As a follow up to their fly in at Popham in August the Vintage Aircraft Club (VAC) organised another event at their home airfield, Turweston in north Buckinghamshire on Saturday 5th September. Chris Wood popped along for GAR.
This event, on what would normally have been the weekend of the Light Aircraft Association (LAA) rally at Sywell, attracted around 60 aircraft. They came in various shapes, sizes and colours, but most fitted well in to the vintage category and most had tailwheels!
The largest aircraft to appear were a pair of beautifully restored De Havilland twins in the shape of a DH 89A Dragon Rapide from Duxford, in Scottish Airways markings, and the 1937 vintage DH 90A Dragonfly operated by Shipping and Airlines Ltd, which is normally based at Biggin Hill. There are currently nine Dragon Rapides on the UK register and one Dragonfly, as well as a pair of DH 84 Dragons.
The oldest aircraft to appear was another beautifully restored machine in the shape of a 1928 Travel Air 4000. Details of its restoration can be found here.
Probably the most unusual aircraft was the almost unique Plumb BGP1, one of only two in existence. Developed by Barry Plumb, it is built predominantly of wood and its original Volkswagen engine has been replaced by a Jabiru 2200A.
Coming a close second was a 1940 Rearwin 175 Skyranger, of which there are only two in the country.
Other more populous American designs gracing the Turweston grass including a couple each of Stinson HW-75 Voyagers and Aeronca Champs and a number of early Cessna and Piper designs.
Arriving later in the afternoon was an American registered Boeing Stearman. This aircraft was damaged in a landing accident at Turweston in 2018. Happily it’s looking a lot healthier now.
Comprising the biggest group were the Jodels, with ten making the trip.
Also well represented were the Fourniers, with a pair of RF-5s and a trio of RF-3s.
Aircraft in military markings comprised a pair of former Royal Air Force Chipmunks and a former Italian Army Piper Super Cub.
A number of Austers appeared.
Available to view was the prototype Beagle Pup, which has recently been restored to flying condition at Turweston, and is now painted in its original colour scheme. It made its first post restoration flight on 19th May, having last flown 51 years ago.
Turweston is the home of the VAC, and is also home to the LAA, formerly the Popular Flying Association (PFA). It can trace its origins back to World War Two, when is was developed as a bomber training base. Having closed after the war ended, it opened for business as an airfield in 1994 and appears to be thriving, no doubt helped by its proximity to the Silverstone racing circuit.
The LAA can trace its origins back to 1946 with the founding of the Ultralight Aircraft Association. It is the representative body in the United Kingdom for amateur aircraft construction, and recreational and sport flying. It oversees the construction and maintenance of homebuilt aircraft, under an approval from the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). It currently boasts around 8000 members and oversees the airworthiness of 2,600 aircraft, plus a further 1,500 aircraft build projects.