Light Aviation June 2024 issue

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June 2024 £4.25 AERO 2024 REPORT HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE AMAZING GERMAN LIGHT AVIATION SHOW MEET THE MEMBERS CHRISTINE CARLIN IS LAA’S NEW HEAD OF PILOT TRAINING LIGHT Aviation THE MAGAZINE OF THE LIGHT AIRCRAFT ASSOCIATION WWW.LAA.UK.COM Light Aircraft Association From the ‘golden years’ of British light aviation, Mark Hales on learning to love the quirks of a Miles Gemini… WOODEN WONDER
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Chief Technical Officer


Chief Inspector



Vice President BRIAN DAVIES

Engineering email


Office Manager Penny Sharpe

Head Office Turweston Aerodrome, Nr Brackley, Northants NN13 5YD

Telephone for engineering and commercial 01280 846786

Thanks to a little help, the Cub gets a new instrument panel.





Production Editor LIZI BROWN


Opinions expressed by the authors and correspondents are not necessarily those of the Editor or the LAA. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without permission.

A little help…

One thing that often stands out in the LAA community is people who are generous with sharing their time and skills.

With my Super Cub project, recently there have been one or two LAA members whose assistance has helped keep things moving along. In particular there’s a chap called Sheldon.

Sheldon and I began swapping emails last year when he was looking to buy an RV-6, and we’ve stayed in touch ever since. The RV-6 was purchased and has been rapidly improved. It turns out Sheldon is one of those people in life who ‘gets things done’.

Change from fixed pitch prop to constant speed, not a problem? Steam panel to Garmin glass, say no more. Advice sought, acted on, and brought to life with seemingly little fuss, with an end result that I’m sure some people who do that sort of thing professionally, would be proud of.

As you would guess, someone like this is pretty handy with tech solutions to old school problems, so when Sheldon asked if I needed a hand with turning my ideas for a new Super Cub panel from mock-up to reality, my answer was definitely ‘yes’.

Much measuring ensued – no matter how many data points you have – my relatively simple custom Cub panel had 68 height measurements across its width, the shape still needed ‘smoothing’. But, eventually a form in CAD was defined and trialled as a printed paper outline print – and it looked pretty good. Instrument positions were then plotted and the file sent for laser cutting…

A little while later the panel arrived in the post, and aside from some deburring and

minor tweaking with a file for a few instrument holes, the end result popped into place perfectly. I mean, I know it should, but it’s always impressive when it happens –especially when the initial idea started out as a piece of plastic board shaped with a Stanley knife, with some masking tape instruments stuck to it.

Mildly side-tracked by the need to complete the Permit inspection on the RV-3 (thanks Toby), now I just need to finish this issue of the magazine, then get on with completing the panel. Then Dave the electrician can work his magic while elsewhere, attention can shift to the engine which, thanks to another friend, has some nicely painted parts that were prepped thanks to the loan of his new vapour blast machine.

Sheldon, and everyone else, thank you… Our community is definitely a great one.

Ed’s Desk
June 2024 | LIGHT AVIATION | 3



Building maestro, Dudley Pattison, on another completed aircraft – his Sherwood Scout.


When Mark Hales bought a Miles Gemini, it led to the ‘Wooden Wonder’ becoming the first of its type on the LAA’s fleet.


The 30th AERO Friedrichshafen show did not disappoint, with a wide array of fabulous aircraft on display.


VAC Chair, Anne Hughes, looks back on the rich history of the Vintage Aircraft Club, as it marks its Diamond Jubilee…


Tips for a successful Permit renewal, carrying out your annual Permit flight test, an update on fuels, and more visibility on the Engineering department mod/repair queue.


Christine Carlin, who has just been appointed as the new LAA’s new Head of Training of the Pilot Coaching Scheme, chats to Ed Hicks.


More fabulous photos entered by our members this month. The competition runs all year and is all about the joy of flight with LAA aircraft…

June 2024 | LIGHT AVIATION | 5 Contents June 2024

New PCS Head of Training

LAA is delighted to welcome Christine Carlin to the LAA team as the new PCS Head of Pilot Training. LAA CEO Simon Tilling said, “I am really looking forward to working with Christine and the pilot Coaches to enhance the training and coaching we offer to our members".

Learn more about Christine in Meet the Members, on page 47.

SleapKosh beckons…!

SleapKosh, the UK’s biggest fly-in airshow, is back for the fourth reiteration on the 12-14 July. There are air displays on the Friday and Saturday evening, with acts including Hawker Hurricanes, wingwalkers, the Jet Pitts, firework displays – and much more!

Live music, with more than 10 live

Upcoming LAA Courses

The following LAA courses are currently available for booking. All will take place at LAA HQ Turweston. Please call LAA on 01280 846785 (Ext 2) to book your place. Priced at £200 each for LAA members, non-members are welcome, but there is an additional £20 charge per course.

● Aircraft Carpentry – 25 June

● Rotax 912/915iS Installation and Operation – few spaces left – 6 July.

Fabric Course success From Chris Allen, course tutor. “The last fabric course day was a great success, mainly due to the lovely bunch of people that attended. A good-humoured and attentive bunch, attendees achieved some great results.”

bands over the weekend, and of course a large pilots bar!

There will also be trade stands, including aircraft sales companies, aircraft suppliers, plus Pooleys Flight Equipment – and a Speaker’s Corner with presentations throughout the weekend. Food stalls will be open all weekend, and visitors can camp for a weekend of sun, fun, and aircraft. More than 400 visiting aircraft are expected from around the UK and Europe.

Flying for fun award

LAA Members

Derek Pake, the winner of the 2023 Pooley’s International Dawn to Dusk Duke of Edinburgh Trophy and pilot of Van’s RV-8 Wee Vans, has teamed up with Gill Howie and Berry Vissers of Squadron Prints Ltd, a long-established Aviation Art and memorabilia company known worldwide, to provide a £2,000 scholarship aimed at encouraging a dedicated and enthusiastic individual to achieve their goal of entering light General Aviation or, if already qualified, maintain their General Aviation activities.

New Safety Sense Leaflet: VFR into IMC

The CAA has published a new Safety Sense Leaflet providing guidance to GA pilots on the risks and mitigations associated with continued Visual Flight Rules (VFR) flight into Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC).

This forms part of the popular Safety Sense series ( general-aviation/safety-topics/ safety-sense-leaflets/), which are currently updating. download/21918

Join the party by PPRing at and find out more online! No fees, except landing fees. Please note, there is no road access for this event. Please contact airfield manager Bruce Buglass on 07823 555228 or visit

that those wishing to enter the commercial aviation route already have many scholarship opportunities.

The successful applicant should submit a self-composed application which demonstrates their passion for aviation, detailing their goals and ambitions, should they be successful in gaining the award, and how they intend to sustain their qualifications in the future. Applicants can be at any stage of their training or, indeed, already qualified.

Judging will be conducted by Derek, Gill and Berry, with assistance from Ian Seager from The judges will be looking for someone who can make them grin (along with their future passengers), as well as bringing a worthy level of enthusiasm and passion to the light GA sector of the aviation world.

This scholarship award is specifically aimed at those who wish to fly for fun –be it in gliders, microlights, gyrocopters, helicopters, or light aircraft – pointing out

Applications can be sent electronically to Derek by email to

All applications should arrive by Friday 5 July, and the winning entry will be announced around the beginning of August.

6 | LIGHT AVIATION | June 2024 LA News News Updates available on the LAA website at – check it out every day!

CAA wants your views on Manchester Low-Level route amendments

The UK Civil Aviation Authority is seeking your views on its proposed amendment to the Manchester Low Level Route (MLLR).

The MLLR provides pilots with a direct route through the airspace where Manchester and Liverpool airspace adjoins, without the need for pilots to fly over high terrain or water.

Aimed at enhancing safety and operational efficiency, the proposed amendments address critical safety concerns identified last year in a comprehensive review, including the risk of mid-air collisions and challenges, in ensuring the ability for pilots to make safe emergency landings.

● The key changes proposed are:

● Reclassification to Class G airspace

● Implementation of a Restricted Area

● An increase in maximum altitude

● An extension of the airspace boundary. These amendments are designed to mitigate safety risks, while maintaining the integrity of existing operations. Stakeholders, including the aviation community and local residents, are invited to share their input on these proposed amendments.

A public drop-in information session will be held on 4 June between 12:45 and 18:15 at the Hartford Village Hall, Northwich.

Nic Orchard’s D2D charity fundraiser

LAA member, Nic Orchard (pictured, inset), is a regular Pooleys Dawn to Dusk Challenge entrant, and this year she returns to one of her former D2D themes – follies. Nic said, “I’m revisiting a former theme, as I’ve found it fascinating and very much unfinished, with further, farther follies to be found. Think of it as the F Word, ‘folly’ume three.

“My goal is a day of four flights totalling between 550 and 600nm, at various heights, covering a chunk of the country. ‘CC, my 1946 Aeronca Champ is far from fast, but she’s a fine steed from which to look at things, which is the whole point – and makes it all so much more fun. If the plotting and planning succeed, I’ll be airborne for more than eight hours, making a tiring day, especially solo, but I

Airfield News

● Popham Airfield Matters group launches ‘Popham Airfield Matters’, a pressure group made up of residents of Popham and members of the local community, friends of the airfield and the surrounding chalk downlands, was launched during the Microlight Trade Fair event held at the airfield.

The group says, “We have been busy since the Local Plan consultation period closed, preparing ourselves for the next part of the campaign. We’ve had advice from the Wellesbourne Airfield team, opened a bank account, written a constitution, created a website and printed collateral. We are charging £1 for lifelong membership, as this improves our legal standing without creating a barrier that may deter people from joining.”

● Aviation APPG reboot The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Aviation (Airfields Working Group) is pleased to announce a new start for 2024, with most of the members changed, and with it, aerodrome operator participation now represents a majority, ranging from small grass strips to large licensed airports.

The refreshed group will be chaired by Matt Wilkins, an aerodrome operator for 14 years at Old Buckenham, while Louise Southern, editor of the VFR Flight Guide for 27 years, and Airfield/Airspace Data Manager at SkyDemon, will be vice-chair.

The revitalised group will be tackling various topics with a new agenda. This has been set with the benefit of more than a combined century of aerodrome operations experience, all from participants currently in role and who understand the challenges, threats and opportunities faced by airfields large and small.

Further details about the progress of the new All-Party Parliamentary Group for Aviation (Airfields Working Group) will be released soon.

● Strategic Airfield Network Survey The Strategic Airfield Network Survey team is still asking airfields that consider themselves ‘Strategically Important’ to complete its survey.

The reasons that airfields consider themselves to be strategically important include: location, flying training, military and other emergency/alternate, room to expand, community role, historic rarity and links, Innovation (and embracing new technology), and maintenance.

Sixty-seven airfields have responded so far. Please email for a survey link.

think the largest challenge factor is the weather. I’m fussy about that – this year hasn’t given me much confidence, so far. This year I'm fundraising for Booktrust. It encourages all children to read, provides resources for story reading to the very young, plus books and encouragement as independent reading develops. Those of us who grew up with easy access to libraries know the extensive value of them, but being given a book of one’s own is special. I still have the Children’s Encyclopaedia I was given at Christmas when I was five or six. I was thrilled. For many, with financial pressures on schools, libraries and household budgets, this doesn’t happen. Booktrust tries to fill the gaps.” www.justgiving. com/page/nic-orchard-1714667399565

June 2024 | LIGHT AVIATION | 7 LA News


Having built a reputation for excellence in the design and manufacture of light aircraft fuel system components within the amateur-build aircraft sector, Andair has now established a significant presence in the commercial aviation market as well.


We are always pleased to receive your letters, photos of your flying, and your feedback. Please email the editor at

CAP1302 New Era

I’ve just read the article in Light Aviation magazine re: Piper Super Cub G-OVON’s conversion to Permit to Fly.

A fabulous piece, made even better because I know much of G-OVON through my long standing customer who was the former owner.

I know Toby too, but never actually met him or Rachel, but I feel that our aviation future is safe in the hands of that combo.

Again, really great write-up.

All the best, Derrick

Flying for the masses

I read with interest the recent letters in LA calling for a low-cost aircraft competition.

Although I like the idea, this has happened several times in the past and, to be honest, has never achieved the object of the competition.

As someone who has spent a lifetime pursuing this goal – and although I don’t want to sound pretentious, I think I came near to achieving it – I would like to offer my thoughts on the subject.

The breakthrough came in the late 1970s with the Microlight revolution where people started fitting small engines to hang gliders and building and flying simple, basic, aircraft all without paperwork. The CAA did nothing for several years until, due to the accident rate, questions were asked in Parliament and the CAA was told to ‘sort it out’. Section S.

We then had to submit proof of compliance. Fortunately, as a professional engineer with a background in aircraft design I was able to do this.

Over the years I designed seven aircraft,

of the various models were built and flown. I think mine, and possibly the Minimax, were the only plans built Microlight aircraft available.

Understandably, people wanted more and more from these aircraft, so the weight allowance was increased several times until, what were originally simple basic aircraft, morphed full circle back to costly light aircraft.

My thoughts – preferably an SSDR. Scratch built from plans. Design as far as possible using commercial materials. Hands up in horror. Be selective. Strength information is available, but will incur a slight weight penalty. Unfortunately, a knowledge of stress analysis will be required. Design the aircraft to be readily transportable to eliminate hanger costs. Capable of operation from rough fields.

Commercially produced aircraft will be expensive with the cost of things today. The e-Go is a fine aeroplane, but too expensive, especially for a SSDR.

In the early 1980s we could build an MW5 for less than £1,000, including a new Fuji Robin engine. These were practical aircraft, with many still flying today. The MW6 was the first microlight to fly from Lands’ End to John ‘o Groats in a day, flown by Eddie Clapham and Steve Slade, and it is still flying. The MW8, with a four-stroke engine, could fly all day on a tank of petrol.

