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2013 UK Airshows : REVIEW

Throckmorton Airshow

The Throckmorton Airshow, billed as the UK's largest Emergency services and Military show, is something of a hidden gem. Organised by Angus Nairn and his team of volunteers the show supports a number of service charities and the Midlands Air Ambulance. The ground show is filled by displays from the emergency services and the military while the airshow presents a fantastic mix of flying displays and flypasts from military and civilian acts.

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

Hidden away amongst the leafy hills of the Worcestershire countryside is the former bomber and testing base at Pershore. The airfield is no longer in use, though is used as a training facility for the Midlands Emergency Services. For the past few years however the airfield has also been used as the venue for the Throckmorton Airshow. The show is held on the same weekend as the large RAF Cosford Airshow to the North which beings the benefit of having many of the UK's military displays teams based very close by. The show does however keep its unique flavour with a range of civilian acts.

On the ground there are some impressive displays. Few airshows boast such a large collection of tanks and other modern military vehicles on show including the likes of Challenger 2 Tanks and the AS90 Self-Propelled Gun! The emergency services too put in an impressive display with the Midlands Motorway Police and Hereford & Worcestershire Fire Service contributing to the ground show. As well as the flying display, the show also hosts a fly-in of various different General Aviation and historic types which brightened up the static display.

In the air the show star was the Eurofighter Typhoon flown by Flt Lt Jamie Norris of No 29(R) Squadron based at RAF Coningsby. The Typhoon was a relatively late addition to the display line-up following the cancellation of an event elsewhere. The Typhoon was a huge draw with Jamie putting in a great performance which includes some new twists of the Typhoon routine highlighting the slow speed performance and power.

Also from RAF Coningsby came the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight with both the Spitfire PRXIX and Hurricane IIc appearing during the afternoon on their way to RAF Cosford. The event also saw flypasts from the RAF Chinook HC2, Merlin HC3, Army Air Corps Apache and Westland Lynx AH7.

As well as the military involvement, the show boasted an impressive and diverse range of civilian display acts. Throckmorton regular John Scott gave a polished routine in the Mudry CAP10 while there were impressive solo and four-ship formation routines from the Aerostars display team. Richard Goodwin gave a punchy and noisy performance in his Pitts S2S which has just emerged from the workshop following modifications.

Though not aerobatic, there were two great performances from acts that are just a little bit different. Peter Davies put in a stunning display of the abilities of the Callidus Autogyro complete with smoke. The Callidus is a surprising performer capable to some really tight turns and rapid climbs and Peter manages to keep the display close to the crowd at all times. Brendan O'Brien also returned to Throckmorton with his Piper J3 Cub putting on his 'Crazy Flying' routine which is one of the classics of Barnstorming.

Historic warbirds also featured well in the flying display. Clive Davidson displayed his very bright yellow US Navy marked North American Harvard during the first half of the flying programme with a great aerobatic routine. Toward the end of the display John Beattie pit on a rare display in his Portuguese marked De Havilland Chipmunk and Stu Goldpsink put Peter Vacher's Hawker Hurricane I through a very graceful routine of barrel rolls and sweepng passes .>

With some great summer weather, Throckmorton provided a very relaxed flying display for some large crowds. I hope that plenty of money was raised for Help for Heroes and the other supported charities and look forward to visiting Throckmorton again in the future.

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