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Branch Secretary : Alan V. J. Eley 46, Cricket Lane Lichfield, Staffs WS14 9ER 01543-264674 E-mail : email@example.com April 2012 Newsletter April 1st is very near Pilots with a sense of adventure are required to fly the Met Office Contingency Aircraft, a Cessna 421C (rather strangely registered G-HIJK) on flights in and near clouds of volcanic ash such as the matter ejected many miles high from that Icelandic volcano in April 2010. The 1997 built Cessna is pressurized for high-altitude flight and powered by two Teledyne Continental turbo-charged engines to give it greater resilience when encountering ash that would damage turbines. It carries an array of sensors to enable it to detect ash concentrations at different levels and also to take measurements of actual atmospheric contaminants for analysis. Cranfield Aerospace was called upon to fit the equipment to the aircraft, which packs the aircraft, leaving room only for a crew of three. The operator DO Systems is a special missions company based at Bournemouth Airport (it also fitted special reconnaissance equipment to three DA.42 Diamond Star twin turbo-props G-DOSA/ B/ C and flew them on MoD missions over Middle East battlefields in recent years). The Cessna 421C will have the facility to gather data on ash and other atmospheric pollutants and transmit them by satellite communications to receivers on the ground managed by the London Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre, which will then tell airlines when and where it is safe to fly. All these measures are to prevent ash from a volcanic eruption bringing air travel across Europe to a standstill, as happened for five days in April 2010. (This is actually a genuine news item, but good luck to pilots flying through ash clouds) Branch meetings Our meeting on Tuesday 28th February, featured a superb presentation by Capt Caroline Gough-Cooper, Chairman of The British Women’s Pilots Association. She has been an airline pilot flying 748s for British Airways, F-27s and Electras for Channel Express and F-27s and Dash 8s for Flybe. Not only that, she has her own Robinson R.22 G-TCAL and flew it to Moscow in 2002 to take part in the World Helicopter Championships, winning the title of Ladies World Champion (she regained that title at the next contest, held in 2005). She told the story of women in British aviation over the last 100 years, bringing in many well-known names and also a host of new names of ladies who astonished the world with their exploits in the 1920s and 30s, before telling the story of the ATA with women pilots delivering over 300,000 military aircraft during WWII. On Tuesday 27th March we are to have our Annual General Meeting, when you can hear about our branch’s activities in the past year, study the financial statement supplied by our Treasurer, vote for new blood on the Committee if you wish, and have your say on how we run the branch in the months ahead. We hope to have an especially good turn-out for this meeting, as we have invited a high-ranking RAF officer (Group Captain Mark Heffron, the Station Commander of the Strike Command HQ at High Wycombe) to talk about the Royal Air Force’s future role as well as its recent past. He will have some interesting things to tell us and you will surely have a lot of questions to ask. Airport Security The usual warning to be on your guard when in and around airports. If you have any suspicions that a terrorist act is about to happen at an airport or airfield, use the hot-line direct to the Anti-Terrorist Squad : 0800-789-321. Airline news - Singapore Airlines has announced the retirement of its last Boeing 747. Its first 747 delivery was 9V-SIA (c/n 20712) on 31st July 1973 and it has since then acquired or leased more than 90 of the type and operated the world’s largest fleet of 747-400s with 51 examples in service at one time. 747-412 9V-SPQ will make a special commemorative flight between Singapore and Hong Kong (and back again) on 6 th April 2012 to mark the retirement of the final SIA passenger 747 after nearly four decades of flying “The Queen of the Skies”. The airline still operates 9 freighter versions of the 747, which it calls ‘Mega Ark’. - Another airline saying farewell to a much-loved aircraft type is British Airways, which has now seen its last 757-236 fly out to a new life as a freighter. G-CPET (c/n 29115) entered service in May 1998 and flew the airline’s last commemorative flights around the UK back in October 2011, painted up in the airline’s red-tailed ‘British’ colour-scheme from 1984 as worn by the first few BA 757s before they switched to the ‘Landor’ scheme with the so-called ‘fag-packet’ crest on the tail. G-CPET was flown to the USA in mid February still wearing its BA red-tail colours but with new engines fitted and with the registration N956FD to indicate its new owner, Federal Express. - Scandinavian Airlines System has been named as the most punctual airline in Europe for the third consecutive year, and also the third most punctual airline in the world, after All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines. SAS carried over 27 million passengers in 2011, two million more than the previous year. SAS operates a rather mixed fleet of Airbus A319s, A320s, A321s, A340s, Boeing 737s, Bombardier CRJ-700s and MD-80s. Cost-cutting will be helped by the retirement of SAS’ remaining MD-80s within 18 months. SAS faces stiff competition on many routes from low-cost carrier Norwegian and has to reduce its administrative and operating costs if it is to maintain its reputation and stay in business. - Ryanair has stepped in to fill the void in services to and from Hungary following the demise of Malev. The Irish low-cost carrier launched the first six of 32 new routes from Budapest on 17th February - Manx 2 is to launch a daily service from Oxford Airport to th the Isle of Man from 8 May, using a leased Jetstream 32 G-LNKS. The airline claims passengers will appreciate the convenience and personal service that Manx 2 can offer from a small regional airport. - Easy jet staff celebrated 10 years of operation from London Gatwick Airport in late February. This outpost of the low-cost airline currently serves 94 destinations with 50 based Airbus A319s and A320s. 25 % of all Gatwick movements are now Easy jet flights. Industry news - Another nail in the coffin of the British aircraft industry comes with the imminent closure of the BAE Systems factory at Brough in Yorkshire, where once Buccaneers rolled off the production lines. 845 of the 1300 skilled workers who are currently building the Hawk jet trainer will be laid off and the famous Blackburn factory closed down for ever. Robert Blackburn set up his Blackburn Aeroplane and Motor Company there in 1916, with the Swordfish and Buccaneer being perhaps the most famous designs to be produced there. BAE Systems has most recently turned out 24 Hawk T.2s for the Royal Air Force and had hopes of selling a large number of very similar Hawk trainers to the US military, but progress has been slow in this area and the company has had to cut back its work-force to meet falling demand for its products. - Rumours are spreading that Great Britain’s order for F-35 strike fighters for the Royal Navy may be switched back from the F-35C version requiring conventional take-off and landing (using steam catapults for take-off and arrester-gear for landing) to the F-35B version with STOVL (using ski-jump ramp for short take-off and then a vertical landing on the stern). Since the Harrier force was disbanded HM Government had favoured the F-35C which would have allowed inter-operability with French and US carriers. In fact £250 million has already been spent on changing the design of the two new Royal Navy carriers HMS Queen Elizabeth and Prince of Wales to accommodate steam catapults and arrester-gear ! - Airbus is having to face more unwanted publicity as it faces up to a relatively minor possibility of the nose-cone of its A380 coming loose in severe storms and turbulence. The company is to check all the fasteners in use and strengthen them if it proves necessary, replacing aluminium rivets with titanium fasteners. 68 A380s are in service around the world. - After severe criticism of Rolls-Royce’s handling of the RR Trent 900 engine blow-out on a Qantas A380, the Derby-based company is to set up a safety committee with a view to coping better with mechanical incidents with its products, especially from the public-relations aspect - this is common with the oil and gas exploration industries. Rolls-Royce was forced to take 53 early-build engines out of service, replacing them with engines on aircraft still on the A380 production line in order to keep airline services going. Rolls-Royce paid Qantas £62 million in compensation, this was in addition to the cost of the investigation into the accident (£54m). It was one of the most expensive engineering disasters ever experienced and Rolls shares fell sharply at the time (late 2010), but have since recovered. Rolls-Royce’s reputation was dented for a period but the engine company made a record pre-tax profit of £1.16 billion in 2011, so there has been no lasting effect from the Qantas incident. With multiple orders still rolling in for new Airbus and Boeing aircraft, RR has an aero engine order-book worth £62.2 billion. - A new-generation Rolls-Royce Trent engine, the XWB, which will be a principal power-unit for the largely composite Airbus A350 airliner, has been test-flown under the wing of an A380 flying test-bed aircraft, in the number 2 position. It has a power rating of 84,000 lbs thrust and will take the first A350 (a -900 variant) aloft in mid 2013. The first flight of the Trent XWB in the A380 test-bed was from Toulouse on 18th February and lasted more than five hours : it covered a wide range of power settings at altitudes up to 43,000 ft, flying at speeds up to Mach 0.9. - Following pressure from airlines, notably Qatar Airways, Airbus Industrie has now agreed to set up a conversion line for turning passenger A330s into freighters – it had refused to do this until now, preferring to sell new A330 freighters to the airlines (at a much higher price). The conversion of A330-200s and -300s is to be carried out at an Airbus subsidiary factory at Dresden, with entry