Wonderful event held in the area bordering the famous WW1 battlefield of the Somme.
This airfield is the oldest official aerodrome in the world, established close by in 1909, and not far from the Armistice memorial train carriage site.
France’s famous WW1 fighter ace, Georges Guynemer was born in Compiegne. “Guynemer became influential enough to affect French fighter aircraft design. In December 1916, he wrote a letter to the chief designer at Spad, criticizing the Spad VII as inferior to the German Halberstadt that was its contemporary. As a consequence, Spad developed two new but very similar models, the SPAD XII and SPAD XIII.” ………….”Although the cannon promised devastating firepower, the new plane was a handful because of it, as the cannon’s rearwards-protruding breech mandated separate aileron and elevator controls, split from each other on opposing sides of the cockpit. The single shot cannon had to be manually reloaded in flight; it had a heavy recoil when fired, and filled the canopy with fumes from every shot. The Spad XII was not a plane for a novice pilot. However, Guynemer used it to down an Albatros fighter on 27 July, and a DFW the next day. The latter triumph made him the first French ace to attain 50 victories.”
Nearly 72 years from the taking and occupation of Compiegne airfield by the US forces, a photo is taken on the German Luftwaffe laid tarmac.
The Collinot brothers, committee and volunteers did a superb job, hosting the 1930’s – 1940’s themed aerial show over two days. Pilots and guests were made very welcome and well looked after. Ground support was very helpful, the majority of volunteers being retired Air France engineers.
The weather was almost perfect; overcast on Saturday and slightly warm on Sunday, but the approximate crowd of 4000 on that day didn’t seem to mind. The focus was in the air, and what a great way to see aircraft at their best. Each participant displayed his or her aircraft in their own airspace during their allocated time of between 5-15 mins.
The Ryan performance seemed to impress the crowd, “tres beau” and “tres jolie” were frequent remarks.