THE HAN WORTH PAGEANT
FIRST BIG N.F.S. EVENT OF THE SEASON
AN unexpected and wholly welcome change in the weather favoured the N.F.S. Pageant which took. place on Easter Monday at Hanworth. There was a record attendance, and long before the programme opened a big procession of spectators passed into the aerodrome. Not all came by road, and one counted no less than thirty visiting planes which landed during the afternoon. The Cinque Ports Club arrived en. masse with “Moths,” from Lympne, and Mr. Marcel Desoutter later flew over on his green-and-white Desoutter monoplane. No doubt the general atmosphere that prevailed reminded him of the old pre-war Hendon meetings in which he used to take a conspicuous part.
Arranging an afternoon’s aviation so that the interest of the spectators does not flag, either through long waits between individual items or through a repetition of events, is not at all an easy matter and it is therefore, something which the N.F.S. may feel satisfied about that their Hanworth show seemed to hold the crowd’s attention from start to finish.
As a “curtain-raiser,” there was the fly-past of machines, and then Plight-Lieut. H. M. Schofield carried out a quarter-of-an-hour’s intensive stunting and crazyflying. An “aerial pool” competition followed, in which the competing pilots were called upon to aim balls, i.e. bags of flour, into white circles marked out on the aerodrome. Hits were signalled by a man waving a flag. The results in this event were :—(1) H. R. A.
Edwards (Avro ” Baby “—Cirrus Mark 1) ; (2) M. D. Scott (D.H. Moth) ; M. Andrews (Blackburn ” Bluebird “).
Another contest which provided some amusement for the spectators was run off later. This, according to the programme, was an “All Forms of Transport” race. Each competitor (there were but three) had to ride a push-bike for 150 yards, mount a horse, drive a car backwards, carry his passenger, start his plane’s engine, and finally complete a circuit of the aerodrome. Results : H. R. A. Edwards (Avro “Baby “) ; Captain E. C. Browne (” Moth “) ; Dr. Fleming (” GipsyMoth “).
The rest of the programme was interspersed with some very good close-formation aerobatics and individual stunting by Schofield, Wilson and Mackenzie, and demonstrations of the Desoutter machine, the Autogyro (piloted by Captain A. C. H. Rawson). and the little Comper Swift ” (piloted by Mr. St. Barbe). Mr. John Tranum was booked to do his umpteenth parachute descent as a grand finale but, owing to a forced landing while on his way to the aerodrome from Cambridge, he did not put in an appearance. The Pageant closed with joy-ride flips and an impromptu and very fine aerobatics display by Major I. N. C. Clarke on a Junkers Junior, whose slow rolls, loops, bunts and inverted flying were particularly impressive.