RSA Gathering, Brienne-le-Chateau, France, 28-30 July 2017 Report by Peter and Kim Davison The 'Rassemblement des Constructeurs Amateurs' represents aircraft homebuilders across France, those amateur fabricators who build their own light aircraft either from kits or completely of their own design. Projects are often completed in their own homes or at local airfields. The RSA provides a forum for the exchange of knowledge, a resource of technical knowledge and guidance on the complex regulations governing the design and operation of light aircraft. This regional gathering offers opportunities for members to share experiences in an informal atmosphere.
AeroExpo, Sywell Aerodrome, Northants, England. 1-3 July 2016 Report by Peter and Kim Davison This annual trade show brings together general aviation pilots and traders and attracts considerable interest for photographers and enthusiasts. The fly-in popularity is, naturally, subject to the variations in the British weather and resultant forecasts.
Albacete, Spain, 14/9 - 9/10, 2015 The TLP exercises occur four times a year in southern Spain benefitting from clear skies and better weather than was the case at their previous location in Florennes, Belgium. They provide an ideal opportunity for the Air Forces of NATO nations to co-operate in both mission planning and execution. Normally two missions are flown daily providing a welcome opportunity for photographers to capture fast jets in a fairly predictable and safe environment. The base and the local population are to be congratulated on their tolerance and understanding.
28 July - 3 August 2014 The EAA, or Experimental Aircraft Association holds it annual gathering and, more importantly, the World’s largest Fly-In, in Wisconsin USA every summer. Thousands of light aircraft, including warbirds and homebuilts, descend on Whitman Field, Oshkosh to socialise, inspire and exchange knowledge. There are sales chalets, educational seminars, construction workshops and entertainment for a whole week.
The Coppergate Fly-in is a well established annual event and bills itself as the largest fly-in in the western states. It is small when judged against the likes of Oshkosh and Sun 'n Fun in Florida but, judging by some 300 light aircraft seen in a few hours on the final day, it certainly has its merits if you are within 500 miles or so; local, as the Americans would say.
This is all about jet model aircraft, engineering skill, extreme accuracy and aero-modelling enthusiasm. Teams from all over the world compete in two categories, dry weight (without kerosene) of 13.5kg and 20kg. Final scores depend on two equal categories, scale building precision with documentation and flying skills of standard and specialised maneuvers. These activities must relate to those flown by the aircraft in real life, types represented must have flown themselves. There are three 'rounds'; the last ordered by a system similar to golf's cut, allowing the leaders to fly last.
This is by far the largest gathering of Hot Air Balloons outside the USA and this year enjoyed record temperatures though, of the 19 available launch windows, at 0630 and 1830 each day, only 10 sessions were successful. 983 different balloons participated with over 1200 pilots attending from 49 nations.