Adventures with G-AKDN - Chapter 18

WW1 BE2c biplane, part of the fantastic Great War Display Team. Right at home on this vintage aerodrome.

We’ve flown back in time and have landed KDN in a field of dreams! Open grass stretching out in all directions welcoming us to land anywhere we wanted. All this open space made it hard to judge our landing drift, but we settled onto the field and taxied over to the tie down area filled with a line of Tiger Moths and a Spitfire. The ramp area behind the aircraft was filled with cars of the same vintage and older. Looks like we’ve landed in about 1942. I knew KDN was a time machine!

This field is 348 acres of the historic 1920s bomber station, RAF Bicester. Today it is the home of Bicester Heritage, the UK’s first park for the restoration, storage and enjoyment of vintage and classic cars, motorcycles and aeroplanes. Restored redbrick buildings and hangars, tree-lined avenues and the beautiful open grass airfield makes it unique and a great period setting for the event Flywheel, where vintage aircraft and vehicle owners, enthusiasts and visitors get to share their passions.

Some friendly volunteers who are very excited to see KDN arrive, marshal us in. We had been expected at another event but due to some last minute changes our weekend freed up to allow us this unexpected pleasure. This is our kind of event. Beautiful rare aircraft, hundreds of collector cars and motorcycles and people dressed in period costumes. All nested in the incredible setting of the preserved RAF base. We were escorted to the VIP pilots’ tent to get some tea and whom should we meet and sit with? Sir Stirling Moss! What an honour to meet him and spend the weekend visiting. Some of his vintage racing cars were on display as well as running on the racetrack, set up to display the cars at speed. The noise and atmosphere was terrific.

KDN fit right in with her heritage and race history. We had our display banner hanging from the propeller that traced KDN’s history. Many people enjoyed seeing the details and learning about her history. KDN is such a good Ambassador for our Canada Aviation and Space Museum. We met with hundreds of people over the two-day event and were surprised at how many of those told us of travel plans to go to Canada. We directed many to the CASM museum web site. We told them to mention KDN when they arrived.

The airshow portion of the event was one of the best we have ever attended. WWI display team, Hurricane, Spitfire, and Tiger Moth formation, was up close and personal. The whole event gave the feeling we had travelled back in time. We flew the very short distance back to Finmere in formation with two other Chipmunks for a tea in the back garden. How very civilised. I could get used to this. Pip-pi cheerio.

To be continued...

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