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A Guide to the history of British Flying Sites within the United Kingdom
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Air Shows


AIR SHOWS

NOTE: A gallery of pictures, taken at various air shows, is included at the end of this text.
Also, please remember to click once on any image to get a much larger picture.

All pictures by the author unless specified. Also, do please bear in mind that pictures and comments are regularly being added, so the layouts might well be a bit haphazard - until I get around to adjusting them - which should not take long. Plus, I am pleased to say, (this said in 2016), that I am now getting better at scanning and editing pictures.

This said, with many hundreds of pictures to add throughout the 'Guide' and of course a couple of thousand flying sites still to be listed, I do hope you will remain interested and from time to time visit again to see the additions. 

Classic BBMF formation
Classic BBMF formation

Note: This picture of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, was taken somewhere in England, probably in the 1990s. Ever since the Lancaster became available to the BBMF, this classic formation of a Lancaster, Hurricane and Spitfire has remained a firm favourite with air show audiences. Which is not at all surprising as surely one can never tire of the sight and especially the sound of, typically six Merlins; although in more recent years the Spitfire may be a Griffon powered example.




 

THE HISTORY
The history of 'air shows' in the UK goes back over two hundred years, and as you might now imagine, this needs some explanation. lt is I think helpful to consider the subject from the aspect of the numbers of spectators who have assembled at a specific location to witness the event. For example, since the 1920s, it has been 'normal' practise to host a wide range of aircraft and pilots capable of (usually) performing outstanding feats of airmanship, but this was far from the case previously. In fact, it was more common for thousands of people to assemble, simply to witness just one person take to the air.

In this day and age, when air travel is affordable to millions, this might appear an extraordinary concept. However, for the vast majority of people, until the 20th century, the spectacle of somebody taking to the air really was the equivalent of a 'Shuttle' launch from Cape Canaveral in the second half of the twentieth century from Florida in the USA.

 

THE EARLIEST EXAMPLES
When the monk 'Eilmeer' in Malmesbury, (WILTSHIRE), having built his basic 'hang-glider' and deciding on undertaking a test flight from (presumably?) St Peters church tower in the year 1003, it seems reasonable to suppose that at least a group of interested spectators had gathered; possibly even a throng? If this was the case then arguably they were the earliest progenitors of the air show audience in the UK.

Following on from that, nearly eight hundred years later, was the hot-air balloon launch performed by James Tytler, at COMELY GARDENS in Edinburgh in August 1784 during a major public exhibition being held there. It was then, more or less, another half century before balloon launches, (or ascents if you prefer), became a common feature in the UK, often drawing immense crowds.

 

AN UNEXPECTED DEVELOPMENT?
The Montgolfier brothers in France first realised the concept of using hot air as a 'lifting agent, and their first balloons used this method. But it came with considerable practical difficulties, such as having an open fire aboard such a confined space. People soon realised that having the balloon filled with a gas such as hydrogen or helium was a much better solution, except that both gases were very expensive to produce and difficult to transport to launch sites.

Using coal gas as a means of obtaining 'lift' seems to be a classic 'chicken or egg' case - which came first? And indeed, who first thought up the idea? However, during the earlier part of the nineteenth century towns in the UK started installing gas works, using coal to produce the gas, and these were of a small capacity, mainly to provide lighting for the 'High Street and Town Square' and the houses of the rich and influential.

 

NO SMALL FEAT
At least two family businesses saw a great opportunity in approaching town councils and the various 'worthies' to ask them to consider the prospect of a balloon launch, which could be both a great money making exercise and a status symbol. Attracting thousands of spectators these were very big events and needed a lot of advance planning - not least a suitable launch site - which both sheltered the balloon inflation period and provided an opportunity to raise revenue by inviting people to interview the aeronaut and inspect his barometric instruments. Something like a castle was usually ideal but quite often an arena was constructed.

A gas main to the launch site had to be installed and the balloon could only be inflated by any surplus capacity from the gas works - a process that sometimes took up to four days to complete. The obvious attraction was to charge 'top dollar' to those able to afford a view at close quarters to the initial launch, Once above these confines anybody could see the ascent for free. It is on record that, even in severely inclement conditions the aeronaut would rather risk life against the elements, rather than postpone a launch with the distinct possibility of being lynched, (or worse), by the thousands of 'common folk', some of whom had walked through the night to witness this incredible event taking place.

Eventually these balloon launching events became more commonplace and the earlier hysteria sometimes manifested calmed down. In London especially, towards the end of the 19th century (and even into the 20th century), it became quite fashionable for the wealthy to engage in balloon flights, even to the extent of some of them arranging balloon races over substantial distances.

 

THEN THE FIXED WING AEROPLANE ARRIVED
Without any doubt whatsoever it was the French who put the aeroplane on the agenda for the 'world' to see, and 'the world' of the wealthly and influential turned up in droves at Reims for the Grande Semaine d'Aviation de la Champagne from the 22nd to the 29th August 1909.

In the UK, having heard of this resounding success, three British towns decided to capitalise of this and hold the first ever similar event in the UK. Blackpool, Carlisle and Doncaster. Carlisle quickly withdrew but Blackpool and Doncaster went 'head-to-head' and in effect divided the small number of aviators available. Therefore it resulted in both events being only a shadow of what the French had achieved at Reims.

However, when several pilots, hit on the idea of giving public 'displays of flying', often with just one pilot flying one aeroplane, the response was quite fantastic. Especially so when the French pilot Henri Salmet and the Englishman Gustave Hamel got into their stride, quickly becoming far bigger attractions than the greatest rock stars of more recent years. For example, when these guys hit town even on a weekday, very often if not invariably, a public holiday was declared and a grand civic reception held in the evening. I certainly cannot recall a major rock star arriving in town and having this response.

 

WORLD WAR ONE
The aeroplane came of age in WW1 and tens of thousands were produced in the UK alone. But, despite there being hundreds of sites used by fixed-wing aircraft across the UK, most British people had never been close to an aircraft and it appears that a quite large proportion of the population still hadn't actually seen one.

 

AFTER THE ARMISTICE; THE IN-BETWEEN YEARS
Once the war had ended there were tens of thousands of surplus aircraft, and indeed, tens of thousands of surplus pilots - most of whom left aviation for good. The aircraft manufacturers were left with virtually empty order books so something had to be done, and quickly, if they were to stand any chance of surviving.

Handley Page for example converted several of their heavy bombers into airliners and not only established the first British international airline, but facilitated the first fully-manned international airport at their company aerodrome at Cricklewood in north London. This arrangement didn't last too long as it was on the 'wrong' side of London fogs and smogs and Croydon was selected instead to be the international airport for London.

On the other hand the Avro company embarked on placing aircraft at seaside resorts, mostly on floats operating from beaches. It appears that it was the Berkshire based and aptly named Berkshire Aviation Company that in the early 1920s 'invented' the touring 'air show' but mainly for 'Joy Rides'. Without any doubt, on the civilian side, it was Alan Cobham who, with his incredibly intensive schedule of 'Air Tours' to promote awareness within the UK of the importance of aviation, also included astonishing displays of not just aerobatics, but 'stunt' flying too - to attract the crowds.

It seems worth mentioning that Cobham utterly deplored the term 'Flying Circus' being attributed to his Tours - but the term has stuck. Although by far the most ambitious and far ranging, the Cobham Air Tours had several rival organisations touring around mainly England in the 1930s. I could well be mistaken of course, but I cannot recall off-hand, any major air shows in the 1930s being arranged along modern lines. In other words, being organised by a commercial company dedicated to arranging, (typically on an annual basis), one major event.

