New and re-registered aircraft and those no longer with us
The Oldfield Baby Lakes is a homebuilt single-seat sport biplane. In 1991 two of these, G-BKCJ and G-BKHD, were based at Sleap airfield and embarked on a local flight in loose formation. At a turning point, when both pilots were checking their maps, they collided. ’HD was controllable and made it home but ’CJ lost its rudder and the pilot recovered from a spin before a forced landing in a wheat field. Both pilots were uninjured and the aircraft repaired. G-BKCJ is restored this month after a period of inactivity.
When amateur aircraft building restarted in France after World War II, Maurice Brochet designed a single-seat, high-wing monoplane called the Pipistrelle. Most used Salmson radial engines but G-AVKB has a Walter Mikron in-line motor. This aircraft was manufactured in 1948 as F-PFAL and came to Britain in 1967, since when it has had ten different owners.
Wing Commander Ken Wallis was the mastermind behind British autogyro development. He achieved fame in 1967 flying G-ARZB Little Nellie as Sean Connery’s stunt double in the James Bond film You Only Live Twice. He held most of the autogyro records during his career and, at the age of 89, became the oldest pilot to break a world flight record. After his death in 2013 all his aircraft were removed to Old Warden, where Little Nellie is on display with the Shuttleworth Collection. The rest remain in a private hangar awaiting the resolution of a long-standing legal dispute. All are formally retired this month, although none has had a valid Permit for many years.
Fly Far, Fly Cheaper
Norwegian Air UK is a new subsidiary of Norwegian Air, taking advantage of Britain’s bilateral air traffic agreements to reintroduce low-cost long-haul services from Gatwick. It believes that current low fuel costs for its economical Boeing 787 Dreamliners, such as G-CIXO, will make no-frills operations to Asia, South America and South Africa profitable.
Wallis WA116 G-ARZB on display with the Shuttleworth Collection