|FLIGHT international 14 September 1972||361|
Itford 1922-1972 Fifty years of gliding were celebrated on windswept Firle Beacon, Surrey, on September 3 by the Southdown Gliding Club. The occasion was the half-century anniversary of the first gliding competition in Britain at Itford in 1922—except that it did not, in fact, take place at Itford. Chosen to face the prevailing westerlies, Itford was useless when the British wind perversely shifted NE and took with it all the competitors to nearby Firle. The NE wind again blew in 1972 when gliders built as far back as 1937 soared the slopes above which Maneyrol of France had achieved a world record of 3hr 21min 50 years before in his odd tandem-wing glider.
This time the 12 gliders entered for the vintage glider Concours d'Elegance could be seen floating sedately 1,000ft above the ridge. There were two classes in the Concours; gliders built between 1925 and 1939, and those between 1940 and 1952. The winner of the earlier group was a Minimoa constructed in 1937, superbly rebuilt by Ken Fripp, and entered by John Coxon. Highly commended was the Rhonbussard, also of 1937, entered by Graham Saw and M. L. Beach, and on which a great deal of tender loving care had been lavished. Both these aircraft were world-beaters in their time and soar very well, but with VKE around 90kt their cross-country capability is, in modern terms, downwind only. But not everyone wants to race and such slow and gentle gliders provide now, as they did 30 years ago, hours of pleasurable flying at a reason-ably old-fashioned price.
The 1940-1952 class was hard to judge because all the gliders were in excellent condition, but the prize was eventually and unanimously awarded to the Olympia 1 Jacob's Ladder entered by J. Walker. This was one of the first Olympias built after the war by the late Horace Buckingham who, by producing more than 100 of these aircraft, helped more than any single person to get British gliding through the difficult early post-war years.
The younger days of gliding were recalled, but with modern materials, by the two Rogallo hang-gliders built by Geoff McBroom. It was the strongest wind in which they had been flown and it was too strong. Stepping into the air from only halfway up the slope, the Rogallos both rocketed to well above the crest, but could not fly fast enough to stay ahead of the ridge and had to land on top. Also present but not flying was John Sproule's replica of Cay-ley's 1853 glider. Like the Rogallo it is a sailwing, taking up its aerofoil shape only in an airflow.
Not only old and famous gliders came to the celebra-tions, but pilots. A fit and healthy Gordon England was there—who flew the Weiss glider in 1908 just five years from Kittyhawk, competed in the 1922 competition, and during this visit flew in the Southdown Club K-13. A.W.
Taxi accidents Taxi accidents form a significant propor-tion of the large number of preliminary accident reports issued by the Department of Trade and Industry in August. In one case, at Tarrant Rushton, Dorset, an Auster was being taxied downwind past a line of parked gliders when the pilot saw the roof of a vehicle at the last moment over his engine cowling. Hard braking resulted in the aircraft nosing over on to its propeller and then rocking back on to its tailwheel. Another Auster pilot
experienced similar results at Staverton, Glos, when he
applied the brakes in order to effect a quick turn off the
runway after landing. In a third "brake-up," the pilot of
a Minicab, while taxying across wind at Sherburn-in-Elmet,
Yorks, applied right brake which snatched and the air-craft
At Halfpenny Green, a Rapide was being taxied past a number of pedestrians on either side of the taxiway when one of them stepped backwards into the path of the aircraft and was struck by a wing-tip. The pedestrian was seriously injured, although the occurrence was neither seen nor felt by the pilot, who had considered that there was sufficient space to taxi past the pedestrians safely. At Sleap, Shropshire, a pilot was turning the propeller of his Beech Bonanza by hand to prime the engine." The engine fired and the aircraft moved across the airfield and tipped on to its nose. The brakes had not been applied and the ignition was switched to the On position.
Australian tariff maintained The Australian Minister for Trade and Industry, Mr J. D. Anthony, has told the Aus-tralian Royal Federation of Aero Clubs that the pre-ferential tariff of 7 X 2 per cent originating in the UK-Australia Trade Agreement will continue while the agree-ment is in force. In a written statement he says: "The general question of Australia's treatment of British pre-ferences following Britain's entry into the EEC is currently under consideration by the Government and at this stage no indication can be given of action which might be taken."
Farnborough air race The Farnborough Air Show included an air race in its programme for the first time this year. The race, on September 9, was organised by the United Service and Royal Aero Club, and sponsored by the Daily Express. It covered a 136-mile triangular course from Farnborough to Upavon, Wilts, and Compton Abbas in Dorset.
The winner, in a field of 19 aircraft, was Bob Paterson who completed the course in 36min 21sec in a Cessna 310. Second was Alan Dyer in a Cherokee Arrow while Fred Marsh achieved third place in his Beta.
Monsun licence granted MBB has granted a full manu-facturing licence for the B6209 Monsun to Pneuma-Technik of 4, Thomas Mayer Str, 8018, Grafing/Munich. The licencee will be responsible for sales and service.
Club take-over King-Air Flying Club of Biggin Hill has taken over the Q.S. Flying Club, also at Biggin Hill. The new premises will be used as an additional briefing room and a flight simulator is being installed.
The Plane Show 1973 The Royal Festival Hall will be the site for the first London Plane Show, which is due to be held from May 18-28, 1973, and is sponsored by the Daily Express. The organisers hope the exhibition will achieve the same success as the annual Boat Show. There will be over 30,000 sq ft of open display area and more than 19,000 sq ft of covered-in space. It is hoped that there will be a static display of aircraft in the open area, and that manufacturers and distributors of components and ancillary equipment will be attracted to the exhibition. The idea of the show is to attract the "man in the street" and his family and to encourage his interest in private flying—in effect, an attempt to take flying to the people, instead of trying to coax them to airfields.
New maps in next six months The new series of 1:500,000-scale maps covering the United Kingdom (Flight, August 24, page 272) will become available progressively over the next six months. That covering South-East England is on sale now, to be followed at the end of this month by a single sheet covering (for the first time) Scotland and the Shetland Isles. The Northern Ireland map will be issued in December and that for Northern England in February 1973.