Apart from displays, air races were a popular attraction and arguably the King's Cup and Schneider Trophy events were the 'pick of the bunch', especially when Great Britain won the latter three times in a row and could claim the Trophy for all time. Perhaps not surprisingly the British government were not at all keen on fully supporting the British Schneider Trophy entrants and if it wasn't for huge financial support by Lady Houston there can surely be no doubt that the Rolls-Royce powered Supermarine aircraft would not have been competitive.

What may not be readily appreciated today amongst younger people especially, is that the knowledge gained from the Schneider trophy led directly to Supermarine designing the Spitfire and Rolls-Royce developing the Merlin engine! And where, I often wonder, would we British be today without the Merlin being available during WW2?


 

THE MILITARY AIR SHOWS
By the early 1930s military air shows, especially the 'Empire Air Displays' had really got into their stride and the RAF could field several first class formation aerobatic 'teams'. Probably the biggest and best was the display held at RAF Hendon in north London and in many respects these paved the way for the later Farnborough and Fairford extravaganzas. Indeed, it was at these displays that the public first gained the opportunity to view the very latest types although sometimes just as static exhibits.

 

A RATHER INCONVENIENT INTERLUDE?
This is called World War Two and lasted for roughly five years. However, as in WW1 (The Great War), the development of aircraft proceeded at a pace quite impossible to achieve in more peaceful times. By far the most significant development to emerge from this was jet powered aircraft, and not just for military purposes. The end of the war in the European theatre was 'on the cards' to those 'in the know' by 1943, and by 1944 under the Brabazon Commitee, British aircraft manufacturers were designing the next generation of civilian airliners. Notably of course de Havilland with their ill-fated Comet 1.

 

THE POST WAR YEARS
Without any doubt whatsoever, for most air show spectators, it was the jets that grabbed their attention, and, those displays really were sensational - nothing like the power and speed of these aircraft, the DH Vampire and Gloster Meteor had ever been seen before. Plus, we were on the verge of breaking 'The Sound Barrier'. But, it really must be pointed out that, despite the British Empire collapsing around our ears, and to all intents and purposes GB Ltd being bankrupt, the resources were nevertheless found to enable us to be a major force in the 'Cold War', fighting way beyond our weight so to speak.

The Farnborough Air Shows in those days really were spectacular, and, British aircraft manufacturers were often producing world beating aircraft, along with a lengthy line of notable 'duds' of course. There were other mind boggling events too, such as the Queens Review (check) at RAF Odiham in (?) where the sky was visibly darkened by mass fly-pasts.

 

FABULOUS AMATEURS
Set against these huge displays of military might, at the other end of the scale, small aerodromes around the UK were developing really good air shows which were proving very popular, although admittedly with much smaller crowds attending. I might well be viewing those days through 'rose tinted glasses' but any air show at an aerodrome which featured the 'Tiger Club' guaranteed a first class series of displays to lead the show along. And, as I understand it, the majority of their pilots were not professional pilots. This said and needless to say - highly experienced.

It might not be generally appreciated that many pilots operating in the GA (General Aviation) sphere have abilities equal to and often exceeding those employed by the military and commercial airlines. But, it is important to point out that many pilots in the military and the airlines are often amongst the very best performers when it comes to displaying light aircraft.


An air show in the early 1970s?
An air show in the early 1970s?

I now have no idea when and where I obtained this photograph, (dated September 1972 by a stamp on its back), and clearly taken by an amateur. Including it here is certainly self indulgent to a large degree. But, for all its failings from a professional point of view, it is redolent of the type of air show scene I remember as a teenager - and very fond memories they are too. The aircraft is of course the Fairey Swordfish, quite possibly I suppose, the same one seen at airshows today? 




 

A WONDERFUL CHOICE
For at least the last thirty years, even though the big British propaganda military displays ceased when the 'Cold War' ended, we have had a fabulous choice of first class air shows to attend ranging from, for example, lovely gentle displays of vintage aircraft at Old Warden (The Shuttleworth Trust) to the International Tattoo's at RAF Fairford. Many seaside towns now arrange impressive air shows too.

For me at least it has been a quite astonishing period. Today, at major 'Warbird' displays held at Duxford for example, I can see actually flying, a range of old military aircraft (mostly from the USA admittedly) which I drooled over in black & white photographs as a youngster over fifty years ago. Plus so much more. Who could believe for example that seeing a Junkers Ju 52 flying has become rather commonplace around Europe and the type has been seen in our skies more than once.

Another form of airshow, rather than just an air display, is the PFA Rally; the most significant being the PFA (Popular Flying Association) rallies of the 1980s and 90s which became truly epic events, including an air display. Held over three days many hundreds of aircraft would fly in and Cranfield in Bedfordshire was the venue from, I think, 1994 to 2002. Prior to Cranfield PFA rallies were held at several locations including Wroughton in Wiltshire and originally Sywell. After Cranfield the annual PFA Rally moved to Kemble in Gloucestershire and it was, (if I can remember correctly), during this period that the PFA was renamed and reorganised as the LAA (Light Aircraft Association) and in recent years the annual Rally has been held at Sywell although these days there is no air display and fewer aircraft fly in.
 

A VERY BIG THANK YOU
Without any doubt, due to the massive economic boom that has developed in the EU over the last thirty years, (and still growing), hundreds of wealthy people have had classic aircraft restored and are very happy to have them displayed. Indeed, in many cases they display these aircraft themselves. I think it is quite reasonable to claim that in the 21st century the British public now have the widest choice ever of aircraft to view, and being displayed.



AIR SHOWS PICTURE GALLERY
Many of these pictures were taken many years ago, when I was not in the habit of making concise notes. If anybody can provide information for accurately captioning these pictures, please contact me by e-mail. All the pictures are by the author unless specified.


AIRSHOW PICTURES

The wing-walking act by the Stearman team based at RENCOMBE in May 1993
The wing-walking act by the Stearman team based at RENCOMBE in May 1993
Red Arrows at Bournemouth in 2014
Red Arrows at Bournemouth in 2014



















ABINGDON: VAC event: See general listings



COSBY
Air show venue
Air show venue

Note: See Cosby (LEICESTERSHIRE) in the main listings for a bit more information.










CRANFIELD  (PFA Rallys)
AERIAL VIEWS by Austin J Brown with the author flying the camera-ship. And other scenes by the author.
PFA Rally 1994
PFA Rally 1994
PFA Rally in 1995
PFA Rally in 1995
PFA Rally in 1996
PFA Rally in 1996
A typical scene at a PFA Rally
A typical scene at a PFA Rally

A scene from the 1995 Rally
A scene from the 1995 Rally
Many pilots camp by their aircraft. This view in 1995
Many pilots camp by their aircraft. This view in 1995















SELECTION OF PICTURES FROM 1994 to 1997
Forney F.1A Aircoupe G-ARHB departing
Forney F.1A Aircoupe G-ARHB departing
The Piper J3C-65D Cub (ex L-4H Grasshopper) HB-OFW departing
The Piper J3C-65D Cub (ex L-4H Grasshopper) HB-OFW departing
Two Fairchild Argus III types in 1995. The UC-61K HB-ERO and the 24R-46 G-FANC
Two Fairchild Argus III types in 1995. The UC-61K HB-ERO and the 24R-46 G-FANC
The Cessna 120 G-BUKO taking-off
The Cessna 120 G-BUKO taking-off

The Cessna 172B Skyhawk G-ARID*
The Cessna 172B Skyhawk G-ARID*
A real novelty at the 1994 Rally. The Druine D.31 Turbulent G-ARJZ on floats
A real novelty at the 1994 Rally. The Druine D.31 Turbulent G-ARJZ on floats
The Bölkow Bo-207 D-ENVU in 1994
The Bölkow Bo-207 D-ENVU in 1994
A line up of types at the 1994 Rally
A line up of types at the 1994 Rally

The replica Blériot XI G-LOTI**
The replica Blériot XI G-LOTI**
A type unknown?***
A type unknown?***
The Beagle A-109 Airdale G-ASWB
The Beagle A-109 Airdale G-ASWB
The Bristol 170 Freighter C-FDFC, probably in 1996
The Bristol 170 Freighter C-FDFC, probably in 1996

The Cessna 150G G-BTSN departing
The Cessna 150G G-BTSN departing


*The Cessna 172 is, without any question, the true classic light aircraft of all time. First flown in 1955 production continued until 1986 when the litigation follies in the USA closed down light aircraft production. It took many years for this utter stupidity to be resolved, and production started again in 1998 - and still continues. In 2016 it was stated that over 43,000 examples of the Cessna 172 had been produced. The 172B, G-ARID, is a fairly early example, built in 1960.

