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Uncle Pete

Beluga Sighting

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I have a question.  When Google and my admittedly dodgy research abilities failed to come up with an answer I thought, where could I find some knowledgeable aviation enthusiasts who might know the answer?

 

So here I am!

 

I recently relocated from The Smoke (for the uninitiated, that's London) to the sticks here in a lovely little village called Buckley.  In the 6 weeks or so I've been here I've seen a Beluga fly over twice.  First time I was an the road driving so couldn't nail its direction but second time it was almost over my house.  Can't estimate the altitude but it was quite low.  I was looking roughly 45 degrees up and it was about thumbnail-at-arms-length in size flying from the SE.  Couldn't tell (due to the oblique angle of the flight path as it flew from SE to NW-ish) whether it was climbing, level or descending but, if not level, the climb or descent was painfully slow.  I looked up the location of the relevant plants and the only candidates were Bristol, which is almost directly south, and another place further east in the Midlands.  Both places strike me as too far away for him to be so low.  Then I considered his direction and wondered where the devil he was going considering the final assembly plants are in France and Germany.  Does anybody have an idea where he's coming from and going to?

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I think the ex-BAe (now Airbus UK) plant at Broughton is the most likely candidate.

In days of old it built Wellingtons and Lancasters, but nowadays it makes or assembles most Airbus wings - they are shipped out by Beluga.

 

Brian

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3 hours ago, bhouse said:

Broughton

Upon looking at a map, that does indeed look like the butler (who did it).  In my stumbling search, Broughton never even surfaced.  It's 10 miles away to the east and slightly south so the altitude adds up nicely and I suppose he'd need to reach a certain waypoint and altitude before turning south to head for Toulouse.  I intend to go to Chester soon to explore a model shop there that seems to be Aladdin's Cave... Maybe I'll detour and have a look for the factory.  Thanks for the info. 👍

 

3 hours ago, Vince1159 said:

I was expecting to see a photo of a whale you'd taken from a boat Pete.....

Funny you should mention that... I used to watch whales from a couple of cruise ships I worked on notably around Cabo San Lucas in Mexico and around the Hawaiian Islands.  I remember a big humpback seemingly waving bye-bye in Honolulu right before the migration back to Alaska... She stuck her head down and waved her flukes in our wake.  Re the flying whale, though, I was stranded in a shipyard in St Nazaire for a week back in the last century (long story) watching them coming and going. almost daily.

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Buckley near Mold? It'll definitely be heading to Broughton to pick up wings and things.  We often see the Beluga running in to land over the top end of our village just North of Chester, and fairly soon the Super Beluga will join it :)

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6 minutes ago, Mike said:

Buckley near Mold?

That's the one... Lovely little place.  I used to look out the window and see Shepherds Bush... Now I see shepherds and bushes!

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4 hours ago, Uncle Pete said:

When Google and my admittedly dodgy research abilities failed to come up with an answer

One thing to add to your tool kit, when answering questions such as yours is to use a "live flight tracker" (put those words in a search engine and a few will come up). I tend to use https://www.flightradar24.com/ however it does not show military movements. 

 

 

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25 minutes ago, Uncle Pete said:

Now I see shepherds and bushes!

If those bushes are a dirty white colour, they're SHEEP :sheep:

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On that note. T'other day as I was driving through part of County Armagh I had to stop and look. Some farmer had dyed all his sheep purple and deep pink! It was really weird looking

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2 hours ago, Black Knight said:

On that note. T'other day as I was driving through part of County Armagh I had to stop and look. Some farmer had dyed all his sheep purple and deep pink! It was really weird looking

Probably to stop some muppet from nicking them :)

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If you go to Broughton there is a cafe called Chocks Away on the business park on the opposite side of the airport.

Great food, good prices and a great view of the Airbus factory. The Beluga was being loaded up when was there yesterday.

Also the hulks of A Mig 23 and two Sukhoi 17/22 to see.

Well worth a visit.

Edited by Stu_davros

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5 minutes ago, Stu_davros said:

If you go to Broughton there is a cafe called Chocks Away on the business park on the opposite side of the airport.

Great food, good prices and a great view of the Airbus factory. The Beluga was being loaded up when was there yesterday.

Also the hulks of A Mig 23 and two Sukhoi 17/22 to see.

Well worth a visit.

...and I think we've got some pics in the Walkaround section IIRC.  The Tornado F.3 is also there, and if you catch it at the right time you can have a tour and go inside their building for a look around.  I keep meaning to go back when they're open too, but my 🐠 brain makes me forget :wacko:

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I can second Chocs away, the food is good and you can watch the aircraft movements in and out, including the Beluga.

https://aviationparkgroup.co.uk/business/chocks-away-diner/

Was there in February this year

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Cheers

 

Dennis

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4 hours ago, spitfire said:

I can second Chocs away, the food is good and you can watch the aircraft movements in and out, including the Beluga.

https://aviationparkgroup.co.uk/business/chocks-away-diner/

Was there in February this year

Cheers

Dennis

Some fellas really know how to live it up. :rofl2:

 

Chris.

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