Newcastle Aircraft Profile Day 4 – Irish Air Corps AW139


Day 4 of out Newcastle aircraft profile is the Irish Air Corps and their AW139 aircraft which is making its second display in Newcastle, doing a fire fighting demo in 2016.

The Irish Air Corps AW139 has been in Newcastle several times in the past week helping to put out fires on the mountain, and did a fantastic job that saw the whole town rally around the firefighters.

The Aircraft

The Air Corps took delivery of its first two Agusta Westland AW139 aircraft in November 2006. There are currently six of the type in service.

The AW139 is a medium-lift twin-engine helicopter with a troop lifting capacity of up to 14 personnel in the normal configuration. In the cockpit the aircrew have a fully integrated digital avionics and cockpit display system, which includes an autopilot, a dual flight management system with GPS and a radio navigation system. The AW139 is utilised mainly in the army support role.

The AW139 is a multi role aircraft and can be used for Army support, air ambulance, military transport and general utility roles.

The first flight of an AW139 was on 3rd February 2001 and was originally designed and developed jointly by Agusta and Bell Helicopters and marketed as the Agusta-Bell AB139, it was redesignated the AW139 when Bell withdrew from the project.

The Irish Air Corps was the first military operator of the type.

The Irish Air Corps

The Air Corps (Irish: An tAerchór) is the air component of the Defence Forces of Ireland.Through a fleet of fixed and rotary wing aircraft, it provides military support to the Army and Naval Service, together with non-military air services such as Garda air support, air ambulance, fisheries protection and the Ministerial Air Transport Service. The primary airbase is Casement Aerodrome located at Baldonnel, County Dublin.

The main flying wings of the Irish Air Corps are

No. 1 Operations Wing carries out all fixed wing tasks and operations assigned to the Air Corps. The wing is sub divided into six separate operational squadrons, each fulfilling its own specific roles. The wing currently operates a total of ten aircraft. In addition, the wing is responsible for first line maintenance of all aircraft assigned to it.

No. 3 Operations Wing carries out all rotary wing tasks and operations assigned to the Air Corps. The wing is sub divided into three separate operational squadrons, each fulfilling its own specific roles.

The wing currently operates a total of eight aircraft, with six Augusta Westland AW139’s and two Eurocopter EC-135’s. In addition, the wing is responsible for first line maintenance of all aircraft assigned to it.

Check back tomorrow for another Newcastle Aircraft Profile! Photo by ourselves at Newcastle 2016 and info from IAC website and Wikipedia.

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Newcastle Aircraft Profile Day 3 – Irish Coast Guard – Sikorsky S-92


Making a return to Newcastle this year is the Sikorsky S-92 from the Irish Coast Guard who will be doing a search and rescue demo.

The Aircraft

The Sikorsky S-92 is a four-bladed twin-engine medium-lift helicopter built by Sikorsky Aircraft for the civil and military helicopter market. The S-92 was developed from the Sikorsky S-70 helicopter and has similar parts such as flight control and rotor systems.

The S-92 features an active vibration control system, using vibration sensors and structurally mounted force generators to increase flight comfort and lower acoustic levels to below certification requirements.

A 2008 study by Norway’s Flymedisinsk Institute found that the S-92’s vibration levels were 42 percent above that of the Eurocopter EC225 Super Puma; Sikorsky disputed this finding, saying that the study hadn’t used their latest anti-vibration technology.[14] In February 2011, the noise and vibration levels were reportedly subject to health concerns, allegedly causing tinnitus and heart problems.

The Irish Coast Guard had previously used the S61 Helicopter until replacing them with the S92. The first S92 was delivered to them in January 2012 and given the registration EI-ICG with the callsign ‘Rescue 115’

The five S-92’s have registrations EI-ICG, EI-ICU, EI-ICA, EI-ICR, EI-ICD – with the last letter of each registration spelling out “GUARD” Sadly EI-ICR was lost with all crew in a tragic accident in March 2017.

While EI-ICG was delivered as “factory new” from Sikorsky in the US, the other S-92 aircraft are ex-UK Coastguard equipment.

