Retired RAF pilot pulls Top Gun-style stunts in plane he built in shed

GoPro footage shows retired RAF pilot pulling Top Gun-style stunts in aerobatic biplane he built in his garden shed

  • Rich Goodwin, 60, spent four years building the Pitts Special muscle biplane
  • He spent thousands of pounds to construct the aircraft at his home near Malvern
  • Father-of-five performed at the Cosford Air Show in Shropshire last weekend

This the moment a retired RAF pilot pulled off incredible Top Gun-style stunts at an airshow in an aerobatic plane he built in his shed. 

Rich Goodwin, 60, can be seen doing loop-the-loops and barrel rolls as he took to the skies in front of 50,000 people at the Cosford Air Show, in Shropshire, last weekend.

The married father-of-five attached a GoPro camera to inside the cockpit of his blue DIY aerobatic biplane, giving a unique insight into his dare-devil stunts at between 200ft and 1,800ft.

The former Tornado pilot spent four years and thousands of pounds building the Pitts Special muscle biplane by himself at his home near Malvern, Worcestershire, and the plane is now worth an estimated £135,000.

Mr Goodwin (pictured in front of his creation), can be seen doing loop-the-loops and barrel rolls as he took to the skies in front of 50,000 people at the Cosford Air Show, in Shropshire, last weekend

Married father-of-five Richard Goodwin, 60, attached a GoPro camera to inside the cockpit of his DIY aerobatic biplane, giving a unique insight into his dare-devil stunts at between 200ft and 1,800ft

Rich Goodwin’s Muscle Pitt’s Flying Display performs for the crowds in Shropshire 

 Mr Goodwin created art with his jet streams, drawing a smiley face (pictured) and other patterns 

Mr Goodwin said it was ‘wonderful’ to be back performing at air shows in his custom-made aircraft after events were cancelled during the Covid-19 pandemic

He said it was ‘wonderful’ to be back performing at air shows in his custom-made aircraft after events were cancelled during the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said: ‘It’s an amazing plane to fly and attaching the GoPro just gives people that point of view they might not usually get to see.

‘You can share the exhilaration I feel when I take the plane out. It’s all measured and well regulated. It just takes a lot of practice.

‘It’s a hot-rod bi-plane or a pimped-up biplane. It has a very powerful engine which means I can do some pretty unusual things.

‘It really is wonderful and I am very passionate about it, I just love it and it was great to be back entertaining the crowds. Cosford is one of my favourite air shows too.

‘I love the challenge of not only flying it but building it all too and getting the plane to meet all the required regulations.’

Mr Goodwin began building the plane from scratch six years ago and even remortgaged his house to fund its conversion into a aircraft now worth £135,000.

It was completed in 2020 and now weighs 1,500lbs (630kg), boasts an 8..5 litre, 350bhp engine and is capable of travelling at 207mph.

Mr Goodwin, who was in the RAF between 1984-1993 and flew in the Gulf War, added: ‘It has been a labour of love.

‘I told my wife I had remortgaged the house to buy this biplane which I was going to take apart and rebuild and she burst into tears in the bath!

Mr Goodwin (pictured upside down in his plane) said it was ‘wonderful’ to be back performing at air shows in his custom-made aircraft after events were cancelled during the Covid-19 pandemic

Mr Goodwin began building the plane from scratch six years ago and even remortgaged his house to fund its conversion into a aircraft now worth £135,000 (Pictured: One of its engines)

‘But I think she’s quite proud of me now and what I have achieved.

‘I just think it’s never too late to try something in life. I’ve always been passionate about biplanes. I was doing some training in America where I saw an air show act.

‘I looked into the complexity of doing it as it’s quite a challenge to modify airplanes here but I thought I could do it.’

He added that the aircraft is designed to have two jet engines attached to it which is purely for air show performances, but he is still waiting on approval to attach them.

It would make it the first home-built airplane to have jet engines. 

‘I said it as a joke at first four years ago and now we’re close to achieving it,’ Mr Goodwin added. 

‘The motto I adopt is there are no problems, only solutions.

‘The only experience building I’ve had before was putting together a model airplane but sometimes in life you’ve just got to get on with it.

‘I do have a sponsor. Without it, I wouldn’t have got as far as I could have. I built it all but the engineer design analysis is done by a guy in America.

‘You can condition your body to effects of all the stunts but when we don’t fly in winter and start up again, you do feel sick at first.

‘But it’s nothing that you can’t train your body to do. You have to know in your mind that you only have to do it a few times.

‘It is just a huge passion of mine and attaching the camera means I can share it with others.’

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