Now in my late seventies, the urge to produce another aircraft returned. As this would be my last design, I wanted it to be more of a technical challenge, and so chose the tailless plank configuration SSDR. This has many features to make it the minimum low-cost aircraft. For a start, you are only

building half an aircraft and its dismantled component size is small for transportation and storage, so a small 12ft enclosed trailer would do. It cost £1,500 for materials and £2,500 for a 33hp paramotor engine.

After reading all the tales about PIO’s and tumbling etc from the armchair aerodynamicists, I opted for a broad wing chord for good damping and an aerofoil with a large amount of reflex. I did the first hops thinking the aircraft might be like flying on a knife edge, but was pleasantly surprised to find the pitch stability to be high. Planks have a reputation of being spin proof and good in turbulence – and it has done a vertical stall with no sign of tumbling. The Plank has been flown by Eddie Clapham, who did most of the test flying on my other aircraft, as well as Dan Griffith and Adrian Jones. Eddie says it feels just like a conventional aircraft. I have drawn plans for the B model and will be releasing them as a freebie for home construction soon. See MW9 Plank on YouTube ( MW9Plank).

As a lifelong biker, including vintage restoration, I like Brian Mellor’s Route 66 suggestion. With my wife Bee, we did it about 15 years ago from the San Diego end.

If I was younger, and without a gammy leg due to a stroke, I might have been interested. We really enjoyed the trip. Also, Oshkosh would have been the icing on the cake. Regards, Mike Whittaker.

Ed replies: You and your designs have inspired a generation or two of pilots all about low-cost flying. I really hope we see more MW9’s in the UK skies in future!

June 2024 | LIGHT AVIATION | 9
Above The low-cost MW-9 Plank gets airborne. Above Mike and his wife Bee on their Route 66 trip.

Straight and Level Updates from LAA HQ

First of this month some great news! I am very pleased to welcome Christine Carlin to the team as the new Head of Pilot Training. I am really looking forward to working with Christine and the pilot Coaches to enhance the training and coaching we offer to our members.

A key focus of her role will be to help us all to become better pilots.

For example, one of Christine’s objectives will be to work with AAIB and our counterparts, such as BMAA and BGA, to share data and analysis to develop training and coaching solutions that we can offer to help avoid Loss Of Control (LOC) accidents. We know from our data that the most common cause of accidents is LOC and that Human Factors is by far the biggest driver of these LOC events. More to follow in the coming months. See Christine’s piece on page 47.

You will see from the monthly Permit renewals chart that I have introduced another KPI – Turnaround Time with Errors. This is to show the length of time it takes us to process incorrectly completed revalidation applications, which for April was 10 days versus six days for ‘Right First Time’ submissions.

Pushing the boundaries

Eryl Smith Chairman

RUnfortunately, the number of incorrectly completed applications is on the increase, this causes delays for the applicant and lots of extra work for the HQ team, which leads to delays in other areas, so it’s in everyone’s interest to be as accurate as possible.

You will find more detail on how to ensure your forms are correctly completed along with how to avoid the most common errors in this issue’s Engineering Matters section. ■

Above Permit renewal performance.

ecent news of the passing of Dick Rutan left me reflecting on the debt we owe to those who push the boundaries of aviation. I was fortunate to be at Oshkosh in 2003 when Dick and Burt brought Voyager to the event commemorating the record breaking first, non-stop, non-refuelled around the world flight with co-pilot Jeana Yeager. While Burt has been the inspiration behind many of the designs that have pushed the boundaries of flight and sport aviation in particular, it was Dick who piloted many of the class record-breaking flights.

Closer to home, the start of the flying season has been marked by two major shows. The Microlight Trade fair at Popham always runs the gauntlet of the spring weather, and this year was no different. Saturday was blessed with fine weather ensuring a good turn-out by both air and road. The flight line was busy with a multitude of microlight and gyro types with perhaps the Shark and microlight Stampe the most eye-catching. The 600kg market is clearly gaining traction, with the LAA approved Vixxen prominent among this category.

The LAA marquee was busy throughout the day and it was

great to meet many members visiting the event, whether taking the opportunity to raise questions with Simon, myself and other Board members, or just stopping by for a chat. Sadly the weather wasn’t great on the Sunday and the early May Bank Holiday Monday VAC fly-in and Autojumble event suffered a similar fate.

Private Flyer is the only GA trade show this season. Visiting the recent event at Wycombe Air Park the accompanying golf and lifestyle elements of the show rather overshadow the aviation side, which was dominated by GA and corporate aircraft exhibits. Nevertheless, there was more to interest the recreational pilot this year. In addition to the aircraft exhibits and a small number of regular LAA suppliers promoting their wares, there was a full programme of talks in the Live Lounge, which included a spirited Q&A with CAA representatives on the current pilot licensing consultation. It is early days yet, but there is optimism that the outcome of this consultation will simplify and clarify some of the current licensing issues and improve the pathways to progress – something that is sorely needed if we are to encourage more people into recreational flying.

All of this highlights the importance of our forthcoming Rally at Leicester at the end of August providing not only a great social event, but the opportunity to bring together a wide range of exhibitors and suppliers showcasing their products and services to members. There are already a number of new exhibitors keen to come to the Rally, so make sure you have the dates in your diary.

Whatever your flying plans for the coming months as the weather continues to improve, enjoy – and fly safe. ■

10 | LIGHT AVIATION | June 2024

Microlight Trade Fair

Good weather encouraged plenty of aircraft to fly-in on the Saturday, and there were plenty of show-goers interested in what’s new and exciting in the world of microlights. Words & Photos Ed Hicks

01 Star of the show was the wonderful Microlight Concept Stampe SV4-RS. Stampe Aircraft UK hope to have this 600kg type UK approved within 12 months. Price will be around €140k plus VAT.

02 UK approval of the Shark is imminent – priced from €240k for the basic version to €260k (both plus VAT) for glass panel equipped.

03 The LAA approved 600kg ready to fly A32 Vixxen was on offer at the show for £119k plus VAT with UK agent Foxbat Aircraft.

04 £59,950 plus VAT buys you a Savannah SR, an updated version of the type that’s sold by by Ireland-based FunFly Aerosports.

05 If this Kappa KPD-2U Sova looks like a familiar shape, it’s because the design evolved into the SkyLeader 600 that’s awaiting UK approval.

06 Having just started flight testing before the show, Paul Kirkham’s lovely Sling 2 Taildragger proudly displayed its UL Power 118hp UL350i.

June 2024 | LIGHT AVIATION | 13
02 03 05 01 04 06

Inspiring members to take on their own aircraft build or restoration project

Project News

The building powerhouse that is Dudley Pattison has finished yet another aircraft. This time it’s a Sherwood Scout. His update was received as we came out of what was the wettest winter and spring for a good long while.

So by now he’ll be test flying it, I imagine.

The Scout evolved from the Escapade, itself another evolutionary branch of the original Avid/Kitfox 1980s revolution. The noticeable difference, compared to its ancestor, is that the Scout has conventional flaps and ailerons as opposed to flaperons. I understand

Duds already has his next project on order ready for a winter start, what is it? I can’t say, you’ll just have to look out for it in a future Project News. With the speed he completes aircraft you won’t have long to wait for an update.

This column relies upon the membership getting in touch with Project News with your build and restoration stories. So please don’t wait to be asked, don’t wait until your pride and joy is finished, get in touch with Project News, and tell your story, report a milestone or just send a picture, email: Go on, do it today!

Above The beauty of the Scout is that it can be trailered as a complete aircraft. Loading it caused a few missed heartbeats as the wheels overhung the trailer edges by one third of the tyre width. Dudley’s neighbour in the house behind the car, thinks it is wonderful that her neighbour builds aeroplanes at home. When Dudley did the first engine run she took photos from her bedroom window.

Iwrite this on the day that I applied for the Permit to test fly. I should say that I reapplied as my first attempt, quite rightly, was thrown back at me by Engineering as it was littered with omissions. This time, after many hours of research, I hope to be a little more successful. Having said that, the process of gaining a Permit is far

14 | LIGHT AVIATION | June 2024 Project News
(LAA 345-15827)
Sherwood Scout

more complicated, and far more questions are posed, than used to be the case. For instance, if you have a Rotax engine, which is the case in the Scout, you are asked what the moment of inertia is on the propeller blade. Kiev, the manufacturer of my ground adjustable propeller, gave me the answer of 4,050 Kg/cm2. That question – and the answer – were a bit beyond me… I took delivery of the Scout kit in mid-April 2022, so it took me just about two years and about 1,300 hours to build.

The kit components were of a high quality but the instructions, unfortunately, were at the other end of the scale, and numerous phone calls and e-mails to TLAC were necessary to clear the fog at times. I tracked down another builder of a Scout, Archie Liggat, who was extremely helpful, as he had been there and done that.

Having said that, the structure came together well and the finished article looks fine. It is now at the airfield (Lower Upham, Swindon) awaiting the test permit. Dan Griffith, the LAA’s chief test pilot, will do the first flight for me. Francis Donaldson introduced me to Dan at a rally some years back, when my Stummelflitzer was approaching its first flight, as Francis had said I couldn’t

Above Papa Delta’s instrument panel.

Left Dudley is very fortunate to have a large garage

Below left The Scout in the grain store at Lower Upham.

Below (top and bottom) All finished, outside in the sun just awaiting the paperwork to test.

do it myself as it was a prototype. I remember having the audacity to ‘interview’ Dan to ensure he was good enough to fly my aeroplane. He passed, but only because he is a superb pilot!

As, from August onwards each year, I only have space for one aircraft at Lower Upham, and so my recently completed KFA Safari G-DUDP, will be for sale very shortly. It is a lovely aeroplane with stunning performance, but I cannot keep all the aircraft I build, unfortunately. ■

■ G-MSMK Aeroprakt A32-M Vixxen (LAA 411A-15881) 25/4/2024

Mr Michael Spiers, 56 London Road, Stapeley, Nantwich, CW5 7JL

■ G-CMPD Sherwood Scout (LAA 345-15827) 17/4/2024

Name & Address held by LAA Engineering

■ G-RVAG Van’s RV-8 (PFA 303-13603) 12/4/2024

Name & Address held by LAA Engineering

Project News
If your aircraft has featured recently in the magazine and has subsequently completed its maiden flight, Project News would like to hear from you at: Cleared To Fly
June 2024 | LIGHT AVIATION | 15

Wooden wonder

For Mark Hales, Miles Aircraft’s designs represented all that was innovative about the ‘golden years’ of British Aviation, and the opportunity to buy a Miles Gemini would lead to it becoming the first of its type on the LAA's fleet

Flight Test

Flight Test

Way back in 2007 – before the advent of Afors – there was a Miles advertised in the classifieds… That might not sound like much of an event, but for me, Miles represented all that was innovative about the ‘golden years’ of British Aviation. Miles as a company had ceased trading 60 years before and the handful of survivors were all well known, but here it was. I kept going back to the ad, each time reminding myself that it was a taildragger twin which perched oddly tall on a chunky undercarriage set forward in the nacelles and it was made of wood, powered by engines for which there weren’t any bits, and… it did have a reputation for all sorts of things. Depending on where you read, a Gemini was ever willing to swing on take-off, was difficult to land, wouldn’t fly on one engine, and was likely to fall apart before the next inspection. That much I was willing to investigate, but as for the rest, it was hard to believe that FG or GH Miles, who had been responsible for so many wonderful designs, had got it so wrong. Maybe this was an opportunity to find out. It was a Miles after all.

Accounts differ, but 60 years across the sky, the Gemini’s design sounded like a great piece of lateral thinking. George ‘GH’ Miles had developed the triplefinned Messenger in 1942 as an observation aircraft for consideration by the Air Ministry (rejected in favour of the Auster, despite the Messenger’s obvious superiority, but later ordered in small numbers. Monty had two at his disposal for the Normandy campaign). Messengers built later at Miles’ Newtownards factory found plenty of private buyers, but in late 1945, George Miles was already considering the post-war market and decided that adding a 100hp Blackburn Cirrus Minor to each wing of a Messenger – and replacing the Messenger’s signature stalky undercarriage with electrically operated retractable gear located beneath each engine – would be just what the market needed. Miles’ sales dept made much of the spare engine in its adverts, but most people now believe it was an attempt to add some power without adding too much weight. Blackburn (Miles’ preferred engine partner) didn’t offer anything beefier than the 155hp Cirrus Major, and the 200hp Gipsy Six was a great big heavy thing.

June 2024 | LIGHT AVIATION | 17
18 | LIGHT AVIATION | June 2024 Flight Test

Adrian, the vendor, had owned the Gemini for a while, and in common with most people with names in the logs, had lavished time and money on the aeroplane. Even better... he might be persuaded to take a Rollason Condor that I’d somehow acquired, as part exchange. A trawl through the piles of paperwork dating right from the Gemini’s first flight at Woodley in 1947 – a wonderful detail in itself – revealed just 1,300 hours of flight in 60 years, but a great many hours spent replacing the woodwork in the centre section. The outer wings and fuselage were original, but Adrian assured me they were fine, and I believed him. So it was unlikely to fall apart… There was no offer of a test flight but I had read the account by Alan Bramson – who wrote so well about most things aviation – and he had pronounced the Gemini as an absolute delight provided you didn’t overload it. Not for the first time, I went with Alan’s view, and not least because it was indeed a Miles, even if it didn’t have the Falcon’s art-deco windscreen. My twin rating had lapsed, so long time instructor Neil and I duly flew back to Shoreham in the Condor.

