Shuttleworth Fly Navy – Old Warden – 4 June 2017

One of the country’s favourite airshow venues held its second ‘Fly Navy’ event following the highly successful 2016 debut, but suffered from worsening weather and cancellation of the Sea Vixen (see Duxford). Still, the Old Warden atmosphere shone through the gloom and the renowned intimate flying distances made for a great day’s entertainment.

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Abingdon Air & Country Show – Dalton Barracks – 14 May 2017

The airshow at the former RAF airfield suffered a number of pre-event cancellations and periods of bad weather – despite being moved a couple of weeks further into the year in an attempt to avoid those incidents from which it had previously suffered.  As always though, Neil Porter and his small team delivered a highly entertaining program of flying and ground activities, with revised regulations necessitating a complete re-design of the public access and viewing areas. One of the Twister team experienced an engine failure resulting in a heavy emergency landing and injuries to the pilot, reported to be relatively minor. The following images hopefully illustrate a little of what was on offer to the visiting public.

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Little Gransden Air & Car Show – Beds, UK – 28 August 2016

Held at the lovely little airfield not far from Cambridge, the annual Little Gransden Air & Car Show raises welcome funds for the BBC’s Children in Need charity. The event suffered from changeable and sometimes extreme weather which caused a few scheduling issues, but as ever the public enjoyed a highly entertaining show which was well attended. A number of World War Two aircraft displayed as did various aerobatic, jet and training machines. Dennis Neville’s Flying Circus provided old ‘Barnstorming’ style antics – flying under a limbo pole, taking penalties against a goalkeeper and bursting balloons with their propellers. The Spitfire display which opened the show was dedicated to the late Terry Wogan.

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Essex Armed Forces Day & Military Festival – Orsett, Essex – 2 July 2016

Organised by the Essex Military Support Association charity, the event raised funds for the Soldier’s Charity and the Essex Air Ambulance. It featured Essex artist Stacey Solomon (former ‘Queen of the Jungle’ and X-Factor finalist) and fellow local singer Charlotte Meldrum, plus the Colchester Military Wives Choir, Portsmouth Action Field Gun Team, and dog and athletic displays. The RAF’s Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Spitfire and Hurricane carried out flypasts over the parading troops, and bands added to the military content. It was a day of fun for all the family, as well as a chance to meet and say thanks to the armed forces.aDSC_1303-PhilWhalleyaDSC_1312-PhilWhalleybDSC_8159-PhilWhalleybDSC_8224-PhilWhalleybDSC_8234bDSC_9909-PhilWhalleycDSC_8321-PhilWhalleycDSC_8452dDSC_0046-PhilWhalleydDSC_8831dDSC_8932dDSC_8949-PhilWhalleydDSC_9073-PhilWhalleydDSC_9590-PWDSC_1425-PhilWhalleyDSC_1430-PhilWhalleyDSC_1575-PhilWhalleyDSC_8778-PhilWhalleyDSC_9168-PWDSC_9212-PhilWhalleyDSC_9228-PhilWhalleyDSC_9505-PWDSC_9506-PhilWhalleyeDSC_1365-PhilWhalleyeDSC_9142-PhilWhalleyeeDSC_1556-PhilWhalleyfDSC_1457-PhilWhalleyfDSC_1519fDSC_1529-PhilWhalleyfDSC_9685-PhilWhalleyfDSC_9706-PhilWhalleyfDSC_9726-PhilWhalleyfDSC_9752-PhilWhalleygDSC_8721-PhilWhalleyhDSC_1472-PhilWhalleyhDSC_9371rDSC_1572-PhilWhalleyrDSC_1581-PWrDSC_9827-PWrDSC_9830-PhilWhalleyyDSC_0108-PhilWhalleyyDSC_1635-PhilWhalley

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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Battle of Britain 75th Anniversary Flypast -Goodwood – 15 September 2015

On Battle of Britain Day 2015 a flypast of 33 aircraft took off from Goodwood Aerodrome to mark the 75th anniversary of that historic event. Wartime Hurricane and Spitfire pilot Wing Commander Tom Neil DFC, AFC, AE, who is 95, led the formation from the rear seat of a two seat Spitfire in the first group of four – ‘white section’. Tom was joined in the air by Cpl Alan Robinson and Nathan Forster, two wounded servicemen backed by the Spitfire Scholarship in partnership with The Royal Foundation’s Endeavour Fund, which Prince Harry launched in 2014, and who also attended. Prince Harry was due to also be a passenger in a two-seat Spitfire but unfortunately was unable to do so due to a technical issue with one of the aircraft.

Over 30,000 people attended the event inside the airfield with many thousands more viewing from the surrounding hillsides and on the routes taken as the sections (detailed below) ‘patrolled’ various locations around the south of England with historical links to the battle.

Most of the aircraft taking part in the flypast were already on the aerodrome having taken part in the weekend’s Goodwood Revival (see Goodwood Revival), with the remainder arriving in the morning.

The participating aircraft were:

White P7350, SM520, PV202, AB910

Red MK356, PZ865, LF363, TE311

Green R4118, PL965

Blue TD248, MV268, JT-10

Orange X4650, ML407, PP972

Yellow L6739, MH434, P7308, EP120

Purple TD314, N3200, BM597, P3700

Pink SX336 (should also have had RR232 but this aborted its take-off)

Brown TA805, P2921, TE184

Black AG224, 3W-17, MT928

RR232 did manage to take off at the back, and P-51 Mustang KH774 also followed as camera-ship

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