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+ GEAR New B-K KFD 840 tested + IMC Learn in five days + GEAR Budget headsets +





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It's one of the most iconic aircraft ever made, but it comes with a huge responsibility... so what is it like owning and flying a genuine piece of history? Rob Davies tells us NEWS: HUGE LEAP FORWARD FOR SOLAR FLIGHT

+ SPAMFIELD Late threat averted + ENSTONE Planning fight looms + EBACE Jet news +

GO AHEAD, YOU CAN PUT THE KITCHEN SINK IN THERE, RIGHT BEHIND THE HIPPOPOTAMUS. Your average hippo weighs in at around 1,363 kgs, 204 south of the max payload of the Caravan. The planes that are sure footed in the wild can also turn into a flying boardroom with a sumptuous Oasis interior. If you’re taking to the sky the first thing you should ask is, what’s on your list of things to lift?



CAC1102G Hippo_Caravan_LOOP.indd 1

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their own money maintaining flying aircraft which still inspire. So, please take the time when you can to offer a word of appreciation to those who put their love for flight ahead of their rational minds, that we can all enjoy such living legends. On a similar note, a word of appreciation to our Hollywoodbound video goddess Helen. We’ll miss you tons, Helsy Bells.


GETTING the opportunity to fly within what seemed just a few feet of a genuine WWII icon is something that will live with all of us here who were privileged enough to fly with Rob Davies and his Mustang P51, Big Beautiful Doll. The sight, the smell... and the noise!... all evoke a bygone era we should never forget. But it doesn’t come cheap, and Rob and others like him spend a great deal of

+ GEAR New B-K KFD 840 tested + IMC Learn in five days + GEAR Budget headsets +



It's one of the most iconic aircraft ever made, but it comes with a huge responsibility... so what is it like owning and flying a genuine piece of history? Rob Davies tells us NEWS: HUGE LEAP FORWARD FOR SOLAR FLIGHT

+ SPAMFIELD Late threat averted + ENSTONE Planning fight looms + EBACE Jet news +


HELEN ROWLANDS-BEERS Lured by Moet, celebs, and expense accounts, beloved Helen is taking her ever-there smile off to some flash TV channel in ‘that’ London, after six LOOP years. Dammit!


FLIGHT TEST You think winning a lottery is all it takes to care for a piece of history? No chance! +FLIGHTCLUB T H E C LU B A LWAY S I N T H E S U N advice || clubs || flight training ||

safety || places to fly || people to Meet











|| things to do


first solo

How you can do your bit to help others. P51

grand tour

Much more to Liverpool than just the Mersey. P46


ARCHAT plane crazy

Danielle Rutter, aeros instructor at just 26. P51

nick heard

IMC touring

IMC Rating at the Go on a five-day tour by air and get your See p42 same time? Sounded good to Anthony Biddulph.

Instrument flying to get out of trouble. P48


Change of aircraft leads to mental confusion. P49


Yes, the WWI biplane replica is back. P43

A rating with tour thrown ina +NORTH WEA LD IMC RATIn G On TOuR

It’s not very often that people rating in the same time. But decide to go touring and try to get a Anthony Biddulph did. He tour the Highlands and Islands decided of Scotland whilst getting his to IMC


43 HAD held my PPL for june 2011 LOOP the Midlands and decided just a year before I to we phoned the hotel which fly through it at 4000ft. My extended centreline. Touch wanted to continue dispatched the delightful We had not planned to go temptation was to use the down 50 yards after the to develop my skills. Mari whose job titles include north of Kirkwall, but the autopilot but John disagreed marker in the sea.” Having a German wife and receptionist, waitress and Shetlands were promising saying, “Here is your chance Me: “Bloody hell John, is a reason to fly to Germany occasional taxi to pick us up. proper IMC weather so to develop hand skills in real she having a laugh?” (PTT from time to time, an IMC After a ‘full Scottish’ north we went. It was pretty IFR conditions.” button not pressed). seemed like the obvious breakfast, we headed off to turbulent with all sorts After 15 minutes I was Me: “EW, roger that, we will qualification to get. spend an hour of rotors off surrounding on unusual feeling pretty good that do a low pass first.” I browsed online to see attitudes and limited panel mountains. Having landed the plane was still straight, Me: “John, I swear the what US schools offered work, then headed towards at Scasta, the Tower seemed level and on track. A sudden beach is underwater.” an intensive programme. Barra. Now, the airport at quite excited to see us: “We downdraught quickly shook John: “Let’s confirm.” However, Google’s first Barra is a beach. Yes, a beach don’t get many PPLs up here,” me out of my complacency. Me: “EW, can you confirm suggestion brought up an with three runways! We I vaguely recall John saying the beach is not under water? and invited us up to say hello. instructor based at North called up and runway 29 was Next stop was Wick – it is ‘focus on attitude – nothing It looks wet from here.” Weald – John McGwyne. suggested. My conversation no Heathrow! Despite our else matters until this settles ATC: “EW, confirm beach is John was advertising with ATC went like this: best efforts, no lunch was down’. After a minute or intensive IMC training in Me: “Echo Whisky inbound; above water. It may not look to be found. We would have two, everything returned to that way from above.” the UK or Europe. John request joining instructions.” made a quick getaway but normal. With We hindsight, decided and I agreed on a five-day such to put our ATC: “EW, suggest runway the manager was chatty so experiences are amongst the trust in the tower. A lovely programme. We agreed to 29. No wind, however, free we stayed over a cup of tea. most valuable I took away to maximise value and fly away choose another runway if you smooth landing on a very flat When we finally rose to go, from training. and level surface followed. from base and outside our prefer. All runways above the his assistant had added an We landed at Blackpool Clearly, moisture in the sand geographical comfort zones. waterline at this time.” extra £5 to the bill for parking and after a quick pit stop, Scotland sounded good! Me: “Roger. Can you tell me gives an impression of being as we had now been at the we headed off to our first water on a sunny day. And so early on a Sunday how I locate the runway?” airfield four minutes over the overnight stop, Gigha Island The day continued with in August, we headed out ATC: “EW, look for the pole two free hours. Cheers! on the Inner Hebrides. a missed approach into of North Weald towards in the sea with an orange After Wick, again a radar Gigha is a beautiful island Benbecula followed by a Blackpool. Flying IFR we marker on top. Then locate vectored ILS into Inverness and has a 700m grass strip, landing at Stornoway. Quick encountered some heavy the pole/marker and then straight on over to the just 150 inhabitants and a calculation told us we could cloud with rain showers over right of the control tower. If Loch Ness with the hills single hotel. Once parked make Orkney before Kirkwall up, they’re in line, you’re on the either side above us, it was shut for the night. a beautiful flight on a perfect

44 LOOP june 2011

43-54 Turn your IMC into an epic, the UK’s youngest lady aeros instructor, the Hunter’s Diamond Jubilee, and places to go – including the famed Cavern Club!

4 SOLAR POWER MILESTONE On the way to going global, Solar Impulse finally goes international

18 INCOMING Vent your spleen on such matters as UK shows, the DA42, and EASA

6 PIPER ON THE UP One big name improves... while another departs (for now)

20 GEAR: KFD 840 TEST Bendix/King’s new glass panel for GA, tested by DC

9 PIAGGIO JET NEARER Italian firm’s major EBACE jet show news, plus Cessna and Honda

22 GEAR: BUDGET HEADSETS A range of passive headsets under £250, for spare or first purchase

11 FIREFLY! GET YOUR FIRELY! UK firm snaps up 21 classic Slingsbys – and you can get one

24 GEAR: FORTRESS REBUILD An insight into the meticulous work of Duxford’s renovation men

15 PIPISTREL’S BEAUTY New Panthera looks great, and is as green as grass

38 AEROS WITH ALAN Alan looks at finding, and growing, your personal envelope

17 RED ALERT! Warnings over airspace busts during the summer season

66 INSTANT EXPERT The ‘not quite a warbird... but it might as well be’ Yak-52 detailed

ANTHONY BIDDULPH p44 You COULD do your IMC Rating over a number of weeks or months, hour by hour. Or, like Anthony, you could turn it into a Great British flying holiday instead!

DAVE CALDERWOOD p20 DC’s in like Flynn when he spies a new avionics system for us to try, this time Bendix/ King’s new KFD 840 unit, tested for the first time in Europe. How does it fair?




ADVENTURE firm Prepare2go have diaried a fly-tour to the North Pole in 2012. They arrange, you fly.

WORDS Peter Snoeckx


First international flight for the Solar Impulse zero emission aircraft


Y THE fading light of a Spring evening, the Solar Impulse light-powered aircraft made history last month in its pursuit of being the first ‘zero emission’ plane to circumnavigate the globe, as it completed its first international flight, from its base in Switzerland to Belgium. For some people ‘13’ is a lucky number. For pilot André Borschberg for instance, who flew the remarkably slender and graceful Solar Impulse 340nm in 13 hours from Payerne, Switzerland, to Brussels, on May 13th – Friday 13th, no less.  The Solar Impulse uses solar energy alone to charge onboard batteries via nearly 12,000 tiny solar cells, which in turn power four low-friction electric motors. In theory, driving to the airfield to meet the flight would have caused more CO2 than the flight itself – intended to blaze a

trail of consciousness for low-to-no-CO2 flying. The flight was timed to highlight a European ‘Green Energy Week’ event being staged in Brussels, with much funding for the project coming from the European Commission. While the flight itself presented few unknown challenges, planning it was still a huge undertaking. For an aircraft powered by solar energy, sunlight was vital – even though the eventual global flight will see the Solar Impulse fly for extended periods at night. Negligible wind and turbulence was equally vital, with the SI cruising at around 30kt and not what you’d call ‘rugged’ in construction due to its vast 208ft wingspan. Lastly, the planners also had to take into account the extreme difficulty of having to divert to an alternate airfield should Brussels have been unreachable. The SI must be ‘chased’ by cyclists

04 LOOP JUNE 2011

when it touches down, who prevent the lengthy wings from touching down and being damaged, and needs special hangarage facilities. There was every chance that landing at a small strip would have wrecked the SI. Plenty of pressure then on project meteorologist Luc Trullemans, who chose a window of opportunity slap bang between a passing thunderstorm in Switzerland and one predicted in Brussels! The flight was problem free. The four engines, with a total power of 40hp, propelled the plane at a leisurely 30-ish knots across France, part of Germany and Luxemburg, to Belgium. Hopeful spectators along the route didn’t get to see much: Borschberg flew over clouds at around 11,000ft. Touchdown came at 9.39pm, chosen for its relative peace despite Brussels being an international airport – after all it’s not easy for pilot or

TECH SPECS Wingspan: 63.4m Length: 21.85m Height: 6.4m Weight: 1600kg Motor power: 4x10hp electric engines Solar cells: 11,628 (10,748 on the wing, 880 on horizontal stabiliser) Cruise: 37kt Take-off speed: 18kt Ceiling: 27,900ft

ATC to integrate into the circuit an aircraft flying 40kt – at best – between landing jets. Good co-operation with the airport and aviation authorities along the route was essential and planning took months. For fans and spotters who made the effort to get to Brussels, the approach was a moment of history – and of serenity. With low-power bright LEDs on its leading edge ablaze, the Solar Impulse makes little audible noise from more than a few metres away, and with no jets in the circuit at the final approach, silence underscored the new way of flying the project highlights. And then, applause. Borschberg, pilot, CEO and co-founder of the project, said: “It was a spectacular flight. The takeoff was a little challenging because we had to rush due to air traffic activity, so I needed a little bit of time to get everything


AIRBOX have a new 7” GPS which is fully sunlight readable, the Foresight SuperBright. Old units can be upgraded. More next issue.

WICKS OSHKOSH DEAL GOING to Oshkosh? Supplies firm Wicks are offering stand visitors a choice of freebies if you take along a voucher printed on their website.

CLOCKWISE FROM MAIN: Settling into a gentle descent for Brussels; moments from history; a crowd greeted the flight; it’s big!; Andre Borschberg, CEO and pilot


5 MINUTE READ... Get a quick fact fix... QUOTE OF THE MONTH “As an aircraft owner and active pilot, an engineer and a manager, he grasped the entire spectrum of aviation. That’s a unique blend, a total package. I hope he stays engaged in the community.” EAA Chairman Tom Poberezny on ex-Cessna boss Jack Pelton’s surprise retirement

Not ‘the man’ at Cessna any more

in order before I could become serene. “It’s unbelievably exciting to land here in Brussels, at the heart of Europe, after flying across France and Luxemburg. And to fly without fuel, noise or pollution, making practically no negative impact, is a great source of satisfaction. “In quiet air the plane behaves very nicely. Flying in turbulence asks some experience as the pilot must ‘ride the turbulence’ instead of fighting it.” As to comfort issues presenting themselves during long flights, Borschberg said: “Now we fly an economy seat, but during the circumnavigation we’ll have a business class seat!” Co-founder Bertrand Piccard said: “I’m not surprised that the flight went so well, because I had absolute confidence in André and the team on the ground. The Solar Impulse is not built to transport people, but to transport a message.

“That message is that if we use existing technologies to their full extent, we can cut our dependence on fossil fuel in half. The remaining half can largely be provided by renewable energies. The project by itself is an advanced laboratory to test new technologies. This goes from the obvious developments in battery and solar cell design to less obvious improvements in adhesives, simulation programs, thin films and even lubricants. The lubricants that reduce friction in the electric engines and propeller shafts are the same than those that are currently used in computer hard disks! The current plane – HB-SIA – is not changed since its first flea hops, and also the HB-SIB, the plane that will fly around the world, will keep the same basic design, only becoming even larger at 80m (262ft) wingspan to accommodate more solar cells and a roomier cockpit.

WHAT THEY SAID... “This was one of the best experiences of my life. Flying here is very challenging… the margins are very tiny.” Jetman Yves Rossy, after his Grand Canyon flight


The tech challenges

DOES it really take 200m of solar cells to make just 40hp? If you want to get off the ground, it does. The near 12,000 cells used to feed the Solar Impulse’s batteries are set into silicon wafers barely a millimetre thick, and when combined with the powertrain convert approximately 12% of their solar energy to propeller power. There are more efficient solar converters – NASA use them – but they are heavier, meaning the project would be like a stranded duck if it used them. The all-up weight of the SI is 1600kg, with 25% of that batteries to store power. As with all electric flight, the next big leap will come with improved battery technology – which most expect the car industry to trailblaze. Elsewhere, light carbon-fibre and films are used, with each wing made up of 30 c-f ribs, covered by tough flexible film. Each of the four engines is limited to 400rpm, with special insulation able to retain heat from the batteries to protect the motors at altitude. 2

“While I can’t divulge which airframers are interested in our technology, I can say that the discussions are extremely promising.” Supersonic bizjet firm Aerion, on releasing their Natural Laminar Flow tech to other firms “We’re going to be doing many things no-one has ever done before.” Martin Jetpack boss Glenn Martin after his fan-powered ‘jetpack’ reached 5000ft in testing


PISTON SALES ON THE UP Sales for the first three months of 2011 2010 2011 %CHANGE Pistons 166 188 +13.3% Turboprops 60 56 -6.7% Business Jets 164 128 -22% Total Shipments 390 372 -4.6% Total Billings $4.6b $3.7b -19.6% ro JUNE 2011 LOOP 05


PiPEr’s mEriDian turBinE Wins YEt morE Fans InDUSTRY UP

US firm boosts deliveries as… steady yourself… industry-wide piston sales rise!


rationalise cost structure against the delivery pace, coupled with excellent individual and team performances as we continue to broaden our international reach, contributed to maintaining the company’s momentum so far in 2011. “Simultaneous with meeting our production and financial goals, Piper is on schedule with development of the new Altaire business jet, which represents the future of the company.” Strip out the Meridian turbine sales and Piper’s traditional core piston aircraft sales are down but – for the first time in years – the industry as a whole reported increased piston aircraft sales in the Jan-Mar financial quarter. A total of 207 pistonpowered aircraft were delivered, up from 166 in the same period last year and – everyone

hopes – ending years of downward piston sales. Cessna and Cirrus sold the lion’s share with 61 sales each, Diamond 37, Piper 19, American Champion 13, and Beechcraft 10. The topline figure includes 19 Cessna SkyCatcher LSAs. GAMA President Pete Bunce said: “This good news may be indicative of the start of a recovery in the traditional markets that we hope will accelerate.” The piston upturn can’t come a moment too soon for firms like Cessna, with turboprop and jet sales both slipping from the equivalent 2010 figures, dragging overall sales down 5% and revenues down an alarming 20%. “This has been a very difficult year to date as a result of the slow economic recovery in North America and Europe,” Bunce added.

