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2010 UK Airshows : REVIEW

On Your Marks, Bruntingthorpe

On Your Marks is an annual charity event supported by the ASDA Supermarket chain. Much of the day is given over to giving punters the chance to ride around Bruntingthorpe's Proving Grounds in anything from supercars through to some of ASDA's own fleet of articulated lorries! Over lunch however, there are a series of ground and air displays from some of the UK best display acts.

Paul Johnson/Flightline UK reports. All photography copyright of the Author.

Bruntingthorpe is a well known airfield to many aviation enthusiasts. Perhaps it's most famous role in recent times has been as the restoration base for Avro Vulcan XH558. It is also home to an impressive museum containing an array of active classic jets which are supposed to kept grounded and restricted to fast taxy runs! Last year of course, there was a famous incident where the base Handley Page Victor briefly got in to the air during one of its fast taxy demonstrations. Hidden away in the tree line, the Lightning Preservation Group has it's base in the restored QRA sheds which house a pair of English Electic Lightnings.

A more recent addition to Bruntingthorpe's line up of classic jets has been one of the recently retired Nimrod MR2s from RAF Kinloss. Like many of the other aircraft it will be kept in taxying condition and form a highlight of the Cold War Jets open days held each year.

As well as preserving aircraft, Bruntingthorpe is also involved with the recycling of old airframes. Earlier this year two VC-10s from RAF Brize Norton arrived to be broken up for spares and scrap. The nose sections of the aircraft have however been earmarked for preservation.

Today, the expanses of tarmac and concrete are mainly used for vehicle testing from prototypes, racing cars and 4x4 vehicles. The airfield is also often used for storage of cars old and new as well as holding events such as 'On Your Marks.'

'On Your Marks' is mainly a motoring events allowing visitors to experience rides on various vehicles with everything from HGV's to Ferraris available for rides. The motoring theme continues with arena displays from Russ Swift's Stunt driving displays with are always exceptionally popular.

A break in the motoring activities over lunch cleared the airfield for a short, but action packed flying display featuring some of the best acts from the UK display circuit. Opening the displays were a local Parachute Team arriving out of a Cessna Caravan flying ASDA flags from their feet. The first of the aircraft displays were the RV-8tors display team. This new team formed by Alister Kay and Andy Hill demonstrate the fast Vans RV-8 aircraft in close formation and solo aerobatics.

They were following by the Swift Aerobatic Display Team with their usual combination of S-1 Swift Glider, PA25 Pawnee towplane and the Silence Twister providing a great contrast with their combination and solo aerobatic antics.

Double Red Bull Air Race World Champion Paul Bonhomme kept the aerobatic tempo up with a scintillating solo routine in his Sukhoi Su-26 that seems to defy gravity. Paul came second in the final RBAR event of the season at Lausitz Raceway in Germany the week before

The flying displays were closed by Alister Kay and Steve Jones in the Old Flying Machine Company's P-51D Mustang and Spitfire IX. The powerful noise and spectacle of an OFMC warbird display never fails to disappoint and provided the perfect finale to the flying.

Thanks to the Swift Aerobatic Display Team and Laura Bonhomme.

What did you think of the show? Which displays did you enjoy? What didn't you enjoy? Let us know on our Facebook page!

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