Coventry Airport Fly-in on 26 September

Two 1950’s era Venom jet fighters will fly in to support Help for Heroes at Coventry Airport’s Fly-in on 26th September 2010.

After the legendary Vulcan bomber and the breath taking Tornado jet, have landed the Venoms will take to the skies at around midday.

Actually based at Coventry Airport, as part of the AIRBASE visitor centre, Steve Bridgewater, its commercial manager, explains:

“The Venom was designed in the late 1940s as one of Britain’s first jet fighters. They served during the Malayan Emergency during the mid 1950s and later saw action during the Suez Crisis. Nearly 1,500 were built, but today just two are capable of flying in Britain and both of them will be at Coventry Airport’s Fly in to raise urgently needed funds for Help for Heroes!”

One of the pilots flying the aeroplanes is retired naval pilot, John Beattie. The other is Jon Corley, a local pilot with no military training at all. Jon (aged 36) began flying as a private pilot in 1995 and later trained as an airliner pilot. He is now one of the most experienced vintage jet pilots in the country and is Chief Pilot for the Classic Flight at AIRBASE.

“I’m excited to be able to fly the Venom at Coventry Airport as it gives us a chance to honour the many heroes who have served in our armed forced over the years” said Jon Corley. “Flying the Venom is hard work and I have the utmost respect for those who flew it, and other types, in combat.”

John Beattie has flown a variety of types of aircraft in his naval career – both fixed wing and helicopters and sees the Coventry Airport Fly-in as an ideal opportunity to highlight the role the navy continues to play in conflicts around the globe.

Set to raise urgently needed funds for Britain's wounded servicemen and women, the event promises to be a fantastic day out for families, aviation fans and children of all ages, with visitors able to experience hangar-based shopping, entertainment and even participate in the whole fly in experience by taking a helicopter flight around the airport.

With the online box office now open and ticket sales well underway, Coventry Airport is offering free on-site parking worth £16 for a family of four to early-bird visitors who pre-book their tickets now.

For more information about the event please visit:

Advance tickets are now available to book online



1 – Just two Venoms are capable of flying in the UK nowadays – and both will be seen at the Coventry Fly-In on September 26 (Image courtesy of Richard Paver/AIRBASE)

2 – Retired Naval Officer John Beattie (left) and civilian pilot Jon Corley (right) will be at the controls when the two Venom jet fighters take off from the Coventry Fly-In. (Image courtesy of Tim Badham/AIRBASE)

Notes to editor about AIRBASE

The Venoms are just a fraction of the historic aeroplanes that fly from AIRBASE at Coventry Airport.

Designed to replace the Vampire in RAF service the DH 112 Venom was developed by de Havilland in 1948 and boasted a thinner, more swept back wing as well as a more powerful Ghost engine. The type first flew on September 2, 1949 and the type entered service in 1952. It had four 20mm cannons in the nose and could carry rockets or bombs beneath the wings. The type first saw ‘action’ during the Malayan Emergency during the mid 1950s with both 45 and 60 Sqns. The Venom supported operations against Communist guerrillas as part of Operation Firedog, the codename for Royal Air Force operations in Malaya. The Venom also saw service during the Suez Crisis flying from RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus. By the time production ended nearly 1,500 Venoms had been built around the world and the type was still in service with the Swiss Air Force as late as 1983. No RAF Venoms survived into preservation – but luckily a number of Swiss examples have filled the gap… including a pair of airworthy examples flown by the Classic Flight at AIRBASE.

For more information about the AIRBASE visitor centre at Coventry Airport, please contact Steve Bridgewater, Commercial Manager on 02476 882617 / 07872 823402 or e-mail

Contact: Beatrice Mocci
Phone: 0845 130 8992