April in Paris – Pt 2.

Posted on 28/04/2019 By

April in Paris.

Doris Day:

She was 97 on 3 April.

April in Paris: The Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace.

The Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace.

Bertie: “A Museum! We have come all the way to Paris to go to a bleedin’ Museum!”

Bobby: “Careful, Bertie. You said that once before and you loved the London Transport Museum.”

Bertie: “But this is Paris, Bobby. You checked and there is no transport museum in Paris. London is miles better. So tell me… you are taking me to the world famous Louvre to see that miserable cow with the enigmatic smile.”

Bobby: “Er no. We are actually going to downtown Paris to the airport at Le Bourget.”

Bertie: “Wot the ‘ell for? Can’t we just enjoy our April in Paris?”

Bobby: “Le Bourget was the first commercial airport in Paris. Many famous events have taken place there. Charles Lindberg landed there, following his solo transatlantic flight in 1927, in the Spirit of St Louis. Rudolf Nureyev, the Russian ballet dancer, defected to the West there in 1961. As shown in the film “White Crow” on at the pictures this week. And it is home to one of the oldest aviation museums in the world. Including two Concordes.

April in Paris: The Spirit of St Louis.

April in Paris: Charles Lindbergh in 1927 at Le Bourget. Becoming a world famous celebrity overnight for becoming the first person to fly the Atlantic solo in his tiny aeroplane the Spirit of St Louis.

Charles Lindbergh in 1927 at Le Bourget. Becoming a world famous celebrity overnight for becoming the first person to fly the Atlantic solo in his tiny aeroplane the Spirit of St Louis.

Bertie: “He is so excited. He has got his Metro map and planned the journey.”

So, off we went…

April in Paris: She is still nice. Receptionist at our Hotel Beaurepaire.

She is still nice. Receptionist at our Hotel Beaurepaire.

Metro. Join the Metro at Republique. Then Line 5 to Gare d’Lest. Change to Line 7 to “La Courneuve 8 Mai 1945”.

April in Paris: Strange name for a station. La Courneuve is the district. And the date is VE day. End of the war in Europe. Why not. We could have “Wembley. 30 July 1966”. Couldn’t we?

Strange name for a station. La Courneuve is the district. And the date is VE day. End of the war in Europe. Why not. We could have “Wembley. 30 July 1966”. Couldn’t we?

April in PAris: "La Courneuve - 8 mai 1945" Station.

“La Courneuve – 8 mai 1945” Station.

April in Paris: Trams as well at La Courneuve.

Trams as well at La Courneuve.

April in Paris: Nice ghost sign at La Courneuve.

Nice ghost sign at La Courneuve.

So our April in Paris continues on the 152 bus, from La Courneuve to the museum. I think the journey is just as exciting for him as where it goes to. You can’t miss the museum…

April in Paris: Museum main entrance.

Museum main entrance.

The Museum is beautifully laid out with a predominance, of course, of French aircraft. There is so much to see that we must go back again, but here are just some examples of the various collections.

L’espace.

April in Paris: Exploded model of a rocket.

April in Paris: Various items of the "Space Race" era on display.

Wow…fantastic . The moon race may well have been a long time ago, but for Bobby and his generation it was so exciting.

April in Paris: Walking on the moon. Him, not me!

Walking on the moon. Him, not me!

April in Paris: Rockets.

Rockets.

April in Paris: A model of the moon rover and the lunar module.

A model of the moon rover and the lunar module.

April in Paris: Soviet space craft.

Soviet space craft.

The space hall was very difficult to take pictures in, being quite dark and with loads of artefacts. A film show of the first man on the moon.

After that, the museum was a succession of halls inside representing various ages of aviation.

Pre Second World War

April in Paris: Not sure… Any ideas?

Not sure… Any ideas?

April in Paris: Brequet GR.

Brequet GR.

April in Paris: Dewoitine.

Dewoitine.

April in Paris: Dewoitine. Love the graphics.

Dewoitine. Love the graphics.

