A Shuttleworth Evening in May
This years May evening show at The Shuttleworth Collection was, like the May Day Show, affected by high winds. But once again the Pilots, Engineers, Volunteers and Staff rallied round and put on an almost full display.
This is the story of the show, in more pictures than words.
The day as usual begins with the emptying of the hangars, on this occasion care had to be taken when moving the aircraft due to the high winds. This meant that some aircraft were left in the hangar, some were brought out at the last-minute and all were parked into wind. The Sea Hurricane disgraced herself by having a tailwheel tyre that was flat at the bottom! The last picture shows everything you need to change a wheel (apart from the JCB to lift the aircraft). As a nice surprise, the Kennet Aviation Seafire gave a couple of passes on its way to Duxford, always nice to see.
Before the display began there were a couple of conversion flights to be undertaken. Peter Holloway onto the Avro Tutor and Chris Huckstep onto the Sea Hurricane. There were lost of smiles on landing, even after having to battle the wind.
The display began with The Tutor and Tomtit followed by the “Apprentice Pilot” in the Magister and the B2 (Thats Blackburn not Northrop!). This was followed by the ribbon pickup with the Chipmunk, quite tricky in the gusty conditions. The Provost rounded off this segment.
“I’m going that way!”
Because of the conditions the Sopwith Pup couldnt fly (it doesnt like crosswinds or gusty conditions) so the aircraft was used to give a demonstration of a rotary engine starting procedure for the crowd. Each Cylinder is primes before the controls are set and the engine swung, with luck it will catch first time!
It was then time for a trio of Moths (sounds like a dish served in a fancy restaurant)! First up was G-EBWD which is a DH60X Cirrus Moth. This is the original aircraft in the Collection, being bought by Richard Shuttleworth in 1932. Its been based at Old Warden ever since. This was accompanied by G-EBLV which is owned by BAESYSTEMS. This is the 8th Moth built and the oldest still flying. Finally they were joined by the Collections Tiger Moth in its CFS colours.
There followed an amazing display by Peter Holloway in his Storch. An impossibly short takeoff was followed by an almost flat left turn! It was joined later on by the Polikarpov PO2 and there followed an elegant aerial ballet with a competition to see which could fly slowest in the stong winds.
Then, in the rapidly fading light (because of the storm clouds to the west!) it was time for the heavier aircraft to come out first the Gladiator, then the Sea Hurricane then the Hind finishing off the display. There were two different formations flown with the Sea Hurricane being the “meat” in the biplane sandwich. The display was rounded off superbly by Trevor Roche in the Hind.
Just as the last aircraft were waiting to be put to bed, the rains came.
The next display is the Mid Summer airshow on the 5th of June. I cant think of a better place to be!