into service for the first aircraft being planned for 2016. - The Boeing 787 has achieved two official records during th a journey around the world on 6 -7th December 2011. The sixth flight-test aircraft N787ZA left Boeing Field at Seattle with 6 pilots among the 13 people on board. It weighed 212 tonnes on take-off, of which 103 tonnes were fuel, and flew non-stop via New York and the Mediterranean to Dhaka, Bangladesh covering a distance of 10,710 nautical miles (a record in the 200-250 tonnes weight class previously held by an Airbus A330 that flew 9127 nm in 2002). The 787 had 13.6 t of fuel remaining on landing. During the 1 hr 52 min stop for refuelling in the Bangladeshi capital, some 200 people toured the new twin-jet. With a further 86 tonnes of fuel in its tanks, the 787 then flew on eastwards over China and the Pacific Ocean. It landed back at Seattle with 9.1 tonnes of fuel remaining, even after accelerating to Mach 0.88 for the final 6 hours of the flight. The total elapsed time for the round the world flight was 42 hrs and 26 minutes. Two observers from the US National Aeronautic Association were on board to verify the flight and later handed Boeing two certificates that confirmed the time for the around the world flight and the record for the longest flight for an aircraft in the 787’s weight class. [This was not the longest airliner flight in history – that honour goes to the Qantas 747-438 VH-OJA ‘City of Canberra’ that flew non-stop from Heathrow to Sydney in 20 hours 9 minutes on its delivery flight in August 1989, a distance of 11,185 miles. The aircraft landed with 5.6 tonnes of fuel remaining from the 103 tonnes loaded at Heathrow, enough to fly for a further 45 minutes ; it carried five pilots, two cabin crew and sixteen passengers] - A surprise for watchers at Heathrow on 2nd March was the first visit by a Boeing 787. This was JA805A of All Nippon Airways which was forced to divert from Frankfurt at the end of a long flight from Tokyo, because of fog and low visibility. Other possible diversion airports on the continent such as Munich and Paris / Charles de Gaulle were similarly fog-bound. The 787 positioned back to Frankfurt later in the day, ready for its return flight to Tokyo/Haneda. ANA now has five 787s in service. - The first Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental was handed over th on 28 February, leaving the company’s factory-airfield at Everett in Washington state for a two-year completion process, since the aircraft is intended for life as a VIP transport. Registered A7-HHE and with construction number 37544, the first 747-8I is destined for Qatar’s Amiri Flight. It first flew on 30th January 2012 and will be fitted out with all the luxury trimmings at Wichita, Kansas, with final completion and handover at Lufthansa Technik’s Hamburg base in 2014. A further eight VIP aircraft are on order for six customers. Airport News - The new Berlin Brandenburg Airport, that is to replace Tegel as the principal airport for the German capital, is well on track for its opening on 3rd June 2012. Constructed on the far-side of the old Schönefeld Airport, the new terminal facilities were checked out by teams of volunteers in early February, playing the part of passengers to try all aspects of the airport’s services. Check-in desks were manned and luggage was dropped off and boarding-passes issued before the 250 volunteers were checked by security and then shown to their boarding gates. Further tests will take place on 30 separate days with a total of 10,000 volunteers helping the airport authority to iron out any problems before the official opening in June (the Germans are nothing if not thorough). - Southend Airport’s new terminal building was declared th open for business on 5 March, followed closely by the inauguration of the 984 ft runway extension at the west end of the airport. Now Easy Jet is making preparations for its first services on 2nd April, it will fly to Spanish destinations such as Alicante, Malaga, Barcelona, Ibiza and Palma, as well as Faro, Belfast, Jersey and Amsterdam. - Luton Airport has submitted plans for developments that would seen passenger capacity increase to 18 million per year. The road access would be re-configured, a new multi-storey car-park would be built, and runway/taxi-track improvements made, allowing high-speed turn-offs for landing aircraft, with no need to back-track down the runway. New on the scene - These are the new GB airliner registrations this month, with more of the new series of 737-800s for Thomson Airways, another ‘big bird’ for BA and two more A320s for Easy Jet, replacing lower-capacity A319s now returned off-lease. Reg. Type c/n p.i. Operator Further details G-CGYU Avro RJ.85 2275 OO-DJN Trident Leasing, Reg. 20/ 2/ 12 Kemble G-CHAK 737-505 24647 LN-BRO European Aviation, Reg. 22/ 2/ 12 Bournemouth G-EZUL A320-214 5019 - Easy Jet Reg. 8/ 2/ 12 G-EZUM A320-214 5020 - Easy Jet Reg. 3/ 2/ 12 G-LEAP Turbine 2183 G-BLND Britten Norman Ltd Re-reg. 10/ 2/ 12 Islander G-STBF 777-336ER 40543 - British Airways Reg. 21/ 2/ 12 G-TAWB 737-8K5 37242 - Thomson Airways Reg. 6/ 2/ 12 G-TAWC 737-8K5 39922 - Thomson Airways Reg. 13/ 2/ 12 G-TAWD 737-8K5 37265 - Thomson Airways Reg. 23/ 2/ 12 Sightings at Zürich during the time of the World Economic Forum The week of the gathering of world leaders at Davos, in Eastern Switzerland is clearly a time to see a lot of the biz-jets and airliners that bring them (according to Jet Aviation which handled the bulk of the business aircraft that brought heads of state and other dignitaries into Zürich for the World Economic Forum taking place in Davos, a total of 460 aircraft were handled in a three-day period). Enthusiast Alec Wilson was among many hardy souls who braved the chilly wastes of Zürich Airport and Dübendorf airfield between 27th and 29th January, sending in a monumental report that includes several hundred aircraft and quite a few helicopters (Dübendorf is basically a Swiss Air Force base that houses the Swiss Military Air Museum and two of the remaining airworthy Junkers 52 tri-motor transports - for the duration of the Economic Forum it was a relief landing-ground for many biz jets bringing VIPs to the event). In all cases the aircraft’s construction number is given as well as its registration, type designation and operator. Day 1 -- 27/01/12 First outing of the year and an early start from the Travelodge, Heathrow Central for the 0532 N9 bus (£1.35 with Oyster as opposed to £4.50 Hotel Hoppa) to Terminal 5 for BA710 at 0725 to ZRH & the annual visit for the World Economic Forum & associated movements the event attracts. My aircraft for the 75 minute flight to Switzerland was A319 G-EUPN. Surprisingly it was only around 50 % full. I arrived to a cold and drizzly ZRH around 1000 local & once through immigration and with my bag dumped in a left luggage locker (at a cost of 6 Swiss francs), it was up to level 11 of car park 6, where I stayed until around 1330 before going to the terrace on Terminal B in time for the 2 hour photo tour at 1430. (More on the terrace later.) Log of 33 airliners at Zürich on Day 1 – 27th January (excludes Swiss) : 9V-SKM Airbus A380-841 065 Singapore Airlines A4O-DC Airbus A330-243 1049 Oman Air A7-ACI Airbus A330-202 746 Qatar Airways A9C-KI Airbus A330-243 532 Gulf Air (on maintenance.) 9A-CQC De Havilland Canada Dash 8Q-402 4258 Croatia Airlines CS-TNN Airbus A320-232 1816 TAP Air Portugal D-AEBH Embraer Emb-195-200LR 19000447 Lufthansa Regional D-AEME Embraer Emb-195-200LR 19000308 Lufthansa Regional D-AFKB Fokker F.100 11527 Lufthansa Regional D-AGES Boeing 737-75B 28108 Air Berlin D-AGEU Boeing 737-75B 28104 Air Berlin D-AGPK Fokker F-100 11313 Lufthansa Regional D-AGWP Airbus A319-132 4227 Germanwings E7-AAD ATR 72-212 464 Bosnia and Herzegovina Airlines EC-HQL Airbus A320-214 1461 Vueling Airlines G-LCYO Embraer Emb-190-100SR 19000430 BA Cityflyer HB-IIR Boeing 737-86Q 30295 Privatair HB-IOQ Airbus A320-214 3422 Belair HB-IOR Airbus A320-214 4033 Belair HB-IOS Airbus A320-214 2968 Belair HB-IOW Airbus A320-214 3055 Belair HB-JIX Airbus A320-214 1210 Hello HB-JIZ Airbus A320-214 0936 Hello HB-JOZ Airbus A320-214 4631 Belair HS-TLD Airbus A340-541 775 Thai Airways HS-TNB Airbus A340-642 681 Thai Airways JY-AYN Airbus A319-132 3803 Royal Jordanian Airlines LZ-HBG British Aerospace 146-300 E3146 HemusAir OH-BLG Boeing 717-2CM 55059 Blue1 TC-JHA Boeing 737-8F2 35740 THY Turkish Airlines UR-GAP Boeing 737-4Z9 27094 Ukraine International Airlines VQ-BBC Airbus A320-214 3835 Aeroflot Russian Airlines YL-BAE De Havilland Canada Dash 8Q-402NG 4289 Air Baltic Day 1 - Government/Corporate/GA : 06-0500 Gulfstream C-37B 5152 United States Air Force 251 Gulfstream G4 1160 Irish Air Corps 356 Boeing 737-528 27426 Peruvian Air Force (FAP-356 under port wing.) 3A-MGA Dassault Falcon 900EX EASy 195 Prince Albert of Monaco 4K-AI02 Airbus A319-115LR 2487 Azerbaijan Airlines 4L-GAA Canadair Regional-Jet 850 8046 Georgian Airways 4O-AOB Embraer EMB.195 200LR 19000283 Montenegro Airlines 97-0400 Gulfstream C-37A 521 United States Air Force A7-AFE Airbus A310-308 667 Qatar Airways Amiri Flight (on maintenance) B-8095 Gulfstream G550 5059 Deer Jet B-8100 Gulfstream G550 5024 Deer Jet CN-AMK Cessna 560 560-6047 Royal Moroccan Air Force CN-RBS Hawker-Siddeley 125-900XP HA-0091 Corporate CS-DHB Cessna 550/551 550-1009 NetJets Europe CS-DRQ Hawker-Siddeley 125-800XPi 258783 NetJets Europe CS-DUE Hawker-Siddeley 125-750 HB-11 NetJets Europe D-AXTM Bombardier Global Express 9102 FAI-Rent-a-jet D-BEKY Dassault Falcon 2000LX 201 Corporate D-CCEU Cessna 650 650-0190 Air Traffic D-CCFF Cessna 680 680-0114 Corporate D-CEFO Cessna 560 560-6082 Air Hamburg D-IAAW Embraer EMB-500 50000245 Arcus-Air-Logistic D-ICKM Beech B200 BB-1005 Alpha Executive Flugbetrieb D-INDY Eclipse Aviation 500 000246 Corporate D-IOWA Cessna 525 525-0624 Corporate D-IPOD Cessna 525 525-0193 Corporate D-ISMS Piper PA-42-1000 42-5527018 Corporate EC-JYQ Learjet 60 60-249 TAG Aviation Spain EC-KBR Gulfstream G550 5124 TAG Aviation Spain EC-KJH Bombardier Global Express 9094 TAG Aviation Spain F-HHSC Cessna 525 525-0499 Corporate G-CMAS Embraer ERJ-135BJ 145-01142 Execujet (UK) G-LALE Embraer ERJ-135BJ 145-01017 London Executive Aviation G-ORYX Hawker-Siddeley 125-900XP HA-0048 Corporate G-WLVS