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183. A Busy Weekend



The Scout was on display at Milson, and many friends from Ludlow came to have a look; others flew in – including Rick, who arrived in style in his Doodlebug.

Rick is in his Doodlebug - a hang glider with a harness containint a 12hp engine that allows one to do a running take off.

Rick is in his Doodlebug – a hang glider with a harness containing a 12hp engine that allows one to do a running take off.


Also there were a family with a horse and trap which seemed very period!

2015-07-03 Milson Fly in with horse and cart





On Saturday we dismantled 1264 and put her in the trailer to take her all the way across the country to the Shuttleworth Collection. Rick drove, keeping  constant 47mph all the way once we got onto the motorway, and I cowered in the corner in the passenger seat, barely daring to breathe.

We got there without any problem, and Theo turned up at more or less the same moment, so we set about rigging her, amid lots of interest from the museum-goers. Overnight she was parked in VERY distinguished company, including the Edwardian aircraft and other distinguished company.


Sunday was the day of the Shuttleworth WWI commemoration event. As a non-flying exhibit, we were located on the tarmac in a corner which allowed us to have all our display boards easily accessible, and we were absolutely inundated with people interested to know all about the project and wishing us well for the future.

Among the visitors was Keith Skilling, who we’d last met at Masterton on the other side of the world, where he’d flown a masterly display in the Corsair. He was over here to fly another Corsair at the Flying Legends display next weekend, but it was fantastic to see him again and catch up on his news.

The flying display was opened by the Vulcan, which put on a very spirited show, and I was able to get a number of pictures of it with the Bristol Scout – the connection being the Vulcan’s Bristol Olympus engines.2015-07-05 Shuttleworth Scout and Vulcan 2

2015-07-05 Shuttleworth Scout and Vulcan

Unfortunately the strong crosswind precluded the WWI aircraft from flying, and this meant it wasn’t practical to achieve my all-time perfect line-up; the Bristol Boxkite, Scout, Monoplane, Fighter and Blenheim. Still, that’s something to look forward to next year, when we hope the Scout may be able to participate in the flying display.

Also there was Andy Craddock from South Wales, whose 35% scale model of the Bristol Scout is coming along very nicely indeed,

Andy Craddock's 35% scale model of Lanoe Hawker's Bristol Scout 1611, on which he won the first VC for aerial combat.

Andy Craddock’s 35% scale model of Lanoe Hawker’s Bristol Scout 1611, on which he won the first VC for aerial combat.

and it was great fun to be able to photograph the two together.

2015-07-05 Shuttleworth 1264 and 35% scale model


The following morning Theo and I dismantled 1264 again (we are getting pretty slick at this now!) but took the opportunity to discuss the engine controls with Jean Munn, Dodge Bailey, and Andy and Phil from the Shuttleworth team. We decided to reposition the fine control valve closer to the engine so that the engine would respond faster when the valve was closed. I’d originally discounted this idea because the pushrod would have been very close to your left foot, and the one might have interfered with the other, but that was before I knew which way up the valve should go…

This time the solution seemed obvious and mounting it on the front of the rear engine mount proved to be extremely simple; I could even re-use the mounting brackets.

We also dismantled the bloctube and Phil dug out all his other ones for comparison. The outcome of this was a decision to adjust the position of the jet in the bloctube with a small spacer to allow the air slide to close completely – something it can’t currently do. We hope this will help the bloctube to close completely when the control is shut.

We managed to achieve a great deal of this in the morning, and then spent the afternoon packing the aircraft in the trailer. After that I towed it to Bicester without any problems at all.


We needed to get a few bits of machining done so I popped in to see Ian Harris, who – as always – was very helpful, and Theo went to see Paul Grellier who found us a suitable piece of 3/8in tube for the fine control pushrod. By the end of the day we had everything we’d need to  complete the work required, and we were all set to take Wednesday off and go down on Thursday, stay over, and be ready for the first flight on Friday evening or Saturday morning.


But overnight, Gene DeMarco got in touch to say that Thursday and Friday were more convenient for him, so the morning saw a hurried consultation with the weather gods, who seemed to think the Thursday evening would be suitable, then a hurried phone call to Theo who managed to rearrange his appointments, with Rick and Stephen Saunders the film producer, all of whom were okay with the changes. And so Theo and I have spent the day at Bicester and tonight 1264 is sat in the hangar at Bicester, fully rigged, all wirelocked and ready to fly, changes made to the engine controls, and tomorrow we just have to run the engine  to see how it works and let the rigging shake itself down, readjust the rigging if necessary, and by then Gene should be there to see if we can get air under the wheels…





From → Shows

  1. Mick Lomax permalink

    The best of British luck to you all, it’s been a fascinating journey to follow.

  2. Errol Cavit permalink

    Fingers crossed it all comes together!

  3. Andy Craddock permalink

    Hope all goes well tomorrow, I have everything crossed for you.
    It was good to see you all on the weekend and hope to catch up again soon with a finished model. Pictures look great.

  4. Andy Craddock permalink

    Well done everyone what a fantastic achievement you should all be very proud of yourselves.

  5. Certainly very relieved! Gene is a magnificent pilot, and we are very grateful to him. He said the undercarriage was pretty fragile, and you have to be very careful with it…

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