The numbers

PISTON AIRCRAFT SALES JAN – MAR 2011 American Champion 13 (Jan-Mar 2010: 8) Beechcraft 10 (5) Cessna* 61 (30) Cirrus 61 (53) Diamond 37 (35) Gipps Aero 2 (3) Liberty 3 (4) Maule 1 (1) Piper 19 (28) ALL SEP 179 (148) ALL MEP 28 (7) TOTAL 207 (166)

Sales of Cirrus SR22 and SR20 aircraft up

Piper's current top-ofthe range model, the Meridian turboprop, has helped its recovery

06 LOOP JUNE 2011

*Inc SkyCatcher

IPER Aircraft is reporting a continued upward trend from its 2010 turnaround in the first quarter of 2011, raking in 41% more revenue in the first three months of 2011 compared with the same period last year. Piper actually sold fewer aircraft this year – 26, compared to 30 sold in Jan-March 2010 – but this was more than offset by strong orders for its PA-46 Meridian, its priciest aircraft at $2.07m. Piper's $2.5m Altaire single engine jet is expected by 2014. Piper says first quarter billings were $26.12m, up from $18.46m year-on-year. Symbolically, it’s a big boost for the firm, which says it hit all its cash and delivery targets while making strong development progress on the Altaire jet too. Boss Geoffrey Berger said: “Strenuous efforts to

Follow us on twitter GO TO... SITS VAC

situation vacatED: mover, shaker, ceo CESSNA President and CEO Jack Pelton stunned the firm and industry watchers last month by announcing his unexpected retirement, pitching the biggest manufacturer in GA into a period of uncertainty as it searched for a new chief. Pelton had been boss since 2005 and oversaw Cessna through its most dramatic expansion and contraction in decades, as the world markets went into boom and bust and aircraft sales ballooned then collapsed. In an email to staff, Pelton said: “We’ve been through the best and the worst of times together, from unprecedented growth and record-breaking financial performance to one of the most difficult cycles our industry has ever seen. Cessna will emerge in the coming cycle stronger than ever.” No word on what he plans to do anything next. His role has been taken by former GE Aviation

VP Scott Ernest, whose immediate concern is putting Cessna back into profit and analysing where the firm is vulnerable. Year-on-year revenues for the first quarter of 2011 were down on the same period last year, despite many saying that “the worst is over”. ERNEST'S most three pressing issues to tackle • BEING THE NEW BOSS Being top dog at Cessna is more than a job, it’s a calling. Aside from the thousands of staff and shareholders you have to answer to, Cessna’s chief will be expected to go into bat in the corridors of power in the US and abroad for flying – something Pelton was excellent at. • JETS Cessna is under huge pressure from rivals in its big-money jet business, such as Embraer at the small end with its fast-

Jack Pelton has moved on from Cessna selling Phenom 100 and 300, and Bombardier in the ‘midsize’ jet market – actually the top end of Cessna’s jet range. And this is one problem: Cessna shelved its planned range-topping Citation Columbus project in 2009 as the recession hit home, so it doesn’t have a truly ‘big’ jet in its range, an offering in the


virgin galactic’s big step forward VIRGIN Galactic took a giant leap towards commercial spaceflight last month, with the first test of its revolutionary ‘feathering’ re-entry system on the SpaceShipTwo vehicle which will carry paying passengers into space. SS2 was carried to 51,000ft by the Virgin Mothership ‘Eve’, before being released to conduct the first flight test of the unusual moving wing/

tailboom system which controls re-entry. After momentarily firing thrusters, test pilot Pete Siebold let the aircraft glide normally for a few seconds, before initiating the angling of the lengthy twin booms up to a 65-degree upward position. The nose of the now V-shaped aircraft momentarily flared upwards as it started a bottom-clenching

SpaceShipTwo angles itself for re-entry testing

$50m+ 19-seaters proving recession-proof and still selling strongly. • AVGAS Cessna uses avgas for its piston aircraft. Trouble is, avgas is in the firing line to be outlawed at some point soon, and notwithstanding that, it is prohibitively expensive and rare in much of the world. What is Cessna’s

non-avgas future? It is understood to be working on a Piper Meridian-style turboprop to bridge the gap between its top piston Corvalis 400TTX and Mustang light jet but that doesn't help the 172 and 182 piston segment. Whoever is the new Cessna boss, one of the reddest hot pokers to grasp is future fuel options.

D - J E T D - E n ied

15,500ft/min descent – near vertical – with the flat underside slowing the fall to levels that in re-entry will keep surface temperatures down. After around 75s in free-ish fall, the tails were returned to level and SS2 glided back to its Mojave Spaceport strip as a normal aircraft. Virgin Galactic likened it to a giant shuttlecock. Siebold said: “In all test flight programs, after the training, planning and rehearsing, there comes the moment when you have to go up there and fly it for real. “The flight was a test pilot’s dream. The spaceship is a joy to fly and the feathered descent portion added a new, unusual but wonderful dynamic to the ride.”

• See the amazing video of the test flight on LOOPTV

canada ‘no’ to loan puts d-jet in doubt DIAMOND’S D-Jet programme is in limbo after a $35m loan by the Canadian government was rejected, leaving the firm unable to proceed. The firm has been working on the five-seat single-engine light jet for five years, and is deep into flight testing. Diamond Canada, which is leading the D-Jet programme, had secured $55m in internal and local government funding, and

the federal $35m repayable loan was the last piece of the jigsaw towards rehiring hundreds of staff and pushing ahead. Diamond has some 220 orders totalling over $400m on its books for the $1.89m jet. Diamond Canada boss Peter Maurer said: “While the D-Jet program is a very big risk to the shareholders, it is a very small financial risk to the government and taxpayers who have security for loaned funds.”

Future for Diamond's D-Jet now looks uncertain ro JUNE 2011 LOOP 07

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All content Copyright 2010-2011 Aspen Avionics Inc. ”Aspen Avionics,” “Evolution,” and the Aspen Avionics aircraft logo are trademarks of Aspen Avionics Inc. All rights reserved.






piaggio jet nearer to reality Italian manufacturer hopes

Fastest turboprop in the world: Piaggio's Avanti

to freeze design soon announcement expected at NBAA


IAGGIO says it hopes to finalise the design for its longrumoured new jet this summer, creating a new entrant into the mid-size intercontinental class. The jet, codenamed the P1XX, is to be a significant step up from the firm’s existing eight-seat Avanti II turboprop, with a maximum range of nearly 4000nm being mooted. From the giant EBACE business aviation show in Switzerland, new General Manager Eligio Trombetta said the cabin would not be significantly bigger than the Avanti – which is already very roomy for its overall size, thanks to its rearplaced wings and engines – so the major sell will be speed and range. Trombetta was at pains

to point out it will not be a ‘rival’ to its own Avanti, pitching Piaggio instead into battle with the likes of Challenger and Gulfstream. Piaggio is believed to be tying up deals with construction partners, with Abu Dhabi aerostructures firm Strata strongly tipped to be a major partner. Strata is owned by Abu Dhabi investment house Mubadala, which also partowns Piaggio and has talked before of its goal to build a business jet in the emirate. Piaggio also announced updates to the Avanti due next year, which should add 2-300nm to its range, a revised braking system, lower noise footprint and greater cabin 'connectivity' for in-flight broadband and telephone links.



cessna cj4 gets easa approval

sleeker king air 250 from beecH

Cessna CJ4 now approved in Europe

More performance for King Air 250

CESSNA has received EASA type certification for its Citation CJ4 jet, a little over a year after it received FAA approval in the USA. The CJ4 made its European debut at EBACE last year, with its first delivery into Europe late last year. It is the newest and largest member of the popular CJ family of business jets, which also includes the CJ2+ and CJ3.

The CJ4 is approved for single-pilot operations and shares a common pilot type rating with the other CJs (a pilot rated to fly any one of the CJs is rated to fly them all). CJ4 price is $9m. Other Cessna news: • Aircell’s Aviator 300 worldwide in-flight data system will be an option on new Citation XLS+, Sovereign and X aircraft beginning in 2012. • EASA approval for Citation CJ4 maintenance training • An enhanced Citation X was on display featuring the newly certified Honeywell Primus Elite avionics suite, a new cabin management system, and winglets.

HAWKER-BEECHCRAFT chose the Geneva show to give its new King Air 250 its European debut. The aircraft is the latest development in the rugged King Air range – the world’s most popular business aircraft. The focus has been on upgrading the existing King Air 200 with new composite materials in the props and winglets, a new ram air recovery system in the engines,

and airframe tweaks to improve efficiency and flight performance. The main highlights are better take-off performance and better speed, range and climb figures. Takeoff is 2111ft, max range 1610nm, max cruise 310kt, and operating costs of $3.06 per mile, much less than similar-sized jets. It will cost $5.8m. At the same time the firm announced an upgrade package for the King Air 200, which effectively turns them into 250s. Existing aircraft can be fitted with the Raisbeck ram air system, Hartzell props, an BLR Aerospace winglets.


honda ON MARK

WHEN Honda started its jet aircraft programme back in 2006, it set ambitious goals for the innovative HondaJet: 425kt, 43,000ft, and 4000ft/min rate of climb. Now, it’s hit them. The firm revealed that in performance testing one of the prototype aircraft hit 489mph – 425kt – and reached the 43,000ft ceiling. Climb came in at 3990fpm – so close we’ll call it 4000fpm!

Deliveries expected to start next year of HondaJet ro JUNE 2011 LOOP 9

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The revolution continues with NEW ZULU Improved comfort and noise attenuation blue tooth connectivity and aux music imput

Harry’s HM40 ................... £ 89 HM51child headset ........... £ 79 Peltor 8006 GA headset £150 Peltor Helicopter headset .. £175 David Clark H10-30 ......... £189 David Clark H10-13.4 ...... £215 David Clark H10-13H ....... £229 David Clark H10-60 ......... £249 Sennheiser HME95 ........... £135 Sennheiser HME100 ......... £169 Sennheiser HME110 ......... £199 Sennheiser HMEC250 ....... £325 Sennheiser HMEC26BK ..... £499 Sennheiser HMEC46BK ..... £425

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Uniden UBC30XLT ............... £ 58 Icom IC-R6 .......................... £150 Icom IC-RX7 ....................... £169 Icom IC-RX20 ..................... £339

NEW ZULU ANR GA version .. £599 Zulu ANR GA version ............. £499 Zulu ANR GA coil cord ............ £499 Zulu ANR Helicopter version £499 Zulu ANR Lemo panel version £499 Sierra ANR GA version ........... £399 with blue tooth and music input

Zaon XRX £799


RCA22-7 vacuum horizon ....... £575 RCA22-11 vacuum horizon lit .. £658 RCA26EK electric horizon .... from £1585 RCA2600 digital electric horizon £1815 RCA11A-8 vacuum D.G. ........... £575 RCA11A-16 vacuum D.G. lit ..... £658 RCA15AK/BK electric D.G from £1585 RCA82A turn coordinator .......... £615 JP INSTRUMENTS (TSO approved) FS450 fuel flow ...................................... £449 EDM700-4C engine management ... £960 EDM700-4C with fuel flow ............... £1350 EDM700-6C engine management ... £1295 EDM700-6C with fuel flow ............... £1690 WINTER EASA approved ASI ............ £245 WINTER EASA approved ALT ........... £225


4300 Electric Horizon ................... £1995 LIFESAVER Electric Horizon with emergency battery backup .......... £2495 3300-10 Directional Gyro ......... £1995 MD200-306 3” Course Dev. Ind. £1195 MD222-406 2” Course Dev. Ind. £1295 1394T100-7Z Turn Coordinator £ 540 1234T100-7ATZ Turn and Slip ... £ 695 5934PM-3 Altimeter 20k Milibar £ 695 7000C.31 Vertical Speed Ind. ..... £ 395 MD25 Air Speed Ind. 2” .............. £ 850 MD90 Quartz Clock ..................... £ 165 MD90 Quartz Clock Lighted ........ £ 195 MD420 Battery Backup System £1295 MD835-1 True Blue power supply £2195 Cockpit Self-test Switch for MD835 £ 420

ATR500 transceiver ......... £807 ATR833 transceiver ....... £1070


M760 transceiver ............. £599

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MICRO AVIONICS MM001B Helmet with VOX £345 MM001C Helmet w/VOX and ANR £406 MM001 Headset ............... £181 MM001A ANR Headset .... £242 MM006 Bluetooth phone adaptor £140 MM005 Radio Interface ...... £186

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A20 GA twin plug .............. £712 A20 GA twin plug w/bluetooth £787 A20 Helicopter w/bluetooth .. £787 A20 Lemo installed version ... £712 A20 Lemo w/bluetooth ......... £787 Installed wiring harness .... £ 37

KANNAD Integra AF ............ £499 Integra AF pack £582 Compact AF ......... £415 Compact AF pack £520

INTERCOMS HM2 place portable ............ £79 HM2 place for Icom w/PTT £99 HM4 place portable ............ £99 Sigtronics SPA400 ............. £169

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PM 501 panel mount 4 place £185 PM 1000 4 place prices from £225 PM 3000 stereo 4 place ......... £295 PMA 4000 Audio Panel ......... £525




TRIG TT21 Class 2 Mode S £1250 TRIG TT22 Class 1 Mode S £1595 TRIG TT31 Class 1 Mode S £1575

NFLIGHTCAM HD Camera ...... £240 NFLIGHTCAM HD GPS Camera £290 NFLIGHTCAM HD Helicopter ... £324 NFLIGHTCAM HD GPS Helicopter £357 NFLIGHTCAM Lens Kit ........... £ 20 NFLIGHTCAM Battery ........... £ 24 NFLIGHTCAM Windshield Mount £ 24 NFLIGHTCAM Universal Charger £ 20

* approved for ground use only.

EFIS-D6 ............... £1000 EFIS-D10A ........... £1375 EFIS-D100 ........... £1235 EMS-D120 ........... £1400 FlightDEK-D180 .. £1895 HS34 HSI module ... £410 SV-32 Auto Pilot servo £475

Non TSO instruments for LSA Homebuilt or Experimental Aircraft GH030 vacuum horizon .............. £290 GH025 electric horizon 14volt ... £799 GD031 vacuum D.G. .................... £290 GD023 electric D.G. 14volt ........ £799 BZW-4B turn coordinator .......... £275 BC-3E altimeter ........................... £180 BC-2A vertical speed ind. ............ £99 VSI2FM-3 vertical speed ind. ..... £99 VSI2FM-2 vertical speed ind. .... £149 Magnetic Compass ......................... £85 Air Speed Indicators from .......... £85 MC022 vertical card compass .. £130 MCVC-2L-AM vertical card compass £140 PRECISION TSO vertical card compass £249

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Raft with canopy .......... £999 Raft with equipment ... £1150 HM Survivor Slim line lifejacket with whistle and light ....... £65 Survival Products FV-35F TSO approved life jacket ........ £49

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Kannad XS-4 GPS PLB ......... £188 McMurdo FastFind Max-G PLB £269 Kannad XS-ER GPS PLB ......... £279 GME MT410G with GPS ......... £285






Manufacturer snaps up 21 Slingsbys to return to civilian fleet

ANT a great British classic but can’t find just the right one (shame on you, there’s several for sale in LOOPMART!)...? 21 Slingsby Fireflys are about to come up for sale.

The fleet of T67 M260s has been bought as a job lot by UK aircraft manufacturer Swift Aircraft, from military training contractor Babcock, which used them for flight training. Swift has been working on

its own innovative all-new light aircraft design for two years, but company boss David Stanbridge says the chance to keep over 20 Fireflys in good order was too good – and too compelling – to turn down.

He said: “With much of the aviation knowledge in the Swift Group coming from British-led aviation companies including Slingsby Aviation, this project seems like such a logical and natural step.


The Slingsy Firefly is a much-loved British classic – and a damn fine trainer too!


PLANNING FIGHT AT ENSTONE ENSTONE Airfield is facing a devastating threat to its existence after one of its landowners submitted planning applications for buildings slap bang in the middle of its runway. An application has been lodged for outline planning approval for business, storage, and general industrial units by majority landowners

Enstone's famous WW2 clubhouse

Lomond Holdings, which would bisect the strip. Aviation businesses fear it would kill off the site as a functioning airfield. Enstone Flying Club boss Paul Fowler is fighting the application, and says: “By cutting the runway in half it would become unusable by aircraft. There are at least three alternative locations suitable.” It is believed Lomond has no plans to build any units itself, and is instead aiming to increase the value and saleability of the site. enstoneflyingclubblog.

“Even though it was never in our plans, when faced with this opportunity I wasn’t going to let it go. It will be another significant milestone in the restoration of British industry that I and everyone at Swift is so passionate about.” It will mean a delay in the development of the new Swift, but he added: “Even though it has come at the expense of delaying the Swift Aircraft, it makes no sense to kill off one side of the industry in favour of another when we can absolutely commit to both. “We have made fantastic progress with the Swift Aircraft, but due to some personnel in the aviation side of the business being temporarily deployed to the Firefly project, progression will undoubtedly slow down and our aim to start tooling for the aircraft in September, will be delayed until 2012. While this is disappointing, the Swift Aircraft project is just part of our much bigger plan.” Interested in buying or leasing? Email firefly@ for more details.


ANOTHER GRAND DISPLAY BY JETMAN FLYING inventor/ adventurer Yves ‘Jetman’ Rossy has flown across the US Grand Canyon wearing his jet-propelled wing suit. Flying the wing attached to his back, powered by model aircraft jet engines and steering only by movement of his body, Rossy launched from a helicopter at 8000ft and reached speeds of up to 190mph in a flight of more than eight minutes, at times just 200ft above the Canyon rim. At the end, he deployed his parachute and gracefully descended to the Canyon floor. An

earlier flight scheduled before was cancelled due to the difficulty in classifying his one-of-akind jet-powered wing! Rossy, a Swissair Airbus pilot, said: “My first flight in the US is one of the most memorable

experiences in my life, not only for the sheer beauty of the Grand Canyon but the honour to fly in sacred Native American lands. Thank you Mother Nature and Hualapai Tribe for making dreams come true.” Jetman Rossy flying over the Grand Canyon ro JUNE 2011 LOOP 11




Multiple engine options balance speed and range for low-cost and efficiency

S THIS the best looking ‘green’ aircraft ever? We think so. It’s Pipistrel’s new carboncomposite Panthera fourseater, and shows that being ecological needn’t mean being dull. Reminiscent of a Nemesis NXT-style race-plane front end mated to Pipistrel’s distinctive T-tail, the Panthera promises four spacious seats, a fullyloaded range of over 1000nm, 200+kt cruise speeds, and 10gph fuel burn claimed to be 40% better than any rival. And it gets greener from here on too. It also offers hope of ‘free’ flying with an electric motor option giving a 210nm range, and thirdly a fuel/electric hybrid version that will see an electrical booster powerful enough to takeoff with. The all-gasoline version will use an unleaded-ready Lycoming IO-390, have max payload of 520kg, feature retractable titanium trailing undercarriage and fly happily off short grass strips with a 1200ft takeoff roll. The 10gph figure is well below the 17gph other comparable aircraft burn, Pipstrel says. The Panthera Hybrid will have a 145kW total

Who cares what the engine is? Pipistrel's Panthera looks stunning!

power output – equivalent to 195hp – with a to-be-decided internal combustion engine supported by an electric booster motor fed by batteries and power regeneration systems, and be capable of electric-only takeoffs and landings. Added motor and battery weight means available payload will be reduced, to 270kg, range to 660nm, and cruise to 142kt. Greenest of the green is the all-electric Panthera Electro, featuring a quiet 145kW/195hp electric motor, giving zero emissions over its 215nm range, with the

ability to extend range and duration with updates to its battery tech as time moves on. Payload is 200kg, cruise 118kt, and takeoff roll for both electric versions is 1265ft. Clean stall for all three is 64kt, and 59kt with flaps, and Vne 220kt. Inside, it’s just as good looking, with a luxury interior focused on great outward visibility, plenty of room for four, and featuring Garmin’s G500 glass panel MFD/PFD to full IFR spec and featuring synthetic vision, and the new GTN 650/750 touchscreen navcomms unit. There’s a strong focus

Panthera options and performance MODEL Powerplant Rated Power MTOM Useful Payload Wingspan Length Height VNE Cruise Range (at cruise speed, 4 people aboard, incl. 45 min fuel reserve)

PANTHERA Lycoming IO-390 210hp 1200kg 520kg 35ft 8in 26ft 6in 6ft 3in 220kt 202kt 1900nm

PANTHERA HYBRID Hybrid 145kW 195hp (equiv) 1200kg 270kg 35ft 8in 26ft 6in 6ft 3in 220kt 142kt 660nm

It also offers hope of ‘free’ flying with an electric motor option giving a 210nm range

Garmin G500 and GTN650/750 for avionics

on safety too, with a crash protection safety cell for occupants adding to the benefit of an airframe parachute system. The light weight and slippery design adds to the ability to get to altitude quickly after takeoff, Pipistrel says, adding that good handling characteristics at low speeds ought not to be hampered by the speedy wingform – a real design challenge for any firm. Prices are TBC, but a figure of around €200,ooo for the Lycoming-equipped version is mooted. Test flights should commence in 2012.