**The beautiful replica Blériot XI G-LOTI can now be seen at the Brooklands Museum (SURREY). Just beyond it you can see a Mignet Pou-de-Ciel and beyond that an English Electric Lightning, itself a design from the 1950s - the prototype P.1A first flying in 1954. The Blériot XI it seems first flew in 1909. So, in one respect, this picture clearly demonstrates the incredible advances made in aircraft design in less than half a century. The first two-seater version of the Lightning was the T.4 which first flew in May 1959 - the Lightning in this picture is a two-seat version.

***I have tried and tried to identify this aircraft, without any success. Could anybody kindly help out?





1998 RALLY
The 'MATS' Lockheed Constellation. Billed as the last 'Connie' flying, this fabulous example was being much admired, and quite rightly as who can argue that these classic series of airliners surely have to be the most beautiful long-haul airliners ever designed:
An evocative evening shot of the Connie
An evocative evening shot of the Connie
The 'Connie' attracts a lot of interest
The 'Connie' attracts a lot of interest
Another sultry picture of the 'Connie' in the evening
Another sultry picture of the 'Connie' in the evening
The Connie departing from CRANFIELD
The Connie departing from CRANFIELD

















MORE PICTURES FOR 1998
Saab 91B-2 Safir LN-LFK
Saab 91B-2 Safir LN-LFK
The rare Dijkman Du Dijkhastar III PH-KOR
The rare Dijkman Du Dijkhastar III PH-KOR
Aeronca IICC Super Chief G-BTRI
Aeronca IICC Super Chief G-BTRI
The Cessna 140 G-GAWA
The Cessna 140 G-GAWA

The de Havilland DH87B Hornet Moth G-ADNE
The de Havilland DH87B Hornet Moth G-ADNE
The Vans RV4 G-BOHW
The Vans RV4 G-BOHW
The Aeronca IIBC Chief G-BRCW
The Aeronca IIBC Chief G-BRCW
The Fairchild 24R-46 Argus III G-FANC
The Fairchild 24R-46 Argus III G-FANC

Ooops"
Ooops"

SOMETIMES THINGS DO GO WRONG
At the 1998 Rally the Team Mini-Max 91 G-MYYR suffered a pretty serious mishap when taking off. If you read the AAIB report, EW/G98/07/07, you can come to your own conclusions. Mine will not be complimentary towards that pilot. But, I am pleased to say he escaped unhurt.


CRANFIELD 1999
The Taylorcraft-Auster AOP.6 VF526 (G-ARXU) departing
The Taylorcraft-Auster AOP.6 VF526 (G-ARXU) departing
The amazing Fry Esprit VF-II HB-YIL (see notes below)
The amazing Fry Esprit VF-II HB-YIL (see notes below)
Another view of the Fry Esprit VF-II
Another view of the Fry Esprit VF-II
The Piper J3C-65 Cub G-KIRK (see the second of the notes below)
The Piper J3C-65 Cub G-KIRK (see the second of the notes below)

The (Aeropro) Evektor EV-96 Euro Fox OK-BUR 04
The (Aeropro) Evektor EV-96 Euro Fox OK-BUR 04
The Cyclone AX2000 G-MGUN
The Cyclone AX2000 G-MGUN


Notes: It is somewhat rare today, that a new aircraft design arrives on the scene that is truly breathtaking. One example is the Fry Esprit VF-II, HB-YIL, designed by Valentino Fry in Switzerland. Work on the design started in 1994 and it first flew on the 8th Sepember 1998 and arrived at the 1999 PFA Rally less than a year later. The performance of this racer on its 140hp Walter/Lom Praha M-332AK turbo-supercharged engine was astonishing, 175mph, climb of 1800 ft/min and a 600 mile range. Fry then developed the design from the original airframe and engine, designated the Esprit VF-II SC but still registered as HB-YIL, and increased the speed to 250mph with a climb rate of 2,700 ft/min. Sadly the design attracted no buyers and it was retired June 2006. However, it can it appears be seen on display in the Verkhaus der Schweiz museum in Lucerne. 

MAURICE KIRK - G-KIRK
Depending on your point of view the 'Flying Vet' Maurice Kirk is either legendary or infamous. In my book he is both and it is really well worth while to investigate his astonishing and highly individual flying career. His ex-WW2 Cub G-KIRK was apparently used to ferry General George S Patton around northern France after the D-Day landings.
Roughly two years after this picture was taken he competed, (in G-KIRK), in the 2001 London to Sydney air race - and made it. This alone is a major story in itself, not least because Mr Kirk is not, how can I say, a keen fan of regulations and procedures.

He then decided to fly on around the world, more or less as the Cub couldn't manage the Pacific Ocean, and the engine failed off the coast of the Dominican Republic and he had to ditch. Fortunately he had the good sense to carry a PLB (Personal Locator Beacon) and he was eventually picked up by a US Coastguard helicopter. An appeal by his wife was made to salvage the Cub, but I cannot seem to find out if this was successful?


CRANFIELD 2000
The Stinson V.77 (AT-19) Reliant SE-BZP
The Stinson V.77 (AT-19) Reliant SE-BZP
The amazing Slepcev Storch VH-TEI
The amazing Slepcev Storch VH-TEI
The Pietenpol Air Camper G-BUCO
The Pietenpol Air Camper G-BUCO
The Fred Series 2 G-BGFF
The Fred Series 2 G-BGFF

The Taylor Monoplane G-BMET
The Taylor Monoplane G-BMET
The Pietenpol Air Camper G-BUCO airborne
The Pietenpol Air Camper G-BUCO airborne
The Slepcev Storch, VH-TEI, about to land
The Slepcev Storch, VH-TEI, about to land










DUNSFOLD AIR SHOW 1988
Pilatus PC-7s of the Patrouille Martini - Europe 1 team
Pilatus PC-7s of the Patrouille Martini - Europe 1 team
A roll around the outside of a formation
A roll around the outside of a formation
Another aspect of the display
Another aspect of the display








Notes: I cannot be certain, but, regarding the second picture, I do believe this was the first example of this manouevre demonstrated in the UK?

The start of the display
The start of the display
The Lynx with smoke
The Lynx with smoke
The Lynx going vertical
The Lynx going vertical







THE HELICOPTER DISPLAY
In those days the displays by the Westland Lynx were quite extraordinary. In this case I believe the example was the Westland Lynx AH1, XZ649. 