First impressions…

I have some vague recollection that Neil had some time on one of the other three or four flyable Geminis, but he insisted as always that I go left seat, where first impressions were slightly daunting. The Cirruses weren’t easy to start, the deck angle was as steep as it looked, so visibility was limited, and the brakes – sourced from an Auster and operated by cables all the way from the cockpit down to each engine nacelle – were as good as Bramson had promised. In his words ‘guaranteed to let you down when you most needed them…’ Nothing about the Gemini felt remotely familiar, but with Neil’s help I threaded through the parked aeroplanes with extra care, thankful that the engines offered more steering than the pedals, lined up (eventually...) and opened the throttles. The sensation which would soon become familiar was then another culture shock. The Gemini hardly appeared to

“The late Alan Bramson described the cable actuated brakes as – ‘guaranteed to let you down when you most needed them…' ”

gather speed, the ASI needle barely lifted from the stop but just as I’d thought there must be something wrong, the aeroplane rose from the tarmac like a huge kite riding a gust. The ammeter needle pinged back to ‘plus’ to say the actuators had hit the limit switches and the gear had tucked away, and even if the Gemini didn’t feel like it was climbing, 1,000ft soon appeared on the altimeter as if by magic. The nose disappeared way below the horizon, a surprising 130mph appeared on the ASI and at last, I felt able to relax.

The engines were delightfully smooth and very soon, ownership of a Gemini seemed like exactly the right decision. I still had to land it, but I’d never experienced anything with a similar feel to the controls. Beautifully light, sensitive without being fractious, all connected to the control surfaces by rods and bellcranks, there wasn’t a cable to be found anywhere in the system. There was no lost motion and everything was in complete harmony. No need to use rudder for a turn… but a good poke would happily stand the Gemini on a wingtip. It was just as Bramson had promised; simply delightful, and once the windscreen was below the horizon, the view through that 180° bubble was completely panoramic. It’s a feeling I’ve experienced in very few aeroplanes, and I was immediately transported back to the 1940s.

I did manage to land it without breaking anything, but I could see why Geminis had gained their reputation, and there was definitely plenty of learning to be done. There was also a licence to be renewed, and foolishly, I’d

Opposite Surprisingly agile in the air despite its chunky appearance on the ground. The Gemini’s wonderful control harmony makes bending about the skies hard to resist.

Below Tall trailing link undercarriage makes for a steep deck angle. Note the huge flaps which add to the wing area when retracted.

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Above Cockpit is spacious and the view is panoramic. Note the cantilever rudder pedals which rotate, while the footplate stays flat to the feet, and the huge flap wheel between the seats. Brake lever is just ahead of the power levers.

imagined I could do the rating renewal on the twin I had just acquired. The aeroplane was still flying on a CofA but I discovered that the type had to be ‘approved for training’.

The ‘Man in a Suit’ duly turned up and surveyed the Gemini from a distance. “Is this it ?” he asked... Maybe he was expecting a Partenavia or a Seneca to be tucked away somewhere. “OK, can you show me how you feather the propellers…” There were more questions about carb heat, electric fuel pumps and cross feed, none of which feature on a Gemini, and I couldn’t find a blue line on the ASI. I told him that despite the sales puff showing the port propeller stationary, it probably wouldn’t fly on one engine. I was at least able to show him the emergency gear extension, which is via a huge spring located in each nacelle. It compresses when you retract the gear and the emergency lever pulls out the locating pin. We agreed that I didn’t need to jack the aeroplane up and demonstrate, and the MiS bade me good day, then set off towards Cambridge. His next job was a 737 at Marshalls…

The pantomime continued a few weeks later at Coventry where an exam syllabus had to be written, suitable for the licencing of putative Gemini pilots. “We

“We definitely weren’t going to attempt any proper single-engined stuff with three people and 40 gallons of fuel on board…”

don’t know anything about Geminis,” said the man with the logo on his polo shirt, “do you know anyone who does?” I replied that I probably knew more about the numbers than most… “Well you’d better write it then…” He said this without a trace of a smile, so pointing out that if this was a test, I might already know the answers seemed only likely to delay things further. There was a practical part as well, as in a flight test, and because Andy the examiner hadn’t flown a Gemini before, Neil had to convert him... There wasn’t much for Andy to learn because there aren’t many conventional ‘Twin Things’ to do, and we definitely weren’t going to attempt any proper single-engined stuff with three people and about 40 gallons of fuel on board. Range is one of the Gemini’s really good points, but it does come with caveats.

Party piece…

I witnessed a truly appalling landing from the back seat, after which Andy – a thoroughly good bloke – looked across as we taxied in and said, “Sorry about that… right, now it’s your turn, and I’m very much hoping you’re going to show me how to do it…” My effort was better, but not by much, spoiled by one of the aeroplane’s party pieces, which was one engine stopping before the rollout. That ensured we lost the primary means of steering as well as being stuck on a commercial runway. Fortunately I got it running again before the heat soaked the engine, but I sensed that Andy would be happy to curtail his Miles baptism as soon as was polite. I should probably have waited until my shiny new twin rating came back from the Authority before exercising it, but I didn’t ask, so I didn’t care. I dropped Neil off and took home a long list of Things

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to Do. That list took a few years, but I got a pair of new old-stock carburettors from Paul at Vintec, ‘…these are the later ones, they don’t stop on the runway…’ I improved the brakes, and learnt the simple lesson which was how to manage their operation. The differential bit works via a mixer, so more on the brake lever brings whichever brake on earlier in the rudder pedal’s travel. The idea is obviously to use the brake for steering, but although the tailwheel is free-castoring, there’s also a detent in the swivel to keep it straight (and defend against the Gemini’s tendency to swing on take-off), so the brake first has to override the detent. Trouble is, if you already have the rudders deflected, the mixer won’t allow more brake. You have to centralise the rudders, heave the brake lever, then go back to the pedals. It’s something I learned to do, but it wasn’t in the manual…

Magnetos lessons

I learned about the magnetos too… ‘Have you got the 180rpm impulse? Otherwise the starter goes too fast and throws them out…’ and how to time the bloody things. They hang off the back of the engine, just out of reach like forbidden fruit, exactly where you can’t get a spanner on the nuts. Setting the timing involves lying on a deck lounger, bolting up each mag, checking the points, then taking them off and rotating the Simms coupling which has more teeth on one side, until the buzzer sounds. Only that is, if beforehand you’ve taken off the prop and the nosebowl and found a helper to stand on a pair of steps and check the timing marks on the nose of the crank.

Above Lots of space in the rear too, but only for light people...

Left 120 Geminis were made between 1946 and 1947.

Below right Essential numbers…

Below left Huge flaps.

Bottom right At Texel Island, en route to Assen for the races.

Bottom left Four fuel tanks – 66 bladderbusting gallons!

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Above Utterly distinctive plan view. Note the slats just inboard of the engine nacelles. These proved an essential fix when the propeller wash was found to upset the airflow over wing and tail.

Meanwhile, any nut or tool which falls, lands on your face. There’s a reason why Lycomings and Continentals have slots on the magneto lugs…

You get the idea. There’s a lot about a Gemini which is just different – in both operation and maintenance –different that is, from the largely American-inspired operational norm with which we have become familiar. That includes a cabin heater… Everything though was forgiven once I had manhandled it out of the hangar – via a kind of shepherd’s yoke with ropes attached to each undercarriage leg – and headed to the sky. That was the bit which always made up for everything.

I did it all on a CofA for a while, but it always seemed to me that the natural administrative home was the then PFA – as in old, wooden, wacky, engines the wrong way up etc, and especially the orphan status which should have ensured it was a formality. Somebody did purchase the Miles Type Responsibility at one point, but since that is supposed to involve the provision of tangible support rather than just an opportunity to charge for a signature, even the CAA saw through that.

The conversation with the CAA went like this. “Can I put my Gemini on the PFA?”

“No, sorry, it weighs 3,000lb, so it’s too heavy. The PFA’s weight limit is 2,500.” Adding… “but we’d be willing to make an exception if they asked…”

History records that my Gemini did become the first one on the PFA’s fleet. Not, however, until some more pantomime entertainment had been provided… As a new type to the PFA, it asked that it be flown by a Professional Test Pilot. I pointed out that this much had already been done recently by an official CAA test pilot and I showed

the PFA a report, authored by none other than Bob Cole. No, it would need its own.

So I set a date and met Dan Griffith at North Coates. Dan was a decent chap and we walked to the tea room to check out the paperwork. “What’s the VNE?” he asked. “Depends where you look,” I replied, which was the wrong answer. “Different books variously state 160mph and 180mph, but there’s a placard somewhere that says 220mph.” I still wish I hadn’t said that. “How about we go for 180mph?” said Dan, an assertion which later caused some consternation back at Head Office. My reply of “Have you seen the size of the flaps?” prompted a “Well, let’s do it gently and if we’re not happy, we’ll back out…” I wasn’t sure how he proposed to do that, but I remember seeing 190mph on the gauge and since the bang of a departing control surface never came, I was still able to write about it. In the end, it was a smooth non-event.

I did also learn to land it. Strange how that even seems worthy of comment now, so I guess such things are skills that most of us just don’t need any more. It goes like this… Gear extension, thankfully, is a generous 100mph – flick the switch late downwind, then wait for a pair of greens and zero on the ammeter. That’s the easy bit. Flap limiting speed is just 75mph (which is why I was nervous about 190mph) and the best approach is about 65mph, which isn’t a very wide window. There’s also about four turns of the large wheel between the seats which extends the flaps, done in 90° bites, so it isn’t quick and it’s very easy either to go through 75mph while you’re winding, or do it all too soon and end up too far out, dragging it in with the nose pointing at the clouds. If an engine coughed at that point, you’d simply fall out of the sky.

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Attempts to avoid the above usually ensured a grab of height close to the threshold, which makes you put the nose down, which causes the Gemini to gather speed just as it sits on the cushion. Then, when the wheels eventually touch, you’re too fast, and the tiniest skim of wheel on grass will ping you 10ft in the air. Trying to manage any sink inevitably sees you flying too slow before the flare, and then the Gemini just drops from six feet, when the inevitable bounce energises a wing which still wants to fly.

There’s a lot of Gotchas, and if you do manage to avoid them, lower the tail a touch too soon for the final flare and you’ll balloon.

Catch the first bounce

As always, it depends on the details – especially a random gust of wind – but the aircraft simply won’t just soak up the variables and mush on like a Cherokee. You have to get it somewhere close to right and just a couple of miles an hour either way makes a lot of difference.

Most of the time, I could three-point in a length of which a Cub pilot would be happy, but even when it didn’t work out, none of it was frightening, just great for amusing the experts sitting in front of the hangar. The best rescue was always to catch the first bounce with a dose of power, then hold off again with the nose up and the Gemini would settle on tail-first quite happily.

I discussed all of this with Sir John Allison, who owned one of the four airworthy Geminis for several years. “Three-point it…? The eyebrows were raised. “No, you’ll never do that reliably. I never even try. Always wheel it on…” I’m not sure why I didn’t arrive at a similar

conclusion sooner, but of course he was right, and it worked every time. Approach at 70mph, bring it back gently to 65mph but keep level, then the moment the wheels touch, push the stick forward and just let the speed dribble away. That’s important because if the tail drops too soon, the angle of attack increases and yes, you guessed, the wing will fly. The best news though, is that even when wheeled on, a Gemini lands so slowly that you’re still off before the intersection.

The Gemini and its siblings look quirky now – which is why I love them – but at the time, upside-down engines and wooden construction was a British norm which the market would see as familiar.

Miles as a company though was so very innovative and its demise in 1947 can be laid squarely at the feet of UK plc’s management and its blatant nepotism. Had that not happened, Miles would surely have developed the Gemini, even in the short term.

An installation for the C-125 Continental six –forerunner of the C172’s O-300 – had already been tested and even if it didn’t look right, it would have made the Gemini so much more capable. As it was, Miles weathered strikes at Blackburn – and the winter of 1947, which was so cold that the glue wouldn’t set – and completed around 120 Cirrus-powered Mark 1A Geminis. If Miles had been allowed to continue, who knows what it could have achieved… ■


General characteristics

Length 22ft 3in

Wingspan 36ft 2in

Height 7ft 6in

Wing area 191sq ft

Empty Weight 2,080lb

Mtow 3,000lb

Useful load 920lb

Engine Blackburn Cirrus

Minor 2 or 2. 100hp @ 2,600rpm

Airframe spruce frame with plywood skin


Vne 180mph

Cruise speed 120-130 mph

Stall speed (full flap) 47mph

Take off ground roll 550ft (to clear 50ft obstacle) 1,175ft

Landing roll between 50m and 200m depending on how well it goes…

Above Learning how to land a Gemini took a while to discover, but main wheels first is the most reliable method.

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AERO 2024

31,000 visitors attended the 30th anniversary AERO event, which continues to be one of the world’s premier general aviation shows.

Words & Photos Ed Hicks and Nigel Hitchman

01 & 02 Junkers’ new A50 Heritage model saw the aircraft’s Rotax 912iS replaced with a 124hp Verner Scarlett radial, and the cockpit equipment changed from modern Garmin G3X to more traditional round gauges, polished off with a two-piece aluminium-framed windscreen and many teak and leather finishing touches in the cockpit. The changes are in response to demand from customers, a number of whom had requested a more ‘authentic’ style of experience in their modern build microlight – the type fits the 600kg rules. Other new options on the A50 Heritage include a removable front cockpit cover, plus new aluminium fairings on the undercarriage and solid disc covers for the main wheels. MT propeller has also made the Verner a custom propeller in stained finish with antique white tips. The aircraft is currently completing its development, but Junkers say it will go on sale next year priced at €295k. The company has also indicated they would consider bringing the aircraft to the UK market if there was demand.

