May 9-12 2018
This VintageAirRally combines twenty vintage biplanes and twenty vintage cars (all cars and planes from 1946 or earlier) in a 4-day rally and competition from Les Moeres in France to Kent in the UK. The teams (each team made up of four people in one biplane and one car) will also be in 1920s dress throughout the Rally. This is the first of an annual event.
Coinciding with the 100-year anniversary of the finish of the First World War it is a celebration of the end of this period of history.
We intend to showcase the fantastic cars and stunningly beautiful aircraft that emerged during and following the Great War.
Les Moeres (Dunkerque) France
Les Moeres aerodrome, first used in 1916 by the Belgian Air Force, is situated near the coast, near Dunkerque.
9th May, PREPARATION period
The biplanes and cars arrive at Les Moeres. There will be a very comfortable tented camp installed. The camp includes a Mess tent and period bar. French Police will be there to temporarily convert the airfield into an international airport. The first night we have a themed, seated dinner – followed by a talk by Bernard Deneckere on the role of aviation in the first world war. Bernard is a leading expert on the subject and author of many books.
10th May, STOL Competition
The vintage planes will compete in a STOL (Short Take Off and Landing) competition – a world first. The cars will compete in a quarter-mile timed run along the runway. The teams’ combined results give them a place on the leaderboard.
11th May, The Channel Crossing
The cars will make their way across the channel to Dover and Walmer Aerodrome on a ferry, using a VIP entry and area on the ship. There will then be a private champagne reception, during which time the vintage biplanes will do a flyby.
Walmer aerodrome, 1917-1919, first came into use in the First World War as the home to squadrons of the Royal Naval Air Service and the Royal Flying Corps.
We will be the first planes to land at Walmer Aerodrome in the 99 years. The last plane to leave Walmer in 1919 was a DH9, the first plane back in will be the world’s last flying DH9! UK Border Force, dressed in 1918 uniforms, will be in attendance to formally allow entry of our international flights.
This artillery fort built by Henry VIII is now an English Heritage site and official residence of the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports (a position previously held by Winston Churchill and HRH the Queen Mother). The Lord Warden is taking part in the Rally. After lunch the cars will drive initially through Dover castle (welcomed by a field gun salute), whilst the biplanes do another flyby overhead. They then continue through the spectacular Kent countryside and arrive at Chilston Park Hotel.
Chilston Park Hotel
A glorious Grade 1 Listed Country House, no aeroplane has ever landed at the hotel. We will land on a tree lined avenue directly in front of the hotel where the cars will already have arrived. There will be a champagne reception on the front lawn followed by a Black Tie 1920s Dinner.
Our event finishes after a delicious breakfast on the Saturday morning, but anyone still with energy can take advantage of the FREE entry we have agreed with The Elite London 2018!