An August Evening at Shuttleworth.

Airshows are like buses, you dont get any for ages then two come along at once! Just a week after the Military Pageant we all gathered again at Old Warden, this time for the August evening show. Once again it was subject to the vagaries of the Great British Weather, this time the wind didnt play ball. The sun did and it allowed for some classic Shuttleworth shots.

Before the flying began there was much interest in the arrival of 3 new aircraft from down under. Built by TVAL in New Zealand for the Royal Air Force Museum at Hendon, a RE8, Albatros DVa and Sopwith Snipe arrived at the collection. The first two are replicas that will hopefully fly at the Collection this year, the Snipe is also mostly new build but with some original parts incorporated, sadly this wont fly. All three are magnificent aircraft, they are a credit to their constructors and I for one cannot wait to see them fly. As I write this the Shuttleworth Engineers have been very busy and the assembly of the aircraft is almost complete.
As you can see above, the new arrivals attracted a lot of attention and will hopefully lead to increased visitors to the Collection for the duration of their stay. Sadly as they had only arrived the day before, there hadn’t been time to remove the Albatros from its container, so I have that treat to come.

You need to thank this scruffy mob (of highly trained professionals) for putting the effort in to get the aircraft out of their containers.

So then, the aircraft are out on the flight line, well those that can fly in the blustery 20 knot winds, its time to get the Vehicle Parade underway. This means putting ones back into it to get the tractors fired up; getting out a one of a kind Edwardian Motorcycle (the oldest running in the world?) and stoking the coals in a steam car amongst other things.

And then its time to start the aircraft as the flying begins. Somewhat curtailed by the wind as I said earlier, the pilots used the downhill crosswind runway, just to add to the fun!

Then the two Pitts Specials of the Trig Team used the clear skies and early evening sun to maximum effect.

Two small Biplanes were followed by two big ones. The Kestrel engines of the Hind and Demon played their beautiful music in the evening air, followed by the Lysander.

And sadly that was it. The wind had defeated the lighter aircraft and sadly it was time to put the aircraft to bed. Once again the weather had forced a last minute re-jigging of the display, but at least this time we got to see a display.

On the way home, these two silent memorials to a bygone age were highlighted by the pink glow of the last embers of the evening sun. If you ever get the chance please do stop in Cardington Churchyard and pay your respects to the crew of the R101 Airship.


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