The WW1 Aviation Heritage Trust have brought some wonderful recreation WW1 aircraft to the UK over the past few years. 2016 saw their the first season of regular display flying at their home base of Stow Maries.
I attended a number of events at Stow this year and was treated to many memorable displays from these aircraft.
The BE2 always makes for a wonderful display with its graceful flypasts and almost silent running thanks to the exhaust system. Being able to watch this aircraft be prepared and see that huge propeller swung through on start up is something special that can only really be seen at Stow Maries.
The Albatros D.Va made a number of appearances at Stow and certainly shows how things progressed during the war being a noticeable leap from the BE2. It’s Mercedes engine sounds great as it performs over the airfield.
The jewel in the crown in my eyes is the Sopwith Snipe replica. Powered by the pinnacle of rotary engines, the Bentley BR2, the Snipe is a very different class of aeroplane to any other WW1 fighters flying in the UK currently. The noise, sight and even smell of this late war fighter firing up is incredible and that Bentley engine sounds so sweet during the Snipes energetic display. There are few better ways to end a day’s flying than the sound of a rotary engine “blipping” its way around the circuit as it returns to earth.
The WW1 Aviation Heritage Trust and Stow Maries have created something truly incredible and everyone should know about it. Next year looks to be another great year for the Trust as they should have the second BE2 back in the air to add further strength to their collection. I look forward to enjoying their aircraft in the UK skies for many years to come.