April in Paris: Gliders and the Farman below.

Gliders and the Farman below.

April in Paris; British! De Havilland Rapide.

British! De Havilland Rapide.

April in Paris: Spad… and the nose of an airship.

Spad… and the nose of an airship.

April in Paris: Farman Goliath.

Farman Goliath.

April in Paris: Details about the Farman F.60 Goliath Transport Plane.

April in Paris: No idea, but a Citroën CV6 with wings! The French love their corrugation.

No idea, but a Citroën CV6 with wings! The French love their corrugation.

April in PAris: Pou du Ciel. Weird maybe and tiny, but Bobby saw one flying in 1958 at a Kidlington air meet.

Pou du Ciel. Weird maybe and tiny, but Bobby saw one flying in 1958 at a Kidlington air meet.

April in Paris: The Brequet again, showing its world tour.

The Brequet again, showing its world tour.

Second World War.

April in Paris: Focke - Wulf F190.

Focke – Wulf F190.

April in Paris: SPITFIRE!

SPITFIRE!

April in Paris: Dewoitine D520.

Dewoitine D520.

Prototypes.

Growing up in post war Britain was an exciting time for boys like Bobby. There were all those spotting opportunities. Trains, buses and planes. In particular for aircraft, Britain, France and America were testing the limits of aircraft capability. Competing for the title of the World Speed Record. Britain held it on a number of occasions and that story will be told soon. A bewildering number of prototypes were built to push speed faster and faster. Comics like the Eagle glamourised some very special prototypes that looked distinctly weird and dangerous. He well remembers some of the French ones and was truly excited to find them saved for all time in this splendid museum.

April in Paris: The Leduc… Possibly crazy! Powered by a Ramjet, which can only operate at speed, the contraption had to be taken aloft. The pilot virtually in the middle of the engine. This was the last one built and flew 83 times and got up to 500mph.

The Leduc… Possibly crazy! Powered by a Ramjet, which can only operate at speed, the contraption had to be taken aloft. The pilot virtually in the middle of the engine. This was the last one built and flew 83 times and got up to 500mph.

April in Paris: The Leduc 0.22. A development of the original Leduc that could take off under its own turbojet power, later assisted by Ramjet. As you can see, it had an undercarriage for the purpose. The earlier one landed on skids. Intended to be a supersonic fighter, it never lived up to its planned speeds. Never broke the speed of sound and was abandoned eventually for more conventional aircraft.

The Leduc 0.22. A development of the original Leduc that could take off under its own turbojet power, later assisted by Ramjet. As you can see, it had an undercarriage for the purpose. The earlier one landed on skids. Intended to be a supersonic fighter, it never lived up to its planned speeds. Never broke the speed of sound and was abandoned eventually for more conventional aircraft.

April in Paris: Payen PA 49 Experimental Delta. Made of wood, to test the feasibility of delta winged aircraft. Later, of course, the French became famous for their numerous Dassault Deltas.

Payen PA 49 Experimental Delta. Made of wood, to test the feasibility of delta winged aircraft. Later, of course, the French became famous for their numerous Dassault Deltas.

April in Paris: Nord Griffon - 02. Once again, the French were keen on testing Ramjet feasibility. It did reach 1,450mph, but proved to have severe technical difficulties. Once again, the experiment was abandoned in favour of developing more conventional aircraft.

Nord Griffon – 02. Once again, the French were keen on testing Ramjet feasibility. It did reach 1,450mph, but proved to have severe technical difficulties. Once again, the experiment was abandoned in favour of developing more conventional aircraft.

April in Paris: The SNCASO Trident. A seriously hairy aeroplane. Two wing-tip jet engines and a rocket up the behind. It broke many world records, but eventually succumbed to politics and slid into the Musée de L’air as long ago as 1956. It seemed that politics on both sides of the English Channel had brought the age of the prototypes to an end. Britain had cancelled dozens of aircraft programmes during the infamous 1957 Defence White Paper. Was it a coincidence that shortly after France did the same? Was it the start of the beginning of the end of the aircraft industry in Britain that we were so proud of. The French carried on with a very vibrant industry.

