Saturday, 5 August 2017

RAF Henlow "100" Bulldog & Chipmunk Flyby

I recently had the pleasure in participating with my Bulldog in the RAF Henlow "100" (centenary) flyby. Together with 10 Chipmunks, we flew over the base in the shape of "1 0 0" (viewed from the ground). Here are a collection of photos and videos from the event. I'll add more materials if/when I receive them e.g., the photos from the official "camera ship" and from the official photographer on the ground.

At one point, due to thunderstorms preventing aircraft from getting through to Henlow in the days leading up the the flyby, we thought we would not have enough aircraft for "1 0 0" so we were aiming to resort to "Plan B" which would have replaced "1 0 0" with "C" (for the classically-educated). However, the storms cleared, and on the day, we had 11 aircraft: 10 Chipmunks and my lone Bulldog, enabling 4 aircraft for each "0" and three for the "1". My Bulldog's position was lead aircraft in the "box" formation of 4 aircraft in the outermost "0" i.e., the front/centre of the "0". It's always more challenging with mixed types: the Bulldog wants to climb at 80kts, the Chipmunks at 70kts. Even with "inter" flap, the Bulldog was on the verge of stalling when climbing at 70 kts -- the stall-waning horn chirping away is quite a distraction when climbing-out, low over the perimeter trees and hedges, having survived the bumpy formation takeoff run along the grass runway. In the end, we compromised on 75 kts which was far more comfortable.

Anyway, here are the pics so far. Videos to be added later (once processed).

Flightline






Training flight #1











Training flight #2

The "1 0 0"





The "Royal Chipmunk"






RAF Henlow -- Isle of Man connection