We are thrilled to announce a very special treat for all attending Sonisphere Festival on Saturday July 5th. The Great War Display Team, a group of pilots which includes IRON MAIDEN vocalist Bruce Dickinson among its illustrious members, will stage a spectacular 12 minute air display in the skies above Knebworth at approximately 6pm.
This unique and audacious “dogfight” will commemorate the 100th Anniversary of The Great War; a 21st Century tribute to the daring – and often downright dangerous – exploits of both the English and German pilots who ruled Europe’s skies between 1914-1918. The show features nine aircraft of 5 different types, all exact replicas of the planes used in WW1 combat. Bruce will be flying his very own Fokker Dr1 Triplane, the same model used by infamous German flying ace Manfred von Richthofen aka The Red Baron. Also from the German side there is a Junkers CL1. Of the British planes in the show, there is a Sopwith Triplane, a BE2c and a SE5a. The other members of this elite team alongside Bruce are Alex Truman, Dan Griffith, Dave Linney, Ernie Hoblyn, Gordon Brander, Matthew Boddington, Peter Bond, Richard Piper, Vic Lockwood and Will Greenwood. The Great War Display Team performs re-enactments throughout the UK and Europe and is proudly sponsored by Iron Maiden’s very own TROOPER beer.
Comments Bruce :“The air show over Sonisphere is something I’m really excited about and we’re determined to put on an unforgettable display for everyone. We’re planning an extravaganza of derring-do, especially when you consider the manoeuvres we’ll be performing are all based on true-life battles from a hundred years ago! What some of these fighter pilots achieved back then was nothing short of miraculous given the conditions they were working under and the seriousness of what was at stake. We hope to stage a memorable display which is equally entertaining and poignant, celebrating not only the bravery and heroics of all the pilots involved but remembering the sacrifices made on both side. Having been brought up on Biggles to the horror of my English teachers, the chance to fly a Fokker triplane Dr1 was second only to owning a Sopwith Camel. A share in a Bucker Jungmann and a conversation with Great War team manager Gordon Brander led to a chance to buy a superbly constructed full size replica of the iconic German fighter. Built by the late John Day I intend to display the aircraft with the team in commemoration not just of the Great war, but also as a tribute to one of the UK’s premier engineer/builders.”
Sonisphere organiser Stuart Galbraith adds, “We all got very excited when Iron Maiden approached us with this idea. It’s going to be a truly unique experience and tribute for everyone at Knebworth. We’ve made sure we were able to squeeze a gap into the outdoor stage programme on July 5th so that it has the impact it deserves.”
After the air show, Bruce will return to solid ground to get ready for Maiden’s headline performance that night, on the final date of their MAIDEN ENGLAND world tour.
For anyone interested in finding out more about The Great War Display Team’s planes, pilots and general activities go towww.greatwardisplayteam.com
* (Additional background info from this website is in full below) *
LINE UP SO FAR:
BAND OF SKULLS
ANTHRAX (PERFORMING AMONG THE LIVING)
ATARI TEENAGE RIOT
BAM MARGERA’S FUCKFACE UNSTOPPABLE
DEVIL YOU KNOW
JAGERMEISTER & SATELLITE STAGE
BRUTALITY WILL PREVAIL
GLASS CITY VICE
FRANK TURNER & THE SLEEPING SOULS
THE WINERY DOGS
CHAS & DAVE
BOHEMIA & OTHER STAGES:
THE SISTERS OF MERCY
NEW MODEL ARMY
DOG EAT DOG PLAYING ALL BORO KINGS
JAGERMEISTER & SATELLITE STAGE
BLEED FROM WITHIN
THE SAFETY FIRE
GLAMOUR OF THE KILL
THE LOUNGE KITTENS
THE RAVEN AGE
THE WILD LIES
ALICE IN CHAINS
DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT
REEL BIG FISH
PROTEST THE HERO
BOHEMIA & OTHER STAGES:
THERAPY? (Performing Infernal Love)
THE CADILLAC THREE
JAGERMEISTER & SATELLITE STAGE
THE HYPE THEORY
THE ONE HUNDRED
Comedy Line Up:
MAT REED – FIN TAYLOR – ALFIE BROWN – NOISE NEXT DOOR
JOHN HASTINGS – JOHN ROBERTSON – ANDREW O’NEILL – MATT REES PAT CAHILL – ALFIE BROWN – MAT EWINS – ROB DEERING
Plus Wrestling, Silent Disco and more
Individual day and weekend tickets for SONISPHERE 2014 are on sale now at http://www.sonisphere.co.uk. Check the Sonisphere website for further details.
