(Reading time: 3 - 5 minutes)

Flying displays at the Shuttleworth Collection really are classic events. This is even more valid for their evening displays that usually provide a well balanced selection of the Collection’s extensive collection presented in the last hours of sunlight. And with the wind being mostly calm around that time the chances are high to see the famous Edwardian aircraft doing their circuits over the airfield.

Shuttleworth Airshow 2018
Where? Shuttleworth Collection, Old Warden Airfield, Biggleswade, UK
When? 14 July 2018

Shuttleworth’s evening airshow on July, 14th coincided with the big airshow week-end in the UK. In a somehow strange move Shuttleworth, Duxford and Fairford hosted their events and made a difficult choice for the enthusiast. Though aimed at different types of aircraft, this clash was a bit unfortunate. But on the other hand it provided a great opportunity to combine the attendance at any of these shows. With Shuttleworth being only a stone’s throw away from Duxford an early leave from the Flying Legends airshow was just fine to arrive at the Old Warden airfield just in time for the start of the flying display at 6pm.

Picnic time at Shuttleworth!

At that time the parking lot was well filled and people have prepared their tables, chairs and blankets along the fence line. Looking at the progress of their picnic and the already emptied bottles of wine was a clear indication that the major part of the crowd arrived well before and enjoyed a great day out. But the final highlight was yet to come!

Classic Show Openers: Hurricane and Gladiator

Shuttleworth Sea Hurricane 0243 Zeitler 700 466 90
Shuttleworth Sea Hurricane 0243 Zeitler 100 66 85
Shuttleworth Sea Hurricane 0292 Zeitler 100 66 85
Shuttleworth Sea Hurricane 2084 Zeitler 100 66 85
Shuttleworth Sea Hurricane 2116 Zeitler 100 66 85
Shuttleworth So 2121 Zeitler 100 66 85

Traditionally the Gloster Gladiator and the Hawker Sea Hurricane opened the show, and was followed by the Miles Magister and the Desoutter. Typically for the air displays at Old Warden the aircraft were presented nice and low during excellent passes, low and topside in front of the tree-line that always provides a nice background.

Shuttleworth Gladiator 0157 Zeitler 700 467 90
Shuttleworth Gladiator 0157 Zeitler 100 66 85
Shuttleworth Gladiator 0187 Zeitler 100 66 85
Shuttleworth Gladiator 0195 Zeitler 100 66 85
Shuttleworth Gladiator 0227 Zeitler 100 66 85
Shuttleworth Gladiator 2103 Zeitler 100 66 85

The Blackburn B2 and Chipmunk were up next, with the latter one doing some aerobatic flying and catching ribbons from a pole, thus passing closely to the ground just in front of the spectators. An excellent view and the then finally blue and cloudless sky was the 3-ship formation of the 'Moth' biplanes.

0Shuttleworth Chipmunk 0394 Zeitler 700 467 90
0Shuttleworth Chipmunk 0394 Zeitler 100 66 85
Shuttleworth Chipmunk 0390 Zeitler 100 66 85
Shuttleworth Chipmunk 0609 Zeitler 100 66 85
Shuttleworth Chipmunk 2165 Zeitler 100 66 85
Shuttleworth Chipmunk 2239 Zeitler 100 66 85
0Shuttleworth Biplanes 2204 Zeitler 700 467 90
0Shuttleworth Biplanes 2204 Zeitler 100 66 85
Shuttleworth Biplanes 0400 Zeitler 100 66 85
Shuttleworth Blackburn B2 2158 Zeitler 100 66 85
Shuttleworth Desoutter 2147 Zeitler 100 66 85
Shuttleworth So 2206 Zeitler 100 66 85

WW I: Avro 504K and Bristol Fighter

This was followed by the planes from WWI, always a special favorite of your author. Unfortunately the previously announced types were cut short and from that era only the Avro 504 and the Bristol B2 Fighter took to the air.

0Shuttleworth Avro 504 0481 Zeitler 700 467 90
0Shuttleworth Avro 504 0481 Zeitler 100 66 85
Shuttleworth Avro 504 0465 Zeitler 100 66 85
Shuttleworth Avro 504 0521 Zeitler 100 66 85
Shuttleworth Avro 504 2271 Zeitler 100 66 85
0Shuttleworth Bristol Fighter 0564 Zeitler 700 467 90
0Shuttleworth Bristol Fighter 0564 Zeitler 100 66 85
Shuttleworth Bristol Fighter 0528 Zeitler 100 66 85
Shuttleworth Bristol Fighter 0567 Zeitler 100 66 85
Shuttleworth Bristol Fighter 0591 Zeitler 100 66 85
Shuttleworth Bristol Fighter 2317 Zeitler 100 66 85

Lysander and the Polikarpov

A quick jump to the era of WWII saw the Westland Lysander and the Polikarpov Po-2 displaying, and it has to be mentioned that very rarely I have seen the Lysander in such a beautiful light. Usually very difficult to photograph in the distinctive black scheme for those clandestine night missions, the low sun was just perfect to get nice photographs of that special airplane.

