2022 Events Calendar
Subject to the usual caveats we plan to stage the following events in 2022.
When visiting Breighton Airfield please observe Government advice to stem the spread of covid-19 at all times if/where applicable.
TBC - Club flyout LAA Rally.
13 November - Remembrance Sunday.
TBC - VAC Annual Dinner.
3 December - Christmas Party - details to follow.
PLEASE NOTE this list is regularly amended and/or updated. Be sure to check our Facebook page for up-to-the-minute information. We reserve the right to alter or add to this list of events at any time.
Visiting aircraft are welcome to fly in 365 days a year.
REFRESHMENTS: The East Coast Griddle is open at the airfield on Friday, Saturday and Sunday serving a variety of hot and cold meals, sandwiches and drinks.
Vintage Aerobatic World Championship 2022
The Vintage Aerobatic World Championship descended on Yorkshire on August 19th-21st, a real coup for Breighton Airfield and affirmation of its status in the world of vintage and classic aviation, for which we can all be deservedly proud.
The competition itself was broken down into 5 categories and the results were as follows:
Looping the Loop - Richard Stirk (Chipmunk)
Dancing the Cloverleaf - Jan Schiedek-Jacht (Jungmann)
Rolling the Circle - Bernhard Drummer (Jungmann)
The Performance - Benoit Dierickx (Jungmeister)
The Sportsmanship Trophy - Maxim Schelfhout (Cub)
Thanks to everyone who made the event the success it truly was. Special thanks to all our volunteers, to our sponsors (Flyer Magazine, Flieger Magazin and MT Propellers), and to all those who helped to raise over £400 for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance (including the East Coast Griddle who donated and raised over £100 of that total).
The latest edition of Gate Guardian, our Club newsletter, features an article on the WW1 movie 'Flyboys', a photo review of our recent G-George Day, a Little History of USAAF Station 152 Debach, VAWC preview and much, much more - available HERE. The Winter 2022 edition is available to download HERE, Summer 2021 HERE and Winter 2020 edition HERE. We'd encourage Club members to contribute to future editions with their aviation related stories, images, trip reports and news items. Items for inclusion can be sent to email@example.com - images as JPG files and words in MS Word or similar.
Beech D17 "Staggerwing"
Jeremy Smith's latest acquisition arrived at Breighton from Duxford on Saturday 7th August. The Beech D17S "Staggerwing" was so called because of the negative wing stagger designed to maximise visibility from the cockpit and reduce drag between the wings. Production of the aircraft began in 1933, each custom-built by hand with with leather and mohair trimmed cabin. The bespoke nature of the build made the aircraft comparatively expensive during a time when the civil aviation market was still depressed, however, year-on-year, numbers increased and it soon became a popular executive mode of transport, the Learjet of its day. During the Spanish Civil War Beech 17s were briefly used as bombers by the Spanish Republican Air Force. In the Second World War they were flown by the US Army Air Force (designated UC-43), by the US Navy (as GB-1 and GB-2), and in the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force (as the Traveller MK.1) under the lend-lease scheme.
This particular example is a D17S, one of only 23 examples built. It was allocated to the US Navy as a GB-2 and immediately transferred to the USAAF as a UC-43 with the serial number 44-67724 before being transferred once more to the Royal Navy under the lend-lease scheme and allocated UK military registration FT475. Post war it was returned to the US military before finding its way into civilian ownership. It was previously part of Pink Floyd guitarist and frontman Dave Gilmore's Intrepid Collection (where it shared a hangar with his Gnat G-MOUR and P-51D Mustang G-SIRR) but has been based at Duxford with the Fighter Collection since 2006.
Nice piece of air-to-air footage showing Taff Smith's recently completed Jungmeister. The aircraft is finished in a rather attractive Spanish Nationalist Air Force scheme complete with Yoke and Arrows motif of the Falange Espanola. The markings depict those displayed during the Spanish Civil War circa 1936-39, the numbers 30-39 representing a variety of trainers and light aircraft in the inventory whilst the 23 is presumably specific to the individual aircraft. The restoration has taken around 10 years, although it hasn't been a full-time project, and with its test flying schedule now complete all that remains is a full permit to fly. Video via Taff Smith
Breighton's salute to the 460 Squadron RAAF Lancaster G-George found itself bathed in sunshine more appropriate to the Austrailian outback than a quiet corner of Gods own County of Yorkshire. Although the weather might well have been unusual there was nothing unfamiliar about the flying at this traditional mid-July slot, this was classic Breighton, back to pre-covid levels - at last! Top billing was the BBMF Lancaster bomber which, coincidentally, currently displays 460 Squadron markings on one side of its fuselage (although sadly not 'G'). The Lanc made a couple of low passes along the length of the runway to the delight of those assembled at the airfield. Other highlights included the public debut of the Hawker Cygnet, the Chilton DW1 and Taff's beautiful Jungmeister. Photos by Steve Blee.
Introducing the latest addition to the Real Aeroplane Company collection - a faithful reproduction of the 1920's Hawker Cygnet designed by Sydney Camm (who of course went on to design the Hawker Hurricane and Hawker Hunter, as well as making a considerable contribution to the development of the Harrier). Only 2 original Cygnets were built and of those only one remains, G-EBMB, which is on display at the museum at RAF Cosford. G-EBJI has spent a number of years at Old Warden where it has been a regular airshow participant. The Cygnet is one of 4 JAP powered aircraft currently based at Breighton. Photo courtesy of RAC Eng.
Breighton's latest residents
Another two beautiful classic aircraft have recently taken residency at Breighton Airfield - a Monocoupe 90 and an Aeronca C3, both 1930's era US built light aircraft. The aircraft are the latest additions to Jeremy Smith's collection, locally dubbed 'The Smithsonian'! Jeremy is following hot on the heels of his father and Real Aeroplane Company founder, Taff Smith, who established the airfield back in the 1980's with his own aircraft collection and is still very much part of the Breighton scene. A third aircraft is also set to arrive at the airfield very shortly - Hawker Cygnet G-EBJI will join the Real Aeroplane Company collection meaning that there will be a grand total of 4 JAP powered flyers based at Breighton. Accompanying pictures by Paul May.
With the display season upon us, and the Vintage Aerobatic World Campionships fast approaching, the RAC Formation Team took advantage of the near perfect conditions on May 8 to begin their 2022 formation work-up. Paul May was on-hand, equipped (as always) with his camera...
Club House Progress
Delayed due to the covid pandemic and subsequent access/supply chain issues, progress on the new Clubhouse has finally begun in earnest with the area cleared and foundations laid. The log-cabin style building will feature a veranda running the length of the north facing wall, overlooking the airfield and providing a superb area for sitting and observing the various comings and goings. Andy Wood managed to photograph the site from above during a recent flight.
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 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:
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.