back to article Airshow Blighty hits town - 100 years of UK powered flight

Today is the opening day of the Farnborough Air Show, and the world's aerospace biz bigwigs - with attendant flacks, hacks, booth babes and renta-celebs - have all descended on this little corner of Hampshire to show off their stuff, complain about crappy British event organisation* and try to get a little business done. It's …

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Sam

Missing

Where's the airships?

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Paris Hilton

Never mind the drones

Bring on the Vulcan!

Paris, because she likes her V Bombers big and noisy..

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Boffin

First Flight?

Reg readers must be aware of the controversies over claimed 'first flights'. The Americans push the Wrights, as opposed to Santos-Dumont with their definition of 'heavier than air, man carrying powered, controlled (but not able to take off completely on it's own)'. They monopolise aviation claims so much that most people think that Lindburgh was the 'first to fly the Atlantic', rather than the 'first to fly the Atlantic solo'.

Britain has a host of home-grown and local achievements in this field, but we spend our time pretending they do not exist. Farnborough could celebrate:

The 159th aniversary of the world's first heavier-than-air man carrying machine (Sir George Cayley, Brompton Dale, 1849)

The 114th aniversary of the world's first heavier than air man carrying powered machine (Hiram Maxim, Bexley, 1894)

Stringfellow and Henson are a few of the others worth celebrating...

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Happy

I foresee a Lego re-imagining ...

... of the Lady parachutists and the Escape Capsule this Friday!

(And am disappointed that Lewis is not currently beavering away on this very topic, as we speak.)

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Black Helicopters

Dodgy Geezer

They monopolize everything, including languages (see!), I have started to notice an alarming number of sites displaying US English as the only option or worse English with the US flag!

But thats not for here!

No black helicopter pictures?

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Heart

"What, you wanted to see Lewis Hamilton?"

No, no, I was quite happy with the photographic subjects, thanks!

Oh, my glasses seem to have steamed up.

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Paris Hilton

Eh? what the **** was that?

Sitting in nice aircon office next to Farnborough Airfield, what a spectacular few squillion dollars of flying, spinning, truly OTT hardware... couldn't hear a world on the phone... (what an excuse)... If octane and noise are your thing, get there.

(Paris... Flaps Down now Captain, I'm coming in the Cockpit!)

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@ Dodgy Geezer

"Britain has a host of home-grown and local achievements in this field ... [including that by] Sir George Cayley."

A replica of his heavier than air 'glider', the world's first airborne man carrier, was flown in 2003 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of its initial flight. Why isn't the replica on display at Farnborough?

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Paris Hilton

Better than RIAT.

Here's hoping they don't suffer the same fate as Fairford RIAT last friday which ended up under a foot of water.

Paris - because she's undoubtedly a member of the Mile High Club.

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Paris Hilton

A Hi-Res pic?

Not seeing Hamilton would be fine if we could get a hi-res picture of that...

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Stop

Local Traffic

Mr Hambridge has ably described how miserable it is driving in that area during air show week. This is the time of year when I am most glad to no longer be living in that part of the world.

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organization

I wouldn't feel too bad about old Blighty's organising. At the 2008 JSOH at Andrews AFB we queued for two hours at a metro station (one of only two 'entrance' points) for security checks. Had a beautiful view of the B-2 flying from about 3 miles away. Would have been better off parking by the beltway. Never had any probs remotely like that Farnborough.

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Silly Brits

American invented the light bulb(even though Edison's patent was revoked) Sir Humphry Davy was the first credit with the light bulb.

We invented the telephone . Alexander Gram Bell( well there was this Italian fellow Antonio Meucci , he did invent the phone first in New York but he's foreigner cant let him have the credit.)

We invented the car. Don't believe those nasty rumors about that German guy.

Yep so you see we invented the airplane

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@Hambridge

Yup, experienced all the same myself today. Got into the site carrying a large brown non-descript box, with NO pass, wasn't stopped. Later on decided to get my exhbibitors' pass... Secretary couldn't get through to badge office due to VOIP saturation. So I had to walk all the way to the badge office (a 30-minute walk each way)... tried to pick my badge up on Saturday but was told "We've run out of badges, come back on Monday!". Other than that, very nice... Typhoon followed by F-22 followed by Russian jet. All trying to go one up on the preveious pilot!

