Monday, August 1

The New and the Few

I was delighted to be invited to the VIP reception organised by Northern Aviation Ltd, owners of Cleveland Flying School, on the second day of the Sunderland Airshow in the North East of England.

The 'star' of the show was the new Euro Fighter landed at the renamed 'Durham Tees Valley Airport' on Sunday 31 July and was paraded in full view of the VIP's in the Northern Aviation hospitality suite.

The much written about new euro fighters were produced at a cost of £30 billion - what a pity the aircraft is not only out of date but it also has (without additional gismos) only limited ground attack facilities. Anyway it looked quite elegant as Europe's finest new military aircraft performed at the Sunderland Airshow on a cloudy Sunday afternoon; an excellent example of a euro project, costly, out of date, inflexible, impractical yet it looked and sounded reassuring. As one seasoned observer asked: '' it is a nice toy but what is it for ?''

A verity of aircraft from the UK, Holland and Belgium, were featured at the event. Enthusiasts were treated to a view of aircraft landing and parking in front of the Cleveland Flying School's superior club house.

There was also a flypast of both a Hurricane and a Spitfire, the observers at the Flying School (of all ages) where the display aircraft were based for the week-end all commented ''oooh '' as the vintage 1940's Fighters powered by the trusted Merlin engines proudly flew down the line of the runway. I was encouraged to hear one little lad explain to his sister, "that's the Hurricane and this one is the Spitfire." As many of us are all too aware not every young person is so well-acquainted with the profiles of the Battle of Britain Flight's two principle aircraft.

The few and the new were well represented in the North East of England on a warm summer's day.

1 comment:

Sarah-Jane Hollands said...

My, it does the heart good to hear of young people who are "in the know" as far as our heritage is concerned.