The Duxford Autumn Airshow closes the season with a relaxing and entertaining flying display. It does however often provide some of the season highlights; past events have seen the debut of the Meteor Flight’s Meteor T7 and even international participants in the form of the Belgian F-16 and the Patrouille de France. 2012’s Autumn Airshow did not any debuts or international exotica. It however provide some very fine displays and a superb finale to the season.
Though the show did not have an main theme, the display did celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the Merlin-powered P-51D Mustang and some of the types that saw service at RAF Duxford and it was a blend of these themes that provided such a superb finale. We see formations of dissimilar types quite a few times at airshows, but they are always something very special for spectators and pilots alike.
Jonathon Whaley is no stranger to flying his Hunter in formation with other display acts, but there was something very special about the formation at Duxford he performed with OFMC’s P-51D Mustang flown by Alister Kay. It may have been the superb close formation, the ‘end of term’ feeling that always marks the Autumn Airshow or a very dramatic early Autumn cloudscape over the setting sun or a combination of all three that made those five formation passes so memorable.