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Sun Shines on Rally Return

A combination of a packed airfield, full exhibitor site and perfect local weather made the LAA Rally’s post-Covid return an event to remember.  An estimated 780 aircraft visited Sywell between Friday 3rd and Sunday 5th September, with the airfield accommodating more than 420 aircraft on Saturday afternoon alone. Their crews added to around 3,000 visitors by road, meaning that the three-day event attracted more than 4,000 visitors.

“It was great to see the Rally back to 2019 figures, both in terms of road visitors, and arrivals by air” said LAA Rally Director Eryl Smith. “After the cancellation of last year’s rally it was heartening to welcome everyone back to Sywell and judging by the initial feedback from members, visitors and exhibitors alike it has been a great success. It was an event to remember.”

This year’s Rally looked forward with ‘Innovators’ displays, including the Nuncats electric aircraft project, new 600kg sport aircraft, Mike Whittaker’s ‘Plank’ flying wing and Ivan Shaw’s ISA-80 Seeker project, which was the subject of a packed Speakers Corner talk by its designer on the Saturday evening.

Looking back, no less innovative was one of the stars of the LAA 75 celebratory aircraft display; Bill Cole’s HM.293 Flying Flea, making an appearance fifty years after attending its last Rally, while appropriately in the Association’s anniversary year, the Best Vintage trophy winner, Frank Cox’s Fairchild Argus, also claimed the HRH Prince Michael of Kent Award for the best in show.

Light Aircraft Association
8th September 2021

Photography (mostly) Neil Wilson

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