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News Archive 1



Jaguar crash at Lockerbie
First Royal Navy Merlin lost
Is the Royal Navy Merlin helicopter flawed?
Harrier crash at Yeovilton
B-2 Stealth Bombers to be stationed in UK? (latest)
Spitfire XVIII up for sale
Strikemaster crash in Lincolnshire
RAF Display Aircraft for 2001
Classic jet Aircraft Company
Lakenheath Accident
Millennium Dome to become Aviation museum?
Foot And Mouth (2001)
Sea Vixen (update)
Airshow 2001 news + Il-28 picture
Airshow 2001 Cancellations
Mark Hanna and OFMC
Airshow Cancellations for 2000
Grace Spitfire accident
The world's last airworthy de Havilland Comet
UK WAH-64 Apache first flight
Fuel Crises
Jet crashes at Airbourne 2000
DERA Harrier T10 crashes at Boscombe Down
Spitfires back in production
NATO Conference at Birmingham
Bf 109 - wheel brake failure
PV202 Spitfire crash + AAIB report
Opposition to joint Harrier plans
New Hangar at Duxford
RAF jet crashes on training flight
Tattoo 2001 returns to RAF Cottesmore
Hurricane in emergency landing




Mark Hanna

Mark Hanna crashed in the OFMC Hispano Buchon as he attended a Spanish airshow on Saturday 25/9/99. His aircraft crashed and then caught fire. Mark was taken to hospital but died on Sunday.

Mark Hanna joined the RAF where he flew the Jet Provost, Hawk, Hunter, and Phantom. He later left the RAF to concentrate on the running of The Old Flying Machine Company (OFMC) based at Duxford,Cambs. He also acted as ariel advisor and chief pilot in major films like Empire of the sun, Memphis Belle and Saving Private Ryan

He was one of the most experienced warbird display pilots in the UK and he will be greatly missed.
Click here

OFMC Plans

Ray Hanna announced in December his plans for the future of the OFMC: 'As a testament to Mark and with the support of the dynamic team at our Duxford base, I have decided that the Old Flying Machine Company should continue into the future. Mark's vision and passion to preserve and fly these classic aircraft was the driving force that steered OFMC to where it is today.'



Carolyn Grace Spitfire

Carloyn Grace's Spitfire (ML407) was involved in an accident when its propeller blades struck a helicopter as it was taxiing to a halt at Duxford airfield on the afternoon of 31 March. No one was hurt in the accident but the helicopter, a Jet Ranger (G- JWLS) was badly damaged. The Spitfire was out of action all last year and had been made ready for this season. It will now need a new propeller and the Merlin engine will have to be tested for shock loading. It is hoped that the Spitfire will be fixed and able to participate in this years airshows.



The world's last airworthy de Havilland Comet

Efforts are being made to help keep the last flying de Havilland Comet, Canopus XS 235, in the air. Canopus flew into Bruntingthorpe from Boscombe Down on 30th October 1997. Since then The National Air Pageant has been canvassing support to return this fine aeroplane to the air in the colours of B.O.A.C. Hopefully Canopus will be ferried to Lasham, Hampshire, where the work necessary to achieve a Certificate of Airworthiness (Private Category) will be carried out by ATC Lasham Ltd.

Click here for the latest news about Canopus XS 235.

Click here for everything you wanted to know about the de Havilland Comet including pictures and sounds of Canopus XS 235.



UK WAH-64 Apache first flight

The first of 59 WAH-64 versions of Boeing's AH-64D Longbow Apache being license-built by GKN Westland for Britain's Army Air Corps made its initial flight this afternoon(18/7/00) at the company's Yeovil facility. Crewed by GKN Westland project test pilot Richard Norton and Boeing production test pilot Walt Jones, the WAH-64 made a 20-minute flight, including systems and other checks at speeds up to 140 knots.

Flight development has been in progress for some time, in both the U.S. and U.K., using several of the eight Boeing-built WAH-64s. All the WAH versions are powered by Rolls-Royce Turbomeca RTM322 turboshaft engines. Initial Military Aircraft Release recommendations are expected from Britain's Defense Evaluation & Research Agency (DERA) by September, to allow service flying to start by the year-end.



