Airshow-Digital-ad_leaderboard

A guest post by Norm Webster, Flight Display Director for Scotland’s National Airshow at National Museum of Flight, East Fortune that took place on Saturday 26 July 2014.

Take a look at some of the fantastic images on the air display and on the ground activity that were taken of Scotland’s National Airshow in our Flickr Group and check back on the Airshow here for announcements of our 2015 show.

Here we are, less a month to go to Scotland’s National Airshow, and things are sliding into place. As I mentioned last time, we’re never 100% sure of our line-up until the day and there have been a couple of changes since my last blog.

Jet Provost at Scotland's National Airshow, July 2011 by P_rocket on Flickr

Jet Provost at Scotland’s National Airshow, July 2011. Image by p_rocket on Flickr

I have managed to secure the services of Newcastle’s Neil McCarthy and his lovely Jet Provost. Neil is a great friend of the National Museum of Flight, East Fortune and has displayed here many times: he always produces the goods and I am delighted he will be part of the line up for what will be an exciting and varied show.

Royal Navy Sea Fury at Scotland's National Airshow in July 2013

Royal Navy Sea Fury at Scotland’s National Airshow in July 2013

I can now tell you all that the Royal Navy has confirmed the participation of the Sea King and the Sea Fury, so everything is in place and I can now go firm(ish) on the air display plan.  I’ve already mentioned that we are sharing a number of aircraft with the Sunderland show this year, and although this can complicate the planning we have been able to accommodate all the various requirements quite easily.

My next job in the planning cycle is producing the co-ordination plan for Edinburgh Airport, to ensure we don’t cause too much havoc in their already-busy air traffic plot.

Privately owned Westland Wasp at the Classic-Jet Air Show, Kemble, England, in 2003.

Privately owned Westland Wasp at the Classic-Jet Air Show  in 2003, similar to the Westland Wasp appearing at Scotland’s National Airshow on Saturday 26 July 2014.

We plan to have a couple of helicopters inside the showground this year as ‘live’ static aircraft, and I’m glad to say we will have an ex-Royal Navy Westland Wasp and the OH-6 Loach.  I always think it lends something to an airshow if people can get close to live aircraft and their crews. Crowds will also see the Royal Navy Sea King and Huey helicopters on the other side of the showground fence. The crowd should always have something interesting to look at when there aren’t aircraft actually displaying.  The Squirrel helicopter will also be landing, carrying RED 10, the RAF Red Arrows display supervisor,  Squadron Leader Mike Ling.

Royal Air Force Areobatic Team "The Red Arrows" on Springhawk 2104 at RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus. © Crown copyright 2014

Royal Air Force Areobatic Team “The Red Arrows” on Springhawk 2104 at RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus. © Crown copyright 2014

My team is straining at the leash and ready to go. Let’s hope the great weather continues beyond the big day. That’s it for now, over and out…

Norm Webster

Airshow-Digital-ad_leaderboard

A guest post by Norm Webster, Flight Display Director for Scotland’s National Airshow at National Museum of Flight, East Fortune that took place on Saturday 26 July 2014.

Take a look at some of the fantastic images on the air display and on the ground activity that were taken of Scotland’s National Airshow in our Flickr Group and check back on the Airshow here for announcements of our 2015 show.

My second blog post is a bit earlier than normal, but I thought as I now know what fantastic aircraft we’ll be displaying at this summer’s Airshow, I’d like to share that information with you.

Red Arrows sporting new livery © Tom Hunter

Red Arrows sporting this year’s 50th anniversary livery © Tom Hunter

As you are all no doubt aware, the fact that an aircraft is programmed in the display is no guarantee of its appearance. Occasionally issues over which we have no control, from aircraft serviceability to weather, can have an effect on even the best airshow programmes. With that caveat out of the way, let me reveal that the proposed line–up so far for the Scotland’s National Airshow 2014, East Fortune, is as follows:

  • Red Arrows
  • RAF Typhoon
  • RAF Tucano
  • RAF BBMF Spitfire
  • RAF BBMF Hurricane
  • RAF BBMF Lancaster
  • Bucker Jungmann
  • Stolp Starduster
  • Tiger Moth
  • Breitling Wingwalkers
  • UH-1 Huey
  • OH-6 LOACH (static only)
  • RV8tors aerobatic team
  • Autogyro (type TBD)
  • OV-10 Bronco
  • North American T-6 Texan
OV10 Bronco at the Airshow, National Museum of Flight on 23 July 2011 © Robert G Henderson

OV10 Bronco at the Airshow, National Museum of Flight on 23 July 2011 © Robert G Henderson

I think we have the makings of a great display and I am already planning some great ‘theatre of the air’ moments.

