LCY Airshow 2009

Despite having been there twice a week every week since January, I still managed to find a reason to go back to London City Airport for a third time this week: The London City Airport Funday 2009

Wing Walker

Strangely, despite leaving my house, then going back for my umbrella because it was raining, at the airport we were in for the hottest afternoon that I’ve seen so far this year. Perfect day to see some aeroplanes, and I took plenty of pictures, including the one above, which I was especially pleased with.

The above picture shows one of a pair of planes performing a Wing Walking display.

Wing Walkers

The women standing on the aircraft are having to hold on against a 150mph wind from the plane’s forward movement. They also managed to hold on through looping the loop, rolling and flying one above the other upside down attempting to touch hands.

Wing Walkers

They finished their performance by sitting on the wing, then climbing down into the passenger seat to land.

Helicopter

Dennis Kenyon flew a very impressive display in the above helicopter. A little search on the internet shows that he doesn’t always get it right. (Apparently that was a rented helicopter and there was a little dispute afterwards over who should pay for the damages. Probably not the only thing Dennis had on his mind as he was climbing out of the wreckage.)

No air show would be complete without a display from a Pitts Special:

Pitts Special

The next few pictures show the Swift Aerobatic Glider which performed a very impressive series of rolls and loops before landing.

Glider 1

A close up from the same picture, which should give an idea how I took the front page wing walker picture.

Glider 2

We were dutifully informed that all aerobatic smoke used in the displays was “environmentally friendly”. Unlike the aircraft themselves, of course - even the glider needed a tow to get into the air.

Glider 4

Formation flying:

Formation

According to the commentator today was the first time since the Second World War that this make of aeroplane (a Hurricane, below) had been flown by a woman. During the war there were female pilots who would fly the aircraft to the front lines where they would be taken over by the regular pilots for the fighting.

Hurricane 02
Hurricane 03a

To close the show we had a fly-past from a two-seater Spitfire, also piloted by a woman.

Spitfire 1
Spitfire 2

All photographs were taken with a 10 megapixel Canon Digital Ixus 90IS at the highest possible resolution with maximum zoom. I then used The GIMP free photo-editing software to zoom in and crop the photos to obtain the close-up views.

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