Jet crashes at Airbourne 2000

A pilot has died today (Friday 18th August 2000) after a Czech-built L-29 Delfin (G-MAYA) trainer taking part in the Airbourne 2000 Airshow at Eastbourne Sea Front, East Sussex plunged into 400ft of water. The plane apparently failed to pull out of an aerobatic turn and hit the sea, 800 yards off the town's beach.

The pilot has been named as Ted Girdler, 62, from Kent. He was a very experienced pilot who served in the RAF flying such aircraft as the Hunter and Lightning and also served with the Red Arrows display team in 1972 - 1974.

BBC News story



DERA Harrier T10 crashes at Boscombe Down

A DERA (Defence, Evaluation, and Research Agency) Harrier T10 has crashed today (24/8/2000) at Boscombe Down Airbase. The Harrier (ZH654) had been on a routine flight over the Wiltshire countryside and was about to land back at Boscombe Down when it ran into difficulties. The pilot and navigator were forced to eject from the aircraft when it was just 50ft from the ground. Both pilot and navigator sustained back injuries after ejecting from the aircraft but their injuries are not thought to be serious.

BBC News story



NATO Conference at Birmingham

The defence Ministers of NATO countries will arrive at Birmingham for a conference at the ICC between 8th and 11th October 2000. At the last NATO Conference Czech and Slovak Tu 154's, Polish Yak 40 etc could be seen at Birmingham airport.

Latest rumours suggest that aircraft are expected to arrive Monday 9th October at around 10.00hrs.

NATO Conference arrivals below:

Monday 9th October:

161530       C-9            US Navy
XV102        VC-10          RAF
61-0327      EC135N         USAF
042          YAK 40         Polish AF
86-0203      C-20           USAF
5105         C.601          Czech AF
90402        G.5            USAF
C-080        C.601          Danish AF
MM62020      Fa50           Italian AF
CM-02        Fa20           Belgian AF
MM62173      A319CJ         Italian AF
93-7024      Citation 650   Turkish AF
98-0002      C-32/B757      USAF

A Greek Airforce EMB-135 and a Spanish 
Airforce Fa50 arrived late Monday.
Tuesday 10th October:

144615       Challenger        CANADA
45.20/T16.1  Fa50              SPANISH
10+23        A310              LUFTWAFFE
17403        Fa50              PORTUGUESE
CD-01        Fa900             BELGIAN
144604       Challenger        CANADA
209          EMB 135           GREEK AF
027          Fa50              FRENCH (unconfirmed)
V-11         G.4               KLu

plus all but 6 of yesterdays aircraft:

61-0327      EC135             USAF
042          YAK 40            POLISH
60203        C-20              USAF
90402        G.5               USAF
93-7024      C.650             TURKISH
80002        C-32              USAF

Thanks to Andy smith for all his help.

Click here to see some pictures of the above aircraft at Birmingham Airport.



Spitfires back in production

Historic Flying, based near Saffron Walden, is the first company to reconstruct old Spitfires, and sell them on the open market. The team of 12 engineers can build about one a year, and 60-70 per cent of the newly built aircraft will be from an original. A new Spitfire will set you back about £1.25 Million.

Independent News story



Fuel-Crises

The following statement has been issued by Royal Air Force Leuchars:-

"The Royal Air Force Leuchars Airshow on Saturday 16 September 2000 will go ahead despite the current fuel shortages in many areas of the country. We have adequate fuel provisions to support the Airshow."

The organisers of the Biggin Hill 'Battle of Britain Display say:

'The Show Goes On'
Air Displays International confirm that, despite the current fuel crisis, the greatest gathering of Spitfires and Hurricanes at Biggin Hill since the Second World War will go ahead as planned.
Not only will the flying schedule be unaffected (except by weather or unserviceability) but we have just had confirmed a hi-octane solo performance by a Danish Air Force F-16.