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01 03

03 & 04 A star of the show, and a real surprise to many visitors, was this full-size ME163 replica, powered by a Jet Cat P1000-Pro model turbine engine. Weighing significantly less (240kg) than the original (max take-off weight 4,300kg!) due to it’s composite construction, it was built by Heinz-Dieter Sippel. Initial test flying will be done by aerotow launching, but later flights will be self-launched with jet power. If you’re wondering where the air intakes are, they are hiding in the tail section of the replica. If you’re wondering, the Jet Cat P1000 (pictured on the right in picture 04) creates 111kg of thrust and has a max turbine speed of 61,000rpm. It costs around €24,000. The Jet Cat runs on JetA1 or diesel, doing away with the need for two-part rocket fuel that threatens to dissolve you when you’re refuelling, or explode…

05 & 06 On display on the Oratex stand was this stunning replica of the 1933 DWL RWD-5bis – the original was a single-seat version of the regular RWD 5 that were used as trainers and sport planes by Polish regional aero clubs. With a 752L fuel capacity RWD-5bis had a 5,000km range and in May 1933 set an FAI World distance record flying 3,582km in a 20-hour flight (17 of those over the south Atlantic ocean) flying from Saint-Louis, Senegal to Maceio, Brazil. Stepping out of the aircraft wearing a suit and tie, apparently the Brazilian locals didn’t believe that pilot Stanislaw Skarzynski had flown across the ocean when he first arrived! The crossing formed part of an 11,113-mile trip from Warsaw to Rio de Janeiro. With no original RWD-5s remaining, this outstanding replica was recreated from drawings by EAA Chapter 991 in Poland. That lovely shiny finish is thanks to the Oratex ‘Wet’ fabric, which can be painted with water-dilutable ORAPAINT. www.

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01 Another show star was the CubCrafters Carbon Cub UL powered by a Rotax 916iS. Pre-coloured Oratex fabric, beautifully made titanium undercarriage structure and prepreg composite cowlings and other structures, should help the aircraft achieve an empty weight of 380kg. CubCrafters is actively seeking UK approval for the aircraft and more than a dozen are reported to have already been sold. Base price is $293k.

02 First time at AERO for a showing of all three of Aura Aero’s light aircraft models. The tailwheel-equipped Integral-R, the nosewheel Integral-S and the electric Integral-E. Flight testing of the Integral-E is due to begin this summer, while the two conventional piston-powered types are in flight test and working towards EASA certification.

03 Arzeos 600kg ultralight is a new design from Spanish manufacturer Arzeos Aircraft. Powered by a Rotax 912iS, the aircraft has retractable undercarriage and has removable wings and tailplane to allow road transport. Its interior was highly detailed with automotive-like styling.

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AERO 2024

01 & 02 China’s Rhyen Aircraft Industry RX4HE four-seat is powered by a 2.0 litre turbocharged piston engine producing 160hp burning hydrogen. Hydrogen fuel tanks are fitted in the fuselage of the aircraft behind the cockpit.

03 Diamond Aircraft is working towards EASA certification of its electric eDA40. The rear seat area and an underbelly pod are filled with batteries. German airline Lufthansa has been evaluating the aircraft for its flight training school.

04 The B23 Energic prototype was flown to Friedrichshafen for the AERO event from Sion, Switzerland, where the electric propulsion system developer, H55, is based. H55 and Bristell expect EASA certification by early 2025 and will be supplying the first batch of production aircraft to a select group of flight schools and pilot training academies at an ‘advantageous’ price. The standard price is €400,000, with a change of battery system required after 1,500 cycles costing €100,000. &

01 03 04 June 2024 | LIGHT AVIATION | 27 02

01 Engineering consulting service FEV displayed a Rotax 912iS converted to run on hydrogen. Completed last year as a multi-partner project, the engine was not required to be flown. A revised turbocharger, a new injection rail, specific H2 injectors, and a high-pressure manifold were fitted. The engine produced 102 hp at 5,800 rpm, with an H2 consumption of 6.82 kg/h.

02 The eGenius hybrid motorglider is one of a number of Akaflieg Stuttgart projects – a student organisation at the University of Stuttgart.

03 VoltAero’s five-seat Cassio 330 will be powered by a combined electric-hybrid power of 330 kilowatts, with 180 kilowatts delivered by a ENGINeUS 100 electric motor and 150 kilowatts provided by the Kawasaki combustion engine derived from the iconic Ninja motorcycle. VoltAero claims the parallel electric-hybrid propulsion concept for Cassio is unique, using the fuselage-mounted electric motor taxi, take-off, primary flight (up to 150km), and landing. While the integrated range extender, recharged the batteries in flight.

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AERO 2024 02

01 Supported by Akaflieg Stittgart, the HYFLY H167 is a two-seat amphibian powered by what HYFLY claim as the world’s first fully integrated hydrogen fuel cell propulsion system for light aircraft.

02 Rhyen RX1E-S aircraft might be the first electric LSA with a float fit option.

03 The Akaflieg Stuttgart Fs35 Harpyie is a two-seater touring motor glider with a side-by-side seating, which can also be used as a glider tug. fs35-harpyie

04 VoltAero’s Cassio S testbed aircraft, which began life as a Cessna 337, is equipped with a 600 kilowatt powertrain and is claimed as the most powerful electric-hybrid system of its type currently flying. Cassio S has performed more than 230 flights since October 2020, accumulating 170-flight-hours while covering 15,000 kilometers and visiting 40-plus airports.

June 2024 | LIGHT AVIATION | 29 Show Report 01 02 03 04

01 The Aviosma FunFly SSDR low speed ultimate aerobatic aircraft is described as a kit-built low-speed unlimited level aerobatic aeroplane with an operating envelope from 21kt to 54kt. There are two versions, the Sport and the Extreme, both with a 300kg maximum take-off weight, but using either 50hp or 135hp engines. Aviosma offer the Sport kit at €45K, and the Extreme at €60k – both kits include the engine. The FunFly brochure did stress that a full-face helmet is mandatory, but doesn’t come in the kit!

02 The 600kg Blackshape Prime Veloce has been fitted with the 141hp Rotax 915iS. Stall speed is 45kt, with a max cruise of 160kt and 1,650fpm rate of climb.

03 JMB Aircraft says it’s Phoenix motor glider has a range of more than 900 miles and offers cruise speeds exceeding 115kt. It’s also available in a short ‘sport wing’ configuration.

04 It was easy to miss the pretty ATP Aviation AT-5 four-seat trainer prototype as it was located in the glider hall. The Rotax 914 powered aircraft is in on-going development.

30 | LIGHT AVIATION | June 2024 AERO 2024 01 02 03 04

01 Quirky vintage Otto Funk Greif glider is being restored. Yes, that’s the same Funk name that founded the FK Microlight company.

02 Germany is a bit late to the game when it comes to Pietenpols – this is the first German-built example, powered by a 115hp UL Power engine.

03 Who remembers when Porsche made aero engines? This lovely Mooney PFM reminded us of that time in the 1980s when the 210-240hp Porsche PFM 3200 could be purchased in a small handful on GA aircraft.

04 Beautiful Miles M.2W Hawk Trainer was restored in the UK 20 years ago. In 2014 it left the UK to join Karl-Friedemann Grimminger’s Luftraum Süd collection – so it was great to see it on show at AERO. The collection also includes DH Fox Moth G-ACEJ, which is visible in the background. www.

June 2024 | LIGHT AVIATION | 31 Show Report 01 02 03 04

01 The Konner K3 Anfibio is an all carbon-fibre amphibious helicopter. Once on the water, it is propelled by two electric waterjets at a speed of 6km.

02 Rupp Aircraft FR200 is a 600kg ultralight helicopter powered by a T62-32 Solar turbine with FADEC control.

03 Air Creation e-Pixel electric flexwing offers one hour flight time with 20 min reserve with a 28Kw motor. Basic price from €36k.

04 Neat Swiss two-seat Traveller Jet is a prototype powered by a PBS TJ100 turbine and promises 200mph cruise and 680lb useful load. A production version is planned.

05 Chinese manufacturer Zongshen had its largest presence to date at AERO. Abingdon-based V1 Flight is currently working towards UK approval of the 80-160hp range of engines.

01 03 04 05 02 AERO
32 |

01 The Dragonfly 120 is a new 250kg MTOW SSDR from Aviaircraft with two wing options. One pair are conventional 7m span, while the other provides a 10.4m motor glider option. Cruise speed is 75-95 mph, depending on which wings you choose.

02 SafeSky has collaborated with AVIONIX Engineering in developing the AeroTracker, that promises to see ADS-B, Mode-S, ADS-L, FLARM, OGN, FANET and PilotAware traffic. An internal battery provides five hours of operation.

03 Robert Haag returned with his 600kg UL RV-4/600R that had just been awarded 600kg approval by the German authorities. Robert has already sold one aircraft and is building two more, plus is considering using the 160hp Rotax 916iS in future examples.

04 Hoffman Propeller revealed its new HO-V723 hydraulically controlled constant-speed propeller that’s been designed specifically for installation on Rotax 912- 916 series engines.

05 The rather wonderfully named Urfin Juice ultralight motor glider from Blanik looked very intriguing. Shown as a technology demonstrator, Blanik claimed a best glide ratio of 27:1 and a 72kt cruise speed with an endurance of one hour from its battery and motor combination.

Save the date for AERO next year – April 9-12, 2025 – in Friedrichshafen.


Show Report 05 02 03
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VAC celebrates 60 years

Anne Hughes, VAC Chair, looks back on the rich history of the Vintage Aircraft Club, as it marks its Diamond Jubilee…

As Concorde leapt from the drawing board to the skies, Britain was enjoying Beatlemania, mini-skirts and Mini Coopers. The 1960s was an era of optimism and innovation as the memories of a world war were beginning to fade, for some, and a new world was emerging.

In 1964 in North London, a group of aircraft enthusiasts decided that a club dedicated to owners and pilots of vintage aircraft should blow away any post-war blues, and aircraft that had been stored in damp sheds and barns during the war years should be dusted off and restored to flight. Flying for fun was back! Alongside the Popular Flying Association it was decided to set up the Vintage Aircraft Group – and 10 years later it was renamed the Vintage Aircraft Club. At the helm of the venture were Alan Chalkley, Rex Coates and Ron Mills. A new optimism in light aviation resulted in the VAC becoming the PFA’s ‘first Strut.’ Affiliated to the PFA this was, and remains, the vintage arm of the Association.

Alan Chalkley recorded many of the vintage stories in his regular column in the PFA’s Popular Flying, under the pseudonym of John Beeswax. He wrote how a decision was made in 1964 that the term ‘vintage’ would apply to aircraft over 25 years old, which meant that some Tiger Moths were questionable qualifiers! The Flying Flea was making a reappearance and when the first foolscap, banda-printed club newsletters were posted to members in the 1970s, several pages were included to encourage members to build Mignet’s Pou-de-Ciel.

For those whose bank balance was marginal for

Special Feature 34 | LIGHT AVIATION | June 2024

aviation-related activities, it was a shock in 1969 to find Harold Wilson’s government increase fuel tax by 5d (2p) a gallon. Popular Flying described new-build projects such as the Tipsy Trainer, Taylor Monoplane and Jodel D9. An airworthy Luton Minor or Rollason Turbulent could be purchased for around £750. In the early 70s it cost around £327 to obtain a PPL with the required 35 hours training.

At this time Billy Knapton, owner of Finmere Aerodrome, made his airfield available as a base for the VAC’s fly-ins and weekend camps. Carl Butler was the Chairman of the club and an annual fee of £1.50 was charged for membership. The early Finmere days are fondly remembered by some of our current VAC members, as Arthur Mason relates below.

Finmere Days

“When I married a pretty American hippie chick in 1972, she’d already accepted I was a mad Englishman, specialist subject – ‘Airplane Nut’. So it was no great surprise that it was a chance meeting at the local Finmere Market, early 1973, where I spotted a lone Auster on the other side of the ‘disused’ airfield, which led to me signing membership forms for the Vintage Aircraft Group. It transpired that regular VAG meetings were held there, so now a new member, Diane, was quite happy to come along and wander around the market with some of the other wives. We often enjoyed the regular flying weekends, sometimes at Finmere itself, but also at the picturesque Long Mynd, and favourite, Boston.

met lots of new dear friends too. Dad got to fly a lot, and his perception of flying being ‘a rich man’s sport’ somewhat changed… what a turnaround!

None of this would have happened had I not joined the club 50+ years ago. I may never have obtained a PPL without the enthusiasm and encouragement of VAC members, and would maybe never have thought of building an aeroplane. For all the great friends and characters I’ve met from all walks of life over the years the VAC has been a major influence, thanks for letting me take part!”

Opposite page Some of the earliest VAC newsletters.

Prior to joining, I’d flown as an ATC cadet. I got my solo gliding ‘A & B’ certificates at Halton, but now I was flying regularly in vintage aeroplanes, meeting lots of interesting people and great characters, and making lots of new friends outside of BT, and the pub.

I knew I’d never be able to afford to buy an aeroplane in those days but a new-found friend said, ‘Hey, build one’. Next thing I know, I’m building a Pietenpol Air Camper. I never saw that coming! That meant joining the PFA and meeting more influential friends. After a few years of building, I was now committed to obtaining a PPL, and while that was always a dream, I never thought it would ever become a reality. My father’s hopes of my becoming some kind of academic were never going to happen, but he and mum became regular VAC Finmere attendees and

Tim Badham is our current VAC magazine editor and he recounts, “I was an early adopter of VAC benefits. Fiftynine years ago I attended a fly-in at Halfpenny Green organised by the Vintage Aircraft Group (the nascent VAC). I was thrilled to find how friendly the gathering turned out to be. That opportunity to get close to rarities such as a Moth Minor and talk to pilots instilled a lifelong love of vintage aircraft. I became a member in 1975 and

“If your bank balance was marginal for aviation-related activities, it was a shock in 1969 to find an increase on fuel tax by 5d (2p) a gallon”
June 2024 | LIGHT AVIATION | 35
Above VAC Control Caravan.

have been involved in many aspects of the organisation, and six years ago became editor of Vintage & Classic The VAC’s main membership benefit is genuine camaraderie whether pilot, owner, or enthusiast.”

