A Pageant of two halves – Shuttleworth in July
I have said it before and I will do so again. There is no finer place for an Airshow than Old Warden on a calm sunny day and it was a calm sunny morning that greeted staff and volunteers as they began to pull aircraft from the hangars on the morning of one of the biggest shows held by during the season. The Military Pageant.
The general idea is to pull every aircraft out of the hangar that has Military colours on it, and fly them. Thats the plan anyway.
That said it was a nice to see the DH51 outside in her new temporary colours
The rest of the hangars were emptied in quick order leaving the satisfying sight of an empty hangar and giving the chance to have a close look in some of the display cabinets. I’d love to see Spitfires in those colours!
On with the show…
You could be forgiven for forgetting which century you were in, such is the timeless splendour of Old Warden. The Vehicle section were parked out before the parade on the end of the “waterfront”.
And that was it for the sun. High level but quite thick cloud rolled in and stole the light. But, and its a big but, The wind stayed calm. Would we be able to see the Edwardians?
The show continued with the World War 1 Bristol F2b, Sopwiths Pup and Triplane and the RAF SE5a. The sound of a rotary engine echoing of first the trees then the cloud, together with the smell of burnt Castor Oil in the calm winds stir the soul like nothing else in aviation.
Only at Old Warden can the display move seamlessly from the Trenches of the Western Front to the battlefields of Korea. It’s amazing that just 3 decades separate the designs of the biplanes and the next act, the F-86A Sabre. In its last display in Tiger colours, it was superbly flown by Cliff Spink.
We were then treated to displays by various training aircraft owned by the Collection. This was followed by the BBMF with the Lancaster and a duo of Storch and Lysander. A superb 3 course meal! Which by coincidence…… (sorry guys)
Unleash the Edwardians! There is nothing more to say apart from a brief explanation of the first shot. The tail is being held up to show the pilot the correct attitude to get the most lift. You cant do that with a 747!
The conditions were superb for flying (if not photographing) the aircraft. The Bleriot and Deperdussin both managed hops, the Dep getting particularly high.
It rounded off a superb show.