The Agusta Jet Ranger G-AWMK
The Agusta Jet Ranger G-AWMK

PLEASURE FLIGHTS

Bristow Helicopters were offering rides in their Agusta AB206 Jet Ranger II, G-AWMK:








DUXFORD AIR SHOW    JULY 2002
North American P-51 Mustang
North American P-51 Mustang
Boeing B-17 Fortress detail
Boeing B-17 Fortress detail
Republic P-47 Thunderbolt
Republic P-47 Thunderbolt
Hawker Nimrod, K3661
Hawker Nimrod, K3661

The Mustang 'Damn Yankee'
The Mustang 'Damn Yankee'
Grumman F8F Bearcat
Grumman F8F Bearcat
de Havilland DH.82A Tiger Moth
de Havilland DH.82A Tiger Moth
North American P-51 Mustang
North American P-51 Mustang

The Air Atlantique Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer, G-APRS
The Air Atlantique Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer, G-APRS
North American P-51 Mustang
North American P-51 Mustang
The Pink Lady Boeing B-17 Fortress
The Pink Lady Boeing B-17 Fortress
The BBMF Lancaster
The BBMF Lancaster



WHAT A SPECTACLE
There can be no doubt about it, DUXFORD has to be the biggest classic warbirds airshow in the UK, and what a fabulous display they put on. Very hard to resist, on a lovely flying day, getting the camera shutter red-hot.

And another North American P-51 Mustang
And another North American P-51 Mustang
The Boeing B-17 Fortress 'Sally B'
The Boeing B-17 Fortress 'Sally B'
 
Chance-Vought F4U Corsair
Chance-Vought F4U Corsair
Yet another P-51 Mustang
Yet another P-51 Mustang

The Twin Pioneer flying
The Twin Pioneer flying
A brace of Douglas A-1 Skyraiders
A brace of Douglas A-1 Skyraiders
Grumman F7F Tigercat
Grumman F7F Tigercat
Two 'Spits' and a Mew Gull
Two 'Spits' and a Mew Gull

Mass flypast
Mass flypast
Line up looking west to east
Line up looking west to east
Mew Gull and Spitfire
Mew Gull and Spitfire
A four-ship formation
A four-ship formation




A SPLENDID DAY OUT
Even after the flying display is over, as some of these pictures illustrate, there are still some lovely scenes to view. From the line-up of classic warbirds to watching the visitors depart in their light aircraft.

Corsair and the Auster J1N G-APIK taking-off beyond
Corsair and the Auster J1N G-APIK taking-off beyond
Piston power galore, a fabulous line up
Piston power galore, a fabulous line up
Grumman F7F Tigercat
Grumman F7F Tigercat
The Grumman F8F Bearcat with the DH.82A Tiger Moth G-BPAJ taking-off beyond
The Grumman F8F Bearcat with the DH.82A Tiger Moth G-BPAJ taking-off beyond

The de Havilland DH82A Tiger Moth G-ANPE taxying out to depart
The de Havilland DH82A Tiger Moth G-ANPE taxying out to depart

















FAIRFORD RIAT DISPLAYS
I have attended one of these displays in 1993 and later paid a short visit during another to photograph Concorde from outside the airfield.
Note: All pictures by the author unless specified
Spectacular display by a Royal Australian Air Force F-111
Spectacular display by a Royal Australian Air Force F-111
Lockheed Hercules transports in the late evening following a downpour
Lockheed Hercules transports in the late evening following a downpour
Part of the Red Arrows display
Part of the Red Arrows display
Another Red Arrows sequence
Another Red Arrows sequence

The Royal Australian Air Force Lockheed Hercules arriving
The Royal Australian Air Force Lockheed Hercules arriving
The amazing arrival of the Russian Tupolev TU-95MS "Bear"
The amazing arrival of the Russian Tupolev TU-95MS "Bear"
 
Hawker Hunters of the 'Patrouille Suise' team
Hawker Hunters of the 'Patrouille Suise' team
Possibly the UAE (United Arab Emirates) team?
Possibly the UAE (United Arab Emirates) team?

A rotten picture, but the only one I have of the Bristol 149 Bolingbroke Mk.IVT (G-BPIV) flying
A rotten picture, but the only one I have of the Bristol 149 Bolingbroke Mk.IVT (G-BPIV) flying
Four Aermacchi MB-339s of the Frecce Tricolori, Italian display team
Four Aermacchi MB-339s of the Frecce Tricolori, Italian display team
A sequence in the Frecce Tricolori display
A sequence in the Frecce Tricolori display
Another sequence in the Frecce Tricolori display
Another sequence in the Frecce Tricolori display

 


THE BEST
Without any doubt, for those interested in military aviation, the RIAT air show at FAIRFORD is without equal in recent years. Here are a few more pictures.

Tupolev TU-95MS "Bear"
Tupolev TU-95MS "Bear"
Avro Andover close-up
Avro Andover close-up
The 'Bear' demonstrating it can be refuelled air-to-air
The 'Bear' demonstrating it can be refuelled air-to-air
A pilot (?) and girlfriend (wife?), atop a Buccaneer
A pilot (?) and girlfriend (wife?), atop a Buccaneer

*A 'Sarajevo' approach to land by an RAF Hercules
*A 'Sarajevo' approach to land by an RAF Hercules
An Ilyushin IL-76 tanker with the Tupolev TU-95MS 'Bear' in position to simulate air-to-air refuelling
An Ilyushin IL-76 tanker with the Tupolev TU-95MS 'Bear' in position to simulate air-to-air refuelling
Hawker Siddeley S-2B (?) Buccaneer
Hawker Siddeley S-2B (?) Buccaneer
 A phalanx of RAF Panavia Tornados
A phalanx of RAF Panavia Tornados



*NOTE: A Sarajevo' approach to land. During the war in the Balkans, RAF transport aircraft crews had to adopt an entirely new approach to landing at Sarajevo in Bosnia & Herzegovia, approaching very high before landing to minimise the chances of being shot down. Only a few aircraft have this ability to land at very steep attitudes, some Cessna 172s, early Boeing 737s and, it now appears - the Lockheed Hercules.


AND SOME MORE PICTURES
A Handley Page Victor K.2 tanker, XL164
A Handley Page Victor K.2 tanker, XL164
Nice to see that 'Nose Art' was still a respected tradition, at least in 1993. This example on a Victor
Nice to see that 'Nose Art' was still a respected tradition, at least in 1993. This example on a Victor
Another view of the Avro Andover XS605
Another view of the Avro Andover XS605
Fiat G-91R/3 of 301 Esquadron, Portugese Air Force
Fiat G-91R/3 of 301 Esquadron, Portugese Air Force

Boeing E-6B Mercury, U S Navy VQ-4 version
Boeing E-6B Mercury, U S Navy VQ-4 version
RAF Lockheed C-130J Hercules
RAF Lockheed C-130J Hercules
The Tupolev TU-95MS "Bear" arriving at Fairford
The Tupolev TU-95MS "Bear" arriving at Fairford
The RAF Vickers VC.10 K.2 tanker ZA141
The RAF Vickers VC.10 K.2 tanker ZA141




MORE NOTES:
I will make no apologies for featuring many pictures of the Tupolev TU-95MS "Bear" in this collection of pictures. In those days just after 'Glasnost' to see this aircraft arriving at FAIRFORD really was sensational. During the 'Cold War' this type was perhaps the iconic image, taken from RAF interceptors, of the favoured aircraft of the Soviet forces for trawling up and down the North Sea ostensibly spying and garnering intelligence.  



CONCORDE AT RIAT 1998
Note: Pictures by the author.
Concorde at Fairford in 1998
Concorde at Fairford in 1998
Another view of Concorde
Another view of Concorde
A Concorde detail view
A Concorde detail view















FARNBOROUGH
The Farnborough Air Shows are of course legendary, but in recent years are only a shadow of what they once were in the 1950s through to the 1970s with the massed formation fly-pasts.