Bf 109 Wheel brake failure

2 September: A Hispano HA-1112 (NX700E), playing the part of a Messerschmitt Bf 109 for the filming of a scene in the Warner Brothers film "Pearl Harbor," at Folkestone, England, experienced an apparent wheel brake failure after landing, causing it to depart the runway surface, and collapsing the main landing gear. The pilot, noted warbird pilot Steve Hinton, was uninjured. The aircraft is operated by the Planes of Fame Museum in Chino, California, USA.



PV202 Spitfire crash

On Saturday 8th April, a two seat Spitfire (PV202 / G-TRIX) crashed at Goodwood Airfield, West Sussex killing both pilots. As it was about to land it clipped a tree and knocked into a bank before skidding across the motor racing circuit. The two pilots tragically killed were the South African owner and Norman Lees.

BBC Report & Video clip.

BBC Update & Video clip.

Copy of AAIB Report.



Opposition to joint Harrier plans

Unexpected opposition from some of the Royal Navy's fast-jet pilots could up-end Britain's plans for a single Joint Force Harrier.

The idea was to combine RAF and RN Harrier V/STOL fighter forces into a single force flying from a Midlands air base by 2003. But according to London press reports, about a dozen RN pilots from three Sea Harrier FA.2 squadrons – two front-line and one training unit – are planning to take premature retirement before their scheduled move to join three RAF Harrier GR.7 squadrons at Cottesmore, not far from Leicester. The three units have been shore-based for many years at Yeovilton, in Somerset, near the south-west coast of England.

See full story.



New Hangar at Duxford

A new hangar is being constructed at the eastern end (by M11) of Duxford airfield which will be the new home of Historic Flying Ltd who are currently based at Audley End. The hangar should be completed by xmas 2000.



RAF jet crashes on training flight (18/10/2000)

A military pilot and his navigator parachuted to safety after their Hawk jet (XX282) crashed on to a road. The trainer jet came down on a minor road near Lowick, south of Berwick on the Scottish border. There were no casualties on the ground. A spokesman for the RAF said the jet was from the 100 Squadron at RAF Leeming in Yorkshire and had been on a routine navigation exercise. It is believed that the pilot was a trainee but it was unclear who was at the controls at the time of the crash. Both men were airlifted by a rescue helicopter from RAF Boulmer in Northumberland and taken to a specialist spinal injuries unit in Nottingham as a precaution. The spokesman said two mountain rescue teams were being sent from RAF Leuchars in the north of Scotland and RAF Leeming. "They will secure the site and begin a cleanup of fuel and wreckage and make the site safe," he said.

An eye-witness who spoke to one of the crew was told that a large bird had struck the canopy and damaged it.

See full story on ITN News.



TATTOO 2001 RETURNS TO RAF COTTESMORE

'Europe's biggest airshow, The Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT), will be held at RAF Cottesmore, Rutland on Saturday and Sunday 28/29 July 2001. The Royal Air Force has endorsed the decision, which will see the front-line Joint Force Harrier base playing host to the event for the second year running. Runway resurfacing work at RIAT's traditional home, RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, is not due for completion until late spring 2002.'

Official RIATwebsite news & press.

The Royal International Air Tattoo, which is usually held at RAF Fairford, Gloucestershire was held at RAF Cottesmore, Rutland last year (22/23 July 2000) also due to the resurfacing work at Fairford. The Sunday Times have stated that the United States are to base six B-2 Stealth Bombers at RAF Fairford which may be a reason why Fairford is presently undergoing repairs. See B-2 Stealth Bombers to be stationed in UK? for further info.

Click here
to visit the official RIAT website for more info.

Click here
for maps and info on RAF Cottesmore.

Click here
for a Calendar of UK airshow dates.



Hurricane in emergency landing

The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight's Hawker Hurricane, LF363 made an emergency landing on the 10 September 2000 at Seething, Norfolk, after the engine began misfiring. The BBMF's Lancaster, Spitfire, and Hurricane were performing a flypast in Norfolk before heading to Biggin Hill for the Battle of Britain memorial air display when LF363 declared an emergency and elected to land at the former USAAF base at Seething. A Wattisham SAR helicopter was scrambled to Seething after receiving a Mayday call. The pilot landed safely at Seething and awaited a service team from RAF Coningsby to assess the cause of the problem. Hawker Hurricane, LF363, had made an emergency landing back in 1991 at RAF Wittering and was very badly damaged. Since then she has had a complete rebuild and flew again in the Autumn of 1998.