For some the VAC became a catalyst for a career in the world of aviation and, in 1980, Pip Whiteman, Phillip Whiteman’s father, bought half of what became the family Cub, J3C-65 G-BGPD in 1980. It was finished in the navy blue fuselage/silver wings/gold trim and registration scheme during its 1978 refurbishment by Ian Callier.

“ The VAC’s main membership benefit is camaraderie whether pilot, owner, or enthusiast. For some, it’s the catalyst for a career in aviation”

Phillip Whiteman is now editor of Pilot magazine, and he recalls, “One of the first trips I made as a passenger with dad was to Finmere, then owned by Bill Knapton and the base for VAC operations. Our arrival was inauspicious as dad performed a super-short landing, thanks to catching his heel on one of the brake pedals while countering the crosswind. Those brakes must have been working more efficiently 40-plus years ago, because one of ‘Papa Delta’s’ ancient, and quite hard, tyres rotated on the wheel and tore the valve out of the inner tube. In the spirit that we came to realise was typical of VAC members, people gathered to manhandle the disabled aeroplane onto a small trailer and drag it up the runway (I have an 8mm cine film somewhere), and Bill dug out a spare inner tube so we could get home to White Waltham. So, an inauspicious arrival… but what a warm welcome!”

Unique as a ‘non-type’ club, the variety of vintage aircraft at any of the VAC’s fly-ins is a joy to behold and now, in the era of easy photography for many, it is not only the experts who return home after attending one of our gatherings with a plethora of photos to share with family and friends! It was always customary for the VAC to have a ‘family’ atmosphere at fly/drive-ins and this remains one of the real bonuses for club members. Lee Mullins joined the VAC in 1984 and writes about the Snowball Rally recounting the challenges and friendships he enjoyed on his first encounter with the club.

“My acquaintance with the VAC began in 1984 when I was struggling to master the foibles of the Auster with the Kestrel Flying Club at Cranfield. While I was a student there I met a chap named Andy Watson who had obtained his coveted PPL already. Like most, he wanted to reduce his flying costs and discovered that the Thruxton Jackaroo at Old Warden gave very favourable rates. Membership entailed 15 hours supervised flying before soloing. To this end Andy asked if I’d like to join him, with Maurice Brett,

36 | LIGHT AVIATION | June 2024 Special Feature
Above Alan Chalkley. Above right David Ogilvy with his NTT Certificate. Below Arthur Mason. Tim Badham Trevor Wilcock

on a flight to the VAC Snowball Rally. So on a perishing cold morning we strapped into the ‘Roo, plus another unexpected passenger. Well it was in theory a four-seater. Off we set, climbing to 7,000ft! It was damn cold and rather chummy. Finmere below… 7,000ft below. Maurice loved his wing-overs, all the way down. Suffice to say, I didn’t feel like eating on arrival! Returning to base entailed dodging snow and a divert into Sywell. We did get back to Old Warden minutes before a snowstorm hit. So that was my first VAC experience. Memories: Snow, cold, travel sickness, new friends and wanting more!”

John Broad, a former Chairman of the VAC, remembers, “After purchasing Aeronca 7AC Champion with Alan Biggs, we joined the VAC, having flown into some events in rented Cessna 172s for a while before. In those days it was focused around Buckinghamshire with the great John Stainer at the helm. John was an excellent active chairman, flying his Cessna all over Europe and to many events. John eventually said the club would fold if no-one was willing to take on the job. Alan Biggs volunteered for two years as long as John Broad was deputy Chairman. After the year, Alan left and that was how John Broad had to take over!

“With the farm being owned by Pru and Bill Knapton, Finmere Aerodrome was the natural base for many events. Pete and Ann Smoothy ran the merchandise stand, built by Pete, in the hangar and everyone came to enjoy the excellent food, especially the homemade meringues. Out on the field, the Dart Kitten owner Alan Hartfield, was in charge of safety with the marshalling team centred in a VW camper. Many people would bring along their historic cars and bikes as well.”

One of the greatest treasures of the VAC in the 1980s and 1990s at Finmere was the control caravan!

Eventually resplendent in a livery of scarlet and white squares, it was a labour of love for VAC joiners and painters who re-purposed the interior to provide greater storage space for all the paraphernalia all clubs seem to accumulate.

Originally obtained from RAF Halton, the caravan was repainted inside and out in the early 1990s, and contained photos of its own history. The pride and joy of the VAC at the time, it can now be viewed at its permanent home at Popham Airfield.

Tom Kinnaird encountered the VAC in the 21st century and told us, “Looking back in my logbook, my first VAC fly-in was at Sackville Farm in Bedfordshire in October, 2011, flying The Reading Flying Group’s Tiger Moth, G-ANFM, in the company of Sue Thompson. As a very low hours and inexperienced Tiger Moth driver, this was quite an adventure as I had very little experience of farm strips and the weather was challenging. I still remember the novelty of landing through a gap in a hedge, during a heavy rain shower, which was a huge change to the more ‘normal’ airfields that I had flown into, plus the more ‘normal’ weather that I typically flew in.

In many ways, the above example captures the essence of what the VAC is all about for me – a great way to build confidence with flying and operating vintage aeroplanes into smaller airfields/farm strips, while at the same time enjoying the company and camaraderie of like-minded people.”

Moving on

The VAC is very aware of the rapidly widening age gap within the membership. We are involved in various projects across the country to encourage young people, offering them STEM opportunities with vintage aircraft. The Fairchild Linnet Project is based in the North East, and is run by Julian Hill. The project involves local young people in a restoration to flight of a Linnet aircraft.

In Oxfordshire, Mark Young has taken on the 1913 Eastbourne Monoplane replica fuselage to encourage young people to work on build and design, while at Bodmin Chris Dobrowolski’s amazing Flying Flea is used for schools to study.

Above (top) The VAC Click and Collect awards were a way to keep some normality during covid lockdown.

Above VAC merchandise stall is on hand at many a LAA Rally.

Special Feature June 2024 | LIGHT AVIATION | 37

In Windermere, alongside Waterbird, we are involving the local schools to work on aviation STEM projects to raise awareness of their 1911 seaplane heritage.

In memory of member Liz Inwood we award an annual £1,000 scholarship for a young person (under 36) to transition to taildragger aircraft.

VAC in the last 10 years. Paul-Fraser Bennison says, “My first aircraft was a 1958 Jodel D117 shared with my twin brother, inspired by Geoffrey Farr who had extolled its virtues. Economics drove the decision, more than a desire to be a custodian of the past. However, in February 1984 Brendan O’Brien took me for a flight in his Stinson HW-75… and I was hooked on vintage. Reacquainted with my Stinson in 2014, I, of course, joined the LAA as a requirement of the Permit regs. However, Steve Slater always spoke highly of the VAC and it seemed a natural progression to join the club.

Other awards are presented annually at our Dinner and Awards Evening, latterly at Shuttleworth House and The Aviator, Sywell, when we present trophies to vintage aircraft owners, restorers, enthusiasts and writers. During the pandemic we held our ‘Click and Collect’ Awards at Turweston using the large hangar, single entry and ‘Google applause’ to make sure we continued the tradition, while keeping lockdown rules!

During the flying season the VAC has always held fly-ins. In order to ensure the weather doesn’t scupper all plans, we now have fly/drive-ins with a season starter at Turweston Aerodrome. Other regular fly-ins, held with thanks to airfield managers, are at Breighton, Bodmin, Popham and Old Warden, and in past years at Fenland for the daffodil/tulip fly-in. With nearly 400 members on the books we can be guaranteed a collection of superb vintage aircraft, should the weather gods be kind! During winter months our monthly Zoom presentations provide added interest and keep members in touch.

Two regular attendees at our gatherings joined the

“With nearly 400 members on the books, fly-ins can usually be guaranteed an array of superb vintage aircraft”

Being a member brings several benefits, not only the informative magazine, but a sense of belonging and associating with like-minded people with shared goals. I’m looking forward to flying to as many events as the weather allows and hopefully get to meet fellow members.” Kath Burnham can often be seen in the left-hand seat of various Dakotas and, more recently, Just Jane, Lincolnshire’s Lancaster. She says, “If I could only use one word to sum up what the VAC has given me, I’d say ‘friendship’! I’ve met some of the kindest, and most generous people who I’m delighted to now count as friends. I was new to aircraft ownership, and very warily joined in on a fly-in. It was at Turweston, and coincided with a LAA Young Person’s event. I was roped into helping, and hooked at the first attempt. I like the inclusivity, as members are from all backgrounds. You don’t need to own an aircraft, or possess a pilot’s licence – everyone is welcome.”

We have been privileged as a Club to enjoy the company of David Ogilvy OBE, FRAeS as our first President, who took on the role for more years than most can remember! When David passed away in 2023, just after completing his 17th book, Flying and Preserving Historic Aircraft. Later in the year we were pleased to welcome Air Chief Marshal Sir John Allison KCB, CBE as our new President and have already benefited from his talks on our Zoom presentations on the many aircraft he has flown both in the RAF and privately.

The theme running through the thoughts from our members is that of a group of vintage enthusiasts, who have a special relationship with their winged transport and also find the friendships in our VAC family to be equally treasured.

As we celebrate our 60th anniversary, the VAC continues to be seen as a vibrant club and we are grateful to all who serve us on the committee and at events for providing our membership with opportunities to meet up regularly and enjoy our shared interest in vintage aircraft and the ‘family’ which makes up the VAC.

Steve Slater enjoyed his years as Chairman of the VAC and writes, “Is it really a decade since we hosted the VAC 50 commemorations at Popham? The club has continued to grow under the influence of my successors at the chair, Peter Wright and Anne Hughes, and the magazine is safely in the hands of Tim Badham. Here’s to the next decade!” ■

Special Feature 38 | LIGHT AVIATION | June 2024
Above A typical scene at a VAC Fly-In – this was one at Breighton. Right VAC current President, Air Chief Marshal John Allison. Andy Wood

The latest LAA Engineering topics and investigations. Compiled by Nick Stone

Engineering Matters

Including: Tips for quick Permit renewals, doing your annual Permit flight test, update on fuels, and more visibility on the mod/repair queue.

Welcome to Engineering Matters – the section of Light Aviation that is dedicated to discussing all manner of topics concerning both technical and operational aspects of the LAA fleet. We all learn by sharing information, so if you

Permit Revalidation – Assisting in Performance

As we move closer and closer to the promised glorious summer flying days, the demand for Permit revalidations increases dramatically. This starts in late April, which strangely coincides with the start of the flying season (later in the North of England and

have anything to say that you think would benefit others, or have experienced an interesting technical issue or component failure, then please contact us with a description of what you encountered and include accompanying pictures. Send your submissions to LAA Engineering at

Scotland!). We do understand that the changes in the Permit revalidation system and its documentation have had some unexpected results. All members are different and deal with change and technology in their own way. It could be the way that some of the questions are worded or indeed constructed. To that end we are looking at improving not only the presentation but also the quality of those questions, and also amending other parts of the Permit revalidation process to improve efficiency and service to the members.

The HQ processing part of the Permit revalidation system is based on accurate data collection. What is important here is the accuracy of the information put into the documents. Some of the items picked up during the processing of the application may seem trivial, but we need to have accurate data to enable us to provide the best possible airworthiness oversight we can, and fulfil our obligations to the CAA. The Engineering team has noted that repetitive errors and mistakes seem to keep turning up, many of which are readily avoidable.

The scale is the real issue. In the busy season, we’re getting up to 40 applications a day, and if we have to stop to call or email an applicant for missing details, it inevitably takes longer to process, as opposed to a form which has been accurately completed. Let’s work together and try to get the mistake levels down, enabling the Permit revalidations to flow more quickly through the system.

All too often required information that should have been included (worksheets, weight and balance schedules, PFRCs, etc) are missing, and chasing up the missing parts and reviewing the subsequent responses unfortunately then delays the Permit revalidation, which can be extremely frustrating for the owner of that aircraft – as well as those owners further down the queue.

It may be helpful for members – and Inspectors – to refresh their understanding of the current process by having a read through the technical leaflet TL 2.00: Revalidating your aircraft’s Permit to Fly.

Engineering Matters 40 | LIGHT AVIATION | June 2024

When you have finished the annual Permit inspection and the check flight, please check through the forms prior to submitting them. If you’re emailing the forms, it’s worth copying the email to yourself at the same time so that you can open the attachments and check that the forms are all complete.

We do understand we are not going to get perfection: some mistakes are inevitable. But a significant improvement in the accuracy in completing the forms would benefit us all.

Some of the most common snags causing delays with Permit revalidations are as follows:

Permit Revalidation Application

Owners are not all current LAA members, or not all owners included on the form.

Airworthiness Reviews

1. Incorrect TADS number or issue quoted: If a TADS for your aircraft type doesn’t exist, generic TADS 000 should be used and referenced.

2. Engine and/or propeller type description incomplete (e.g. use ‘Lycoming IO-360-M1B’ rather than ‘Lycoming IO-360’, ‘Sensenich W74CK-42’ rather than ‘Sensenich wood’, or ‘Hartzell HC-C2YK1BF/F7666A’ rather than ‘Hartzell HC2YK’ – the blade numbers at the end are important). Use the aircraft’s Operating Limitations document to check the designations that HQ is expecting to see.