All Campsites open Thursday.
For further information please visit http://www.sonisphere.co.uk
GREAT WAR DISPLAY TEAM
The Team started out in 1988 and was originally called The Wombats. It was an ad hoc collection of aircraft including 5 SE5as, 2 Fokker Dr1s and a Fokker D7, many of them flown by their builders, and appeared that year at the Biggin Hill Air Show. Last year was the 25th anniversary of the Team’s formation and two of the original members, Des Biggs and Doug Gregory, were still flying with the Team until the previous year and Doug flew his SE5a in January 2013 to celebrate his 90th Birthday!
Over the years the aircraft and pilots changed frequently. Robin Bowes flew his red Fokker Dr1 for several years until his untimely death, Nick O’Brien flew the black Fokker Dr1 for many years, famously looping it at VERY low level at every display! Ernie Hoblyn joined in 1997 with the Sopwith Triplane he had built, which flies now in the ownership of Gordon Brander. The following year John Day and Bob Gauld-Galliers joined, flying the Nieuport 17 they had built and also the Junkers CL1 they had converted. John extended the types in 2006 when he finished building his Fokker Dr1 and that joined the Team as well. Following John’s untimely death his Dr1 was bought by Bruce Dickinson and still flies with the Team, and now we also have Peter Bond’s Dr1 as well; there aren’t many places you can see three triplanes flying together. The SE5as and their pilots changed frequently, with Dave Linney and Vic Lockwood, the current pilots, joining in 2007 and this year we also have Mike Waldron’s SE5a as well. Matthew Boddington’s BE2c joined in 2013 adding to the spectacle.
We have been seen at many large and small airshows in the UK and abroad, at Duxford, Biggin Hill, Waddington, Farnborough and Fairford and as far afield as Portrush in Ireland and La Ferté-Alais in France.
The Team currently has 5 different types of aircraft available to fly, with 9 aircraft in total. For a large show with a long crowd line the full Team, with all 9 aircraft dog-fighting together, presents a spectacle which can be seen nowhere else. As well as the years of experience which the team has accrued, this year’s influx of new aircraft and pilots will bring new blood and fresh ideas which can only result in an even better display.
Our Sopwith Triplane is a replica of N500, the first Triplane prototype. First flying in early June 1916, it by-passed the normal test-flying and went straight to France to be test-flown in service with A Flight, No1 Squadron of the Royal Naval Air Service, where it is reputed to have been sent up in pursuit of an enemy aircraft within 15 minutes of arriving.
By early 1917 two RNAS squadrons, Nos 8 and 10, had been equipped with Triplanes. They were very popular with the pilots, being able to out-climb and out-turn any contemporary enemy scout aircraft.
Only 150 Triplanes were built and they were only used by the RNAS, with the exception of a few which were given to the French and one to the Russians. Their service life was short, by late summer 1917 they started to be replaced by Camels.
Although it was later painted in both green and brown dope, N500 first went to France in clear-doped linen, and it is this stage of its life which our replica represents. Built over a three year period by Ernie Hoblyn, it first flew in 1997. It is currently owned by Gordon Brander.