RAF Eurofight Typhoon aircraft will be part of the line-up for the Airshow at National Museum of Flight, East Fortune on Saturday 26  July 2014

RAF Eurofight Typhoon aircraft will be part of the line-up for the Airshow at National Museum of Flight, East Fortune on Saturday 26 July 2014

We had the initial Event Planning & Emergency Services meeting recently, the meeting that sets everybody concerned on the right path, and I think I’m right in saying that everything so far looks good.  Thankfully, I only really have to worry about the flying display: I’d be completely lost if I had to sort out the traffic management or the visitor handling arrangements – I’m sure I’d make a total mess of it!

Rv8tors aerobatic display team © Steve Hawthorne

Rv8tors aerobatic display team © Steve Hawthorne

That’s it for today: this has been just a short message to let you all know that we are on track, and have some spectacular aircraft lined-up for you. All I ask of you all now is to keep praying for good weather.

A guest post by Norm Webster, Flight Display Director for the Airshow at National Museum of Flight, East Fortune on Saturday 27 July 2013

Book your Airshow tickets by 5pm on 26 July and save 15% – find out more here

Scotland’s National Airshow is a spectacular day out for all the family. Aircraft old and new take to the skies for an afternoon of breathtaking aerial displays. The RAF’s supersonic Typhoon display team will take centre stage, with a Spitfire and Hawker Hurricane from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. We welcome back the breathtaking Breitling Wingwalkers, the Trig Aerobatic Team, and an RAF Sea King helicopter. See here for full flight line-up.

Not long now until the Airshow!

We are fast approaching display day and the pace here is hotting up.  It’s a busy time for me – I’m also planning the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT), which takes place the week before the Airshow at National Museum of Flight, but in reality begins on Wednesday when aircraft start arriving from all over the world.

Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Hurricane 7D2645 by Philip Tyler. Taking part in the air display for the Airshow on Sat 27 July National Museum of Flight, East Fortune

A Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Hurricane 7D 2645 by Philip Tyler. Taking part in the air display for the Airshow on Sat 27 July National Museum of Flight, East Fortune.

As for East Fortune, I thought I had a plan – I had a plan for the programme, but, as always in the air display business, things change.  In this case, the cancellation of a display aircraft due to lack of serviceability.  I’m working on a solution and hopefully we’ll be able to plug the gap with something similar, but it still gives me a bit of a problem until I have a solution sorted.  Other than that, the admin that surrounds the display seems to be coming together quite nicely.  Crew accommodation is now sorted, crew transport is planned and crew meals are ordered.

Trigg Team Pitts S1D Specials by Philip Tyler.  Taking part in the air display for the Airshow on Sat 27 July National Museum of Flight, East Fortune

Trigg Team Pitts S1D Specials by Philip Tyler. Taking part in the air display for the Airshow on Sat 27 July National Museum of Flight, East Fortune.

As for me and my team – we’ll be in the same hotel we have used for the past two years so we know we’ll be well fed and looked after. I spoke some time ago about the challenges we may have with sharing so many aircraft with the Sunderland display. Well it looks like that is now sorted to everyone’s satisfaction and I can carry on with my planning accordingly.

Looking at the long range weather forecast – well I don’t think it will be Caribbean weather (and I don’t mean hurricanes), but I think we’ll be OK. Obviously there are never any guarantees with weather forecasts, especially this far ahead, but I do admit to feeling better about it than I did at this point last year.

