AIRSHOW 'DESPERATELY SEEKING' DEVON ELLIE
It's a case of 'Desperately Seeking Ellie' for the organisers of the world's largest military airshow after we received a touching letter from a Devon schoolgirl.
Nine-year-old Ellie Carter wrote to the Royal International Air Tattoo, to ask if we could feature her favourite aircraft at this summer's airshow – a US Air Force U-2 spyplane!
But in her letter (see below), Ellie only gave her name, age and the fact she lives in Devon. Now we are keen to find her so that we can respond to her plea.
Richard Arquati, spokesman for the Air Tattoo, said that whilst we often received requests from aviation fans asking for particular aircraft to feature at the airshow, few were so articulate or as passionate as Ellie's.
He said: "It's wonderful to hear how hard Ellie is working to achieve her ambition to become a pilot and the extent to which the U-2 aircraft has inspired her. We'd very much like to contact her to thank her for her delightful letter and to see how we might help encourage her further."
The U-2, which is also called the Dragon Lady, flies so high that the pilot has to wear a space suit. Though they are rarely seen at airshows in the UK, U-2s occasionally land at RAF Fairford on their way back to the US following top secret missions.
The U-2 is unusual in that it is always met on landing by a ground crew in high performance vehicles who chase the aircraft down the runway in order to fix stabilisers under the wingtips as the aircraft rolls to a stop.
Mr Arquati added: "Although we have a number of exciting aircraft already confirmed for the airshow it's too early to say whether a U-2 will be joining us. However, if the US Air Force does send one, we'd very much like to make sure Ellie doesn't miss it – hence our appeal. We very much hope she will get back in touch with us."
This summer's Royal International Air Tattoo takes place on July 7 & 8 when it will be marking the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. All accompanied under-16s enter free.
February 1, 2012