Sky Watch Civil Air Patrol © 2017 Registered Charity in England & Wales No. 1113079 & Scotland SCO42026 Website: Computer Insight
UK Civil Air Patrol
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Congratulations to the United States Air Force which, this year, celebrates its 70th Anniversary and to the US Civil Air Patrol, which was formed in 1941, became an auxiliary of the USAF and, in 2015, became a part of the USAF 'Total Force' to fly low and slow missions with single engine aircraft for disaster relief aerial reconnaissance and for search and rescue.

The annual 'Emergency Services Show' (ESS), sponsored by the publishers of 'Emergency Services Times', Broden Media is the biggest and probably the best show of its kind in Europe, possibly in the world! The first ESS was held in London in 2006 with 90 exhibitors and 1,000 visitors. It then moved to Stoneleigh Park, near Coventry, between 2006 to 2012 and, as it became ever bigger and more popular, it then moved to the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham in 2013. It now occupies one of the largest display areas at the NEC, Hall 5, and on this occasion the Civil Air Patrol were pleased to attend for the 7th year in a row following its first attendance at Stoneleigh Park in 2011.

This year the Civil Air Patrol was located on a large stand in the 'Search & Rescue Zone', alongside the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, HM Coastguard and Mountain Rescue - England & Wales, together with other members of the UK's voluntary sector. As in 2016 the CAP was the only organisation to include an aircraft as part of its display, an AutoGyro Cavalon Plus. In addition, this year the autogyro was fitted an L3 Wescam MX-8 electro-optical camera turret as a conceptual piece of role equipment to enhance the autogyro's tremendous capability as a low speed aerial observation platform. As in 2016 the autogyro, now available with commercial certification, and cleared to fly at night, proved to be a 'magnet' for visitors to this year's Emergency Services Show. The direct operating cost for the Cavalon autogyro, inclusive of routine maintenance and fuel (mogas) is just £28 per flying hour.

Colleagues from Northern Ireland brought with them some small unmanned aircraft, also called drones, to demonstrate aerial observation at the opposite end of the spectrum from the manned aircraft that are used to support the 'blue light' emergency services and the local government emergency planning departments with volunteers flying cost effective air support missions.

Tap on individual photographs to gain an enlargement.