Thousands turn out for Air Fête

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Something for all the family – thousands headed to the Centenary Air Fête on Sunday 17 July 2016 to celebrate 100 years of flying at North Weald Airfield.

Fun on the carousel

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Happy in the hot sunshine

Beautiful aeroplanes lined the perimeter tracks while a mini-zoo, face-painting, bouncy castles, fairground attractions and charity stalls kept the children happy in the hot sunshine. Crowds were entertained at the central arena with music, dance, gymnastic displays, stunt bikes, WW1 Re-enactors and presentations.

From ice cream and burgers to North Weald Airfield’s own centenary celebration beer ‘Scramble’ there was something for everyone to enjoy at the Epping Forest District Council-owned airfield.

Royal Norwegian Air Force

The Chairman of Epping Forest District Council Councillor Jeane Lea hosted a VIP delegation flown in by the Royal Norwegian Air Force on Saturday. Among the guests was Major General Wilhelm Mohr (99), known as the father of the Royal Norwegian Air Force.

General Mohr flew spitfires from North Weald Airfield in 1942 and was joined by a number of British veterans including Air Commodore Roger Topp AFC, the former commander of 111 Squadron, the RAF’s Black Arrows based at North Weald from 1953 to 1957.

The Royal Norwegian Air Force Falcon performed a flypast and dipped its wings as it left for the return trip to Oslo.

Profits for local charities

Profits from the day organised jointly by the Events Team at Weald Aviation and Epping Forest District Council are to be donated to Voluntary Action Epping Forest for use by local charities and voluntary groups.

Military vehicles, re-enactors & planes

There was a wide selection of military vehicles and re-enactors including groups dressed in the uniforms of the First World War. MiGs, Vampires and a Hawker Hunter of the Cold War stood alongside WW2 aircraft including the P51 Mustang and a newly arrived Hawker Sea Fury. North Weald Model Flying Club had miniature versions of several full-sized planes on display.

There were classic cars and motorbikes to admire along with the latest video games to play in virtual reality. ‘Children’ of all ages also had the chance to sit in the Essex Fire and Rescue fire engine and talk to the paramedics from the East of England Ambulance Service.

Helicopters

There were helicopter pleasure flights and chances to sign up for flying lessons. The Essex Police helicopter made an appearance while the airfield-based Herts and Essex Air-Ambulance returned from an operational call during the afternoon.

Special presentations

The day concluded with special presentations to Air Commodore Topp and Arthur Moreton, a long standing resident and expert on North Weald Airfield who has devoted many years of his life to preserving the special cultural bond between North Weald and the people of Norway.