Pilots flying vintage planes the length of Africa performed an aerial demonstration over a game park on the outskirts of Nairobi a day after one aircraft had to make a forced landing that wrecked the plane.
The Vintage Air Rally includes biplanes built in the 1920s and 1930s which have flown from Europe past Egypt’s pyramids and through Sudan and Ethiopia.
The planes are recreating a route traveled by Imperial Airways, a British commercial air transport company that served the routes of the British empire to its colonies in Africa during the 1920s and 30s.
The rally is being held for charity and is expected to cover over 12,800 kilometres, with the oldest plane from 1928.
Sam Rutherford, Director of the vintage air rally said, “These old airplanes are still capable of doing this difficult and arduous journey day after day and in hard conditions in particular in this age where we tend to upgrade, change, buy new things every six months or a year. So it is to show that 90 years ago we really built some stuff that was built to last and it is still working properly and safely today’‘.
The pilots will be challenged by the elements in open cockpits, stretching their flight limits with the long distances.
They will be sleeping in sandy deserts, under the wings of their planes in tents.
“ They are tough conditions, they are tough conditions for the airplane, it is hot , it is high, in the afternoons we get thunderstorms, all these things are bad for airplanes and anything that is bad for an airplane is stressful for the pilot,” added Rutherford.
The vintage planes and support aircraft continue their journey south heading to Tanzania, with the aim of reaching Cape Town, South Africa in about two weeks.