GALLERY OF EARLY FARNBOROUGH AIR SHOW PICTURES
Picture One
Picture One
Picture Two
Picture Two
Picture Three
Picture Three

Notes: Are the picture copyrights known for these?








PICTURE CAPTIONS 
Picture One:
The Saunders-Roe SR.45 Princess G-ALUN displaying in 1953. A most underated design which deserved a great deal of success if the Bristol company had not let them down by failing to produce the engines with the power required. Flying boats were then, and still are actually, a very practical solution to flying into many destinations around the world. 


Picture Two: This picture shows the start of a Avro Vulcan 'V' bomber display in 1959. These displays were legendary and in the earliest displays, performed by Roland 'Roly' Falk the Chief Test Pilot at Avro, involved taking off and performing a half roll and then rolling level at the top. It is said that 'Roly' performed these displays wearing, in dapper fashion, a suit, shirt and tie!


Picture Three: Probably pictured coming into land at the 1953 air show, the amazing Armstrong-Whitworth A,W.52 (TS368) clearly shows how advanced many British designers were in those days. This prototype was intended to start testing for the concept of a 'flying-wing' jet airliner. I imagine it foundered because, as we now know, (look at airliners at any airport), the basics of controllability, in all but the very worst of possible weather conditions found worldwide, (for which no design can adequately cope with), are best dealt with by a 'conventional' design, the basics of which were established in the early 20th century.

But of course, the concept of computer controlled 'fly-by-wire', now the prevailing system for most military aircraft, hadn't even been dreamt of. And of course, this technology is now common and accepted for airliners. Which begs the question I suppose; is the 'flying-wing' concept now ready to be re-invented? Let's face it, very few passengers today have any interest in looking out of a window. 




SNIPPETS FROM AIR SHOWS IN THE LATE 1970s & EARLY 80s
Notes: Unfortunately to a small extent, when changing the original slide mounts to a much better type, I didn't think to add the dates, but it doesn't much matter. What I now find interesting, given that in those days considering the price of film and developing I only took very few pictures - was that these were mostly of historic types - or what I considered as being highly significant new types. Such as the Britten-Norman BN-2A Mk.III-2 Trislander G-BEGX in the first picture.

It was my view then, seeing as the UK was to all intents and purposes a 'third-world' bankrupt nation, the continuing support of Concorde was utter madness. It had no future and would never be a commercial success no matter how impressive it was in technical terms and fabulous to watch flying. I thought that the considerable amount of genius we had in aviation development should have been directed at types like the Brittan-Norman Islander and Trislander. Types we could afford to develop and support and gain large markets for. It didn't happen needless to say.

Regarding the third picture of the Dragon Rapide G-AIYR it probably should be remembered that during this period, unlike today, seeing this type flying was then quite a novelty.

The Trislander G-BEGX
The Trislander G-BEGX
Early Airbus A300
Early Airbus A300
The Dragon Rapide
The Dragon Rapide
The Airbus A310 possibly in 1980?
The Airbus A310 possibly in 1980?

Hawker Sea Fury
Hawker Sea Fury
Fairey Firefly
Fairey Firefly
Rockwell B.1 Lancer, circa 1980
Rockwell B.1 Lancer, circa 1980














FARNBOROUGH 1988  (IN THE AIR)
The BAe 146-200
The BAe 146-200













FARNBOROUGH 1992  (IN THE AIR)
The Airbus A340
The Airbus A340
The Saab 2000 and the Saab 340*
The Saab 2000 and the Saab 340*
The Tupolev Tu-22M 'Backfire climbing out
The Tupolev Tu-22M 'Backfire climbing out
The BAe ATP G-MATP
The BAe ATP G-MATP

Tupolev Tu-22M 'Backfire'
Tupolev Tu-22M 'Backfire'
Antonov An-72 'Coaler'
Antonov An-72 'Coaler'


*Note. These two Saab regional airliner types were very successful and highly capable. I once flew by Cross-Air in a Saab 2000 from Basle to Heathrow, and was invited to take the 'jump seat'. It was a Saturday night flight which had only three passengers and the young crew had never flown into Heathrow before - so I was able to give them advice about where to taxy after landing which they much appreciated. What I thought was remarkarble was that our flight in the SAAB 2000 took only ten minutes longer than the BAe 146 normally used on this service!     


MORE PICTURES 'IN THE AIR'       
A De Havilland Mosquito at dusk
A De Havilland Mosquito at dusk
Dassault Mirage 2000
Dassault Mirage 2000
Sukhoi Su-27
Sukhoi Su-27
Harrier in the hover - a GR.5?
Harrier in the hover - a GR.5?

Boeing E-3D Sentry AEW1
Boeing E-3D Sentry AEW1
 












FARNBOROUGH 1992  (ON THE GROUND)
The mighty Antonov AN-124
The mighty Antonov AN-124
The DHC.6 Twin Otter LN-BNJ of the Norwegian airline Widerøe
The DHC.6 Twin Otter LN-BNJ of the Norwegian airline Widerøe
The Tupolev Tu-22M 'Backfire'
The Tupolev Tu-22M 'Backfire'
The E101 prototype, later to become the Merlin
The E101 prototype, later to become the Merlin















FARNBOROUGH 1994  (IN THE AIR)
 Another display by the Airbus A-340
Another display by the Airbus A-340















FARNBOROUGH 1995 (IN THE AIR)
A Dassault Rafale demonstrating a low speed pass in 'High Alpha' mode
A Dassault Rafale demonstrating a low speed pass in 'High Alpha' mode















GOODWARD: Festival of SPEED 2000
Two Spitfires and a Hurricane
Two Spitfires and a Hurricane
A Spitfire coming in to land
A Spitfire coming in to land
Hawker Hurricane
Hawker Hurricane
Curtiss P-40E Kittyhawk
Curtiss P-40E Kittyhawk

North American P-51 Mustang
North American P-51 Mustang
Another view of the Curtiss P-40E Kittykawk
Another view of the Curtiss P-40E Kittykawk
The Vickers-Supermarine Spitfire IX, MH434, on short finals to land
The Vickers-Supermarine Spitfire IX, MH434, on short finals to land











GREENHAM COMMON - THE QUEEN'S JUBILEE INTERNATIONAL AIR TATTOO - 1977
It was a great disappointment that on the day I visited this fabulous air show, it was on a very dull day. However, I trust you will be interested by the variety of aircraft taking part.
A formation landing by the Portugese Air Force Cessna T.37 team
A formation landing by the Portugese Air Force Cessna T.37 team
RCAF Canadair Argus
RCAF Canadair Argus
A formation take off by Royal Navy Hawker Hunters
A formation take off by Royal Navy Hawker Hunters
RCAF Lockheed F-104 Starfighter
RCAF Lockheed F-104 Starfighter

USAF C-5 Galaxy
USAF C-5 Galaxy
Solo Red Arrow display with a Folland Gnat
Solo Red Arrow display with a Folland Gnat
Austrian Air Force Saab 1050Es
Austrian Air Force Saab 1050Es
Lockheed SP-2H Neptune of the Royal Netherlands Navy
Lockheed SP-2H Neptune of the Royal Netherlands Navy




MORE PICTURES
The Avro Vulcan lining up for take-off
The Avro Vulcan lining up for take-off
The Avro Vulcan landing
The Avro Vulcan landing









KEMBLE
Vintage Aircraft Club meeting, July 1999
Without any doubt, for anybody interested and indeed in love with, especially classic pre-WW2 and post war light aircraft - a visit to a Vintage Aircraft Club meeting will never fail to lift the spirits and inspire. We must all be so grateful to the many people prepared to spend so much effort (and money of course) to not only preserving these aircraft - but keeping them flying!


