Jim - far too easy for you. No bang seats in those days. Taken at R.A.F. Waterbeach near Cambridge in 1956 with 253 Squadron. Fl.Lt. Pete Pascoe (Navigator ) standing up on his seat in the cockpit and my father climbing up the steps. This photo was only sent to me yesterday by Mr. Pascoe (now approaching 80 years young).
I never knew it existed.
I spent the summer of 1976 ( that hot one ) working at Waterbeach.
We were building houses for its conversion into a Royal Engineer's garrison
base. Still believe it is. Used to drive my Cooper S around the perimeter, after work. Great simple days in life.
It really was the D.H. Venom NF Mk2 with side by side seats (right hand side was the Navigator with a radar screen (a bit crude by todays standards) and powered by the Ghost engine also developed by De Havilland for the Venom, Vampire, and the Comet. AOL Search
Aaaaahh, De Havilland ......
It was great living there in the mid 50's as the base had Javelins,
Meteor NF14s, Hunters, two Spitfires and one Hurricane in addition to the Venoms. During the summer holidays we used to lie down in the undershoot (the main road from Cambridge to Ely used to almost cross the end of the runway and the traffic was contolled with lights when aeroplanes were landing.) I got a very thick ear for my efforts and told not to be so stupid but it was fun. I believe a Hunter did undershoot the runway but long after my time there. As a family we then went on to a Thor ICBM base in Lincolnshire (the cold war was getting colder) and then after that to Germany(very cold) That was the start of the slippery slope into decadence, mixing with Army dependants at a Co-ed boarding school in the far frozen north. It was really interesting though, especially during the Kennedy/Kruschev Cuba Missile crisis.
Some of the best coarse fishing ever on the river Cam about two miles distant.
The photo did appear.
Reading the notes about it - what a turkey and a supreme con-man. Killed both the test pilots on maiden flights. Quote - the wings did indeed flap like a bird - just before they seperated. A tragedy indeed but a bit of a laugh now.