Pipistrel on a roll for electric PANTHERA ELECTRO Pure electric 145kW 195hp (equiv) 1200kg 200kg 35ft 8in 26ft 6in 6ft 3in 220kt 118kt 215nm

PIPISTREL’S expertise for development in electric flight makes them ideally suited to develop their new Panthera, having recently been awarded the prestigious Lindbergh Electric Aircraft Prize. The award, to the Taurus Electro two-seater, is to highlight leaps forward in electric and low-emission flight. Yuneec's E430 is a former winner. LEAP said: “The Taurus Electro was chosen because it has a professionally engineered ‘plug and play’ electric power system which is available for commercial sale to other airplane makers, and because it includes a completely integrated ‘solar trailer’ that allows the airplane to operate independently of the commercial power grid.” The Solar Trailer can recharge the Taurus in five hours, even providing a trickle charge during bad weather to top up batteries during a rainy week. ro JUNE 2011 LOOP 15

Photo: S. Ognier

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28/04/11 21:40




Don’t become a statistic and get prosecuted… check where the Arrows are


UMMER is more or less upon us, and for pilots in the UK that means one thing: keep your eyes peeled for NOTAMs about Red Arrows displays taking place! The dates and locations for the Red Arrows’ 2011 aerobatic displays have been published and the CAA has issued a stiff warning to pilots: Don’t bust the restricted airspace. In 2010 the CAA prosecuted one pilot for infringing a Red Arrows display. Additionally, following an incident involving a large number of gliders infringing a Red Arrows’ event at Silverstone, the CAA worked extensively with the British Gliding Association (BGA) to avoid similar incidents in the future. The CAA has published the details of the Reds’ display dates in Aeronautical Information Circular (AIC) M 042/2011 available on the

Managing this takes careful planning... do your bit to help

It is extremely unfortunate if a display is disrupted by the actions of poorly prepared pilots Aeronautical Information Services (AIS) website. Phil Roberts, Assistant Director of Airspace Policy in the CAA, said: “Although we repeat this message every year, we still see some GA pilots infringing a Red Arrows display somewhere in the UK. “Not only is this dangerous, these events entertain thousands of people and it is extremely unfortunate if a display is disrupted by the actions of poorly prepared pilots – this gives a poor overall impression of our collective ability to go about flying safely and efficiently. “Wherever and whenever

you fly this summer please make sure you are properly briefed and have thoroughly checked all relevant the NOTAMs in force.” One of the easiest ways to check on airspace restrictions (including temporary restrictions such as Red Arrows displays) is by checking NOTAMs on the

AIS website, and by calling the dedicated AIS freephone facility (0500 354 802) or by using the new graphical capability that has been delivered by online planners SkyDemon working in conjunction with NATS. “Checking NOTAMs and the AIS Freephone are vital planning actions –


No signs of trouble here...


SPAMFIELD SURVIVES LATE POLICE THREAT A LAST-MINUTE threat to one of the biggest aviation parties in Europe has been averted, after the annual Wight Party fly-in festival held on the Isle of Wight saw police look to ban the ‘Glastonbury of microlights’. Despite running without incident for 10 years at Sandown Airfield, local

it’s essential that both are checked as airspace restrictions can be subject to change,” said the CAA.

licensing police said they objected to a ‘Temporary Event Notice’ because of what they claimed were concerns about the availability of alcohol. Because pilots are always on the verge of rioting, aren’t they? The event draws hundreds of microlights and pilots from all over

the UK and Europe. Wight Party organiser John Brutnell spoke of his surprise at the police objection, and said: “I don’t know particularly what’s behind it all. I think they had some concerns but everybody spoke together and managed to resolve those concerns, so they withdrew their objection which is obviously good for all parties concerned, especially the local economy and local community who this event benefits.” The event is at Sandown from 10-12 June. The organisers say: “You might be a seasoned Spamfielder or considering your first Isle of Wight Mission – either way you can be assured of

some fantastic flying and a great weekend of fun, laughter and enjoyment.” There is extensive camping facilities, entertainment, food, drink, and associated attractions throughout the weekend. The fee (flying in) is £25 on the day, or £20 if pre-purchased through the British Microlight Aircraft Association shop online. There is an advised flight plan for the event, published by NATS, available on the Spamfield website. Non-UK or nonmicrolight pilots are welcome but advised to arrange PPR (john. to ensure space is available.


CAN you produce great mini movies? Are you creative, confident, and with proven skills in Final Cut Pro (or similar editing software) and Adobe Photoshop? Can you handle a video camera, find your way around the Content Management System of a big website and troubleshoot problems? We have a vacancy for a new media and video producer to join our team, and fill the big shoes of our Helen – headhunted by some fancy-dan London TV big wigs. There is a full job description on the LOOP website, but if you want a flavour of the work check out, or email ro JUNE 2011 LOOP 17




EU does it better REGARDING Mike Stevenson’s letter (LOOP, May), I also managed to make the trip this year to the big ‘Aero’ show in Friedrichshafen, Germany, and I have to agree wholeheartedly with his views. On more than one level! Firstly, it is truly heartening to see so much enthusiasm among pilots from all over Europe for what the show offers, and of course from the manufacturers too who brought new aircraft. I speak no German, but I lost count of the number of good chats I had with other European pilots and guess what... we all share the same issues and

values: we want to be able to fly, and not be bankrupted doing so. Unfortunately, I also lost count of the number of times I had to shamefully answer the question, “Is there a show like this in England?”. Err... umm... not quite like this, no. Not even close. Which leads me to ask: when did the industry more or less give up on giving UK pilots anything to gather at and share the joy of flight, while at the same time pondering where our next bank loan is going to go? Was it before the death of aircraft manufacturing in Britain, or after? It’s embarrassing! Anthony Foster Scale and warmth of AERO event wins British fans

SPOT THE PLANE 1 Ignore the man... focus on the office! For over 60 years this gem has defined slow and low fun flying. Have a guess, if you can bear it.

2 Hmm, is that five rotor blades or four...? It’s going so fast, it’s hard to tell. Call a doctor!

3 Wow... a plane that’s actually built in the UK, and exported successfully...

Jim’s harking for beauty AS a follow up to my billet-doux on the Diamond DA-42 (LOOP, April) I would make the following comments. I consider an elegant piece of engineering to be one that has elegance designed in from the onset. Quite often a plane will be built that looks fine until the test

DA42 keeps you talking!

flying phase at which point a lot of unforeseen problems come out of the woodwork. The addition of ventral fins and strakes to improve longitudinal stability is one such case. The designer goes with a too narrow fuselage in order (I presume) to try and reduce parasitic drag and thus improve performance. The test pilot soon finds that the beast is wandering all over the place and the designer has to come up with a ‘fix’, hence those ugly fins and strakes. In addition of course these wasp waisted fuselages are no good for side slipping which I guess will become

a lost art. By the way, one must not mix up nostalgia with beauty. Something that is beautiful will always be so but to be nostalgic it just has to be old. Hmm, does that mean than I am now considered nostalgic? Jim Cripps

EASA quiz

WITH reference to Brian Hope’s reply to the star question (LOOP, Q&A, April) in the current magazine. He states in it: “Part of the EASA remit is that privileges are not taken away from people to leave them disadvantaged....” I’m not sure how that stands with the fact that UK-PPL holders will lose an ICAO-


In text parlance... WTF?! James Davies

think you’ve got AN EAGLE EYE? Know your CTLS from your STOL? Get your magnifying glass out and your bobble hat on, and see if you can work out these obscurities. First correct entry from the hat wins a prize! Email ‘Spot the Plane’ to last month’s MYSTERY AIRCRAFT 1 Sikorsky X2 2 Cessna 172 3 Tornado GR1 18 LOOP JUNE 2011

Yes, my husband saw it and laughed. And yes, I didn’t. Fi Lennon

Youtube: low pass! TO


Thanks for your report on the R66, I am genuinely fascinated to read helicopter tests – they still seem like black magic to old me! Les owen

Nice to see touchscreens hit avionics. Can’t help but think the iPhone and iPad make them look steep though. Jan Rakowicz





SS •




MY vote for over-rated planes goes – regretfully – to the crop of new ‘microlight’ low-wings such as the Czech SportCruiser and many others. They look nice but are overall too small for my tastes. J. Christian






Alun Lloyd

ALISTAIR TOOMEY has opened a can of worms... He says he might be unpopular for disliking the Moth, but imagine how people looked at me when I once foolishly said I thought the Me-109 was better looking than the Spitfire. You could hear a pin drop! I. Armstrong

JUNE 2011 ISSUE 68 £3.40


What a find the Savage Bobber was (LOOP, May), it is one of the coolest planes I’ve ever seen. All I need now is a Harley to go with it!



+ GEAR New B-K KFD 840 tested + IMC Learn in five days + GEAR Budget headsets +






compliant licence and will (eventually) be unable to fly anything but Permit aircraft. It would seem that UK-PPL holders who don’t spend £180 to change to a JAR-PPL will not be able to fly a club aircraft solo. This would appear to demonstrate that EASA rules do indeed take away existing privileges. Could you please clarify Brian’s statement. David Weston Elstree. Hi David. I guess it comes down to the definition of being ‘disadvantaged’. My take on it would be that, provided you currently meet a medical requirement and skill set that enables you to fly a particular type or group of aircraft, and you can still do that post new EASA regulation albeit that you might have to part with some cash, then you have not been disadvantaged. The real issue is any rule change that stops people being able to continue doing what they were able to do before – because of raised medical standards or skills/training levels for instance – and that is what is supposed to not happen. Nobody is happy with having to fork out any extra money for different pieces of paper to let them do what they were doing before, but that’s the way these bureaucracies work – and it would be naive to think we were all going to get away without having to pay something. Best regards, Brian.



It's one of the most iconic aircraft ever made, but it comes with a huge responsibility... so what is it like owning and flying a genuine piece of history? Rob Davies tells us NEWS: HUGE LEAP FORWARD FOR SOLAR FLIGHT

+ SPAMFIELD Late threat averted + ENSTONE Planning fight looms + EBACE Jet news +

ISSUE 68 ISSN 1749-7337

LOOP Digital Media Ltd 9-11 The Mill Courtyard Copley Hill Business Park Cambridge CB22 3GN T: 01223 497060 F: 01223 830880 E: W:

LOOP is published by LOOP Digital Media Ltd. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written prior permission of the publisher.

EDITORIAL Editor Richard Fairbairn E: Staff Reporter Dave Rawlings E: New Media Editor Helen Rowlands-Beers E: Creative Director Bill Spurdens E: Art Director Dan Payne E: Production manager Kevin Hilton E: Chief Photographer David Spurdens E: david@ ADVERTISING Sales Manager Dave Impey T: 01223 497067 E: Sales Executive Chris Wilson T: 01223 497060 E: PUBLISHING Editorial Director Dave Calderwood E: Director Sam Spurdens E: Director Dave Foster E: CONTRIBUTORS Alan Cassidy, Bob Davy, Dennis Kenyon, Nick Heard, Stan Hodgkins, Phil O'Donoghue, Paul Bonhomme, Dorothy Pooley ro JUNE 2011 LOOP 19




bendix king kfd 840 primary flight display


which budget headseT Page 22

F I R S T E U R O T E S T b e n d i x k in g k f d 8 4 0


Bendix King's self-contained KFD 840 is a great option for EFIS systems to replace a tired six-pack. Dave Calderwood reports

PRICE: $12,000 + Size: 8.5in W x 7in H x 7.3in D + Weight: 8lb + Power: 11-33V DC + Screen: 8.4in Active Matrix LCD + Resolution: 640 W x 480 H + Certification: DO-178B, Level C, DO-160E, TSO, ETSO + Interfaces: Analog and digital to work with popular auto-pilots. ARINC 429 and RS-232 to work with popular digital NAV and GPS units

F you have an older aircraft with a tired panel and primary instruments which need overhaul or replacing, you’re no doubt considering whether to install an Electronic Flight Instrument System – an EFIS, or ‘glass cockpit’ – or stick with old-fashioned steam gauges. The upside with analogue gauges is that every pilot knows how to use them – important if it is a group-owned aircraft or in a self-flown hire fleet

Piper Comanche PA-24, G-TALF, owned and operated by Tatenhill Aviation based at Tatenhill Airfield, near Burton on Trent. It was flown to AERO Friedrichshafen this year by John Calverley, a pilot and instructor with the firm, and installed by Tatenhill Aviation’s own in-house engineering team, developing the STC too. Since then, the KFD 840 has also been installed in a very nice turbine-powered Beech Bonanza based at Tatenhill, Cessna 172 and


where not everyone may have had experience of an EFIS. The downside of analogue includes the cost of mechanical gauges and their unreliability over time, and their weight which often exceeds that of an EFIS. Not to mention the many additional functions an EFIS can bring to the cockpit. So if you’re looking for an EFIS for, say, a Cessna 182 or a Cherokee, you’ll have considered Garmin’s twin screen G500 which offers both a Primary Flight

Display and a Multi Function Display side by side, and also Aspen’s PFD which is a much easier installation taking the place of two 3.5in analogue instruments. Now there’s a third option, Bendix King’s KFD 840 which has now received European certificate from EASA for use on Part 23 aircraft weighing under 6000lb (2722kg). The very fact that there’s now three top class certified rivals, albeit very different from each other, has had an effect on

prices – the KFD 840 has been reduced in price from almost $17,000 to $12,000 and Garmin’s G500 is also being discounted – best price I’ve seen is $13,995 from Sarasota Avionics. Of course, you have to add on installation costs. If the aircraft is registered in Europe, on the G-reg for example, the installation needs a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) but if it is N-reg, it does not. The first European aircraft to be fitted with the KFD 840 was a 1959

Bendix King's KFD 840 PFD installed in Tatenhill's Piper Comanche PA-24

20 LOOP june 2011

histOric watch range Page 22

preserVing the past at duxfOrd Page 24

Huge Attitude Indicator, vertical speed tapes and HSI in 'arc' mode 182, Piper PA-34 interfaces to work and PA-44, Mooney with a variety of M-20, Socata’s units. If you don’t TB range (9, 10 these in the Each aircraft have and 20) and it’s aircraft – and, of installation currently being course, by now installed into a many aircraft is slightly Beech Baron twin. already have – they different Tatenhill Aviation will also have to be because the installed adding to holds the STCs for all these. the cost. Assuming KFD 840 is Each installation the aircraft has pretty big is slightly different compatible because the KFD navcomms and 840 is pretty big, both in auto-pilot, the KFD 840 terms of screen size and unit and its installation also because the back of will cost between £10,000 the display contains the and £14,500 depending on solid-state Attitude and how much of a re-work the Heading Reference Systems panel needs. (known as A-HARS). The So what do you get? only remote items are a The KFD 840 concentrates magnetometer – a digital on doing one thing well compass which measures – being a Primary Flight the aircraft’s actual heading Display. It is NOT a Multi – and an Outside Air Function Display with Temperature probe, which moving map and engine is usually already fitted to instruments– Bendix King the aircraft. is working on such an MFD, The KFD 840’s size and known as the KSN 770, weight (8lb/3.6kg) and the due in late 2011/2012, or fact that it’s replacing six you could have its existing primary flight instruments, smaller KMD 150. means a new panel is Because the KFD 840 required to support it. is purely a Primary Flight In the case of the Display, the screen has a Comanche, the panel had huge Attitude Indicator already had considerable going right across the top amounts of work including portion. At the moment fitting a Garmin GNS 530 this is a conventional navcomms unit and an brown (earth) blue (sky) S-TEC 55 auto-pilot. GPS display but Bendix King and VOR navigation and is said to be working on a auto-pilot inputs are Synthetic Vision upgrade required to get the full which would convert this to functionality of the KFD a 3D terrain display. If you 840. It comes with various have a suitable auto-pilot