Breitling Wingwalker by Philip Tyler. Taking part in the air display for the Airshow on Sat 27 July National Museum of Flight, East Fortune

Breitling Wingwalker by Philip Tyler. Taking part in the air display for the Airshow on Sat 27 July National Museum of Flight, East Fortune.

The crews will be getting all their display documents this week, so any last minute changes can be sorted (and there are always last minute changes).  Once that’s done, hopefully all I will have to do is wait for the day – and help run RIAT in my copious free time.

Two man gyrocopter, part of the air display for the Airshow on Sat 27 July National Museum of Flight, East Fortune

Two man gyrocopter, part of the air display for the Airshow on Sat 27 July National Museum of Flight, East Fortune.

I hope that those of you who attend enjoy a fine day out – I’ve always been very impressed by the organisation of this event by the National Museum of Flight team, and I hope that you find the flying display as exciting and as interesting as I have always intended.

See you there.

A guest post by Captain Tony Yule, former British Airways Concorde pilot

In two parts Captain Tony Yule tells us about his career as a Concorde pilot with British Airways.  In part 1 he describes the Concorde pilot training programme he undertook and in part 1 he reveals tales of his adventures piloting Concorde. Why not see and experience Concorde for yourself at National Museum of Flight, East Fortune. 

USA, Caribbean and beyond

Once I had passed my Concorde training,  I began six years as second in command, flying primarily to the USA and back with Barbados included in the winter schedules. During my time, I completed just over 2500 hours with most of those hours being to New York and back.

Time zone clocks in Concorde hangar,  National Museum of Flight, East Fortune

Time zone clocks in Concorde hangar, National Museum of Flight, East Fortune

I think I went to New York twice a week for six years. It was my favourite destination and I even wrote a “walking tour” of the city, for newcomers to the fleet. It was that tour that got me on BBC Radio 4’s “Going Places” in 1989, with Molly Price-Owen and Clive Jacobs, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Concorde’s first flight.

The Concorde operation, in my period on the fleet, 1987-1993, was two flights a day to JFK, three flights a week to IAD/MIA (Washington Dulles and Miami), one flight a week to BGI (Barbados) from mid-December to just after Easter. There were many charter flights to a wide variety of destinations around the world.

By the time Concorde had finished, she had made the equivalent of 250 round trips to the moon, flown to more than 250 destinations, of which 80 plus were within the USA.

British Airways Concorde in 1986 © Eduard Marmet

British Airways Concorde in 1986 © Eduard Marmet

Flying Concorde was great fun

Flying Concorde was great fun. It was a very stable aeroplane and for half of my time on the fleet I never used the autopilot. It was a fabulous experience to handle such a great flying machine.

Supersonic flying was quite unique at first. Concorde flew two and a half times faster than subsonic aeroplanes and it took a few months of flying to become really comfortable with the operation. You had to be “on the ball” throughout the short flight. It was not an aeroplane where you wandered into the cabin to chat to the passengers. They in fact, came to visit us.

1-2-4-cockpit1-JF-500px

Celebrity Concorde

I met a few interesting people, Brigitte Neilson, Steven Spielberg, Jackie Stewart and Nigel Hawthorne, these last three always came straight into the flight deck for the take off, then returned for the landing. Incidentally, Steven Spielberg never used his real name.  It reminded me of Julia Roberts in the film ‘Notting Hill’.

At the latitude we flew, Concorde travelled two and half times faster than the setting sun. One of the most memorable things that occurred to every Concorde pilot was the first time (in the early Autumn), you took the late service, BA003. If you departed at 7pm, now darkness and by mid Atlantic, heading West of course, you experienced a sun rise for the second time that day, duly landing in daylight at JFK at 6pm local time. You never forget your first time – ever!

Serving champage aboard Concorde G-BOAA, National Museum of Flight, East Fortune © Jenni Sophia Fuchs

Serving champage aboard Concorde G-BOAA, National Museum of Flight, East Fortune © Jenni Sophia Fuchs

Over the years, other than the scheduled services to New York, Washington Dulles, Miami and Barbados, I flew charter flights to Lexington Kentucky, London Ontario, Seattle, St John’s Newfoundland, Santa Maria in the Azores, Cairo and Luxor – on ‘Red Nose Day’, while I talked with Simon Bates and the listeners on Radio One about the operation we were doing.

