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227. To them that hath, shall be given…


… and the following day, we set off for the annual dinner of the Vintage Aircraft Club, at which we were to be awarded the John Blake Rose Bowl, awarded to ‘a vintage aircraft restoration project of note.’ 2016-03-06 12.07.13-1 (2)

It’s not only a beautiful piece of silverware, but we’re honoured to be listed among some very special individuals; in particular, last year’s winner, Sir John Allison, who presented the award himself, and next to whom I sat during the excellent meal.

There was a whole table of proper enthusiasts who had flown in specially from Biggin Hill in some exceedingly precious and rare machinery, and I was able, by offering to give some of them a lift to the hotel from Bicester airfield, to take a look.

Among them were the two oldest aircraft on the British register – both from 1931. One is  the only Civilian Coupé.

Also from 1931 is this beautiful Curtiss Wright Travel Air CW-12

Picture by Adrian Pingstone

Picture by Adrian Pingstone

And perhaps the most beautiful of the lot, dating from 1936, is the DH90 Dragonfly, also unique. This was designed as a five-seater machine for executive transport, and was de Havilland’s first experiment with the monocoque wooden sandwich construction used a few years later to such devastating effect in the DH Mosquito light bomber.


I got to look inside the cabin, which is very luxurious.

It was a great evening, and we sat jawing until the wee small hours, and to be grouped among the owners of such very precious machinery was very humbling!


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