Fokker Dr1 Triplane
Designed by Reinhold Platz, the Dr1 was a direct attempt to copy the successful Sopwith Triplane. Armed with two forward firing Spandau machine guns, it was highly manoeuvrable, and was a favourite mount of a number of German aces such as Werner Voss and the legendary Manfred von Richthofen.
We have two Fokker Dr1s, 403/17 which was built by John Day and first flew in 2006, replicates the Dr1 flown by Leutnant Johann Janzen [13 victories] of Jasta 6, of JG1. It carries the unit markings of a black/white striped tail and black cowling, with Janzen’s personal marking of a ‘white snake’ line on a black band, edged with white on the rear fuselage. Janzen became ‘Staffelfuhrer’ [Leader] of Jasta 6 and survived a crash-landing, when the control cables of his Triplane were shot away in combat. After the sad death of John Day the aircraft was bought by Bruce Dickinson and continues to fly with the Team.
The other aircraft is 556/17 which was built by its owner, Peter Bond in 2010. It replicates the Dr1 flown by Leutnant Ludwig “Lutz” Beckmann also of Jasta 6 in March 1918 which was then based at Lechelle. Beckmann survived the Great War and commanded a transport unit of the Luftwaffe in WW2.
Royal Aircraft Factory BE2c
The BE2c was designed and built in 1912 at the Royal Aircraft Factory at Farnborough and was Britain’s first-ever military aeroplane. Designed with artillery observation in mind, it was the most stable aeroplane ever built.
At the outbreak of hostilities, the BE-2, was a mainstay of the Royal Flying Corps, along with French types such as Bleriot monoplanes and Maurice Farman ‘pusher’ biplanes. This aircraft is a replica BE-2c commissioned in 1969 by the
makers of the film ‘Biggles Sweeps the Skies”. Designed by film model specialist David Boddington, it was built and flown in just sixteen weeks by vintage aircraft specialist Charles Boddington at Sywell, Northamptonshire, based on de Havilland Tiger Moth components.
Flown, crashed and stored for 25 years in the USA, it was restored to fly again by co-owners Matthew Boddington, son of the original builder, and Steve Slater, back at its birthplace in the UK.
The original BE prototype made its first flight at Farnborough on 1st January 1912. It was certified by the Army Aircraft Factory on 14th March, becoming the first aeroplane in the World to be issued with an airworthiness certificate. The first aeroplane, BE-1, was originally powered by a watercooled Wolseley engine (with the radiator mounted in the pilot’s line of vision!).
Royal Aircraft Factory SE5a
The RAF SE5, originally with a 150HP direct-drive Hispano-Suiza engine, first flew in November 1916. Only 77 of these were built before the engine was replaced by a geared 200HP version. The type went into squadron service in March 1917 and, with another engine change to the 200HP Wolseley Viper, they continued in service right up to the end of the war, with a total of 5,265 being built.
We have three SE5as in the Team which are owned by Dave Linney, Vic Lockwood and Mike Waldron.
Dave’s aircraft was built in 1978 and was the first SE built from the Replica plans to be built in Europe. First flight was in Dec 1978 and the story was featured in Aeroplane Monthly at that time. It was completely refurbished in 2000. His SE5a represents Zulu of 85 Squadron, which was led by both Billy Bishop and Mick Mannock in 1918.
Vic’s SE5a represents Blue 19 of the American 25th Aero Squadron, the only USAS squadron using S.E.5a during the war. Based at Toul, only 2 patrols were flown by this squadron before the armistice. The aircraft was built in America, later sold to Holland and has been owned and operated by Vic since 2005.
Mike built his aircraft in 1995 and it represents B595 of 56 Squadron, flown in June 1917 by Lieutenant M E Mealing who gained an MC for his tally of 12 enemy aircraft.
The Junkers CL1 was a ground-attack aircraft, based on the Junkers J8 but with an extended fuselage to carry a gunner. First flying in late 1917 it was accepted by Idflieg, which oversaw all German military aviation, but only 47 were built by the time of the Armistice. They are the only two-seaters in the Team and one of the occupants is a dummy. See if you can work out which one it is!
