During the Second World War, many pilots flew under bridges to test their skill or alleviate the boredom of routine, second-line flying. One of these was Derrick Edwards, a Fleet Air Arm pilot who flew under both Menai bridges across the strait between Wales and Anglesey.
“There was about a foot either side of the prop on top and bottom going under the road bridge, which is a lot lower than the rail bridge,” he told me. His task was made no easier by the lumbering Blackburn Skua in which he attempted the feat:
“We were warned when we took off, with the mountains to starboard, that if it did more than about 45° bank it would spin in. I don’t know if that’s true or not. I have to say though I didn’t have any problems or accidents. It was what I describe as an old warhorse that had seen its day, and the examples we had were pretty worn out.”
A new artwork celebrates this occasion – see below for a video showing the process of making it.