Author Topic: TVAL Flying Weekend 28-29 November 2015  (Read 2950 times)

Offline KiwiZac

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TVAL Flying Weekend 28-29 November 2015
« on: November 30, 2015, 12:17:15 PM »
Hi all,
As some of you may know, The Vintage Aviator Limited is a New Zealand company which restores and builds World War 1 aircraft, the vast majority to airworthy condition. This weekend was the first of their monthly Flying Weekends, an opportunity for the public to check out the collection and for the pilots to get current again and practice displays for future airshows. Previously they would have afternoon mini shows with structured programmes every other month in summer, but that has been replaced by these much less formal affairs.

The wind was too bad for much to fly on Saturday, but I still went away happy. I saw one of the aircraft I was hoping to - the original Hanriot HD.1 - but unfortunately the newbuild Airco DH.4 is having engine issues so wasn't seen outside. One of the pilots told us there are also two Fokker Eindeckers in the works. Exciting stuff!

This is the unassuming public hangar from the carpark. They have two other hangars onsite (that I know of) but cameras are forbidden there and entry is by invitation only.


And when you walk in this is what greets you:



The aforementioned Hanriot, a 1918 original and a sweet-looking little number:


The original Be.2f restored by the late Stuart Tantrum. This is the oldest DH-designed aircraft flying anywhere. She turns 99 next year:


The Be.2c - I love the skids.




The very lovely new Be.2, subtype and rego unknown to me. There were three Be types present, there is a Be12 repro but that was hidden away.



These three flew on Saturday along with an Se.5a. The DH.5 is the only representative example anywhere, the Tiger Moth is used for training pilots for the collection, and the new-build Albatros D.Va has a lovely-sounding original Mercedes up front.:


The Nieuport XI performed an engine run while a friendly pilot - whose name I missed - explained everything we were seeing and hearing.


Then John Lanham (former RNZAF Canberra and Skyhawk pilot) took seven of us on an informal flightline tour, letting us get up close and personal (and unlimited photo-taking opportunities) as well as educating us on type histories and what each is like to fly. It sounds like the Bebe is a delight, likewise the Se.5a, whereas the E.V/D.VIII is a tricky little so-and-so.



Unlike the TVAL mini-airshows of the past, the two resident WW2 fighters stayed put in the hangar. Both are smaller up close than I remembered! It was great to have a close-up look at them and pay silent tribute to them both. They are former RNZAF machines and for a while were the only airworthy examples from our wartime force - we had 424 Corsairs and 297 P-40s, now there are two and four respectively still flying. Some forumites may recognise these as being former OFMC machines.






And finally, the people. I recognised a handful of pilots including Bevan Dewes (youngest current WW1 pilot worldwide - he's not yet 25!), seen here topping up the D.Va with oil while Keith Skilling (ex-RNZAF, known for his Corsair and Mosquito displays) guides him. There were a number of ground crew around also, but the pilots all doubled as crew anyway so it's hard to know who's who!


So while yesterday was the flying day by all accounts, I still had an excellent day on Saturday. I totally recommend coming along to one of these should you find yourself in New Zealand.

At Saturday's event I got to meet Jamo and we had a great chat. He took a ton of photos on Saturday and was there Sunday so I'm sure he'll be along shortly to add some material  8)
"Actually, WWI planes can be well detailed because there isn't that much in the way of lots of bits."

Offline Des

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Re: TVAL Flying Weekend 28-29 November 2015
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2015, 12:31:46 PM »
Thanks very much for this wonderful collection of photos, all the BE.2 aircraft look amazing.

Des.
Late Founder of ww1aircraftmodels.com and forum.ww1aircraftmodels.com

Offline KiwiZac

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Re: TVAL Flying Weekend 28-29 November 2015
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2015, 12:59:34 PM »
Thanks Des, and I agree - they are beautiful machines. Where else can you see three together? I just wish the Be.12 had been out to join them.



"Actually, WWI planes can be well detailed because there isn't that much in the way of lots of bits."

Offline RAGIII

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Re: TVAL Flying Weekend 28-29 November 2015
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2015, 02:24:45 AM »
Thanks for sharing these AWESOME photos! I really enjoy seeing these aircraft and your photos are always brilliant. You give the Modeler exactly what we want! I also like looking at the Types represented. Kind of Like a Future, and past, WNW release catalogue!
RAGIII
"A man has to know his limitations": Harry Callahan

"Don't slop it on" Lynda Geisler

Offline Des

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Re: TVAL Flying Weekend 28-29 November 2015
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2015, 05:51:02 AM »
Thank you KiwiZac for the additional photos, all beautiful aeroplanes.

Des.
Late Founder of ww1aircraftmodels.com and forum.ww1aircraftmodels.com

Michael Scarborough

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Re: TVAL Flying Weekend 28-29 November 2015
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2015, 07:18:36 AM »
This is really wonderful, Zac! Thanks for the photos and the commentary.

I'm sure von Buckles is salivating at the possibility of making a visit to TVAL when he wings his way to the Antipodes!

