Aircraft arrivals and departures
+ restored registration // * used imported // ^^^ factory-built microlight // ** homebuilt ++ re-registered, British owned // ^ surplus ex-military // ^^ from BGA Register
The most obvious indication of airline concern about Britain leaving the European Union has been easyjet’s adoption of a base in Austria, but now the Hungarian airline Wizz Air has obtained an Air Operator’s Certificate from the UK Civil Aviation Authority. Wizz commenced operations in 2004 and now claims to be the largest low-cost airline in Central and Eastern Europe. Its CEO says “The UK remains the single biggest travel market in Europe… and this ensures that our UK operations are Brexit-ready”. Its British base is Luton and some of the fleet will be Uk-registered, starting with Airbus A320s such as G-WUKE.
The Bulgars are coming
Central Europe is a hotbed of light aircraft innovation and this month sees the first Bulgarian Aeroplanes DAR product, Solo 120 G-CKYI. This is a Single Seat Deregulated three-axis microlight with a tractor podand-boom configuration, as with the Whittaker designs, but with a composite frame pared down to the bare minimum to meet German 120kg regulations. The high wing is made of aluminium sheet and it is designed for kitbuilding, although this example is factory-made. It features a rocket-based ballistic recovery parachute claimed to be effective at as little as thirty metres above ground level.
New start for Walrus
Several months ago we reported that Supermarine Walrus G-RNLI, subject of a slow restoration, had been declared permanently withdrawn from use, but it pops up again with a new owner and a new registration, G-WLRS. As mentioned in May’s Old Timers, the World War Two amphibian was bought by Isle of Wightbased Somerton Airways for envisioned services to France and Scandinavia. After a couple of months these ideas were dropped and the Walrus did not get a civil registration, eventually being turned into a holiday caravan on the island. The continuing work will be carried out by the Aircraft Restoration Company at Duxford.
In the late 1960s, Westland Helicopters entered an agreement to collaborate with the French manufacturers Aérospatiale on development of the Gazelle and Puma, wanted by the UK military, and the Lynx, wanted by the French Navy. The first Westland-built Gazelle aimed at the civilian market was built in 1973 and registered G-BAZL for Twyford Moors Helicopters, who had the contract for London Metropolitan Police operations, and it was reportedly used by the Special Branch. It was then sold to France where it featured in the French version of the Treasure Hunt television game show. On returning to Britain from Italy in 2001 it was registered G-EZEL but has now transferred to the Guernsey Register as 2-GAZL.
One of the oldest gyroplanes on the active register, Bensen B8M G-AXBG, is heading off to New Zealand. Home-built in 1969, it has been ever-present with just two owners although there is no information of hours flown.
Cameron N-77 balloon, advertising Blackpool Pleasure Beach, has been retired
Eurocopter EC155 G-NIVA has been sold in France