2021 Events Calendar
Subject to the usual caveats we plan to stage the following events in 2021.
When visiting Breighton Airfield please observe Government social distancing advice at all times if/where applicable.
20 November - VAC Dinner at Old Warden. See Charles Sunter for details.
10 December (**NEW DATE**) - Christmas Party The date for this year's party is now Friday 10th December and the venue is The Parsonage Hotel in Escrick. Full details will be emailed to members.
We reserve the right to alter or add to this list of events. Be sure to check our Facebook page for up-to-the-minute information.
Visiting aircraft are welcome to fly in 365 days a year.
REFRESHMENTS: No food is available at the airfield until further notice but there will be free tea, coffee and biscuits available in the conservatory.
Kaydet air-to-airA brace of images showing Boeing A-75N1 'Stearman' G-LIIZ in the locality of Breighton taken by Peter Lamb
New Breighton Resident
Fairchild Argus III HB751 (G-BCBL) is the latest former military aircraft to relocate to Breighton Airfield under the ownership of the Smith family dynasty, moving in alongside their lovely SAAB Safir. The Argus (S/N 43-15025) was built by the Fairchild Personal Planes Division, Fairchild Engine and Airplane Corporation in Hagerstown, Maryland USA and was shipped to the UK in 1944 as part of the lend/lease agreement. Demobbed in 1947 the aircraft found its way to Switzerland and was re-registered as HB-AEC. Here the aircraft underwent a Swiss authorities mandated modification requiring rearward braces on the undercarriage which remain to this day. Further moves to new owners in Germany and then Belgium followed before the aircraft returned to the UK in 1974. Its wartime markings were reapplied in 1977 and in 1984 the aircraft passed through the hands of Battle of Britain fighter pilot Wing Commander Roland Robert "Bob" Stanford Tuck. The aircraft was fully restored by subsequent owner Frank Cox with meticulous attention to detail, as evidenced in the accompanying photograph by Andy Wood.
Despite an unhelpful northerly breeze and a heavily overcast sky, Breighton's celebration of the diminutive 1930's Chilton Monoplane exceeded all expectations with an amazing five airframes displayed on the day, in addition to the Tipsy Junior also flying the flag for Mikron. Two of the four original Chiltons now reside at Breighton as part of the Real Aeroplane Company collection, of the others, G-AFGI is currently airworthy but was unable to make the trip, and G-AFGH is currently being restored. The three visiting Chiltons, all relatively modern examples built with meticulous attention to detail, completed the lineup. There'll be a more detailed article in the next Gate Guardian newsletter.
The accompanying image shows 'Mr Chilton' himself, Roy Nerou, in conversation with our very own Taff Smith. Roy pretty much brought the Chilton back from the brink of extinction, initiating the restorations of G-AESZ and G-AFSV, thoroughly researching and documenting the history of the Chilton Monoplane and restoring its place in British aviation history.
Attention pilots: I'm sorry to say that noise complaints are once again on the increase, this time from Wressle. Please be sure to fly the circuit correctly, as shown on the Pooley's airfield plates shown below. Thank you.
Church Fenton Fly-outA number of Real Aeroplane Company aircraft (plus a few friends) took pride of place at the fly-in/drive-in event just down the road at the former RAF Church Fenton (now known as Leeds East Airport) on Saturday 24th July.
At Home DayThe July 'At Home Day' was held on Saturday 17 July during one of the hottest weekends of the year so far. Steve Blee slapped on the factor 50 and sent us the following pix:
The latest edition of Gate Guardian, our Club newsletter, features USAF Station 468 (probably better known today as Rougham), Taff Smith writes about his SAAB Safir, the 2006 Breighton Airshow is recalled and much more besides - it is available to read or download HERE. The previous edition (Winter 2021) can still be accessed HERE.
The Joy of the ReturnThe Vintage Aircraft Club Return to Breighton weekend held on June 26/27 not only marked a return visit by the VAC to our lovely little airfield, but a return to this calibre of flying event post-pandemic. The verdict: Breighton at its very best. Steve Blee and Tom Wray were on hand to capture the action:
Vintage Aerobatic World Championships 2022
Great news from VAWC headquarters in Denmark, Breighton Airfield has been chosen to host the 2022 championships. "At VAWC 2018 in Denmark/Skive we all met the enthusiastic team of brave Britts flying the nice yellow Bückers. Great guys, fine pilots, fine sportsmen, and very social ☺ I am delighted to announce that VAWC 2022 will be hosted by these guys in mid England."
In response to the news, RAC Chairman Charles Sunter said, "Here at Breighton airfield we are delighted to be named as host of the 2022 Vintage Aerobatic World Championship. Home to The Real Aeroplane Company and The Real Aeroplane Club, Breighton is the leading airfield for vintage aviation in the mid/north of England. We take great pride in enabling fun, grass roots flying. We look forward to hosting the event and to extending a very warm Yorkshire welcome to the VAWC team, the contestants and their ground crew/supporters."
Hosting the championships is a huge honour and a real coup for Breighton, not to mention a huge home-team advantage in the competition itself! Congratulations to all who made it happen.
June 5thSteve Blee was on hand to photograph some colourful visitors alongside some of the more familiar aircraft at Breighton on June 5th:
78 Squadron RAF back in business
Former wartime RAF Breighton bomber squadron, 78 Squadon RAF, which was disbanded in 2014, has now been assigned to RAF(U) Swanwick and their delivery of Area Air Traffic Management, Airspace Management, Air Defence Resilience Entity and Northolt Radar, ensuring the safe passage of military and civil aircraft across the UK. Full story HERE
Kate and Cliff's fundraising challenge
Kate Howe and Cliff Whitwell are planning to raise funds for the YAA by walking the Yorkshire Three Peaks. The route is 24 miles with 1500m of ascent and the challenge is to complete the whole walk in under 12 hours. They hope to embark on the walk in early May, or as soon as covid restrictions allow.
