DSEI Excel Exhibition Centre, London Docklands 15-17 September 2021 Report by Peter Davison The Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) is a biennial defence and security trade exhibition which serves as a forum between governments, national armed forces, industry, and academics, held at ExCeL London. Many other nations now hold similar gatherings but this is a major showcase for industry, government and the armed forces.
Light Aviation Association Rally, Sywell, Northampton, UK 3rd-5th September Report by Peter and Kim Davison plus Colin Coulthard This long awaited event coincided with one of the best weather weekends of the British Summer. Nearly a thousand historic, light and homebuilt aircraft flew in, to the delight of over a thousand enthusiastic enthusiasts starved of travel opportunities and relaxed access to their favourite sector of general aviation.
York Racecourse, Yorkshire, UK 27-30 August 2021 Report by Peter and Kim Davison This annual extravaganza sees a large fairground, live music and a Hot-Air Balloon Festival combine to bring crowds to this heritage city on the River Ouse. As ever, ballooning requires minimal wind and still, clear air. The planned schedule called for a dawn and a late afternoon launch every day plus a 'night glow' on the Friday and Saturday where a few teams inflate after dark whilst tethered to support vehicles. Only Saturday enjoyed the full programme of inflations in near perfect weather but the other attractions and reasonable prices attracted huge crowds.
Microlight Trade Fair and Fly-in 2021 Popham Airfield 14-15th August 2021 Report by Peter and Kim Davison At long last, the chance to attend and report on a British aviation event as Covid restrictions ease. This annual gathering on the two runway grass strip at Popham, near Winchester, on the busy A303 tourist route was well attended in mild weather; generally overcast but, on occasions, a bright patch of blue sky improved the flying and photographic opportunities.
A tribute to Dr Robert Pleming; leader of the Vulcan To The Sky Trust Report by Peter Davison On 2nd February 2021 the UK Aviation Heritage sector suffered a great loss with the unexpected death of Robert Pleming. Robert was the key that unlocked the funding trail for the world's last flying V-Bomber; leading on both technical, administrative and operational matters and surrounding himself with dedicated professionals and keen volunteers to create an icon of the British airshow circuit.
RAF Marham, Norfolk, England 19th October – 5th November 2020 Report by Peter Davison and Colin Coulthard With Europe starved of international airshows and the skies above sadly depleted as airlines suffer unprecedented drops in custom, it was good news to hear that exercise Crimson Warrior was to proceed as planned. Crimson Warrior will see RAF, Royal Navy, United States Marine Corps and United States Air Force fast jets, multi-engine aircraft and helicopters operating from a number of RAF stations across the country.
The 13th annual HeliRussia trade fair took place at the Crocus Expo exhibition centre in Moscow on 15th-17th September 2020. Since 2008 the event, which is held under the auspices of Russia’s Ministry of Industry and Trade (and has grown into Europe’s largest helicopter industry exhibition over a ten-year period), was traditionally held at this venue in May; in 2020, however, the COVID-2019 pandemic has caused it to be postponed until autumn. Fortunately by September the epidemiological situation had improved sufficiently for the event to go ahead as planned. HeliRussia-2020 featured foreign participants from 12 countries, even though some of the traditional participants, such as Leonardo of Italy, chose to stay away for various reasons – mainly due to closed borders.