Displays | Cockpit Fest 2002, Newark, 15th June 2002


Hawker Sea Hawk F1 (WF145) at Cockpit Fest 2002 - Click for Full Image

Hawker Hunter F6 (XE584) cockpit at Cockpit Fest 2002 - Click for Full Image Hawker Hunter FGA.9 (XE597) at Cockpit Fest 2002 - Click for Full Image


Good weather, around twenty interesting cockpits and a visit to the always enjoyable Newark Air Museum. This was always going to be a good day and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The highlight for me was sitting in a Hunter cockpit for the first time - a never to be forgotten moment.

This was the first time I had visited the annual cockpit fest at Newark and the range and condition of cockpits was very good, of particular interest to me were the four Hunter cockpits and three Canberra cockpits. However, there was also the imposing presence of Valiant B1 (XD875) which normally reside at Bruntingthorpe, a quite superb two seater Jaguar (XX830) cockpit, a Sea Hawk F1 (WF145), Meteor F8 (WL131) and MIG21 cockpit amongst others.

The great thing about an event like this is that you are actively encouraged to look inside and, in many cases, climb inside the cockpits. A big thank-you to Bob Dunn for encouraging me to sit in his Hawker Hunter FGA.9 (XE597) and even taking a photograph of me at the controls - a very proud moment for me as my father flew Hunters. Just next to Bob's cockpit was the immaculate cockpit of Hunter F1 (WT684) owned by Tony Collins. Next to the Valiant was the cockpit of Hunter F6 (XE584) which served with 111 Squadron 'Black Arrows' and took part in the famous 22 aircraft loop at Farnborough in 1958.

The Canberra cockpits consisted of Canberra T4 (WJ880) which is a travelling display of the Dumfries and Galloway Museum, a Canberra PR7 (WT536) owned by Frank Lund and another Canberra T4 (WH850) which is normally found at the Barton Aerodrome near Manchester. All these cockpits could be accessed by spectators.

As part of the Fest there was a competition for the best cockpit and each spectator could vote - I have to say that my choice was Bob Dunn's Hunter FGA.9, not only superb, but I'd sat in it and that made my day. There was even an opportunity to see the latest arrivals at the Museum - a MIG23 and a MIG27 Flogger which are on loan and will be renovated.

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