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Some of the best airshows on the circuit are the smaller, more intimate shows. One of them is held at Old Buckenham Airfield in Norfolk for local charities including the East Anglia Air Ambulance.  Paul Johnson/Flightline UK reports. All photography copyright of author.

The BBMF
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Summer Swifts
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Colours of the Season
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Pilot Makers
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Unsung Hero
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Heavy Metal
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United Colours of Stearman
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The setting for the Old Buckenham Airshow is a small second world war airstrip. Construction of the airfield started in 1942 and was completed in 1943 in time for the arrival of the 453rd Bomb Group of the United States Army Air Force who stayed until the end of the European War in May 1945. They were equipped with the B-24 Liberator and during the course of the war lost 58 aircraft and 366 air crew. A memorial to the 453rd BG is situated in front of the club house. Today, "Old Buck" is home to the Old Buckenham Aero Club and is thriving centre for parachuting and general aviation.

The Old Buckenham airshow is usually held annually though in 2007 returned after a years break. The show raises money for the East Anglian Air Ambulance and has proved a very popular local show. This year's show had to cope with some pretty dire weather condition around the country affecting some of the participants but in the end nearly everything due to fly did.

With 2007 being the 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, the show took the "Battle of Britain" as it's major theme for the aircraft attending the show. The flight themselves were present despite poor conditions. First of their aircraft to arrive was the Douglas DC-3 Dakota III which manage to fight it's way through all the way from south western England on it's way back to base at RAF Coningsby. The planned two ship of fighters was unable to make the show due to crosswinds at Coningsby, however the flight's Spitfire IX managed to re-route to perform a solitary flypast over Old Buckenham during their slot. Continuing the theme of the Battle of Britain was Peter Vachers beautiful Hurricane I R4118 which was flown beautifully by Stu Goldspink with some lovely low flypasts and gentle rolls.

There were also two other more powerful world war two fighters present. Rod Dean gave an impressively smooth display in Kennet Aviation's Seafire XVII which was well suited to the slightly damp conditions. The aircraft always raises a few eyebrows during it's display as it's early Griffon often sputters a bit and emits some black smoke at the top of some of the loops. Rob Davies also gave a polished account in the Woodchurch based P-51D Mustang Big Beautiful Doll

One of the victims of the inclement weather was Hawker Nimrod II from the Historic Aircraft Collection. Instead, pilot Dave Evans brought HAC's Chipmunk for a solo display amongst a gaggle of various historic training aircraft. The earliest trainer on display was Peter Lawton's Bucker Jungmann wearing Luftwaffe marking which was put through a typically classic routine of aerobatics.

Perhaps one of the highlights of the day was the trio of Boeing Stearman aircraft. We're probably more used to seeing the uprated Super Stearmans on the circuit from the wingwalking team - Team Guinot. These were the original version of the aircraft with much less power. what was particularly pleasing was the variations iof colour schemes the aircraft wore which were beautifully highlighted against the laden clouds in the backdrop and the formation keeping was quite superb.

The potent of the trainers was the T-28J Fennec from Radial Revelations and flown by Ray Corstin from it's base at Duxford which powered it's way through the grey clouds.

An interesting aircraft making it's display debut at Old Buckenham was the Stinson L-5 Sentinal. The aircraft was a true workhorse of the second world war flying many more types of mission than the more famous and popular L4 Cub. It was used for artillary spotting, liasion and medevac roles. The aircraft served on into Korea before being replaced with more modern types. The aircraft at "Old Buck" has recently been fully restored and was flown at the show by Gerry Honey.

There were a multitude of varied aerobatic displays at "Old Buck." Opening the show was Denny Dobson in the Goodyear sponsored Extra 300 who flew in perhaps the worst conditions of the afternoon. Al Coutts had a busy afternoon displaying two classic aerobatic biplanes, the Pitts S2A and the Christen Eagle; both are relatively rare performers on the display circuit this year which is a great shame as they are two of the most famous airshow aircraft of all time.

A surprise performer later on in the flying programme was a Vans RV-4 G-DUDE which put on an interesting display including a slow pass - something unusual for this type of display.

In complete contrast was the S-1 Swift glider flown by Guy Westgate. It proved to be an interesting day for Guy as the "normal" Extra 300 tow plane along with pilot Justyn Gorman was weathered in at it's base at Shoreham in pretty poor weather and less than 200 yrds visibility. Cue the amazing good will of Norfolk Gliding Club at Tibenham who flew in one of their Robin tow planes allowing Guy to complete a full show of glider aerobatics. Will Curtis closed the days the flying with typical flair and gravity defying aerobatics in the Sukhoi Su-26M2, It's a display that always grabs your attention but even more so at a venue like Old Buckenham

Old Buckenham Airshow 2007 was a superb day out thanks to the relaxed garden party style atmosphere and very professional organisation. There was a fascinating mix of differing displays from some very varied types and it was such a shame the weather tried it's hardest to ruin the event even though the show escaped relatively lightly.

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