Aeroplane Monthly - June 2014

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During the production of this special D-Day 70th anniversary issue, I could have had no better inspiration than to fly over the invasion beaches on the coast of Normandy and visit the site of the first action of June 6, 1944, at Pegasus Bridge. That came courtesy of an invite from Rob Wildeboer, the Aviation General Manager at Goodwood, and Conciair Flight Charter Ltd. This was on one of Conciair’s Normandy Remembrance Tours, which fl y from Goodwood and back in a day and offer a choice of itineraries. It was a special pleasure to meet Madame Arlette Gondrée, who was just four when troops from the British 6th Airborne Division landed by Horsa assault gliders just after midnight on D-Day and captured Pegasus Bridge as it is now known. Next to the bridge was a café run by Madame Gondrée’s parents, and they became the first French family to be liberated. The Pegasus Bridge Café Gondrée has been hugely popular with veterans ever since, and as it is remarkable that it is still owned by a member of the family who were liberated on that day 70 years ago. That made it a very thought-provoking place where our group enjoyed some lovely home cooking for lunch. I hope that you enjoy the selection of articles we have put together to mark this important anniversary, and should anyone be interested in going on one of the Conciair tours please see page 41 for more about them.

You will also see in this issue that Aeroplane has secured the first air-to-airs of Midair Sqn’s English Electric Canberra PR.9 XH134. This aircraft is set to be one of the major stars at UK air shows this year, beginning with the Abingdon Air & Country Show on May 4. Now painted in Midair’s all-over silver “house colours”, the jet is a real classic which will no doubt turn heads and get the cameras clicking during the 2014 season!