Supermarines over London

  [vote for,

At the start to finish of British summertime within London at noon on a daily basis, two or three replica Spitfires could fly low piloted by the RAF or some designated professional aviation group following the River Thames through London.

This would be a truly spectacular aerial, dramatic delight to watch as they fly through Tower Bridge and head off to Greenwich.

Funding could be provided in part, via a card lottery system bought at various aviation memorials,trusts and museums throughout the U.K with a random winner being able to scramble from a grassed air-field as a passenger within a Handley Page Halifax II with the Spitfires.

Other countries could provide the same fly over,eg: USA, P-51 Mustang's within designated waterways within their respective cities.

skinflaps, May 10 2004

Spitfires and Hurricanes. http://www.spitfire-museum.com/
[skinflaps, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Thunder Mustang http://www.thundermustang.com/
Crank up your volume first [Klaatu, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

[GenYus] - Through Tower Bridge - it has been done, not with a Spitfire admittedly but by a Hunter - potentially much more scary. http://www.thunder-...hunter/history.html
Go about halfway down to the para starting "In 1968 it was the RAF's 50th birthday..." [Gordon Comstock, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

P-51 Mustang http://www.acepilot...es/p51_mustang.html
Another example of a great aircraft [skinflaps, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

(?) spitfire trainer http://www.circleci...aft/spittakeoff.htm
how much would you pay for a cruise around westminster in this baby [etherman, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

The OshKosh Fly-in http://www.airventure.org/
More planes than you can see in any one weekend. [RayfordSteele, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Request a Red Arrows flypast http://www.raf.mod....tdisplsyflypast.cfm
Application form for a flypast is halfway down. [wagster, Apr 01 2008]

Flypass http://www.raf.mod....EE29B8CAE1D3D67.jpg
If we look closely we can see [boysparks] waving from the rear gun turret. [skinflaps, Apr 01 2008]

The inventor... http://www.rjmitche...phy.asp?sectionID=1
... who designed the thing while dying of cancer, it seems. [pertinax, Apr 01 2008]

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       And Germany could provide buzz bombs.
ldischler, May 10 2004

skinflaps, May 10 2004

       How do you fly "through" Tower Bridge?
GenYus, May 10 2004

       Matter of speech,if it suits you better [GenYus] 'over it'.
skinflaps, May 10 2004

Freefall, May 10 2004

       What, you say no to buzz bombs? I can't imagine two or three Spitfires would be "truly spectacular"—or would even draw much attention at all—unless they were shooting down evil V-1s aimed at downtown London.
ldischler, May 10 2004

       I guess I had my pedant set to 11.   

       I think what [Idischler] is suggesting is a recreation of the air combat that went on over London instead of simply flybys.
GenYus, May 10 2004

       Oh, a Spitfire, especially 3, flying low over an urban area? This definitely would draw attention. I'm thinking the economics won't justify it though... these things are going to cost about $1,800 an hour to operate.
zigness, May 10 2004

       By all means bring back “the good war” if it will distract us from the present one.
Fussass, May 10 2004

       Interesting how this idea has fallen on it's arse.Seems that by adding rockets, buzz bombs etc(what ever they are?) what have you, is the preface of making this idea exciting(sigh).I'm not suggesting any re'creation of the battle of Britain or victory rolls in downtown London(wherever that is).   

       Purely, to bring back a great aircraft for all to see and enjoy, as the spitfire is flown through/over a certain stretch of London's Thames or as stated mustangs flown over certain picturesque city waterways in the States.   

       I'm sure it would appeal to enthusiasts,veterans and tourists alike and the local film developer.
skinflaps, May 11 2004

       [skinflaps] as someone who gave one of those "+'s", I agree with you. I had a chance to fly to KMAE for the "Gathering of warbirds". It was the largest gathering of P-51's since the Korean War. We flew in at 07:00 and parked along the taxiway. As each '51 flew in, it would make a strafing run over our heads at about 20 feet off the deck. Impressive!   

       I would love this just for the pleasure of hearing them. But, I am a pilot and love this idea.
Klaatu, May 11 2004

       Man, I remember going to Confederate Air Force airshows while in CAP and getting to see all of the vivid nose art, and how big those planes really are. You got my bun too.
Letsbuildafort, May 11 2004

       excellent idea. there is also a twin seat spitfire trainer which is still in operation. <link> high priced tickets to fly in this over london could help to off set the costs. If it was at a set time each day, like the cannon in Edinburugh, 1pm during June, July & August it would be excellent.   

