THE BROOKLANDS AIR DISPLAY
A SUCCESSFUL EVENT ORGANISED BY THE GUILD OF PILOTS AND AIR NAVIGATORS.
THE Clerk of the Weather showed the worst possible taste on the occasion of the air display given by the Guild of Air Pilots and Navigators, which was held at Brooklands on May 28th. A grey sky poured out its libations from the middle of the morning, but happily things improved by 4 o’clock. At any rate, the weather had the effect of keeping away all but enthusiasts, the number of which must have been a great encouragement to those who believe in the future of the air. The first event, the start of the London-Newcastle Air Race for prizes presented by the Newcastle “lEvening World,” was due to start at 1.30, but the weather was so bad that the event had to be put off and the machines returned to the hangars, to the evident satisfaction of quite a few competitors. Instead, Mt. Lt. W. E. P. Johnson on a Tiger Moth, gave a fine exhibition of inverted flying, followed by Mt. Lt. C. Clarkson who performed similar manoeuvres on a Gipsy. The latter was particularly noticeable for his slow rolls in which he kept his machine with wings vertical for what
seemed an interminable time. A blind flying display, in which everything except landing was carried out by means of instruments alone, concluded the first part of the programme. The main part of the in prefaced by an opening when the official guests eeting was ceremony, were wel c o In e d, and it
was announced that Miss Earhart, Miss Amy Johnson and Mr. J. A. Mollison had arrived. h e first Of the main events was a parade of rep r e :`
ative light aircraft,Iconsisting of Avro Avion, Bluebird, Comper Swift, Gips y Tiger and Puss Moths, Desoutt e r , Klemm, Redwing, Spartan and Autogyro. Rain was
falling heavily by this time, but the spectators had not lost their interest. Before the weather became too bad Mr. Brie was able to demonstrate the unique capabilities of the Autogyro.
The break in the weather afforded a good chance of inspecting the machines in the paddock. Apart from the light aeroplanes which have been already mentioned, there were three Hawker Furies from Tangmere, and a similar machine on which Lieutenant Bulmer performed later. These machines are fitted with the Rolls Kestrel and are some of the fastest in the world. The Fairy Firefly is fitted with a similar engine, and is equipped for fleet work and has a performance little inferior. The Lockheed Vega which was the property of the late Lieut. Kidston was also shown, and was of particular interest in view of Miss Earhart’s Atlantic flight a few days before on a similar machine. In addition there were various heavy machines such as the Ford tri-motor, while later five French machines, belonging to the Air Union, arrived from Croydon. The Buquet all-metal machine was particularly noticeable in the air, as it had the appear
ance of an old pusher, the fuselage stopping short behind the passenger, and the tail assembly being carried’ by two metal girders.
After a torrential downpour the weather cleared, and Flight Lieut. Bulmer prepared to go up in the Fury. He took off in an amazingly short distance and climbing at a tremendous angle, proceeded to demonstrate the capabilities of the machine. The great power available permitted of most spectacular zooms from near the ground to the accompaniment of ” oos ” and ” ahs from the crowd, while the old time intractability of the fighting machine has given place to perfect artistic manoeuvres such as slow rolls and inverted gliding under perfect control. Staniland, on a Hart, followed and gave an equally interesting performance. The pylon race lost something of its interest through the variety of machines entered. A Comper Swift piloted by Flight Lieut. Clarkson was the scratch man, and had to cover nine laps, while Mr. Brie, in the Autogyro, had only six. The other machines, Spartan and Moth, did seven and eight respectively,
the finish being remarkably even. Two pylons were erected in front of the Club House, the third turning point being the Dunlop shed at the Brooklands paddock, and those watching from there probably had the best sight of all. The Autogyro won by a very short margin.
Parachute descents were then demonstrated by Mr. Quill an and Mr. Fairie and went off without mishap, except that the former came down in the river and had some difficulty with his chute.
A foretaste of the R.A.F. Display was provided by the three Hawker Furies, which performed in formation practically every stunt which a single machine can do. They looped, rolled and zoomed in perfect harmony, giving the impression that it would be a poor look-out fox any single machine they attacked.
The meeting concluded with a parade of the heavy machines, an air duel between a Hart and a Fury, and a lesson in how not to begin one’s career solo by a newly fledged “lady pilot” (really Mr. Lowdell of the B.S.V.). Altogether a most interesting day and one we hope will be favoured by better weather next year.