News from the historic aviation world
This year’s LAA International Rally at Sywell, 31 August – 2 September 2018 was a recordbreaker in more ways than one. The weather over the three days was exceptionally good, enabling nearly one thousand aircraft to fly in and over 4,500 people to visit the largest ever exhibition area.
Vintage and classic aircraft were well represented in both LAA and commercial ground displays, and amongst the daily invasion of a huge variety of mostly single-engined types. There was a special gathering of racing aircraft which included Shuttleworth’s famous Mew Gull G-AEXF and replica G-HEKL; Comper Swift G-ECTF, winner of the Best Replica Aircraft award; Cosmic Wind G-ARUL; Cassutt Racer G-LEFT; Taylor Titch G-AYZH and newly restored Chilton DW1A G-AFSV, which is expected to fly soon.
There was an impressive gathering of Miles aircraft over the weekend− messengers G-AKBO and ’KIN, Geminis G-AKHP and ’KKB, and the newly-arrived Mercury OY-ALW, which took centre stage.
Jez Cooke showed the bright red-painted Travel Air Mystery Ship ‘R’ to advantage when he departed the rally on Saturday morning as the similarly coloured, tiny Tipsy Trainer G-AISA arrived. There was a plethora of ‘warbirds’ ranging from a line-up of visiting L-birds−piper Grasshoppers and Aeronca Chiefs, promoting next summer’s 75th anniversary of the D-day gathering in Normandy, to Stow Maries’ replica Sopwith Pup A653, a pair of Titan Mustangs from Shobdon, ex-spanish AF Jungmeister G-CIJV and French
Navy-marked Morane Saulnier MS317 G-MOSA. The comings and goings from Air Leasing’s two hangars provided added interest, P-47D Thunderbolt G-THUN
Nellie being well photographed as it taxied out and took off for a display. Aircraft enthusiasts were pleased to get sight of the three airworthy HA1112 Buchóns G-AWHC, ’WHH and ’WHM plus three more airframes in the hangars, when the doors were opened.
In the visiting aircraft park, set aside from the long lines of Vans, Jodels and Europas was a scattering of Chipmunks, Bulldogs, Tiger Moths and Austers wearing their former or representative military markings. Particularly attractive was Auster J/5 Autocar G-ARKG resplendent in Royal Australian Navy markings as A11-301.
Nigel Lemon’s immaculate DH60G Moth Major G-ACGZ was awarded the PPS Trophy for the Best Moth at the rally.
ABOVE: Jez Cooke departing in the Travel Air Mystery Ship ‘R’
Replica Sopwith Pup A653 was roaded in from Stow Maries
Gemini G-AKHP arriving at Sywell on 1 September
Impatient Virgin, a colourful ‘high back’ Titan T-51B Mustang scale replica
DH60G G-ACGZ was judged the rally’s Best Moth
Auster Autocar painted in Royal Australian Navy markings