Tuesday, 4 October 2016

If you miss seeing Betty flying, watch this great video by Kevin McDonald!

Betty flying into her winter home at Charlton Park

After a frustrating summer missing public displays and opportunities for Trans-Atlantic departure due mainly to pilot availability - we finally got Betty into a lovely winter home at Charlton Park Estate near Malmesbury.
She was flown by pilots Tim Darrah and Ed Dablin taking off from Staverton/Gloucestershire airport on a glorious autumn day coming past the stately mansion house and landing in calm winds on the Estate's westerly runway 25.
 After a safe landing, Betty was skilfully towed into the hangar by the very helpful estate manager on a tractor sparing only a few inches on either side of her wings. That was tight!

 It was sad to see her going to rest again after she’s performed so well on today’s flight.
One day for sure Betty will finally embark on her epic journey around the world -  for now at least she has got a good and safe home for the winter!

It was particularly nice that the Earl of Suffolk & Berkshire and his entire family including many grand-children were at home to watch this impromptu aviation day which even included a launch of our baby hopper G-HEXE!

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....