Jaguar crash at Lockerbie

An RAF Jaguar, based at Coltishall, crashed near Lockerbie, in south-west Scotland, just missing a farm house. The pilot ejected and was treated at the scene but his injuries are not thought to be serious. It is believed that the jet hit a flock of birds causing a loss of power to both its engines. The crash happened on Friday 27th October 2000 at about 1100BST.

BBC News story

Lockerbie was devastated by the Pan Am Flight 103 crash in 1988 in which 270 people died. A major review of low flying has now been demanded after this latest Jaguar crash. The call came from Councillor Denis Male, who leads a cross-border local authority group on low flying. Mr Male says the latest accident will make a ban on low flying a real issue at the next election and the risks of low flying, and the expense of the aircraft lost, were just not worth it. He pointed out that the low flying tactic was not used during the war in Kosovo. There have been 13 military jet crashes in the area over the last 13 years.

BBC News story



First Royal Navy Merlin lost

A Royal Navy EH101 Merlin helicopter was forced to ditch off the west coast of Scotland on Friday 27 October 2000, an hour before the crash of a Jaguar at Lockerbie. Five men were rescued after the Royal Navy Merlin helicopter ditched in the Inner Sound between Applecross in Wester Ross and the island of Raasay, near Skye. The helicopter was from the 700 M Initial Flying Trials unit based at RNAS Culdrose in west Cornwall. A Ministry of Defence spokesman said the crew were carrying out trials on sonar equipment at the time of the crash, shortly before 1000BST.
After visiting the men at Broadford Hospital, Lt Cdr Paul Crudgington, from Culdrose, said: "We are up here doing trials for about two weeks and the aircraft had been flying for about 30 minutes and had been in hover for about 10 minutes. "It suffered some sort of failure which will be investigated. I am in no position to say what happened but I can say that the pilot did very well in the circumstances. "The Merlin crashed into the water and inverted, and the crew got out. "

BBC News story

Aviation Now story

Update (13/11/200):

The Royal Navy GKN Westland Merlin HM.1 antisubmarine helicopter forced to ditch two weeks ago off the west coast of Scotland suffered a fire in one of its three Rolls-Royce Turbomeca RTM322 turboshaft engines, wreckage from the incident reveals.
While it's too soon to say how or why it happened, Westland is recommending temporary suspension of flights by both RN and RAF Merlins while accident investigators try to learn more.

Aviation Now story

Reports have indicated that the loss of the RN Merlin HM1 Helicopter on 27 October 2000 has been attributed to pilot error rather than a design fault. The accident was most likely caused by an incorrectly set 'rotor brake actuator'. The official determination as to the cause of the accident is not expected until the end of the year. (July 2001)

Is the Royal Navy Merlin helicopter flawed?

According to the Sunday Express :-
'IT HAS cost British taxpayers £2.5billion and been hailed by the Government as "the most formidable anti-submarine warfare helicopter in the world". But after a terrifying crash involving one of the Royal Navy's Merlin HM Mk1 aircraft forced the entire fleet to be grounded, a Sunday Express investigation has revealed an astonishing catalogue of technical faults and manufacturing blunders that, according to air crews, have turned it into a death trap.'

Read the full story here.

New helicopter enters service (from RAF site)

A small handover ceremony at RAF Benson in Oxfordshire marked the entry into service of the RAF's latest support helicopter, the Merlin HC3. The helicopters will be operated by the reformed No 28 Squadron from Benson to complement the hard-working Chinooks and Pumas based at Odiham, Benson and Aldergrove in Northern Ireland. (9 March 2001)



Harrier crash at yeovilton

A 2 seat Harrier T.8 trainer (ZD992) from 899 Naval Air Squadron crashed today (16/11/2000) at Yeovilton. Both pilots ejected and sustained injuries but are in a stable conditon. The accident happened during a training launch from the ramp at Yeovilton. It is thought that the Harrier caught fire before it crashed inside the airfield perimeter.

