EBACE 2022

European Business Aviation Exhibition, Geneva PALEXPO 23-25 May 2022 Report by Peter Davison & Colin Coulthard A welcome return post Covid for this international showcase for Business Aviation. Given the downturn for Commercial Airlines there is now a growth spurt for Executive travel with new models and ranges heralding various innovations.

Microlight Fly-in 2022

Popham Airfield, 30 April-2 May 2022 Report by Peter and Kim Davison As Covid restrictions ease it was a welcome return to this annual gathering of all things plastic and fabric and Saturday's weather was bright, clear and cool; almost perfect for the mass migration of 'lightweights'. Samuel Cody and Santos Dumont would be amazed to see how apparently simple it is to achieve safe and controlled heavier than air flight with such simple materials. Arrivals started early with owners and pilots keen to visit the various trade stands or meet up with friends and colleagues. Enthusiasts swelled the numbers with around four hundred flexwings and ultralights lining up on the grass parking areas. Another busy sector is that of the autogyro; now looking close to the dream of a flying car these motor-tricycle with wings seem a popular answer to instant mobility in three dimensions. An almost unique feature of this event is just how close visitors can get to the single grass runway with a safely marshalled crossing point at the landing threshold. A vintage/classic car gathering expected to swell the numbers on the bank holiday Monday. Noticeable was the installation of extra fabric hangarage on site since last year suggesting this sector of the industry is far healthier than their heavyweight commercial counterparts.

Duxford Autumn Flying Day

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.

LAA Rally 2021

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.

Yorkshire Balloon Fiesta 2021

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.

Vulcan Memories

  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.

Bristol Balloon Fiesta 2019

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.