This year's gathering held at the Santo Tome del Puerto aerodrome in the foothills of the Guadarrama Mountains some 80 kilometres North of Madrid saw many interesting classic gliders as well as others of more modern vintage. Everyone was welcome, the invite taken up by pilots and friends from as far away as Lithuania, Germany, The Netherlands, France and of course Spain. One UK National (Northern Ireland) arrived with his perfectly restored Grunau Baby III although he now lives in France.
No competitions were held but plenty of flying went on with two tug planes towing, a pleasure to see such rare aircraft in their natural environment.
Two powered aircraft made their appearance giving short demonstrations, firstly the unique Piper L14 Army Cruiser owned by the president of the Royal Aero Club of Spain, Don Jose-Luis Olias of Burgos, a perfect restoration with genuine markings from its USAAF days, details supplied by the well known UK author and historian, Ken Wakefield. The other interesting aircraft was the Spanish built Dornier 27 owned by the Valencia Aero Collection, flown by Don Victor Lleo, owner of a Saeta 200 and other historic Spanish aircraft.
Apart from the Grunau Baby III there was a beautiful Slingsby T21 in the air all day and every day, in full RAF Cadet Training colours when it was based in Bicester, still on the UK register although now Spanish owned.
There will be another gathering in 2008, perfect flying, company, food and accommodation, see you there!Robin D W Norton . July 2007.
My thanks to D.Jose Luis Olias, President of the Royal Aero Club of Spain (Real Aero Club de Espana RACE) for inviting me to this event and introducing me to all the great pilots based at Santo Tome and the Club Loreto gliding club.
Thank you to D.Carlos Bravo Dominguez and his wife, Encarnita for their welcome and for the very enjoyable flight in the Slingsby T21, also for the flight in the Aviat Husky to take air to air photos of the Piper L14 Army Cruiser and lastly to Victor Lello who took me up in his Dornier 27 for air to air photos of the Slingsby T21. The Dornier is part of the Fundacion Aerea de la Comunidad Valenciana collection based in Valencia, yet another great aviation group in Spain.