Flying Day, Duxford Airfield, Cambridgeshire, UK 9 October 21 Report by Peter and Kim Davison Duxford needs little introduction, home of an Imperial War Museum, the Duxford Aviation Society (DAS) with world class collections and impressive flying events that include Europe's largest collection of airworthy warbirds. This event was very fortunate as the weather, after a moody misty start, blossomed into a gorgeous autumn day. If only the viewing aspect was northerly it would be perfect for photography. However, careful framing and an early start allowed evocative shots for possibly one of the largest post Covid flying events of the year.
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.
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.
41st Bristol Balloons, August 8-11th 2019. Ashton Court, Avon. Report by Colin and Sheila Coulthard. This annual event is the largest Balloon Meet in the United Kingdom; held at the picturesque Ashton Court Estate every year in mid August. Local manufacturer Cameron Balloons is famed worldwide for developing the modern hot-air balloon and creating many of the 'special shapes' that make these events so visually attractive to the public. In contrast to the recently completed French meeting the essential calm weather stayed away with storm force winds over the weekend restricting free flights to a minimum.
GEMAB19, Chambley Aerodrome, Lorraine, France - 26 July - 4 August 2019 Report by Peter and Kim Davison This, the sixteenth such meet, celebrated thirty years since the first in 1989. Metz born Jean Francois Pilatre de Rozier was the world's first aeronaut in 1783 and Philippe Pilatre still coordinates the event; supported by the Region Grande Est with a budget of three million Euros though the estimated local benefit is ten fold. Visitor numbers are estimated at 400,000. Although extremely weather dependent, after a rough start, 2019 brought hot dry days with light winds from Sunday onwards. On the morning of the Grand Line 456 balloons lifted within an hour in still conditions; filling the sky overhead and equalling a previous record. Similar conditions heralded the famous 'night glow' on the Wednesday evening.
Royal International Air Tattoo, RAF Fairford, Gloucestershire, UK Report by Peter Davison and Colin Coulthard What a difference a day makes. Friday was almost washed out with very heavy rain and a very low cloud-base. Saturday, however, dawned brighter, not perfect, but fine enough for a full day of flying fully up to global aspirations. The 'special attractions being a joint display from the Red Arrows and Patrouille de France, a British Airways centenary flypast with a retro-schemed 747 leading the reds on their final UK display prior to a three month North America tour. Not satisfied with that, the 70th anniversary of NATO allowed a mixed formation; fairly widely spaced, comprising various NATO aircraft. Add in over 200 visiting aircraft and the show delivered what is widely known as the world's biggest and best military airshow.