RIAT 2010 – Battle of Britain Tribute
Centrepiece of the flying display was a commemoration of the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain. To open proceedings a formation of 4 Hawks from the RAF carried out a flypast.
Then the main event. There 3 stars of the show. Firstly the two surviving Battle of Britain veteran aircraft still flying.
BBMF Spitfire IIa P7350 flown by Sqn Ldr Ian Smith
The Vacher Hurricane I R4118 flown by Keith Dennison
From the “other side” came the EADS Bf109G-4 ‘Red 7’ flown (wonderfully) by Klaus Plasa
It was a real pleasure to see this rare aircraft in the UK. Its renowned for its tricky handling especially on hard surfaces, but you wouldnt have thought so if you had seen its crosswind landing (pictured above) on the Wednesday before the show.
Former foes together, the visit of the 109 was a real highlight of the show for me.
The final aircraft in the lead formation was Spitfire Ltd’s Spitfire IX PL344 with Cliff Spink in the cockpit
The remainder of the historic formations were made up as follows
Second formation. HAC Hurricane XIIa ‘Z5140’ flown by Dave Harvey, HAC Spitfire V BM597 flown (as ever) by Charlie Brown,
ARC Spitfire IXT PV202 with Phill O’Dell last but by no means least HFL HA1112 Buchon ‘Yellow 10’ resplendant in its Battle of Britain film colours flown by John Romain.
Formation 3 comprised Spitfire Ltd Spitfire XVI TD248 flown by Dave Ratcliffe, the superb Hangar 11 Hurricane IIb BE505 flown by its owner, Peter Teichman Peter Monk’s Spitfire IX TA805 (The Kent Spitfire)in the hands of Clive Denney. On Sunday they were joined by the BBMF Hurricane LF363 flown by Gp Capt Ian Laing.
The final formation was
108 Flying Group Nord 1002 ‘Yellow 14’ flown by Alex Smee, on Sunday Alex flew a solo display as he struggled to keep up with the Merlin engined aircraft on Saturday. BBMF Hurricane LF363 flown by Gp Capt Ian Laing and finally BBMF Spitfire IX MK356 flown by Sqn Ldr Dunc Mason
After take-off the warbirds joined in formation, when they returned something magical happened. The commentary team at The Air Tattoo switched their mikes off, sat down and let the roar of the engines do the talking! It was possibly the finest moment in airshow commentary I have heard since they heyday of John Blake and Roger Hoefling.
As the historic aircraft landed, modern day aircraft from the RAF, Armee de L’air, USAF, Belgian Air force and RNZAF flew past in tribute.
Finally, a shot of the lead formation in Sundays flypast
The whole display was superbly put together, the commentary when needed was excellent but as I said previously, it was the lack of commentary that made the display.
Thanks to Dan O’Hagan and Ben Dunnell for their help in compling this report.