3. Entry identifying the aircraft maintenance schedule being used left blank or an unconvincing reference is given (if you have your own maintenance schedule that is fine) – if using the LAA’s generic schedule, we recommend giving it a unique reference, e.g. LAA/GMS/G-ABCD issue 1.

4. Nothing entered against ‘scheduled maintenance carried out since last airworthiness review’. All aircraft should have had some maintenance checks in the last year.

5. Description of work carried out since last revalidation includes items that trigger a request for copies of worksheets and/ or duplicate inspection records, or copy of an amended weight schedule – if anything other than routine maintenance activities have been carried out, please include a copy of the associated worksheet with your application.

6. Box not ticked to confirm compliance with Mandatory Permit Directives, Airworthiness Directives or LAA MTDs/AILs. Remember on ex-certified aircraft there is an overarching Mandatory Permit Directive (MPD) to say that all the ADs must be complied with.

7. Date of the last weighing is ‘way back’ in the past. It is recommended that all aircraft are weighed every 10 years. In some cases, aircraft have been found to have weight reports more than 30 years old!

8. LAA inspector doesn’t have the appropriate approval. E.g. no wood approval on aircraft with wooden wings, nor approval for specialist types such as the Chipmunk – this can be checked on the LAA inspector map on the website.

9. Standard Modifications have been incorporated, but no MOD 1 form has been included or previously submitted to Engineering.

10. No mention of a recently introduced required or mandatory mod having been fitted since the last permit renewal.

11. Aircraft has open mods associated with it on the database (this can be checked on ‘my aircraft data’). If applications are open but not yet incorporated on the aircraft, please indicate this on the form.

Check Flight tests

This is covered in the article (below) by Andy Draper (LAA Head of Flight Test), but we have included the common issues here for the full picture:

● Aircraft flown at a loaded weight less than 90% of maximum take-off weight.

● Aircraft not flown within the permitted centre of gravity (CG) range.

● VNE not reached and, occasionally, the VNE has been exceeded.

● VNE figure claimed inconsistent with VNE stated on Operating Limitations document (which should be checked before any flight test is carried out).

● Time-to-climb is significantly inconsistent with times reported in previous years, which tends to ring alarm bells.

● Airspeed at which climb carried out is not stated (best climb speed should be in the POH if an aircraft has one).

● Random boxes not ticked (for example ‘was landing satisfactory yes/no’).

● Aircraft check flown when Permit expired and without a PFRC or outside of PFRC dates (this potentially becomes very complicated with insurance companies if the unthinkable happens!)

Permit Flight Release Certificate

Dated incorrectly (more than 30 days duration) or aircraft flown outside these dates.


● Forms submitted in incorrect electronic format (must be in PDF format).

● One or more of the required forms is missing.

● Time periods between forms being received exceed permitted time periods.

● Forms not dated correctly or date missing altogether.

● Just before you send off your documents, or send them via email, it is helpful to go through them again and ensure everything is in place and all the facts and figures are correct, including all the required attachments. Please help us to help you.

Engineering Matters June 2024 | LIGHT AVIATION | 41

Permit Revalidation Check Flight Schedule LAA/CFS-1

With the introduction of the current Permit revalidation system a little over a year ago, a few minor changes to the check flight procedures were made. The main one was that the check flight can now be conducted at any time within the year before the expiry of a current certificate of validity. One of the advantages of this was to enable operators to carry out the check flight when the weather is more likely to be favourable and airfield conditions are better.

The check flight enables a snapshot of the various important parameters of the aircraft to be taken and recorded for comparison with previous check flights and also provides the opportunity for the pilot to carry out manoeuvres infrequently practised in a calm and controlled manner.

There’s more to do during a check flight than the typical flight for fun, or cross-country for that famous ‘£100 bacon sandwich’, so a certain amount of additional pre-flight preparation is required, but nothing too complicated.

An equal amount of care is required in gathering and recording the data from the flight to ensure a smooth ride though the Permit revalidation process. Being familiar with the contents of Technical Leaflet TL 2.00 will also pay dividends – this contains additional guidance on the test points. Unfortunately, numerous Permit revalidation applications get delayed due to issues with the check flight schedule, many of which would have been avoided had the pilot taken the time to carefully read it through to ensure that each section was completed and all the information required was present. Leaving a box empty and not ticking the units used (lbs/ kgs, mph/kts, psi/bar, etc.) are probably the most common oversights encountered when the CFS-1 form is checked at LAA HQ, requiring contact to be made with the pilot to obtain the missing information.

Climb performance records

Other common mistakes include loading the aircraft to an improper weight for the check flight. Ideally the aircraft should be loaded to, or close to, MTWA (maximum total weight authorised), as stated on the aircraft’s Operating Limitations document (not the TADS, as your aircraft’s MTWA may differ from the ‘norm’). It is acceptable to load the aircraft to as little as 90% MTWA, but not below this weight – please remember to use the same units on the CFS-1 as used on the Operating Limitations document. Ideally, pilots should load the aircraft to a weight similar to that used in previous years, which will help to provide some consistency in the aircraft’s climb performance records.

The climb speed would also need to be consistent, so ensure that the aircraft is flown at the best rate of climb speed (Vy) and this speed maintained to within a couple of knots for best results. The climb rate achieved is recorded each year and the value automatically plotted on a graph at HQ which allows us to spot an anomaly, such as a reducing rate of climb trend and, if significant, to notify the owner so that an appropriate investigation can be carried out.

For the stalls, we need to know not only what the minimum airspeed achieved was, but what pre-stall warning was observed. Natural stall warning is typically provided by buffeting of the aircraft produced by turbulent air from the wing impacting the tailplane and so this should be felt through the pitch control, and therefore not be confused with a less than well-balanced engine/propeller combination. Buffet is likely to become stronger the closer the aircraft gets to stall speed, but the natural buffet speed to record on the form would be that which is first felt.

Depending on the configuration of the tailplane relative to the wings, some aircraft will not experience pre-stall buffet through the

controls, so often an artificial stall warner will be fitted. This must start to sound at between the 4 and 12kt above the stall speed specified – and continue to sound throughout the stall – and it is the speed at which it starts to sound which needs to be recorded.

The aircraft must continue to be decelerated at around 1kt/ second until the stall itself, which is defined either by when the pitch control reaches its aft stop or when further aft pitch control no longer results in a nose up pitch.

At the other extent of the speed scale, the aircraft is to be flown to its VNE – never exceed speed – to verify normal behaviour and handling of the aircraft. This also gives the pilot the opportunity to become familiar with how the aircraft feels at high speed in controlled conditions.

Discovering this while recovering from an unexpected upset with an unsuspecting passenger on board during a leisurely flight is less than ideal, to say the least. It should be borne in mind that VNE is 90% of the speed the type will have been flown to as part of the aircraft’s approval process, which in turn is often below the speed the structure was designed to take, so VNE is some margin away from the aircraft’s proven capability.

The VNE speed is stated on the Operating Limitations document and this may differ from the manufacturer’s specified speed and even the TADS, but it nevertheless takes precedence. VNE must be clearly marked on the ASI with a red radial line or be stated on a placard installed beside the ASI. Common causes for rejecting a check flight report include when the aircraft has not reached VNE or, worse, exceeded it.

Smooth air conditions

For what should be obvious reasons, the VNE dive check should only be carried out in smooth air conditions – this may be carried out in a separate flight when conditions are more favourable, if need be.

The recommended method for carrying out the VNE check is to initially accelerate the aircraft to its maximum level flight speed using full throttle, trim to this or just less than this speed then gently push on the controls to accelerate further in a gentle dive, reducing power as required to prevent engine over-speed with a fixed pitch propeller. Using little power would require a steeper dive with more judgement required to accurately achieve VNE and a subsequently longer pull up back to level flight. When approaching VNE, reduce forward control pressure in anticipation to prevent exceeding it. A slight shortfall of, say, a couple of knots, would normally be accepted. Gently operate the controls at VNE and while recovering to normal cruise speed by reducing throttle and climbing gently; only small movements are necessary to get a feel for excessive friction, binding, vibration or any other unusual behaviour. If unusual or excessive vibration is experienced, reduce speed immediately and investigate before further flight – worn control system components or incorrectly tensioned cables might be the culprits here.

The other sections of the schedule are mostly self-explanatory and don’t require much more than normal flying and observation, although it would be worth advising that the simulated baulked landing would be best carried out at a decent height above the airfield, where possible, or at least a suitable landing ground. There’s no need for, and it’s advised against, slamming the throttle open during a go-around, which could result in damage to the throttle control system with unfortunate consequences.

Lastly, don’t forget to sign and date the form and to include your pilot’s licence number before submitting it to or posting it in (keep a copy for your reference)

42 | LIGHT AVIATION | June 2024 Engineering Matters

As has been discussed in previous editions of Light Aviation, we are potentially now less than a year away from the demise of 100LL avgas. To recap: in May 2025, the EU is set to ban the transportation of TEL (the lead compound in ‘standard’ avgas). This means that the manufacturers of TEL, based in the UK, will be unable to transport it to Europe where it’s blended with fuel to make avgas. There are a number of possible outcomes, including the relevant companies on the supply chain successfully negotiating an extension or exemption from the EU to enable the current production methods to be used for a while longer, or for the TEL to be added to the fuel stock as it comes into the UK. For the purposes of LAA’s planning, we’re assuming that 100LL will be unavailable from May 2025.

This ‘ban’ will have a significant impact on the majority of owners of LAA aircraft: 100LL is the most used fuel in light aviation and alternatives are often difficult to come by. There is some hope from work being done around the world, notably the US, that in due course there will be a ‘drop in’ replacement available, but it isn’t safe to assume that it will be widely available by May next year LAA fully supports the move away from leaded fuels and is aiming to help owners transition as smoothly as possible.

LAA Engineering has identified some areas of work to help owners navigate the transition:

● Review the current suite of fuel-related advice provided by LAA, gather and review data from industry

● Identify which aircraft/engine combinations rely on 100LL.

● Identify which aircraft/engine combinations can readily be approved for alternative fuels and work towards approving these combinations.

● Identify which aircraft/engine combinations cannot readily be approved for alternative fuels and work with stakeholders to identify possible solutions.

● Help champion appropriate supply chain solutions through LAA’s industry networks.

● Publish and communicate advice and information resulting from the above.

Fortunately for the large proportion of the aircraft on the LAA fleet, there are existing solutions. Many aircraft at the lighter end of the fleet use Rotax or Jabiru engines and in most of these cases, these

aircraft can use mogas (motor gasoline) – TL 2.26 describes which engine/airframes are currently eligible. However, mogas isn’t an ideal solution as its chemical make-up can vary significantly, while still delivering minimum performance levels – some of these chemicals can be detrimental to fuel systems and cause unexpected problems. A better solution is an aviation-quality fuel, which has tighter quality controls and is designed for aircraft use.

UL91 is just such a fuel, and LAA would recommend its use where possible. For any LAA aircraft, if the aircraft is approved for the use of 100LL, then the fuel system will be compatible with UL91 and the only consideration is whether the engine is authorised to use the lower octane rating that UL91 provides. The Airworthiness Approval Note on the website shows what engines we’ve approved for this so far (follow Engineering – Operating & Maintaining – Total Avgas UL91). This includes many Lycoming, Continental, Jabiru, Rotax and VW engines, among others.

Risks of litigation

A preliminary review of aircraft that may struggle to cope with an absence of 100LL shows that it will affect around 10% of the LAA’s active fleet. These are mostly where higher compression Lycomings and Continentals and their derivatives are fitted. A solution for these aircraft may not be so easy, particularly without exposing the Association to unacceptable risks of litigation should the engine subsequently decide to stop working! However, we’re anticipating working with stakeholders to try and find potential workarounds.

In this era of change, collaboration and innovation will be pivotal to advancing sustainable practices. The LAA is looking at encouraging the various participants in the supply chain, from fuel producers and suppliers to airfield operators and the regulator, to work together to provide appropriate fuel supplies to operators.

As we work through this project, towards May 2025, we’ll be providing updates via Light Aviation, our social media channels and events. Updated engineering documentation will be published as it becomes available and LAA Inspectors will be kept in the loop.

Finally, it’s worth mentioning that as well as facilitating a transition away from traditional leaded fuels, LAA Engineering is involved in a number of other projects including electric propulsion and synthetic fuel – no doubt there will be other technologies emerging as time goes on.

Fuel update
Engineering Matters June 2024 | LIGHT AVIATION | 43

Online modification and repair work list

The eagle-eyed among you might have noticed a new feature on our website. As part of our continual drive for improving the customer experience, we’ve added a virtual ‘queue listing’ so that applicants with mod or repair applications with Engineering can see where their project sits relative to other applications.

To view the list, from the home page select Engineering, then the ‘modifying & repairing aircraft’ tile and then the button ‘view current mod/repair application queue’. The lists shows the queue of work that each of the engineers on the design team has waiting for them –the top of the list represents the next project for them to pick up. Of course, the engineers are also working on other tasks other than modifications and repairs, but it should give you an idea of where in the scheme of things your application sits and how it’s progressing up the queue. The page is updated twice a week.

Over the last year or two we’ve been developing and refining a priority system for modification and repair applications, to try and better manage our workload and customer needs. For instance, we’ll assign a

Recent Alerts & AILs

higher priority to an aircraft that is ‘AOG’ (aircraft on ground) due to needing a repair than a routine application. Applications for aircraft in build or on long-term restoration are given lower priorities. We also adjust the prioritisation according to how ‘easy’ it is for us to deal with. For example, a repeat modification application that is identically repeating the original mod is given a higher priority, as it just needs us to check that the application does indeed match the original. An application that is going to involve us doing lots of research or negotiating with the CAA is given a lower priority. In addition to the ‘urgency’ and ‘ease’ factors, we add in a time element so that no application ever languishes at the bottom of the pile. Given these factors, you’ll appreciate that applications in the queue listings might be added above items already in the list.