Built-in weight & balance pre-flight check is easy to operate

providing Flight Director info, such as the S-TEC 55, then Flight Directors bars (the pink triangles) are shown. Alongside the AI are the usual vertical tapes to indicate Air Speed, Altitude and Vertical Speed. On the lower black portion of the screen is a Horizontal Situation Indicator (HSI) which takes a data feed from the GNS 530 navcomms unit. This can be displayed as a full HSI rose or as an arc. On either side of the HSI are pockets of info reversed out of the black. On the left is wind data, ground speed, True Air Speed and Outside Air Temperature. On the right is nav info. Controls are simple. A knob in the bottom left corner alters and sets the Course and Altitude bugs. A similar knob on the right alters and sets the Heading and Altitude bugs (useful if you’ve been cleared to a certain level by ATC), and also sets the barometric pressure. Just push the knob in and a list of functions pops up on the screen, keep pushing to select the one you want. Turn the knob to set. Along the bottom are five buttons each with a dedicated function according to the menu on the screen immediately above them. In all, it’s a very easy and intuitive

system to learn with the auto-pilot and use with all on. On the GNS functions very close 530, John set a to the surface. course back to There's a On a short flight Tatenhill and checklist from Tatenhill an imaginary with John function and glideslope, which Calverley flying captured also a weight was the Comanche, effortlessly. & balance the wide Attitude There’s a couple Indicator really check built in of other neat stood out in bright to the KFD functions built-in sunlight and to the KFD 840. also under flat There’s a checklist white cloud. The speed function which is created and altitude tapes take on a PC then imported via a little while to get used SD card (which is also the after conventional round method for software and instruments, but that’s the firmware upgrades). The same for any EFIS. In fact, checklist comes up on the the size of the KFD 840’s right side of the screen screen means the tapes reducing the AI and HSI are bigger than on the a little but it means, for Aspen and G500 systems, instance, that you could run although the Vertical Speed through Downwind checks Indicator (VSI) is a bit without looking down at a tucked away so as to not paper list. be confused with the There’s also a Weight & Altitude tape. Balance check which uses Altering bugs in flight info about the aircraft’s is easy, though John had actual weights and moment noticed it was a bit too easy arms inputted by the to slip from altering the installer – these can’t be Heading bug to re-setting altered by the pilot. All the Baro pressure, the pilot has to do is insert particularly if the flight weight into relevant areas was a bit bumpy. It could shown in a graphic and do with the knob having check it’s all within limits. ‘clicks’ when changing the Bendix King’s KFD 840 Baro setting rather than a is a worthy alternative to smooth movement. the existing PFDs on the The KFD 840 interfaced market with the obvious with the Garmin navcomms advantages of screen size and S-Tec auto-pilot and being self-contained – seamlessly, and the aircraft and it’s highly competitive could be flown just by on price too. turning the heading bug ro juNe 2011 LOOP 21


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+new propeller

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22 LOOP JUNE 2011

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+new oris collection

time THAT REALLY FLIES ORIS’S spring/ summer collection include the X1 Calculator, the Swiss Hunter Team PS Edition and the BC3 Air Racing Limited Edition, all marking historic aviation events. In October 1947, the Bell X1 made the first manned supersonic flight and the Big Crown X1 (pic) homages this aviation milestone, with historically accurate ‘slide rule’ detailing and 3 Bar waterresistance as standard. In 1994, Switzerland’s iconic Patrouille Suisse Hawker Hunters were withdrawn from the Swiss Air Force to the dismay of many who founded the “Save the Patrouille

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Suisse-Hunter” campaign. In support Oris developed three Oris Swiss Hunter Team PS Edition watches, and will financially support the Swiss Hunter Team to maintain the Patrouille Suisse Hunter plane. 2010 was historic for the Oris Big Crown Air Racing Team, competing at the legendary Reno Air Races in Nevada for the first time. Team pilot Don Vito Wypraechtiger was the first Swiss to qualify and placed 2nd in the Formula Gold Race. To honour him, Oris created a special BC3 limited to 1000 pieces.

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+ n e w l i ghts


AVEO’S Red Baron anticollision lights family has an addition, the RedBaron XP. They are a solid sealed unit and “virtually unbreakable”, vibration and waterproof, and low drag. They have anodised aluminium finish and are C-96a TSO tested and approved Aveo also launched its 27mm tall MaxiMini light, claimed to be the world’s brightest and smallest recognition light.

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+ n e w SKYViEW

NeW DYNON FiRmWARe DYNON Avionics has introduced a firmware update for its SkyView glass panel avionics systems, version 3.1. This update adds a flight-planning menu that enables pilots to enter flightplans with multiple waypoints right on their SkyView display. It can also use computerbased flight planners that support the .gpx file format to create flight plans at home. In addition, SkyView flight plans can now be set up to provide turn anticipation between flight plan legs. When so configured, SkyView starts its turn guidance in advance of a waypoint to fly a transition that will not overshoot the next leg. Robert Hamilton, Marketing Director for Dynon, said: “This will

be the second SkyView software release so far in 2011. It demonstrates Dynon’s commitment to continually add value to the versatile products that customers already own.” Another new version 3.1 feature is the ability to output complete and real-time RS-232 data from the engine and other sensors and inputs that are connected to the SkyView SV-EMS-220 module. Customers can download SkyView Version 3.1 for free from the Dynon website


Multi waypoints allowed ro JUNE 2011 LOOP 23




Duxford houses some of the rarest and most significant aircraft of the past, and it’s a full-time job for Chris Knapp and his team to keep them in showroom condition. Dave Rawlings learns how they do it


ETWEEN the stunning glassfronted construction of the American Air Museum and the huge structure of the Airspace Museum at Duxford Airfield is Hangar Five, a nondescript building nested in between other similar looking and camopainted hangars. The difference lies inside, where a workforce is faithfully attending to some of the most stunning and

iconic aircraft ever to grace the skies. Their task is to conserve the ageing aircraft and keep them looking as original as possible. Their latest project is a B-17 Flying Fortress, more commonly known as ‘Mary Alice’. This particular B-17 is one of the museum’s few exhibits that isn’t painted in its original colours; it was actually built after WWII had ended and used as a flying church all over the Philippines, so there were

Duxford’s B-17 ‘Mary Alice’ is being restored after almost 30 years 24 LOOP JUNE 2011

no armour and armaments aboard. And in the nose, where the bomb aimer would direct operations and there would usually be a turret of machine guns, was instead a cocktail lounge. When it arrived at Duxford in 1975, it was one of the earliest machines on site and it was decided to change it back to represent ‘Mary Alice’, which flew at least 98 combat missions. But after being on display for more than 35

years, it’s in need of restoration – one of the biggest jobs any aircraft restorer could wish for. Chris Knapp is Duxford’s Conservation Manager and heads up all the restoration projects at the museum, responsible for the Imperial War Museum’s entire collection of ‘large objects’, barring HMS Belfast. His team has more than 150 years of combined experience working on

aircraft, so they know what they’ll face when it comes to maintaining these pieces of history. “We have four full-time members of staff and each have their teams of volunteers – we have about 30 volunteers at the moment working on the aircraft,” said Chris. The team have been prepping for the start of the project for eight months. The B-17 is America’s best-

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER GO TO... known bomber from WWII and many were stripped to aid restoration of others, as was Mary Alice. “This airframe never saw combat and when it came to Britain it was used as a Christmas tree for the ‘Sally B’ B-17. So the airframe is original but we have had to start the internal fit from scratch. Much of it is original parts but volunteers had to manufacture some of the parts when it was refurbished 25-30 years ago. It’s got a pretty complete internal fit. “One upside is that because a lot of the internal components are not original to this airframe we have a little bit more leeway in what we do as far as conservation ethics are concerned,” Chris added.

CORROSION The B-17 was chosen to be restored now because the majority of the work can be done in the timeframe the museum has. “A project like this normally takes between two and three years. But I expect this to be completed by June 2012,” said Chris. “We’re going to come across a few problems that will be too big to solve in that time period, so what we’ll do is just stabilise it so it won’t get any worse. And we can work on it some time in the future when there are more resources available.” Now that the aircraft is in Hangar Five it will be stripped back and closely inspected for corrosion. The wings appear to have corrosion so some of the team will be working on them. Their task is to peel the skin off to see the corrosion inside, although this isn’t a major problem because Chris’ team know how to handle and find solutions to these problems. “The biggest problem is the unknown really. We were planning to just rub back the paint and re-spray it, but we’re going to have to strip it and see if the corrosion is under the paint, due to some bubbling. We need to find out what was painted over. “The standards of 25 years ago, when the aircraft was last worked on, have changed considerably. Museums evolve and develop and industrial museums are just getting over the image of ‘big boys and their toys’. “Once upon a time it was ‘paint it, and get it on display.’ Well you can’t keep doing that indefinitely,” he cautions wisely. Because of the short time frame they have there is a certain priority to what the team needs to work on. “In the time we’ve got, we’re going to concentrate on the fuselage and the wing so in a year’s time I can put it back in the museum. Stabilisers and flight controls might not be finished but we can put those back in at a later date. But I have to get the big things done,” said Chris. “We’ve been very lucky so far, the biggest surprise has been the lack of problems taking it apart – which is a

nice surprise for a change – although the wings took a bit of persuading. They are attached to the spars by two taper pins put in 30 years ago. “Since then the aircraft has spent some time outside and then been in front of the glass. So its been baked and frozen, baked and frozen. Some were a little stiff to get out – but we have big hammers, and then it came out easily. “My biggest fear about this project would be corrosion in the spars because it’s easy enough to get to the fuselage but getting into the wing spars is not so easy especially if there is major corrosion in the inner wing. But we’re not expecting to find that. We’ve had a good look round as best we can and I don’t think there’s going to be anything too dramatic,” said Chris. “When we’ve finished this it will be one of the most complete B-17s left in the world,” he added.

When we have finished, this will be one of the most complete B-17s left in the world

Below top: Big propeller fitted to a huge engine! Below middle: Inspecting for corrosion in the wings Below bottom: More than 30 volunteers help out

amazingly, he had the moulds for them. Other times you’re scrabbling round for something quite small.” Chris further explained that parts come from far and wide. “When we rebuilt the Anson MkI it should have certain shape cowlings and we managed to track some down in Canada. “We got the nose turret for the B-24 from Australia. The turret for the Anson came from Norfolk. We had a couple of turrets, but they were all really mangled. It’s all formed box-sections and they weren’t much use to us. “One day I got a call from the guardroom. There was this old guy asking if I’d like his cloche. The Air Force had been fitting those turrets to rescue launches in Norfolk, and when we got air supremacy and didn’t need them anymore they were discarded. Many people grew tomatoes ➽

WORK IN DETAIL Chris’ team has just completed a three-year project where they surveyed over 90% of the aircraft and vehicles in the entire IWM collection, a staggering feat. “We’re probably the only museum in the world that has a comprehensive understanding of the condition of its collection,” he said. Apart from corrosion, when it comes to conserving machinery the biggest issue is finding replacement parts. It is a process that can vary considerably, as anyone who has tried to restore any piece of dated machinery will know. “When we were putting together the American Air Museum the first time round, I needed plexiglass for the B-25 tail gunner’s position,” said Chris. “I rang a guy in Florida, expecting to get a number, to then get another number, another number and so on. When I told him what I wanted, he said, ‘Yep no problem, I’ve got them on the shelf... how many do you want?’ “That took the wind out of my sails, I must admit, but while I was there I asked him if he had the perspex for a TBM-3 Avenger and, ro JUNE 2011 LOOP 25

FLIGHTGEAR in them. The perspex was all cracked, but it was the chance to get the framework to work from. “Ebay is our biggest enemy. People have realised everything has a value and somebody will buy it. We get people phoning us up asking us, ‘What is it? Did I pay to much for it? Do you want to buy it off me?’ What we don’t do as a national museum is give valuations. “It’s very difficult to put a value on something. Someone recently spent £500 on two worn tyres, from an aeroplane that the buyer will never own. “We don’t sell the spare parts from the aircraft because we have very tight procurement and disposal policies – we have to work to very tight guidelines and my guys also have very strong conservation ethics.

The aim of conservation is to preserve an object in its original form for as long as physically possible. It doesn’t always work!

Below top: Not everything is easy to get to Below bottom: Engine on a giant scale... quite a lot of work there to keep it in a good condition!

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FOLLOW US ON TWITTER GO TO... We do trade with other museums of course.” Everything on the aircraft in the collection is original. “I’ve been working in aviation for 38 years and I have the same engineering problems as the historical aircraft that are still flying. Their priority is flight safety. I work on museum objects and my aim is to use the same skills as those guys only in a different way for a different end result. We want to preserve history as far as possible. “The aim of conservation is to preserve an object in its original form for as long as physically possible with minimum intervention – to do nothing! And that’s the aim. It doesn’t always work and we have to be realistic. We don’t have unlimited resources or money so we have to work within the boundaries of reality. “There is passive conservation and active conservation. It is the art of preserving. Putting something into a controlled environment can be classed as passive conservation. All you need for corrosion is oxygen, moisture and energy (such as temperature). “So if you can take one of those away you can stop corrosion. So you can leave it outside as long as it’s in freezing temperatures and it’ll be fine. You can take the oxygen away, but again it’s not practical. The best condition for any object is to be kept in an absolute vacuum at zero degrees in the pitch black, but that won’t help our colleagues in display. So everything we do is a compromise.” The team will be busy over the next couple of

months. The team has to go to the London base of the Museum (in Kennington, south London) and survey all the aircraft hanging in the atrium. That’s a two-month project at the very least and if any of the aircraft need work doing to them, they will be shipped up to Duxford. This is being done now because the Imperial War Museum will be the lead organisation in forthcoming commemorations of the First World War. The biggest job on the horizon will be taking place in the American Airspace Museum. The glass wall is planned to be taken down in 2014 so the objects on the ground can be removed and the team can stress test the suspension mechanisms holding the aircraft up in the air and survey the aircraft. “They will have been hanging there for nearly 13 years and people tend to forget that the aircraft needs inspecting as well as the suspension. So we’re going to bring everything down to the ground and check that it’s OK to go back up. “Everything has to be tied down, in case the wind gets up and you don’t notice it, but we can’t work with the ropes in the way, so we had to work around that. We need to do it in the summer because a lot of the aircraft have to be outside, especially the B-52 because that just takes up so much space inside.” The Conservation hangar is open to the public, so if you want to watch Chris and his team work (from behind the safety rope) it’s included in the normal admission fee.


Chris has been working at the museum for 21 years and been involved in every project since he joined. But his career started before then. His first position was as a trainee fitter at British Aerospace working on Concorde. He then went into the Navy as an Air Mechanic working on helicopters. “I’d like to work on the Sea King in the Museum because that’s what I worked on in the Navy – but it was sent to us in tip-top condition and won’t need work for a long time,” he said. After the Navy, Chris returned to British Aerospace and qualified as a senior inspector. He then started work as a contractor working as an aircraft inspector, fitter and mechanic. He started working at Duxford in 1990 and had the chance to take a three year training course in Industrial Conservation, which was organised by the Science Museum. Since then he has gained a Masters in Museum Studies and is an accredited member of the Institute of Conservation. “I love the job and it’s great to be back on projects where the real challenge is.” ro JUNE 2011 LOOP 27


Living with a true great Rob Davies wracked up over 1000 hours in his P51 Mustang. But what does owning an icon really mean?

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FOR THE LATEST NEWS GO TO... Words Dave Spurdens Photos David Spurdens

» ro JUNE 2011 LOOP 29


A T R A N S AT L A N T I C S U C C E S S IMAGINE if you discovered the Chevrolet Corvette was not quite so US born and bred as pictured, and was really the result of, say, MG crossing the Atlantic and asking a US firm to build it a car as its own production lines were a bit busy: it would sort of undermine its iconic status as an all-American icon. That’s how the P51 Mustang came about. Early in WWII, the RAF attempted to buy Curtiss P40 Warhawks to replenish supplies of fighters lost in combat – but Curtiss couldn’t make them fast enough. North American Aviation said they could build an all-new design from scratch faster than it would take to create a new P40 production line, and managed to use lessons from the P40, Tomahawk, and Harvard, and utilise new manufacturing techniques and ideas like laminar flow, to create the P51. Less than six months after the first order was placed, the maiden flight was 30 LOOP JUNE 2011

in October 1940, and testing went so well that RAF enthusiasm alerted the US War Office to the project – which they promptly tried to kill off, on the basis that it was not something which would benefit the US military. It took a bit of chicanery by the design team to keep it alive; it was discovered that there was a US War Office fund to develop new light bombers, which was enough to see the prototype fighter grow bomb rails and dive brakes within days and become newly designated as an ‘attack bomber’. It kept the funding taps open, and the rest is history. The first deliveries went to the RAF, but some examples were evaluated by the USAF, who quickly realised the leaps forward the P51 made over existing designs. Meanwhile, the first Allison-engined examples were quickly superseded by Merlin-engined versions – another handy British contribution.

ro b d av ies : m ilitary m in d e d


HE has served me well... 1000 hours of flying time and some of the best flying a pilot could ever wish for!” The words of Rob Davies, following the flight and delivery of his beloved Mustang P51-D Mustang to pastures new, as he parted with the aircraft which has become well-known at shows across the UK to its new owners at a collection in Germany. Rob owned Big Beautiful Doll for 15 years and his displays throughout the UK and Europe will be a muchmissed feature of the many air shows he has flown in. Sentiment obviously played a big part when considering whether to sell Big Beautiful Doll but down-toearth common sense figured highly as Rob nears retirement age and he says that the Mustang was always part of his pension plan. Running it was becoming prohibitively expensive and, as he explains, it was a case of the the right offer coming along at the right time. So what is it like owning a piece of history? “Expensive and difficult!” says Rob. “There is an awful lot of maintenance and an awful lot of cost involved. Air shows and filming work recover some of the costs but they only ease some of the pain, they don’t pay for it. “I have enjoyed flying the Mustang and I hope spectators at the many air shows I have visited have enjoyed seeing it as much as I loved flying it. But of course, behind the romantic notions that surround a plane like the P51 there are hard-nosed economic realities. “It is an expensive aircraft to fly and the upkeep to CAA standards comes at a price as well. The cost of putting the P51 in the air is £3000 per hour. Added to that you have to consider reality and I am not getting any younger.” One aspect many pilots ask is how one learns to fly a Mustang, a

APART from flying his own aeroplanes, Rob’s position as MD of Meggitt Defence Systems UK ensures he doesn’t have a lot of spare time on his hands. In 1982 Rob left AEL, where he had worked for five years, to start his own target drone manufacturing. Target Technology and Target Electronics manufactured drones designed by Rob and were very soon suppliers to British armed forces and many NATO countries. In 1989 Meggitt PLC bought Rob out and today he is MD, based in Ashford, Kent. He said, “They asked me if I would stay on as MD and guide the company through the transitional period for three years until 1992. I’m still there and I think they forgot what the deal was. The pay cheques keep arriving so I keep on working.” Rob spends a lot of his time jumping on jets and travelling the world, instructing buyers how to operate the drones, and production has gone through the roof with 60 of the latest Sprite Maritime Threat Simulation drones being

situation made no easier in the UK by there being no two-seat examples to train in. Rob says: “Before learning to fly her I had a lot of hours on Harvards and other warbirds, so the transition to the P51 wasn’t too difficult. Ray Hanna’s son Mark gave me quite a bit of instruction. “There are no two-seater P51s in the UK, so no dual-seat learning was possible. It was a case of read the manual, sit in it, perform cockpit drills, and go for it. For someone buying one now, get some hours in something like a Harvard, then go to somewhere like Stallion 51 in the US and get some two-seat instruction. “I’ll really miss the flying. It was known as the Cadillac of the Skies, and after flying other WW2 aircraft like Yaks and Spitfires, I can say she truly is the Cadillac of the Skies. It’s a very comfortable cockpit, and ergonomically everything is just where it should be. And it’s fast too.

