In a major coup, the Abingdon Air & Country Show in Oxfordshire on Sunday May 3rd has, subject to operational requirements, secured an appearance from the RAF’s largest aircraft – the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III.

No 99 Squadron at nearby RAF Brize Norton will be flying in one of its five C-17s to the show at Dalton Barracks, Abingdon Airfield, early on the morning of May 3rd.

It will take pride of place in the static aircraft park, before departing back to Brize Norton after the show.

“This is a huge attraction – quite literally!” enthused show organiser Neil Porter. “It will be the largest aircraft to ever land at Abingdon. It’s quite appropriate the C-17 should be visiting the show, because the Abingdon was a Transport Command station during its RAF days.”

He added: “Our show celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, and it’s a fitting salute to this wholly volunteer-run, charity event that the RAF is providing this great aircraft for us.”

The RAF C-17 fleet is very busy supporting ongoing overseas operations with its vital strategic heavy-lift role, and so appearances by these aircraft at airshows are understandably rare events – making its appearance at Abingdon all the more special.

The C-17 will be just part of a great family day out, which raises funds for the Thames Valley & Chiltern Air Ambulance.

Air displays comprise the RAF Hawk, Tutor and Chinook, Jet Provost, Dukes of Cassutt, the Army’s Tigers Parachute Team, C-47 Dakota Drag ‘em-oot (a genuine D-Day veteran), P-40 Kittyhawk, P-51D Mustang, DH Vampire, Pembroke, Yak-52 and T-28 Fennec. All these aircraft can also be viewed on the ground.

Weather conditions depending, it is hoped that around 70 light, classic and vintage aircraft will fly in on the day. There will also be a modern day RAF Merlin helicopter and an overseas guest with the return of a US Army UH60 Blackhawk helicopter.

There will be an extensive range of ground attractions including family amusements, a craft marquee and farmers’ market stalls to a Williams Formula 1 show car, tank rides, a Heart Radio interactive studio and Doctor Who Tardis and Daleks. There will also be a nostalgic theme with a 1940s kitchen; WW2 memorabilia; live period music performed by Fiona Harrison and author Richard Holdsworth signing copies of his book “Six Spoons of Sugar”, his moving account of being an evacuee during the war.

Tickets are available now from the show’s website and from the following outlets:

  • Abingdon Information Office, Abingdon Town Council offices;
  • Old Abbey House (opposite Guildhall);
  • The Warehouse, Coxeters’ Yard, Abingdon;
  • Clothes 4 Work, 138 The Broadway, Didcot;
  • Wallingford Information Office;
  • Nationwide Building Society branches in Abingdon, Bicester, Didcot, Oxford, Wallingford and Wantage.

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