0Shuttleworth Lysander 2435 Zeitler 700 467 90
0Shuttleworth Lysander 2435 Zeitler 100 66 85
0Shuttleworth Lysander 2482 Zeitler 100 66 85
Shuttleworth Lysander 0629 Zeitler 100 66 85
Shuttleworth Lysander 0706 Zeitler 100 66 85
Shuttleworth Lysander 2349 Zeitler 100 66 85
0Shuttleworth Po 2 2549 Zeitler 700 467 90
0Shuttleworth Po 2 2549 Zeitler 100 66 85
Shuttleworth Po 2 2419 Zeitler 100 66 85
Shuttleworth Po 2 2457 Zeitler 100 66 85
Shuttleworth So 2458 Zeitler 100 66 85

Pure flying pleasure

At about that time it became clear that the wind was calm enough to fly the Edwardians. As this really takes place with the last rays of sun and sunset was at around 9pm15, the gap in between was bridged by the Provost and the Eon Primary SG.38 glider, which must be really adventures to fly as a completely open aircraft without engine. It was released from its towplane at a rather impressive altitude and must be one of, if not the purest way of flying!

Shuttleworth Provost 0723 Zeitler 700 467 90
Shuttleworth Provost 0723 Zeitler 100 66 85
Shuttleworth Provost 0733 Zeitler 100 66 85
Shuttleworth Provost 2576 Zeitler 100 66 85
Shuttleworth Miles Magister 0309 Zeitler 700 467 90
Shuttleworth Miles Magister 0309 Zeitler 100 66 85
Shuttleworth Miles Magister 0328 Zeitler 100 66 85
Shuttleworth So 2129 Zeitler 100 66 85
0Shuttleworth So 2569 Zeitler 700 467 90
0Shuttleworth So 2569 Zeitler 100 66 85
1Shuttleworth Glider 2565 Zeitler 100 66 85
Shuttleworth Glider 0742 Zeitler 100 66 85
Shuttleworth Glider 2139 Zeitler 100 66 85
Shuttleworth Glider 2142 Zeitler 100 66 85

Mew Gull raceplane

If it would not have been enough, the Mew Gull race plane was also sent in the display circuit. Streamlined to the maximum with a rather small fuselage dictated by the engine installation and small wings for high speed one had to wonder about the pilots sight out of the cockpit. But of course he did his job perfectly well and the topside passes were just gorgeous.

Shuttleworth Mew Gull 0754 Zeitler 700 467 90
Shuttleworth Mew Gull 0754 Zeitler 100 66 85
Shuttleworth Mew Gull 0789 Zeitler 100 66 85
Shuttleworth Mew Gull 0851 Zeitler 100 66 85
Shuttleworth Mew Gull 2615 Zeitler 100 66 85
Shuttleworth So 2592 Zeitler 100 66 85
Shuttleworth So 0926 Zeitler 700 467 90
Shuttleworth So 0926 Zeitler 100 66 85
Shuttleworth So 2083 Zeitler 100 66 85
Shuttleworth So 2367 Zeitler 100 66 85
Shuttleworth Static 2074 Zeitler 100 66 85

Sunset and the Edwardians

After this speedy display the airfield fell silent and only the sound of the Bristol Boxkite’s engine was heard at the Old Warden airfield. It is always a sight to behold when these seemingly fragile constructions take off and fly their pattern. Obviously the pilots have to account for the wind and these machines are flown very very gently around. Though it appears rather dangerous with the pilot sitting at such an exposed position, the enjoy every second of it and seem not wanting to stop. Thoughtful the spectators were gazing at the spectacle of the Boxkite, which was then joined by the Avro Triplane.

Shuttleworth Boxkite 0895 Zeitler 700 467 90
Shuttleworth Boxkite 0895 Zeitler 100 66 85
Shuttleworth Boxkite 2622 Zeitler 100 66 85
Shuttleworth Boxkite 2629 Zeitler 100 66 85
Shuttleworth Boxkite 2649 Zeitler 100 66 85
Shuttleworth Boxkite 2683 Zeitler 100 66 85
Shuttleworth Edwardians 2680 Zeitler 700 467 90
Shuttleworth Edwardians 2680 Zeitler 100 66 85
Shuttleworth Triplane 2664 Zeitler 100 66 85

After a seemingly endless number of patterns in the sky both planes came back to the ground in the dark. The until the silent airfield changed into an enthusiastic cheer and applause for those brave pilots in their fragile machines. Obviously this also goes to and is than very well earned for everyone at Shuttleworth for keeping those planes alive.

What a perfect airshow moment that was! Shuttleworth really is a special place - and during such a magical evening air display even more so!

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