Monday, May 09, 2011

Noisy Arrival

From what I understand may be the rules, I've a welcome gap from being a councillor for a few days, as there's a limbo period between the election and the formation of the new council. There's a real temptation to speak freely for the first time in four years but I'll resist it!

A good day at the first airshow of the season yesterday, with the Vulcan making it's very noisy and impressive appearance. Not only did it set off car alarms but almost shattered my eardrums, as I was standing on the opposite side of the runway display line when it climbed with full power directly above me.

Taking part in my own first-time display, I don't know what was more worrying, the prospect of 'cocking-up' the tight routine in front of 5,000 people of the potential to dig a small crater if I got it wrong. As it was, it all went pretty well, although I couldn't hold 200 feet along the display line in the strong wind and ballooned up to almost 300 feet as we came through with the glider pirouetting behind me.

It all rather reminded me of motorcycling. I used to write for several UK magazines in the 80s and 90s and would take super-bikes down to the track at Brands or Donnington and the low level work and tight turns felt much the same except that in the air, both hands and both feet are working very hard at the same time, with throttle, stick and rudder and your eyes are glued to the airspeed indicator and the altimeter looking for precise numbers.

I'm really along for the ride to set-up the glider for its low-level aerobatic display and the really hard work is done by Guy Westgate in the glider and having been there in there with him once, I can tell you that unless you have a cast iron constitution, you wouldn't want to repeat the experience!


ascu75 aka Don said...

Glad all went well. The Vulcan is impressive and so so noisey I saw it once at Manstons Air Show when we had the RAF there. My Brother in law got us passes for behind the scenes and see the Vulcan take off at close quaters is dramatic and very loud.

Robert Williams said...

I was stationed at Scampton from 61-63 and never ceased to be impressed with Vulcan take-offs, particularly when the four QRA ones went off in quick succession.

Lovely photograph and great to see such a wonderful aircraft back flying where it belongs. Shame there is no Victor and no Valiant, to create a flight of the V days.

Interestingly, I note from the footing boxes that two people disagree with the article. How can you disagree with something which is about an airshow rather than just opinion. Perhaps some folk just disagree with you, Simon, on principle.

Ken Gregory said...

Having sat in a field and watched the 'Last' flight of the Vulcan into Manston, I can only say that it was a noise event of Biblical proportions

Anonymous said...


Bring on the day.... well done simon this is a real treat for those who don't mind a little bit of noise!