10 years ago : a visit to the " dark " side of the Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace du Bourget
Hulks and hidden airframes.
French "Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace du Bourget" has its restauration activities on Dugny airfield. Dugny is North of famed Bourget airport, just opposite the museum side and close to former Aéronautique Navale air base. As "Musée de l'Air" is not large enough to display all its airplane collections, most of them are stored in Dugny, far away from public eyes, while many pieces are still being under restauration. Once a year, a week-end in september is dedicated to a national monuments opened day.
So it is the only time a year, these treasures are on public view. The place is opened to visitors but during that special day only. Interestingly enough, a huge collection of french built engines from first Antoinettes, to latest Snecma ATAR turbojets, are being displayed there in a hangar thta was inaugurated then. Anyway most airframes are hulks in the grass such as a Dassault Mirage F-1, a Mirage IIIR, a Mirage IV, a Jaguar, a Bréguet 941 , a Lockheed Constellation, a SE Caravelle, and several former Patrouille de France Fougas Magisters.
Many hangars keep airplane hulks in Dugny, and the " Ailes Anciennes de Dugny " work under their own banner to get these gems back to the Museum side of the airfield in the future. I already came accross Musée's He-162 being fully revamped by the " Ailes Anciennes " on show there. It was a " time capsule " jet aircraft painted back to its orginal scheme, just as it had worn it more than 60 years ago. Real colours were discovered by the ' Ailes ' team under the " false " squadron colours it was wearing instead, since the end of WWII.
All in all, it was the opportunity to experience real craftmanship behind men of the " Réserves du Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace ", and the Ailes Anciennes de Dugny. It was a summer and dry day for photography. Hope we will have it back to calendar next september 2020.
... and then it was : the magic "Aéropuces" market
One week later on September 26th and 27th, 2009, we were back to Le Bourget, but to the proper side of the airfield : the Musée de l'Air. Concordes Hall became a heaven for aviation small treasures : the "Aéropuces". This market used to be opened once a year, on a September weekend to individuals and commercials who sold aviation memorabilia, aircraft parts, all sorts of metal or wooden kits, vintage books and kits, toys, airlines artefacts and souvenirs, and much more. May " Aéropuces " back to le Bourget's activities.