The Tiger Club was formed to race Tiger Moths, during the first couple of decades of the Club air racing was very popular and was enthusiastically taken up by several members. As the years went by and F1 Racing became popular, Norman Jones who owned and ran both Rollason Aircraft and The Tiger Club was instrumental in getting a design competition set up in 1966 to design a British F1 racing aircraft. The Rollason Luton Beta was the winning design of this competition.
Photograph Copyright © John Blake
There were four Beta aircraft built by Rollasons, in the squash court behind the Tiger Club hangar at Redhill. G-ATLY (named Forerunner) was the first flying in April 1967 with a 65hp Continental engine before being upgraded to a 90hp engine for racing.
Photograph Copyright © Ron Smith.
This was soon followed by Blue Chip G-AWHV which was the longest serving Beta on the Club fleet. By 1969 115 Club members had checked out on the Beta! The third Beta was G-AWHW which was called The Red Baron and the last was G-AWHX called Vertigo.
They were competitive for a while but with the Cosmic Wind and later the Cassutt Racers arriving from the USA and being built by Club Members, there was plenty of competition.
The Beta was a complicated design which meant it was time consuming to build and it was not easy to modify and adapt the aircraft, but it was a competitive racer for a time. It was also a well used and popular Club aircraft.
The Tiger Club 1990 Ltd
Damyns Hall Aerodrome
Essex RM14 2TN
Tel: 01708 524633
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