Shuttleworth Training Week 2011
After the long winter layoff, the skies above Bedfordshire (and indeed the worlds) finest airshow location burst back into life for its annual Training Week in April.
There have been a few changes in the close season, Dodge Bailey is now Chief Pilot in place of Trevor Roche who stays on as a Collection Pilot. There are two new “sprog” pilots joining the team. More significantly one of them is making history (more of that later). After a complete restoration since its arrival in 2003, the Polikarpov Po2 will take part in its first displays this year and was the star turn of the week. The Comper Swift too has been the subject of much work to wings and engine and is now, literally, back up to speed. Over 100 sorties were generated throughout the week with no major unservicabilities which is a testament to the hard work of the Engineers over the winter.
The star of the week was the Po2. Now finished in a Russian camouflage scheme it looks magnificent. Not the most powerful of aircraft, Dodge reckons it can do everything a Storch can do! Indeed it was seen to “stop” over the airfield while flying into the stiff wind that blew during the first couple of days.
As I said earlier the wings on the Comper Swift have been recovered over the winter and the Engine has been worked on so its now back to its speedy self.
History will be made this year when Clare Tector takes part in her first show as a Collection Pilot. She will be the first woman flying for the Collection since its inception. Clare has been working as ground crew and displaying at Old Warden, most notably in Taylorcraft and Chilton, for a number of years. Resistance was ultimately futile and she was assimilated!
Pushing and pulling is part of the fun!
Sadly we will be down to a single PT22 this year as Steve Roberts is taking a year off from display flying. Tracey Curtis-Taylor will still display however.
Everyone mucks in the get the aircraft ready, even the Pilots! (Especially when they are late for a slot and the aircraft needs fuel!)
Its not all about powered flight, both the Eon Primary “Dagling” and Scud II historic gliders were flown on a quiet evening.
The Miles Whitney Straight paid the Collection a visit, and very nice it is too!
And finally! How many Engineers does it take to fix a Super Cub? I’ve No idea ether but we used this many!
First Air Display is on May Day. Be there and join our Russian Guests to celebrate the completion of the Po2 restoration.