Saturday, 13 May 2000

Past Meetings - Duxford 2000

Saturday May 13th at Duxford saw the Project Propeller 2000 event take place. The weather tried to defeat us but we hosted over 90 aircraft and 20 cars, all bringing WWII air crew in for the day. To stand in the control tower and see the huge line of aircraft parked on the south side of the airfield was immensely satisfying.

Many pilots had to contend with difficult weather conditions to get to Duxford (and to get back home) and we are very grateful to them for their determination. Almost 200 WWII air crew attended and enthusiastically entered into the organised events.

The most popular part of the day was probably the complementary pleasure and aerobatic flights - the WWII air crew found it hard to believe that there was no charge for the flights! Twenty four flights took place and we are indebted to the pilots for volunteering themselves and their aircraft for this extra duty.

Ken Wallis' talk on his Autogyro proved to be very fascinating and well attended. Ken was good enough to arrive and set up early so that his 'machine' was on public view long before his talk took place - and, boy, did it generate a lot of interest!

Flying displays by one of The Fighter Collection's Spitfires and Tony Holden's Dakota added to the excitement of the day. Indeed, when we all realised that there was a potential problem with the Spitfire's undercarriage there was a huge sigh of relief when it landed safely. The Dakota crew gave a beautiful display, showing this graceful aircraft in it's natural element. Whoever designed the wings of this aircraft deserves special praise.

Once the flying displays were complete the visitors began to depart, many facing long flights home in difficult conditions. The day ended at about 18:00 with a smile on everybody's face. A huge thanks to all involved - pilots, aircrew, Duxford, the ATC staff and to the many helpers without whose assistance this would never had happened.