Farnborough International Airshow Day 1 – 11 July 2016

The Farnborough International Airshow was opened by a flypast by the RAF’s display team the Red Arrows with a brand new F-35 – the RAF’s next generation jet fighter. The event saw billions of dollars worth of business orders announced, with hot competition between Boeing and Airbus in the airliner market, as well as other civil and military aviation companies from around the world. The weather was overcast with patchy drizzle, and was hit by a torrential rainstorm after just a few display aircraft had flown. The showground flooded in places and some water even entered the trade halls leading to the power being shut down and the buildings evacuated. Eventually the whole show day was cancelled with all visitors asked to leave for their own safety. Only the Airbus A380, A350 and A400M had managed to display before the storm hit.

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Farnborough International Airshow Trade Days – 14/15 July 2014

The trade days at Farnborough provide an opportunity for the aerospace industry to promote their products to potential customers, from gargantuan Airbus A380s to the smallest component. The major aircraft manufacturers announce their latest sales in front of the press, often amounting to many billions of dollars, and host visiting dignitaries and purchasing representatives from countries around the world.

Airbus debuted their A350, and Boeing their 787-9, whilst Lockheed Martin failed to follow suit with their much vaunted F-35 after the type suffered issues in the US.

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Cape Town to Goodwood – Tracey Curtis-Taylor’s Arrival at Goodwood – 31 December 2013

On the last day of 2013 Tracey Curtis-Taylor touched down at Goodwood Aerodrome in West Sussex at the end of a remarkable 9825 mile flight from Cape Town, South Africa. That morning’s leg from France saw Tracey crossing the Channel in very bad weather at just 500 feet, touching down at Goodwood in wind and rain to be greeted by friends and the media.

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In 1928, Mary Heath – the first woman to hold a commercial flying licence in Britain – made front page news around the world as the first pilot, male or female, to fly solo a small, open-cockpit biplane from Cape Town to Britain. As reported previously – Press Launch – Tracey’s commemorative expedition departed Cape Town as planned on 2 November using her 1942 vintage Boeing Stearman N56200 named Spirit of Artemis, and recently reconditioned and prepared for the flight by Ewald Gritsch of 3G Classic Aviation in Austria.

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A number of delays due to weather and local authority issues meant that Tracey’s arrival back in the UK slipped frequently, with long delays in Eastern Europe foiling her chances of being home by Christmas.
The journey was covered and supported by Nylon Films for a future documentary, with N56200 carrying a number of GoPro cameras. Tracey stated that she is contemplating further similar adventures, after she’s enjoyed a much deserved hot bath!

Update: Nylon Films have released a trailer for the film http://vimeo.com/87185706

Cape Town to Goodwood at the Revival – 13 September 2013

In November this year Tracey Curtis-Taylor will fly her Boeing Stearman ‘Spirit of Artemis’ from Cape Town to Goodwood to commemorate a similar flight by early ‘aviatrix’ Lady Mary Heath in 1928, the first pilot to successfully make that 7000 mile trip, but which finished in London.

To help promote the venture a photocall was held around Tracey’s Stearman on the Friday of the Goodwood Revival, involving Lord March and the five months pregnant Zara Phillips. Zara, 32, is the Queen’s grand-daughter, and not surprisingly drew much media attention, along with husband Mike Tindall.

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I later caught up with Tracey when wearing an outfit in keeping with the Revival’s vintage theme, away from the crowds:

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‘Spirit of Artemis’ was containerised and shipped to Cape Town, arriving in the last last few days.

See http://www.capetowntogoodwood.com/index.html