Paris Air Show

Paris the city of lights, centre of culture and every two years the home of the worlds’ aviation and aerospace industry. The Paris airshow is the worlds oldest airshow, having started in 1909 at the Le Bourget Airport, better known as the site of the end point of Charles Lindberghs’ famous 1927 transatlantic flight.

No other airshow allows people to get quite so close to the aircraft displays. Aircraft as varied as the F-22 Raptor, Airbus A-380 and a host historic aircraft some dating from the dawn of aviation fly seemingly only an arms length away displaying their agility and the skills of their pilots.

Its a different way to spend an warm July Parisian afternoon, but one that has been an integral part of its history for over a hundred years.

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Brooklands is a four and half kilometre motor racing circuit and aerodrome built near Weybridge in Surrey, England. It opened in 1907 as the world’s first purpose-built motorsport venue and one of Britains first airfields. Built from bricks and concrete the Brooklands circuit was the scene for many, between the wars, do or die motor races and record attempts with great names such as Woolf Barnato, Tim Birkin and Count Louis Zborowski battling over the Edwardian banking. The track record was set by John Cobb driving the 24 litre Napier-Railton (shown below) at a fearsome speed 143.44 mph (230.84 km/h).

Home to much of Britain’s aircraft manufacturing centre during the both world wars. The circuit hosted its last race in 1939, and and is now remembered with the Brooklands Museum, a aviation and motoring museum.

Exhibits include some Britain’s finest automotive and aeronautical contributions, including Concorde and the Harrier jump jet.

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Concorde – Gone but not forgotten

At 5.35am every morning my bedsit in Hammersmith, London shook as the morning Conorde flight made its approach to Heathrow. Better than any alarm clock, it woke me without fail. My favorite part of the day, rolling over and seeing the giant graceful shape gliding over my bedroom skylight.

While other aircraft have their appeal none will hold the same place in my heart as the sweeping arc of this French-Anglo wonder. Although you can see Concorde in museums it just don’t do justice to power, grace and majesty of when they plied the edge of space whisking the rich and famous in luxury across the Atlantic at twice the speed of sound.