2005 Edition

 

 

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Scorchin' Kemble

Kemble At Home - Part 1 - The Airfield Attack
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Kemble At Home - Part 2 - Flying for Everybody
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Kemble At Home - Part 3 - Delta Jets
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Kemble At Home - Part 4 - Mysterious Chiliean!
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Model Flying
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Old Friends Return
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Power of the Fifties
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Mysterious ATP
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Kemble Internationa
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An annual favourite on the UK Airshow calendar, the Kemble Air Day Always manages to produce a well organised and enjoyable event. While last year the show became well known for some torrential downpours, this year saw blazing heat, blue skies. Paul Johnson/Flightline UK reports from the former home of the Red Arrows. All Photography copyright of the Author.

Return of the RAF
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Jaguar's Kemble Swansong

The major theme of KAD 2005 was a celebration of the Jaguar which is about to be retired from RAF service. As part of the celebration was a rare formation between 41(F)'s solo display aircraft flown by display pilot Flt Lt Derek Sington and Delta Jet's own Hunter T7A WV318.

Kemble Air Day is one of the major highlights of the airshow calendar having gained an enviable reputation for putting on some truly extraordinary air displays and always trying to bring something new to the air display world whether it be massed classic jet formations or the Red Bull Air Race. Such high standards do mean that the public expectations sometimes unfairly go through the roof. Many shows publish lists of displays they will have in attendance only to find that star item fails to turn up for any number of legitimate reasons and this incurred the wrath of a minority people who find it too easy to complain. Clearly, this had taken it's toll on Kemble organisers who quite rightly just want to concentrate on producing an enjoyable event for all. Understandably then, publicity for this year's show threw little light on participation but did push the event as a father's day out for all the family. Therefore, there was a certain mystery for the enthusiasts about what exactly was going to turn up which is no bad thing.

Delta Debut

Making it's display debut at the Kemble Air Day was Delta Jet's new display team. Sadly the Gnat went unserviceable prior to the event so it's place was filled by the Fox One syndicate's Hunter T7 to make a display team of three Hunters. One of the show stars was the number 3 Hunter, XL577 in the colour of the Blue Diamonds, 92 sqn's display team which was also making it's debut.

The display was opened by some Kemble based aircraft in the form of BCT's pair of Pipers and Ultimate High's Bulldog in formation and a collection of microlights flying around the circuit. A nice touch at the end of their display was a taxy by on the grass in front of the crowd allowing the public a close look at the type of aircraft they could aspire to fly from Kemble. Elsewhere, there was a unmarked BAE Systems ATP in the static park, possibly connected with Kemble's other role as an airliner scrapping facility. Another Kemble resident making an incredibly rare outing was one of a number of ex-Chilean Air Force Aerospatiale Pumas which no doubted pleased the enthusiasts.

Delta Jets naturally also featured prominently throughout the show. Sadly, their last remaining Gnat was stuck on the ground though the Hunter's did make a number of appearances not least as the Delta Jets Display Team. With very little rehearsal time, the team put together a polished display which showed off the aircraft well, particularly the new member of the fleet XL577 in the markings of the Blue Diamonds. WV318 and WV372 also put on a Airfield attack demo with the help of the local signals regiment although perhaps the pyrotechnics weren't quite as spectacular as advertised! Another Hunter making a welcome return to Kemble was Jonathon Whalley's Hunter F58A Miss Demeanour which once again provided an exciting solo display. Also in the air towards the end of the display was Delta's Jet Provost T5 finally making it into a display in hands of Andy Gent who put on a very fine performance in such an underpowered machine. There was a another visiting Classic Jet in the form of Air Altantique's Vampire T55 offering perhaps a glimpse of Kemble's future with plans to base Delta Jets and Air Atlantique's classic jet fleet together as part of a living museum.

Another EU Grounding

While Sally-B grabbed all the Headlines over it's grounding thanks to new EU Insurance regulations, a number of other aircraft have been overlooked. Air Atlantique's Meteor is one of them. Although the aircraft arrived at Kemble, it could not display during the show and was forced to reside in the static park.

Other Cold War Warriors in the display were of the piston powered variety. The Royal Navy Historic Flight's Sea Fury FB11 displayed on it's own after the Sea Hawk failed to start at Yeovilton. Joining it was Kennet Aviation's mighty AD4N Skyraider in the hands of John Beattie, manager of the Royal Navy Historic Flight. The only other naval contribution to the show was a lone Jetstream T2 from RNAS Culdrose.

The RAF always gives quite major support to the show, particularly from nearby Brize Norton and Lyneham. The static park was once again graced by the appearance of a Brize norton based VC-10 tanker aircraft promoting the RAF's local role of transport while in the flying display a Tristar C1 made a very rare appearance at the show performing two flypasts at the end of the morning flying display.Lyneham was represented by the Hercules C5 tac demo display dispensing the ever popular smoking land rovers. The static park also contained an RAF Griffin HT1 from No 60 Squadron at RAF Shawbury and a 18sqn Chinook HC2. It was a busy weekend for airshows, and therefore the RAF fast jet and training command displays were stretched over the country and Holland for the weekend. Therefore, Kemble did not have a representative of an RAF Tornado at the show although did boast the 20sqn Harrier GR7, the 208sqn Hawk T1 and 207sqn Tucano T1. However, two types in particular grabbed the limelight so to speak. Much of the show publicity and programme was themed around the imminent retirement of the RAF's Jaguar force. A static example from 41(F) Squadron was joined by the solo 41(F) display in the flying display which joined up with Delta Jet's flagship Hunter T7A WV318 for a formation pass. The Jaguars successor, Eurofighter Typhoon T1 was at the show in the hands of 29(R) Squadron and display pilot Flt Lt Matt Elliot for it's first ever display at a civilian airfield outside of Farnborough and was undoubtedly the star turn at Kemble. As ever, the Red Arrows were in attendance at their former home and displayed with typical flair in clear Cotswolds skies in front of a number of former team members who hold a reunion at the show most years.

The show also boasted two major international participants. A Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130H Hercules was presented in the static park during the display having arrived from another major military event in the Netherlands for a very welcome appearance. The Hercules is currently involved in exercises in the UK. The flying display saw the Royal Netherlands Air Force display it's Pilatus PC-7 Turbotrainer in the hands of Major Ruud Huisman right at the end of the display just after the Red Arrows during which much of the crowd seemed to try and make a quick exit - shame because it's an excellent display and they only ended up stuck in traffic.

 Kemble try very hard to make this a pleasing event allowing crowds great access to the flying display aircraft  as well as the static which did mean the site layout had changed a little. While the layout was good there are always a few teething troubles that will be ironed out for next year. Overall, this was another great Kemble display - well organised by Glen Moreman's team and an entertaining mix presented in relaxed fashion, certainly helped by a great commentary from Airsound's Sean Maffett, Joe MacGrath and producer Jonathon Ruffle.

 copyright Flightline UK 2005