Splash 2005

Sport & Leisure Show, NEC  26/27 Nov 2005

Stewart Luck, the inspiration and perspiration behind the Project

    The Rans S6 was on display along with various of the Youth & Education Strut materials and a good display of photos of the flying activities that youngsters can undertake, including Parascending, Aviation Camps, and the PFA Young Aviators Scheme.  Numbers of Air Scouts were in attendance explaining all about the Project Plane, handing out leaflets and copies of PFA Today, and selling posters and navigation equipment, ably assisted by Scout Leaders and PFA  Y.E.S. members.

    Some scouts toured the exhibition finding out more about Micro-lights, powered parachuting and getting the flavour of the show, while others built a model plane.




We arrived at a very chilly NEC just after 3 pm on Friday, Stewart in the bus with the plane and Chris and myself in cars with all sorts of stands and equipment. It took us most of an hour to get the plane off the bus and rig it.   After another hour the stands had been set up and the photos and information added to them.  The intercom project and navigational equipment were set out, and the Wright Brothers posters put ready for the morning.

 Chris had arranged overnight accommodation in a nearby scout hut - not too many stars other than in the frosty sky but comfortable enough for the purpose, and in the morning we were back at the NEC, greeting the air scout helpers and Ernest.

        The scouts were talking to visitors, handing out booklets and leaflets and generally having a good time. Later they made a Dart aeroplane and flew it around the hall. There was a steady stream of visitors, some with years of flying experience and others just thinking about starting.  Over 20 navigation protractors were sold and quite a few scale rules. A few people showed interest in the intercom project and we sold the odd Dart model kit.

 Dafydd arrived during the morning, and Stewart and Chris returned from their meeting at Cranfield at the end of the afternoon, so there was something of a YES crowd in the pub for the evening meal and in the scout hut overnight.

After breakfast we headed off for the NEC again to meet the Sunday visitors. This time there were five younger Air Scouts, three of them girls. We took them on a tour of the exhibition, and showed them interesting aviation features on the planes. One had already done some parascending and explained how it worked.  Two of them flew the BGA gliding simulator and landed it successfully. The Scout leader had a go and landed outside the runway area with a crash.   How embarrassing!

The girls had a competition to see who could sell the most posters and make the most money from contributions. They raised over 15 in about an hour, a very impressive show. Altogether we took 57 on the stand with another 10 from the accommodation collection. Over 30 navigation protractors sold at 1 each, together with quite a few rules and posters.

At 4 pm the show closed and all hell broke out as everyone took down their stands and rushed to get their transport. By five much of it was gone, but it was 6 o'clock before we got the plane loaded up and everything packed away. The superb 60 ft long 02/20 carpet runway from one of the powered hang-glider stands was given to us for use with the project plane on future occasions, which was very generous of them, though we were challenged by the organisers who were worried that we had taken it without permission. 

So all in all quite a long weekend but one with a pleasant feeling of satisfaction that we had done a good job of displaying the plane and showing off the aims of the Youth and Education Strut.




PFA Youth & Education Strut  2005  www.flyers.org.uk