Friday, 18 September 2015

Light Aircraft Association Rally, 2015

Having had such a great time on my first visit to the LAA Rally last year, I just had to go back. I really enjoy sketching planes it makes a refreshing change from my mainstay of motorcycles and the subject has a great balance of big shapes coupled with a good amount of detail without getting too complicated. I was spoilt for choice again this year and having new aircraft coming in all the time was fantastic, Sywell is fast becoming my favourite place to switch off and just enjoy sketching.

Chilton D.W.1A "Black Magic" Replica

(ink sketch)

Completed this year Black Magic was a great aeroplane to see. The D.W.1 was originally designed and built in 1937 by 2 ex de Havilland Technical School students. It was designed to be cheap to build and operate but also have exceptional performance. The airframe is all wood with plywood skin. The first three aircraft were powered by 32 h.p. Carden-Ford engine, is a water-cooled automobile engine which was lightened and modified for aircraft use. The first D.W.1 made it's first public appearance at Southend Airport on 4th September 1937. The third D.W.1A was completed in July 1939 and ran a 44h.p. Train 4T French engine. This aeroplane (G-AFSV) was flown by A.W.H. Dalrymple in the Felixstone Aero Trophy Race at Lympne on 5th August 1939, winning at an average speed of 126mph. This current build is a replica of G-AFSV which after Felixstone went on to break the 100km closed circuit record at 124.5 mph at Lympne airfield on 31 August 1947.

To find out more about Chiltern Aircraft please visit their website:

1914 Royal Aircraft Factory BE-2c Replica

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This BE-2c was originally built in the 1969 for a Biggles film 'Biggles Sweeps the Skies', which never made it to full production, but this replica was built in sixteen weeks by two brothers David and Charles Boddington at Sywell. The build was based on de Havilland Tiger Moth components. After the film was over the production company sold the BE-2c to it's next owner in the United States. After a crash it sat in storage for 25 years. Mathew Boddington eventually found out about the fate of this amazing aeroplane and soon made plans to bring it back to Sywell and restore it to fly again. It finally made it into the air in 2011 and continues to live at it's birthplace of Sywell Aerodrome.

Adamson TV, Taylor Titch

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I sketched this aeroplane without knowing anything about it, I was drawn in by its simplistic racer looks. After researching it on my return home I found it was designed by John. F. Taylor who designed and built the Taylor Monoplane (For more information look at my report from last years LAA Rally). In 1959 Taylor was requested to design an aircraft with higher performance than his original monoplane. On 4th Janurary the Titch first flew at Southend Airport. The Titch was named after the test pilot who first flew the Taylor Monoplane O.V. "Titch" Holmes. The prototype Titch crashed at Southend on 16th May 1967 killing its creator John Taylor. The plans have been for sale by his family since and there have been over 40 examples built and flown and 12 are currently registered in the UK.

ERCO Ercoupe 415CD

 (ink sketch)

This year was the 40th anniversary of this Ercoupe visiting Sywell. The Ercoupe was first manufactured by ERCO (Engineering and Research Corporation) shortly before World War II and then taken on by several other manufacturers after the war. The last model year was 1970. It was designed to be the safest fixed-wing aircraft that could be provided at the time.


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I haven't found much information on this two seater, one interesting fact is that they were used during the Biafran War (Nigerian Civil War) to drop small bombs!

1969 Piper PA30 'Twin Comanche' 

 (ink sketch)


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1978 GREAT LAKES 2T-1A-2

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Just before the LAA Rally I released an Aeroplane Sketchbook.


More Photos....

Flitzer Biplane, a home build 20's inspired biplane. Designed by Lynn Williams, an aviation artist, writer and inventor. I had the opportunity to speak to him and I left the conversation wanting to build one!


Jodel D9

Pitts Corner

There were quite a few Pitts Specials at the show, possibly my dream, affordable (within reason) biplane. Since sketching the one of the TRIG Aerobatic machines at Sywell back in 2013 I've been quietly obsessed with these beautiful aerobatic legends.
  The Sunburst is a classic paint scheme for the Pitt's it always looks great!

Rare two seater, I'd love to just go up in one of these! 
There was even a Pitts project for sale for 3 grand!!

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