World Vintage Aerobatics Championships
The World Vintage Aerobatic Championships were held at Stauning, Denmark in August. Veteran airshow and aerobatics pilot Barry Tempest reports.
I was flying a borrowed Belgian-built Stampe SV.4B. The owner came along as safety pilot because my UK PPL with DVLA fitness to fly/drive is not valid outside of the United Kingdom. It was the heaviest Stampe I had ever flown, having a starter, generator, vacuum pump and full blind flying instrumentation in both cockpits, plus my brave passenger. No back-up harness, so it was brace yourself on the slow rolls. It was also probably the newest Stampe ever, having been built for the Belgian Air Force in 1955 but not assembled until ten years later. It now resides in the superb KZ Museum at Stauning.
Clive Davidson upheld the honour of the Tiger Moth by flying all the way up from Henstridge with the owner, who is learning to fly in it. He gave a sedate perambulation through the blue Danish sky littered with puffy cu, with loops, a spin and barrel rolls only to keep the immaculate under surface clear of oil. This was in the ‘performance’ section of the contest and the previous evening each competitor had ‘danced’ his way through his intended sequence. Hilarity ensued.
There were hordes of Jungmeisters, Jungmanns, a Stieglitz, a KZ VIII and a couple of Chipmunks entered, so the humble Tiger and Stampe did not stand much of a chance. My theory of old age and treachery overcoming youth and skill failed for once. At 79 I was the oldest entrant by some eight years and came about half way up the final result out of some 22 entrants. Overall winner was Benoit Dierickx from Belgium flying his Polish-built Jungmeister replica powered by a Czech LOM 200hp six-cylinder inline engine, a superb aircraft with awesome performance potential. The judging criteria were on the lines of those used in the Lockheed International Aerobatic Trophy contests held in the UK around sixty years ago – a truly vintage evaluation standard for a vintage contest.
One notable visitor was the superb Beech D17S Staggerwing Red Rockette flown by 83-year-old Bill Charney (aka ‘Captain Biff Windsock’) who hails from Reno and returns there in winter to do the laundry when he runs out of clean socks. In summer he is touring Europe and I do mean all Europe. A retired United Airlines captain and former USAF jet jockey on F-84 Thunderstreaks and F-100 Super Sabres (‘Huns’) he takes great pleasure in squandering his children’s inheritance in a most enviable fashion.
It was a most enjoyable contest and we made friends from all over Scandinavia, Germany, Austria, Belgium and even a couple of intrepid flyers from New Zealand.
From top: overall winner Benoit Dierickx’s Polish-built Lom-engined Jungmeister replica and the home team’s handsome little KZ VIII
Left: Barry sporting a jazzy bonedome