Thursday, 4 August 2016

The Beech at the Weston-Super-Mare Airshow 2016 (photos by Peter White)

The Beech at the Weston-Super-Mare Airshow 2016

'Betty the Beech' at the Weston-Super-Mare Airshow 2016
photo by Peter White

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Life's a Beech

Betty is waiting for her appearance at the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta on the 13/14th of August. Make sure you come to see her flying a display! More on that later and in more detail.

Hard to believe that this photo was taken two years ago.
Many promises followed but sadly no many actions!

I have come across a very interesting and stimulating article about flying a Beech 18 by pilot Lasse Ringholm.

He writes in his first couple of lines: 'Flying the Beech 18 is an honour and an experience that few pilots ever get over. (...) the 18 is a delight to fly and as honest and straightforward a flying machine as you'll find anywhere.

Betty is now in top condition and all ready for her adventure.

Enjoy reading Lasse's article!

Life's a Beech by Lasse Rungholm

Saturday, 9 July 2016

See 'Betty the Beech' at the Gloucestershire Airport Open Day on the 16th of July

Gloucestershire Airport is holding an Open Day on Saturday the 16th of July and Betty the Beech will be on static display during the day. For more info see the airports website here:

Come to this fun day with plenty of interesting aircraft and events. Weather permitting a hot air balloon will be launching from the airstrip later that evening. For booking a ticket go to the Bristol Balloons website: 

In the meantime Phil and I are trying to log a few more new countries and have escaped the other side  of the big pond, to Argentina.

I was lucky enough to enjoy a superb hopper flight yesterday morning in quite interesting wind conditions with a very cold calm ground layer allowing for an easy launch and landing but surprisingly finding me zooming along the wet countryside at 23kt at only 400ft! 

Thanks so much to Argentinian ballooning friends for helping with gas, launch sites and retrieve!! You are fantastic! Muchos gracias!

Monday, 27 June 2016

Congratulations to Ed for completing his training - and Betty at the Bristol Balloon Fiesta 2016

Congratulations to Ed Dablin for completing his training on the Beech 18 this weekend!

Photo by Peter Russell
Ed and Bill flew Betty last weekend and she was spotted by Peter Russell who kindly sent us these two photos of Betty on her approach for finals at Staverton.

Great news and dates for your diaries: Betty will be seen flying a display over the grounds of Ashton Court in Bristol during the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta which attracts hundreds of thousands of spectators every year. 
Photo by Peter Russell
Pilot John Dodd will be in command flying Betty on Saturday the 13th and Sunday the 14th of August sometime mid-afternoon. So do come to Bristol to see her flying! The light-weight Voyager balloon will of course also participate alongside with 150 other balloons during this highly popular event.


Sunday, 19 June 2016

Updates and another nice video by Kevin MacDonald

Dear followers,

you might be wondering what's going on?

Well, we haven't been sitting all day in the pub drinking cider but worked quite hard over the last week on more sponsorship opportunities, discussions with the team and getting the aeroplane ready for her great journey.

Betty getting ready for her display flight

Ed has now nearly completed his training and Betty did a nice 3-days tour around the South-country and Wales.

the interior of the aeroplane with the new seats

plenty of folks watching the airshow from Brean
The Red Arrows at Weston-Super-Mare
Yesterday she flew a display - conducted by pilot Jon Corley - at the Weston-Super-Mare airshow. Hundreds of viewers admired her low fly-past over the sea before the Red Arrows roared in. Today sadly the weather closed in and Betty has to remain in Staverton.

But hopefully she will be been flying again over Gloucestershire as we are training new pilots to get familiar with her.

The master plan for the Trans-Atlantic is now set for the end of August/beginning of September! Let's all keep fingers crossed. There are still a few hurdles to overcome!

Kevin has created two more nice videos for us, so enjoy by clicking the following vimeo links and once more a big 'thank you' to Kevin for being so supportive in this project!

Kevin MacDonald:

Short interviews with Phil and Allie and balloon flight from North Hill Gliding

Betty flies....

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Two wonderful photos of Betty by Jemma Phillips of Doxey Creative Photography

Photo by Doxey Creative Photography, Jemma Phillips
Thanks to professional photographer Jemma Phillips for allowing me to post her superb shots of Betty taking to the skies during her flights in Gloucester a few weeks ago!

Photo by Doxey Creative Photography, Jemma Phillips

Jemma happened to be near the airfield when she spotted Betty and as a camerawomen she is never without her Canon 1 DX MK1. 

To find out more about her photography and interests please visit her inspiring website: 

Friday, 10 June 2016

A break from the Beech to the Beach!

A retreat from Beeching by the beaches of South Devon: a balloon flight, a walk along the coast and a swim in the sea!

Of course we couldn't resist taking a balloon with us!

So it happened that on Wednesday morning we launched from the friendly Glider site at North Hill.

Weather conditions initially were slightly marginal with low cloud and quite some wind, but by the time we had rigged the voyager the skies were clear and we took off just after 7.30am.

                                                                          The flight took us initially over very pretty rolling countryside before we managed a tricky intermediate landing and changed over crew and pilot.

I now took control and flew with friend Kevin MacDonald on board who was by coincidence staying with relatives in a near-by village.

Our flight track allowed us to fly right along the lively and picturesque high street of Honiton before we landed in a nicely cut grass field to the south-east of the market town.

the market town of Honiton

Packing up followed by delicious breakfast and a freezing cold dip in the sea.

Our batteries recharged we headed back to Bristol to carry on with planning and organising what next for 'onthebeech'.