The Shuttleworth collection, at Old Warden, north of London is the home of a great collection of vintage aircraft. Started by Richard Ormond Shuttleworth. They display and fly aircraft from 1909 – 1950. Home of the oldest flying aircraft in the world. This collection is a must see, if you have a millilitre of aviation blood in the system it can’t fail to impress. Below are a few of my photos.


Ode to a tail dragger.

Tail Dragger I hate your guts

I have the licence, ratings, and such

but to make you go straight is driving me nuts.

With hours of teaching and controls in my clutch

It takes a little rudder – easy, that’s too much!


Yes you see I learned to fly in a tricycle gear

With one up front and two at the rear.

She was sleek and clean and easy to steer

But this miserable thing with tires and struts

Takes a little rudder – easy, that’s too much!


It demands your attention on the take off roll,

Or it heads towards the boonies  as you pour on coal

Gotta hang loose, don’t over control .

This wicked little plane is just too much

With a lot of zigzagging and words obscene

I think I’ve mastered this slippery machine.

Its not too bad if you have the touch

Just a little rudder – easy, that’s too much.


I relax for a second and  from the corner of my eye

I suddenly realise , with a gasp and a cry

Thats my own tail going by!

You ground looping wreck, I hate yours guts

Give a little rudder –  Oh no, THAT,S TOO MUCH.