Where? Old Warden / Biggleswade, England
One week after the Military Pageant the Evening Airshow at Shuttleworth was held in the usual, and most welcomed, way: first take-offs at 1730pm, followed by non-stop flying until the last aircraft will land around sunset, which is more or less at 8pm. Not a lot of time, but enough to bring more than two dozen aircraft of the extensive Shuttleworth collection in the air.
This late start left enough time for a time in the Swiss Garden or to go and see the birds of prey flying, all of whih is included in the show tickets for the day. Newcomers at Shuttleworth obvously will prefer to visit the extensive collection of historic aircraft in the numerous hangars and the related exhibits.
After the afternoon tea and a cake – or a Burger and beer- it is about time to catch a place along the fence and wait for the flying to start. At first however it was time for the vehicle parade to do some drive-bys before the “Collection Rare Birds” took off. These were the Swift, DeHavilland 51, Desouter and Elf, followed by three Miles-build aircraft, the Magister, Falcon and Gemini.
Trainer aircraft were next with a solo display by the Provost and the Blackburn B2. This topic was completed by a 3-ship formation, consitsting of the recently re-build Polikarpov Po2 and the Hawker Tomtit and Tutor.
The weather with a forecast of strong gusts again and even hailstorms was not very promising and even dangerous for these old and precious aircraft. It was thus not sure until the last minute if the schedule could be followed as planned, but fortunately this year the luck was on the spectators side. Clouds were moving North and South along the airfield, however in the near distance it stayed quite calm and right in time for your author’s personal favourites, the WW I warbirds, even the sund came out.
4 veterans from WW I were on the list for this day: the Sopwith Pub, Bristol F.2B Fighter as well as the Sopwith Triplane and the Royal Aircraft Factory SE.5A. Just everything went right for them and the wow-factor was certain during some of their fly-bys in gorgeous evening light!
The Rhönsperber and Kite gliders did effuse a calm mood before it was time for the 1930’s and 40’s warbirds. This time the Collection did present the Fieseler Storch and the Gloster Gladiator as well as two Haker-build aircraft: the Hind and the Hurricane. Amongst this topic especially the formation flight of the Hind and the Hurricane was very impressive as it clearly demonstratred the hugh progress in aviation in that period of time, even more so as these were two aicraft build be the same manufacturer.
Towards the end of the display everybody was of course eagerly waiting for the “Edwardians”, so-called as they were build aronud the time of King Edward VII. During the course of the day the winds were still a it a strong and the commentator speculated about the Boxkite and the Trilane to fly, but in the end also the Deperdussin (build 1910) and the Blackburn from 1912 took it to the air for some fly-bys. Though it was already around 8pm and started to get dark, there was still a lot of magic in the air when everybody got silent an there was not much more in the air than the sound of the rotary engines.
The timeless background at Shuttleworth still boosted this and once again this very special show offered a timeless flying experience.