Rob Davies with one of his drones delivered to customers in the next month. In 1997 Rob was made an MBE for Services to the Defence Industry & unmanned Air vehicles, and is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society.

Behind the romantic notions that surround a plane like the P51, there are some hard-nosed economic realities...

The laminar flow wing makes it faster than a Spitfire, and it has long range too, enough for me to fly to Berlin regularly. “Comparing her to a Spitfire isn’t easy as they are very different aircraft. The Spitfire was designed in the 1930s, and the Mustang in the 40s with a lot of advances in aerodynamics by that time. They are both unique aircraft. “The Spitfire is much lighter in pitch and in a loop she can be flown on the buffet nearly all the way round. The P51 is much heavier on pitch and gets heavier the faster you go. The P51 has combat flaps which can be lowered a little in a loop which can help – the Spitfire’s were either up or down only – but the Spitfire was a more manoeuvrable aircraft, but slower. Conversely, the Spitfire gets heavier on the aileron the faster things go, where the P51 is not so heavy.” Flying them is one thing, but as ro JUNE 2011 LOOP 31


H OW T H E M U S TA N G T I P P E D T H E B A L A N C E IF the Spitfire was the fighter that stopped WWII from being lost, the P51 Mustang was one that helped win it. The strength of the Mustang on a strategic scale was its long range in comparison to any other fighter. By 1943 bomber raids to Germany were akin to an aerial Somme, with giant formations suffering huge losses as Luftwaffe fighters tore them to shreds and reduced their effect, easy prey after Allied fighter escorts low on fuel had to turn back well before German skies. It could have stayed that way for years. But, big internal tanks and good aerodynamics meant the P51 managed 600-mile sorties without the addition of external fuel tanks. With extra drop tanks it would eventually manage over 2000 miles – far enough to escort bomber squadrons all the way into Germany.

many early pilots discovered with that enormous propeller up front, simply taking off can be a challenge. Rob says: “The gyroscopic effect of the prop is that with every power and pitch change and speed, you are pedalling on the rudder to keep the ball in the middle all the time. In early days a lot of people came to grief on takeoff – not only did you have the torque effect but if you raised the tail too quickly you also had gyroscopic precession added to the torque – so many went 45 degrees off to the left off into the weeds.” Rob explains that though Mustangs and Spitfires need engine changes through natural wear and tear like any aircraft, normally at 700 hours, the ever-present reality of unscheduled maintenance when

BBD: An unmistakeable aircraft which has given pleasure to thousands watching Rob perform at air displays all over the UK

If you raised the tail too quickly, you have gyroscopic precession added to torque and many went off at 45 degrees into the weeds

32 LOOP JUNE 2011

Suddenly, formations of Flying Fortresses had a defensive line to shield them. The balance tipped as Allied losses to enemy fighters slipped to miniscule levels, and German industry was hit by catastrophic attrition. The effect was self-accelerating, with bomber success in hammering German factories slashing the Luftwaffe’s ability to build new planes to replace the ones shot down by P51s. Meanwhile, the Luftwaffe recalled existing fighters to Germany from all over Europe, handing air superiority to the Allies just in time for D-Day. The situation was mirrored in the Far East, and after proving to be the scourge of Japanese fighter planes, bomber Mustangs made innumerable raids on Japanese targets.

things don’t quite go to plan can bring gut-churning bills. Add to that a healthy appetite for cylinder heads and pistons after 200 or 300 hours of flying, and owning a warbird seems ever more a test of nerve as well as wallet. “The Merlin engine is a thirsty beast. It’s a real challenge maintaining it and keeping it airworthy. Of course the more you fly aircraft like this the easier they are to look after. Park it for months and you will have problems. “In terms of engineering it’s not rocket science. All the manuals are available, and I’ve worked on aircraft for many years. Being American there are spares available.” Big Beautiful Doll has a chequered history when it comes to crashes

and rebuilds. She suffered catastrophic engine failure in 1969 while flying in the Philippines, and again in the Philippines she crash landed on Manila Airport and was totally written off. Thanks to the legendary Ray Hanna and Mal Rose – at the time based in Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific – the crashed aircraft was purchased along with another Mustang ‘gate guardian’ from Manila Airport. Using parts from both, she was restored and flew again in 1985. She was later shipped to Duxford where she was operated by Ray and Mark Hanna’s Old Flying Machine Company, until Rob bought her. Rob has enjoyed 15 years of exciting flying with the aircraft but it has not been without its hairy

T H E W W I I S T E A LT H P L A N E SO how did the Mustang manage a top speed well in excess of contemporaries during WWII? The secrets were so well-guarded that not even the RAF were let in on how the P51 could get 40mph more from its Merlin-based engine than RAF aircraft could, and outpower German enemies with ease. Laminar flow was a poorly understood concept in the 1940s, but it was one of the major innovations which gave the Mustang a real ace up its sleeve. That, and a scientific principle named after a British aerodynamicist. US scientists had realised that tiny imperfections such as rivet heads and even paint on a wing surface promoted drag equivalent to hundreds of horsepower. Trying to attain laminar flow, where the airflow over the wing is minimally disturbed, meant trying to keep the P51’s wing surface as smooth as possible and unpainted.

moments and unexpected engine rebuilds. “Four years after I bought her I was flying over Rochester Airport in Kent when I experienced catastrophic engine failure and began losing height. “I declared an emergency but managed to gain a bit of altitude and made it to a rain-sodden grass strip where I landed it on its wheels without tipping over. The engine had thrown a conrod and I had to change the engine for a new one, at Rochester, which took three weeks. Luckily I had a spare. “Last year on my way to Duxford the engine suffered coolant pump failure – all the gauges were reading normal but the top of the engine was boiling away because coolant wasn’t circulating.

“Once again I had to declare an emergency and this time I had a passenger. We had parachutes but had lost so much altitude we couldn’t bail out anyway. Luckily, I managed to land at Stapleford without either of us coming to any harm.” This entailed yet another engine change. “The main instruments you are always watching in a liquid-cooled Merlin are coolant temp, oil pressures and temperature, and fuel pressure. You are monitoring them all the time. If it starts to go wrong you haven’t got long. “The best glide speed in a Mustang is 175mph, and you’d be in a 45-degree downward angle. If you have to bail out, there is an emergency release, and really you wouldn’t be flying one without a

Not only was it faster, but it was more controllable too. In high speed dives, where aerodynamic shockwaves across the wing surface caused some aircraft to lose control authority, the Mustang’s smoother wing reduced the effect and meant P51s could pull out of fast dives where enemies often could not. Another secret design feature was the very obvious belly scoop for the radiator. In contrast to contemporary US aircraft like the Tomahawk, the Mustang radiator scoop was low and rearward, in less disturbed air. Its secret was utilising an effect discovered by British aerodynamicist F.W. Meredith, whereby correctly channelling the expanding air heated within the radiator scoop created a rudimentary jet thrust as it exited, enough to negate nearly all the scoop’s drag.

That huge prop has enormous gyroscopic effects meaning every change of power setting needs rudder correction

parachute on your back.” It may sound to the casual bystander that Davies is winding down his aerial activities but nothing could be further from the truth – he has a Harvard Mk IV undergoing a rebuild and will be ready to fly in a couple of months. Another warbird, a Czech-built Yak 11, is at North Weald undergoing an engine rebuild and work on the propeller and airframe. That too will be back at his Woodchurch base in a few months and local residents can again expect to see Rob performing barrel rolls and loops above the wooden spire of the local church before the summer is out. A trip around Rob’s hangar reveals two other planes that ensure he is a long way from being grounded. A Piper L21B Military Super Cub and ro JUNE 2011 LOOP 33


A tour round Rob’s hangar reveals aeroplanes are not his only ‘fix’ with an array of old tractors, a gun carrier and a Jeep a Robin Regent sit expectantly in the hangar. The pair of them, now Big Beautiful Doll has gone to pastures new, may become airborne more often than they have been used to. Rob is already being asked to do air-show displays in the Yak and the Harvard and he admits he enjoys the display side of flying so much it will be hard to turn the offers down. He also lets on that there is a possibility of “another plane” joining his collection… before clamming up with secrecy to preserve the surprise! Rob accepts that if his business Target Technology (see box) had not been a successful venture flying warbirds would have been financially out of the question. He is also acutely aware that his training as an engineer in the RAF allows him to indulge his passion for display flying because he could undertake so much of the maintenance himself. “I worked on Meteors and Varsitys during my time at RAF Stradishall and on Beverley four-engine transporters while I was stationed in Aden. When I returned from service in Aden I worked on Hercules C-130s so I had a good grounding on

34 LOOPJUNE 2011

how to maintain and repair a wide variety of aircraft,” he explains. A guided tour round Rob’s large Woodchurch hangar reveals that aeroplanes are not his only collecting fix, as he introduces an array of vintage tractors, proudly pointing out that they are all in good working order and have been maintained or rebuilt by him. There are Marshals and Field Marshalls, a Lanz Bulldog with a 10.7 litre single-cylinder engine, and three Fowler Caterpillars all sitting snugly beside a 1942 Bren-Gun Carrier, and a 1942 Willys Jeep in which his children learnt to drive. When I interviewed Rob he had travelled to work in Ashford on his Triumph Rocket 2.3l motorcycle, polished to perfection, and he showed me his collection of vintage motorcycles which include a couple of WW2 Harley-Davidsons, one with a mounted Browning Automatic rifle and the other with a Thompson submachine gun strapped to its side, parked next to an old Francis Barnett and a Sunbeam S7. I somehow think that Rob Davies MBE, FRAeS, would find the word ‘retirement’ very hard to pronounce.


BIG BEAUTIFUL DOLL wasn’t only well known to UK pilots and airshow fans – she was a repeated star of the silver screen too, chosen by some of its top name directors to represent the cavalry of WW2, and changing appearance more often than Lady Gaga. EMPIRE OF THE SUN – Steven Speilberg, 1987

The P51 was given one of many makeovers for Spielberg’s Christian Bale and John Malkovich epic Empire of the Sun, painted up as ‘Missy Wong from Hong Kong’ and strafing the internment/POW camp where Bale is held. MEMPHIS BELLE – Michael Caton-Jones, 1990 One of the greatest warbird films ever made, several P51s took part in recreating aerial attack and dogfight scenes in the story of a B17 Fortress and its crew. SAVING PRIVATE RYAN – Steven Spielberg, 1998 Injured Tom Hanks faces certain death as an enemy tank bears down on him amid a scene of chaos and destruction. With just a Colt .45 for defence it’s looking bad… until the tank explodes, and USAF Mustangs whine overhead – the cavalry arriving in the nick of time. RED TAILS – George Lucas, 2011

Rob’s P51 over the English south coast. Many would have flown this way defending bombers during WWII

Lucas’ own project about the Tuskegee Airmen – the first black squadron in the USAF – has only recently completed filming, and saw Big Beautiful Doll in the air over the Czech Republic, painted in the distinctive colour scheme. ro JUNE 2011 LOOP 35


LOOP is the UK’s most influential and biggest circulation General Aviation publication. Published monthly, it provides the latest news and analysis, stories and stunning flight tests of aircraft ranging from high performance piston or turboprop aircraft to kitplanes and Light Sport aircraft. INSIDE RESTORING A FLYING FORTRESS AT DUXFORD R66 TESTED... THE FIRM'S + DEBU T Rolls' FIRS

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The Mustang’s cockpit is surprisingly comfortable and well laid-out considering most aircraft of the period were fairly random. Rob’s aircraft has a few concessions to modern flying such as the GPS but is otherwise just beautifully finished

DATA FILE 1951 Mustang P51-D POWER Engine Rolls-Royce Merlin-1650-7, a liquid-cooled supercharged 27-litre V12, producing 1490hp (+ war setting of 1720hp) Prop 4-blade, constant-speed Fuel Avgas 100LL

Swastika and Rising Sun markings represent ‘kills’ of enemy aircraft (not real!), together with mock guns on the wings

Fuel management is a key task for the pilot, especially if drop tanks are fitted. Range was extraordinary for a WWII fighter hence its success

DIMENSIONS Wingspan 37ft 0in Wing area 235sq ft Length 32ft 3in Height 13ft 4in Seats 1 Max weight 10,500lb Empty weight 7635lb Useful load 2865lb Fuel capacity 269 US gallons (489 with drop tanks)

PERFORMANCE Max speed 437mph Cruise 325mph Climb rate 3,200ft/min Ceiling 41,900ft Stall speed 100mph Range 1155 miles (2055 with drop tanks) Takeoff roll 610ft Landing roll 450ft MANUFACTURER North American Aviation (now part of Boeing) Fishermans Bend Melbourne, Australia THIS AIRCRAFT MADE BY Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation Fishermans Bend Melbourne, Australia

All specifications and performance figures are supplied by the manufacturer. All performance figures are based on standard day, standard atmosphere, sea level, and at gross weight unless stated otherwise. ro JUNE 2011 LOOP 37

AEROSWITHALAN Where do you stop? Recognise your own Personal Flight Envelope before trying to enlarge it

38 LOOP JUNE 2011

Growing your own envelope

Knowing your flying limitations is key to being able to safely grow them, says Alan Cassidy MBE


VERY aeroplane Flight Manual, at least for certified types, has a page or two of limitations. These will include a number of particular speeds: VS1, VMO, VNE among them; the normal load limits in “g” units: typically +6g and -3g for many types of US origin. Some manuals also include a “V-N” diagram, which shows the approved Flight Envelope for the type. “V” in this context represents Airspeed, while “N” represents “Normal Load”, that is the ‘centrifugal’ force caused by changing pitch attitude. I’m pretty sure that you will have seen a diagram like this before, but I have copied overleaf a representation of a typical V-N diagram for an aerobatic aeroplane (Fig 1). The green area generally presents little hazard. The yellow area, at speeds in the yellow arc of the ASI, is when you first get a significant risk of over-stressing the airframe, either by having too great an aileron deflection or by exceeding the normal g limits. The red area is occasionally penetrated by factory test pilots, but as far as we are concerned here, this is a no-go area. So, this is the aeroplane’s Flight Envelope. I'm not writing 2000 words on this well-known idea, but we have to start somewhere and the aeroplane’s limitation is a good place. The problem is that most pilots don’t realise that there are other equally important envelopes to consider when it comes to safe operation of the aircraft, and that it is the ‘software’ rather than the hardware which is the crux of the question.

Personal Flight Envelopes You have a Personal Flight Envelope (PFE), so do I, so do the staff of LOOP, so does every pilot on the planet. Even Buzz has one, even though he might be off the planet at the moment. The questions I want to pose are: “Do you realise you have a PFE?”, “Do you know how big it is?”, “Wouldn’t it be a good idea to enlarge it?”, “Do you know how it might be enlarged?”, “Where will you be able to enlarge it in safety?” and possibly more. Your own PFE is a synthesis of your training, knowledge, skill and experience. This is a simple statement that most pilots will immediately understand and agree with. However, they will probably find it hard to quantify. Really, though, it is not that hard. You just have to go back to the V-N diagram initially.

There is another outline of the V-N diagram overleaf (Fig 2), but this time it has some other envelopes drawn on it as well. In the middle there is a small area enclosed by a dotted line, shown in the Key as CAT, or Commercial Air Transport. This is the total of the V-N experience you are likely to get as a passenger on a decent airline (imagine the numbers on the speed scale were double what they are). But for the pilot of the CAT jet, this is the area of the envelope he will be sitting in for most of the thousands of hours he or she accumulates. It might, of course, get a little bigger in a simulator, but in modern airliners with computers between the pilot and the control surfaces, this may still be the sum of everyday experience for the ATPL. No wonder so many fly light aircraft when not working. A slightly larger, dashed, envelope is marked PPL. This, basically, is what you learn on the PPL course. It traverses the stall margin at close to 1g, because that is where you get to when actually stalling and recovering with minimum height loss. It goes up to 2g at moderate speed, because you are likely to experience this in steep turns, as long as you do the 60° bank ones. If you reach nothing more than 45° bank, then you won’t even get this far unless you are very rough on the controls and climb somewhat. The PPL envelope crosses the manoeuvre speed line, as I would like to think that ab-initio instruction gets you into the yellow arc on the ASI occasionally, even if just to show how the controls “stiffen up” at speed. But it doesn’t get anywhere near VNE which, despite the letters used, seems generally to be considered to mean the Velocity that you must Never Approach. The last envelope, shown chaindashed on Fig 2, is the one you might quite reasonably expect an Aerobatic Instructor (AI) to have. The underlying V-N data is based on the two-seat Pitts aircraft that I teach in, and I have experience of all the places inside the big black envelope.

You have a Personal Flight Envelope (PFE), so do I, so do the staff of this magazine, so does every pilot on the planet...

