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Where Today’s Pilots Meet World War 2 Aircrew
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It is with great sadness that we report the death of Project Propeller founder, Ian Burnstock, on 3 November 2021.

In 1998, Ian and a flying club friend, Gideon Todes, came up with the idea of PP as a way of saying thank you to World War II aircrew veterans and to give fellow private pilots the opportunity to put their skills to really worthwhile use. The annual event, held at a central airfield location, enables veteran aircrew to fly again on the way there and back and to meet up with old comrades in convivial surroundings, and their younger pilots to hear some interesting war stories along the way.

It was a winning concept and even now, over 20 years later, both veterans and pilots still tell us that they look forward to it as one of the best days of their year.

Ian was too young to join the RAF until after the war but, as a teenage Air Cadet, he and a couple of mates hit on the idea of visiting the very active wartime USAAF base at Bovingdon in uniform, and hitching rides all around Europe in Liberators, Marauders and Mitchells, with no money or passports, at a time when foreign travel was not authorised for civilians. In this way, before the war was over, he had visited France several times, as well as Italy and Denmark. His teenage partners in crime on these jaunts were his life-long friends Bev Snook (later Chairman of the Royal Aero Club) and Mike Beavis (a Vulcan pilot who retired as an Air Chief Marshal).

Many years later, Ian wrote this article about these adventures.

Later on, he learned to fly and accumulated 1500 hours flying a Piper Cherokee all around Europe for both business and pleasure, and introduced many younger pilots to the joys and tribulations of long-distance international trips. He taught his daughter Tania to fly straight and level and to hold a course while she was still small enough to sit on his knee in the cockpit.

The PP team all extend their deepest sympathies to his wife Ursula and to Tania.

LATEST NEWS (5 October 2021):

Project Propeller 2021 was a major success and our guests had a most memorable day. Sadly, next year's event will have to be the last as the ever-reducing numbers of WW2 aircrew mean that it is no longer viable to continue.
We plan to hold "The Last Rally" at Wolverhampton Halfpenny Green Airfield on Sunday, 19th June 2022. Aircrew veterans will be contacted prior to the event in the usual way and matched up with their pilots. However, anyone who has ever supported PP, including volunteers and pilots will also be invited.

PROJECT PROPELLER is an annual reunion for ex-World War 2 aircrew held at airfield locations throughout the UK. Its unique feature is that the veterans are ferried for free to and from the venue from all over the UK and Ireland in light aircraft flown by volunteer pilots. For many of them, it is the first time they have flown as “crew” since the end of the war and, for the pilots among them, it is a chance to once again handle an aircraft. At the host airfield, the participants are treated to a street-party lunch and entertained by live, 1940's-style musical entertainment.

The 2021 Photo Album and a video are under the 'Events' tab HERE.

VENUE: The 2022 event will be held at Wolverhampton Halfpenny Green Airfield on Sunday 19 June 2022. Veteran invitations will be sent out beforehand.

INVITATION: If you are ex-WW2 aircrew of any nation and you would like to attend Project Propeller, please open the "Contacts" tab and then select "Aircraft" from the drop-down menu. Send us your details in the message section and they will be routed to our Air Ops Manager who deals with new veterans.

2020 Online presentation describing how a Project Propeller event is organised, by Graham Cowie, our Air Operations Manager

2019 TV News reports: Midlands Today and Forces TV

TV News reports on Project Propeller 2017 and 2018

2018 RAF film and 2018 Forces TV film


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