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Kermit Weeks welcomes the group, having just landed his Mustang P51


a Mustang polished to within an inch of its life. Having beaten up the runway in the Mustang he landed and taxied right up to the crowd, jumped out and grabbed a microphone: “Any questions?” he asked us. You can’t get better than that!


FLYING FORTRESS Within the hangar is an excellent B17 Flying Fortress presentation. Our indus- try is all about storytelling, and this exhibit does a great job. You fi rst enter a brief- ing room, which could have been straight out of any of a dozen airfi elds in eastern England during WWII. After watching a fi lm briefi ng, you walk out across the apron to a real Flying Fortress and climb aboard. Suddenly you’re not in a fortress at all, but in a fragile aluminium tube. You begin to imagine how frightened and vulnerable those boys must have felt. As you work your way forward through the fuselage, the bomb doors open and you look down at a video of the land below as the slipstream blows in your face – easy to get vertigo at this point. The cockpit crew are posed, calling ahead on the radio – the space is tiny and feels even more exposed.


AM 1 2012 ©cybertrek 2012


The briefi ng room is themed to resemble a British World War II airfi eld shelter


Stepping down from the plane into a typical wartime airfi eld maintenance scene, I could walk right up to the Fortress and run my hands over the tyres and touch the propellers. It just needed Anne Shelton singing We’re Coming In On a Wing and a Prayer to bring a fi nal lump to the throat.


BOAT RALLY There was also a classic boat rally on the adjoining lake. Immaculate mahogany hydroplanes with 1,400hp supercharged


engines trailed 50m rooster-tails as they thrashed across the water. Did I mention that I also love old wooden boats? I was enjoying myself so much, I forgot


to check out the F&B offer and shop as we’re supposed to do when visiting attrac- tions, which surely is a mark of success. Did I have a good day? One of the best! Am I going again? You bet! ●


Nick Farmer , managing director Attraction Development Read Attractions Management online attractionsmanagement.com/digital 43 , Farmer


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