The Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre at East Kirkby hosted Project Propeller on Saturday 26 June. Taking place during one of the warmest days of the year, the event saw some 83 aircraft arrive with 137 WWII Royal Air Force aircrew veterans onboard.
Project Propeller began in 1999 with a simple concept – to present veteran aircrew with the opportunity to fly to a venue of interest, and should the opportunity arise, to allow some time at the controls of an aircraft during the transit flights. The cost of the flight was to be borne by the current aircraft operators.
An obvious attraction for the visiting aircrew was East Kirkby’s resident Lancaster B.VII NX611, and on static display outside the main hangar was airworthy WWII veteran Dakota Drag ‘em oot.
The 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain was marked by the attendance of Wg Cdr R W Foster DFC AE, one of the few remaining Hurricane pilots from the battle.
Appearing from nearby RAF Coningsby, Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Spitfire Mk.IX MK356 overflew the museum site in salute to all the veterans present.
Notable vintage/classic aircraft participants in the 2010 event included de Havilland DH-87B Hornet Moth G-ADMT and DH-82A Tiger Moth G-ANFL. Certainly the rarest aircraft present was G-APIE, a Tipsy Belfair, resplendent in its bright red paint scheme. Other noteworthy types that could be found amongst the numerous parked Cessna and Piper models included post war vintage Talyorcraft G-BRPX and Luscombe Silvaire 8E G-BRGF. Two Jodels were also present; G-AYGD and G-BCGM.
Also catching the eye were a pair of Beagle products – yellow Pup 150 G-BAKW and G-DOGG, a black and yellow Bulldog T.1 that has retained its RAF markings. Two examples of post war German aviation manufacturing were most welcome visitors: 1961 vintage Bolkow F.207 D-EFTI and what is believed to be one of only two in the UK, Bolkow Bo.209B Monsun D-EGHW.