If you want to catch the opening performance of the 2012 Pattern Festival Weekend, there’s only going to be one place to look. And that’s straight up in the air. Why? Because aerobatic adventurer and aviator extraordinaire, Gerry Humphreys - brother of local man, Chris - will be taking to the sky at 8pm on Friday evening, 27th July in his very distinctive Vans RV7 aeroplane to treat spectators to a display of loops, rolls, dives, spins and slow-flying.
The RV7 (pictured) is a two-seater sport aeroplane, powered by a 5 litre, 150 horsepower engine and was built by Gerry himself from a kit produced in Oregon, USA. It took five years to complete the build and since then Gerry has flown over 700 hours in it. It’s a small, fast, versatile aeroplane, sporting a ‘Friesian Cow’ paint scheme, as well as strobe lights and a smoke system to help it stand out.
Gerry started building model aircraft as a teenager before going on to complete a degree in Aeronautical Engineering at Queens University Belfast. After graduating, he joined the RAF where he spent 20 years flying single-seat fast jets including the Hunter and Harrier. Gerry then returned to Limerick where he now runs the family farm at Brittas producing organic beef. He is currently Chief Pilot at a Shannon-based private aviation company and instructs part-time at both the Limerick Flying Club and the Atlantic Flight Training Academy in Cork. He is on the board of directors of the Foynes Flying Boat Museum. To date, Gerry has logged over 8,500 flying hours, mostly in single-engine aircraft.
We’re delighted that Gerry has agreed to display his unique skills for us here in Ardmore as part of this year’s Pattern Festival. So, fingers crossed for a clear and (relatively) calm evening on Friday 27th July, so we can all enjoy an event which promises to get this year’s Pattern Festival off to a “flying” start!!
Some Facts and Figures about the RV7:
Top speed – 200 mph
Stall speed – 50 mph
Take off distance – 200 yds
Range – 1000 miles
Weight – 1050 lbs empty
Seats – 2
Cost – €40,000 (not for sale!)
Fuel consumption – Unleaded Petrol 40 litres per hour
Wingspan – 25ft
Power – 4-cylinder 5-litre air-cooled engine