Offline KiwiZac

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Re: TVAL Flying Weekend 28-29 November 2015
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2015, 09:24:18 AM »
There are plenty more if you like? I'm glad you all enjoy them, thanks for your kind words.









"Actually, WWI planes can be well detailed because there isn't that much in the way of lots of bits."

Offline Pgtaylorart

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Re: TVAL Flying Weekend 28-29 November 2015
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2015, 09:30:49 AM »
Thanks for sharing these pics. I really love that black and white BE.2. Now Wingsnuts has to do one so I can make that paint scheme.

George

Offline Nigel Jackson

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Re: TVAL Flying Weekend 28-29 November 2015
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2015, 09:35:21 AM »
Thanks for the photos, KiwiZac; my jealousy has no bounds.

I'm more than ever convinced that a BE2 is around the corner from WNW.

Best wishes
Nigel

Michael Scarborough

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Re: TVAL Flying Weekend 28-29 November 2015
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2015, 09:35:27 AM »
Yeah, it's easy to see why guys like Des are praying for Wingnuts to release one...or a whole series. Surely it's in the pipeline!!!???

Offline KiwiZac

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Re: TVAL Flying Weekend 28-29 November 2015
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2015, 10:42:00 AM »
I'm more than happy to share my photos, you're all very welcome. I'm still not certain if I'll go to the December weekend (Boxing Day and the next) but I'll likely be back in January and February. It's a 3.5hr drive away but totally worth it, even if nothing flies. The atmosphere in the hangar and being around the machines really is magical.

I didn't take any detail photos but I saw Jamo take a ton (particularly of St Catherine's Ontario, you can also see him at work in my first Se5a pic), hopefully he'll be along soon to share some. In the meantime, here's the rest of mine. Apologies for the lighting in the hangar shots, I only use my iPhone now.






« Last Edit: December 02, 2015, 11:30:26 AM by KiwiZac »
"Actually, WWI planes can be well detailed because there isn't that much in the way of lots of bits."

Offline lcarroll

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Re: TVAL Flying Weekend 28-29 November 2015
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2015, 11:24:02 AM »
Thanks for posting all of these "Zak", what an absolute feast of beautiful machines!! The BE.2's are magnificent, hopefully it won't be too long until one, or hopefully more, are released by Wingnuts.
Cheers,
Lance

Offline KiwiZac

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Re: TVAL Flying Weekend 28-29 November 2015
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2015, 11:41:46 AM »
Thanks Lance, you're welcome! TVAL have so far an original Be2f, built a new 2f, built at least one c, there's the St Catherine's machine (I'm not sure of subtype, maybe it's a late C?) and the Be.12...so a WNW Be.2 or three HAS to happen sometime, right?! And given that both Fe.2s in the TVAL hangar on Saturday (Jess and Scotch Express/Zanzibar) are decal options in the WNW kits, I'm guessing at least one of the TVAL Bes will be a subject too. The Airfix kit will have to do me until the WNW range comes out...

Seeing the St Catherine's Be.2 in the sunlight was glorious. It was my first time seeing it in person. I've been a fan of the Be since I first saw the original F under restoration in 2005. Seeing them fly is a real treat. Stunningly beautiful machines...but I'd not want to go to war in one!




And a couple of shots of the original Be.2f from her debut at Omaka in 2009, to make up for my lack of photos of her from Saturday:



This is Stuart Tantrum, legendary Kiwi restorer who did the Be.2f (as well as many other aircraft). He died a year or two ago, so I feel quite privileged to have captured this moment.
"Actually, WWI planes can be well detailed because there isn't that much in the way of lots of bits."

Offline Des

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Re: TVAL Flying Weekend 28-29 November 2015
« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2015, 11:47:59 AM »
Many thanks Zac for the additional photos, I can't get enough of the BE.2 and really hope that Wingnuts do release a kit soon, what a magical looking aeroplane.

Des.
Late Founder of ww1aircraftmodels.com and forum.ww1aircraftmodels.com

Offline KiwiZac

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Re: TVAL Flying Weekend 28-29 November 2015
« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2015, 01:23:49 PM »
My pleasure Des! Magical - just the word for the Bleriot Experimentals! I'm glad there are so many fellow Be fans here, hopefully WNW takes note of this potential customer base! I was going to add some more photos of the Be.2f from Classic Fighters 2009 but Photobucket is giving me some strife.

I just looked up the NZ Civil Register and ZK-CBE - St Catherines Ontario - is indeed a Be2c. You may be able to see in one of my photos the word EXPERIMENTAL on its side. I wonder if that has anything to do with the rumours of rides being available soon?

And for the record TVAL has ZK-BFR (the original Be.2f), ZK-CBE, ZK-KOZ and ZK-TFZ (Be.2e), ZK-TVA (the C with skids in my photos) and ZK-ZEP (the Be.12) registered in NZ. I think the two Be2es are in the UK now but that's six of the series flying*...not bad!

*I believe the Be.12 hasn't flown yet
« Last Edit: December 02, 2015, 01:37:04 PM by KiwiZac »
"Actually, WWI planes can be well detailed because there isn't that much in the way of lots of bits."