A Supersonic Christmas

One of the best trips I made was to Rovaniemi in Lapland in December, where the passengers went to see Father Christmas. On two occasions I spent Christmas there in the hotel. On Christmas morning, all the children from the town plus those returning on Concorde came to the hotel. The manager of the hotel led the children to a wood for them to select the tree that they would decorate in the hotel before lunch.

The crews always became involved in a sort of pantomime after lunch for all these children. I ended up on one occasion, as the back end of a cow while at the front end was a beautiful stewardess. I was given a yellow rubber glove to use for ‘udders’!

Supersonic Christmas, National Museum of Flight, East Fortune © Paul Dodds

Supersonic Christmas, National Museum of Flight, East Fortune © Paul Dodds

I feel very privileged to have had a career as an aviator spanning 46 years, including being part of history in flying Concorde.  Lastly, it was my privilege to have introduced my replacement on the fleet, “The Crimper”, Barbara Harmer, who died two years ago on on 20 February. You can see my tribute to her on my page at, www.facebook.com/concordeheritage

A guest post by Captain Tony Yule, former British Airways Concorde pilot

In two parts Captain Tony Yule tells us about his career as a Concorde pilot with British Airways.  In part 1 he describes the Concorde pilot training programme he undertook and in part 2 he reveals tales of his adventures piloting Concorde. Why not see and experience Concorde for yourself at National Museum of Flight, East Fortune. 

A dream becomes reality

My stomach was churning with excitement as we sat in the stillness of the flight deck, waiting for the controller to give us our clearance, “Concorde AG you’re cleared for Take-Off, climb straight ahead and maintain three thousand feet”…..

Mach sign on board Concorde G-BOAA, National Museum of Flight, East Fortune © Jenni Sophia Fuchs

Mach sign on board Concorde G-BOAA, National Museum of Flight, East Fortune © Jenni Sophia Fuchs

I looked around at the other crew members saying, “Everyone ready?” Then with their acknowledgement I said, “3-2-1 NOW” immediately pushing the four throttle levers rapidly fully forward. I was totally unprepared for the acceleration as she roared down the runway with the performance of a F1 sports car. She seemed to leap into the air climbing like a homesick angel…..We passed three thousand, then four thousand and I finally got her under some semblance of control at just under five thousand feet………….. A dream come true but long before this…

Captain Tony Yule with Concorde G-BOAA at National Museum of Flight, East Fortune

Captain Tony Yule with Concorde G-BOAA at National Museum of Flight, East Fortune

I’ve always wanted to be a pilot

“I have a dream….”  said Martin Luther King.  I too had a dream that was very different from his. It was as I remember, that from the age of eight I wanted to be a pilot. Ten years later in December 1958 that dream became a reality, when I was accepted for pilot training in the Royal Air Force. I had almost completed my four year tour as a QFI, Qualified Flying Instructor, at the RAF College Cranwell, when Concorde made her first take-off from Filton, Bristol on 9 April 1969. This beautiful slender delta aeroplane, even today still more futuristic looking than any other, caught my imagination. “Oh I wish I could fly her one day”.  I thought, little realising that in less than four years I would join BOAC, (pre British Airways), where in exactly fifteen years and twelve days after Concorde’s inaugural flight from Filton, I would be sitting in the right hand seat of Concorde G-BOAG on the end of R/W 31 at Prestwick airport, with my left hand on the throttled…

Captain Tony Yule aboard Concorde G-BOAA at National Museum of Flight, East Fortune

Beneath Concorde G-BOAA at National Museum of Flight, East Fortune

Concorde training was very different

These days, the training of pilots to fly most, if not all modern aeroplanes, is undertaken using a CBT, Computer Based Training system, for learning the INS and OUTS of the workings of an aeroplane. The exams are set electronically at the end of each system and a pass of 100% is required. The British Airways Training Centre is at Cranebank – we called it Branecrank – less than one mile to the East of the airport at London Heathrow. All flight and cabin crew training is still undertaken there.  It takes about two months to learn to fly a Boeing 747 there. As part of the training the pilots make around three landings and one missed approach with the most critical engine(s) failed. These are legal requirements for the pilot to demonstrate his flying skills. Concorde, on the other hand, was very different. The course lasted around six months.

