Project Description

ORKNEY AVIATION FESTIVAL 2021

Orkney Aviation Festival this year spans past, present and future.

The opening day (Thursday 9 September) reports on a new project making Kirkwall airport a testbed for new developments in aviation that can cut carbon emissions. Flights with an electric-hybrid aircraft are already under way, with more to follow, along with hydrogen-fuelled flights and island deliveries with unmanned aircraft.

There will also be news of the plans by Loganair, Scotland’s airline and Orkney’s North Isles lifeline provider, to go green. We’ll hear too how Britten-Norman, manufacturers of the familiar Loganair Islander, are aiming to move similarly to a carbon-free format.

Orkney’s pioneering role in aviation’s golden days of the 30s is highlighted on Friday 10 September, with a look at the plane at the heart of it, the de Havilland Dragon Rapide, flown by Capt. Ted Fresson’s Highland Airways. We’ll hear from Capt. Fresson’s son, whose first flight with his father was at the age of six months, and also from two people who continue to fly it today, and there will be insights from a man who has written and published a range of classic books on northern aviation history.

THURSDAY

9 SEPTEMBER

Flying Sustainably

at 2 pm

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Aviation has to reduce its carbon emissions, but how? Kirkwall Airport is the centre of a new project that aims to try out low-carbon flight alternatives, including hybrid aircraft using electricity or sustainable aviation fuels. The Sustainable Aviation Test Environment (SATE) project will also explore the use of drones to supply on-demand medical supplies to health centres.

Project manager David Holden describes progress so far and the next stages ahead.

Prof. Andrew Rae, Chief Engineer at Ampaire, describes the company’s hybrid-electric aircraft and the recent flights between Kirkwall and Wick, as well as his own role within Ampaire and his family links to Orkney aviation.

German Moreno, Regulatory Lead at Windracers, talks about their drone operations past and future, and how the sustainable aviation test environment at Kirkwall Airport offers an ideal opportunity for testing and demonstrating new technology.

Looking to the Future – Loganair

at 4 pm

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It started in 1962 for air charter and five years later began the scheduled services to the North Isles, which continue to be an island lifeline today. In the years since, the company has grown to become the UK’s biggest regional airline in terms of passenger number and fleet size. What, in today’s uncertain times, lies ahead for Scotland’s airline? Andy Smith, Head of Sustainability Strategy at Loganair, gives an insight into its future development plans.

BRITTEN-NORMAN'S ISLANDER

at 6 pm

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An integral part of Orkney island life since 1967, the Britten-Norman Islander is one of the best-selling aircraft types produced in Europe, in demand around the world for its robustness and versatility. After being in production for close on sixty years, what does the future hold? David Shaw, non-Executive Director of Britten-Norman, shares the company’s vision of the next generation of the iconic Islander aircraft.

FRIDAY

10 SEPTEMBER

THE DE HAVILLAND RAPIDE IN SCOTTISH AIR SERVICE – BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER

at 2 pm

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Aviation has to reduce its carbon emissions, but how? Kirkwall Airport is the centre of a new project that aims to try out low-carbon flight alternatives, including hybrid aircraft using electricity or sustainable aviation fuels. The Sustainable Aviation Test Environment (SATE) project will also explore the use of drones to supply on-demand medical supplies to health centres.

Project manager David Holden describes progress so far and the next stages ahead.

Prof. Andrew Rae, Chief Engineer at Ampaire, describes the company’s hybrid-electric aircraft and the recent flights between Kirkwall and Wick, as well as his own role within Ampaire and his family links to Orkney aviation.

German Moreno, Regulatory Lead at Windracers, talks about their drone operations past and future, and how the sustainable aviation test environment at Kirkwall Airport offers an ideal opportunity for testing and demonstrating new technology.

THE DE HAVILLAND DRAGON RAPIDE EXPERIENCE

at 4 pm

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The Dragon Rapide was a mainstay of Orkney’s pioneering pre-war air service, developed and operated so successfully by Captain EE Fresson of Highland Airways. His son Richard looks back on highlights of those years, along with David Findon, part owner of Scillonia Airways Dragon Rapide G-AHAG which he flew to and from Orkney for the 2015 Orkney Aviation Festival.

THE FREEDOM OF THE SKIES - AEROBILITY

at 6 pm

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Founded in 1993, the charity Aerobility has a single purpose – “to offer disabled people, without exception, the opportunity to fly an aeroplane.” Today it has a fleet of 4 aircraft, operating from 3 centres, and assists over 1000 people a year to pilot a plane. Its chair, Shona Bowman, describes in conversation its work, and also her own Orkney family connections and flying the Dragon Rapide G-AHAG over Orkney in 2015.

Find out more on their website.