The SNCASO Trident. A seriously hairy aeroplane. Two wing-tip jet engines and a rocket up the behind. It broke many world records, but eventually succumbed to politics and slid into the Musée de L’air as long ago as 1956. It seemed that politics on both sides of the English Channel had brought the age of the prototypes to an end. Britain had cancelled dozens of aircraft programmes during the infamous 1957 Defence White Paper. Was it a coincidence that shortly after France did the same? Was it the start of the beginning of the end of the aircraft industry in Britain that we were so proud of. The French carried on with a very vibrant industry.

April in Paris: And finally in the prototype hall is the plane to the right. The Sud Ouest Triton. The first French jet aircraft. Developed in clandestine fashion during WWII, it never flew with a French jet engine due to delays and finally took to the air with a German engine in 1946. Followed later by a license built Rolls Royce Nene. And then it was abandoned.

And finally in the prototype hall is the plane to the right. The Sud Ouest Triton. The first French jet aircraft. Developed in clandestine fashion during WWII, it never flew with a French jet engine due to delays and finally took to the air with a German engine in 1946. Followed later by a license built Rolls Royce Nene. And then it was abandoned.

Miscellaneous.

April in Paris: Sud Aviation Caravelle airliner. They copied Britain’s Comet for the cockpit. See below at de Havilland museum at London Colney.

Sud Aviation Caravelle airliner. They copied Britain’s Comet for the cockpit. See below at de Havilland museum at London Colney.

April in Paris: Comet.

Comet.

April in Paris: Dassault Mystere IV.

Dassault Mystere IV.

April in Paris: North American F100 Super Sabre.

North American F100 Super Sabre.

April in Paris: North American F86 Sabre.

North American F86 Sabre.

April in Paris: Republic Thunderjet.

Republic Thunderjet.

Concorde.

Has its own special display in a specially erected hall. One prototype. One former Air France. Quite a confined space for photographs.

April in Paris: The Prototype Concorde.

The Prototype.

April in Paris: The two Concordes side by side.

The two Concordes side by side.

April in Paris: The two Concordes - nose to tail!

April in Paris: A better view of the production Air France Concorde.

A better view of the production Air France Concorde.

Outside.

There are loads of planes outside to view. We have chosen a handful plus two mockups of Ariane rockets.

April in Paris: Boeing 747.

Boeing 747.

April in Paris: Same 747 stripped inside to show how it was built.

Same 747 stripped inside to show how it was built.

April in Paris: Same 747. Big engine!

Same 747. Big engine!

April in Paris: Airbus 380 prototype. The biggest airliner in the world but now "too big" compared with twin engined airliners like the Dreamliner. Production is ending.

Airbus 380 prototype. The biggest airliner in the world but now “too big” compared with twin engined airliners like the Dreamliner. Production is ending.

April in Paris: Lockheed Neptune. Formerly with the French Navy.

Lockheed Neptune. Formerly with the French Navy.

April in Paris: Douglas DC8. Formerly French Air force.

Douglas DC8. Formerly French Air force.

April in Paris: Ariane 1 (Model).

Ariane 1 (Model).

April in Paris: Ariane 5 (model).

Ariane 5 (model).

Nice café. Surprisingly few visitors on the day we were there. Very tempting gift shop. Fortunately, the really desirable books were all in French.

April in Paris: We loved the Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace.

We loved the Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace.

April in Paris: So do the kids.

So do the kids.

And finally.

April in Paris: A Douglas DC4 airliner from the fifties and a jumbo.

A Douglas DC4 airliner from the fifties and a jumbo.

PS.

We did think of ending our April in Paris with some jaunty French café music. Accordion and all that. Then we saw this and liked the paintings. Some of which include Notre Dame. Hope you like it.

Lighting a Candle for Diddley

We lit this next day at the Basilica de St Denis.

April in Paris; Lighting a Candle to Diddly at the Basilica de St Denis.

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