It soon became clear that if one had to pick two themes for this year’s Flying Show they would be ‘grassroots aviation’ and ‘young people’.
A quick tour around the show – which took place in Telford’s International Centre – revealed exhibitors promoting microlights, paramotors and autochutes, alongside cadet organisations and school projects.
Autogyros played a huge role in 2015’s Flying Show, with The Gyrocopter Experience running a series of talks and displaying aircraft such as the Cavalon and MTO Sport. Its instructors were on hand to answer questions from budding pilots, and a shop sold gifts and kit.
Meanwhile, it was impossible to miss Cameron Balloons’ impressive stand, whose example envelope dominated the show; towering above the rest of the exhibits.
The British Microlight Aircraft Association held its annual AGM on the Saturday, and its simulator was never without a crowd, while this year’s GASCo’s pre-flight challenge featured a QuikR 91S flexwing.
Additionally, on 22 November the CAA presented Sherwood Ranger manufacturer The Light Aircraft Company with its approval certificates, allowing it to sell ‘factory made’ aircraft in the UK. Great news for the British microlight industry!
Later that same day Pooley’s handed two Bose headsets to the Spirit of Goole team – a group of pupils from Goole High School in East Yorkshire, who are constructing a Sherwood Ranger XP. The build is now in its fourteenth month and the aircraft has a completed fuselage and wings. As a side project, pupils have also created their own flight simulator. Bose has been donating products to a number of charities in order to celebrate its 25th year in aviation.
Another project aimed at budding young engineers is the Snowbird Aviation Technical Training Centre from Denbigh. Its organisers aim to offer young people with forms of autism the chance to help build an aircraft and earn a qualification at the same time. Once the project is finished, some of those involved will be trained as instructors to help more young aviators take to the air. They’ve been under the radar up until now, but saw the show as an opportunity to drum up some support.
Of course The Flying Show also featured the usual suspects – Pooleys and AFE were selling their latest flight guides, while Flightstore and Transair were on hand to supply pilots with a range of useful products. Not forgetting organisations such as the LAA and AOPA…
The Flying Show 2015 was a showcase for the wide variety of aircraft that can be found within General Aviation, and the achievements of those working hard to bring in fresh blood.