So I left you all after we were having a few training sessions around VFAT and we were busy working away behind the scenes on the now announced Great Warbird Historic Flight.
Its been a very busy few months and for the benefit of anyone who hasnt seen or heard about it Rock and I launched a new team to the aerobatic community called the Great War Birds Historic Flight (GWBHF). The ambition of our team is to provide a dynamic and varied duo display using aircraft that are not in DCS in combination with the P-51D. To date we have a Spitfire Mk IX, Spitfire Mk XVI, F4U-1C Corsair and a P-38 J Lightning. We also have at least another 6 aircraft in the works. Its going to be an exciting year on two fronts for Rock and I, not too mention the other guys that make this happen, without them we wouldnt be able to do what we have done and perform the way that we perform.
Our facebook is here
We also have a promotional video showing our Spitfire Mk IX and the P-51D in honor of the Old Flying Machine Company pairing Mh434 and Frankie.
So that will be extremely exciting for us, On top of that we have also begun training with the P-38J for the Virtual Horsemen as well, You can see some pictures of this training on our face book, Click Here
So last time I promised you some helmet cam footage didn’t I? Well guess I should bring you up to date with the training and experiences before we get there huh! Well one of the biggest things with any kind of formation flying is consistency, its great being able to do a loop and remain in the same dialing code one time, doing it 4 out of 5 or 100% of the time is like finding a 4 leaf clover buried in a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow! Its difficult to describe to anyone who hasnt tried formation work how it feels when it goes well and how horrible it feels and how much it feels like a kick in the stomach when it goes the other way and falls over. Not too mention trying to speak to team lead who is normally by this point swearing more than a biker without drink…
So with the training picking up for the Horsemen starting the Great Warbird Flight is something that Rock and I had spoken about a few times in jest and then we actually started knuckling down to it in the build up to Christmas, we had flown a few potential duo displays before and it was great fun but learning one routine is hard learning two is just pure foolishness! But its all good fun right!?
When I first started learning formation aero I remember being very determined and knowing that you have to accept that you will be crap more of then than glorious, its amazing that nearly a year on this is still here. To be a good formation pilot I think you need to be a perfectionist. Its like having a compulsion for perfection one that you can never satisfy.
That said training is progressing nicely, there are still a few little bugbears, things like the tail end of the cuban is a real challenge, keeping the aircraft in perfect sync with roll rates is a challenge that I think can only be mastered with time in the aircraft and with a good amount of wingtime with the lead as everyone leads differently.
We are preparing for 2 airshows in the next 6 weeks, Firstly we have the Anniversary airshow for this very site. Yes thats right Virtual Aerobatics will have been going for a year and to celebrate we are having a one day airshow! I am flying a solo display in the Spitfire Mk IX for that. Then we have the Virtual Tblisli airshow on the 22nd of March, I am flying in 2 displays for that weekend. First is the Great War Birds Duo with the Spitfire Mk IX and the P-51D and then with the Virtual Horsemen flying our trio displays in Mustangs
I will leave you with the video from training this past weekend, I have taken the sound away as it included some language that I dont think I can post here hehe, The text on the side of the video is some of my monitoring software that was running during the flight, I had not intented to film the training so I didnt think to turn it off. There is still alot of improvement to be made but I was very keen to show you how I am getting on and what it looks like to be in formation with The Virtual Horsemen Trio!
Anyway, I hope you enjoy the video and love to hear your feedback good or bad.
Fly Safe everyone, until next time