Dassault Falcon 2000LX 141 Corporate HB-CZT Cessna T.182T T182-08931 Private HB-CZX Cessna T.182T T182-08965 Private HB-DBF Ruschmeyer R90-230RG 006 Private HB-FOQ Pilatus PC-12-45 349 Lions Air HB-FVM Pilatus PC-12-47E 1291 Corporate HB-HEH FFA AS 20215 004 Private HB-IAU Dassault Falcon 2000EX 14 Cat Aviation HB-IHQ Bombardier Global Express 9011 Corporate HB-IUT IAI Galaxy 007 Corporate HB-JFK Embraer EMB-500 500-00062 Corporate HB-JGI Dassault Falcon 7X 67 Rabbit Air HB-JGJ Gulfstream G450 4122 Corporate HB-JIL Cessna 680 680-0179 Corporate HB-JRA Bombardier 604 5529 REGA Swiss Air Ambulance HB-JRB Bombardier 604 5530 REGA Swiss Air Ambulance HB-JRG Bombardier 604 5659 Corporate HB-LEL Piper PA-34-200 34-7350313 EFOS Flight-Charter AG HB-LHW Cessna 402B 402B-0926 EFOS Flight-Charter AG HB-LIN Piper PA-60-601P 61P-0571-7963248 Corporate HB-LRV Piper PA-31T 31T-7820017 Corporate HB-LTW Diamond DA 42 42.063 Private HB-LZR Diamond DA 42 42.342 Fliegerschule St Gallen HB-NCB Rockwell Commander 112A 165 Private HB-OHC Piper PA-28180 28-3623 Private HB-PPH Piper PA-46350P 4636045 Private HB-PQG Piper PA-28R-201T 28R-7803047 Private HB-VMU Cessna 560 560-5066 Jet Aviation Business Jets HB-VMY Cessna 550/551 550-0964 Jet Aviation Business Jets HB-VNU Cessna 500/501 500-0282 Corporate (Stored, allocated N282SA, but this reservation expired 30/06/11) HB-VOP Cessna 525A 525A-0385 Corporate HB-XWB Agusta A-109K2 10002 REGA Swiss Air Ambulance HB-ZCU Robinson R44 0986 Heli Sitterdorf AG HB-ZHK Robinson R44 11283 Heli Sitterdorf AG HB-ZOO Eurocopter AS.355 NP 5751 Corporate HB-ZVG Agusta A-109E 11780 Skymedia HL8200 Gulfstream G550 5233 Corporate HP-1A Embraer ERJ-135BJ 145-01066 Panamanian Government I-SEAR Dassault Falcon 900EX EASy 183 Corporate I-TOPH Hawker-Siddeley 125-850XP 258809 Sirio JY-RYN Cessna 650 650-7029 Raya Jet M-HSNT Bombardier Challenger 300 20233 Corporate M-VQBI Bombardier Global Express 9213 Gama Aviation M-YBJK Gulfstream G550 5316 Corporate N101MH Gulfstream GV 609 Corporate N14VH Cirrus Design SR-20 1115 Private N155AN Gulfstream G550 5029 Corporate N170SW Bombardier Global Express 9042 Wal-Mart Stores Inc N176CL Dassault Falcon 900EX 110 Corporate N194WM Bombardier Global Express 9277 Corporate N197KA Dassault Falcon 2000LX 182 Corporate N1KE Gulfstream GV 574 Corporate N208LT Bombardier 604 5440 Corporate N229DK Dassault Falcon 900EX EASy 229 Corporate N262MP Cirrus Design SR-20 1425 Private N273JC Dassault Falcon 7X 18 Corporate N298W Dassault Falcon 900 45 Corporate N2BD Dassault Falcon 900EX 72 Corporate N303TP Gulfstream G IVSP 1411 Corporate N3546 Gulfstream GV 672 Corporate N376G Bombardier Global 5000 9164 General Electric Company N3975A Bombardier Challenger 300 20170 Corporate N437GA Gulfstream GIVSP 1437 National Air Services N494EC Gulfstream G450 4226 Corporate N505D Gulfstream G550 5323 Corporate N51QZ Cessna 421C 421C-1237 Corporate N550KF Gulfstream G550 5095 Executive Jet Management N56UH Gulfstream G500 5158 Corporate N585A Gulfstream G550 5110 Saudi ARAMCO Aviation N585JC Gulfstream GV 618 Executive Jet Management N586D Gulfstream G4SP 1439 Corporate N606CH Gulfstream G450 4089 Corporate N628BD Gulfstream GV 628 Corporate N637TF Bombardier 604 5637 Corporate N653MK Gulfstream G550 5211 Corporate N670RW IAI Galaxy G200 160 Corporate N674RW Gulfstream G550 5234 Corporate N67TM Gulfstream G IVSP 1409 Corporate N697A Gulfstream GV 662 Corporate N6D Bombardier Global Express 9191 Corporate N716CG Dassault Falcon 2000LX 174 Corporate N733H Dassault Falcon 2000LX 219 Dassault Falcon Jet Corp N741SP Dassault Falcon 2000LX 207 Corporate N752GM Cessna 750 750-0276 Corporate N7600S Dassault Falcon 900EX EASy 173 Corporate N761XP Hawker-Siddeley 125-850XP 258761 Corporate N787AD Dassault Falcon 7X 73 Corporate N795BA Gulfstream G550 5031 Corporate N801DE Dassault Falcon 2000LX 203 Corporate N885WT Gulfstream G550 5237 Corporate N888GQ IAI Galaxy G200 167 Corporate N900CH Dassault Falcon 2000EX 1 Corporate N905T Bombardier Global Express 9179 Corporate N907AT Aero Commander Turbo Commander 690A 11105 Corporate N910JW Dassault Falcon 900 31 Corporate N917GA Gulfstream G550 5317 Corporate N966E Dassault Falcon 900EX EASy 126 Honeywell International N9895 Dassault Falcon 2000LX 184 Corporate OE-FCP Cessna 510 510-0019 Corporate OE-FHB Cessna 525A 525A-0049 Corporate OE-FMY Cessna 510 510-0106 Corporate OE-FSG Cessna 525A 525A-0203 Tyrolean Jet Service OE-GEH Cessna 560 560-5755 Avcon Jet OE-GGP Cessna 560 560-5701 International Jet Management OE-GSZ Cessna 560 560-5763 Avcon Jet OE-GTH Beech King Air 350 FL-702 Corporate OE-GVP Learjet 60 60-407 VistaJet OE-IDG Bombardier 604 5654 Global Jet Concept P4-VVF Bombardier Global Express 9147 Global Jet Concept PP-AAD Cessna 680 680-0260 Corporate SP-LIH Embraer EMB.175-200LR 17000288 Polish Government T.18-3 Dassault Falcon 900 77 Spanish Air Force TC-AHS Hawker-Siddeley 125-800XP 258504 Corporate TC-SGO Dassault Falcon 2000LX 180 Corporate TP-01 Boeing 757-225 22690 Mexican Government UR-ABA Airbus A319-115CJ 3260 Ukraine Government UR-HBD Beech 350 FL-469 Aerostar (UR) VQ-BIL Beech 400XP RK-480 Corporate VT-HJA Raytheon Hawker 4000 RC-26 Corporate VT-JSB Bombardier Global Express 9114 Corporate VT-ONE Gulfstream G IV 1231 Corporate YR-RUS Cessna 510 510-0045 Direct Aero Service After the tour it was back to the car park until about 1815 hrs, before going to the Hotel Welcome Inn, Kloten, to thaw out! Day 2 -- 28/01/12 From the Hotel Welcome Inn, Kloten station is a 3 minute walk where a 30 minute train journey, changing at Oerlikon, will get you to Dübendorf. The airport is a 5 minute walk down the road. Single-fare zone 21 was 4.10 Swiss francs. Similarly, on the return, change at Oerlikon for ZRH airport, same fare & approx.30 minutes journey time. Just these ten aircraft were at Dübendorf between 0900 & 1000 hrs : G-IDRO Bombardier Global Express 9286 Corporate HB-AEU Dornier Do.328-310 3199 Swiss Jet AG HB-JGJ Gulfstream G450 4122 Corporate N312P Dassault Falcon 7X 72 Executive Jet Management N343FX Bombardier 605 5761 Flexjets N385WL Gulfstream G550 5196 Corporate N443M Gulfstream G550 5199 Chevron Petroleum USA N808JG Gulfstream GV 598 Corporate PR-BTG Dassault Falcon 7X 106 Corporate VT-SBK Dassault Falcon 900EX 89 Corporate And outside the Ju Air hangars at Dübendorf : HB-HOP Junkers Ju.52/3mg4e 6610 of Ju-Air HB-HOY Junkers CASA 352L 96 of Ju-Air There was nobody about to give permission for hangar access. The strangely named Flieger Flab Museum of Swiss military aircraft is located here, but as I saw it last year I gave it a miss. I got back to ZRH at around 1045. Similar pattern/log format to the 27th. I was on the 1430 ramp tour which was a little more relaxed. A lot of aircraft had already departed and there were only around a dozen people on the tour. Hence a little more time was spent around the Jet Aviation ramp "gleaning" things out the hangars and one GA hangar was open for inspection! Another 27 airliners seen at Zürich on Day 2: 4X-EKI Boeing 737-86N (28587) of El Al Israel Airlines 9A-CQA De Havilland Canada Dash 8Q-402 (4205) of Croatia Airlines 9V-SKN Airbus A380-841 (071) of Singapore Airlines A6-ECH Boeing 777-31HER (35581) of Emirates Airlines A7-AHQ Airbus A320-232 (4930) of Qatar Airways E7-AAD ATR 72-212 (464) of Bosnia and Herzegovina Airlines EC-JNB Canadair Regional Jet 900 (15057) of Air Nostrum EC-KFT Airbus A319-111 (3179) of Iberia G-ISLF ATR 42-512 (546) of Blue Islands G-LCYF Embraer Emb-170-100LR (170-00298) of BA Cityflyer HB-JHQ Airbus A330-343X (1193) of Edelweiss Air HB-JLP Airbus A320-214 (4618) of Swiss International Air Lines HB-JOZ Airbus A320-214 (4631) of Belair OH-BLG Boeing 717-2CM (55059) of Blue 1 OH-LKN Embraer Emb-190-100 IGW (190-00252) of Finnair OM-TVA Boeing 737-86N (32243) of Travel Service Slovakia SE-DJO British Aerospace 146-RJ85 (E2226) of Malmo Aviation TC-AAK Boeing 737-8FH (35094) of Pegasus Airlines TC-JCT Airbus A310 304F 502) of THY Turkish Airlines TC-JRE Airbus A321-231 (3126) of THY Turkish Airlines TC-JRL Airbus A321-231 (3539) of THY Turkish Airlines TC-SNG Boeing 737-8HC (36530) of SunExpress TC-SUI Boeing 737-8CX (32367) of SunExpress TS-IOM Boeing 737-6H3 (29498) of Tunisair TS-IOR Boeing 737-6H3 (29502) of Tunisair VP-BDO Airbus A319111 (2091) of Aeroflot Russian Airlines YL-BAJ De Havilland Canada Dash 8Q-402NG (4309) of Air Baltic Government/Corporate/GA seen at Zürich 28/1 : 102001 Gulfstream G IV / Tp102A 1014 Swedish Air Force 2585 Embraer ERJ-135 VC-99B 14501078 Brazilian Air Force CN-AMK Cessna 560 560-6047 Royal Moroccan Air Force CN-RBS Hawker-Siddeley 125-900XP HA-0091 Corporate CN-TJB Learjet 45 45-112 Corporate CS-DHF Cessna 550/551 550-1025 NetJets Europe CS-DKG Gulfstream G550 5127 NetJets Europe CS-DKI Gulfstream G550 5166 NetJets Europe CS-DNR Dassault Falcon 2000 120 NetJets Europe CS-DRU Hawker-Siddeley 125-800XPi 258821 NetJets Europe CS-DXZ Cessna 560 560-5796 NetJets Europe D-AVIB Embraer ERJ-135BJ 14501109 Vibro Air D-CEFO Cessna 560 560-6082 Air Hamburg D-IPVD Cessna 525A 525A-0218 Corporate EC-KMK Cessna 680 680-0178 TAG Aviation Spain EC-LIY Gulfstream G550 5279 Gestair F-GLSA Dassault Falcon 50EX 348 Corporate G-EDCM Cessna 525A 525A-0213 Air Charter Scotland G-FBKA Cessna 510 510-0096 Blink G-LGKD Gulfstream G550 5172 TAG Aviation (UK) G-RUBE Embraer ERJ-135BJ 145-01100 London Executive Aviation G-XXZZ Learjet 60 60-328 GAMA Aviation G-YAGT Bombardier 605 5756 Ocean Sky Aviation HB-CFT Reims-Cessna F.172P 2133 Motorfluggruppe Zurich HB-CHC Reims-Cessna F.152 1936 Private HB-CKG Reims-Cessna F.172P 2251 Motorfluggruppe Zurich HB-CYC Cessna 172RG 172RG-0556 Motorfluggruppe Zurich HB-CZT Cessna T.182T T182-08931 Private HB-CZW Cessna T.182T T182-08719 Private HB-CZX Cessna T.182T T182-08965 Private HB-DHG Mooney M.20K 25-1170 Private HB-EFM Beech V35 D-8414 Private HB-GJH Beech C90 LJ-972 Corporate HB-IHQ Bombardier Global Express 9011 Corporate HB-JGQ Bombardier Challenger 300 20237 Execujet Europe HB-JSS Dassault Falcon 7X 02 Cat Aviation HB-KHR Cirrus Design SR-22 2973 Private HB-LEL Piper PA-34-200 34-7350313 EFOS Flight-Charter AG HB-LIN Piper PA-60-601P 61P-0571-7963248 Corporate HB-LKM Piper PA-34-200T 34-7970106 Private HB-LRV Piper PA-31T 31T-7820017 Corporate HB-LRY Piper PA-34-220T 34-33132 Flugschule Eichenberger