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.
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.
On 23rd-29th August 2020 the town of Kubinka west of Moscow hosted the ‘Army-2020’ International Military-Technical Forum. The event, which is held under the auspices of Russia’s Ministry of Defence and the Rosoboroneksport (Russian Defence Export) arms trading agency, is now in its sixth edition, having been held annually since 2015, and has earned a solid reputation as both a defence trade fair and an exciting show. The first three days are trade days when negotiations are held and deals are inked, while on the other four days the event is open to the general public.
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.
RNAS Yeovilton, Somerset, United Kingdom, 13th July 2019 Report by Peter and Kim Davison Such is the star quality of this annual Naval celebration that it continues to survive the general reduction in military airshows across Europe. Despite being close to the Air Tattoo the crowds and exhibits continue to converge to celebrate Naval aviation, particularly in regard to rotary and coastal patrol assets. With the co-located Fleet Air Arm Museum and a strong educational agenda it also inspires repeat visits and maritime loyalty from an eager public.
Paris Air Show 2019, Le Bourget, France 17-23 June 2019 Report by Peter Davison and Colin Coulthard Following some rather erratic wet weather in the region it was a pleasure to see some sunshine at this year's show. Well attended despite some gloomy forecasts for the industry and the ongoing problems with some engine safety and the numerous issues at Boeing. No 737MAX to show but a public debut for the long awaited KC-46 tanker in Europe. The commercial highlights fell to Europe with new Airbus types dominant and a star turn from the Russian Beriev water bombing amphibian.
EBACE, Palexpo, Geneva, Switzerland, 21-23 May 2019 Report by Peter Davison and Colin Coulthard At first it appeared that alpine storms would blight this year's exhibition but, by mid Tuesday the skies cleared to blue and the rain abated. Apart from the understandable absence of Boeing all the majors were well represented. The newest Citation Latitude making a colourful impact in the colours of Norwegian Air Ambulance, Bombardier became a record breaker and Embraer showed their new Protear to an expectant market. Much of the news focussed on the use of SAJF, sustainable alternative jet fuel, particularly as used by 27 of the static display aircraft, assisted by the UK facility at Farnborough.