And the Albatros on show was actually made in New Zealand, in 2012, by the Vintage Aviation Company. The WW1 Aviation Heritage Trust trust keeps four NZ-made replicas – two Bleriot Experimental (BE) 2s, the German Albatros and a Sopwith Snipe – at the time-warp Stow Maries aerodrome in Essex. As well as static displays, the WW1 Aviation Heritage Trust aircraft regularly take part in air shows in the UK.
Dick Forsythe is with the Albatros at Goodwood and is happy to talk about the aircraft, and the work of the WW1 Aviation Trust, in which you can become a patron for £30 a year. For more click here.
On flying, and fighting, during WW1, Dick tells us: “The rate of attrition was very high – they’d lose a squadron every three weeks or so – but the pilots also had a glamorous life, in comparison to the men in the trenches at least. The derring-do went hand-in-hand with plenty of partying. During WW1 at battles like the Somme, the basics of aerial warfare were laid down but also the culture of the ‘flyboys’ was born.”
Dick Forsythe knows more about bravery in the air than most. A retired former helicopter pilot and Squadron Commander at RAF Odiham in Hampshire, his grandfather won a Distinguished Service Cross flying a Bristol Fighter in the newly-formed RAF in 1918, and his father too won a DSC in 1945, flying a Lancaster.