September 26, 2008

The Sun Welcomes Rocket Man with Airads

Airads and The Sun Newspaper were the first to welcome pilot Yves Rossy today as he became the first person to fly between France and England on Friday with a jetpack strapped to his back.

The simple kerosene-burning jet turbines propelled him the 22 miles between Calais and Dover at speeds of up to 120 mph. The journey took just under 10 minutes.

The 49-year-old Rossy, who calls himself "Fusion Man," ignited the jets inside a plane before jumping out more than 8,000 feet above ground.

After a period of free fall he opened the wing and soared across the water. With no steering controls, the only way to change direction was like a bird, moving his head and back.

When he reached Dover, he released his parachute and drifted down gently before landing in a field with The Sun newspaper's welcome right behind him.

Rossy traced the route of French aviator Louis Bleriot, who became the first person to fly across the Channel in an aircraft in 1909.

It was absolute mayhem above the landing site, with unauthorised French pilots accompanying the Jet Man, not talking to air traffic control and presenting a real hazard to the camera helicopters and the banner aircraft.

September 21, 2008

Perfect Vision

Floating over Premier League games today with the BT Vision banner.

Our presence clearly didn't help the score between Tottenham and Wigan; a nil, nil draw but arriving as I did just before the match started, I'm sure lots of people saw the banner; the same being true of the match at Middlesborough earlier.

It's a really big banner and 30 feet high and you have to appreciate the effect it has on the performance of a small aircraft. You have to watch something that big very carefully indeed and even the simplest manoeuvers demand considerable effort and attention; particularly to the aircraft speed and the potential for a stall.

It's certainly not an occupation for nervous flyers or even nervous pilots. Today with a nice collection of power lines situated on the climb out, attention to both detail and aircraft performance were absolutely vital.

September 13, 2008

Football Crazy with Airads

As if by a miracle, a day of good weather and that allowed us to fly the BT Vision and Setanta Sports football shirts banners over Manchester United vs Liverpool, Manchester City vs Chelsea and Blackburn Rovers vs Arsenal, as well as sneak in a marriage proposal over Southend pier as well.

The lucky lady, Annie, said "Yes" I'm told!

Tomorrow, it's over to the Lakeside shopping centre for another proposal and next week its more football matches, involving West Bromwich, Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester United.

Meanwhile, we have to frantically move the banners around between aircraft and pilots, rather like a bizarre game of musical chairs with the added excitement of not knowing whether UPS will either lose them or forget to pick them up.

September 9, 2008

A Little Magic with Tesco GoCompare

During the summer, Tesco's advertising agency contacted Airads asking how it might be able to use an aircraft banner to support the supermarket giant's new motor insurance television advertising campaign . The final result wan't quite what we expected but involved veteran magician, Paul Daniels, walking down Croydon High Street and 'by magic' an aircraft flying past with a banner....

See the video here.

September 3, 2008

Weather Worries

A mixed bag last weekend, thanks to the weather. All the BT Vision banners flew over the North-east football venues, as instructed but in the South, I found it impossible to reach the slot we had before the start of the Bournemouth airshow, thanks to low cloud sitting on the hills around Compton Abbas.

Tuesday was the day of the COI public safety film at Bembridge on the Isle of Wight but while the brand new Coastguard helicopter had no problems operating, the strong winds made picking up the supporting banner impossible. Fortunately and racing back to Sandown on Wednesday, I managed to lift the banner over the pier before the wind became excessive again. To give you an idea of how strong the westerly wind was, I managed to return from Sandown to Manston in 50 minutes.

So up and coming this weekend if the weather allows - and it doesn't look hopeful - there's a Trades Union banner to do over Norfolk and next week, there's Liverpool Blackburn Rovers and Manchester City games to fly with the BT Vision football shirts! to