Blackbushe Air Show (June 14th)
As a change from motoring there is much to be said for an Air Display, and seeing that sky-divers were due at Blackbushe on June 14th, we called in.
Due to postponement due to heavy rain, proceedings were being run “off the cuff” but very effectively. A Dragon and a 7-up Prentice were joy-riding. A locally-built side-by-side seater Linnet, evolved via a 1/3-rd-scale Spitfire, demonstrated its prowess, powered by a 90/95-h.p. Continental, and Peter Phillips, ex-54 Squadron R.A.F., really used the abilities of the Cosmic Wind, that American Monoplane built for the Goodyear Trophy 190 cu. in. formula, which, with fixed undercart, nevertheless achieves nearly 300 m.p.h. out of a dive on its 85-h.p. Continental. Aided by full-span aerilons it rolls 360º’ in one second and did 8-point hesitation rolls with no loss of height. It put seven rolls in the length of the runway and flew inverted although not having an inverted engine system.
Meanwhile the glider-towing Auster had been warned away with red Very lights, to allow four Tiger Club Turbulents (I love ’em, for they have VW engines) to perform short but sweet aerobatics and fly between flag posts.
Neil Williams then performed real and impeccable aerobatics in a Stomp biplane, showing us tumbles, inverted rolls, a very polished climbing 1/2-roll, an inverted flypast and four hesitation rolls. The one-hand-hold wing-stand above a Tiger Moth was performed by the slim and daring “Lollo” (Tigers have given such rides across the English Channel, which they have also flown inverted!), the Tiger Club’s 1932 Mk. II Arrow Active biplane performed tight turns, two Tiger single-seaters and the Stomp did formation aerobatics, an R.A.F. Wessex Mk. II helicopter demonstrated rescue and freight pick-ups, knocking over the Tiger Club’s goal-posts in the process, and the Army Gliding Association’s Major Evans aerobatted one of their two Olympic 463 high-performance 15-metre sailplanes, which contrived a powerless fly-past at 110 m.p.h.
The Special Air Service made many delayed 120-m.p.h. drops for the Daily Telegraph sky-diving display, using controllable G.Q parachutes, suspense building up when their Rapide and Beaver, climbing respectively to 7,000 and 10,500 ft., were lost for many minutes. A good show.
The Established Best
A good reputation is exceedingly difficult to establish but, once gained, worth more than gold. When Woman’s Own ran a rather womanish’ feature entitled “The Car Key to his Character,” illustrated by a girl getting into her boy-friend’s Triumph Spitfire, they tried to be clever with Morris Minor, Zephyr Zodiac, 1939 Austin, the Spitfire, Austin Healey Sprite, Rover 105, Jaguar E-type, Chevrolet, Renault Floride and Rolls-Royce, tying a chap’s character to these cars. But when they dealt with this aspect of the Volkswagen they were never in any doubt – “He wants the best and he’ll get it… he may take you for granted – like his car’s performance – He knows a good thing when he sees it…” No wonder VWs go on selling in vast quantities all over the World!
The things they say. – We liked the following, from a daily newspaper:
“In the latest James Bond frolic, ‘Goldfinger,’ now being made at Pinewood, secret agent Bond drives the very latest thing in cars: a 150-mile-an-hour Aston Martin complete with aircraft-type ejector seats and hidden knives and machine guns in the hub-caps.
“I can’t think why Aston’s haven’t developed this vital equipment before, instead of messing around with those absurd optional axle ratios.”