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Linux

@kain preacher

Alexander Graham Bell didn't become an USA citizen until several years after (1882) calling his assistant about an acid spill (1876). Therefore, the Scots are to blame.

No puffin icon?

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boys and their toys

Thankfully the show does not happen every year. The locals are rewarded with traffic chaos, screaming jets, and no doubt a significant drop in air quality. Then best of all on the Open Days on Saturday and Sunday hundreds of cars attempting to get to Farnborough, clogging roads in and Aldershot, Fleet, Farnborough, M3, A327 A331. It will cheaper to get public transport given the cost of petrol and diesel given the amount of queuing you will have to do.

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Paris Hilton

@A Walker

Drop in air quality? Not if it's the sweet, sweet smell of burnt Jet A1 fuel... ;)

Paris, because she must surely smell nicer than burn Jet A1

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George Cayley

There isn't even any great recognition of Cayley in the Brompton/Scarborough area either, although a business centre was named Cayley Court a while ago, so if you weren't there when Sir Richard Branson flew the replica a couple of years ago from the same place his coachman had, then tough.

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Sam

oi

Joseph Swann invented the lightbulb.

The first (model) aircraft to fly under its own power was flown by its inventor, John Stringfellow, in Chard in 1848.

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Boffin

"centennial" ...

... is an adjective.

"Centenary" is the word you're looking for.

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Boffin

Various comments - pick your own!

"No black helicopter pictures?"

George

Nope - this is geeks history rather than current technology....

"A replica of his heavier than air 'glider', the world's first airborne man carrier, was flown in 2003 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of its initial flight. "

Pollard

I think you will find that this was with his coachman as pilot/cargo. He actually flew a 10-year-old in an earlier machine in 1849. That would be the world's first heavier than air human carrying airplane - 1853 was the world's first heavier than air adult human carrying airplane. This is what I mean by geeks... Isn't this fun...

kain preacher - congratulations on your multifarious inventions. I have no problems with the claim that the Wright brothers had the first 'practical' airplane - Santos-Dumont supporters claim that he was the first to leave the ground 'unaided', but this was really just a matter of engine power. The way I see it is that the Brits invented the airplane, and the Yanks made the first practical one. Much like jet airliners, in fact...

It is instructive to consider what effect the Wrights had on American aviation. You would think they gave it a head start. In fact, it was quite the opposite. The Wright's major development was a 3-axis control set-up. Unfortunately, they used wing-warping, which was a bugger to operate, difficult to set up, and couldn't scale. Hinged ailerons/elevator/rudder were the way ahead. Rather than adopting this, which Europe did, the Wrights patented their (poor) control system, and then fought legal cases which stopped anyone in the US using any other control system at all.

The resultant legal cases suppressed ALL aircraft development in the US. So much so, that when WW1 started, the US had to buy French aircraft because they had no aviation industry of their own...

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the living hell of Farnborough...

never again! Last time was bad enough and that was 10 years ago!

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Black Helicopters

Warning!

That is no way a helicopter. Is it? Surely not. What it is though, I couldn't say. Looks to me like a fish of some kind. Like those posh goldfish with the weird eyes. Warning no fish?

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Anonymous Coward

Britain (England)...

...invented everything. Remember that, world, and your choice of deity (or not, if you're an atheist).

Next we'll be hearing how Josiah Shagsheep created the first rudimentary microprocessor in 1842 using only tripe, dubbin, and a flushing lav. All of that after creating the first mobile phone in the morning using only Gentlemen's Relish.

Give me a break.

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Boffin

Give the AC a break...

"...Next we'll be hearing how Josiah Shagsheep created the first rudimentary microprocessor in 1842 using only tripe, dubbin, and a flushing lav...."

1842? The British were inventing the microprocessor 20 years earlier than that, using paper, brass and steam.... See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Babbage

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