Party in the Park – the LAA Bohemian Rhapsody

The evening Shuttleworth Collection show in the month of June is normally when the LAA come to town and have a party. This year was no difference with the great and the good of UK General Aviation descending upon Old Warden to enjoy the sun and have a picnic…
As ever the great British weather had other ideas and the afternoon and display was beset with heavy showers. Indeed as I was sitting under the Control Tower watching the hail bouncing off the Provost I couldnt help but have the line from Bohemian Rhapsody running through my head.

“Thunderbolts and Lightning, very very frightening”

But the “show must go on”…


The DH51 was in the Blister Hangar having just been painted in new colours. She is now a lovely shade of brown.

Guest of Honour for the day was His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent. He was given a tour of the Hangars by Tony Haig-Thomas seen here with the Hawker Demon behind them

As well as being Patron of the Light Aircraft Association, he is a vintage car enthusiast and was invited to drive Richard Shuttleworth’s Railton on the car parade. This he did with gusto! (I’ve never seen it travelling so fast)

And just to round things off, “the Miracle”! The Locomobile Steam car took part in the parade.

After the vehicles it was “headlong” into the flying display. Considering the conditions it was a wonder anything flew, but fly it did. It all began with a number of aircraft celebrating the LAA in all shapes and sizes and RV6 a Turbulent and, of course, the Pitts Pair. Richard and Dave put on a superb display.


The Collection aircraft followed with Tomtit, Tiger Moth, Chipmunk and the new arrival in the form of the Kirby Kite making its debut as a Collection aircraft.


The show was rounded off by the Sea Hurricane, Storch and Gladiator. The latter duo producing a superb display of mock combat, with the Gladiator struggling to get a “firing solution” on the Storch. The debate over whether it did or not was still going on after I left!


And as the visiting aircraft displayed and the residents were put to bed. The sun shone! In conditions like this you have to admit that Old Warden has “A Kind of Magic”

Another one bites the dust!

And finally……

Self portrait

There is lots to look at in the hangars, much one walks past without even noticing!

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