I was initially put through seven weeks of ground school where the instructors, using the old “chalk and talk” method, stood in front of the blackboard and took me through the nuts and bolts of all the mechanical and electrical systems of the aeroplane. Every Friday there was a test with 100 questions on the previous week’s work. This was followed by a test of 150 questions on what I had learnt during the week.  At the end of the seven weeks, there was a three-hour test that had been set by the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority). This is a legal requirement for all, with a pass of no less than 85% being accepted. The Flight Simulator phase was next. The simulator is an exact replica of Concorde’s flight deck. This phase lasted seven weeks, with some to three sessions each week, each would be a briefing and flight preparation of one hour, and then four hours in “the box”, as the flight simulator is affectionately called, followed by up to two hours of debriefing.

Captain Tony Yule aboard Concorde G-BOAA at National Museum of Flight, East Fortune

Captain Tony Yule aboard Concorde G-BOAA at National Museum of Flight, East Fortune

A complicated machine

It’s worth noting that Concorde was like two aeroplanes in one.  She had to operate in the same environment as conventional aeroplanes up to 40,000 feet – then to operate in the hostile environment of “Super Cruise”, that is speeds of Mach 2 – twice the speed of sound – 1350mph which is 23miles/min or 1mile every 2 ¾ seconds, at altitudes up to 60,000 feet – just over 18km. A lot of problems could ‘leap out of the woodwork’ at a moment’s notice and we needed to deal with them quickly. Much of the simulator flying time was spent perfecting the handling of major emergencies at 60,000 feet for example double engine failures, pressurisation failures and also engine failures on take off and landing. The penultimate phase was ‘Base’ flying. Base was airport used by British Airways such as Prestwick in Scotland or Shannon in Ireland, for the flight training known as ‘circuits and landings’. The Concorde pilot had to make 35 approaches and landings, over a period of about two weeks. Each flight, the pilot would make around five approaches.

Concorde G-BOAA's flight controls, National Museum of Flight, East Fortune © Jenni Sophia Fuchs

Concorde G-BOAA’s flight controls, National Museum of Flight, East Fortune © Jenni Sophia Fuchs

A good pilot takes practice

The reason so many landings were practised, is that Concorde has this huge delta shaped wing that when she came into land, her nose was extremely high. Her delta wing created a high amount of drag, a similar effect to putting a hand out of the window of a moving car and feeling it being ‘dragged’ backwards. There’s a special technique to fly Concorde on the approach to the runway. Get it wrong, the end result could be a really bad landing that could damage the aeroplane. So it was practice, practice and more practice, to ensure we were competent. Remember, a ‘good pilot’ is one who has the same number of landings as take offs! My completion of the course was checked by an observer, in this case the Flight Manager Technical, on a scheduled flight from London to New York and back the following day. I passed!

You can read part 2 of Tony’s story here.

A guest post by Norm Webster, Flight Display Director for the Airshow at National Museum of Flight, East Fortune on Saturday 27 July 2013

Book your tickets by 5pm on 26 July and save 15% – find out more here

Scotland’s National Airshow is a spectacular day out for all the family. Aircraft old and new take to the skies for an afternoon of breathtaking aerial displays. The RAF’s supersonic Typhoon display team will take centre stage, with a Spitfire and Hawker Hurricane from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. We welcome back the breathtaking Breitling Wingwalkers, the Trig Aerobatic Team, and an RAF Sea King helicopter

Another year has passed and here we are again preparing for the Airshow at National Museum of Flight –  this is therefore part 1 of my ‘East Fortune 2013’ story.

Last week a meeting took place at National Museum of Flight, East Fortune to discuss the coming show and to ensure coordination between the National Museum of Flight team, the emergency services and other interested parties.  I always look on this meeting as the start of the display planning ‘proper’, as it’s the first time all those involved get together to talk about our aspirations and plans.

