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  Bleriot Celebration - Royal Military School, Dover, Kent, 25th July 2009

 


Review -
Weather and other difficulties hampered the Dover 2009 Bleriot celebration although there was still plenty to sit back and enjoy during a blustery but sunny afternoon in the setting of the Duke of York's Royal Military School.  Pictured above is Jean-Pierre Lafille, pilot of one of two Bleriot XIs that re-enacted the 1909 channel crossing early on the morning of Saturday 26th July, leaving Calais at approximately 8.45am and arriving at the School on the cliffs behind Dover around 37 minutes later. The two aircraft remained at the school for most of the day starring in the static display at the Dover 2009 festival organised by Cresting and Dover District Council to celebrate the centenary of the historic occasion. Unfortunately high winds, including a vicious crosswind at the School prevented the planned crossing at 6pm of three further Bleriots to be led by Mikael Carlson in his Thulin A, although there was still a lot of aviation activity that took place during the day including a multitude of micolights, an air race and a memorable flyby from BBMF Avro Lancaster PA474 finishing with an overflight at 7pm of Dover Castle by the Red Arrows and La Patrouille de France in quick succession. Flying continued on the Sunday with Mikeal Carlson able to make the crossing allowing visitors to get up close to another Bleriot on the day.

 

On Sunday 26th July aviationphoto visited Rochester Airport in Kent which was celebrating 75 years of aviation at the site during their annual open day. Star of the event was Biggin Hill based Supermarine Spitfire IX TA805 G-PMNF 'Spirit of Kentí flown in by Dan Griffith. The aircraft looked resplendent in D-Day invasion stripes added in May this year prior to the Spitfire's participation in the D-Day commemorations over Normandy in June.

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