Miles M.38 Messenger 2A G-AJWB
Miles M.38 Messenger 2A G-AJWB
Miles M.2L Hawk Speed Six G-ADGP
Miles M.2L Hawk Speed Six G-ADGP
de Havilland DH.87B Hornet Moth G-ADNE
de Havilland DH.87B Hornet Moth G-ADNE
Percival P10 Vega Gull G-AEZJ
Percival P10 Vega Gull G-AEZJ

Miles M.3A Falcon Major G-AEEG
Miles M.3A Falcon Major G-AEEG
BA Swallow 2  G-AEVZ
BA Swallow 2  G-AEVZ
The Aeronca C3 G-AEFT
The Aeronca C3 G-AEFT
The de Havilland DH60G Moth G-AAWO
The de Havilland DH60G Moth G-AAWO














KEMBLE
Vintage Aircraft Club meeting, 2003
Air Atlantique fly-past
Air Atlantique fly-past
The Miles M.65 Gemini G-AKHP
The Miles M.65 Gemini G-AKHP
Another view of the lovely Gemini G-AKHP
Another view of the lovely Gemini G-AKHP
The Boeing Stearman Kaydet PT-13 (G-BSWC) taking-off
The Boeing Stearman Kaydet PT-13 (G-BSWC) taking-off

The very rare British Aircraft B.K.1 Eagle G-AFAX
The very rare British Aircraft B.K.1 Eagle G-AFAX















KEMBLE
PFA RALLY in July 2003
It has to be remembered that the PFA (Popular Flying Association) and LAA (Light Aircraft Association) Rally's are devoted to opening up everything to do with GA (General Aviation) in the UK. All are welcome, not just those brave and so determined souls devoted to building their own aircraft, or indeed, restoring either a classic or singular type. In this respect I make no apologies for featuring several mundane and often maligned  'Spam Cans' which the majority of PPLs regularly fly, given that opportunites to fly more exotic types rarely exist in a Flying Club or School in the UK. Or indeed in a 'Group', two of which I have belonged to, if you want a very robust aircraft capable of being left out in the open, fit to fly very long distances, and generally pretty much 'bullet-proof' if handled correctly. 

Lockheed T-33 lining up
Lockheed T-33 lining up
Lockheed T-33 Silver Star
Lockheed T-33 Silver Star
The T-33 lifting off
The T-33 lifting off
The Gulfstream AA-5B Tiger G-BIPV taking-off
The Gulfstream AA-5B Tiger G-BIPV taking-off

 
The Jabiru J400 G-CCGG
The Jabiru J400 G-CCGG
The Piper PA-28-181 Cherokee Archer II G-BORS departing
The Piper PA-28-181 Cherokee Archer II G-BORS departing
The Cessna F172H Skyhawk G-AVJF taxying out
The Cessna F172H Skyhawk G-AVJF taxying out
The Cessna 310Q G-AZRR ready to depart
The Cessna 310Q G-AZRR ready to depart


 

AND MORE PICTURES

 The Jodel D113 SE-XDZ arrived from Sweden
The Jodel D113 SE-XDZ arrived from Sweden
The Robin HR200/100 Club G-BVMM just lifting off
The Robin HR200/100 Club G-BVMM just lifting off
The Taylor Monoplane G-BKHY
The Taylor Monoplane G-BKHY
The Hoffmann H36 Dimona G-LIDR taking-off
The Hoffmann H36 Dimona G-LIDR taking-off

The Lake LA-4 amphibian G-BASO departing
The Lake LA-4 amphibian G-BASO departing
The Wilksch-powered Thorp T-211 G-BTHP
The Wilksch-powered Thorp T-211 G-BTHP
The Vol Mediterrani VM-1 Esqual EC-ZFX
The Vol Mediterrani VM-1 Esqual EC-ZFX
The Lambert Mission M212-100 G-XFLY
The Lambert Mission M212-100 G-XFLY

The Jodel DR1050 Ambassadeur G-ASXS taking-off
The Jodel DR1050 Ambassadeur G-ASXS taking-off
The Extra EA 300/L G-IIDI
The Extra EA 300/L G-IIDI
Another Vol Mediterrani VM-1 Esqual, EC-ZGY
Another Vol Mediterrani VM-1 Esqual, EC-ZGY
The Piper PA-28-181 Cherokee Archer III G-JACS taking-off*
The Piper PA-28-181 Cherokee Archer III G-JACS taking-off*

 
The Piper PA-28-181 Archer II G-BORS taxying out to depart
The Piper PA-28-181 Archer II G-BORS taxying out to depart
The Robin HR100/285 G-BLHN departing
The Robin HR100/285 G-BLHN departing
The Grumman AA-5 Traveller G-BCEE taxying out to depart
The Grumman AA-5 Traveller G-BCEE taxying out to depart
The Pitts S-1 G-BXAU departing
The Pitts S-1 G-BXAU departing



*Note the amount of 'take-off' flap selected. There has been a bit of controversy about the Piper pilots handbook recommending that 20º of flap is required for a short-field take-off. This amount being regarded as being a drag-flap setting for most other aircraft types. Quite why the pilot decided this would be required from such a long runway is hard to explain? But of course, as I sometimes did when flying a PA-28, perhaps the pilot was simply interested to see the effect?

I came to conclusion that, if a very short take-off was needed, it was better to select no flap or perhaps 10º during the take-off roll until flying speed was achieved, and then select 20º whilst lifting off in ground-effect. This did work well in very demanding conditions from a very wet and soggy airstrip on a couple of memorable occassions.


A PERSONAL NOTE
Looking at these pictures, and others from PFA / LAA Rallys, it does seem notable that few pilots elect to bring passengers into these events - which seems such a shame. When I have done so they have all been most impressed and interested. It seems to me a great opportunity to demonstrate what GA is all about - a great day out for them - and well worth demonstrating what a wonderful GA community exists.



THE PFA RALLY IN JULY 2004
The Rutan Long-EZ G-WILY
The Rutan Long-EZ G-WILY
The Piper J3C-65 Cub G-BTBX taking off*
The Piper J3C-65 Cub G-BTBX taking off*

*Unfortunately I failed to properly caption this picture of the Cub G-BTBX. I now think it likely the picture was taken here, but if anybody can kindly offer advice, this will be most welcome.

Most of my pictures of this Rally have disappeared, probably because they were submitted to a picture library in London that was totally screwed up when taken over by an American concern based in New York run by complete idiots. (Chapter and verse available on request).


LONGLEAT:
Note: For pictures of the first Red Bull air race held in the UK please see LONGLEAT in the general listings


NORTH WEALD 1993
'Sally B' with fighter escort
'Sally B' with fighter escort
'Crunchie' wing-walker
'Crunchie' wing-walker
The '<em>Crunchie</em>' Stearman wing-walking display
The 'Crunchie' Stearman wing-walking display
The '<em>Crunchie</em>' duo taking off in the blustery conditions
The 'Crunchie' duo taking off in the blustery conditions

The Stinson V-77 Reliant G-BUCH in October 1993
The Stinson V-77 Reliant G-BUCH in October 1993
The de Havilland DH82A Tiger Moth G-AIDS
The de Havilland DH82A Tiger Moth G-AIDS
The Beech D17S Staggerwing NC18028
The Beech D17S Staggerwing NC18028
The Bellanca 14-19-2 Cruisemaster N7600E
The Bellanca 14-19-2 Cruisemaster N7600E

The Scintex (Piel) CP.301 C-1 Emeraude G-AZYS
The Scintex (Piel) CP.301 C-1 Emeraude G-AZYS
The Nord NC854S G-BCGH
The Nord NC854S G-BCGH
















