Fokker-Abteilung Nord fliegt wieder

Early November…light winds and not too cold. Just right for a quick patrol in the Eindecker replica. The good thing about this aircraft is that I’m rarely without some good pics that other people have taken!

Here we are on departure from runway 27 at Perth, just starting the early right turn to avoid the trees ahead. The climb performance from the 40hp engine isn’t exactly sparkling, so I like to route over open fields rather than the woods. In summer the open fields also produce good thermals to aid the climb.

The photo was taken by Jim of the Scottish Aero Club, who was at the holding point in his flexwing microlight as the mighty Eindecker thundered/sedately tootled past (delete as applicable). Once he took off I was able to manoeuvre into position for his passenger, the talented photographer Wallace, to get a shot. Jim had seen me turn towards them and held course while I approached. Wallace must have been sitting there drooling and enjoying the view when he suddenly shouted “Fokker!” and was only able to get one picture before a hail of imaginary bullets sent them spinning to their doom in the fields below.

Having dispatched the Tommies we continued on patrol, doing the usual local route of crossing the (200 foot electricity) lines to Stanley, patrolling up the river and crossing back over the lines at Strelitz Wood. Yep there’s a germanic sounding bunch of trees in Perthshire. Apparently it’s named after Queen Charlotte of Strelitz, wife of George 3rd.

The flight also tested the new 8.33 spacing handheld radio in combination with the Campbell Classics leather helmet.

(I like this photo so much I’ve used it twice…)

With the previous radio the helmet was plugged into the aircraft intercom and was picking up a lot of interference from the ignition system. The new setup plugs the helmet directly into the radio and works much better. My ears are no longer bombarded with noise very time we go flying. The radio clips onto a mount on the cockpit sidewall. On landing I was able to unclip it and took it flying in the Sting as a backup.

After 40 minutes flying around in the Sting with the heater on full blast I had just about thawed out. The little open cockpit replica is great fun but only for short trips of 30 minutes at a time – especially in November.

Last Sunday started off as a light wind day and I briefly thought about getting the Eindecker out again for a mid-morning jaunt before the wind got up.  Then I realised that flying a WW1 German fighter around was probably not a good idea on Remembrance Day while all the parades were going on…