Flying Display, 1956

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64

THIS year’s S. B. A. C. Flying Display at Farnborough was dogged by bad weather. On the day we attended there was no respite but nevertheless some interesting and exciting flying was enjoyed. The Blackburn Beverley C.1 opened the -display by taking 100 troops for a joyride. The Bristol Orion Britannia proved conclusively that it can climb exceedingly well on two of its four engines and the Rolls-Royce Tyne Lincoln, looking like a real aeroplane, did likewise on its single Tyne turbo-prop, in the nose. It was finished in the sort of paint some enthusiasts like to daub over axles and engines.

The Rolls-Royce Canberra R. A. 29 didn’t accelerate so well (as if it matters!) as the very smart Rolls-Royce Hunter, which on landing displayed reverse-thrust, looking exactly as if it had gone up in smoke. The helicopters performed prodigious antics, but the crowd was as blasé as that at motor race meetings, so that no programmes were waved to tell the pilots that landings on lorries are appreciated. The Fairey Ultra-Light compressed-air helicopter rose and landed twice from its platform lorry, climbing vertically to a considerable height, making a shocking noise.

We liked the clean lines of the Hunting Percival Pembroke C. 1, a high-wing, tricycle monoplane.. Some splendid aerobatics in oldsehool style were presided by Dick Chandler in the Auster Aiglet, which did a one-wheel-then-the-other landing into the bargain.

Exceedingly impressive was the Folland Gnat, which climbed almost out of sight to come at us in a tremendous dive, but Whittington caused delight or despondency (according to temperament) when he swerved to starboard on landing after releasing his parachute brake and vanished in a great spray of liquid mud. He was unhurt.

After the -high-speed runs at ground level by two Gloster Javelins and four Hawker Hunters we began to wonder what all this fuss is about motor-racing being dangerous ! Especially as the weather was such that the R.A.F. seemingly funked its display.

Peter Twiss gave a cracking display in the 1,132 m.p.h. World’s speed Record Fairev F. D. 2, which appears to land a lot slower than the Gnat. Vickers-Armstrongs stole much of the high-speed side of the Show when their N.113 and Swift 7 took off in rapid succession to demonstrate high-speed level and climbing rolls, the Swift going by with an absolute cluster of spray about it from the damp atmosphere.

Not to be outdone J. Elliot took up the D.H.110 but was comparatively subdued. The Armstrong-Whitworth Sea Hawk FGA6 flew around laden with stores and Roland Falk performed his truly impressive slow and low fly-past with the 99 ft.-span Avro Vulcan Bl delta wing, which weighs, did the commentator say?, over 70 tons. That ended the flying part of the display. One very impressive thing was the absence of atmospheric spray round Twiss’ Fairey Delta Il as it hurtled by-presumably because it is so “clean,” which is certainly why it called on three parachute-breaks to slop it on landing. After which, how nice to encounter a 12/50 Alvi saloon and a boat-bodied 3-litre Bentley in the press car park.

Reflecting on Farnborough,1950, we find ourselves wondering why noise at Brooklands ever worried anyone! And we would like to end on a note of censure to the Army for erecting barbed-wire beside the road to keep visiting motorists of their land in the region of the aerodrome – maybe they take killing in their stride but to place such wire where motor-cyclists, cyclists, occupants of open cars and horses, not to mention children, could be injured by it in an accident, not to mention walking into it in the dark, is criminal.

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