BBC News story



B-2 Stealth Bombers to be stationed in UK?

The Sunday Times has reported that the United States are to base six B-2 Stealth Bombers at RAF Fairford next year (2001). Guam, in the Pacific, and Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean are two other bases to receive the B-2. The Times also goes on to say that the US are buying 12 climate-controlled hangars to house them.

Fairford which usually hosts the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) is presently having its runway upgraded which is why the RIAT airshow is being held at RAF Cottesmore in 2000/2001. Pentagon sources say Fairford is the frontrunner because of its closeness to likely targets in the Balkans and Middle East. American B-52 bombers operated from Fairford during the Kosovo war last year. Sorties from the base accounted for 45% of the bombs and missiles dropped by Nato.

Read the full story from The Sunday Times (July 16th 2000).

Latest on B-2 Stealth Bombers to be stationed in UK (26/11/2000)

'The Air Force is not planning to permanently base any of the planes abroad. Rather, it is building up a capability to send them -- in times of crisis -- to spots like the Pacific island of Guam from which they could rearm, refuel and be sustained by ground crews much closer to potential combat zones like Korea and the Persian Gulf.

Besides Guam, the Air Force has in mind three other "forward operating locations," as they are known in military lingo. They are Diego Garcia, a British-controlled island in the central Indian Ocean; the British air base Fairford, 65 miles west of London; and a Middle East location that the Air Force will not identify publicly but which Ryan said "we're looking at" for what he termed "other capabilities."

The idea is to enable bombers, in a short-notice crisis, to fly from their home bases in the United States, attack their targets and then proceed to Guam or another "forward operation location" to reload and return to combat. This gives them a quick restrike capability they now lack, Ryan said. It also would reduce, though not eliminate, the need for midair refuelings.

One solution is setting up special hangars at Fairford, Diego Garcia and Guam to shelter B-2s. The Air Force has contracted with American Spaceframes Fabricators Inc. of Crystal River, Florida, to build a 125-foot-long B-2 shelter with aluminum trusses, sloping walls and the strength to withstand winds of 110 mph. Some of the shelters will have temperature and humidity controls; others will be less sophisticated. Testing of the shelters is to begin shortly, and if they work as expected the Air Force likely will buy about a dozen, Ryan said.'

Click here for the full story from CNN.



Spitfire XVIII up for sale

A Spitfire Mk XVIII, G-BUOS/SM845 of Historic Flying Ltd of Audley End, Essex, is up for sale and is being auctioned at Ebay.co.uk (follow the link below). The bidding starts at £1.2 Million. After a full two-year rebuild, the aircraft (RAF serial number SM845) first flew on 7 July 2000 from Historic Flying's base at Audley End. Uniquely, the aircraft will be sold with appropriate professional conversion training for one nominated pilot, provided the prospective pilot has the relevant basic piloting skills.

Ebay.co.uk

Spitfire page



Strikemaster crash in Lincolnshire

A Strikemaster (G-BXFX / ZG809) has crashed on farmland near to the A361 between Market Rasen and Louth in Lincolnshire on Saturday 9th December, 2000, resulting in one man being killed and another injured with possible spinal injuries. The aircraft was being test flown from Hull airport by someone who was interested in buying it. It is believed that at least one of the two pilots ejected?? from the former military aircraft before it crashed.