AG HB-LTW Diamond DA. 42 42.063 Private HB-LUV Cessna T303 T303-00058 Private HB-LZR Diamond DA. 42 42.342 Fliegerschule St Gallen HB-PDI Piper PA-28-181 28-7990338 Private HB-PIV Piper PA-28-181 28-8190002 Motorfluggruppe Zurich HB-PMT Piper PA-28-181 28-90151 Motorfluggruppe Zurich HB-PQG Piper PA-28R-201T 28R-7803047 Private HB-RSC Lockheed C-121C 4175 Super Constellation Flyers Association HB-VKW Hawker-Siddeley 125-800B 258246 Corporate HB-VMY Cessna 550/551 550-0964 Jet Aviation Business Jets HB-VNE Beechjet 400A RK-318 Corporate HB-VOD Cessna 525 525-0415 Jet Aviation Business Jets HB-VPG Embraer EMB-505 50500068 Jet Aviation Business Jets HB-ZCU Robinson R.44 0986 Heli Sitterdorf AG HB-ZHK Robinson R.44 11283 Heli Sitterdorf AG HB-ZKQ Eurocopter EC120B 1316 Heli Sitterdorf AG HL7227 Boeing 737-7HF 35977 Corporate I-SNAW Dassault Falcon 2000 12 Corporate J-755 Gulfstream GIVSP 1325 Pakistan Air Force JY-AYN Airbus A319-132 3803 Royal Jordanian Airlines LX-AFD Dassault Falcon 900DX 615 Global Jet Concept LX-DEC Cessna 680 680-0253 Corporate LX-EVM Dassault Falcon 2000LX 181 Global Jet Concept LX-INS Cessna 560 560-5727 Corporate M-APWC Learjet 60 60-326 Corporate M-GSKY Bombardier Global Express 9420 Corporate M-SAIR Dassault Falcon 900B 141 Corporate N176CL Dassault Falcon 900EX 110 Corporate N229DK Dassault Falcon 900EX EASy 229 Corporate N303TP Gulfstream GIVSP 1411 Corporate N312P Dassault Falcon 7X 72 Executive Jet Management N343FX Bombardier 605 5761 Flexjets N376G Bombardier Global 5000 9164 General Electric Company N383LJ Learjet 60 60-383 Bombardier Aerospace Corporation N385WL Gulfstream G550 5196 Corporate N388WS Bombardier Challenger 300 20108 Corporate N444HE Boeing 737-39A 23800 Corporate N452QS Gulfstream GIVSP 1352 NetJets International N466M Neico Lancair LC-41-550FG 41780 Private N494EC Gulfstream G450 4226 Corporate N505D Gulfstream G550 5323 Corporate N528QS Gulfstream G550 5042 NetJets International N608CH Gulfstream G450 4098 Corporate N637TF Bombardier 604 5637 Corporate N666NN Piper PA-34220T 34-49226 Private N697A Gulfstream GV 662 Corporate N751NS Hawker-Siddeley 125-750 HB-23 National Air Services N761XP Hawker-Siddeley 125-850XP 258761 Corporate N795BA Gulfstream G550 5031 Corporate N804AS Bombardier Global Express 9141 Corporate N82CN Bombardier 604 5395 Corporate N885WT Gulfstream G550 5237 Corporate N900CH Dassault Falcon 2000EX 1 Corporate N907AT Aero Commander Turbo Commander 690A 11105 Corporate N917GA Gulfstream G550 5317 Corporate N920DS Boeing 737-75V 28579 Corporate N9895 Dassault Falcon 2000LX 184 Corporate N999NB Gulfstream G IV 1234 Corporate OE-FHB Cessna 525 525-0049 Corporate OE-GGP Cessna 560 560-5701 International Jet Management OE-HMS Dornier Do.328-300 3121 Tyrolean Jet Service OY-PNO Dassault Falcon 2000EX EASy 103 Air Alsie OY-WIN Bombardier Global Express 9280 Execujet Europe P4-TPS Gulfstream G550 5193 Corporate RA-67227 Bombardier 605 5803 Corporate S5-ADD Bombardier 605 5754 Elit Avia SX-IRP IAI Galaxy G200 142 Gainjet TC-FIB Bombardier 605 5747 Corporate VQ-BSC Bombardier Global Express 9297 Corporate VT-IAH Airbus A319-115X 2837 Corporate XA-AHM Gulfstream GV 548 Corporate Day 3 - 29/01/12 Final day and after breakfast I was on the 0830 hotel shuttle bus to the airport. Checked in, dropped the bag and was on the MSCP for another spell of "cold" spotting just after 0900. Stayed here until about 1300 when I moved inside to the comfort of Terminal E for my BA flight back to LHR. A virtually empty terminal and I was able to sit near gates 22/23 unhindered. Nothing that arrives or departs will be missed from here and it also gives views across to Heliport West which can't be seen from the car park, hence the group of seven helicopters. Significantly quieter than before but enough to stave off any boredom. 23 airliners seen at Zurich 29/1 until departure at 1700 hrs : 4O-AOP Fokker F-100 (11332) of Montenegro Airlines 4X-EKT Boeing 737-8BK (33030) of El Al Israel Airlines 9A-CQF de Havilland Canada Dash 8Q-402 (4301) of Croatia Airlines 9V-SKP Airbus A380 841 (079) of Singapore Airlines A4O-DG Airbus A330-243 (1227) of Oman Air A6-EBE Boeing 777-36NER (32788) of Emirates Airlines A7-AHR Airbus A320-232 (4968) of Qatar Airways B-6133 Airbus A330-243 (982) of Hainan Airlines D-ABFT Airbus A320-214 (4674) of Air Berlin D-AEMD Embraer EMB.195-200LR (19000305) of Lufthansa Regional D-AIDG Airbus A321-231 (4672) of Lufthansa E7-AAE ATR. 72-212 (465) of Bosnia and Herzegovina Airlines HB-JHK Airbus A330-343X (1276) of Swiss International Air Lines HS-TND Airbus A340-642 (710) of Thai Airways OE-LEE Airbus A320-214 (2749) of Fly Niki OH-BLN Boeing 717-2K9 (55053) of Blue1 OY-KFD Canadair Regional-Jet 900 (15221) of SAS Scandinavian Airlines OY-KFG Canadair Regional-Jet 900 (15237) of SAS Scandinavian Airlines S5-AAI Canadair Regional-Jet 200LR (7248) of Adria Airways TC-AEP Boeing 737-82R (40724) of Pegasus Airlines TC-JRJ Airbus A321-231 (3429) THY of Turkish Airlines UR-GAK Boeing 737-5Y0 (26075) of Ukraine International Airlines VP-BQW Airbus A320-214 (2947) of Aeroflot Russian Airlines Another 40 Corporate/GA aircraft seen at Zürich on 29/1 : D-CJJJ Cessna 550S S550-0086 Corporate D-CLAT Cessna 525B 525B-0085 Corporate D-COST Cessna 680 680-0153 Corporate D-ICTA Cessna 550/551 551-0051 Corporate D-INDY Eclipse Aviation 500 000246 Corporate D-IVVA Cessna 525A 525A-0147 Corporate EC-HYI Dassault Falcon 2000 150 Gestair F-HAGA Cessna 525B 525B-0258 Corporate G-CIEL Cessna 560 560-5247 London Executive Aviation G-IDRO Bombardier Global Express 9286 Corporate HB-DHZ Mooney M.20M 27-0046 Private HB-FOW Pilatus PC-12-45 411 Corporate HB-GJH Beech C90 LJ-972 Corporate HB-IGI Dassault Falcon 900EX 83 Cat Aviation HB-JGJ Gulfstream G450 4122 Corporate HB-JLK Dassault Falcon 7X 44 Corporate HB-JOB Dassault Falcon 7X 80 Corporate HB-JST Dassault Falcon 7X 17 Cat Aviation HB-ZCP Agusta A-109E 11075 Karen SA HB-ZHG Agusta A-109A 7213 Karen SA HB-ZHP Agusta A-109S 22025 Swift Copters HB-ZPX Agusta AW-109SP 22230 Skymedia HB-ZRW Agusta AW-109SP 22207 REGA Swiss Air Ambulance HB-ZUU Agusta-Westland AW139 31152 Swiss Jet AG HB-ZUV Agusta-Westland AW139 31236 Air Engiadina I-FXRI Piaggio P-180 1189 K-air M-MMAS Bombardier Global Express 9267 Corporate M-YAAA Bombardier Global Express 9136 Corporate M-YBST Bombardier 604 5620 Corporate N1812C Bombardier Global Express 9075 Corporate N250LG Dassault Falcon 7X 12 Corporate N415P Gulfstream G550 5312 Corporate N443M Gulfstream G550 5199 Chevron Petroleum USA N451NS Gulfstream G450 4082 National Air Services N5MC Gulfstream G IV 1218 Corporate N725LB Bombardier Global Express 9129 Corporate N808JG Gulfstream GV 598 Corporate OE-GRZ Cessna 525B 525B-0219 Jet Alliance OE-INU Bombardier 605 5749 VistaJet OO-CEJ Cessna 525 525-0172 Corporate SP-ZSZ Bombardier Challenger 300 20044 Jet Service SX-CDK Embraer ERJ-135BJ 14500998 Corporate SX-GJN Bombardier Global Express BD-700-1A10 9260 Gainjet TC-AZR Dassault Falcon 900EX EASy 236 Corporate VP-BBP Dassault Falcon2000 160 Corporate VT-SBK Dassault Falcon900EX 89 Corporate YU-BUU Cessna 525A 525A-0411 Corporate Finally, a note on the new viewing deck on Terminal B. Entrance is 5 Swiss francs with the usual PAX style security check.. A radio/SBS or similar is recommended as anything landing runway 14, (which is most arrivals) cannot be seen after landing unless they taxi round. Most departures use runway 28 & you need to be quick to read these off as Terminal A obscures the first half of the runway. Occasional departures off runway 32 will be missed altogether, especially if the cloud base is low. The airport have to be congratulated on the new terrace, however there were many enthusiasts, not just from the UK on the car park and I heard many comments about the deck on Terminal E not being open. And the two photo tours that I went on weren't full. Whether this will have any influence next year, only time will tell. My flight back to LHR in newish A320 G-EUYM was full, it took just under 90 mins. Information about the hotel that Alec used during his three-day visit : Hotel Welcome Inn, Kloten is about a mile & half from Zurich airport. Single room was about £80 per night which doesn't include breakfast. Not cheap, but then Switzerland isn't cheap. A twin room would be about £55 per person. The breakfast was buffet style & included hot, (scrambled eggs/bacon & baked beans) as well as the usual continental fare + cereals, fruit, etc. It worked out about £11.Very comfortable room with all the amenities you'd expect. The hotel has a restaurant & bar. Other restaurants are nearby in Kloten. A Shuttle Bus operates from the airport arrivals level at approx. every 30 minutes (every 15 minutes during peak times). No problem with pick-up from the airport but going to the airport it's recommended you book with reception. They will give you a time-table. There are 2 other hotels nearby (Fly Away and Allegra) which maybe worth a look and each is served by the same courtesy bus. The short history of Darwin Airlines This second-tier Swiss airline came into being in 2003 when a group of pilots and airline staff met at Lugano/Agno Airport in Switzerland to form a replacement for the national carrier Swissair, which went bankrupt in March 2002 in the chaotic trading conditions that followed the September 11th attacks on New York the previous year. Suddenly Lugano had lost all its connecting flights save the one with Zürich and Darwin Airlines’ first priority was to put Lugano back on the airline map (this lakeside city had been the main hub of the Swissair subsidiary Crossair). A start-up fund of nine million Swiss francs was collected to enable aircraft to be leased, staff hired and all the arrangements made for services to start in 2005. Initially two 50-seat Saab 2000s HB-IZG and -IZH were used for services to Geneva, Paris/CDG and Rome/Fiumicino ; as time went by more routes and aircraft were added. By mid 2010 it had six Saab 2000s, then in November of that year the airline merged with Fly Baboo, the Geneva-based regional carrier which was operating two Dash 8-400s HB-JQA and -JQB. Recording a turnover equivalent to £26.5 million in 2010, Darwin has gone on to establish itself as an ‘economy business airline’ engaged in scheduled and seasonal services, charter and ad hoc flights, as