Big­gin Hill cen­te­nary cel­e­bra­tions

Pilot - - PILOT NOTES -

A unique gath­er­ing of peo­ple and air­craft at­tended the Fe­bru­ary launch of the ‘Big­gin 100’ pro­gramme of spe­cial events to cel­e­brate the cen­te­nary of Big­gin Hill Air­port.

The War Of­fice first es­tab­lished a mil­i­tary camp on the Big­gin Hill, Kent site on 13 Fe­bru­ary 1917, which sub­se­quently be­come leg­endary as a WWII RAF fighter base, then lat­terly a GA and busi­ness avi­a­tion air­port, once home to the an­nual Big­gin Hill Air Fair. Big­gin 100 will cul­mi­nate in a two-day Fes­ti­val of Flight on 19-20 Au­gust and open­ing to the pub­lic of the her­itage ar­eas of the air­field dur­ing Bat­tle of Bri­tain Week in Septem­ber.

At the launch three cen­te­nar­i­ans took to the air to fly over Big­gin. Ray Roberts from Mar­gate, who flew Spit­fires with the RAF and Air Trans­port Aux­il­iary dur­ing WWII, went up in a two-seat Spitfire flown by Peter Kynsey, whilst lo­cal res­i­dent Lily Osborne — a for­mer Bletch­ley Park Sig­nals In­tel­li­gence Of­fi­cer — and Trudi Bax­ter flew in a Lear­jet 75 pro­vided by Big­gin-based char­ter op­er­a­tor Zenith Avi­a­tion. Will Cur­tis, Lon­don-big­gin Hill’s MD com­mented, “Big­gin 100 will en­able us to show­case our con­tin­u­ing com­mit­ment… to in­spire young peo­ple to pur­sue ex­cit­ing and worth­while aero­space ca­reers in the fu­ture.”

Zenith Avi­a­tion Manag­ing Di­rec­tor Stu­art Mul­hol­land noted, “it is a priv­i­lege to be able to sup­port this event with one of our Lear­jet 75s. Mark­ing the cen­te­nary with a spe­cial flight car­ry­ing some es­teemed guests is the per­fect way to cel­e­brate the ex­tra­or­di­nary her­itage of the air­port.”

Zenith Avi­a­tion’s Lear­jet 75 in for­ma­tion with a two-seat Spitfire of the Big­gin Hill Her­itage Hangar

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