Sea King SAR helicopter will be at the Airshow at East Fortune

A Sea King SAR helicopter will be appearing at the Airshow, National Museum of Flight, East Fortune on Saturday 27 July 2013.

The display planning involves quite a number of different agencies including the police, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Scottish Ambulance, East Lothian Council and St Andrews First Aid for emergency planning and support, the AA, Traffic Scotland and BEAR Scotland for road and traffic management, and various companies dealing in security, marshalling and car parking, as well as the usual agencies and the museum staff involved with actually delivering the show on the day.  I am pleased to say that the meeting was successful on all counts, with everyone satisfied with their place in the plan and all the changes from last year understood.

The Grob 115E, known by the RAF as the Tutor will form part of the air display at the Airshow, National Museum of Flight, East Fortune on Saturday 27 July 2013.

The Grob 115E, known by the RAF as the Tutor will form part of the air display at the Airshow, National Museum of Flight, East Fortune on Saturday 27 July 2013.

This meeting was only the start of a busy couple of days for me, so from East Fortune It was back in the car to Edinburgh Airport to speak with the Airport Authority, Air Traffic Control and the aircraft Handling Agents.  It would be impossible for me to organise the flying display without the help and assistance of these three organisations as Edinburgh is a busy airport, and the coordination plan for getting aircraft in and out on display day can be quite complex.  With this in mind, a face to face meeting with all concerned is always a good idea, and also helps build good working relationships.  I shall be parking several aircraft at Edinburgh for the display, and as always the Edinburgh authorities were helpful and understanding which gives me a warm fuzzy feeling about the developing plan.  It was also a fine opportunity to sort out display day domestic issues for the crews – even pilots have to eat!!

The RAF Tucano team will be part of the air display at the Airshow, National Museum of Flight, East Fortune on Sat 27 July 2013

The RAF Tucano team will be part of the air display at the Airshow, National Museum of Flight, East Fortune on Sat 27 July 2013

After all these meetings I always try to find a little ‘me’ time while I’m up here, as it’s such a beautiful part of the world.  This time it took the guise of a flight in a pre-war biplane.  It was lovely to fly over the Bass Rock, and to check out all the golf courses along the Forth, especially Muirfield, with the stands in place ready for the Open.  I picked the right time as well; although the weather was glorious for the flight, an hour after we landed it was throwing it down with hailstones!!  I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to Scottish weather.  Then it was back in the car for a relaxing (?) drive back to Gloucestershire.

It’s always a good feeling to have these initial planning meetings under your belt and some decisions made.  Even at this early stage, the more things I have decided the easier the planning process becomes.  I already have numerous aircraft planned and allocated to the display – you can find out more about the display highlights here. Suffice it to say that I think we’re going to have an excellent display this year, and I’m looking forward to another brilliant (and hopefully dry) day at the Airshow in July.

Guest post by Alex Hill, Chief Met Office Advisor to Government in Scotland and Northern Ireland
Not long to go now… to the much awaited Wheels and Wings Show at the National Museum of Flight, East Fortune on Sunday 23 September 2012.  Book your tickets in advance here.
My present job is as Chief Met Office Advisor to Government for Scotland and Northern Ireland. I spend my time ensuring that the best of the Met Office science and operational capabilities are used to help develop policy in areas such as resilience, climate change, flooding and renewable energy.
Rainbow over National Museum of Flight, East Fortune

Rainbow over National Museum of Flight, East Fortune

For the Wheels and Wings show I have been researching a bit around the history of weather forecasting and looking at some of the surprising impacts that weather has had on some of the defining events in past centuries. Mainly, I’ll be talking about the development of meteorology as a science that has taken place over the last 150 years or so. Also looking at how much of this development went hand in hand with the needs of the transport industries, especially aviation not to mention the RAF and the Royal Navy.
Boy watching air display during rain shower at National Museum of Flight, East Fortune

Boy watching air display during rain shower at National Museum of Flight, East Fortune

