Shuttleworth’s Season Premiere – Old Warden – 8 May 2016

Shuttleworth’s opening show of 2016 offered the chance to confirm how the new display distances would effect the air displays held at this small venue – one which has become renowned for its photographic qualities. Clearly it wouldn’t be the same, but didn’t deserve much of the post-event criticism leveled at it. Like most things in life, it’s what you make of it – so here’s my glass-half-full offering from the day:

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World Naked Bike Ride London -11 June 2016

Following on from Trooping the Colour, was an ‘altogether’ different event. The World Naked Bike Ride in London is a friendly protest against car culture, pollution and oil dependency, and gives people the chance to prove that the bike is a great alternative mode of transportation for travelling the city. Full or partial nudity is encouraged as well as creative expression, but is not mandatory. The event attracts all shapes and sizes, ages and genders. Groups start at various collection points around London before converging in Westminster and riding a looped route to finish at the Wellington Arch. At both locations covered here – Westminster Bridge and the Wellington Arch – the numbers of cyclists, photographers and general public were so great as to block traffic. Many of the drivers caught up in the mayhem probably couldn’t believe what they were seeing!

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Trooping of the Colour and Queen’s Birthday Flypast – The Mall, London – 11 June 2016

The centuries old tradition saw the Colour trooped by No.7 Company Coldstream Guards , with the Royal Family, troops ¬†and military bands passing down The Mall from Buckingham Palace to the ceremony on Horse Guards Parade. Upon their return the Royal Family viewed the Queen’s Birthday Flypast from the balcony of the Palace. The Flypast included current aircraft of the RAF, plus a Spitfire and Hurricane from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and was concluded by the Red Arrows – to great cheers from the massed public. The Queen’s ninetieth birthday unsurprisingly attracted a larger than usual attendance, and for once they enjoyed fair- though not ideal – weather which remained dry and reasonably bright. A number of the flypasts of previous years have been affected by low cloud.

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Abingdon Air & Country Show – Dalton Barracks – 1 May 2016

The traditional opening airshow of the season at the former RAF airfield suffered a number of pre-event cancellations, but as always delivered a highly entertaining program of flying and ground activities. The unexpected highlights for many were the vintage helicopters, with the Westland Wasp in particular proving to be very agile and a type rarely seen displaying. The following images hopefully illustrate a little of what was on offer to the visiting public.

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