Blasts from the Past: Tiger Moths & de Havilland Vampire

No image for today–instead we have images! We just got sent these with an explanation below.


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Photographs show Michael Marshall with his pilot Mark Hootons followingtheir arrival at North Weald.  Also enclosed are a photograph ofMichael showing his flying log books to his instructor Ian Glenn of theCambridge Flying Group with whom he flew on 30 March 2009 to celebratethe 60th Anniversary of his gaining his Private Pilot’s Licence.  Thefinal photograph shows Michael Marshall flying in one of two TigerMoths over Cambridge.  Michael is in G-AEOI and his son Robert wasflying in formation in the other aeroplane.

Michael Marshall said: “I have been very lucky to have enjoyed 60continuous years of flying which have ‘passed in a flash’.  I amdelighted that the dH82 Tiger Moth aircraft in which I first learned tofly are still operational at this airfield”.

2009 is the Centenary of the founding of Marshall of Cambridge in themotor business on 1 October 2009.  It is also the 80th Anniversary ofthe Company’s entry into aviation.  The Company’s first airfield at FenDitton was opened on 9 June 1929.  

After gaining his Private Pilot’s Licence in 1949 at the minimum age of17, Mr Marshall joined the RAF as a National Service Pilot in 1950,doing his training at Gimbley in Canada.  He subsequently served at RAFFeltwell in Norfolk and RAF Valley where he flew de Havilland, Vampireand Meteor aircraft.  Following his university education at JesusCollege Cambridge, Michael Marshall joined Marshall of Cambridge in1955 and took over as Chief Executive of the Group of Companies in 1989on the retirement of his father, the late Sir Arthur Marshall

Marshall holds the distinction of operating the oldest airfield in thecountry, from which Tiger Moths have been operated on a continuousbasis.  The Tiger Moth first arrived at Cambridge Airport on 26 January1938 and over 300 were operated by Marshall during the Second World Waras training aircraft.  The Company trained over 20,000 RAF pilots.

Cambridge’s first airport at Fen Ditton, was opened by Marshall ofCambridge on 9 June 1929, and to celebrate the 80th Anniversary, theCompany’s Annual General Meeting was combined with the Business andGeneral Aviation Day (BGAD) Aviation Exhibition at Marshall AirportCambridge on 9 June 2009.  A small flying display was arrangedfollowing the Company’s Annual General Meeting for the benefit ofmembers of the Marshall Family, employees and visitors to the Airfieldfor BGAD.  Following lunch Michael Marshall was treated to a surpriseflight in a de Havilland Vampire historic aircraft, the type ofaeroplane he flew as a National Service Pilot with the Royal Air Forcein 1952!  

Having gained his Private Pilot’s Licence in 1949, Michael Marshalljoined the Royal Air Force and began his Royal Air Force Pilot trainingat Gimbley in Canada on 9 April 1951 flying Harvard Aircraft.  Hesubsequently returned to the United Kingdom in April 1952 where he wasbased at RAF Valley in Anglesey.  On 10 April 1952 he had his firstflight in a Vampire 5 Single-seat fighter aircraft and continued flyingthe Vampire until 1953.  He made his last Vampire flight on 27 April1953.

On 9 June Michael flew in a privately owned Vampire T11 Aircraft ownedby Mark Hootons, based at North Weald in Essex.  The news of the flightwas kept secret from Michael until minutes before the flight.  

Michael Marshall said: ‘I was really thrilled to take the controls ofthe Vampire and fly the aircraft to North Weald.  It brought back verymany happy memories of the true delight of Vampire flying, and I wasvery grateful to have had this very special and unique experience.’  

Michael was flown in the Vampire by the aircraft’s owner Mark Hootons,who is pictured with Michael Marshall following their arrival at NorthWeald.

Michael Marshall gained his Private Pilot Licence on a Tiger Mothaircraft on 30 March 1949 when he was required to fly four figures ofeight at 2,000ft.  During a special commemorative flight on 30 March2009 he was accompanied by Ian Glenn, the Chief Flying Instructor ofthe Cambridge Flying Group, when he replicated the earlier flight testconducted sixty years earlier.  Ian Glenn said: ‘Michael flew a perfectseries of figure of eight as well as two perfect circuits andlandings.’  Michael Marshall regularly uses his pilot’s licence to flyhis Rallye Minerva aeroplane.

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