The curved lines on the left side of the diagram, both above and below zero-g, show a region in which the wing of the aeroplane is stalled, positive or negative, but this does not represent a physical or structural boundary, just a mental one. If you have done any sort of spin training you will know that you can put the aircraft to the left of this boundary and keep it there. Additionally, there are other prolonged stalling exercises that show that some control remains over aircraft attitude and heading even when flying to the left of the line. If you have seen a solo aerobatic display by Xavier de Lapparent, Eric Vazeille, Gerald Cooper, Philippe Steinbach, or others, recently, you will have seen an aeroplane spend a fair bit of its time “across the line”. I know that’s a Top Gear catchphrase, but it mean something else in that context… There is also an extension of this envelope into the region where air speed becomes negative. Tail Slides and Torque Rolls both bring reversing into the realm of possibility, so bring another part of the diagram into the area of practical experience. So does late application of rudder in a Stall Turn, and this happens all the time in training. You should be able to make an honest assessment of your own PFE. Just think about the speeds and loadings that you are familiar with and confident about flying. Then get out your pencil and scribble on Fig 3, which we have kindly left blank. You might want to make a few copies and get your fellow pilots and instructors to think about their own PFE with a sketch.

Enlarging Your PFE Wouldn’t you like yours to be as big as mine? Of course you would. But enough of smutty jokes. A larger PFE gives you a much greater understanding of the possibilities of flight in any aircraft, and of the pitfalls. It means that you are much less likely to be taken aback by unexpected events such as wake turbulence, wind shear or unexpected leading-edge slat retraction after V1 on a Jumbo Jet. Nobody, however, is born with a PFE. Nothing we do in aviation is instinctive, or genetically programmed. There just haven’t been enough generations since the Wright Brothers. It is all learned and layered with habit. PFEs are planted like seeds during ab-initio training and it is the duty of instructors to see that they are nurtured and grow. Sadly, not all instructors, or all ➽ ro JUNE 2011 LOOP 39

AEROSWITHALAN instruction, seem to recognise this fundamental safety concept. The basic PPL PFE is small, and safer pilots develop greater experience, especially if it contains more variety. Especially by variety of speed, attitude and loading. For many pilots, taking further instruction after they have their PPL might seem a waste of money. It might actually be a waste of money and risky, as we will see later. The key to becoming a safer pilot is always to be open to new learning and to understand how to achieve this without undue risk. So let’s think for a minute about Safety Margins in training, based on this idea of the PFE. When I first learned to fly, the instructors all had infinitely bigger PFEs than I did. The safety margin was good. Fig. 4 shows this situation diagrammatically. The student PFE is dotted and the instructor PFE dashed. Occasionally the student will err, or be encouraged, to go beyond current limits of experience. The instructor then guides the student back to more familiar ground. Repetition results in enlargement of the student PFE with a high degree of safety. But it relies strongly on there being a large buffer zone between the two respective PFEs of student and instructor. Nowadays, with many qualified instructors around who have themselves only minimal post-PPL experience, the situation can be less reassuring. Have a look at Fig. 5. Here, the instructor hands over control to the student, who then mishandles the aeroplane and gets outside his own PFE. The instructor has rapidly to re-assume control in the hope of making a recovery. If the student’s actions are such that he breaches the instructor’s PFE before the instructor gets back in control, the situation might be irrecoverable. In the recent GASCO report on Stall-Spin incidents, it was surprising to see how many such occasions had a student and an instructor aboard. In these cases, I would suggest that an evaluation of the two PFEs of the crew would show that they had an area of operation where the two envelopes were separated by only a small margin, if at all. This is clearly a situation that should be addressed by flying schools everywhere, and a strong pointer to the need for more extensive envelope expansion during the FI course. The requirement simply to have been spinning once on the FI course is perhaps inadequate. Good instruction, in a capable aircraft and in a situation where the instructor has a wide margin of experience over the student, is the quickest, and safest, way for a pilot to expand his own PFE. But it is not the only way.

at the University Air Squadron. It was a good foundation. Later, when I ventured into aircraft ownership and aerobatic competition flying, I had a share in a single-seater and instruction was hard to find. I had to get my information from books. Neil Williams and Eric Müller both helped in this respect; the latter more so. But to learn from solo aerobatic flying, over a prolonged period, it is essential to have a 100% reliable emergency recovery procedure. When flying solo there is only one PFE involved (Fig. 6). If you find yourself outside this boundary you must do two things in very quick time. First, you must admit to yourself that you have crossed the line and that you are in an emergency situation. This is often a difficult mental leap. On occasions when I have found myself in need of implementing an emergency procedure, for example an actual forced landing following engine failure, this mental hurdle can be the hardest one to overcome. Acknowledging the human factors such as this plays a great part in Figure 1.

Figure 4.

Solo and Mutual Aerobatics My own initial aerobatic instruction came from regular RAF instructors 40 LOOP june 2011

Mutual aerobatic flying involving two pilots of limited experience is a bad idea...

2010. Two pilots were killed when a rolling manoeuvre went wrong and a Stampe spun inverted to the ground from over 3000ft. Both occupants were PPL qualified and both had around 200hr total time. Clearly, the two PFEs of the occupants were very similar (Fig. 7). The accident report makes it clear that the situation rapidly deteriorated to one in which neither pilot had experience. In this situation, it was also unclear who had control and it appears that neither had up their sleeve an emergency recovery technique to get out of trouble. I wish I had written this article a year ago. Mutual aerobatic flying involving two pilots of limited experience is a bad idea. Blurred delineation of responsibility makes the potential far worse.

accident prevention. Secondly, you must put the emergency recovery drill into action. I wrote two articles at the end of 2009 about recovery from loss of control, so I will not repeat procedures here. The point is that any solo aerobatic training is either sterile or unsafe if the pilot does not have a reliable recovery drill for recognising an excursion outside his or her PFE and for getting back inside it. From a safety point of view, dual aerobatic instruction is preferable to solo self-development. Sadly, there is a third combination that can arise and this is much worse. I have in front of me as I type an AAIB report on an fatal accident from

A Different View The purpose of this article is not to scare you but to give you a new tool for looking quasi-objectively at your own capabilities and to give you an insight into how to make yourself a better pilot. Be safe and enjoy your flying.

Figure 2.

Figure 3.

Figure 5.

Figure 6.

Figure 7. ro JUNE 2011 LOOP 41

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first solo

How you can do your bit to help others. P51

grand tour

Much more to Liverpool than just the Mersey. P46

plane crazy

Danielle Rutter, aeros instructor at just 26. P51

nick heard

IMC touring

Go on a five-day tour by air and get your IMC Rating at the same time? Sounded good to Anthony Biddulph. See p42

Instrument flying to get out of trouble. P48


Change of aircraft leads to mental confusion. P49


Yes, the WWI biplane replica is back. P43 ro june 2011 LOOP 43


A rating with a tour thrown in +NORTH WEALD IMC RATInG On TOuR

It’s not very often that people decide to go touring and try to get a rating in the same time. But Anthony Biddulph did. He decided to tour the Highlands and Islands of Scotland whilst getting his IMC


HAD held my PPL for just a year before I wanted to continue to develop my skills. Having a German wife and a reason to fly to Germany from time to time, an IMC seemed like the obvious qualification to get. I browsed online to see what US schools offered an intensive programme. However, Google’s first suggestion brought up an instructor based at North Weald – John McGwyne. John was advertising intensive IMC training in the UK or Europe. John and I agreed on a five-day programme. We agreed to maximise value and fly away from base and outside our geographical comfort zones. Scotland sounded good! And so early on a Sunday in August, we headed out of North Weald towards Blackpool. Flying IFR we encountered some heavy cloud with rain showers over

the Midlands and decided to fly through it at 4000ft. My temptation was to use the autopilot but John disagreed saying, “Here is your chance to develop hand skills in real IFR conditions.” After 15 minutes I was feeling pretty good that the plane was still straight, level and on track. A sudden downdraught quickly shook me out of my complacency. I vaguely recall John saying ‘focus on attitude – nothing else matters until this settles down’. After a minute or two, everything returned to normal. With hindsight, such experiences are amongst the most valuable I took away from training. We landed at Blackpool and after a quick pit stop, we headed off to our first overnight stop, Gigha Island on the Inner Hebrides. Gigha is a beautiful island and has a 700m grass strip, just 150 inhabitants and a single hotel. Once parked up,

44 LOOP june 2011

we phoned the hotel which dispatched the delightful Mari whose job titles include receptionist, waitress and occasional taxi to pick us up. After a ‘full Scottish’ breakfast, we headed off to spend an hour on unusual attitudes and limited panel work, then headed towards Barra. Now, the airport at Barra is a beach. Yes, a beach with three runways! We called up and runway 29 was suggested. My conversation with ATC went like this: Me: “Echo Whisky inbound; request joining instructions.” ATC: “EW, suggest runway 29. No wind, however, free to choose another runway if you prefer. All runways above the waterline at this time.” Me: “Roger. Can you tell me how I locate the runway?” ATC: “EW, look for the pole in the sea with an orange marker on top. Then locate the pole/marker to the right of the control tower. If they’re in line, you’re on the

extended centreline. Touch down 50 yards after the marker in the sea.” Me: “Bloody hell John, is she having a laugh?” (PTT button not pressed). Me: “EW, roger that, we will do a low pass first.” Me: “John, I swear the beach is underwater.” John: “Let’s confirm.” Me: “EW, can you confirm the beach is not under water? It looks wet from here.” ATC: “EW, confirm beach is above water. It may not look that way from above.” We decided to put our trust in the tower. A lovely smooth landing on a very flat and level surface followed. Clearly, moisture in the sand gives an impression of being water on a sunny day. The day continued with a missed approach into Benbecula followed by a landing at Stornoway. Quick calculation told us we could make Orkney before Kirkwall shut for the night.

We had not planned to go north of Kirkwall, but the Shetlands were promising proper IMC weather so north we went. It was pretty turbulent with all sorts of rotors off surrounding mountains. Having landed at Scasta, the Tower seemed quite excited to see us: “We don’t get many PPLs up here,” and invited us up to say hello. Next stop was Wick – it is no Heathrow! Despite our best efforts, no lunch was to be found. We would have made a quick getaway but the manager was chatty so we stayed over a cup of tea. When we finally rose to go, his assistant had added an extra £5 to the bill for parking as we had now been at the airfield four minutes over the two free hours. Cheers! After Wick, again a radar vectored ILS into Inverness and then straight on over Loch Ness with the hills either side above us, it was a beautiful flight on a perfect



Biggles is back AFTER a six-year restoration project the replica BE-2 took off from Sywell for its first flight in more than 30 years. The aircraft, based on a 1914 BE2c, Britain’s first purpose-built military aeroplane, was built at Sywell in 1969 for a film featuring Capt W E John’s fictional hero Biggles. The aircraft was also used in TV series such as BBC TV’s ‘Wings’, but crashed in the USA in 1977. The flight lasted just under 20 minutes, which was enough to reveal its excellent handling characteristics and the BE-2s legendary stability.

cloudless day. We turned right at Fort William and followed the railway out to the sea. We planned to overnight at a little coastal village called Plockton that has a 600m hard strip. On arrival John said, “Maybe this is the night to camp?” However, no sooner were the words out of his mouth, than the first squadron of midges homed in on their targets and we briskly packed up and walked into town. The following morning we left Plockton after lunch (the late start was due to me completing my IMC exam) and headed towards the Isle of Man. The Plockton strip was just within performance limits of the PA-32 in the prevailing conditions. However, I’m glad I did a proper short field takeoff as there wasn’t a lot to spare. At Ronaldsway, they were most accommodating and as the handling agent was absent, and as we were only

there for a couple of hours, we were allocated Stand 14 – opposite a Flybe aircraft. I wanted to also do some night flying so we decided Southend would be the best destination, so after a couple of hours of me flying at night, we landed and went onward to our hotel. After that all that remained was the flight test. We took off from Southend and completed a SRA and a radar vectored ILS. We then turned toward North Weald and en route did the other elements of the test. VOR tracking, unusual attitudes, limited panel etc. I then had to ‘find’ North Weald at 800ft under foggles using instruments before John said, “Field in sight, foggles off and get it down. Safe is good but pretty is not important!” So I manoeuvred sufficiently to make the runway without dangerously tight turns and plonked her down. And there ended my five-day IMC.

Clockwise from main: Anthony Biddulph and the Piper Saratoga used for the tour. Landing at Shetland... and on Barra beach... and aiming for Plockton

For pilot Matthew Boddington, it was a particularly special moment. His late father, Charles Boddington, flew the aircraft on its maiden flight in March 1969 from the same airfield. After the aircraft’s crash back the remains were ‘lost’ until discovered in 2005, in a barn in upstate New York. Stephen Slater and Matthew Boddington acquired the remains and returned them to the Northamptonshire airfield. Once flight testing is completed, the aeroplane will appear at air shows across the UK.

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Biggles’ BE2 replica made its first flight after a rebuild recently

Shooting Stars


flying time PPL Andrea Cachia tayside first solo Tom Hall Paul Wilkinson PPL Thomas Yen Judy Choe rural fc first solo Tony Clulow Clark Coward Jo Griffin PPL Mark Hamblin Rhys WarnerSmith Sabine Jaccaud

Imperial War Museum Duxford’s Conservation Department has just embarked on a large-scale project to undertake work on B-17 Flying Fortress Mary Alice, currently on display in the American Air Museum. The aircraft is in the process of being dismantled in situ in the American Air Museum, allowing visitors to see the Conservation Team at work. Here we can see the work has just started with the removal of the first engine. ro june 2011 LOOP 45



A I R S H O W C O T S W O L D A I R S H O W, C O T S W O L D A I R P O R T, J U N E 1 8 - 1 9

60 years of the Hunter

The annual Cotswold Airshow is honouring the Hawker THE theme of this year’s show, at Cotswold Airport is the 60th anniversary of the first flight of the Hawker Hunter. Only a few airworthy examples remain of the elegant swept wing aircraft and the main highlight of the show will be a spectacular diamond nine formation flypast. “The Hunter is such an iconic, beautiful aircraft and the fact that it has such a history at Kemble we felt it was important to mark such a landmark anniversary,” said Glen Moreman, the event organiser. “Lots of local people will have worked here on these aircraft and it will be great to see them back in the Gloucestershire skies again.” In addition the show will include a wider ‘Hawker’ theme as the Sea Fury, Hurricane and the Sea Hawk will take part. The show will also

celebrate the 75th anniversary of the first flight of the Spitfire and at least three Spitfires will take to the skies to celebrate this milestone. There will also be a strong contingent of other classic jets and the Red Arrows, who were

based at the airport for 16 years, are also set to make their now annual return to what is often referred to as their ‘spiritual home’. Ticket prices start at £19.50.

See the iconic Hawker Hunter perform at Cotswold Airport


+ 8 June, Pilot Training College Assessment Day, London Gatwick The Pilot Assessment Day is the first step to becoming an airline pilot.

+ 12 June, Ladies Day Fly-in, Breighton Aerodrome Prize to be given for the best hat.

Aero Club The extremely popular Air Rally will follow a similar format to other years but with some interesting changes to the 40th celebrations. + 17 June, New PPL Fly-out and This year’s events include a Experience-building Bonus Day, Pimm’s reception, navigation + 9-11 June, Cannes Air Show, Duxford Airfield + 18-19 June, Royal Aero Club Air competition, 18 trophies up for Cannes-Mandelieu International New PPLs fly in with an Race Weekend, Sherburn Aero Club grabs, various fun competitions Airport, France experienced PPL in the other and a hangar hog roast and This exhibition showcases a seat. Discounted landing fee and hoedown. + 19 June, Jodel Fly-in, North complete range of aviation, from admission to Europe’s premier 01481 265267 the ULM to the transcontinental jet aviation museum. PPR and briefing London Flying Club and everything in between, such 01223 833376. as kit aeroplanes, light aircraft, + 25 June, International Auster Club + 19 June, Visit the Vulcan Day, helicopters and turboprops. AGM and Fly-in, Old Warden Southend Airport + 17-19 June, AeroExpo 2011, Visitors will get the chance to Sywell Aerodrome get ‘up close and personal’ with + 11 June, Fife Flying Club Summer A return to Sywell for one of the + 25-26 June, Open Days at Fly-in UK’s premier GA events, combining the ex-RAF V-Bomber Avro Vulcan Shobdon Airfield, Shobdon Airfield XL426 and have a guided tour of Landing fee waived on the day. new aircraft with kit stalls and Cockpit tours, trial flights, static the cockpit. Display of Military and Civilian PPR essential 01592 753792 seminars. Aircraft, restaurant, barbecue + 21 June, Pilot Training College + 18 June, Castle Kennedy Fly-in, and licensed bar visiting aircraft Assessment Day, Birmingham NEC welcome. + 11-12 June, Microlight and Castle Kennedy Airfield The Pilot Assessment Day is the Autogyro Meeting, North Coates Come and join the fourth fly-in PPR essential 01568 708369 first step to becoming an airline Airfield, Lincolnshire 01472 388850 at south-west Scotland’s pilot. only light aviation airfield. Hot local food from Ballards + 26 June, Kirkbride Open Day and + 12 June, Van’s RV Fly-in, Popham Butcher, and discounted entry Fly-in, Kirkbride Airfield, Cumbria + 24-25 June, BAA Aerobatic Airfield, Hampshire to Castle Kennedy Gardens, 01697-342142/07710672087 Competition, Compton Abbas only a twenty minute walk Airfield + 26 June, Vintage Aircraft Fly-in, away. All aircraft welcome. PPR + 12 June, Spam Can Fly-in and GA 07774116424/01776702024 The British Aerobatic Association Old Buckenham Airfield Open Day, Compton Abbas Airfield hold the Don Henry Squadron Free landings for all vintage A fly-in for all the Piper PA28s and Trophy competition over the aircraft built before 1965. Cessna 150/152/172s out there. + 18-19 June, Wickenby Wings and Friday and Saturday with about 25 Half price landings for those that Wheels competing aerobatic aircraft. qualify as a ‘spam-can’! Also an + 26 June, Van’s RV Fly-in, North open day for anyone and everyone + 18-19 June, Devon Strut Fly-in, London Flying Club + 24-26 June, Guernsey 40th interested in learning to fly. Farway Common 01395 597535 International Air Rally, Guernsey 46 LOOP JUNE 2011

+ 18-19 June, Cockpit-fest 2011, Newark Air Museum A chance to see into the cockpit of a range of historic aircraft. 01636 707170 www.newarkair

Liverpool Famous for the Beatles, a rich footballing history and beautiful architecture, England’s third-largest city is well worth a visit.

