Saturday, 24 February 2018

Vintage Flying...



A Saturday  last month saw a dream come true i will never forget...
A flight in a Vintage Bi Plane along the East lothian Coast...

Bucker BU131
I flew in the front seat of a 1937 Spanish built German Bucker BU131 Bi plane, the model that was the last built German Luftwaffe dual seater trainer Bi plane of WW2, this plane was built in Spain during the Spanish civil War  under licence, after WW2 it was retained in storage...
This aircraft was sold from the Spanish Air Force in the 1970`s to an American collector (reputed to have kept it dismantled in his house!) and who later sold it to two British  pilots who rebuilt and restored it to flying condition.




Vintage flying;
With no modern electronics or Hydraulics it does not get more raw than this, and the feeling of freedom is amazing, totally amazing...







The amazing thing about this daylight registered aeroplane it is 80 years since it was built, and it is still flying today as it was when built, and capable of preforming as it did back then. Built with a steel fuselage and wooden wings covered in canvas `Doped` fabric. and dual wings tensioned with steel cables (manufactured here in East Lothian by the Brunton Wire Mill) the wings can take 2 1/2 tons pressure during aerobatic manoeuvres,
and i would find out this war bird can still do the business...

Pre flight checks and walk around before firing up the engine to gain oil heat and pressure before we went anywhere, but we were soon airbourne and what a day to be up...



Flying in this simple (by today`s) engineering you can see how this aircraft and others of this era became something of a love affair for those young pilots in the 1930s,
The freedom and self reckless behaviour they could get up to in the skies must have been something else compared to the mundane life of a post WW1 depression in Europe. and those young pilots of both sides of the early days of the coming WW2 must have felt that freedom.

There are several vintage aircraft fly from Archerfield, work is often distracted as they take off and display over the Estate...

Here is the Bucker BU131 flying last year...


Aerobatics display Jan 17 from coastkid71 on Vimeo.

The 15th Duke of Hamilton was an RAF pilot who later was a test pilot for the Bulldog RAF Trainer plane which today is in the Scottish National Museum in Edinburgh...




There is another Bulldog now flying here from the Estate again...






Flight over Everest; 1933
In 1933,  The 14th Duke - Lord Clydesdale - the Grandfather of my present employer flew the first flight over Everest, one of the last big explorations of the British Empire, done 20 years before the first successful  summit by Sir Edmund Hillary,
This film is proper classic British Pith helmet explorer stuff, but still gives a great insight  to those early days of air exploration...

Open a beer and enjoy!...




Keeping vintage aircraft of this era is a time consuming past time and for every hours flying time a maintenance time of 4 hours is required for this old bird, so i was very grateful for a a half hour flight in this plane, and it was amazing!, proper freedom and real flying, no electronic stuff, just steel, wood and alloy...
What`s not to like? :D

No footage of the flight to post on line i`m afraid as per pilots wishes...
You need to come round with a Cider to watch the flight, and manoeuvres, loops, barrel roll and cascades, puling 3.2 G i kept my breakfast down!, what a buzz though!!!



More soon...

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