May 03, 2013

A Bank Holiday Update

Hello there Aerobility!

We hope that you’re enjoying the weather on this lovely Friday afternoon. As always, we’ve been busy here at Aerobility HQ and would love to share a bit of news with you if you can spare a few minutes….

Aerobility, a marathon and a balloon….

It seems like a long time ago now, but on Sunday 20th April three Aerobility heroes got up very early to attend the Virgin London Marathon. Two of those, Andy and Oli, were taking on the 26.2 miles in support of Aerobility. They both made fantastic times, with Andy clocking 3 hours and 12 minutes, and have raised nearly £2000 between them. A big thank you from all of us here!

The third hero, our very own Brian Catchpoole, was off to fly the Aerobility flag (or balloon in this case….) Brian was at the start line for the first outing of our Breitling sponsored balloon. It was a real privilege and a great opportunity for Aerobility, providing the chance to meet lots of interested people and share in the excitement of the day.

Brian Catchpoole with Breitling Orbiter Brian Jones, without whom this would not have been possible!

The Mosquito  

High profile as ever, we have been taking part in a little bit more filming. Aerobility member and Channel 4 presenter Arthur Williams is making a documentary about the World War II fighter bomber the beautiful De Havilland Mosquito. This week, he was filming with our Warrior YY at Lasham airfield which used to be a Mosquito base during the war. The documentary is out later in the year.

An action shot!

Something Borrowed…
Due to demand at Blackbushe we have recently borrowed a PA28 from our friends at Tatenhill Aviation. During the ferry flight down to Blackbushe last Monday evening, James Brown and Brian Catchpoole captured some great shots of our Cherokee flown by Guy Westgate.

The mighty Cherokee 6!

Aero, Friedrichshafen 2013

Well the Germans have it pretty good, great beer, the best gliders in the World, great people and stunning country side, and also it appears the biggest Aero trade fair!
Mike Miller-Smith invited Brian Catchpoole, Dave Rawlins and Guy Westgate to the annual Aero trade-fair at Friedrichshafen, by invitation of Tecnam, to present the story of the Paralympic Opening Ceremony pyro flight in the Tecnam P2006.
The trade show is set across 9 giant hangars, and whilst all the big manufactures were represented, Tecnam dominated the show space, both with the number and range of aircraft on offer.

Amongst the many Tecnam trainers (including Aerobility’s new 2002PF) were 2 new aircraft unveiled at the show; a new eco 2 seat trainer, the Astrore, that comes with an iPad Mini for integration of flight planning and onboard instrumentation. Also on show was R&D Chief, Fabio Russo’s new brain child, the ‘Snap’, a single seat aerobatic aircraft, with very light construction and a similar power to weight ratio to the more established aerobatic thoroughbreds.
Our Aerobility Paralympic presentation was on Tecnam’s own mini-stage. Mike Miller Smith described the origins of the POC project and the many regulatory challenges, whilst Guy described his involvement with Pyro systems, the design of the display, flight training and testing. Dave Rawlings’s video on the big screen made him look suitably sheepish, but the biggest applause was reserved for the film of the Opening Ceremony and the fireworks. 
Mike concluded by thanking Tim Orchard, the Tecnam’s UK agent for developing such a great relationship with Aerobility and reported that the Charity’s new Tecnam 2002PF is in production, and described the unique ways it is being optimized for use with Aerobility.

A fantastic partnership!

The rest of the show was almost too huge to see in a day.

The gliding hall had the latest big winged German wonder ships from Shempp Hirth and Alexander Schleicher, along with some new technology from other manufacturers, particularly FES (Front Electric Sustainer), a collapsible electric propeller in the nose cone of a glider, offering almost no extra drag when not in use, but an hour of powered flight when you need it.

There were other glider manufacturers too, from Poland and Czech Republic, and also many vintage airframes too.

Constantly on the lookout for new ways of lifting our own MDM-1 Fox for the Aviator Ball in November… we awarded 1st prize of “Aircraft on a stick” to EXTRA, and joint second prize for an electric aircraft hanging in the roof and Alisport who had a glider on a jig to a jaunty 30 degree diving attitude.

Mr Westgate trying a couple out for size....

Away from the glider hall, the range of sporty looking glasss aircraft was quite bewildering, but the standouts were the Italian Frecce, Czech Shark and Blackshape Prime.

The range of in-cockpit Multi Functional Displays (MFD) was astonishing too, and together with ipad software, is a growth story for the industry.

There were companies offering everything from 3D synthetic vision, Mapping technology, flight planning apps and gliding software. 

Just a snippet of all  that was on show.
The four day show needs more than 8 hours to do it justice, but was worth the drive. A huge thanks goes to Mike Miller Smith for the Invitation and driving the 1300 mile round trip, and also to Dave and Brian for providing such worthy competition in the "Top Gear Challenge" race back home...  

Article Written by Guy Westgate

Tecnam Registration Competition

Given the fantastic story and the groundbreaking development of our soon to arrive Tecnam P2002JF, the feeling is we should explore getting a fun and unique registration for the aircraft.

The Aerobility team test out the Tecnam's accessibility

The Bulldog was appropriately registered as G-DISA. We ought to do some similar for the Tecnam. So, the challenge is to find an appropriate registration. Many of the obvious ones such as G-NATS and G-AERO have already gone. Get thinking and of course the winning entry gets to see their registration on the aircraft, it's just a bit of fun. The best way to search is to enter your ideas into the CAA G Info Database at and if it is not already in use then it could well be free and available. Unfortunately once it has been used previously even on a now non-existent aircraft it is still not available for reuse. Send in your ideas to

And don’t forget….

The Air League is holding a flying day at Bicester Airfield in Oxfordshire tomorrow, with gliding opportunities for all Aerobility members. Get down there and check it out!

That’s all from us!

We hope you all have a lovely bank holiday weekend. Don’t forget to come and visit us at Blackbushe Airport, we’d love to see you all!

What a sunset....
Happy Landings

The Aerobility Team

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