Having been brought up living in a house just off the end of RAF Biggin Hill’s runway, Roy has had a passion for aviation from a very young age. These were the days of Meteors and piston engined Percivals, the stuff of dreams for many a youngster of the period when WW2 wasn’t such a distant memory.
Roy’s passion for building machinery was first satisfied by rebuilding motor cars, including several Austin 7’s and a Curved Dash 1904 Oldsmobile, which he took on the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run.
Roy with his two-seat, all metal Van’s RV-9A
Wanting a change from building cars, Roy’s passion for aeroplanes came to the fore and after moving down to Dorset he started to learn to fly at Old Sarum in 2000. He took to flying like a duck to water and in six months, having flown 55 hours in C150s, gained his PPL. Having spent his life tinkering and rebuilding, Roy was soon making enquiries into the possibilities of building an aircraft and joined the LAA. He visited a number of fellow members around the South west who were more than happy to show him their projects and offer advice, and eventually he decided to buy a Van’s RV-9A kit. Roy completed and flew the aircraft in three and a half years.
The first flight took place in 2004 at Dunkeswell and over the past ten years Roy and his wife have been to Scotland and France in the RV, as well as many fly-ins and airfields around the rest of the UK.
Roy and the Flybaby
Having completed a metal aircraft Roy decided he’d like to try something different, and plumped for a traditional all wood design, the Bowers Flybaby. This single seat, all wood design is only available as a set of plans, but with the wood and plans were purchased in 2010, Roy had the aircraft completed in 2012, a very good effort when you consider he had to make each and every part as well as put them all together! Roy, like many LAA members, built the aircraft in his garage, you really don’t need a particularly large area as aeroplanes are simply a combination of sub-assemblies that individually do not take up too much space. The first flight and subsequent test flying was completed at Henstridge in Somerset, where Roy is a member of the locally based LAA Wessex Strut.
Roy is now looking forward to visiting farmers’ airstrips and smaller, grass airfields and soaking in the nostalgia of open cockpit flying at its best.