I've Discovered a Very Exciting New Sport!

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All you need is one English Electric Wren, one hedge at the end of the runway... ...and one pilot, preferably with nerves of steel (well, some things made of steel)! ;)
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13 years

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Well, yes, same aircraft, same hedge... ...but at Old Warden today the Wren was flying (at about three feet), and landing downhill, towards said hedge!!! I hope somebody can post some video.....I was too busy holding my breath to use my camera!

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Appears to rely on the curvature of the Earth to gain altitude.
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And to think they went on to built the Lightning series. From underpowered to overpowered.... No never over powered. Having said that, I hope it's the same E.E. company. Please excuse my ignorance if wrong.

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Deskpilot, you are not wrong.

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Well, the colour scheme was similar :)
Was the performance allways this bad or has the engine lost some oomph along the way?
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And to think they went on to built the Lightning series. From underpowered to overpowered.... No never over powered. Having said that, I hope it's the same E.E. company. Please excuse my ignorance if wrong.
But another person -Teddy Petter- designed the Lightning of course. :)

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Was the performance allways this bad or has the engine lost some oomph along the way?
Apparently the eight horsepower engine meant that a bungee assisted take-off was always needed and this aircraft is one that only ever 'hops' down the runway, airborne briefly, before landing-on again... ...the excitement yesterday (Sunday) was that the pilot found himself airborne (at about three feet) and rapidly running-out of (a downhill section of) runway that ended in a hedge! Not a large hedge, but taller than three feet! Now the Wren didn't actually hit the hedge.....but it came very, very close! Oh, please, please, please let somebody have caught it on video!
Sure bit for eg wiki says: "Two aircraft were built for the 1923 Lympne light aircraft trials in October 1923. The Wren shared the first prize with the ANEC I when it covered 87.5 miles (140.8 km) on one Imperial gallon (4.5 litres) of fuel." Presumably those 87.5 miles weren't all at 3 feet? Or were they happier in those days to have really shallow climb out?

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Sorry, I meant this particular aircraft is only flown in short 'hops' down the runway by the Shuttleworth Collection where it is part of the museum collection there. They have a Bleriot monoplane too, the oldest airworthy aircraft in the world, that is also only ever flown in short 'hops' down the runway (and only then in zero wind conditions). Performance is presumably too marginal to risk the aircraft, or the pilots, with flights that involve anything more.

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No need for oxygen equipment on that one then! :)
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Think that there has been a bit of confusion here. When new the Wren was capable of getting airborne under the power of her engine but over time the engine has become a bit tired so in recent years the Shuttleworth Collection has tried bungee launches to help her get airborne. Despite strenuous efforts from the ground crew the bungee launches I have witnessed have met with limited success and, at best, the Wren has managed to get airborne by a few inches. At yesterdays show the commentator said that the engineering staff had worked on the engine and have managed to coax an extra 150 rpm from it and this appeared to do the trick and during 3 trips along the runway the Wren managing to climb to around 3 feet or so but on the last (and best) attempt she got very close to hedge at the end of the runway on landing. The best place for oxygen would proibably be straight into the Carburettor intake to enhance the fuel air mixture! - never know she might manage 30 feet then. I did manage to get a couple of pictures of her in proper flight as opposed to her usual trick of lurking in ground effect but I am still having probelms downloading from my camera so unfortunately I can't post them at present. It was good to see the Wren flying so well and maybe the incresed performance caught out the pilot who deserves credit for pulling off a difficult landing. Let's hope the Wren continues to fly comparatively well in the future and thanks to all at Old Warden who spent time on her engine and to the pilots who fly both the Wren and the "Edwardians". It must be daunting to climb into any aeroplane that has such a marginal performance that it is not guaranteed to get airborne.

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If they can't get more power from the engine they will have to reduce weight. Perhaps they can remove the mach meter!

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Think that there has been a bit of confusion here...
I stand corrected; I thought that bungee launches were standard for this 'experimental' high-endurance aircraft. No criticism of the pilot was intended.....it was real heart-in-the-mouth stuff to watch!
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The quad bike had more chance of flying :D
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I stand corrected; I thought that bungee launches were standard for this 'experimental' high-endurance aircraft. No criticism of the pilot was intended.....it was real heart-in-the-mouth stuff to watch!
Sorry! - I didn't intend to imply that you were criticising the pilot. I think we both agree that he did a great job both in coaxing that much altitude out of the Wren and in getting her down again. I must admit I thought that a visit to the hedge was looking likely and was very pleased to see that the pilot managed to avoid it. I thought this was the best Shuttleworth Pageant for a long time and seeing the Comet airborne again was the icing on the cake although I was amazed at the high landing speed and was a bit concerned when she disappeared over the hump towards the far end of the runway. Roger Bailey well and truly deserved the applause when he got out of the cockpit.

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No offence taken. :) I agree, the best display I've seen at Old Warden in a long while; there aren't many days when I see three new types, that I've never seen flying before, in one day. DH Comet, EE Wren and a BE2 (well, two actually)!
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RATO perhaps. Have to fireproof the thing first though
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This is the sort of height she stayed at for a fair way down the runway: http://i959.photobucket.com/albums/ae71/OH_Models/_DSC5377-01_zps611695e2.jpg Ill see if i took more after this.