Friday, 30 June 2006

Past Meetings - Halfpenny Green 2006

The annual WWII veteran fly-in reunion took place at the end of June, with 107 aircraft making it to Halfpenny Green Airport at Wolverhampton.

The Project Propeller scheme, set up by Ian Burnstock and Gideon Todes in 1999, aims to unite former RAF pilots from WWII with their contemporary counterparts. As well as commemorating the effort of the war heroes, the former pilots get some 'stick and rudder' time.

Malcolm Montgomerie from Firecrest Aviation flew in for this year's event. He told LOOP, "All aircraft carried veterans from WWII, piloted by volunteers from all over the UK.

"There were some interesting visitors including a Rapide, Percival Prentice, Antonov AN2, de Havilland Dove and a Pitts."

Air Atlantique provided the twin-engined Dove and the Rapide, offering the public flights in these great examples of British aviation history. There were also vintage fire engines on show at the event plus a selection of model aircraft in the hangar.

Guest speaker this year was ex-Spitfire pilot, author and TV presenter, Raymond Baxter. Malcolm said, "He [Raymond] was instructed by American civilian instructors on Cornells, Vultees and eventually Harvards, then returned to the UK and trained on Masters - which no one liked!"

The day ended appropriately with a display from the BBMF Spitfire. One former non-combatant WWII pilot summed up the day, "These chaps probably saved our lives as well as our country."

Kirsten Corrigan, Loop