NORTH WEALD (AEROFAIR) 2001
The PZL Koliber 160A (Polish built Morane-Saulnier/Socata Rallye) G-BZLC
The PZL Koliber 160A (Polish built Morane-Saulnier/Socata Rallye) G-BZLC















NORTH WEALD 2002
Grumman TBF (TBM) Avenger
Grumman TBF (TBM) Avenger
Jet Provosts
Jet Provosts
The Grumman TBF Avenger taxying out
The Grumman TBF Avenger taxying out
The BAe Jetstream T1 departing
The BAe Jetstream T1 departing

The Extra 300L G-ECCC, later re-registered as G-XXTR
The Extra 300L G-ECCC, later re-registered as G-XXTR
The Beagle Bulldog Series 120 XX537 (G-CBCP)
The Beagle Bulldog Series 120 XX537 (G-CBCP)
The Bolkow Bo-207 D-EFQE
The Bolkow Bo-207 D-EFQE


















OLD WARDEN AIR SHOWS
DH Moths aplenty
DH Moths aplenty
Avro 504K
Avro 504K
Spitfire Mk.V
Spitfire Mk.V
 
Gloster Gladiator & Hawker Hind
Gloster Gladiator & Hawker Hind

Parachutists at a display in 1996
Parachutists at a display in 1996
 Grumman Avernger
Grumman Avernger

Bristol F2B Fighter
Bristol F2B Fighter
DH.82A TigerMoth
DH.82A TigerMoth

Gladiator, Lysander & Hind
Gladiator, Lysander & Hind
Gloster Gladiator
Gloster Gladiator
Spitfire and Hurricane
Spitfire and Hurricane
Westland Lysander
Westland Lysander



PROBABLY THE LOVELIEST OF AIRSHOWS
There can be no doubt about it, if you want to experience old aeroplanes flying, in an enviroment which places you remarkably close so you can really enjoy the thrill of spectacle and sound of these old classic aeroplanes, nothing equals the displays at OLD WARDEN.
:
A Spitfire Mk.Vc displaying
A Spitfire Mk.Vc displaying
A Gloster Gladiator and a Hawker Hind
A Gloster Gladiator and a Hawker Hind
S.E.5a
S.E.5a
North American P-51 Mustang
North American P-51 Mustang

Percival Provost
Percival Provost
Miles Magister
Miles Magister
SE5a
SE5a
The Avro 621 Tutor K3215 (G-AHSA), in 1996
The Avro 621 Tutor K3215 (G-AHSA), in 1996

Westland Lysander V9545
Westland Lysander V9545
The Spitfire LF Mk.VC, AR501 in 1996
The Spitfire LF Mk.VC, AR501 in 1996
Hawker Hind, K5414
Hawker Hind, K5414
LVG C.VI German WW1 reconnaissance aircraft
LVG C.VI German WW1 reconnaissance aircraft




MORE PICTURES
The Sopwith Triplane
The Sopwith Triplane
The LVG C.VI displaying
The LVG C.VI displaying
Bristol F.2B Fighter D8096/G-AEPH
Bristol F.2B Fighter D8096/G-AEPH









THE MAY 1996 AIRSHOW:
A trio of classic RAF trainers*
A trio of classic RAF trainers*
The Arrow Active Mk.II G-ABVE
The Arrow Active Mk.II G-ABVE
The DH82A Tiger Moth G-AHAN
The DH82A Tiger Moth G-AHAN
The unique airworthy de Havilland DH51 G-EBIR
The unique airworthy de Havilland DH51 G-EBIR

A trio of classic 1930s de Havilland types**
A trio of classic 1930s de Havilland types**
The BA Swallow 2 G-AFCL
The BA Swallow 2 G-AFCL
The Druine D.31 Turbulent G-ARBZ
The Druine D.31 Turbulent G-ARBZ
'Wing-walkers' assist a brace of Moths into fairly tight parking spaces
'Wing-walkers' assist a brace of Moths into fairly tight parking spaces


*Note: In the first picture:The Avro 621 Tutor K3215 (G-AHSA), the Miles M14A Magister P6382 (G-AJRS), and last but not least the Hawker Tomtit K1786 (G-AFTA).
**Note: In the fifth picture, from left to right, is the DH60X Moth G-EBWD, the DH51 G-EBIR and the DH60G Gipsy Moth G-ABAG.

2003 AIRSHOW
Douglas C-47 fly-past
Douglas C-47 fly-past
Spitfire low pass
Spitfire low pass
Avro Tutor
Avro Tutor








2005 AIRSHOW
Spitfire Mk.Vc
Spitfire Mk.Vc
Hawker Sea Hurricane
Hawker Sea Hurricane
Ryan PT-22 Recruit
Ryan PT-22 Recruit
Hawker Tomtit
Hawker Tomtit

The Currie Wot G-APNT
The Currie Wot G-APNT
The Miles M38 Messenger G-AKIN
The Miles M38 Messenger G-AKIN
The 'Tied together' display*
The 'Tied together' display*









*NOTES: For some reason I had not dated this picture, but I now think it was during a display in 2005. The de Havilland DH60X Moth G-EBWD, the Parnell Elf II G-AAIN and a DH82A Tiger Moth had certainly taken off in formation and 'tied together'. Clearly the string has failed at some point, (between the Moth and Elf), but nevertheless it was lovely seeing these pilots trying to re-enact an aspect of popular air displays in the 1930s.



RENCOMBE 2001   Corporate private airshow
I was very privileged to fly Austin J Brown to this event in the Cessna C.150 G-DENC in the morning. Later returning with my 'flying mucker' Guy Browning in the Cessna 172 G-JVMB to collect Aussie. For some reason which now escapes me, we elected to drop in on KEMBLE on the way home. I was a tad surprised to be given permission to fly in with these two aircraft, to be seen amongst such pristine other classic aircraft. But then again, as I often had to remind myself, the Cessna 172 especially is the classic aircraft of all time, bar none. First flown in 1955 to 172 is still in production, (or was in 2016), and more examples have been built than any other aircraft.

I will make no apologies for including several images of the Fairey Swordish, what a fabulous classic, and we are so privileged to still see one flying. This is because, where else at other air shows could you get such close-up pictures? I am a little worried about the Vimy picture, which I found uncaptioned, but which I believe was here. If anybody could kindly confirm this I will much appreciate the advice.

Fairey Swordish
Fairey Swordish
Avro 504 type
Avro 504 type
A DHC.1 Chipmunk
A DHC.1 Chipmunk
Another view of the Swordfish
Another view of the Swordfish

Boeing-Stearman PT-17 Kaydet
Boeing-Stearman PT-17 Kaydet
The lovely replica Nieuport 17/2B WW1 fighter
The lovely replica Nieuport 17/2B WW1 fighter
Another view of the Swordfish
Another view of the Swordfish
An evening flypast by the Vickers Vimy replica
An evening flypast by the Vickers Vimy replica

 


AND MORE PICTURES
The Kia Cars display team
The Kia Cars display team
The Boeing Stearman A75N1 N707TJ
The Boeing Stearman A75N1 N707TJ
The Yak 50 LY-AGG
The Yak 50 LY-AGG
The de Havilland DH90A Dragonfly G-AEDU
The de Havilland DH90A Dragonfly G-AEDU

The Cessna 180K Skywagon II G-BUPG
The Cessna 180K Skywagon II G-BUPG
The YAK 52 RA44466
The YAK 52 RA44466
The Pitts Special S-2C G-SIIC with two of the KIA team aircraft beyond
The Pitts Special S-2C G-SIIC with two of the KIA team aircraft beyond
The Max Holste MH.1521C.1 Broussard G-YYYY
The Max Holste MH.1521C.1 Broussard G-YYYY

