Heidelberg Fly-In – Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines
In 1930, a Bentley Sportsman Coupe beat France's Famous Blue Train in a race from Cannes to Calais. This great feat was the inspiration behind organising a Historic Aircraft and Motor Vehicle day at Heidelberg Airfield on Heritage Day.
The event was originally planned as a Plane, Train and Car Race but was later changed to a Fly and Drive In event, the weather tossed the organizers a massive curve ball on the morning of 24 September. Many of the pilots that planned to attend were stranded at their home bases due to the nasty low cloud and threatening rain, its never fun flying in an open cockpit in the rain.
There were however some Magnificent Men and Ladies who took to the sky to make the event what it was planned to be. Jeff and Charlene Earl flew from Vereeniging in their lovely de Haviland Tigermoth, they were joined by Ivan van der Schaar in his 1944 Boeing Stearman.
Gavin Brown and Grant Timms made their way from Springs in Gavin’s Tigermoth and one of his de Havilland Chipmunks. John Ilsley made the trip from Petit Airfield in his Auster, truly one of the finest flying examples of these WWII icons around anywhere.
Many other “Magnificent Men” arrived in more modern flying machines, Liberty Kunene came dressed to the Nines, including his pipe, he flew in a modern Sling but definitely got into the spirit of things.
The motor vehicles however stole the show with some wonderful examples form the entire history of motoring, both the four wheel and the two wheel variety. Beautiful Period dressed models were on hand to brighten up the “old” aircraft and vehicles for the photographers.
One visitor was caught in the act of changing a Rolls Royce spark plug with a shifting spanner of all things, the rest of the day he had to contend with a few sarcastic comments, all in good faith I assure you.
Heidelberg Flying Club laid on a wonderful breakfast for all the visitors and for those who arrived in either an open cockpit aircraft, open top car or on a motorcycle there was a coffee station ready to help restore the body heat.
A great day was had by all despite the rather nasty weather, I would just like to thank the many sponsors for a wonderful event without people and companies like Classic Private Wealth, Die SuikerbosRant, The Heidelberg Museum and Boxsure Insurance events like this would never be seen.