Amy Aviation is on a tour of the UK, visiting places well-known for their connection with UK aeronautics!
Today she’s on the Isle of Wight.
You’ve probably heard of the Isle of Wight, right? It’s one of the many small islands that surround the country!
As well as the Isle of Wight, you’ve probably heard of the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands and the Isles of Scilly… These are some of the largest islands that surround our coastline.
There are thousands of other islands where small communities live and it’s important for all of these communities to be able to connect with the mainland for shopping, visiting families and carrying tourists…
As most of these islands aren’t big enough to have runways that can handle large jet planes, you’ll quite often see small turbo-prop planes – that’s ones with propellers – fly to and from these islands.
On the Isle of Wight, a company called Britten-Norman has been producing aircraft for over 60 years.
These include the Islander, one of the most successful aircraft in British aviation history!
It’s an aircraft designed to fly short-haul, high frequency flights and is great to reach remote locations. Launched originally in the 1960s, constant refinement has ensured that the Islander continues to serve the needs of small communities across the UK and overseas.
As well as landing on tarmac runways, these planes have to also land at some rather strange airfields.
Barra in the Hebrides is one of the only airports in the world where you still land on the beach – when the tide is out of course!
To get to the Isles of Scilly, a small group of islands a little off the Cornish Coast, you can take a flight from one of the country’s most westerly airports – at Land’s End. Go any further west, and you’re in the sea!
Air transport is vital for places away from the main centres of population, helping to carry both passengers and important supplies.
Of course, you could also travel by boat – but plane is faster (and we think it’s better!)
You can watch the animated series of Amy’s Aviation on YouTube or download the audio series on your phone or tablet so you can listen whenever you like – at home or in the car!