The Met Office run one of the largest computer systems in Europe and have extensive links around the world,  the majority of aircraft in the air today are flying on Met Office advice. Some insight into the work we are currently engaged in. And it’s not just transport – remember there is almost nothing you do day or night that the the weather doesn’t effect. Look forward to seeing you at the Wheels and Wings Show on Sun 23 September!
Haddington five day weather forecast from © Met Office

Haddington five day weather forecast from © Met Office

A guest post by Rich from the Bike Track People, Innerleithen, Scottish Borders
Not long to go now… to the much awaited Wheels and Wings Show at the National Museum of Flight, East Fortune on Sunday 23 September 2012.  Book your tickets in advance here.

Biking in the Borders

We are based at Innerleithen in the Scottish Borders and we are designers, manufacturers and builders of all sorts of cycle tracks, bike tracks and features.  We specialise in portable bike tracks including pump tracks, timber trails, and features such as jumps, half pipes and kickers.  Basically anything to do with bikes and biking.
Wooden pump track by Bike Track People

Wooden pump track by Bike Track People

Canadian Inspiration

Bike Track People started in 2009 when one of the team arrived back from Whistler in Canada with an idea to build a pump track.  Like most people we didn’t have a clue what a pump track was, so with Ben at the helm we set about building one of the world’s first portable pump tracks. Before long we learnt that a pump track is a continuous loop made out of everything from sand or soil to wood or plastic.  A track consists of a series of bumps (rollers) and banked corners (berms) that allow the rider to gain momentum and reach speeds of up to 20+mph!
Building a pump track

Ben from Bike Track People building a pump track.

Basic pump tracks are an oval shape with a berm at each end and rollers in between to make the straights. More advanced pump tracks are irregular shapes with lots of different lines and sections with several berms in a row or even rollers that can be jumped over.

East Fortune Mountain biking

We will have a mountain bike pump track at Wheels and Wings where you can have a go for yourself – mountain bikes and helmets provided! We look forward to seeing you there!

By Leanne Roberts, Festival and Event Management Student, Napier University, Edinburgh

Don’t forget to book your tickets for Wheels and Wings on Sun 23 September and the next RBS Museum Lates: Behind the Masque on Fri 19 October at National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh

Over the past six months I have been working alongside the Learning and Programmes team at National Museums Scotland as part of my placement. I am a third year Festival and Event Management Student at Edinburgh Napier University and as part of my course I have been helping organise the large-scale public events with Bryony Hope and Craig Fletcher.

During my time at the Museum, I have been involved with a multitude of events. In May there was the World Wars Experience, where we went back in time to life during the First and Second World Wars. There were battles, flyovers, talks, a beauty salon and blistering sunshine! The only downside of the day was I dropped my ice-cream on the floor.

Miltary re-enactors at World Wars Experience, National Museum of Flight, East Fortune on Sunday 27 May 2012

Miltary re-enactors at World Wars Experience, National Museum of Flight, East Fortune on Sunday 27 May 2012.

At Robots Live! in June we had robot wars, a giant animatronic T.rex, galaxy-discovering robots, prosthetic limbs, retro games, face painting and Segway rides and the Concorde hangar was full to the brim with visitors – even though it was raining it was a great day!

Tyrone the animatronic T.rex at Robots Live! at National Museum of Flight, East Fortune on Sunday 17 June 2012

Tyrone the animatronic T.rex at Robots Live! at National Museum of Flight, East Fortune on Sunday 17 June 2012.

The RBS Museum Lates were complete madness from the moment the Museum closed at 5pm as we were frantically getting everything ready for the events two hours later. I don’t think I have ever run around so much! The atmosphere was amazing and the activities were brilliant.

I have never worked within a place where there is such a variety of things to do and odd things you need to find out – I’m now a Google search specialist! I have enjoyed working with such a creative and dynamic team, which has taught me about the practical side of organising events.

Having a go on the Segways at Robots Live! at National Museum of Flight, East Fortune on Sunday 17 June 2012

Having a go on the Segways at Robots Live! at National Museum of Flight, East Fortune on Sunday 17 June 2012.

