Association with the Gazelle Squadron, 2015-16
Threshold.aero’s first steps into organising aviation events were as part of The Gazelle Squadron. Then volunteers with the Bourne Park-based display team, we organised and ran a series of escorted tours of the airfield; providing access to the resident aircraft for aviation enthusiasts in accordance with prior briefing from aircraft owners and businesses operating from the airfield.
Alongside these tours, two night photoshoots with the team’s aircraft and a number of resident and visiting aircraft were held in October 2015 and March 2016.
Bourne Park Nightshoot I (BPNS I)
Capitalising on the demand for night photocalls, the first Bourne Park nightshoot was held on 24 October 2015 as part of efforts to raise the profile of the Gazelle Squadron amongst the enthusiast community.
The squadron’s 2 FTS liveried Gazelle HT.3 ZB627/G-CBSK was one of three Gazelles to take part in the event, along with privately-owned HT.3 XX436/G-ZZLE and Peter Unwin’s 32 (TR) Squadron marked HT.3 XZ934/G-CBSI. After a period where the aircraft were made available to the photographers in the evening light, each aircraft was in turn floodlit with aircraft running for a time.
Other based aircraft to take part included Bulldog XX624/G-KDOG and Boeing Stearman N62658, both of which running their engines for a brief period to add some additional interest to photographers’ images.
Mark Empson’s AeroResource review of Bourne Park Nightshoot I: http://www.aeroresource.co.uk/events/bourne-park-nightshoot/
Bourne Park Nightshoot II (BPNS II)
Following the success of the first night photoshoot, a second, more ambitious event was organised for March of 2016. BPNS II again featured the same core line-up of based Gazelles, joining them were Gazelle Squadron’s Guimbal Cabri G2 and Cessna 150 and Simon Tilling’s resident Scottish Aviation Bulldog. With weather preventing several aircraft from attending, the line-up was completed by Thruxton-based SF.260 G-MACH, and SA.341G Gazelle G-EZEL which was visiting for maintenance.
Adam Duffield’s review of Bourne Park Nightshoot II on AeroResource: http://www.aeroresource.co.uk/events/bourne-park-nightshoot-2/
The Gazelle 50th Commemorative Fly-in
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Gazelle’s first flight, Threshold.aero organised a fly-in of Gazelle helicopters at the Army Air Corps’ (AAC) Middle Wallop airfield in Hampshire on 8th April 2017.
Supported by the AAC and the Museum of Army Flying, the event saw 19 examples of the Gazelle in attendance, the largest gathering of the type in some 15 years. Gazelles travelled from as far as Belgium to attend and we were honoured to have the French Army bring two SA.342Ms from the 3rd Combat Helicopter Regiment at Etain-Rouvres for the event.
Blessed by what was then the hottest day of the year, 1,200 people visited the event, raising several thousand pounds for the Museum of Army Flying.
We were also joined by a number of Auster aircraft; various marks of Auster served with the RAF and Army Air Corps in the air observation post (AOP) role between 1942 and 1966. Following the retirement of the Auster AOP.9 in the mid-sixties, the AOP role passed from the Auster through several different helicopter types to the Gazelle, which currently operates in this role, as well as providing light transport and attack capabilities.
Read Adam Duffield’s Gazelle 50 report on AeroResource here: http://www.aeroresource.co.uk/events/gazelle-50th-anniversary-commemora…