We’ve been frequently reviewing and adjusting this system, so I expect there are further tweaks to be made – hopefully, though, visibility of the queue will better enable applicants to monitor progress of their project.

Recently issued instructions for continued airworthiness. (Please check the LAA website for further details).

Alpi Pioneer 200, 300 & 400 (All variants)

MTD-02-2024 Issue 1

TADS 000, 330 & 334

The control horn on the elevator trim tab on a Pioneer 300 failed in flight, which resulted in severe trim tab flutter. A safe landing was

LAA Engineering charges

LAA Project Registration

Kit Built Aircraft

Plans Built Aircraft

Initial Permit issue

Up to 450kg


1,000kg and above

Permit Revalidation

(can now be paid online via LAA Shop)

Up to 450kg

made and there was no further damage to the aircraft.

The failure has been investigated and two conclusions drawn:

● The failed horn is not a standard Alpi part; its geometry is significantly different to the standard horn, and it is made from significantly thinner aluminium.

● The failure probably started as wear in the hole that allowed the trim tab to chatter,

eventually failing the part.

It has not been possible to determine the origin of the failed horn, but – given the potential seriousness of the failure – it has been decided to require all UK aircraft to be checked to confirm that a correct Alpi horn is fitted.

Supermarine Aircraft MK26 and MK26b

MTD-01-2024 issue 2

TADS 324 Applicability All Aircraft






*Gyros note: if the last Renewal wasn’t administered by the LAA, an extra fee of £125 applies

Modification application

Prototype modification minimum £100

Repeat modification minimum £50

Transfer (from C of A to Permit or CAA

Permit to LAA Permit)

Up to 450kg


Change of G-Registration fee

Issue of Permit documents following G-Reg change


Replacement Documents

£230 451-999kg

1,000kg and above

Factory-built gyroplanes* (all weights)




451 to 999kg

1,000kg and above

Four-seat aircraft

Manufacturer’s/agent’s type acceptance fee



Lost, stolen etc (fee is per document)


PLEASE NOTE: When you’re submitting documents using an A4-sized envelope, a first-class stamp is insufficient postage.

44 | LIGHT AVIATION | June 2024 Engineering Matters
royalty £50
£2,000 Project registration
Category change Group A to microlight
Microlight to Group A

YES President, Stewart Luck, organised a Scout weekend, including aviation activities.

Yarmouth Heliport, aka North Denes Airfield, has re-established the ‘Old’ North Sea helicopter base.

4U Struts

Andrew Caldecott rounds up Struts news and views

Congratulations to YES President Stewart Luck who organised a Scout weekend at Audley End recently. Activities included marshalling, a glider simulator and lessons on aircraft structures entertained youngsters, who also all had a flight experience.

Can your Strut run a Youth Day at your airfield? Cornwall (Bodmin) and Suffolk Coastal (Monewden) are already involved, please contact them for information on how they have run their events. YES membership is free and it is a way for you to support youngsters in your area.

These days have also been part of the ‘2,024 in 2024’ project. Hopefully we can encourage pilots, Strut members and youth groups (Scouts, Air Cadets, schools etc) to develop this project. The initial number of ‘Young Flyers’ who have had an air experience already stands at 160. The project is aimed at the full year (and probably into 2025) – but can your Strut involve as many youngsters during July? Perhaps your Strut might have someone who could liaise and communicate with YES about the initiative?

Congratulations also go to Yarmouth Heliport, aka North Denes Airfield, in Norfolk. It has re-established the ‘Old’ North Sea helicopter base. They are open to visitors, PPR to book your visit. Thanks to Richard Flagg for his great fly-in photo. Sixteen aircraft visited and enjoyed both good weather and a BBQ. ■

Strut Calendar

Please contact your local Strut to check the details before attending the calendar events.

Andover Strut: Spitfire Club, Popham Airfield, SO21 3BD. Contact Bob Howarth email: bobhowarth99@ Phone 01980 611124 Bristol Strut: Contact: chairman@ 4 June – Strut Social Evening, 8/9 June – Strut Fly-In, Oaksey Park. Cornwall Strut: The Clubhouse, Bodmin Airfield. Contact Pete White pete@aeronca 01752 406660. Devon Strut: The Exeter Court Hotel, Kennford, Exeter. Contact: david.

Evening Events at the Exeter Court Hotel, Kennford, Exeter, from 1930. Please join us for a meal before a meeting starts. 22 June Farway Common 20 July, Branscombe, 5-6 August Fly-Out to Dunkeswell East of Scotland Strut: Harrow Hotel, Dalkeith. 2000. Contact: Tim Raynor

East Midlands Strut: Meeting on the first Tuesday of the month on Zoom until further notice due to venue availability. Contact: tonyrazzell2@ We also have a Facebook group and upload recordings of some meetings where we have speakers.

Gloster Strut: Contact: Harry Hopkins phone 07902 650619 harry.hopkins@

Highlands & Islands: Contact: 01381 620535. Solstice 22/23 June. Sollas Beach Fly-in 15-17 August, LAA Highland Strut Fly-in 27/28 July Location to be confirmed (Dornoch or Easter).

Kent Strut: Contact: Steve Hoskins 07768 984507.

LiNSY Trent Valley Strut: Trent Valley Gliding Club, Kirton Lindsey. pilotbarry1951@gmail. com http:// North East Strut: There are no meetings at present, but if you would like to help to get the NES operational again please get in touch with the Strut Coordinator, David Millin. david.millin@

North Western Strut: The Clubhouse, Boysnope. 1400. Third Thursday each month. Contact: cliffmort@btinternet. com 07813 497427.

North Wales Strut: Caernarfon Airport, Dinas Dinlle. First Sunday of the month – HEMS Bistro Café. 1300. Contact: Gareth Roberts 07876 483414.

Oxford Group: Sturdy’s Castle Country Inn, Banbury Road, Kidlington, OX5 3EP. Second Wednesday each month. Contact

Redhill Strut: The Castle, Millers Lane, Outwood, Redhill, Surrey, RH1 5QB. Pub contact: 01342 844491. Third Tuesday of each month, meet at 1900-1930. Contact: david@milstead.

Shobdon Strut: Hotspur Café, Shobdon Airfield, Hereford HR6 9NR. 1930. Second Thursday of the month. Contact: Keith Taylor bushebiggles@

Southern Strut: ‘Longshore’, Brighton Rd, Shoreham-by-Sea BN43 5LD. First Wednesday of the month 1930 for 2000. Contact

Strathtay Strut: Scottish Aero Club, Perth Airport, Scone. Scone Clubhouse. Contact: keith.boardman@ 07785 244146. Suffolk Coastal Strut: Earl Stonham Village Hall, IP14 5HJ. www. Contact: Martyn Steggalls events@ 07790 925142. 19 June Mid-Summer Flyout – TBC (North Denes), 6 July ‘Spirit Of Boxted’ Monewden Airfield. The Joystick Club: Activities throughout the year. Pedal planes and simulators at Old Warden Air Shows. Contact: Mike Clews, m.clews@sky. com. 07775 847914. www.joystickclub.

Vale of York Strut: Chocks Away Café, Rufforth East Airfield. 1900. Contact: Chris Holliday 07860 787801 www. Wessex Strut: Monthly meetings at Henstridge Airfield Clubhouse See for details of upcoming events. Local fortnightly walks are also organised. Contact Neil Wilson at uk. 13 July Middlezoy fly-in and barbecue. Wessex Strut fly-in date postponed to 1 September West Midlands Strut: There are no meetings at present but if you would like to help to get the WMS operational again please get in touch with the Strut Coordinator, David Millin. david.millin@

West of Scotland Strut: Various locations in the Greater Glasgow area. Contact: Graeme Park

Youth & Education Support (YES) – YES also available for Strut talks/ presentations. Contact: Stewart Luck (Contact 07974 188395 to volunteer.)

• Please contact your local Strut to check the details before attending the calendar events.

June 2024 | LIGHT AVIATION | 45
LAA Strut News
Join us on our #fly2024 challenge! Fly 2,000nm, introduce two new people to GA flying and visit four new airfields. Phil 07770 807035
Take part in webinars from experts, use our free landing vouchers to save hundreds of pounds, read and watch all our content and connect with new people!

Staying safe – having fun!

Ed Hicks talks to Christine Carlin, who has just been appointed as the new LAA’s new Head of Training of the Pilot Coaching Scheme

Why aviation, what started your interest?

My father was an aircraft engineer in the RAF. I spent my early years around some very interesting and very agile aeroplanes. Therefore, growing up I always wanted to fly fast jets, but sadly the RAF didn’t take female pilots then.

When was your very first flight – what aircraft, where and when?

When I was 28 my brother gifted me with a half-hour trial lesson in a Cessna 152 from Doncaster Aerodrome, which sadly no longer exists.

Tell us about your personal learning to fly journey?

After my first trial lesson I knew I just had to do this, it was magical! I was a single mother of two small children at the time, so there was no way I could afford flying lessons. My wonderful brother, blown away with how enthused I was, paid for my

flight training and set me on the path to a very rewarding career. How great is he? After gaining my PPL(A) I studied for, and passed, my ATPL exams, then built hours in a Super Cub based at Breighton, before completing my CPL and Instructors Rating at Leeds Airport.

You’ve been the CFI at Sheffield Aero Club for over 15 years and instructed for 23 years – has that taught you any particular lessons over the years?

Yes, every person, or should I say pilot, is different in their approach to flying and safety. Flying from, what is essentially a ‘farm-strip’ has firmly established in me that aircraft performance is an essential part of a pilot’’s pre-flight self-brief! The moment you lapse, is the day you end up in the hedge…

You’ve just joined LAA as the new Head of Training of the Pilot Coaching Scheme. Do you have any particular goals in mind for the future?

Sadly we can mitigate against, but not completely eradicate, every mistake or oversight. My goal as Head of Training is to do my utmost to greatly reduce the number of incidents both big and small. My aim in this is not to teach pilots to ‘suck eggs’, but to remind them of the many things that can easily slip our minds, be overlooked or simply forgotten and, therefore, instil Better Practice.

What do you feel the benefits are of flying with an LAA coach?

The LAA coaches have an astounding wealth of knowledge and experience. Additionally they are eager to help and pass on their expertise to others, whether that’s learning to fly safely from a short grass strip, differences training or familiarity with a new type.

Right Netherthorpe

Airfield – a favourite for

June 2024 | LIGHT AVIATION | 47
Meet the Members
Christine enjoyed flying a Beech King Air for work.

Total number of types of aircraft and (rough) hours you have flown

More than 40 different types. Approximately 10k hours total (8k are instructional).

Any favourite or less-liked types that you’ve flown? If so, why?

So many to choose from, but I’d probably have to say the King Air – looks beautiful, flies beautiful, such an easy aircraft to handle. Less liked…? One of our members (Sheffield Aero Club) bought a Taylorcraft which he needed some familiarisation with. It had a plunge type throttle (like the mixture control on a Cessna), which was a bit of a challenge at first! I’ve also had a ride in a P-51 Mustang which was just amazing.

Current and past (privately) owned aeroplane(s).

Lamentably I’ve never had the pleasure (nor pain!!), though I have helped with building a Falco!

Your best aviation moment and flight – and why?

Again, so many, but if I had to choose, I would say there are two outstanding flights: my very first lesson – it just

the helm of a King Air.

Above Air Race navigating with Hamish Mitchell.

Below left Christine and Hamish raced Cessna 172 seaplane, G-DRAM.

Below (right) Doing some sanding on Falco G-CYLL.

blew my mind. Secondly, the first time I navigated for Hamish Mitchell in his amphibian C172F during the Royal Aero Club air race at Abbeville – very thrilling.

Any aviation heroes – if so, who and why?

Leonardo Da Vinci made the first real studies of flight and flying machines in the 1480s. As they say, from little acorns…

Any favourite aviation books?

Fate is The Hunter by Ernest K Gann and Wind, Sand & Stars by Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

Any lessons that you’ve learned from certain moments / flights?

A couple of days after receiving some distressing news, I was on a return flight in the King Air to Gamston from Doncaster Sheffield where it had been for some routine maintenance. The runway in use at Gamston was runway 03 (now 02), I positioned the aircraft on final. But something wasn’t right, I was covering the ground too quickly, I had a tailwind! I quickly realised I had made a schoolboy error and had positioned on final for runway 21 (now runway 20). Luckily there were no other aircraft around and I repositioned for the correct runway. The lesson – don’t fly when you’re emotionally unfit.

Above Christine’s favourite aviation books.
48 | LIGHT AVIATION | June 2024
Above Race crew t-shirt for G-DRAM team.

Another time, flying circuits with a student in a C152, we were late down base leg, 65kt, 20° flap, about 600ft when another a/c started it’s take-off run on the opposite runway (this can happen at Netherthorpe on calm days, pilots electing to use the downhill runway for take-off and the uphill runway for landing). I instructed my student to carry out a QUICK orbit. Next thing we were pointing towards the ground in an incipient spin! I took control and levelled the a/c out at 200ft… and landed safely. The lesson – be careful how you communicate and that even a ‘benign’ Cessna 152 can bite when mishandled!

Do you have any ‘fantasy hangar’ aircraft or vehicles that you’d love to own / try?

Beech 18 and/or DC-3 both are stunning aircraft. The Harrier – my dad worked on Harriers at Wittering when I was nine and I fell in love with them. I’d love to have a go at driving a steam train and a tank. I’m not into cars!

Do you have other non-aviation hobbies/ interests?