The most memorable part of my time here has to be when I got to ride on a Segway with my face painted like a robot – who can say they get to do that at work? I am proud to have worked on such different themes during my six months here – it’s an experience I will definitely never forget!

A guest post by Norm Webster, Flight Display Director for the Airshow at the National Museum of Flight, East Fortune that took place Saturday 28 July 2012

Well, it’s all over for another year.  For those of you who came and are probably still drying out, thank you for your enthusiasm and good humour.  I know it rained, and when the rain started I thought I’d be cancelling displays or at least delaying them, but believe it or not everything displayed on or near time, nothing cancelled, and from my standpoint it was a very successful display.

Airshow Control. (IMG_3983a)

I did mention last week that something always comes up that you hadn’t bargained for – this year it was crew transport at Edinburgh airport.  Having had a system in place, for various reasons it collapsed completely on Saturday morning, leaving me with no transport to get the crews from the hotel to their aircraft.  The aircraft handling agent, Signature at Edinburgh airport stepped into the breach and saved the day, but not without it causing problems along the way.  So I’d just like to say a very public thank you to Scott McClaren and all his staff at Signature for making the thing work – we really couldn’t have done the display without them.

Red Arrows in battle formation arriving at the Airshow at National Museum of Flight, East Fortune on Sat 28 July 2012

Red Arrows in battle formation arriving at the Airshow at National Museum of Flight, East Fortune on Sat 28 July 2012

Back to the display site – I have decided that the Red Arrows must have a direct line to the rain or sun gods.  As they arrived the clouds parted, the sun shone and they gave yet another tremendous display; a true credit to themselves, the RAF and the nation.  They’d had quite a busy couple of days up to the, flypasts over Edinburgh, Belfast and Cardiff, and the Olympic opening ceremony in London the day before, fly up to RAF Leuchars on Saturday morning, and another display later in the day.

I was also impressed with the Great War Display Team, flying their small open cockpit aircraft the length of the UK in order to display, and the Royal Navy Historic Flight.  The Sea Fury is such a graceful aircraft and the noise of its engine so evocative that it’s always a pleasure to watch.  The Swordfish crew also deserve a mention, and the final flypasts with the Sea King were an absolute joy.

Sea King descending at the Airshow at National Museum of Flight, East Fortune on Sat 28 July 2012

Sea King descending at the Airshow at National Museum of Flight, East Fortune on Sat 28 July 2012

Away from the aircraft, sat in our control cabin overlooking the site we do see some amusing things.  On Saturday it was very excited and happy small children, giving their new wellies a proper work out.  There was one little girl in particular, about four or five years of age, who had found the deepest puddle she could find that she could walk in without the water flowing into her pink flowery wellies.  It made us laugh!

Crowd sheltering from the rain at the Airshow at National Museum of Flight, East Fortune on Sat 28 July 2012

Crowd sheltering from the rain at the Airshow at National Museum of Flight, East Fortune on Sat 28 July 2012

Once again you have proved to me that we have the most appreciative spectators in the UK, with very vocal support of virtually every aircraft, but especially the Red Arrows, and a very big thank you must go to all of you who did as you were asked and waved your umbrellas at David Cyster as he flew past in the Tiger Moth – It was one of those unique airshow moments I’ll never forget.

Crowd watching the air display at the Airshow at National Museum of Flight, East Fortune on Sat 28 July 2012

Crowd watching the air display at the Airshow at National Museum of Flight, East Fortune on Sat 28 July 2012

So it’s back to the drawing board for next year, with a heartfelt thank you and good luck to Grant Mackenzie, my partner in crime from the National Museum of Flight, who has been the display project officer for several years and who now moves on to pastures new, and who has been so good over the past two years, allowing me to almost do as I wish with the display.

Having fun in the Concorde Hangar at the Airshow at National Museum of Flight, East Fortune on Sat 28 July 2012

Having fun in the Concorde Hangar at the Airshow at National Museum of Flight, East Fortune on Sat 28 July 2012

Until I start my pre-display blogs posts again next year, have good summer (!?) and a Happy Christmas to you all from myself and my entire team.

Norm Webster

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 145 other followers