PLAY HERE The Royal Liverpool Golf Club This will be the home of the Open in 2014, but for a green fee starting at £50 the public can play on this amazing links course. Previous Open winners include Tiger Woods and Fred Daly. The clubhouse alone is worth a visit.


Etsu has a cosy and relaxed atmosphere with room for just 46 diners so be sure to book. The menus are filled with a wide range of Japanese dishes to suit all tastes, from traditional sushi and sashimi to speciality meat and fish.


Known as the most famous club in the world, the Cavern was where the Beatles first played and, you can re-live the experience every Saturday with special shows. There is live music everyday and entrance is free Monday to Wednesday... nice!


This piece of modern sculpture based at Crosby Beach consists of 100 cast iron figures which face out to sea, spread over a two-mile stretch of the beach. Each figure is a cast replica of the Gormley’s body. As the tides ebb and flow, the figures are revealed and submerged by the sea.


This stunning boutique hotel has 89 rooms all individually designed. All benefit from solid wood floors with underfloor heating. The hotel was awarded hotel of the year in 2010 and also offers luxury dining in fantastic surroundings. Room prices start at £150 per night.


CONTACT: West Lancashire Microlight School, Ince Blundell, Merseyside, L38 6JJ. Tel: 0151 929 3319 RUNWAYS: 07/25 grass 410x20, 11/29 grass 396x20, 18/36 grass 380x20 ro JUNE 2011 LOOP 47


Nick Heard



The year lies ahead and another season of flying to enjoy... so absorb these tips to make life easier

NICK HEARD is a seasoned flying instructor, current Boeing 747 captain and a former RAF Tornado pilot. In this special he warns of potential problems you can prepare for to sidestep


FTER completing your PPL training, it’s not a bad idea to try to develop further skills to improve your confidence. There are various things to try – aerobatics, night flying, tailwheel flying. However, I would perhaps recommend training in instrument flying (IF) before anything else – particularly bearing in mind the weather we get in the UK. I’m not necessarily suggesting you go for a full course for the Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC) rating yet – but just a few hours (3 or 4) with an instructor to develop your skills on instruments. Now, the purpose of this training (and this article) is NOT to give you false confidence in your abilities such that you then blast off in weather conditions entirely inappropriate for your experience level. This training would develop on the small amount of instrument flying which forms part of the PPL syllabus, to be used solely as a means of getting yourself back to visual conditions after inadvertent cloud entry. As you start your training, your instructor should remind you to trust your instruments whilst in IMC, and not ‘the seat of your pants’. I always perform a little airborne exercise with

students where I get them to close their eyes, and I then fly some gentle manoeuvres (nothing dramatic!) for a few seconds. I then ask the student (eyes still closed!) what they think we are doing – turning left or right. Invariably the answer is wrong, and they are astounded to find that they are turning the opposite direction – the result of the incorrect sensations that your body perceives whilst flying. One of the difficult things to learn in IF is making the (perhaps sudden) transition from visual flight to IF. As the horizon suddenly disappears, the first few seconds of getting onto the instruments are vital, especially if you are manoeuvring already, such as in a descending turn. So it’s a good idea to be able to recover quickly to straight-and-level flight on instruments as soon as possible. Your instructor can set you up with different scenarios. Once in straight-andlevel flight, thoughts can be gathered and plans considered. As instrument rated pilots know, when flying in IMC the major concern after attitude control is terrain avoidance. This will probably not be an immediate concern for a PPL who has just drifted into cloud, unless you are in Scotland or Wales, say.

Attitude control is the primary requirement for now. The 180° turn – the same that you trained for on the PPL course -may well be the best solution to getting back to VMC, so let’s look that again. If you have a heading bug on the DI, set it before commencing the turn. Roll into the turn, and maintain no more than 20° of bank - 15° will probably be enough. Carefully monitor artificial horizon (AH), altitude (don’t descend), speed, and DI – ALWAYS via the AH. Roll out of the turn as you approach the desired heading and get back to the S&L flight ‘scan’. Don’t worry if you do not immediately leave cloud – chances are you were in it for longer than you thought before you started your turn, and it might take a little while to emerge from the cloud again! If the only solution to accidentally getting stuck in cloud is a descent, then be a bit more careful with regard to terrain. If you have just climbed into some cloud in East Anglia, then you can fairly safely immediately come down again; if you are stuck on top of cloud in Scotland, then the same is

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not true! The mechanics of flying the descent should be the same though. When ready to descend, reduce power slightly (perhaps only by 300-400 rpm, considering carb heat as well – you are in 100% humidity in cloud!). The nose will probably drop naturally, but don’t let it drop too much - ‘peg’ a slightly lower nose attitude on the AH, and TRIM. Allow things to settle, monitoring attitude (stable with wings level), speed (no change), heading (constant), altitude (descending) and rate of descent – no more than 1000 ft per min, and probably closer to 500 fpm ideally. You should pop out of the bottom of the cloud nicely under control. I cannot emphasise enough that instrument flying should only ever be practised with properly qualified instructors, and not by just having a go just because you’re pretty good on the Flight Sim on your PC. The PC does not replicate noise, turbulence, rain, and those all-distracting contradictory feelings from your ears and the seat of your pants. Get the proper training to get another get-out-of-jailfree card in your hand!

Get the proper training for another 'get out of jail free' card in your hand!

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48 LOOP JUNE 2011

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CHANGE FOR THE BETTER Q A few months ago I bought a share in a new aircraft (a SportCruiser) and despite having over a decade of flying experience have found myself feeling a little ill while flying it. Two questions: why? And, how do I prevent it? The vast majority of my previous flying has been in Cessna 152/172/182s. A Ruling out any infections or temporary ear conditions, we can be sure you are not physiologically pre-programmed to get ill – you don’t rack up 10+years as a pilot and suddenly ‘become’ predisposed to air sickness. Assuming you are flying in a similar manner the most likely reason will be


Q I had a bit of a dicey moment recently during a landing at a farm strip. The landing itself was OK, but I felt afterwards that I came damn close to being caught out by negligible mist which turned into proper fog. Literally five minutes after landing, the strip was cloaked. What shook me was being ‘on my own’, and though I’ve been flying for a few years it made me think that for nearly all that time I’ve been in good radio contact with ATC etc, and able to get weather, and not really had to think on my feet that often. First trip in ages to a farm strip with no tower and I was rattled. A There’s not really an ‘answer’ to this, other than to say that – yes – in the


NICK HEARD Decades of flying experience in all conditions... including combat

DENNIS KENYON Former World Heli Freestyle Champ Dennis is our rotary expert

Change of view may confuse your mind's eye

the change in aspect that you see out of the cockpit. Moving from high-wings to low-wing will present your mind’s eye with an entirely different exterior view. Next time you fly, make a concerted effort to look out of the cockpit; there is a temptation when flying an unusual aircraft

main pilots are provided with superb information in the UK about weather, and exceptionally competent ATC services. But, from what you say, you made the right decisions and correct calls based on what you could see – and we can hope that if the fog had rolled in earlier, you would have continued to make the right calls and turned round and headed away from it without attempting to land. That’s good airmanship. UK pilot training is not centred only on how to use the services that are available to you, but also more importantly how do make the right calls when none of them are. If you feel you need additional skills for handling weather, the much-loved IMC course is perfect at reiterating the things you need to bear in mind and the things to look for, as well as focusing on the piloting skills you could need.

PHIL O'DONOGHUE FI and aeros pilot Phil is our resident Brains for testing gear

DOROTHY POOLEY Top instructor and examiner, Dorothy shares her wisdom

ALAN CASSIDY MBE Current British National Advanced Aerobatic champion and respected author

to spend much more time looking inside the cockpit at displays and readouts. It makes sense to your brain to have the numbers just right to set at rest any anxiety about being in an unusual plane. Also, there is the old trick of eating ginger, or gingery food which many swear by.


Q It may sound like a Les Dawson skit, but I’m having wind trouble – cross winds, matron! I know I’m too heavy on the controls. Any advice? A As long as it is within the limits of your aircraft, crosswind landings are a question of timing. It should make little difference to your descent speed, so flare altitude is much the same for non-crosswind landings; some pilots become obsessed with the flare and do so too early or too late. The major focus is on timing your drift correction, so that you are over the centreline and at the correct height to flare for touchdown. The best action for you is to book some instruction time, and tell the instructor that you specifically want to practice crosswind landings. Practice enough and you’ll soon develop a sixth-sense for the correct timing.


MAKE YOUR FLYING EASY! Let skybookGA™, the most integrated on-line pre-flight briefing service for the GApilot, take the pressure off planning your next flight OING flying this weekend? Will you be off to the south coast, working your way down through the busy air corridors of Luton, Stansted, Heathrow and Gatwick plus a host of other active airfields? Before you go, you need to know the best route, with the best information at your disposal. So, who do you turn to? It has to be the experts. Turn to skybookGA, the most integrated briefing service available, which ensures the relevant information for your flight is available wherever you are, whenever you want, before you set off. INDUSTRY EXPERTISE The service was created by flight planning experts Bytron, behind commercial flight briefing services used by major airlines, NATS and airport authorities. skybookGA is a spin-off from this professional commercial programme. When Bytron was formed 1984, its objective was to provide electronic briefing systems that would dispense with the uncertainty of fax and paper trails that hindered reliable data provision. Their mission to abolish unwieldy processes brought great benefits to professional pilots – and now GA pilots too. skybookGA benefits from the lengthy development process that went into the professional service. Rightfully known as ‘the

one-stop shop for pre-flight briefing,’ skybookGA offers comprehensive planning aids which allow pilots to easily customise routes, visualise them, and view in both Google Earth and Virtual Earth. At the invitation of Thomas Cook Airlines, which uses Bytron’s eFlight Briefing package, Bytron is working with Rolls-Royce subsidiary DS&S to create its first fully-integrated and connected Electronic Flight Bag (eFB), allowing maintenance data and engine monitoring on a global scale. FANTASTIC FEATURES FOR GA The beauty of skybookGA is the breadth of service it offers, catering well for the shortest low-level flight, all the way to upper level cross-border journeys – always being easy to use. skybookGA features include Personal Location Point information, which allows you to create waypoints and store them for future use. Airfield Brief is another brilliant feature, which allows search of airfields by name or ICAO and IATA codes. The information includes full airfield and runway details, plus all NOTAM/METAR/TAFS/ LTAFS/SNOWTAM affecting that airfield. The Great Circle Route Briefing will route width and upper flight level, and create a route using the shortest course between the airfields. The brief calculates all FIR and airfields within the route’s width and upper limit with NOTAM and MET info.

SIGMET advises on potential weather hazards other than convective activity over a 3000 square mile area, generating data on icing, turbulence, dust and even volcanic ash. AIRMET’s regional weather forecasts cover regions within the UK and is updated regularly throughout the day. Two of skybookGA’s integrated features that pilots particularly praise are the Quick Weather Maps and Danger Area Briefs. Quick Weather Maps allow you to view prevailing weather conditions and trends at a glance. They provide information on windspeed and direction, temperature, dew points, cloud cover and pressure. Danger Area Briefs allow searches for international and domestic NOTAM affecting Danger Areas by FIR, area name or number during specific time periods. It includes easy-to-view charts of UK Danger Areas. International NOTAM contains information about the establishment, condition or change in any facility, service, procedure or hazard. The most recent development is the Pilot Log (Plog), based on departure, destination, flight level and flight corridor, and even fuel burn. Routing data can be exported to GPs devices too. It’s small wonder GA pilots cherish the comprehensive briefing data that skybookGA offers. They feel confident that every eventuality has been covered, before setting off to the airport.

NEW AND IMPROVED! skybook GA™ now has loads of new features, including: GPS ROUTE EXPORTER Easy to use, this feature enables you to convert and download the route plot created on skybookGA into 50 GPS file formats.

NOTAM F & G Has been added to all briefing packs: Plain language display of NOTAM upper and lower heights (F & G fields).

RAINFALL RADAR Met images are updated every 15 min. Shows the previous 3, 6, 9 and 24 hours and forecasts the next three hours’ expected rainfall.

RESTRICTED AREAS (TEMP) MAP This has now been updated so you can see multiple NOTAM that are centred on the same point.

SATELLITE IMAGES The display for satellite images has been updated to a carousel display to aid searching which now can be opened in a separate window.

METAR FEED This loads airfield METAR details onto Google Earth. Wind speed, direction and cloud cover are displayed. You can also seelive weather along your route.




TELL US ABOUT YOUR FIRST SOLO! Tell your inspiring stories that let new pilots know there’s thousands out there that felt just like them! REMEMBER the first time you flew and landed an aircraft on your own, no instructor…just you and the wide open sky? Of course you do! It’s THE landmark for most pilots, ‘that’ day when you bathe in the trust earned from your instructor, and the nerves of the moment. Over the last year we’ve spoken to the great and

Jamie Whitham: TV star, racer, raconteur

good of world aviation, from the bosses of world lobbying bodies like IAOPA, to industry heavyweights, to aeros heroes, to war heroes, and genuine characters of world aviation. And they all shared their memories of the time that is indelibly etched in their mind: their first solo. What they showed

Danielle Hughes: wing t walker, future RAF pilo

is that for even the newest pilots in the UK and worldwide, the first solo is a time that can be nerve-wracking, uplifting, unexpected, and life-affirming, the ‘I did it!’ moment every pilot shares. You can too. Now we would love to hear your stories of the time you first soloed. Be it last week or 50 years

Dick Rutan: pioneer, r legend, record breake

ago, the emotions and experience are still much the same, and your tales will help inspire the next generation of pilots – or perhaps provide a cautionary tale of what not to do on the day! Let us know: the date, the venue, what aircraft you flew, how many hours had you logged when you soloed, and how many you

Craig Fuller: AOPA boss, White House veteran


The ‘unlicensed’ dividend pays SKYWARD Flight Training flung open its doors at the start of April and invited students to come and train at Great Oakley in Essex. “With the CAA changing the rules so people can learn at unlicensed airfields, we decided to start up here at Great Oakley and it’s been a success, ” said Christopher

Shepherd-Rose, CFI. Within the first few weeks of opening the school had their first success when student pilot Peter Barnard flew solo for the first time. “Peter had flown from another school, but it was more convenient for him to fly from Great Oakley,” said Christopher. “So after three

lessons we let him go solo. Since then he has flown solo for two more hours and is now on to navigation.” The school has been open less than two months and it has already attracted quite a lot of attention from local pilots. “We have seven students on our books already and I’ve also taken

Going unlicensed opened the strip up to new training and pilots like Peter Barnard (r)

around 20 people for trial lesson,” he added. Christopher is an experienced ‘career’ instructor, teaching for 25 years (the last 13 at Clacton). In that time he has accumulated 8000 instructing hours. Great Oakley has the benefit of two runways. “We have the advantage of two runways, whereas most schools in the area only have one. So when there’s a crosswind we don’t have to change our training schedules in response. “We don’t just offer PPLs, we can also offer IMC, farm strip training, Tailwheel Conversions and soon, when our PA-28 arrives, we’ll be able to offer cross-Channel checkouts,” Chris said. The fleet at Skyward include a Cessna 152, a PA-18 Supercub and the PA-28. For more information on the school contact Chris or Pat on 01255 886466 or email at

have in your logbook now. A picture of you now or then helps immensely too. After that, it’s the tale we’d love to hear: Were you nervous? Was it planned, or did the instructor just hop out and surprise you? Did you remember your radio procedures? And the correct checks? Did you get hit by a crosswind as you rotated? Did you see that glider in the distance? How as your circuit? Did you stay calm with ATC? And of course, how was the landing? We will publish the best tales and give you the space to do your bit for new pilots everywhere. Because after all, we only first solo once. (Until you go for your PPL-H, or glider, or autogyro…!). Email ‘MY FIRST SOLO’ to


Sit down for a pint with an experienced instructor or old hand with a few thousand hours, and you’ll wheedle some gems of advice from them. We go to the pub so you don’t have to...


IF you’re embarking on a night rating, there’s some good background research to do before even your first lesson. Know where your hills and antennas are and avoid them. Leave the mountains for the daytime. A bright moon can help make things easier and more comfortable; it will light up the ground a bit too. Also, stay near roads, cities, and lit up areas. Night flying in dark areas counts as actual IFR, so stay away from that unless IFR rated. ro JUNE 2011 LOOP 51


Five days for an IMC

IMC instructor John McGwyne now offers intensive IMC courses, and says getting out of the comfort zone is vital to learning better THE most common way for a pilot to gain their IMC is to take a lesson at a time over several weeks or months depending on weather. But John McGwyne is offering a new intensive course that takes just five days, where not only will you learn the syllabus, but be flying into new airfields and learning new approaches too – as discovered by Hangarchat star this month Anthony Biddulph. “This course won’t suit everyone,” said John. “But if people have a sense of adventure then this could be for them,” he added. When John has done this course in the past it has taken five days, but the student had already had some lessons and was well versed in the

art of scanning, which make it easier for the long days. “The syllabus lends itself well to touring but being a UK rating it’s best to stay on British soil,” said John. “Expect long days and hard work and you will need to prepare in advance for the written exam – although this can also be taken after the training and flight test. You will need to be flexible, as weather will dictate your preferred routing.” Before embarking on this intense course John recommends that pilots own their own aircraft, or at least be quite knowledgeable on a particular type. “The course covers great distance so students would need an aircraft with good endurance,” said John. “There is also the cost to think

A STUDENT’S OPINION: ANTHONY BIDDULPH THE highlight was the opportunity to do every type of valid approach at many fields new to me, which gave me more confidence than visiting two or three repeatedly. To do an IMC this way, it helps if you can absorb lots of information in a short time. Most people, if

they are honest, will know their capacity for learning in an intensive environment. That said, I’m sure the majority of IMC candidates would have no problem with the intensive course. John was personable, easy to get along with yet pretty demanding as

well. If anyone else is musing doing the IMC: if you have a week spare, I would highly recommend doing it this way. I work to VFR when I plan, however a lot can change aloft. I can now fly with more confidence that I am far better equipped to respond safely to changed conditions.

about. We generally will be flying for five hours a day, which in fuel is a lot. There’s also the cost of landing fees, consumables and hotels. However, the benefits vastly outweigh the cost. You’ll be flying into new airfields with different approaches, so it won’t be habit, you’ll have to train. Plus you get one-on-one debriefs at the end of every day.” John days the course works well for sole trainees, but would also work well with two trainees. John says a real benefit of flying to Scotland was the variety of approaches his students will face. “I felt that the variety of approaches available in Scotland was a real benefit. It was easy to find suitable instrument approaches and ATC were very accommodating. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of commercial traffic servicing the islands and in some respects it felt anything but remote. The mountains add another risk that needs to be well managed – whether IMC or VFR, this is not a place for dabbling or experimenting. “There has been much speculation regarding the future of the IMC rating but one thing is definite the skills that you gain will always make you a safer and more knowledgeable pilot and should be recognised for future cross credits. To contact John visit his website or call him: 0777 1 527268.


