Day 3 of our Newcastle Festival of Flight aircraft profile is an exciting debut in Newcastle, and I believe it will be the pilots first ever display in Northern Ireland, Lauren Richardson and her fantastic Pitts Special.
Lauren is one of the top aerobatic display pilots in the UK and unlike a lot of the pilots you will see in Newcastle next weekend she did not come from a family with aviation roots making her story even more unique.
Beginning flying lessons at 19 and getting her licence Lauren Richardson had never even considered aerobatic flying until she first flew in the Pitts S2A. Taking aerobatic lessons she soon won her first tournament and in 2012 became the British Female Aerobatic champion before attaining her display authority in 2013 allowing her to display at airshows. Since then she has become one of the top displays on the airshow circuit.
The Pitts Special she flies is a Pitts Special S1-S registered as G-BKDR with a fantastic Red and White paint scheme.
First thought up by Curtis Pitts in 1943-1944. The Pitts Special has been continuously refined and modified since the first flight in 1945 and is known as one of the best aircrafts for competitive aerobatic flying dominating competitive flying in the 60s and 70s and still a firm favourite for airshows to this day.
Designed and built for serious aerobatics, Lauren’s machine, G-BKDR, has over the years received a few modifications to increase its performance and strength beyond that original design – over-sized control surfaces (ailerons, rudder and elevator) mean that she rolls blisteringly fast, flick rolls even faster and performs almost any conceivable aerobatic manoeuvre with style and aplomb.
With only one seat in this version of the aircraft it is very lightweight and strong providing very powerful displays and a very easy flow from one manoeuvre to another.
It will be great to see Lauren Richardson make her debut in Newcastle! It is sure to be a brilliant display. Check back tomorrow for another aircraft profile as we get closer to the 2017 Festival of Flight.
Info from Lauren Richardson’s website and other various sources and photo from http://lauren-richardson.com