Dick Forsythe

Techfest17@Stow Maries – A Stunning Success

Tech Fest 17th September 2017 @ Stow Maries


The Organiser

Rocket Cars

TechFest17  held at Stow Maries on 17th September 2017 was a magnificent day out for the many children, parents, and exhibitors that came along. 

From drone-racing to Hurricane aircraft construction, 3rd scale WW1 model flying displays (thanks to Dawn Patrol), rocket cars and rockets, Usborne Books, face-painting, a modern flight simulator, WW1 Aviation Heritage Trust’s Rocking Nacelle complete with their latest virtual reality Oculus Rift Headset and 5 missions for the budding pilot, and with the Oculus Touch next door where young and old tried their hand at Spiderman – web leaps to overhead cranes are not for the faint-hearted!

Our thanks to Dennis Stretton and Penny Carter for the huge amount of work in organising the 23 exhibitors all of whom were thrilled at the response of their audience (young and old).  Many were very keen to book in for TechFest 18 there and then so it is sure to be repeated.  If you cannot wait that long, enrol for Saturday morning Stokers at Stow Maries!  The TechFest concept is exactly that Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome and WW1 Aviation Heritage Trusts and Volunteers are all about – trying to link current and future generations with the heroic aviation history of the Great War to inspire them to be the catalysts for the next technical revolution!


Rocking Nacelle


Become a PoW

Become a PoW!

You can become a Patron of WW1 AHT by Clicking Here
For £30 a year Your Patronage will help us keep our late-model fleet of WW1 combat aircraft in the air in 2018 and beyond.

Next year is the final year of the Centenary of the Great War and the Government’s main commemoration being the formation of the Royal Air Force from the integration of the RFC, RNAS and Independent Bomber Force which occurred on 1 April 1918.

We manage the BE2 which belongs to our German Trustee and which we have just flown to Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome in Essex.  Stow Maries is the only remaining WW1 aerodrome with many original buildings intact, it is a listed site, and is the subject of a major preservation effort with the help from the Heritage Lottery Fund and other charities.

WW1 AHT is in partnership with Stow Maries Trust. Essentially, it is a partnership to create a worldwide centre of excellence for everything to do with WW1 aviation, a dynamic aerodrome with a WW1 flying focus, and ultimately a self-sufficient hub for engineering and apprenticeships/STEM.  The Vintage Aviation Echo captured the vision of WW1 AHT in an inaugural article in April 2017.

As stated in the other post currently on our website, our German Trustee has offered his Fokker DVII to the Trust in the next few months and the Albatros DVa and SE5 when they return from NZ next year. Also, although the TVAL Snipe and BE2 have been recalled to NZ, we are in active discussion with the new management at The Vintage Aviator and hope to be able to move forward again with them shortly for next year.

We run a rocking nacelle (a WW1 flight simulator) at Stow Maries. It is a stunning combination of 100-year-old technology designed by one of the legends of RFC history, Major Lanoe Hawker VC, DSO, RFC with state of the art virtual reality and has given us an amazing 3-axis motion simulator with 360-degree visuals. We are indebted to the HLF for their grant of £10,000, and to the students of Essex, Ben Librojo (the developer), the Dawn Patrol and Denis Stretton for their contribution to the finished product. Come and try your hand at flying a WW1 combat aircraft!

So, What’s in it for you?

You will receive an annual membership card with a different aircraft on the card each year.

A Quarterly Newsletter on the Trust’s progress and the satisfaction of contributing to it.

An annual meeting at Stow Maries for PoWs with the pilots with flying if the weather permits or fly missions on the rocking nacelle if it does not (or both!).



The Future is bright for WW1 AHT!

The Future is bright for WW1 AHT!

Dominic Sheehan – General Manager of Sir Peter Jackson’s corporate HQ – Wingnut Films and now the new CEO at their subsidiary Company – The Vintage Aviator Ltd:”The WWI Aviation Heritage Trust has been managing two planes in the UK for The Vintage Aviator Limited – a BE2 and Sopwith Snipe. Both aircraft are returning home to New Zealand shortly but TVAL and the Trust are in discussions on possible future loans from TVAL’s collection”
The TVAL Collection includes more than 20 different WW1 aircraft types and period vehicles/equipment.

We moved our German Trustee’s BE2 in 7 Squadron colours from Old Warden to Stow Maries yesterday. He has promised his Fokker DVII once complete but also in time for next year.  We hope to have his Albatros DVa and SE5a back from NZ for 2018. They arrived in Wellington last month for repairs. We will shortly be starting a digital fund-raising campaign to get these aircraft back on time.

We hope to run at an event at Stow for all PoWs on 22nd Oct 17. We are making plans already for next year including supporting a celebration of the role of St Omer in the history of the RFC and RAF for the month of June and the RAF 100 celebrations on Horse Guards in July. We will return to Heveningham Hall where the Snipe recently won the Aviation Concourse. We are hoping to join the WW1 flying celebration at the Chalke Valley History Festival and will shortly be requesting permission to conduct a flypast at the Henley Royal Regatta dropping poppies as a symbolic gesture reflecting the last year of the Centenary.