On 13th February a unique gathering of people and aircraft witnessed the launch of ‘Biggin100’ a programme of celebrations and special events to mark the centenary of London Biggin Hill Airport.
Three very special 100 year old guests took to the air and formatted over Biggin in a Spitfire and Zenith Aviation’s Learjet 75 corporate jet.
Ray Roberts a WW2 pilot had the honour of flying in the Spitfire, whilst local resident Lily Osborne, ex Bletchley Park Signals Intelligence Officer Trudi Baxter flew in one of the most modern corporate jets, a Learjet 75 provided by bespoke charter airline, Zenith Aviation.
It was on 13th February 1917 that the War Office first established a military camp on the site at Biggin Hill in South London that is the origin of the airport.
The Biggin Hill Spitfire flight was an opportunity for guests to remember with pride and gratitude ‘Churchill’s Few’ who flew with skill and courage from RAF Biggin Hill throughout the Battle of Britain in the summer of 1940, supported by dedicated ground crews and operational staff.
The Zenith Aviation Learjet flight marked Biggins current role as a dedicated international gateway airport for Greater London and the City for business, corporate and private aviation.
Will Curtis, London Biggin Hill’s Managing Director used the opportunity to outline a very bright future for the airport and its community and commented ”Biggin 100 will enable us to showcase our continuing commitment as we lay the foundations and investment enabling us to inspire young people to pursue exciting and worthwhile aerospace careers in the future”
Stuart Mulholland, Managing Director of Zenith Aviation said: “We’ve been based at London Biggin Hill for a number of years now, so it is a privilege to be able to support this event with one of our Learjet 75s. Marking the centenary with a special flight carrying some esteemed guests is the perfect way to celebrate the extraordinary heritage of the airport.”
Included in the programme for London Biggin Hill’s centenary year is confirmation of the creation of the London Aerospace & Technology College, Flying and Engineering bursaries for young people, a two day Festival of Flight on the 19th and 20th of August and the opening to the public of the heritage areas of the airfield during Battle of Britain week in September.
About the Learjet 75 Aircraft
The Learjet 75 jet features the pioneering Bombardier Vision flight deck with an interior designed for style and comfort. It is the only business jet in its class to feature an eight-seat double-club configuration with a flat floor throughout the cabin and plenty of leg room. The Learjet 75 aircraft is also available in a six-seat executive configuration, offering enhanced comfort and productivity features. It’s more powerful engines and new winglet design enables it to cruise at a speed of Mach 0.81* and climb to an operating ceiling of 51,000 ft. (15,545 m)*. The Learjet 75 can also achieve an exceptional range greater than 2,000 NM (3,704 km)*. Its modern interior features a new cabin management system with individual touchscreen monitors and full audio and video control; LED lighting throughout the entire aircraft; a generous baggage suite and a spacious galley to optimize catering. The Learjet 75 aircraft can fly four passengers and two crew members non-stop from London to Moscow*.
About Zenith Aviation
Zenith Aviation was established in September 2013 following the acquisition of Perfect Aviation UK Ltd by the Markerstudy Group. The Sevenoaks based Markerstudy Group is prominent within the UK insurance industry and has several other diverse business interests which now include commercial aviation. Zenith itself operates a fleet of Learjet 45 and Challenger aircraft from its base at London’s Biggin Hill Airport. MD Stuart Mulholland announced further fleet expansion in 2016 with worldwide flight capability achieved in Spring 2016. Zenith also offers EASA Part 145 approved maintenance from its Biggin Hill facility.