October 2020

In this month’s issue:

  • Down on the farm 28 this month September 2020 – Tony Palmer
  • 1951 Newsreel Film of Shoreham Air Race
  • From the Archive: Southern Strut Newsletter October 2002 – Dave Websdale
  • Check your Rating Expiry Dates!

Down on the farm 28 this month September 2020

There will be no club nights for the foreseeable future; we will inform you once the restrictions are lifted. Might be possible soon but not everyone will feel comfortable coming for quite a while.

Klemm L25C G-ACXE

We have been making progress but not a lot to photograph.  It was a case of fitting things finally and that takes time on an airplane i.e. annealing copper washers and gaskets, painting pipes, finding all the correct hardware, installing it say 3 times and then the final assembly, and the wiring of all the bolts etc.  We changed a few things around the oil pump to make it possible to install it and maintain it in the future . We have also designed and made an oil tank breather.  The oil drains from the 2 lower cylinders and the engine breather used to dump their oil overboard but we have designed and manufactured an oil catch pot using period components (below).

Ride in a Hurricane from Biggin Hill,

One item on my bucket list was crossed off on September the 16th (BBD+1).

Tony Berryman and I took the Tiger to Biggin Hill and I had the second paid for flight in the Heritage Hangar Hurricane 2B which has been newly rebuilt and converted to a two-seat version. I suffered because of the early ride in that the intercom was intermittent and I might have heard say 5 to 10% of any communication.  The back seat only has an ASI and a stick, no rudder pedals. When flying it from the back there was no way of knowing how high you were and with no intercom the pilot could only communicate with hand signal i.e. left, right, up or down.

I had planned to fly over the farm there and back but could not communicate; I did fly back over the farm but not as low as I could have done if I had known what height I was at either by communication with the pilot or sight of an altimeter.

Coming down the Cuckmere valley the pilot took over and he wound the plane up to 270 mph and turned left pulling fairly high G, and then along the cliffs and a wing over and 3 victory rolls over Beachy Head.  I was already hot and with the aerobatics not feeling to well. I would have stopped at 1 roll but did not know how many he intended to pull, again the intercom would have helped.

When we got out at Biggin I was feeling decided jaded and after cooling down with my one piece overalls pulled of my shoulders we returned to the farm in the Tiger, but this time I left my sheep skin coat off. You might be watching the programme on TV which is based in the hangars in the pictures.

Tony Palmer

1951 Newsreel Film of Shoreham Air Race

A guy in my shared aircraft group recently circulated this splendid  bit of nostalgia.  Interestingly the winning aircraft was a Chiltern, a favourite type of our recently departed member Peter Harrison.


From the Archive: Southern Strut Newsletter October 2002

Some of our Strut members re-fuelling on the decking of the Goodwood Flying Club in brilliant sunshine.



The occasion was a Fly-in that took place last Sunday (6th. October) which attracted 21 aircraft. The registrations of the aircraft that arrived are printed below:-

G-BDVA      G-BXII         G-BAYS
G-ALIG       G-OZEE      G-AYCE

One other person who attended this fly-in, but is not included in the list above as he had a free landing, was none other than Neville Duke.

I thought that everybody knew about Neville Duke, but when I mentioned it at work on the following day, I found to my astonishment that only one person had any idea who he was and what he has achieved.

Neville had an interesting career as chief test pilot for Hawker and began taxiing trials at Boscombe Down on the prototype Hawker P.1067 serialled WB188 on 20th. July 1951 later to be called the Hawker Hunter.  After a number of flights out of Boscombe the prototype was returned to Dunsfold where the main development began.  The aircraft first appeared at the 1951 Farnborough Air Show and in April 1952 Neville flew the aircraft through the much publicised “sound barrier” for the first time.

A number of aerobatic teams operated the Hunter and the Black Arrows amazed the aviation world in 1958 by looping 22 hunters in formation at Farnborough which is a feat never equalled or beaten since.

After a number of variants and modifications Neville then used the aircraft to set up a number of records,including the World Absolute Speed Record on the 7th. September 1963 where a speed of 727.6 mph was recorded off the Sussex coast.

Speaking to Neville at our Fly-in (pictured below) he told me that even now he likes to keep his hand in and regularly flies and on this occasion arrived in a Piper.
During this meeting Dave Grint continued with his Young Eagles flying and managed to take up four more young cadets for an experience flight around the south coast.
So far I believe he has personally taken over 160 cadets and schoolchildren for their first flight in a light aircraft which they all thoroughly enjoyed. Well done Dave.

Neville Duke talking to some of our Strut members at the Fly-in.

Dave Websdale

[Ed. I remember reading Neville Duke’s ‘Book of Flying’ as a kid – it obviously influenced me…]

Check your Rating Expiry Dates!

Keeping track of the plethora of CAA ‘Official Record Series’ pronouncements amending and re-amending exemptions is not easy!  I managed to get a biennial check flight with examiner Andy Reohorn last week, so my SEP(A) rating due to expire on 31st October is good for a couple more years and I avoided the multiple gotchas buried in the ORS’s.  Here is the definitive list: publicapps.caa.co.uk/

However, if reading through that lot daunts you, the well known instructor Irv Lee has produced a summary of the issues here (downloads as a pdf): higherplane.co.uk/bfr-ground.pdf

Richard Griffiths


Corona Virus Restrictions  There will be no club nights for the foreseeable future; we will inform you once the restrictions are lifted.

For the latest list of events, go to the Events page on the Strut website.