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Another of the mid summer shows is held at the old USAAF air strip at Rougham in Suffolk. The base has a rich second world war history and today the former control tower has been restored into a wonderful museum. Eash year the venue hosts a wide variety of events with perhaps the highlight being the annual air displat in August. Paul Johnson/Flightline UK reports. All photography copyright of author.

The Summer weather has not been kind to airshows and it certainly wasn't kind to Rougham Air Display. The weather in the preceeding days hadn'r been too bad but come show day the weather had set in around the country. The forecast had clearly put a number of people off with organisers saying afterwards the show has been put in jeopardy following some poor attendances at previous events. The actual weather at Rougham wasn't that bad and was certainly flyable but some of the participants were lost as they were "weathered-in" elsewhere in the UK.

The afternoon flying display kick off with the Dukes of Cassault with their three Cassault Racers. These put on a superb display with some very crisp formation flying and a race around the airfield which gives a good taste of what these tiny Formula 1 racers are all about. Following the racers was a display by Stan Hodgkins in the Vans RV-8, the bigger brother of the RV-4 that other pilots display. As Stan displayed it was becoming quite obvious conditions were excactly favourable for displays. Next to fly was Nigel Wilson and his solo Yak-52 display. By now the cloud had come down some much Nigel was pretty restricted in what he could do. After Nigel landed the flying display director and show commentator elected to take a half hour's break to allow conditions to improve as forecast instead of re-jigging the flying to keep going.

After the break things got going for the rest of the afternoon with a pair of Boeing Stearman led by Bruce Monk. These aircraft arrived from old Buckenham and once again put on a fine display of formation keeping. Robb Metcalfe displayed one of the Great War Display Team's Junkers CL1 replicas solo as he adversary had been weathered in at base which kicked off a cavalcade of historic flying.

The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight's Spitfire IIa flown by Al Pinner managed to fly through the murk across Southern England to reach Rougham from Eastbourne putting in some very rare topside passes for crowd at Rougham. Also making it up from the South Coast was Peter Teichman who rounded off another bust weekend with a solo display in his P-40M Kittyhawk. Rob Davies also gave a typically noisey account in his P-51D Mustang Big Beautiful Doll from Woodchurch.

There were a number of civilian team and aerobatic acts also displaying throughout the afternoon. Special mention must be made of Marrtyn Carrington, Dave Barrell, Lucy and Danielle from Team Guinot who had an amazingly busy weekend. Following their display at Eastboune on Staurday they headed up to Rougham to display Saturday Evening. They departed back to Eastbourne Sunday morning to display their and then headed for France. They were forced back by the weather but not content with no display they headed back to Rougham to display here replacing the other pair weathered in at Elvington! They also had to contend with a USAF C-130 out of RAF Mildenhall busting the show's RA(T). Another classic Bi-plane in the display was the Pitts S2B flown by Peter Borchert while more modern machinery in the form of Extra 300s were display by Merk Jefferies and Denny Dobson.

The only modern RAF Participation at Rougham was Flt Lt Andy Preece's solo aerobatics routine in the Grob Tutor T1, Andy puts on superb display in the Tutor which is really down on power compared to the powerful Extra 300s but still managed to put on some really exciting aerobatics.

The show was closed by Alistair Kay flying the Old Flying Machine Company's Spitfire IX MH434. Alistair had to cope with perhaps the worst weather as drizzle descended on Rougham. His display was flown in tribute to a number of other display pilots and was particularly enjoyable for it's low passes down the crowdline.

Rougham is an excellent event with a diverse flying display covering a number of different facets of aviation. The crowds that made it to Rougham certainly seemed to enjoy both the air and ground displays laid on for them. It's therefore a crying shame that attendance didn't match the organisers. We hope that their remaining event of the year pulls in the crowds and Rougham Air Display returns next year - it deserves to be.

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