well as offering ACMI contracts (aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance) for other airlines needing extra capacity, Swiss International Air Lines for one (Darwin flies four rotations a day between Lugano and Zurich for the national carrier, which is now a Lufthansa subsidiary). With a combined fleet of six Saab 2000s and two Dash 8-400s Darwin operates to 21 destinations in all. It has links with eight Italian destinations under a code-sharing agreement with Alitalia. The name Darwin has nothing to do with the city in Northern Australia, rather it refers to a gradual evolution of the low-cost airlines model, avoiding the temptation to grow too fast and providing a quality service that will encourage customers to come back again and again (it offers sandwiches, muffins and biscuits as well as alcoholic drinks, tea and coffee during its flights). Easy Jet is clearly a major competitor on certain routes, but Darwin is quietly confident and expects to carry half a million passengers in the year ahead. The Fly Baboo branding is now thought to be unsuitable for the airline’s image and all eight aircraft will bear Darwin Airlines titles from now on. The slightly longer history of SkyWork Airlines With the motto ‘Your Personal Way to Fly’ SkyWork has been operating in Switzerland since 1983 as a flight training school, changing in 1989 to charter and business flights with a Cessna 340. In 2004 it acquired a Dornier 328 for use in the charter market in conjunction with tour operators. A further two 328s have been added to the fleet based at Bern-Belp Airport, near the Swiss capital. In 2009 the first scheduled service began, travelling to Rotterdam. A Dash 8-Q400 HB-JGA was also acquired and in 2010 the network expanded to take in Berlin, Hamburg and Barcelona. Palma has now been added to the list of destinations served from Bern and in March 2011 a six-times weekly London City service was launched. This proved extremely popular and has now increased to eleven times a week. This new popularity co-incided with a smart new livery comprising mainly blue, white and yellow. By the end of 2011 further destinations were added : Elba, Ibiza, Rome, Vienna, Madrid, Budapest, Amsterdam and Belgrade, with flights to Cologne and Nice to be added in 2012. The fleet of three 31-seat Dornier 328s HB-AEO, -AER and -AES has been joined by three Dash 8-Q400s HB-JGA, -JIJ and -JIK, which have 14 business and 58 economy-class seats. At a time when many airlines are finding it hard to keep going, Skywork is spreading its wings across Europe and looks set to prosper. Its fleet offers the right size of aircraft and a quality of service that appeals to business people and tourists alike (it is the first airline to offer its passengers for use during the flight, ten iPads being handed out free of charge on each flight, allowing passengers the chance to read the latest newspapers and magazines on- line, or to play games find out travel information in up to four languages). Complimentary in-flight snacks are distributed, ten different types of culinary delight being available to suit the destination of the day, along with a free bottle of water (hot drinks or alcoholic drinks are available to purchase). Skywork aims to make flying the special experience it once was. A report on the Russian connection with Shannon Airport Lying near the west coast of Ireland, Shannon Airport has long been a popular fuel-stop airfield for aircraft crossing the North Atlantic, especially those heading westward (British Airways A318s taking business-class passengers to New York need to stop there on the outward journey but are carried further and faster by prevailing winds and overfly Shannon during their return journey to London City Airport). Until fairly recently Aeroflot had made extensive use of Shannon for its flights to North and Central America. Under a contract signed in 1975, Aer Lingus was to provide ground handling services at Shannon and this led to Ilyushin Il-62 CCP-86610 being the first of the many when it landed on 17th September 1976. It was followed by many more Il-62s, Il-18s, AN-12s, An-22s and even Tu-114s. All went well for a while until the cost of Western jet fuel rose dramatically in 1978, when Aeroflot switched its refuelling stops to Gander in Newfoundland. A unique deal was then dreamed up by the Shannon Airport manager at the time – this involved Soviet jet fuel being shipped in and offloaded into a specially-constructed fuel farm for the sole use of Aeroflot. The first tanker with Soviet fuel arrived in June 1980 and off-loaded 1.25 million gallons, leading to Aeroflot aircraft making 192 fuel stops there in the remainder of that year. A problem arose with certain Aeroflot passengers (notably Cubans en route to the USSR) taking advantage of their time on the ground at Shannon to escape their minders and seek political asylum ! In 1983 the airport authority received permission to sell the cheaper Soviet fuel to other airlines making transit stops there, in order to entice traffic to the airport and enable Aeroflot to use the money to offset its own hard currency expenses. Figures for 1980-85 show that Aeroflot used Shannon for 4,765 transit stops and carried about 500,000 passengers through the airport. There were some days when seven or eight IL-62s and Il-86s could visit over a 24- hour period. The year 1992 was the peak of Aeroflot activity through Shannon. A typical week’s flights that summer listed the following flights, all starting from Moscow and stopping at Shannon en route to New York/JFK (3 times weekly), Washington/Dulles, Miami, Chicago/O’Hare, Havana and Lima (3 times weekly), Havana and Kingston/Jamaica via Managua/Nicaragua, Havana and Mexico City. Aeroflot started to modernise its fleet soon after the end of the Soviet Union in 1991, taking its first Western-built aircraft (767s) to Shannon for crew training to be carried out in September 1994. The following year Aeroflot’s first DC-10-30F could be seen at Shannon, on crew-training flights prior to the freighter entering service. Around this time the price of Russian-supplied jet fuel rose to a similar level to Western fuel and the shipments to Shannon came to an end. In May 1995 Aeroflot began to base two Il-62s at Shannon in what it called a ‘wayport’, whereby the Irish airport would be used as a hub for its trans-atlantic services. Feeder services in short-range aircraft such as the Tu-134s of Belavia flew passengers in from Minsk, St Petersburg, Bratislava and Berlin/Schönefeld, usually on a Friday, with the aircraft overnighting before they took passengers newly arrived from the Americas back to CIS destinations, while the passengers from the CIS travelled further across the Atlantic in the long-range Aeroflot aircraft. In 1995/6 Shannon handled 2,400 annual transit stops by Aeroflot and other CIS airlines, with ‘the Russian village’ (as it became known) housing up to 225 Russian aircrew in 20 houses, plus others who stayed in a block of flats in Shannon town. No wonder Shannon was christened ‘Little Moscow’ by some ! In 1995 when Aeroflot had acquired sufficient Western-built types, it began to fly non-stop services between Moscow and the USA with 767s and A310s, resulting in far fewer stops at Shannon. Likewise the Il-96 in its heyday had the range to reach Cuba and other Latin American destinations non-stop from Moscow and was rarely seen at Shannon. In 1998 an aircraft painting facility was established at Shannon for use by Aeroflot. A new hangar large enough to house aircraft up to the size of the Il-86 was built with proceeds from the Duty-Free shops patronised by Aeroflot passengers at Shannon. Brand- new aircraft such as Tu-154Ms would arrive from production plants in Russia in primer finish to be painted in Aeroflot colours. Soon aircraft coming back off lease from other carriers visited Shannon to be repainted in Aeroflot colours as well. The change from Soviet Union to Commonwealth of Independent States in the summer of 1991 brought in a host of Aeroflot aircraft for the ‘new’ Russian flag to be painted on their tails and the CCCP marks to be replaced by the RA- prefix. One of the earliest and most interesting Aeroflot to be painted was a DC-8-61 5N-HAS (of Hold-Trade Air, c/n 45912) which was put into Aeroflot/Armenian Airlines joint colours for a six-week lease in 1991. This is believed to have been the first Western jetliner to have worn Aeroflot colours. Eventually the hangar was also made available for the painting of airliners from outside the CIS. Air Livery ran the facility for some years before it was taken over by Lufthansa Technik and then following a management buy-out, by the current users Eirtech Aviation. Many Soviet VIPs including members of the government made transit stops at Shannon, their flights being undertaken in Aeroflot-marked aircraft (mostly Il-62s) with civilian registrations – they were of course flown by Soviet Air Force personnel. The Soviet (and later Russian) government Il-62Ms were distinguishable from the standard Aeroflot aircraft by the extra communications equipment housed in a long fairing on top of the fuselage. The same applied to Il-76s passing through to Cuba, presumably en route to Cuba with military cargo. Over the years Shannon developed a close relationship with operators of the giant Antonov An-124 Ruslan freighter. The first two aircraft to visit were CCCP-82005 and 82031, which made fuel-stops at the end of December 1988, carrying relief supplies from the USA and Canada after the Armenian earthquake. The airport was ideal for An-124 flights because it had a long runway and wasn’t too busy. This was important as the start-up and pushback procedure for the aircraft is quite a protracted affair. In fact the aircraft requires four minutes on the runway to stabilise the thrust during engine run-ups before commencing take-off. Following the break-up of the Soviet Union, the operators of the An-124 became aware that they had a uniquely big load carrier with which to make a lot of money, and the An-124 is still frequently in use to fly outsize loads that have included jet engines for AOG (aircraft on ground) situations, also huge components for power-stations, not to mention Hawk jet trainers being delivered to Canada and US Army helicopters requiring immediate transport