Both of our aircraft are modified Bowers Fly-Babys, remodelled to look like typical CL1s. The first was originally built in 1988 by John Day, first flying with the Team in its modified form in 2003. It is now owned by Andrew Berry.
The second CL1 was also modified by John Day, first flew with the Team in 2009 and is now owned and flown by Richard Piper.
The Team Pilots 2014
Alex Truman – began flying with the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough, gliding club when he started his apprenticeship there in 1983. He carried on gliding for the next 25 years becoming an instructor and tug pilot along the way before his growing interest in homebuilt and classic aircraft took over. Alex is currently employed as an engineer by British Airways.
Bruce Dickinson – Aeroplanes started at the age of 5 with my Godfather,in the RAF during the siege of Malta and one of “Trenchards apprentices”. My uncle was RAF and also an engineer. Until age 30 plastic aeroplanes and Biggles was as far as I got. Rubbish at maths and physics I talked myself out of applying to the RAF and nearly joined the Army. Luckily for the UK military I became a rock singer instead. I started actually flying at the ripe old age of 30. 7000 hours later I finished up as a Boeing 757 Captain and 737 instructor. Luckily the aircraft design I fly is still older than me, but the gap is closing. In my spare time I sing a bit, own a company that fixes airliners and am trying to bring airships back into our skies. Actually, I should have been born in1898, not 1958. C’est la vie.
Having been brought up on Biggles to the horror of my English teachers, the chance to fly a Fokker triplane Dr1 was second only to owning a Sopwith Camel.A share in a Bucker Jungmann and a conversation with Great War team manager Gordon Brander led to a chance to buy a superbly constructed full size replica of the iconic German fighter. Built by the late John Day I intend to display the aircraft with the team in commemoration not just of the Great war, but also as a tribute to one of the Uk’s premier engineer/builders.
Dan Griffith began his training in the RAF in 1984, flying Harriers operationally on Number 1 Squadron at RAF Wittering and Number 4 Squadron at RAF Gutersloh in Germany. In 1992 Dan was selected for the USAF Test Pilot course at Edwards Air Force Base in the United States and spent a year there being formally taught to test all kinds of military and civil aircraft. In 1996 he became Chief Test Pilot at the Civil Aviation Authority. Dan has displayed many different types of aeroplane, including the Spitfire, Hurricane, Avenger, Hunter, Canberra, Sopwith Pup, Vampire, Venom, Meteor and Sea Vixen to list just a few.
Dave Linney gained a PPL in 1965 then joined the RAF in 1967 where he flew Harriers, retiring as a Squadron Leader, AFC. Post retirement he flew Hunters, Canberras and Hawks at RNAS Yeovilton and Falcons from Bournemouth.
Ernie Hoblyn learned to fly in 1983 and then started building and repairing aircraft. He flew with the Team from 1997 until 2010 in the Sopwith Triplane and has just rejoined them flying an SE5a.
Gordon Brander was trained on Chipmunks by the RAF in the University Air Squadron and then he was selected for the BEA/BOAC Training scheme for graduates at Oxford and went on to fly professionally for 32 years as a commercial pilot with British Airways. Gordon flew the Hawker Siddeley Trident, BAC 1-11, Boeing 757, 767 and retired off the 747-400 with in excess of 15,000 hrs. He has also flown lots of aerobatic aircraft and has been involved with the Bucker Jungmann and Jungmeister at White Waltham since mid 1980’s.
Matthew Boddington – first flight in an aeroplane was at the tender age of 1 year on his father Lap in an Auster Aircraft from Sywell. After that Matthew spent many hours flying with his father and two sisters in Tiger Moths, Stampes and Rapides including 4 up aero’s in a Stampe, him on his father’s lap and his two sisters in the front Cockpit, (Something that would be frowned upon today I’m sure).