BBC News Report



RAF Display Aircraft for 2001

Besides the Red Arrows, Falcons, and BBMF, the other RAF participants for the 2001 season include the solo Hawk T1 (RAF Valley), Tornado GR1 (XV Sqn), Tornado F3 (56(R) Sqn), Jaguar GR3 (16(R) Sqn), Harrier GR7 (20(R) Sqn), Nimrod MR2 (42 Sqn).
It is also likely that a solo Tucano T1 will take part now that the fleet is rapidly returning to service after a fault affecting the rudder pedal caused them all to be initially grounded. The solo Hawk T1 which has been absent from airshows for several years may be the Red Dragon painted example from RAF Valley. There will not be a Hercules Tactical Demo aircraft this year as a spare airframe can not be spared because of the C-130K fleet being gradually replaced by the C-130J. A C-130J Hercules Tactical Demo Aircraft may be available for the display circuit in 2002. There will also be no Grob Tutor T1 on the display scene due to the demand for training up new Qualified Flying Instructors. SAR Sea King HAR3A helicopters should be available and larger airshows may see examples of the Chinook, Merlin, and Puma helicopters.



Classic jet Aircraft Company

The Classic Jet Aircraft Company (CJAC) based in Exeter have purchased 2 Hunter GA11s (WV256 & XF300) which are to be added to the rest of the fleet. CJAC have started work on both Hunters which are now at RAF Shawbury and hope to get them both airworthy over the following weeks. One aircraft is to be painted as WB188, the prototype Hawker P1067 that later became the record breaking Hunter F3. To mark the 50th anniversary of the first flight which was on 20th july 1951, a special event is being held at Kemble on 21-22 July 2001 and also at RIAT 2001 where it will be in the static and flying displays.

CJAC is also offering opportunities for individuals, groups, companies, and organisations to sponsor any Hawker Hunter of their choice. Classic Jets have 5 Hunters in airworthy condition at the moment but say they have the potential to fly nine in the 2001 season. It costs approximately £2000 per hour to fly a Hunter. If you would like to sponsor a Hawker Hunter then contact John Rodd on 0117 967 3858 (after 6pm) or Email jon.rodd@virgin.net

Classic Jet Aircraft company Website.



Lakenheath Accident

BUNGLING airmen caused nearly £6million damage when they failed to put the "handbrake" on a supersonic fighter jet and it careered into a hangar.
The U.S. Air Force engineers failed to connect a restraining hook to the F-15E Strike Eagle before routine servicing work.
When they turned on the £23million plane's engines it hurtled forward 50ft and into the hangar doors as astonished workers dived for cover.
One airman suffered shoulder and hand injuries as he leapt from the cockpit at RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk. Air Force chiefs said the front third of the jet, which carries laser-guided bombs and flies patrols over Iraq, was badly damaged.
They have yet to decide if any engineers will be disciplined.
One airman said: "It was a basic error — equivalent to leaving a handbrake off in a car. It was extremely embarrassing."
A USAF spokesman said: "There is a standard technical procedure to be followed. In this case, it didn't happen."
taken from The Sun newspaper article.

The Investigation of the F-15E Strike Eagle was recently completed. The actual accident happened on August 11th 2000 when the arresting hook became disconnected during a ground test of its engines. The F-15 rolled forward and hit the doors.



Airshow 2001

Constellation L-1649A (N105CF), owned by a Swiss preservation group, and undergoing a major overhaul including the fitting of a passenger interior in Avra Valley, Arizona will hopefully come to Europe in May and attend a number of airshows this summer.

There's a website at http://www.superconstellation.ch

Ilyushin Il-28 'Beagle' copyright Also a rare Soviet-era Cold War twin-Jet Bomber, the Il-28 'Beagle' is confirmed for the RIAT airshow. There will probably be 2 aircraft which are serving with the Romanian AF. One of the aircraft could be the Romanian AF's sole HJ-5 dual control training variant, code named 'Mascot' by NATO. They are actually Chinese license-built variants called the Harbin Hong HZ-5. A large Romanian AF contingent is expected to attend RIAT 2001 at Cottesmore.

The picture on the left is actually a Romanian Il-28 'Beagle' and was taken at the Timisoara Air Show in Romania on 17th June 2000. Kind regards to Ivan Motlik for giving me permission to show this photograph.

Two Romanian AF MiG-21 'Fishbed' aircraft and a C-130B Hercules support aircraft are also expected to attend RIAT 2001.