to the USA ; even the RAF has called in ‘the big Antonov’ to fly dismantled RAF Tornadoes and helicopters to and from the Falklands and various battlegrounds. The Russian freight company Volga-Dnepr established a marketing and operational agreement with UK cargo specialist Heavylift, while the Antonov Design Bureau (ADB) of the Ukraine, where the aircraft are built had a similar agreement with Air Foyle of the UK. Volga-Dnepr set up an Irish subsidiary to carry out line maintenance on its An-124s in 1996. This work was carried out in the open on a remote part of Shannon Airport, as many as six An-124s being seen on some occasions, with engine-changes taking several days to complete. In 2006 the company shifted its maintenance operation to Leipzig, Germany to be nearer to its bases in the CIS. Another An-124 operator was Polet Airlines, whose two aircraft RA-82069 and 82070 were regular visitors in the mid 1990s. An even larger Antonov freighter the one and only An-225 Mriya has made several visits to Shannon, the first in November 1991. Its six-engined layout, huge wing and twin tail fins make it a very distinctive shape in the sky. Apart from the aircraft arriving for painting and maintenance, Shannon is a much quieter place than in the years of Russian domination ! Ryanair and Aer Lingus are now the main users, with United Airlines operating a daily flight to the USA and British Airways A318s call in for fuel when travelling westbound as explained earlier. A few other airlines use the airport for crew training flights, but the airport is no longer the hub of activity it once was when Soviet- and Russian-registered aircraft came and went regularly. The annual Russian ski-flight invasion of Salzburg The beautiful Austrian city of Salzburg is renowned as the setting for ‘The Sound of Music’ and is noted as being the birthplace of composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, but for thousands of Russians its main attraction is the opportunities for skiing and snowboarding in the nearby Alpine ski resorts. After the break up of the Soviet Union in 1991 it was at first only the super rich who could afford skiing holidays in the West, but in recent years such winter breaks have become more affordable and it now seems as if some resorts in the Salzburg area are now used only by Russians and Eastern Europeans. Salzburg Airport receives a large number of ski flights in early January, the aircraft are parked in and around Terminal 2, with many additional staff being hired to deal with baggage handling and to drive the passengers to and from their aircraft and then off to their chosen resorts. Smaller regional airliners are then obliged to use the General Aviation area for parking due to the large number of visiting airliners. The record number of arrivals in one day is believed to have been the 38 flights from Russia and former parts of the USSR on Saturday 13th January 2007. During the 1990s and early 2000s the Tupolev 154 undertook most Russian flights into Salzburg, but larger types are now seen more often, for example on 9th January 2012 three wide-bodied Il-96 aircraft of Aeroflot were to be seen on the tarmac together. Now almost all the airliners seen are Western-built, some even as large as Boeing 747s and 777s (noisy jets such as the MD-80, Tu-154, Tu-134 and Yak 40/42 are banned on noise grounds). Russian and CIS airlines represented have been TransAero, Vladivostok Air, I Fly Airlines, Red Wings, Kuban, Ukraine International, NordAvia, Rossiya, RusJet, Ural Airlines, Donbassaero and even Air Bashkortostan ! An increasing number of super-rich Russians use business jets as their means of arrival, some being RA-registered but a lot chartered from Net Jets and similar companies. Saturdays seem to be the busiest days for ski flights, with airliners from all over Europe arriving to disgorge passengers into the freezing Salzburg air. Many of these are Scandinavian airlines that include SAS, Cimber Air, Norwegian , Malmo Aviation and Air Finland. Such a large number of flights attracts spotters and enthusiasts from all over Europe and the airport authorities at Salzburg have provided a usefully-sized open-air viewing terrace on top of the terminal building. Viewing of aircraft is possible from a variety of places around the airport perimeter, not just from the terminal : there is a mound close to the taxiway, from which excellent views of passing aircraft are possible, permitting close-up photos over the fence without a ladder. The airport authorities are to be congratulated for their positive approach to aircraft enthusiasts. Well-wrapped against the cold, around 1000 enthusiasts (many of them photographers) could be seen on Saturday 13th January. Surrounded by mountains on three sides, Salzburg Airport poses a challenge to pilots of landing aircraft ; airliners circling to make their final approach are often well-placed for photos with snowy peaks behind them. The Singapore Air Show Held at Changi Airport/Exhibition Centre between 14th and 19th February, the Singapore Air Show was one of the most important shows in the Far East. All the major western aerospace companies were represented, especially Eurocopter, Embraer, Bombardier and Gulfstream, although Airbus showed only the A318CJ executive airliner and the A330 tanker-transport, missing a trick or two to Boeing who proudly showed off the 787 and also had a B-52 in the air and a C-17 listed in the programme as doing aerobatics ! Other Boeing products in the static display were a KC-135 and E-3B AWACS, together with the final Singapore Airlines 747-412 9V-SPQ. New to this show was the Twin Otter 400 promoted by Viking Air of British Columbia, whose upgraded machine is now building up a healthy order-book. Local performers in the flying display were a team of five Royal Malaysian Air Force Mig-29Ns called appropriately ‘The Smokey Bandits’, an F- 15SG and F-16C of the Royal Singapore Air Force, and the Roulettes a formation aerobatic team of 6 red and white painted Pilatus PC-9s. The flying display seemed rather short-lived, lasting no more than an hour, but it included some brilliant aerobatics by the Blair Aerosports Rebel 300, a single-engined CAP.10B look-alike. Preservation news - 13 aircraft of the Coventry-based Classic Flight have been donated by Mike Collett, Chairman of Air Atlantique, to become the basis of a new organisation, called TCAT (The Classic Aircraft Trust). Nine of these are British-built jets (Canberras WK163 and ‘VN799’, Jet Provosts XM424 and XW433, Meteor T.7 WA591 and NF.11 WM167, Vampire T.55 ‘XJ771’, and Venoms ‘WK436’ and ‘WR470’). The others are Anson WD413, Chrislea Super Ace G-AKVF, Pembroke XL954 and Twin Pioneer G-APRS. As a charitable trust TCAT will be able to benefit from tax advantages such as Gift Aid from visitors to the AIRBASE and fund-raising activities to increase its revenue stream, which has slowed down in recent years (as an example of the expenses involved, a new RR Avon is needed if the former record-breaking Canberra WK163 is to fly again – this will cost £200,000 to buy and fit). Two of the longest-serving DC-3s in the Air Atlantique fleet are to move to East Midlands Airport to join RVL (the former Atlantic Reconnaissance company) for a new career as oil-spill sprayers when needed. DC-3 G-AMRA is to remain at Coventry, together with the Devon VP981, Dragon Rapides G-AGTM and G-AIDL, DC-6A G-APSA, Shackleton WR963 and Nimrod XV232 and a number of smaller types (Proctor, Prentice, Chipmunk). Having spent a small fortune on acquiring and preserving all these aircraft, Mike Collett is anxious that they should not have to be sold off and leave the country. His vision in preserving these classic British aircraft is to be applauded. - The RAF Museum at Cosford now has its own Lockheed Hercules C.3 transport aircraft since the arrival of XV202 last August. It was finally moved into its permanent display position on 13th December by a team of RAF technicians and engineers from 47 Sqn. This aircraft was one of 30 C.1s converted to C.3 standard, out of the order for 66 aircraft originally delivered from 1966 onwards. The conversion by Marshalls of Cambridge involved lengthening the fuselage by some 15 ft. - The Fairey Gannet AS.4 XA460 that has been in store at AeroVenture museum in Doncaster for many years has now moved to the care of the Ulster Aviation Society at Long Kesh, Northern Ireland. Coded ‘768’, the anti-submarine aircraft once served with 849 Sqn at Brawdy and often patrolled the waters of the Irish Sea and North Atlantic around Northern Ireland. - The original prototype Beagle 206X G-ARRM that has been undergoing restoration at Shoreham Airport in Sussex was transported on 10 th December to the Farnborough Air Sciences Trust Museum for public display. The aircraft originally took to the air in on 15th August 1961 – it is not expected to fly again. Military news - The Russian Government has ordered 92 Sukhoi Su-34 long-range strike aircraft to replace the ageing fleet of Su-24 Fencer swing-wing bombers operated by the Russian air force. Six are already in use at the Russian test and evaluation centre at Lipetsk, with 10 more due to be delivered this year under the terms of a previous contract. There are plans for the service to eventually field a total of around 120 Su-34s assigned to five squadrons. Meanwhile the Russian Navy is to receive 20 advanced- specification Mig-29K Fulcrum single-seat fighters and 4 Mig29KUB two-seat trainers after an order was signed in late February. Deliveries are to be made between 2013 and 2015, with the aircraft to be flown from Russia’s only aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov, which currently operates Su-33 naval fighters. Bravest of the Brave Professor John Houlder John Houlder, who has died at the age of 95, was Britain’s oldest registered pilot and was perhaps best known as the manager of Elstree Aerodrome, which he took over in 1952 and managed personally until 2010. He was the owner of Cessna 310C G-ARBI in the 1960s and in 1968 he took delivery of a very smart twin-engined Aero Commander 680E registered G-AWOE, which still resides in the large black hangar at Elstree, wearing a very distinctive colour-scheme of black, white and orange. It is thanks to John Houlder and his welcoming attitude to aviation enthusiasts