The pair are doing taking on the challenge in memory of Kate's niece, Jessica Howe, who was involved in a road accident in December 2018 on her way home from a Christmas Party. The Air Ambulance attended and she was airlifted to hospital but later sadly died of her injuries. She was only 22.
Their Just Giving page can be found HERE
Thank you RACWe recently received the following letter and decided to pass it on to the membership, a glimmer of light given the current doom and gloom shrouding the nation:
To Whom it May Concern,
I live in Hemingbrough, and back in around 2013 I completed some voluntary work in the hangars at Breighton airfield for a couple of weeks as part of the 'work experience' curriculum in high school. I know it must have caused a few headaches regarding paperwork and finding things for me to do, but everyone in the engineering team was extremely helpful and provided me with some great experience. I'm not sure if the same staff still work in the hangars, but I wanted to express my gratitude for inspiring me to follow a career in aeronautics. I've always loved aviation (being involved in cadets and some limited flying experience when opportunities arose), but it was this experience in particular that really pushed me down this path. I believe the chief engineer was Ian Ross, but unfortunately I cannot remember any other names. If this could be passed on to the relevant staff I would really appreciate it!
I'm now finishing my master's degree in aerospace this summer and have accepted a position at Leonardo helicopters. It was this that led me to reflect on where my interest in aviation originally peaked and to thank those who have helped/inspired me in getting to this point without possibly knowing it. So, just a massive thank you to everyone involved.
P.S. I used to love coming down to the aerodrome in the 2000s with my dad and hope to pickup a museum membership in the summer to come and visit again.
Welcome BackFlying returned to Breighton on April 3rd after what seems like a VERY LONG absence. Tom Wray was there, with camera, to record the action...
Wing Walking - 10-11 October 2020Wing walking returned to the sky above Breighton during the weekend of 10-11 October. It was a mixed-bag weather wise but the, occasionally, Baltic northerly did nothing to deter the assembled thrill-seekers, as Tom Wray's pictures show...
New Arrival Part #2
Chilton G-ASFV's stablemate arrived at Breighton on September 17th. Chilton DW-1 G-AESZ is no stranger to Breighton airfield, having participated in a number of events over the years, including a memorable appearance at our Centenary of Flight show during which she, briefly, flew alongside Mew Gull G-AEXF. First registered in 1937 and test flown by Ranald Porteous from Witney Aerodrome in April of that year. Visibly quite different to 'SV on account of the nose profile being built to fit the Carden Ford engine (basically a modified car engine) as opposed to the Train inline engine fitted to the younger of the two aircraft. The aircraft was entered into a number of races with reasonable success but, on 24th May 1953, having recently been modified for the Kings Cup, it suffered a landing accident which, to all intents and purposes, should have ended its flying career. June 1984, enter Roy Nerou. Roy took on the task of restoring 'SZ to fly and, in September 2001 she embarked on her first post restoration flight from Rendcomb with Roger Bailey at the controls. There were no problems whatsoever, the Chilton flew beautifully, the first time a Carden engined Chilton had flown in almost fifty years and confirming the heavy Carden Ford engine of only 30hp is quite capable of giving a creditable performance in the lightly built airframe. (Photo by Andy Wood)
New Arrival Part #1
The latest aircraft to join the growing Real Aeroplane Company Collection arrived at Breighton by road in Thursday 3rd of September. The Chilton DW 1A is a light sports aircraft circa 1939, reputedly the only aircraft to come out of De Havilland Aircraft not to bear the company name. Designed and built by 2 students, the Hon. Andrew William Henry Dalrymple, son of Sir John Dalrymple 12th Earl of Stair and Alexander Reginald Ward, son of Sir Hon. John Ward - their surnames being the D and W in the aircraft name. Dalrymple flew 'SV in the Folkestone Aero Trophy Race at Lympne on 5 August 1939, coming home first place with an average speed of 126 mph. After the war it also broke the 100 km international closed circuit record at 124.5 mph at Lympne airfield on 31 August 1947, flown on that occasion by Ranald Porteus. This particular example, restored by Roy Nerou, is powered by an ultra rare Train 4 cylinder inline motor.
BUT THAT'S NOT ALL - part #2 follows shortly :-)
August Bank Holiday Weekend
Whilst it wasn't possible to host the Summer BBQ event due to the ongoing covid restrictions the airfield was still a hive of activity as Tom Wray's photographs illustrate:
A brace of photos paying tribute to the legend that is Dave Marshall, sadly having recently passed away following a short illness. Dave supported the website for as long as I can remember and was always good company at the airfield, along with his co-conspirators in the self-titaled 'JATHC'. He often referred to Breighton as his second home and, even when mobility occasionally got the better of him, would observe the going's on via the airfield webcams. The 28 end will never be the same again - RIP Sir, and thank you. Dav
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Waivered AirspaceThe waivered airspace on the North Side of the airfield which is used for aerobatic/display practice is only available with permission from Charles Sunter, Les Clark or Tony Smith and when one of the afore named is present. Pilots should remain clear of this area at all other times. Wing Walking Aircraft operators have their own display authorisation and are in order using this airspace in the meantime. Further details on this action will follow.