around the world in a stagger wing

Captain Biff Windsock, Around the World in a Staggerwing

News & Articles

A Big Day in the Life of the Red Rockette

Present locaction --UK

In this space last was a notice that the RR was being prepared for the famous Goodwood Revival near Chichester, England in mid-Sept. She was flown to the lovely Goodwood airfield, an ex-WWII all grass airfield, on a rainy Wed., Sept 12, 2012. She was met by a real aviation enthusiast, Rob Wildeboer, the manager of the aviation side of the Revival event. He directed the RR to a center position in the aircraft display area. I was already impressed.

The majority of the vintage race cars were already there, including the incredible Silver Arrows of Mercedes and Auto Union fame. You'll have to ask Mr. Google for more info about them. I hope the following link will operate since it's a wonderful B&W short film about this amazing collection of racing cars. Included is a nice interview with Jackie Stewart and other drivers of note.

The chief engineer of the Croydon Aircraft Company, Malcolm Smith, came all the way from Mandeville, New Zealand to join his first aircraft restoration as project manager, the Red Rockette. He has a special logo embroidered on the back of his flight suit relating to the RR. He faithfully stood by the RR throughout the weekend answering endless questions. He also found time to visit the Silver Arrows and watch a few races as I did. The owners and guest drivers of these amazing cars race them with gusto.

The Red Rockette became surrounded by many aircraft of various types, some military and some civil. All were magnificent in their own way. It was all very colorful with a band playing on a bandstand in the middle of all these aircraft with a Brit double decker bus as a backprop. Wonderful! Experiencing all this color, music, people dressed in period costume, including their children, made the time pass ever so quickly. All of a sudden, it was time to "dude up" in black tie and head for one of the most amazing parties I've ever attended. But that's a story for later.

Now it was Sunday and the judges for the Concours de Elegance were on the prowl throughout the aircraft venue. They were an esteemed group, including one American astronaut. Both Malcolm and I stayed away from the aircraft during the judging process. I came back from watching an auto race to find a huge winners wreath sitting against the lower wing of the RR. Lo and behold, she had won the Grand Prize!

I was dumbfounded, thinking that amongst all these British aircraft and knowing the British thoughts on perfection and correctness, she would not win the "big one". She did! Malcolm and I attended the awards ceremony after the last auto race together. The trophy was presented by Lady March. Malcolm was beaming. So was I.

Well done, Red Rockette.

[For more information, see the press release on the Red Rockette as the winner of the Freddie March Spirit of Aviation.]                -- Windsock update 10/15/12.

around the world in a staggerwing

Copyright © William M. Charney. All rights reserved.