Matthew was introduced to WW1 aviation at an early age with visits to the film sets in Ireland where the films such as The Blue Max, Darling Lili and Von Richtofen and Brown were made in the late sixties early seventies and for which his father flew. Tragically Mathews father Charles was killed in 1970 whist flying for the film Von Richtofen and Brown when Matthew was eight years old.
This never dented Matthews enthusiasm for all things aviation and he went on to gain his PPL in 1986 learning on a family friend’s Auster Aircraft. Matthew went on to fly Tiger Moth and Chipmunk Aircraft with the Barnstormers Flying circus, an Air Display group his father had formed in the late 60’s, initially ferrying A/C to and from Airshows and then gaining his Display Authorisation.
Matthews Display Authorisation covers him for Wing Walking on both Tiger Moth and Stearman Aircraft, Formation, Tail Chase, and he is cleared down to 3ft for limbo flying. In his 1400 odd hrs, nearly all on vintage Aircraft, Matthew has flown everything from a Luton Minor to a North American Harvard. He is also and Authorised Air Test Pilot by the CAA.
In the past he has flown the Fokker DR1 in GWDT displays but now mainly flies the Biggles Biplane BE2 Replica that was originally built by his father Charles and Uncle David for a film in the late 60’s. Matthew and Steve Slater acquired the Aircraft in 2005 and rebuilt it to flying condition; it now regularly flies with the team.
Matthew is also an LAE (licensed Aircraft Engineer) and an Inspector for the LAA covering all types, he has rebuilt many award winning Vintage Aircraft.
Peter Bond is an airline pilot flying for KLM Cityhopper. He has previously displayed the Pilatus P2 and in his spare time he builds replica aircraft, having completed his Fokker Dr1 in 2010 and is currently working on a Sopwith Camel. He also rides vintage motorcycles and flies a Pitts Special.
Richard Piper grew up near to RAE Farnborough where he first became interested in aircraft watching Lightnings, Vulcans and Hunters display at the famous airshow.This interest resulted in first hang gliding, and then gliding before gaining his PPL whilst living in the USA (doing the Statue of Liberty flight for real!).
On returning to the UK Richard continued his flying, with a growing interest in classic aircraft and aerobatics. As part of his love of radials he initially gained his CAA Display Authorisation on his Harvard, and also displays his Ryan PT-22 and T28 Fennec. Richard greatly enjoys flying his CL1 with the Team.
Richard is a Liveryman of the Honourable Company of Air Pilots and a member of Historic Aircraft Association, British Air Display Association and The Tiger Club.
Vic Lockwood has been in Military and Civil Aviation for more than 47 years. He served with the RAF as a fighter pilot and then, on graduation from the Empire Test Pilots’ School, carried out military test flying duties in the UK and USA. On leaving the RAF, he joined Flight Refuelling Aviation (Cobham) where he spent 20 years as the Company’s Chief Test Pilot. He has flown Warbirds such as Spitfire, Mustang and Harvard before buying his SE5a.
Despite all this experience, Vic refers to himself as an ‘old clapped out Lightning pilot’!
Will Greenwood started flying gliders at while he was 16years old in 1984. His passion for aircraft started while helping to load crop dusters that flew out of the family farm in Sussex England. He quickly progressed to powered aircraft in 1987 and has been flying as a private pilot ever since. Gaining a wealth of experience along the way, his range of aircraft flown go from microlights, complex SEP and classic-vintage tailwheel aircraft, like the T6 Harvard, Tiger Moth and Bestmann. He also holds a Class Rating Instructor licence which he uses to train other pilots, as well as test flying for the CAA and LAA. In 2008 Will has turned his skills to display flying, gaining his CAA Display Authorisation that year and has been flying in displays throughout the UK and Europe ever since. As well as his own aircraft Will displays the Junkers CL-1 for the team.