As of July 2013, the final S-92 aircraft, with registration EI-ICD, was reportedly undergoing repainting and fitting at Shannon. However as of October 2013 two of the S-92 aircraft (EI-ICD and EI-ICU) remain in the “retro” livery of the UK Coastguard – but sporting their Irish registrations.

The Irish Coast Guard

The primary roles of the Coast Guard include maritime safety and search and rescue. The Irish Search and Rescue Region, which includes most of the Republic of Ireland and some parts of Northern Ireland, is the area over which the Coast Guard has responsibility.

The Irish Coast Guard is a civilian agency, members are not part of the Defence Forces and thus are forbidden from carrying any type of weapons and have no security or defence duties in respect of national police or defence.

Information from Wikipedia and photograph from AirshowsNI admin taken at the 2015 Airwaves Portrush airshow. Check back tomorrow for another aircraft profile.

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Newcastle aircraft profile day 2 – RV7 & Christen Eagle II


Today’s aircraft profile covers two of Irelands own displays, the Vans RV7 and Gerry Humphreys & the Christen Eagle II flown by Andrew Fenton.

Andrew Fenton – Christan Eagle II

One of the best displays on the Irish airshow circut has been added to the Newcastle Festival of Flight on August 11th.

Andrew Fenton will be making his debut here in Newcastle in his very colourful Christen Eagle coming from Sligo, this example was originally built in the USA and has been described as a sports car in the skies!

The sporting aerobatic biplane Christen Eagle II is very similar to the Pitts Special. The company who make the Eagle, Aviat, also own the rights to the Pitts Special.

Taking its first flight in 1977, the Eagle II is marketed in kit form for homebuilding. It set a new standard for completely documented homebuilding kits that revolutionised the homebuilding industry.

Andrew Fenton has delighted airshow go-ers throughout Ireland and it will be great to see his colourful aircraft display in Newcastle this summer! Photo from Tipperary Star.

Vans RV7 – Gerry Humphreys

Returning to Newcastle for the first time since 2012 is Irish pilot Gerry Humphreys who has made a big name for himself with his fantastic displays in his Vans RV7 aircraft which has been named ‘The Flying Cow’ due to its unique paint scheme which is similar to a cows white and black.

EI-HUM Flying Cow has been a regular throughout Ireland for many years and EI-HUM Flying Cow also flies a mini Mig aircraft. Though it is unknown to me which aircraft he will be bringing to Newcastle on 11th August.

Gerry Humphresy is an ex RAF Harrier Pilot and qualified aeronautical engineer who built EI-HUM himself . He is very experienced with over 9500 hours logged in more than 90 different aircraft types.

Now, as well as running a farm Gerry flies professionally for Pacnet Air, a private aviation company based in the Isle of Man and is also a flying instructor with both the Atlantic Air Academy in Cork and the Limerick Flying Club at Coonagh where he taught his son Harry to fly. Gerry also flies seaplanes and he is a director of the Foynes Flying Boat & maritime museum.

It will be a barnstorming display when Gerry Humphreys returns to Newcastle! (Photo from 98FM And info from aerdynamics website.

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Newcastle aircraft profile Day 1 – Autogyro

Day 1 of our Newcastle aircraft profile is the Auto Gyro from Gyro Air Displays who have displayed in NI a number of times however will be at Newcastle for the first time.


Autogyro’s were invented by Juan de la Cierva, only 20 years after the Wright Brothers first flight, they marked a departure from conventional fixed wing aircraft in an attempt to invent an aircraft that couldn’t stall. The name autogiro was a Trade name for Cierva’s make of aircraft, nowadays, they are also known as gyrocopters, gyroplanes, and autogyro’s and just Gyro’s, they were the first rotary wing aircraft to fly successfully under full, safe control.

The most simplistic view, it’s a flying windmill or even a rotating parachute, think of a sycamore seed gently floating down as it spins.

The rotor blades of the gyro are completely free wheeling in flight, being driven solely by the air going up through the rotor disk. There is no mechanical drive to the rotors in flight, the phenomenon of autorotation drives them, once airborne the rotors just look after themselves and keep spinning, even if the airspeed indicator is showing Zero!!

