June 2018

In this month’s edition:

  • Down on the farm #04 – Tony Palmer updates us on activities at that hive of aeronautical engineering that is Palmers Farm
  • Popham Microlight Fair 5-6 May 2018 – photo report from Richard Griffiths
  • SSDR Developments Starting to Take Off (both figuratively and literally) – an interesting video
  • UK Aerodromes – APPG Action – editorial
  • University of Brighton Aeronautical Society Video Tribute to the RAF at 100 – fun from the students
  • Upcoming Events – A couple of fly-ins – one tomorrow!

Down on the farm #04

This month 05.18:-

Bristell NG5 G-NGAA progress report

This is not moving on as much as I had hoped, the wings are back from painting. I’m waiting for Farry to come back and finish the wiring and install the Dynon HDX screen.  We then will fit the wings, tail etc.

We are now getting prepared for AeroExpo.  Don’t forget to get your tickets early on-line and save some money and book your landing slot.

Klemm L25C G-ACXE

The pistons are back from machining and will have to go out to have the gudgen pin holes lapped to suit the over-size pins we have. When the parts were Magnafluxed it was found that the small herringbone reduction gear had some small defects on the teeth which was probably due to corrosion.  We have located another within the Pobjoy community and I intend to pick it up while up at AeroExpo. The major thing is that we have now moved the rest of the plane here. We managed to get a brand new Scott wheel hub for the tail wheel which allowed us to move it easier; we made a new grease seal and fitted new bearings. The move went without a hitch: I used some imported muscle.  I had some Finnish friends over for a few days,.  We all went to the Land Rover factory to watch them being built and then to the national Motorcycle and car museums, and on the Sunday morning we moved the fuselage across.  On the Monday after they had gone home, Jim and I reconfigured the trailer for the wings and moved them one at a time.  We then have moved all the
rest of the hardware across into its new “paint booth tent”. See pics:

Herr Klemm in his new home

Elaine saying goodbye to the Klemm after looking after it for about 20 years

From the Right: Jim, myself, Elaine and Tuomo (my Finish friend)

Tony Palmer

Popham Microlight Fair 5-6 May 2018

I decided to drive to Popham for the Microlight Fair; I thought that mixing it in a Cessna 172 with a sky full of microlights would be a bit too exciting.  In the event, if I had picked my timing well then it would have worked out.  On the sunny Saturday I was there, both runways were in operation: 08 for landing and 03 for take-off.  Operations looked well-disciplined with little fuss, though there was one near-miss reported when a high-wing aircraft got under an autogyro on final.  Autogyros approach very high and it can look as though they are going around before they suddenly drop.  Here are some random photos of the event.

Well, it is a microlight fair, which tends to imply minimal, and they don’t come much more minimal than this:


Or if you prefer three-axis:


Or if you don’t mind getting wet:

Here’s another version of ‘minimal’.  Just as a motor-tricycle manages to combine all the disadvantages of a motorcycle and car, here is the aviation equivalent: a weight-shift autogyro (Dragon GBT 1170, yours for £45K + VAT) – well someone had to do it….

There were certainly plenty of autogyros (or should that be gyroplanes) both flying in and with salesmen in attendance.  Here are a couple of shots of ones that took my fancy:

When the salesman asked if there was anything he could help me with I said “Yes, how can I find the money to buy one?”  Surprisingly, they have some sort of leasing scheme; I didn’t sign up though….

More within my budget is the SD-1 Minisport SSDR.  On the side of the aircraft below it says “Kit and RTF available from £901”!  It’s £100 more than last time I saw it (that’s Brexit for you..) but the options and performance (by the time you have spent single digit £K more on it) still looks fantastic.

Here’s one of several that flew in on its way back home:

Another product that I was keen to see is the revamped PilotAware.   Here’s the developer, Lee Moore with its newest evolution, Rosetta: Improved hardware and robust packaging. See Mode-C/S, ADS-B, and in some locations Flarm, and transmit P3I, all for £256. Details at: http://www.pilotaware.com/

The more middle-range of microlight aircraft were also well represented on the stands.  Here’s a Sherwood Scout for pilots who are ambivalent about tail-draggers vs. training-wheels.

And if your three-pointers aren’t always that good, how about one of these (Superstol)?




Or if your tastes are more agricultural (Savannah Jabiru)?  I quite like it, just as I like old Land Rovers.



The Strut was represented by at least two aircraft:





And finally, here are a couple of nicely built more traditional types (Tiger Cub 440 and Plumb BGP-1A).

Richard Griffiths

SSDR Developments Starting to Take Off (both figuratively and literally)

and the landing: https://youtu.be/AoVsGi06_m0

Designed, built and flown by Martyn Ingleton in Kent.  G-INFO gives the details as:

  • Manufacturer: INGLETON M
  • Type: HURRICANE 315
  • MTOW: 315 kg

UK Aerodromes – APPG Action

Following-on from my diatribe about the fate of UK airfields last month:  the All Party Parliamentary Group on General Aviation have made strong representations to the Government to safeguard all licensed aerodromes from predatory development, and to the Ministry of Defence to ‘look again’ at military aerodrome sell-offs.

Of course it remains to be seen if any results are forthcoming, but full-marks for effectively presenting the issues.

I found myself wondering just how the aims of this group would fare under any change of government.  The 155 members consist of:

Conservative 61
Labour 15
Liberal Democrat 4
Conservative 24
Cross Bench 13
Liberal Democrat 12
Labour 10
Non-affiliated 2
Independent Labour 1

Of course this distribution will be influenced by a number of factors: the relative proportions of party representatives in parliament being a big one.  On this basis the DUP are the most ‘air minded’ with 60% of their MPs in the group, followed by the Lib Dems with 33%, Conservatives 19%, SNP 17% and Labour in the rear with 6%.  The geographical base of MPs may also be significant, Conservatives being more rural and with constituents who will not be keen on developments in their ‘back yard’.

The APPG-GA make a big play of the significance of GA for the development of a STEM workforce and as a foundation for the wider aviation industry.  This really needs substantiating as a bulwark against the pressing demands for housing development and the apparently easy solution that building on airfields presents.  How can the LAA help make the case?

Richard Griffiths

University of Brighton Aeronautical Society Video Tribute to the RAF at 100

Well, perhaps a bit tongue in cheek – but fun.

Upcoming Events

Chilsfold Farm Fly-in, 23rd June 2018.  Contact Farry so he has some idea of the numbers coming.
Devon Strut Summer Fly-in TOMOROW Saturday 2nd June.  Details here: http://www.devonstrut.co.uk/dunkeswell-fly-in-2016-home/4577838938
For the latest list of events, go to the Events page on the Strut website