that we can still get permission to wander freely around the aerodrome at Elstree (keeping a sharp look-out for approaching aircraft on the aprons and taxiways, of course). He was to fly this aircraft on many long-distance expeditions, as explained later John Houlder had made a name for himself at a much earlier stage of his life as a marine engineer and was in fact to become a Visiting Professor of Ship and Marine Technology, receiving that honour from Strathclyde University in 1982. His early years gave no hint of his later passion for flying. John was born at Epsom, Surrey in February 1916, but hated school and at 16 he became a £2 a week apprentice fitter in a ship-repair yard. He greatly enjoyed this work, sharing digs with three other apprentices and studying most evenings (he passed top in the examination of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers). His father took him away after three years and made him learn shorthand and typing, after which he joined the London shipbroking firm H Clarkson, becoming personal assistant to the shipbroker responsible for all the chartering of tankers for Standard Oil of New Jersey (now Esso Petroleum). The family shipping firm Houlder Brothers operated a line of refrigerated ships between London and South America and John’s interest in the business led to him joining the family firm as a junior director in 1935 when he was just 19. The next few years saw him taking a growing rôle in management of the shipping-line, travelling across the world with the ships and gaining a thorough knowledge of marine engineering. Family shipowners since the middle of the 19th century, the Houlder Brothers in 1911 became a subsidiary of the Furness Withy. John made his name in the enlarged group, being popularly referred to in the office as ‘Mr John’ - a title that stayed with him to the end of his life. He was sometimes to be found on his hands and knees in the naval architects’ office with a Meccano set, designing new cranes for the ships he ran. In February 1938 he took flying lessons at Brooklands Aerodrome in Surrey and four months later bought his first aeroplane, a sixth-hand nine-year old Gipsy Moth, in which he immediately flew to Hungary to take part in the Hungarian Aero Club’s Magyar Pilota Piknik, a trip he always considered the adventure of his life (in fact he navigated from the UK to the other side of Hungary by following railway lines). The following summer the outbreak of war prevented him from being prosecuted for dangerous low flying when he performed a slow roll very low over a friend’s house and garden in his next aeroplane, a Miles Hawk. He joined the Territorial Army and was attached to the Royal Artillery. He was posted in turn to Norway, Egypt, Crete and then Tobruk where he found himself in charge of the dockyard at the age of 24, as second in command of all the dock area, where supplies for the beleaguered garrison were being brought in by merchant ships with Royal Navy destroyer escorts. They could only unload for two hours in the middle of the night before having to leave safer waters, as the Germans had complete air superiority over Tobruk at that time and the Italian Army had encircled the city. John’s task was to organise the 100 New Zealanders and 50 Australian troops of a Railway Construction Company, 1000 Libyan army labourers, a Jewish Pioneer company and a gang of Arab lightermen with experience of unloading ships. Soon after his arrival he was made their Commanding Officer with the rank of Major and told to get on with it. However the Italian shelling of the city continued and John was hit by shrapnel, losing the use of his left arm completely, a handicap that he refused to accept, leading a long and active life that many would envy. He was repatriated by destroyer, marrying en route the nurse who looked after him. He was delighted to be appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire - MBE (military) - for his work in organising the Allied supply-chain in North Africa. Back in England and after a period of convalescence, expecting to be invalided out of the Army, he took on a job as a civil servant in the War Ministry’s Transport Department, but was soon called in to assist Combined Operations at their Experimental Establishment at Westward Ho and then in London. He devised and tested specialist kit for landing stores and other equipment during D-Day. To see how his equipment worked he went over the Normandy for three weeks shortly after the invasion - he visited the landing beaches and took charge of the port of Courseilles, which had escaped demolition. Later he was sent to India to assess requirements for amphibious operations. Post war, John Houlder returned to the shipping business, focussing on ship design and operation, steering Houlders into purpose-built ore carriers, gas carriers and drill ships. As offshore technology rapidly advanced, the family company specialised in semi- submersibles and diving support vessels. His most notable achievement was the design and delivery of an underwater construction vessel nicknamed “Uncle John”, for which he was awarded a Gold Medal by the Institute of Marine Engineers as well as the President’s Award of the Society for Underwater Technology, of which he later became President himself. John Houlder’s leadership of this project led to him being appointed CBE in 1977. John’s business career was centred on ship design and operation. He became a director of Furness Withy in 1954 and was chief executive of Houlder companies for several decades. His last shipping connection was as a director of Hadley Shipping, on whose board he served for 64 years. His style was sometimes reminiscent of an absent-minded professor, so it seemed fitting that he actually became Visiting Professor to the Department of Ship and Marine technology at Strathclyde University, Glasgow in 1982, where a lecture hall has been named after him. John’s main hobby was always flying, closely followed by his passion for birdwatching. John was keen to take up flying again after the war – it was to become his major interest in life : he did a course of aerobatics at Luton, followed by a blind-flying course (flying ‘under the hood’ in a Tiger Moth gave him a life-long confidence in flying on instruments). His father then gave him a Miles Messenger and this soon gave way to a Miles Gemini, the first of several twin-engined aircraft. He used to fly in this aircraft to friends’ houses up and down the country : in the nose locker he had a roll of electric fencing that he would set up around the aircraft on arrival to keep the sheep from scratching themselves on his precious aeroplane ! When he took on the Cessna 310 in the early 1960s he designed a supercharger that would increase its performance when flying over the Alps (the CAA soon approved this modification). He himself served on various technical committees of the Air Registration Board (later the CAA). In 1949 he was invited as a civil pilot to attempt the new Instrument Rating that had been introduced two years before. He passed this test and subsequently held an Instrument Rating uninterruptedly for 59 years, longer than any other British pilot. By the mid 1950s John was comfortably installed as manager of Elstree. He was invited by Lord Aldenham in 1950 to run the then derelict Aldenham aerodrome where Wellingtons and Halifaxes had been maintained and repaired during the war, and he took out a 40-year lease on the site. He subsequently extended the lease ‘to accommodate his aeroplane’ as he put it. He even wrote the computer programme for the accounting at this busy GA airfield. Until the age of 93 he was actively engaged in the day to day management of what became under his stewardship a thriving airfield, one of the busiest general aviation fields in the country and the nearest to Central London. As often as not, he was to be found in the tower keeping in radio contact with the student pilots from the London School of Flying or the Elstree Flying Club. In 1966 he became a founder member of the Air Squadron, an organisation that existed to foster the spirit of adventure in aviation, with just 100 members who strove to emulate the great flights of the early days. John flew abroad frequently, visiting Russia, Tanzania, Pakistan, Morocco, North America, South Africa, Norway, Poland and Serbia. Often the airport authorities found it hard to believe the elderly gentleman climbing out of G-AWOE was not just the pilot, but also the owner of the aeroplane ! He was a regular supporter of the Air Squadron’s Awards Day at RAF Cranwell as well as the Air Squadron’s annual visits to RAF stations. In 2000 he was awarded the Air Squadron’s Gold Medal for his largely solo flight to North America and back at the age of 84. John regularly flew his Aero Commander to the family cottage in the Shetland Islands to indulge his passion for bird-watching, to his wife’s family house in Ireland and to Switzerland. He made over 100 flights to Samedan, the high-altitude airfield near St Moritz for skiing holidays, even sleeping in his aeroplane on the rear seat that opened out to make a bed. Unnervingly, he pioneered a method of flying up the valleys of the Alps in zero visibility by comparing a series of his own photographs with the images coming up on his radarscope. When he travelled by commercial airliner to Buenos Aires to visit Houlder Brothers’ properties in Argentina, he is said to have booked three adjoining seats in Economy Class, taking a screw driver with him to remove the arm-rests so that he could stretch out and sleep ! His PPL was validated to allow him to fly Argentine-registered aircraft when he made widespread aerial searches for the breeding areas of flamingos. John’s long-distance flights in the Aero Commander were legendary : in 1995 he flew out to Zanzibar, East Africa, two years later he took G-AWOE to Pakistan, in the year 2000 he flew the Atlantic to undertake a long tour of the USA, Canada and Alaska, being subsequently awarded the Gold Medal of the Air Squadron for that largely solo voyage In 2000 he also received the Royal Aero Club’s Cowburn and Kay Trophy (the ‘Old and Bold’ Trophy). Houlder, who had many thousands of flying hours to his credit, undertook another African tour in his aeroplane in March 2003. As he reached his late 80s the