Non-aviation? Hmm... Painting, crafting, long walks with my two dogs, cream teas and exploring old churches and graveyards!

Any advice for other aircraft owners and pilots?

Enjoy your flying but do it safely. Don’t be complacent, none of us are infallible. ■

Below Christine would like a Beech 18 as a fantasy aeroplane. Bottom One of Christine’s hobbies is exploring old graveyards.

June 2024 | LIGHT AVIATION | 49
Meet the Members
Above About to go racing in a Van’s RV-6A

Photo Competition

More great shots entered by our members this month – thanks to all who took part. The competition runs all year and is all about the joy of flight with LAA aircraft…

LAA Photo Competition
Above Dave Fry – Chipmunk pair. Above Chris Thompson – Condor landing at Popham. Above Dave Howell – FW190 Sneak attack.
50 | LIGHT AVIATION | June 2024
June 2024 | LIGHT AVIATION | 51
Above Ken Rhodes – Red Ten and a Half! Above Rod Wheeler – Pot of gold hunter. Above David Vale – The sleek and the leisurely at Albi. Above Barry Hunter – A steamy Cub.
LAA Photo Competition
Above Carl Parkinson – Mt Snowdon.
52 | LIGHT AVIATION | June 2024 LAA Photo Competition
Above Roger Savage – Gyro fun.
June 2024 | LIGHT AVIATION | 53 LAA Photo Competition


Hopefully, following a less-than-spectacular spring, we can all enjoy the longer flying days – blue skies and gentle sunshine. For July, we’ve got three great free landings for you to enjoy at Middlezoy, Bagby Airfield and Longside.


Free landing July 2024

Our thanks to these airfields for supporting our LAA members landing voucher scheme. Please be sure to thank them for their participation by buying fuel for your aircraft, or if there’s a cafe, fuel for you and your passengers!

Middlezoy: 07901 826351 / 07960 056763

Situated on the lovely Somerset levels, the airfield’s flying group has restored a blister hangar into a welcoming clubhouse. PPR on the above number, as the airstrip is right next door to WestonZoyland, so keep a lookout. Be aware of a bump on the main runway. Radio 129.830, make blind calls. Please visit


Free landing July 2024

Bagby Airfield, North Yorkshire: 01845 597385

A grass airfield with a great welcome, situated in the Vale of York, three miles south of Thirsk, North Yorkshire. Bagby provides a base for visiting aeroplanes for refuelling, lunch and overnight stays. It is in an excellent location for Thirsk, Harrogate, York and the surrounding area – for a holiday or short visit. Club house offers food and drink 0900 to 1700 daily. No overhead or dead side joins. Avoid flying over Bagby and Thirkleby villages. The 8.33 radio is 123.255, but is not always manned, please make calls as normal.


Free landing July 2024

Longside Airfield, Peterhead: 07825 811111

This airfield adds a great place for touring in a lovely area, and is very welcoming. PPR essential please, as there is intense helicopter activity nearby. Do not overfly Torterston or other nearby residential buildings. Mogas by arrangement – text the day before. Circuits at 1,000ft to South on Aberdeen QNH. A/G Radio is 118.280. If there is no answer, make blind calls. Aberdeen radio is 119.050

Landing vouchers
LIGHT ✁ 54 | LIGHT AVIATION | June 2024

Classifieds June

For all display or commercial advertising enquiries please contact Phil 07770 807035

You can email your classified advertisement direct to the LAA at the following address:

Deadline for booking and copy: 18 June 2024

If you would like to place an aircraft for sale advert please see details below:


Up to 30 words: £6; 31-50 words: £12

Up to 50 words with a coloured photo: £45


Up to 30 words: £22; 31-50 words: £44

Up to 50 words with a coloured photo: £60

LAA Engineering advice to buyers:

AIRCRAFT APPROVED? Members and readers should note that the inclusion of all advertisements in the commercial or classified sections of this magazine does not necessarily mean that the product or service is approved by the LAA. In particular, aircraft types, or examples of types advertised, may not, for a variety of reasons, be of a type or standard that is eligible for the issue of a LAA Permit to Fly. You should not assume that an aircraft type not currently on the LAA accepted type list will eventually be accepted.

IMPORTED AIRCRAFT? Due to unfavourable experiences, the purchase and import of completed homebuilt aircraft from abroad is especially discouraged.

TIME TO BUILD? When evaluating kits/designs, it should borne in mind that technical details, performance figures and handling characteristics are often quoted for a factory-produced aircraft flying under ideal conditions. It is wise, therefore, to seek the opinion of existing builders and owners of the type. You should also take your own skill and circumstances into consideration when calculating build times. The manufacturer’s build time should be taken as a guide only.

AMATEUR BUILDING All LAA aircraft builders and potential builders are reminded that in order to qualify for a LAA Permit to Fly, homebuilt aircraft must be genuinely amateur built. For these purposes the CAA provide a definition of amateur built in their publication CAP 659, available from LAA. An extract from CAP 659 reads “The building and operation of the aircraft will be solely for the education and recreation of the amateur builder. This means that he would not be permitted to commission someone else to build his aircraft”. An aircraft built outside the CAA’s definition could result in an expensive garden ornament.


Pitts S-1S built 2018, airframe 49hrs, engine 1,598hrs, Sensenich 76EM8-0-62 41hrs. Engine O-360-A4M injected and Christen inverted. Magnetos overhauled. B&C alternator. Vetterman crossover exhaust. Trig transponder/ radio. Top wing fuel tank. Grove gun drilled spring gear. Hooker harness. No damage history. Permit October 2024. LAA Rally commendation best plans built. £50k.

Retired from flying: Europa Classic/XS: Permit to: 20/07/2024: Airframe: 272hrs: Rotax 912ULS: 272hrs: Airmaster 322: Whirlwind blades: Kanardia instrumentation: PMA 4000i/c: TY91 8.33 Radio: TT31 Transponder: TA50/ TN72 GPS: TransCal Encoder: MGL (FF4 & TP3): Avalec fuel gauge: SmartAss: PilotAware: PowerFlarm: Garmin 660: £35K:

For sale due to advancing age of owner/pilot. Jabiru J400, G-MLAL. Full details and photos on G-INFO. Analogue panel. Permit till Nov 24. Hangared near Fenland Airfield. Maintained and serviced by Skycraft Ltd. OIRO £30,000 to good home. 01353 698011, 07798 925599

Streak Shadow G-BTEL One owner/ builder, first flight 1991, always hangared. Rotax 618 -74 HP - Oil Injection - Run on Avgas A/F 1330 Hrs, Eng 588 Hrs. Permit expires April 2025 inspected by Shadow Aviation during build and all permits. ICOM A6E, Spare prop blade, £7,000 ono. Contact John – 01980 259057 (Wiltshire)

CZAW Sport Cruiser for sale. Always hangered. Professionally maintained. Call or whatsapp 07778 356398 for full details.


Sherwood Ranger XP, jabiru 2200, approx 45 hrs engine & airframe. Factory refurbishment 2020. Wing fold, top wing tank, tundra tyres, new Icom handheld & headset. Genuine reason for sale. Permit to August 2024. Based South Coast. £27,500. Serious capable enquiries only, contact: 07774 157 095

J5 Cub 1941, Airframe 3580hrs, Lycoming 290 2790hrs, Mode A TXPDR, Garmin 8.33 Radio, Permit to 21/09/24. The slightly wider cockpit of this rare model, offers a great environment to enjoy the touring capabilities of this lovely vintage aircraft. £68,000 ono. 07543 643 208


£6,500: Share in well-known DH82A Tiger Moth. Economic way to enjoy an iconic WW2 aircraft. G-ANFM is based at White Waltham (near Maidenhead). Operated by a very friendly group, fully maintained by experienced engineers. Recent major renovations. Spare engine on rebuild. Contact Chris on 07921 381 876


Light aircraft hangar and use of 600 yard grass strip. Location 51.12 North 2.48 West (Godney, Somerset) £150 PCM Tel 07974 205134 Hangarage available near Selby, North Yorkshire for one aircraft maximum wingspan 27 feet with grass strip (600 metres x 15 metres) Tel 07719 299 330


ENGINE OVERHAUL. Zero time Major engine overhauls on all types, max 670 h.p., dyno run in and full power test. Bonner Engineering, Shoreham Airport. Contact Bill Bonner: 01 273 440250

Aircraft Weighing - Light Aircraft Weighing Service in Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and surrounding areas. For details contact Demraview Ltd. Email: Mob: 07984 810 761

56 | LI GHT AVIATION | June 2024
OFFICE@LAA.UK.COM For all members classified advertising enquiries contact Sheila
classified advertisement direct to the LAA:
Email your


PA17 Vagabond. Very close to finishing, professional painted, engine included, experienced homebuilt work. Fishburn Airfield. £9000 Contact Ron S 07414 736 502

Auster Mk IV project for sale – G-AJXY –recovered in Ceconite and now wearing original military colour scheme. Rebuilt Lycoming O-290. All parts for completion present, but no propellor. Imminent loss of workshop forces sale. To include a number of engine & airframe spares if required. £25,000 - offers considered. Contact 07484 859608 or 07949 288576 for details.

Two Taylorcraft for restoration £18,000. D-DAY Pipercub for restoration £19,000. Beautiful scratched l/h Minicab £15000. Original WW1 BN2 4 blade prop £4000. Cub and Auster props new and s/h. Tel +4478 586202


EFIS, supporting instruments and autopilot servos available for sale. All working when removed. Full details

Warp Drive 56” diameter three bladed propeller with HP hub in as new condition for sale £750. Also Warp Drive single 64” blade. Offers? Text Peter on 07530 342 698

Brand-new unused Harry’s HM400 4 -place intercom., in original box. Cost me £124. Offers around £80? 07766 022 158


June 2024 | L IGHT AVIATION | 57 TRANSPORTATION Contact us now for a quotation Telephone: 0121 327 8000 E-mail: Web: Aircraft Transportation Specialists Specialist vehicles to move your aircraft safely


Aselection of flying events you’ll definitely want to add to the calendar for 2024.

Don’t forget, GASCo is always running Safety Evenings up and down the country. We’ll list them here, plus it’s worth keeping an eye on its website,, for further updates.

As always, check the Royal Aero Club Events website for the latest


1 Turweston LAA HQ Open Day

1 Leicester BRA Gyro Record Breaker event (PPR)

1 Carlisle Lake District Airport fly-in (PPR)

1-2 North Weald D-Day 80th

2 Old Warden Shuttleworth Military Airshow (PPR)

2 Popham Jodel fly-in (PPR)

7-9 Guernsey Guernsey Aero Club (PPR)

8 Sywell VPAC (PPR)

8 Oaksey LAA Bristol Strut fly-in (PPR)

8-9 Solent D-Day 80th (PPR)

8-9 Breighton VAC 60th fly-in (PPR)

8-9 Barton Fly-in 2024 (PPR)

8-9 Carlisle Lake District Fly-in (PPR)

8-9 Goodwood BullPup flyers fly-in (PPR)

13 Popham Evening BBQ fly-in (PPR)

14-23 Various Fly-UK 2024

14-16 Leicester BAeA Competition (PPR)

information and web links for many of the events:

Our thanks to the Royal Aero Club and to Dave Wise for the use of its excellent calendar of events. If you have an event you want to advertise on the list, please email the details to Dave at: dave.wise@

14-15 St Michaels Airfield Wings and Wheels fly-in (PPR)

15 Blackbushe Open day and fly-in (PPR)

15 Bodmin L-Bird Wings and Wheels  (PPR)

15 Kilkeel BBQ and fly-in (PPR)

15-16 Headcorn International Stampe Club fly-in (PPR)

16 Priory Farm Fly-in (PPR)

21-23 Draycott Aerodrome Fly-in (PPR)

22 Shobdon Airfest ‘24 (PPR)

22 Farway Common Devon Strut fly-in (PPR)

22 Goodwood RRRA Time Trail Air Race (PPR)

22-23 Easter Summer fly-in (PPR)

23 Sherburn GASCo Safety Evening

28-30 Old Warden Shuttleworth Festival of Flight (PPR)

29 Little Gransden BAeA Competition (PPR)

Planning ahead

5-6 Jul Leeds East Private Flyer Fest North

6 Jul East Kirkby Summer fly-in (PPR)

6 Jul Monewden Suffolk Coastal Strut fly-in (PPR)

7 Jul Caernarfon Fly-in (PPR)

12-14 Jul Sleap Sleapkosh Airshow (PPR)

13 Jul Middle Wallop Wings and Wheels (PPR)

13 Jul Westonzoyland Summer fly-in and BBQ (PPR)

13 Jul Compton Abbas Landrovers and aircraft (PPR)

18 Jul Sutton Bank GASCo Safety Evening

20 Jul Bodmin Ladies Day-fly-in (PPR)

22-28 Jul Oshkosh USA EAA AirVenture

27 July Popham Sportcruiser and Bristell fly-in

4 Aug Lundy Lundy Sunday 2024 (PPR)

30 Aug Leicester LAA Rally (slots) -1 Sept

58 | LIGHT AVIATION | June 2024
Where to go
Prices exclude P+P. Standard Aircraft Handbook £26.00 Simplified Aircraft Design £45.00 Kit Airplane Construction £40.00 LAA Umbrella £30.00 LAA Mug £15.00 Bone China LAA Coloured polo tops £18.00 (sizes: M, L & XL available) AFE VFR Flight Guide 2024 Edition Spiral Bound £28.95 Get ready for Summer! Lockyears Farm Strips & Private Airfields Flight Guide. £21.95
0RDERONLINE LAS AEROSPACE LTD TEL: 01837 658081 LAS AEROSPACE LTD Concorde House, North Road Industrial Estate, Okehampton,Devon EX20 1BQ TEL: 01837 658081

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