A four-ship Hunter Aerobatic team consisting of former Patrouille Suisse pilots may display at RIAT 2001 to mark the Hunter's Golden Jubilee. Kemble is also to hold a Hawker Hunter Anniversary & Air day on 21/22 July.

The RAF Waddington 2001 airshow (30 May-1 June) is to hold a Tiger Gathering with eligible squadrons from throughout NATO, whether fighter, bomber or reconnaissance wearing the coveted Tiger emblem being invited to send representative aircraft to the Show.

Click here for more info on the Waddington Venue page.
Click here for participating aircraft on the official RAF Waddington website.
Click here for Waddington info on the Message Board.

The main theme of the Biggin Hill International Air Fair on the 2-3 June 2001 will be 'The Gathering of Eagles' which will be a celebration of American aviation heritage. Many US aircraft will be displaying along with the Sea Vixen FAW2, and Junkers Ju-52.

Click here for more info on the Biggin Hill Venue page.
Click here for the official Biggin Hill website.
Click here for Biggin Hill info on the Message Board.



Millennium Dome to become Aviation museum?

There is a possibility that the Millennium Dome could be moved from its current location at Greenwich and transported to Wroughton airfield in Swindon. Dome Minister Lord Falconer and the Government are desperate to raise as much money as possible from the sale of the structure and surrounding land in Greenwich. The Dome is currently costing £1 Million a month to maintain and property developers reckon that the huge site is worth far more without the Dome. However the Government insist that the Dome should be saved for the nation if possible so selling it to be used as an aviation museum where the public could visit would seem an ideal solution. The Science Museum at Wroughton sees the Dome as perfect for showing off its huge collection of aircraft, engines, and machinery which is currently being held in storage at Wroughton airfield. (21/3/01)



Foot And Mouth (2001)

The foot and mouth problem seems likely to drag on for some time but it remains uncertain whether this will affect any airshows this season. Many areas of the countryside are off-limits to the public so as to limit the spread of the disease.

Mildenhall, which is one of the first major airshows of the season, has stated that at this moment in time the airshow is still on, however they are taking advice from MAFF (Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food) and the situation is being constantly reviewed with no deadline for a decision. The RAF Valley Airshow organisers have said that they will definately be going ahead with their show in August.

The burial of 200,000 sheep culled because of the foot-and-mouth disease has started at the disused Great Orton airfield in Cumbria. A burial site for up to 40,000 sheep has also been earmarked on Anglesey.

BBC News report.

Mildenhall

Below is a statement from the Mildenhall Air Fete website regarding Foot and Mouth:

Is the Foot and Mouth outbreak going to cause Air Fete to be cancelled?

We have had many questions about whether Air Fete will go ahead due to the foot and mouth crisis. While we will continue to monitor the outbreaks and to receive advice from the Ministry of Agriculture, Air Fete will be held May 26-27.

The advice of the government and local MAFF officers is that we can safely hold the event, and that people are encouraged to visit the base over the May Bank Holiday weekend. (from the official Mildenhall Air Fete website.)

Bruntingthorpe

The Bruntingthorpe Open Day on 6th May 2001 has been cancelled due to Foot and Mouth, however a new date will be announced at a later date. . The Bruntingthorpe Lightning Preservation Group's QRA Day is on Sunday 15th July (see Calendar).
Check out the website for further details.

Waddington

Having taken advice from, the NFU, MAFF and the Trading Standards Department of Lincolnshire County Council concerning the current outbreak of foot and mouth disease, the organizers of the Royal Air Force Waddington International Air Show are continuing with their plans to stage the event on 30 June & 1 July.
The organizers have said that arrangements will be put in place to disinfect all vehicles entering the show and similar precautions will be adopted fro pedestrians. The organizers are maintaining close contact with MAFF, the NFU and the appropriate county council authority and plan to review the situation on a regular basis.

Cranfield PFA Rally

The PFA Rally at Cranfield (6-8 July 2001) has been cancelled because of continuing uncertainty over the Foot & Mouth situation.
Check out the website for further details.

