Dick Forsythe

Bring Back The Albatros and Se5a – 1.

Albatros DVa and BE 2 at Caterpillar valley Cemetery Sep 2016

Albatros In Field near Headcorn


In September 2016, the Albatros DVa and BE2 managed by the WW1 Aviation Heritage Trust positioned at Albert in N France to conduct a flypast and poppy drop for the NZ commemoration of the Battle of the Somme. With a laundry bag full with 10,000 poppies secured to the harness in the front cockpit of the BE2, the challenges of making the drop point, Caterpillar Valley Cemetery, on time in an open cockpit with no instruments at all became instantly apparent. We found our way to the pre-agreed holding point with the faster Albatros catching us up there. Then we flew onto to drop the poppies after HRH Prince Charles had given his address – a wonderfully evocative sight. Then off to Abbeville for the first leg of the return journey back to England which was uneventful. The second leg was anything but as the Albatros ended up side down in field just short of Headcorn as the second photo shows. The history of the Great War is that most unplanned landings ended up in a similar a position. Fortunately, the pilot escaped unharmed. The aircraft is now back at TVAL in Wellington undergoing repairs.

We need your to help to bring the aircraft back to UK next year.

This fund-raising campaign will feature a series of posts that will update you on progress with the repairs taking place in NZ of both the Albatros and an SE5a promised to WW1 AHT for next year and relate some amazing tales about the aircraft and the pilots that flew them.

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 the 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!).