2005 Edition





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Delights at Dusk

Shuttleworth Classics
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Old Warden's busy schedule of air displays and other events continued in mid August with the latest Evening Air Display. These shows are really a hidden gem amongst the calendar being much more relaxed than any other show and offering some unique views on familiar aircraft. This show also attracted a rare, yet well travelled visitor. Paul Johnson/Flightline UK reports. All Photography copyright of Author.

Pick of the Pops
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The weather wasn't perfect for the August evening show. Clouds can be a blessing or a curse for those wanting to photogrpah proceeding. They do provide some brilliant backdrops but they also have a habit of maing the shows a bit gloomy towards the end! Still this didn't detract from what was another excellent show. An added surprise was the appearance of the Vickers Vimy 19/94 Replica which has just crossed the Atlantic in the hands of Steve Fossett recreating the epic flight of Alcock and Brown in 1919.

Vimy Returns

Back in the skies over the UK is the  unique Vimy 19/94 replica. First seen in 1994 to recreate the crossing to Australia of a Vimy G-EAOU in 1919, the aircraft has since made several unique trips to South Africa and the United States. The Vimy is back after another adventure recreating the flight of Alcock and Brown in 1919 in the hands of aeronautical adventurer Steve Fossett. The aircraft is currently hangered at Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey and was visiting the DH Moth Rally as well as Old Warden

The show was opened by a pair of the collections World War One aircraft, the Bristol F2b Fighter and the Sopwith Triplane, both regulars at Old Warden shows. Another World War One type making one of it's first shows since a complete rebuild was the Sopwith Pup. The pup has had a change of identity and is now configured to represent a rocket firing version design to bring down German Zeppelins.

Much of the air display was devoted to some of the collections civilian sports and training aircraft often eclipsed by their more warlike colleagues. Some of the collection's Moths put on a fine formation display with aerobatics from the Tiger Moth. While on the theme of tigers, there was a rare formation of a Druine Turbi and Druine Turbulent, the latter made famous by the Tiger Club's Turbulent Team. With no targets to flour bomb or limbos, it was left to good old gentle and close fly-bys for these two fine vintage types.

The Magic of the Edwardians

Old Warden is a unique in that it's the only place where your likely to see a number of original and replica examples of Edwardian aircraft in the air. Because of the importance and the flying characteristics of these machines, they are only flown in perfect conditions when there is little or no wind.

Other visiting displays included the Currie Wot once flown by Westlands Test Pilot Harold Penrose, a Luscombe Silvair and a crisp aerobatics demonstration by Peter Dorchett in a Pitts Special.

Peter Holloway once again produced his collection of aircraft based with the Shuttleworth Collection. His elegant pair of Miles Magister and Miles Falcon contrasted with his more agricultural sounding Ryan PT-22 flown as a pair with another example based at Old Warden.

A fine display of old fashioned barnstorming was given by Willy Hackett in the collections De Havilland Canada Chipmunk which included ribbon cutting and picking up ribbons using his wings.

Towards the end of the display, the sunset started to break through the cloud and cast golden light on the Hawker Sea Hurricane Ib, Southern Martlett and the Supermarine Spitfire Vb for some unique photo opportunities that you simply couldn't get elsewhere. But it wasn't over, there was so little wind and just enough light for three displays from the collection's real stars - the Edwardians. First to go was the rather patriotic Avro Triplane which is perhaps the liveliest of these veterans - well it is a replica made for the film "Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines." The other replica from this film, the Bristol Boxkite is a more sedate flyer taking up lots of airspace to turn very slowly. The final display in the fast fading light was the Blackburn Monoplane, the oldest airworthy aircraft in the UK. An apt end to another cracking display. If you never been to an evening air display at Old Warden, make sure you visit one soon, they truly are one of the finest spectacles on the UK airshow scene.

 copyright Flightline UK 2005