D.H. Moth Rally

The '22nd International D.H. Moth Club Rally' on the 18-19th August will be held at Shuttleworth (Old Warden) this year instead of its usual venue of Woburn Abbey. The venue change is due to concerns about the Foot & Mouth epidemic.

Sleap Airshow

The Sleap Airshow which was to be held on Sunday 19th August 2001 has now been cancelled due to the Foot & Mouth outbreak. This event will be back next year and will even better.



Sea Vixen

The last flying Sea Vixen (XP924 / G-CVIX) flew from Swansea to its new home at de Havilland Aviation's new engineering facilities at Bournmouth on 29/5/00 where she will be based alongside the Vampire and Venom. She was flown in formation with a Vampire (XE920 / G-VMPR) from Swansea to Yeovilton and over the former Christchurch aerodrome (where Sea Vixens were built) before landing at Bournemouth.

Sea Vixen XP924 has been given a permit to test by the CAA and took to the skies on the first of many Test flights on the 16/2/01.

De Havilland Aviation Limited operate the following aircraft:

De Havilland 110 "Sea Vixen" XP924 (Foxy Lady)
De Havilland 112 "Venom" FB1 G-GONE
De Havilland 115 "Vampire" G-DHAV & G-VTII

De Havilland Aviation Limited should be displaying the Sea Vixen at the following events:

Biggin Hill 2&3 June.
Cosford 10 June.
Plymouth 10 June.
Waddington 30 June &1 July.
Culdrose 18 July.
Lowestoft 21 July.
Manston 12 August.
Valley 18 August.
Henstridge 27 August.
Elvington 26& 27 August.
Bournemouth 16 September.

Click here for a full list of Airshow appearances by the Sea Vixen.

Click here for the De Havilland Aviation Ltd homepage.

Click here to to see some pictures of Sea Vixen XP924.

or visit the Bournemouth Aviation Museum website.



Airshow Cancellations 2001

The RAFA/BAe Woodford Airshow (9th June) has been cancelled for 2001 due to the escalating cost of holding an airshow at this venue.

RNAS Yeovilton 'International Air Day' on 14th July 2001 has been cancelled due to financial concerns. Sponsership will probably be needed for future Air Days and Yeovilton is definately looking to re-activate the Air Day in 2002.

The Bruntingthorpe Open Day on 6th May 2001 has been cancelled due to Foot and Mouth, however a new date will be announced later in the year. The Bruntingthorpe Lightning Preservation Group's QRA Day is on Sunday 15th July and the Open day is now on 2nd September 2001 (see Calendar).
Check out the website for further details.

Breighton Airshow has now been CANCELLED, however it will be replaced by a two day Fly-in and Hangar Bash on Saturday/Sunday 21st-22nd July.
Check out the website for further details.

The Ulster Air Show(16 June) and Enniskillen Air Show(17 June) have both been cancelled. These two events share the same Display Director, Jeff Salter, who brings in aircraft for each show. The local council that finances the events has had to withdraw support this year due to an overspend. Jeff is confident that these Air Shows will be back next year.

The PFA Rally at Cranfield (6-8 July 2001) has been cancelled because of continuing uncertainty over the Foot & Mouth situation. Exhibitor bookings and advance ticket sales have already been affected and to continue with the Rally would place the PFA in a high risk financial loss position. Steve Petter, Rally Chairman for the PFA said "The PFA is profoundly disappointed at having to make this decision but we are accountable to our members and cannot risk our funds lightly. The PFA will not be rescheduling the event this year. Plans are now underway for the 2002 Rally and the PFA is determined to create an even better event to make up for all our disappointments.
Check out the website for further details.

The Shuttleworth Collection Spring Air Display on 13th May has been cancelled in the interests of public safety due to the exceptionally wet ground conditions at Old Warden.
www.shuttleworth.org

The Sleap Airshow which was to be held on Sunday 19th August 2001 has now been cancelled due to the Foot & Mouth outbreak. This event will be back next year and will even better.

I have been informed by Bournemouth Tourism Information that the Bournemouth Airshow which was to be held on Sunday 16th September 2001 has now been cancelled. No reason has been given for the cancellation.