       I think some of the grouches aren't realising that tourists, especially US ones, would love this. Also think of London Eye punters getting an eye to eye with a spitfire. Superb. Victory roll (croissant) for you.
etherman, May 11 2004

       Maybe the people who fishboned this idea think it reads "Submarines Over London"?
Klaatu, May 11 2004

       Maybe I'm missing something on this one. I read this and I get - "have airplanes fly over the city every day". That can't be it, is it?
waugsqueke, May 11 2004

       I don't know if "every day" is the best thing, people may start to ignore it, and not care. + anyway.
swimr, May 11 2004

       It doesn't just have to be Spitfires, any aircraft that uses the Merlin engine sounds wonderful. But then I'm baised having worked on the old Supermarine site in Southampton.
oneoffdave, May 12 2004

       Legend has it, I believe, that Merlin appears when Britain is under mortal threat. That was certainly true during WW2 when the Merlin engines in the Spitfire helped to win the Battle of Britain. Manifestly, we are uder threat now - terror, super bugs, summer blockbusters - and what better way to deal with it than flying these beauties through the heart of the capital. Scramble one for me.
Bronze Ghost, May 17 2004

       I like this idea, but I agree with what [swimr] said about not having it every day. Maybe once a fortnight, or something. Judging by the number of office-bound Londoners who were up on the roofs of their buildings when the last 3 Concordes came in, (I was one of them !), it's not only tourists who would like this.   

       I wouldn't want buzz-bombs, dog-fights or any of that. A fly-by would suit me just fine.
Katisha, May 17 2004

       naah as an English man from the provinces (outside the M25 ringand not scottish) i say keep the buzz bombs just aim them at downing street no great loss if one hits
engineer1, May 17 2004

       This idea falls into the general class of "invent tourist attraction". As such it is one of the better of these ideas I have heard and I would certainly want to see it implemented. One thought though - London has plenty of tourist attractions already (and possibly too many tourists!). Could you not tour the country doing this instead - on dates of note to each particular venue? That would keep it fresh and relevent. +
dobtabulous, May 17 2004

       sorry < dobtabulous > what you're describing are air shows, many of which happen throughout the country during the summer months. this is an airshow of sorts, but much more specific.
etherman, May 17 2004

       Has anyone shown this to Ken yet?
zen_tom, Aug 09 2006

       Happy birthday RAF.   

       The Royal Air Force celebrated its 90th anniversary today with a fly-past of Red Arrows and RAF Typhoons in formation along the River Thames.   

skinflaps, Apr 01 2008

       I tell you what might be nice, but you have to disregard the vintage planes motif of the idea and concentrate rather on the planes-flying-over-the-river theme instead:   

       Red Arrow flight display team flies directly over the contours of the Thames (or as near as possible) whilst releasing coloured smoke from their tails. Hopefully, the final effect would be to illustrate in the sky where the river runs through the city beyond our line of sight, which is otherwise blocked by buildings. A formation of planes might be able to "colour in" the centre too.   

       Tight corners in rivers would obviously cause a problem, so geometric flight patterns might need to be adopted by two or more planes overlapping their trajectory in order to form the appropriately tight corner.   

       For no reason really, it would just look really cool to see the river in the sky.
theleopard, Apr 01 2008

       Crap. Found out about the fly-past half an hour too late. That would have been cool to see.
wagster, Apr 01 2008

       You can request a fly-past by the Red Arrows - there's an application form you can download from their website (link).   

       Weddings, funerals and birthdays will not be considered, but apparently other events such as school and village fetes will be. I wonder what they would make of "Halfcon" in the event description box?   

       <edit> It seems that a full display is (predictably) quite hard to request, but we could probably swing a fly-past if we held a halfcon somewhere between a big display and their base in Lincolnshire and called it an "Aeronautical Research Event" or something...
wagster, Apr 01 2008

       //Crap. Found out about the fly-past half an hour too late//
On a calm day, it is amazing how far away you can see the smoke from the Red Arrows - on the day of the Queen Mum's 100th birthday celebrations, I was driving up the A3 at Tolworth and could clearly see the smoke over Whitehall, even though they only did a low-level fly-over
coprocephalous, Apr 01 2008

       I usually dislike patriotic history, but even the word 'spitfire' raises the hairs on my neck, let along the sight of one. I have to bun this, though I can't think of any normal half-bakery criterion by which it's good.
pertinax, Apr 01 2008


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