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316. Stow Show

27/07/2017

It’s been a busy couple of weeks; I returned from ten days working the in the US (Boston MA, Green Bay WI, Dallas, TX and Corona CA) on the Thursday evening, then set off as early as possible on the Friday morning to collect the trailer from Bicester and head to Stow Maries for the Airshow.

We arrived in good time to get 1264 erected, hoping to get a flight in, since I needed a practice display in order to be permitted to carry out the actual display flights on the Saturday and Sunday.

But the wind wasn’t suitable, and so we headed off to the pub, and thence to our favourite B&B, whose name I won’t divulge in case you get to book it before I do when we go again!

The weather was looking decidedly iffy on both days, but we got to the airfield well before 0900 in the hope that a practice might be possible. In the event, the wind wasn’t quite as strong as forecast, and straight down the runway, so with Flight Display Director Terry Dann’s permission, off I went and flew around for a few minutes. Everything went fine, and the engine was sounding great and giving even more power than last time. last time I’d flown there I’d tipped 1264 on her nose, and so I was a little nervous when it came time to land, but the conditions were straightforward, and so was the landing.

During the morning, in between meeting all sorts of great people (including Michael Miller, who was over from Australia and particularly wanted to see 1264), we met up with the Great War Team. If you haven’t come across their YouTube Channel yet, then do so now. It’s one of the best ways of digesting the incredible complexities of the Great War, in 10-15 minute videos. Fronted by Indy Neidell, an established historian, each episode is carefully researched and beautifully illustrated with original footage. There are weekly ‘diary’ videos describing the progress of the war around the world, with additional specials covering particular subjects in greater detail, and sessions where viewers’ questions are answered.

They were in the UK visiting a number of sites, including the Tank Museum at Bovington and Stow Maries. I had previously spoken to the producer Flo Wittig, and they had said they’d like to do a special on 1264.

They were busy filming other stuff, but we agreed to film the majority of the episode on Sunday morning. Nevertheless, they filmed 1264’s display slot in the early afternoon, and I hope the video will be useful for them.

The display went absolutely fine, and that engine just gets better and better. I’d like to do another timed climb to see if there is any measurable improvement since May – I’m pretty sure there will be.

In the evening we retired to the Prince of Wales pub again, as did the original pilots in 1918, where we had a rowdy evening with Dick Forsythe, Jean-Michel Munn, the Abery twins and many more.

Sunday morning was film time, and I did the interview with Indy, who enjoyed the opportunity to sit in 1264’s cockpit.unnamed.jpg

Unfortunately the wind had swung round to the west overnight, and this made takeoff too dangerous, as it would have meant taking off towards the crowd, so we had to sit it out.

Then a shower came through ,and we were just packing up when the shower moved through, the wind died and the sun came out, enabling the other WWI aircraft – the BE2 and the Snipe – to give spirited displays. it was a great shame not to be able to join them ,but in some ways I wasn’t too sorry, as we had to tow the trailer all the way home to Ludlow, and we didn’t get back until 2200 as it was.

I’ll try and get more pictures if they come through, but we took none ourselves.

In the meantime, check out the Great War YouTube channel, and in particular on the 26th August, which is the date slated for our special!

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