The propeller of the aircraft pushes it through the air for forward flight, the rotor is inclined slight back and the air flows up though the rotor disk keeps the rotors spinning. Stop the engine and the aircraft slows and descends, the air still flows through the disk and keeps them turning, even when flying sideways or even backwards – Birds don’t even fly backwards deliberately!!

As the rest of the aircraft is hanging from the rotor it acts like a pendulum giving the gyrocopter natural stability, the rotors (wings) are flying through the air at 350mph so turbulent unstable air and wind gusts are ‘sampled’, this make the gyroplane much more stable that most other aircraft and capable or flying in conditions other won’t.

Autogyro, Gyroplane, Gyrocopter, Gyro – call them what you like, they are fun to fly and great to watch displaying.

THE PILOT – Peter Davies

Peter Davies has been flying for 32 years, and been flying Gyroplanes for 22 years. First issued a Gyroplane Display Authority (DA) in 1991. Peter became an Display Authority Evaluator (DAE) in 2012. Has displayed aircraft at several major shows including – Paris Air Show, Biggin Hill, Farnborough, Blackpool and Manchester.

He has over 2500 flying hours in Gyroplanes and is an official ‘Earth Rounder’ the name given to people who have flown around the world. Peter Davis and has won the 1994 Around the World Air Race

We look forward to seeing them Newcastle on August 11th! (Information from Gyro Air Display website)

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Rich Goodwin returns to Newcastle!

Our final announcement of the week is the Fantastic Rich Goodwin who will once again wow the Newcastle crowd with his amazing display in his Muscle Pitts aircraft.

This concludes our week of announcements, I am unsure if there s more displays to be added, however Newcastle 2018 promises to be an amazing show! t what he can do. Every year we get lots of comments and messages asking if he will be back!

The Pitts Special is specially modified for his display and I am sure he will put on another amazing display that will have you talking about it long after the show is over!

I can’t wait to see his display once again!

This concludes our week of announcements, I am unsure if there are more displays to be added or not, however Newcastle 2018 promises to be an amazing show!


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*** RAF Chinook returns ***

Just announced a few minutes ago by the RAF Chinook team, they will be returning to Newcastle this summer on August 11th for another fantastic display!

The Chinook made its debut last summer and is one of the most requested displays we have had this year!

The RAF Chinook Display Team, based at RAF Odiham in Hampshire, aims to demonstrate the RAF Chinook’s capability.

The Chinook display is one of the most talked about displays on the Airshow scene over the last few years and provides a magnificent display.

Fantastic to have the Chinook back, the RAF have provided magnificent support to Newcastle this year, and that support does not end with the Chinook as the RAF National Aircraft tour will be providing several static aircraft to celebrate RAF 100.


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Wingwalkers & Vintage Pair debut in Newcastle!

The Aerosuperbatic Wingwalkers will be making their Newcastle debut on August 11th in their Boeing Stearman aircraft.

Anyone who has ever seen the aircraft knows what a magnificent sound the Stearman makes. Along with 2 gorgeous ladies on their wings doing acrobatics, they will put on a fantastic display in Newcastle!

The Boeing Stearman is a biplane used as a military trainer aircraft, of which at least 10,626 were built in the United States during the 1930s and 1940s.

After World War II, the thousands of primary trainer PT-17 Stearman planes were auctioned off to civilians and former pilots. Many were modified for cropdusting use, with a hopper for pesticide or fertilizer fitted in place of the front cockpit.

There are many examples flying still today, and mainly used for aerobatics at airshows.

Formerly known as the Breitling Wing Walkers, aerobatic is the only aerobatic formation wing-walking team and are seen by close to 6 million people each year!

Also listed for Newcastle is a ‘Vintage Pair’ while it is unknown as of writing this post what exactly this display is, it is thought to be 2 Chipmunk trainer aircraft.

One more announcement to come, a returning crowd favourite who has everyone gasping at his flying antics!

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