Guide prices to what it costs to get extra ratings. Ring each club or school for full details. Some offer aircraft choice, or may have additional fees (eg landing fees) so ask about any extra costs. ULTIMATE HIGH COTSWOLRD + AOPA BASIC Aeros Certificate (8 hours of flying): £1840 + AOPA Standard Aerobatic Certificate (6 hours): £1380 + Advanced PPL Training (customised): hourly rates £235 + Basic Spin Package (1 sortie): £270 + Basic Formation Course: £1225 + IMC £1175 + SEP Renewal: £205 per hour, plus instructor fee www.ultimatehigh. FLYING TIME SHOREHAM 01273 455177 + PPL all inclusive £7605 + Night Qualification £1095 + IMC Rating £2690 + MEP £3065 + CPL £7960 + Zero to frozen ATPL £45,450 + Multi Engine Instrument Rating £12,205 + ATPL Ground School £2860

MULTIFLIGHT LEEDS/ BRADFORD 0113 2387135 + Night Rating: £705 + MEP: £2178 + IMC: £2115 + FI Rating: £7260 + IR: £13,056 + IR 55 hours: £14,906 CLACTON AERO CLUB 01255 424761 + Tail wheel conversion (residential, inc B&B) £710 + Three week PPL course (residential, inc B&B): £5940 + Two week NPPL Course (residential, inc B&B): £3904 + Two week Conversion To PPL Course (residential, inc B&B): £4270 + IMC (residential, inc B&B) from: £1980 www. clactonaeroclub. A school with a rating or course? Email dave.rawlings@ with the details

Learn the right course of action when faced with cloud

52 LOOP JUNE 2011




New blood in aeros training Danielle Rutter has just become the UK’s youngest female aerobatic instructor!


T just 26 Danielle Rutter has become the UK’s youngest lady instructor of aerobatics, teaching the next generation at Stapleford in a Slingsby Firefly. Q| At just 26 you’ve already crammed in so much flying, but how did it all start? A| My dad bought me a trial lesson as a gift for my 17th, and I was hooked. After that I was saving and asking for lessons as gifts. The more I did, the more I got into it and decided to do my PPL. I was at university when I completed my PPL.

I’d never even met a pilot before my trial lesson, and it wasn’t on my radar as something to do for a living. Nobody in my family is a pilot, and the plan was go to uni and get a desk job, but I’ve always liked doing things a bit different. Q| How did it progress? A| After I finished my degree I was lucky enough to get a job in engineering, but I hated the nine-to-five of it all. After 18 months I quit and went to Oxford to train commercially. Q| How was your commercial training? A| It was fantastic. It was great fun and very hard work,


MAIN: Danielle teaches in a Slingsby Firefly. INSET: Is there a competition future for Danielle? Maybe!

54 LOOP JUNE 2011

but I loved every minute and knew I’d completely made the right decision to get in debt and all that stuff. Q| And how did you get into instructing? A| During my training with Oxford I really looked up to my instructors and thought this is something I really want to do. It was more of a long term goal because I was knew I was going to into commercial flying. But the industry wasn’t looking good so I thought it was something to keep me flying. It was something I could really get my teeth into if I could get a job and it would really improve my flying.

Q| So how did you get into Stapleford? A| I was really lucky. I was looking for jobs and a few weeks into the course Stapleford offered me a job when I finished. So three days after I passed my instructor rating I was working. Q| And then aerobatics? A| I’ve always wanted to keep doing more and more stuff and improve my flying. Tony Glover, who helped with my FI course, provided me with some aerobatics training and I loved it. So I just wanted to train in that as well. I think I’m also the first female aerobatics instructor ever at Stapleford.

Q| How different is training aerobatics to normal PPL training? A| It’s very different, mainly because I feel like I’m still learning aerobatics myself. I’m still working through the manoeuvres and I’ve got to grips with them well. But I can only teach the basic course at the moment. Q| What’s the Firefly like? A| It’s a really good aircraft. I don’t have much experience of other aerobatic aircraft to compare it to, but it’s so exciting and I like flying with a stick rather than a yoke – it’s a lot more intuitive to me. Q| Are you going to compete in aerobatics? A| Tony’s trying to talk me into it. I should be starting soon, although I’m feeling a bit precarious – I’m not sure I want to be put under scrutiny. Q| What’s the long-term plan and goals? A| Still to go commercial, but I love instructing so much that I’d love to stick with it in some capacity. If I do get a career in the airlines I would like to start up instructing again once I’ve settled down a bit and got a base. Instructing is definitely something I don’t want to leave behind. But I have trained to be a commercial pilot and it would be a waste if I didn’t explore all the avenues. I am very happy where I am at the moment.


Why use ? Great value for money... FREE online advert Reach more people... 26,122 people plus 1000's online Making your advert couldn't be easier... Simple 4-step process Make the most of your advert... Upload video and pictures ADVeRT OPTIONs IN PRINT AND ONLINe RALLYE MINERVA 220

1968 one owner a/c always hangered near London. In 1986 a BRAND NEW engine fitted with a turbocharger was installed but the turbocharger was removed. The turbo manufacturers claimed that for continuous use 235 bhp with 250 bhp for five minutes would have been delivered. Some strengthening modifications have been retained. Otherwise the engine without turbo is rated at 220 bhp 400 hrs later still giving breathtaking rate of climb. Short take off and landing, excellent all round visibility, fully IFR with 2* VHF, 2 NAV, ILS, DGO, RMI, 2*ADF, transponder, special extra instrumentation. Not flown since £20,000 spent on new CofA. Brand new propellor (some £8,000). Included a mountain of new and used spare engines, blocks, pistons, con rods, crankshafts, autopilot parts, etc. Ideal aircraft for business or pleasure. Contact Tony Crook, Box 66, 272 Kensington High Street, London W8 6ND or phone 0207 602 4992 or fax 0207 348 0389

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2+2 delight to fly - economical - king avionics - txp mode C-VOR - skymap 111C -recent 50 hr Hangared Exeter open to offers. Contact: Stephen - 01395445686.

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Need more help? Please feel free to contact Chris on 01223 497060 or email

54 LOOP MAY 2011 ro JUNE 2011 LOOP 55


Aviat Husky A1B 180

2007, tt airframe 45 hours, 50 hour check just completed, Garmin GPS/COM GNS 430, Black Leather Seats, Lycoming 0-360-A1P 180 hp, Hartzell prop, ÂŁ110,000 ONO. For further information email:

56 LOOP JUNE 2011


¼ to ½ share in 1974 Goodwood based Arrow II. Total hours 1470, 3 blade prop, new annual, always hangared, £90ph wet. Contact: 01403 255550 & 07889 122710

pitts special mint condition

Air squadron trohpy winner 2006, total time 90 hrs airframe and engine, feartures, crossover exhaust, bendix fuel injection, lightweight alternator and starter, lightened ring gear, hooker harness, microair radio, lowrance airmap 2000 gps, this aircraft is in mint condition and is fully serviced ready to go. 07790949349

Anderson Kingfisher Amphibian,

G-BUTE, Lycoming O-235, TT 90 hours. Range 320 miles, max speed 120mph. Currently out of permit on the island of Bute hence £9,500. Contact 07836 589898 or sa300.




AA5 Grumman Traveler

Gamston- EGNE Small group Only 6 member shares . Online booking website, LAA Group Rules 1/6 share £5350, £70 pcm + £95 p/h wet.

Call Joe 07976 802107



58 LOOP JUNE 2011

1970 Piper Cherokee 180.

Reluctant sale. Excellent all round condition 9/8 inside & out. Engine 380. AF 7680. King radios, Mode C. GPS 3C. New Annual. Guide price £26,000. Tel: 01953 681 007. Email:



Distributor since 1995 Now being manufactured by Finch Aircraft in the same factory as before at Dijon, the full range of new Robins is now available:


1988 R 3000/120 2+2 metal T-tail ,new ARC 1988 400/180 REGENT Ext & int above average 1988 400/100 CADET 2 seat economical tourer , new ARC 1979 R 2160 Aerobatic 2 seat , recent zero-hour 1969 DR 315 2+2 tourer , lovely condition , recent zero hour 2001 R 2160 refurbished and zero hour engine

£18,000 £49,500 £23,000 £38,500 £19,500 £62,000

NEW AIRCRAFT UK distributors for new Robin and New ALPHA aircraft Check our website for more info MISTRAL AVIATION LTD Contact: John Kistner Tel: +44(0)1730 812008 Fax: +44(0)1730 816237 or Steve Bailey for the ECOFLYER - Tel: +44 (0) 7973 691727 Email: tB20 sHAre At sHerBurn neAr leeds

cessnA 177B Fg 1971

155kt cruise. Fly fast in luxury. £125 per month + £125 per tacho hour wet, 1/5 share £13,750. See full details : contact Lez Appleyard: 07971 987 626

3450TT 1540Eng 110prop paint & interior 8/10 PMA 7000S audio panel 430 2nd com r-nav ADF 330 mode S EDM 700 Two altimiters bose plugs fresh annual. Based at Thurrock Essex. Contact Rob on 07860 648795 ro JUNE 2011 LOOP 59


N4173N, 2000, For Sale in Switzerland, Airframe TT: 1040, Lycoming TIO-540AE2A, 1030 hours, Garmin Avionics, Hartzell HC-I3YR-1E three blades, constant speed. Pratt + Whitney, PT6A-35, zero hours $ 1,040,000. Stefano Scossa – 0041 912103128

1969 Piper PA23-250D Aztec

Pitts s2a

Exceptional cherished example refurbished and maintained regardless of cost. Well known competition performer with proven track record. Large Bubble Canopy, Hooker Harnesses, Fitted Cover. Always Hanagared. Engine (New 2004) TT 381:45, Prop (New Type Hub) 199:50, Airframe TT 1778:00, Fresh ARC MAy 2011, £60,000 (Including VAT) Neil Bigrigg 01636 525318

Airframe 7359 hours total time, Both engines 949 hours total since factory overhaul Aug 1994, Both propellers 2 hours since overhaul APRIL 2011 , Full ARC Review expires 20TH APRIL 2012, New battery 2011, De Ice boots no holes or patches, Cambri cover, King KMA 24 Audio, Trimble TNL 2000 GPS, Narco COM810, Garmin GNS 430 NAV/COM/GPS, Garmin GTX330 XPONDER, King KT76 XPONDER, Narco NS800 AREA NAV, King KR87 ADF, BFG 3M Stormscope, Six seat upholstered in grey cloth, Log books and history back to new, Good paint, resprayed Dec 1999 by Coulton, Same owner since 1988 Paul on 01328 878809 for more details.

YAK-55 The best value of any aerobatic aircraft. Only 383 TTSN. M14P engine - only 29 hours SOH; new 2-blade V-530 prop. Many extras. Exceptional and well maintained aircraft on UK register. Only Euro 49,000 (today £43,000) including European VAT.

Richard Goode Aerobatics

Tel: +44(0)1544 340120 Fax: +44(0)1544 340129 Email:

60 LOOP JUNE 2011


PA28-180 Cherokee.

Bought for £25k 3 years ago. Spent £25k on upgrades. • Fresh annual • New paint work • Includes Garmin 430 TTE 1499 TTAF 3789 Excellent condition inside and out. Easy maintanance. Currently based in Sheffield. Selling for £19,995 Enquiries call John 07718768761 or email: Piper PA-32 6XT

T7-NWS, 2004, Airframe 1020 hrs, TT: 1020 hours since new, Propeller Hartzell 3 bladed, TT: 1020 hrs, TSOH: 0 hrs, Beautiful Interior 10/10, Fresh annual, new cylinders. $42,000 VAT free. Stefano Scossa - +41-91-2103128. YAK 52

For sale with long range fuel (5.5hrs) making the a/c a continental traveling machine with an oxygen system for over the Alps trips, TXP, always maintained by YAK UK Ltd.+44 (0)1767 651156

Piper PA-46-350T Matrix

N-reg, 2008, Nice, privately owned aircraft. Airframe, Engine, Propeller Total Time: 300 hrs. Interior Tan leather, 9/10. Exterior, 9/10. No damage history. $41,000 Stefano Scossa +41-91-2103128. piper pa-28r-201t turbo arrow III

HB-PMS, 1978, TT:3500 hrs, TCM TSIO-360-FB TT: 600, Prop Hartz BHC-C2AF-1BF TT 3400, In good condition. No damage history. €43,800. Stefano Scossa 00 41-91-2103128. ro JUNE 2011 LOOP 61


To advertise here please call Chris Wilson on 01223 497060

62 LOOP JUNE 2011


To advertise here please call Chris Wilson on 01223 497060

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Aircraft Grouping

Clubs and Schools

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64 LOOP JUNE 2011

Microlight Services


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Powerful, aerobatic, evocative... Yak-52 is a fun aeroplane!



Two-seat Russian aerobatic military trainer powered by a thundering 9-cyl radial... a ‘warbird’ you can own without being a millionaire + YA K - 5 2 Q U I K FA C T S


IG, heavy, noisy, thirsty, powerful, not particularly practical but a heck of a lot of fun – that’s the Yak-52. And it clearly appeals to a lot of pilots, both in the UK and all around the Western world who have snapped examples which have escaped the East. For a start, the Yak-52 is nothing like usual piston singles. It has that distinctive 9-cylinder radial engine up front, a +HISTORY

+ 1973 Originally conceived as a dual control trainer version of the Yak-50 + 1976 First flight of the prototype + 1979 Production starts at Aerostar in Romania, then part of the Soviet bloc + 1998 Main production runs stops but Aerostar still builds a limited number + 2001 Yak-52TW (tailwheel) produced by Aerostar but not certified in Europe. + 2005 Specialists Termikas of Lithunia produce 52TD (taildragger) conversion


+ In production from 1979 to 1998 + Russian design, made in Romania by Aerostar + Two seat tandem cockpit + Rugged and robust, built for training + Approx 1800 made, many now in the West + Semi retractable undercarriage compressed air system for engine start and deploying brakes, flaps and undercarriage, a strange cockpit with not much space, and a sliding canopy for a real ‘warbird’ look. Best of all, the Yak-52 is aerobatic and offers tremendous performance for the money, although running costs can be eye-watering, especially fuel. Type training is essential with the acknowledged expert Gennady Elfimov at




SBs and ADs No fewer than 114 apply. Some, including wing spar work, can only be done at the factory. Check all done Airframe life Airframe has a 500hour life before a check and overhaul required Engine life A factory new engine has a 750-hour life, zero-timed recon engine 500 hours Air hoses These have a 10-year life. Also air bottles need to be pressure tested Undercarriage Meant for tough landings but bushes wear

! ! ! !


Yak specialist Gennady Elfimov performing in the 52 66 LOOP June 2011

“The effect of Nigel’s flying on women... some go decidedly weak at the knees and have difficulty breathing between the screams” – that’s the aerobatic display pilot Nigel Willson gives in a Yak-52. It includes a manouevre the Yak is very good at – the ‘Lomchevak’ where the aircraft rotates through all three axes at the same and looks out of control – see a video of this on Nigel’s website. Operating the Yak isn’t bad for an aerobatic aircraft. Fuel burn is around 45-50 /hr in economy cruise but as high as 90l/hr during max power aeros. The aircraft is on a CAA Permit but Nigel has it maintained to CofA standards by Aero Anglia at Elmsett, Suffolk. The annual comes to around £5000. Insurance is around £1800 a year for Nigel and his displays, as well as the aircraft owner Deborah Leggett and two others.


1989 Yak-52

Long range tanks (5.5 hours) and oxygen system. Maintained by Yak UK.

1/4 share £12,000

1989 built, based White Waltham. Contact David Blundell 07767 305532 or see LOOPMART this month



+ Charismatic semi-warbird + Proven airframe and powerplant + Excellent performance + Aerobatic + Good support + Good value for money


YAK-52 Never exceed speed 360kph Cruise speed 190kph Climb rate 1400ft/min Stall speed 85-90kph G limits +7/-5 Engine Vedeneyev M-14P 9-cyl radial producing 360hp Fuel burn 60l/hr @ 70% cruise setting Wingspan 9.30m Height 2.70m Max weight 1315kg Empty weight 1035kg Fuel capacity 120l Seats 2 Average price £35,000+ Manufacturer A S Yakovelev Design Bureau Leningradsky Prospect, 98 Moscow 125315 Russia +LOOP SCORE

Running costs Durability Performance Reliability Handling TOTAL SCORE

★★★★★ ★★★★★ ★★★★★ ★★★★★ ★★★★★ 22/25


Pitts Special £60,000


+ Thirsty on fuel + Noisy + Limited luggage space + Instruments and placards in Russian

Chipmunk 1/12th share £3,000

One heart Three legends




With its Manufacture Caliber 01, Breitling has created the most reliable, accurate and top-performance of all selfwinding chronograph movements – entirely produced in its own workshops and chronometercertified by the COSC. A perfectly logical accomplishment for a brand that has established itself as the absolute benchmark in the field of mechanical chronographs.

For your nearest stockist in Great Britain and Ireland telephone 020 7637 5167


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