Civil Aviation Authority could scarcely believe that he was still competent to fly, but during his annual assessment he repelled efforts to ground him by flying the most complicated instrument patterns perfectly. His much favoured and well-travelled Aero Commander, which he nicknamed ‘The Black Beast’, had its co-pilot’s seat removed to allow the fitting of a map cabinet for all his flying charts and documents. Alongside its original Lear autopilot from the 1960s with its autoland capability, he added no fewer than three GPS units. Because of his unique modifications, the flight manual carried a restriction naming John as the only authorised pilot. A man of immense intellect, great charm and a wicked sense of humour, John was renowned for being what the Scots might call ‘careful’ (maybe this is why the Elstree ‘tower’ is a still a somewhat ramshackle building far removed from the state of the art ATC buildings at Biggin Hill or Fair Oaks). With over 15,000 flying hours to his name, he was justifiably described by one aviation journal as being a ‘one-man English aviation institution’). A colleague who works in the tower at Elstree said “He was a bit of an eccentric and a real character : everyone at the airfield loved him very much for all the work that he had done. He was the perfect English gentleman in many ways”. At the age of 92 he himself finally decided that he should fly with a safety pilot on board and had the co-pilot’s seat and dual controls refitted to G-AWOE, which remains in its familiar place in the big black hangar at Elstree. Two years ago John took a back seat from his work at the aerodrome, but still went flying until he was 94. John Houlder died on 2 nd February 2012, just two weeks short of his ninety-sixth birthday. Trips and visits We have been offered ten places on a morning visit to the Rolls-Royce Heritage Centre in Derby on Wednesday 30th May. As usual let me know as soon as possible to reserve a place on this trip, which tells the story of all Rolls Royce’s famous engines from the RR Eagle of WWI to the ‘R’ type used in the Schneider Trophy racers, the Merlin and Griffon of WWII to the Avon, Conway RB.211 and Trent series of today. Our previous trip, back in 2003, was a most interesting visit. I have listed below the trips that the West Midlands Branch is organising for its members (in heavy print) in 2012, plus a selection of other airshows, fly-ins etc that may be of interest during the year. A very good place to check on aviation events in Great Britain is the Royal Aero Club’s web-site : royalaeroclub.org/calendar of events Let me know in good time which of our branch trips you want to go on. Branch trips are generally by car to keep the costs down and often include stops en route at extra ‘targets of opportunity’ : farm-strips, gliding-sites etc. No foreign day-trips are listed here at the moment, but we expect to announce these shortly. Saturday 14th April Daffodil Fly-In, Fenland Saturday 14th Aerobatic competition at Breighton, Yorks and Sunday 15th April Saturday 14th Old Buckenham Air Races and Sunday 15th April Sunday 6th May Shuttleworth Collection Spring Airshow, Old Warden, Beds Sunday 6th May Abingdon Air and Country Show Sunday 6th May Open Day and fast taxi runs at Bruntingthorpe Monday 7th May Popham Fly-in with Classic Vehicles and Aerojumble Saturday 12th Aerobatic competition at Sleap, Shropshire and Sunday 13th May Saturday 19th May Spring Evening Airshow, Old Warden, Beds Saturday 19th Vintage Balloon Inflation Days, Lakeside Lodge, and Sunday 20th May Pidley, Hunts Saturday 19th May Branch trip to Gatwick and Heathrow Friday 25th Elvington Wings and Wheels to Sunday 27th May Saturday 26th May Vintage Glider Club Rally, Sutton Bank, Yorks to Sunday 3rd June Sunday 27th May Duxford Jubilee Air Show Wednesday 30th May Branch trip to Rolls-Royce Heritage Centre at Derby Saturday 26th Southend Festival of the Air and Sunday 27th May Saturday 2nd Gliding competitions at Lasham and Aston Down to Sunday 10th June Sunday 3rd June Shuttleworth Midsummer Air Show, Old Warden Friday 8th June Sea-front Air Show, Dawlish, Devon Saturday 9th Air-Britain Fly-In, North Weald and Sunday 10th June Saturday 9th Cleethorpes Air Show and Sunday 10th June Saturday 9th De Havilland Moth Club Charity Flying Weekend and Sunday 10th June at Old Warden Saturday 9th June Branch trip to Marshalls at Cambridge Airport Sunday 10th June Royal Observer Corps Open Day at Stoke Golding Sunday 10th June Jodel Fly in Dunkeswell, Devon Wednesday 13th June Branch trip to Southend, London City and Stansted Friday 15th Aerobatic competition at Compton Abbas and Saturday 16th June Saturday 16th June Old Warden Evening Air Show Saturday 16th June Queen’s Birthday Flypast over the Mall, London Saturday 16th June Welshpool Carnival Air Show Saturday 16th June Helicopter Championship, Sywell Saturday 16th Gliding Championship, Husbands Bosworth to Sunday 24th June Saturday 16th June Wings and Wheels event at Wickenby, Lincs and Sunday 17th June Saturday 16th June Cockpitfest 2011 at Newark Air Museum and Sunday 17th June Sunday 17th June RAF Cosford Airshow 2011 Sunday 17th June De Havilland Fly-in at Panshanger Saturday 23rd June International Air Day, RNAS Yeovilton Saturday 23rd Sea-front Air Festival, Lowestoft and Sunday 24th June Saturday 23rd June Gliding competition, Shenington to Sunday 1st July Saturday 23rd Herefordshire Aero Club Open Weekend at Shobdon and Sunday 24th June Sunday 24th June Old Buckenham Air Show Wednesday 27th June Branch trip to Manchester Airport Friday 29th June Festival of Speed, Goodwood, Sussex to Sunday 1st July Sunday 1st July Military Pageant Airshow, Old Warden Wednesday 4th July Branch trip to Bournemouth (including the Bournemouth Aviation Museum on its new site) Saturday 30th June Gliding competition on the Long Mynd, Shropshire to Saturday 7th July Saturday 30th June RAF Waddington International Air Show and Sunday 1st July Saturday 30th June Flying Legends 2011, Duxford and Sunday 1st July Sunday 1st July Shuttleworth Collection Military Pageant, Old Warden, Beds Saturday 7th July Royal International Air Tattoo, Fairford, Glos and Sunday 8th July Saturday 7th July Vintage Wings and Wheels, North Coates, Lincs and Sunday 8th July Saturday 14th July Farnborough Air Show Public Days and Sunday 15th July Saturday 21st July Evening Airshow, Old Warden Saturday 21st Sunderland International Air Show and Sunday 22nd July Friday 27th July Opening of the Olympic Games (they end on Sunday 12th August) Saturday 4th Gliding competitions at Husbands Bosworth to Sunday 12th August and Nympsfield Sunday 5th August Shuttleworth Military Pageant Air Display, Old Warden, Beds Thursday 9th August International Balloon Fiesta, Ashton Court, Bristol to Sunday 12th August Thursday 9th August Eastbourne International Airshow, Sussex to Sunday 12th August (free seafront display) Saturday 11th August August Evening Air Show, Old Warden Saturday 11th August Combined Operations display, Headcorn, Kent and Sunday 12th August Sunday 12th August Blackpool Air Show Wednesday 15th August Weymouth Carnival and Air Show Wednesday 15th August Branch trip to London light fields Saturday 18th August Portsmouth Air Festival Saturday 18th August Flying Proms, Old Warden Saturday 18th Gliding competitions at Bickmarsh and Dunstable, to Sunday 26th August Wittering and Lasham Sunday 19th August Sywell Air Show Friday 17th to International DH Moth Rally, Belvoir Castle, Sunday 19th August Leicestershire Sunday 19th August Tiger Club aerobatic competition, Headcorn Thursday 23rd Clacton Airshow (free seafront display) and Friday 24th August Sunday 26th August Children in Need Charity Airshow with classic and vintage vehicles, Little Gransden, Cambridgeshire Sunday 26th August Best of British Show, Cotswold Airport (Kemble) and Monday 27th August Sunday 26th August Wings and Wheels 2011, Dunsfold, Surrey and Monday 27th August Thursday 30thAugust Bournemouth Air Festival (free sea-front display) to Sunday 2nd September Saturday 1st Aerobatic competition, Leicester and Sunday 2nd September Saturday 1st Fly to the Past Air Show, Oxford Airport and Sunday 2nd September Saturday 1st RAFA Shoreham Air Show, Sussex and Sunday 2nd September Sunday 2nd September Shuttleworth Pageant Air Show Sunday 2nd September Helicopter Fly-In, Breighton Wednesday 5th September Branch trip to Cranfield and Luton Friday 7th Gliding competition, Saltby, Leics. to Sunday 9th September Saturday 8th Duxford Airshow and Sunday 9th September Saturday 8th Southport Sea-front Air Show and Sunday 9th September Thursday 13th September Branch trip to RAF Shawbury to see the storage hangars Thursday 13th September International Air Display, Jersey Saturday 15th September RAF Benevolent Fund Airshow, East Kirkby, Lincs (home of the Lancaster ‘Just Jane’) Saturday 22nd September Branch trip to Gatwick and Heathrow Sunday 23rd September Cold War Jets Open Day, Bruntingthorpe In next month’s newsletter We take a look at the Al Mahatta air museum in Sharjah which among other exhibits has the nose section of a De Havilland Comet 2 G-AMXA in BOAC colours – this is the same airframe that was once mounted on the spectators terrace at Gatwick Airport ! Also more details of the Swiss Air Force museum at Dübendorf and we consider the state of aviation in India as Kingfisher Airlines stands poised on the brink of collapse. Plus the list of GB airliners that have been sold abroad, or been cancelled from the British register in 2011 for other reasons (held over for lack of space this month), and news from Seattle that Boeing is planning a new version of the 777 with longer wing-span and some use of composites in its main structure, technology borrowed from the 787 design. Your last chance for cheaper Air Tattoo tickets If you want to take advantage of cheaper ticket prices for the Royal International Air Tattoo at Fairford on 7th - 8th July (currently £34) you have only got until 31st March . After 31st March the Earlybird offers are over and the standard price will be £39 plus £4 booking fee. Call 0800-107-1940 to book your Earlybird tickets now. The days are getting longer, and warmer, so it’s time to be planning what aviation trips are possible this year. Enjoy the hobby ! Alan.
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