The Colomban MC-15 Cri-Cri G-SHOG
The Colomban MC-15 Cri-Cri G-SHOG
Another view of the Boeing Stearman A75N1 N707TJ
Another view of the Boeing Stearman A75N1 N707TJ
Another view of the Pitts Special S-2C G-SIIC
Another view of the Pitts Special S-2C G-SIIC









AND EVEN MORE PICTURES
A close up of the Bücker Bü133D-1 Jungmeister G-BSZN
A close up of the Bücker Bü133D-1 Jungmeister G-BSZN
The de Havilland DH89A Dragon Rapide G-AEML
The de Havilland DH89A Dragon Rapide G-AEML
The de Havilland DH83 Fox Moth G-AOJH
The de Havilland DH83 Fox Moth G-AOJH
The Aeronca C-3 G-ADYS
The Aeronca C-3 G-ADYS

The Chilton D.W.1 G-AESZ
The Chilton D.W.1 G-AESZ
Another view of the lovely de Havilland DH90A Dragonfly G-AEDU
Another view of the lovely de Havilland DH90A Dragonfly G-AEDU
A brace of Stearmans, which are based here
A brace of Stearmans, which are based here
The Piper Cub used by the Kia Cars display team
The Piper Cub used by the Kia Cars display team




WEST MALLING AIR SHOW - 1983

Fly past led by the B.17 "Sally B"
Fly past led by the B.17 "Sally B"
The Air Atlantique DC-3
The Air Atlantique DC-3
A second view of the Air Atlantique DC-3
A second view of the Air Atlantique DC-3
DH83 Fox Moth taxying out
DH83 Fox Moth taxying out

 A BA Concorde making a slow pass in really quite abysmal weather
 A BA Concorde making a slow pass in really quite abysmal weather
The Convair 440 Metropolitan making a low pass
The Convair 440 Metropolitan making a low pass
Air Atlantique DC-3 (G-APML) taking-off
Air Atlantique DC-3 (G-APML) taking-off
The Boeing B-17 Fortress 'Sally B'
The Boeing B-17 Fortress 'Sally B'





A fly-past by the Junkers Ju-52
A fly-past by the Junkers Ju-52
Another view of the B-17 Fortress 'Sally B'
Another view of the B-17 Fortress 'Sally B'
The Stampe SV4 G-AYZI
The Stampe SV4 G-AYZI




Note: I have no doubt that somebody brilliant at 'Photoshop' could do a great job of making these old colour pictures look so much better. And, believe it or not, I have made some improvements to the images. Then again, given the rubbish colour film stock available to the public; at the time I was quite chuffed by how well these pictures turned out! On the other hand, being quite old colour pictures, perhaps they have a certain 'period charm'?





WHITE WALTHAM AIR SHOW - 1996

Carolyn Grace in the twin seat Spitfire
Carolyn Grace in the twin seat Spitfire
The Diamond Nine Tiger Moth formation display team
The Diamond Nine Tiger Moth formation display team
The 'Diamond Nine' lined up
The 'Diamond Nine' lined up
Harrier taking off
Harrier taking off

A line of WW1 tails -all replicas perhaps?
A line of WW1 tails -all replicas perhaps?
The Bristol 149 Blenheim Mk.IV G-MKIV
The Bristol 149 Blenheim Mk.IV G-MKIV
Avro 504 replica
Avro 504 replica
The de Havilland DH.83 Fox Moth G-ACEJ*
The de Havilland DH.83 Fox Moth G-ACEJ*

A formation of PA-28s**
A formation of PA-28s**
The Miles M.65 Gemini
The Miles M.65 Gemini
A most unusual aspect***
A most unusual aspect***













*Note: See my listing WOLD LODGE for more pictures of this fabulous aeroplane.

**Note: It was delightful to see a formation of PA-28s, (presumably all Warriors?), from the West London Aero Club. All being flown by instructors I suppose? We all love seeing the 'class' acts of course, but what fun - and imaginative too, to see these humble flying school and club types putting on an act. Most unusual. 

***Note: It is very rare, if not unique, to see an aerobatic air display taking place beneath the approach path to a major airport. But, as this picture clearly shows, it can happen at WHITE WALTHAM.  Here Alan Cassidy is displaying in the Sukhoi SU-26MX G-ORBY beneath a Boeing 747 on finals to land at HEATHROW.



WOBURN MOTH RALLY - August 2002

The Moth Rallies held at Woburn Abbey in Bedfordshire over many years, really are an event well worth attending. Without exception the proud owners who fly in, keep their aircraft in superb condition, are to be applauded and commended.
Moths galore and other de Havilland types
Moths galore and other de Havilland types
More Moths
More Moths
Stampe-Vertongen SV.4B, G-AIYG
Stampe-Vertongen SV.4B, G-AIYG
De Havilland DH.60M Moth, G-AAHY
De Havilland DH.60M Moth, G-AAHY

DH.87B Hornet Moth, G-AELO
DH.87B Hornet Moth, G-AELO
A fly-past
A fly-past
Another scene, with the DH.85 Leopard Moth G-APKH
Another scene, with the DH.85 Leopard Moth G-APKH
What a lovely example, the DH82A Tiger Moth, G-ACMD
What a lovely example, the DH82A Tiger Moth, G-ACMD





AND MORE PICTURES
Many pilots and passengers arrive dressed for the period
Many pilots and passengers arrive dressed for the period
Tiger Moths at Woburn
Tiger Moths at Woburn
The DH80A Puss Moth, G-AAZP
The DH80A Puss Moth, G-AAZP
The Thruxton Jackaroo G-ANZT
The Thruxton Jackaroo G-ANZT

Two more lovely examples, the DH85 Leopard Moth G-ACMN and beyond the DH80A Puss Moth G-AAZP
Two more lovely examples, the DH85 Leopard Moth G-ACMN and beyond the DH80A Puss Moth G-AAZP
The lovely de Havilland DH85 Leopard Moth G-AIYS
The lovely de Havilland DH85 Leopard Moth G-AIYS
The delectable de Havilland DH83 Fox Moth G-ACEJ
The delectable de Havilland DH83 Fox Moth G-ACEJ
The superb De Havilland DH85 Leopard Moth G-ACUS
The superb De Havilland DH85 Leopard Moth G-ACUS




AND INDEED, EVEN MORE PICTURES
The pristine de Havilland DHC.1 Chipmunk T.10 WK514 (G-BBMO)
The pristine de Havilland DHC.1 Chipmunk T.10 WK514 (G-BBMO)
A lovely brace of DH82A Tiger Moths. DE823 and beyond T7842* (G-AMTF)
A lovely brace of DH82A Tiger Moths. DE823 and beyond T7842* (G-AMTF)
Another view of lovely de Havilland aircraft
Another view of lovely de Havilland aircraft
Another view of the scene at Woburn
Another view of the scene at Woburn

The rare and lovely Thruxton Jackaroo G-ANZT**
The rare and lovely Thruxton Jackaroo G-ANZT**
Two interlopers,the Polish built T-131 Jumgmann, and beyond the Stampe SV4B G-AIYG
Two interlopers,the Polish built T-131 Jumgmann, and beyond the Stampe SV4B G-AIYG
A gaggle of Tiger Moths
A gaggle of Tiger Moths













 

*NOTES: Rather oddly it would seem, the Tiger Moth T7842 does not appear to be fitted with 'spinning-strakes'. Built in 1941 I would assume these were fitted when new? But why would anybody see fit to delete them?

** See THRUXTON (HAMPSHIRE) for some more info about this type.


 

                                                

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