The Biggin Hill International Air Fair is arguably one of the largest and most important airshows of year, and it’s one of my personal favourites. The 2009 event was blessed with some of the best weather of the summer which helps Planes TV’s coverage enormously. Narration is provided by Brendan O’Brien, one of Biggin’s large commentary team who opens the footage with a piece to camera.
The display footage starts with the opening act, the Grace Spitfire and an extended interview with Carolyn Grace and some stunning on board footage. With a runtime of just 60 mins though, some of the other display coverage is just short with so many different acts to pack in. As well as the Grace Spitfire, Planes TV had cameras on board for the Spitfire and Messerschmitt dogfight, The Swift Aerobatic Display Team and the Sea Vixen. There’s plenty of very pleasing behind the scenes footage too with clips of the start up procedures of Team Guinot and Red Arrows amongst others. Both the appearance by the Vulcan and the superb Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747 with Red Arrows formation are captured well.
One aspect of this production that’s sets this production apart from previously reviewed DVDs are the number of crew interviews covering a wide range of the displays at the show. This kind of coverage adds another dimension to the production giving a real insight into the different displays. A rousing sequence from Nigel Lamb’s finale in Spitfire MH434 set to Jerusalem closes the main feature – real airshow magic!
As ever there are “interactive in-cockpit sequences” which are far more extensive than in previous reviews with footage from the Grace Spitfire, Sea Vixen, P-40, ARCo Spitfire and the Swift Aerobatic Display Team.
Together with some superb footage, this is without doubt the best Planes TV airshow DVD I’ve reviewed so far as it gives the viewer a taste of all the action they saw as well as that they may have missed from their spot on the crowd-line.