If you want it doing properly, ask an Engineer – Shuttleworth Uncovered Airshow 2012

Its the fourth year that the September evening airshow has been run as a special type of event. Basically the aircraft a brought to the public. The majority are all parked in the paddock where the cars are usually parked so the Public can get up close and personal and its bloody brilliant. Its my favorite event of the year at Shuttleworth and its fast becoming the highlight of the UK Airshow season. This particular show was the highlight of my 30 years of attending airshows.

The brainchild of the Engineers at Shuttleworth, well one in particular who shall be nameless but we’ll call him Andy Preslent (this year he gets the blame), its unlike any show that I’ve attended in the UK. Already famous for its relaxed atmosphere and informality, the idea is to let the public get up close to the aircraft before and after their displays. It works, magnificently well. The aircraft and cars from the Collection and invited guest exhibits are all arranged around the temporary HQ for the day, Dorothy and the Living Van. This time apart from our guests from down under (more of them later) there was a unique lineup of Sopwith aircraft. The TVAL built Snipe was joined by the Collections Pup and Triplane, in addition our friends at the Brooklands Museum at Weybridge brought their engine running Camel replica and their Tabloid replica project.

When I said the public could get close, I meant close! As well as inspection panels being removed from many of the aircraft, the EoN Primary Glider was mounted on a gimble so that it was a full sized flight sim and we had the Ack Ack guns covered too. In addition (and perhaps a tad overlooked by the crowds) was Steve Noujaim’s record breaking RV7. It should be remembered that this aircraft took the record from long time Shuttleworth resident Mew Gull G-AEXF.

As I mentined earlier, The RAF Museum bound RE8 and Albatros DVa from TVAL in New Zealand took pride of place in the middle of the showground. That was after the RE8 arrived back from Duxford in the company of the BE2 and Fokker Triplane replicas from Sywell. Not a formation you see every day!

Big thanks must go to Gene DeMarco at this point for taking the trouble to come back from a business trip in Europe specially to fly the RE8 in the display. Hes the only person cleared to fly it at the moment and the spectacle we had during the display couldnt have happened without him.

The BBMF opened the display with a couple of lovely. bend hugging, passes with PS915. Followed by the Provost and Lysander. As this was going on aircraft were being taken out of the paddock and readied for flight. The Engineers have much more work to do, but strangely they are smiling as they do it. Martlet and Swift followed by The Provost which is then joined by the Hind for a couple of unique formations. In between it all, the EON Primary has been taken out for its “man flies plank” act!

And then, they did it again!
Dear Reader, I think you may have gathered my enthusiasm for the BE2 and Albatros in my last posting. We were treated then to one of the highlights of my Airshow going career, this time they surpassed themselves. the RE8 and Albatros flew first, then the Harry Tate got some support from the Collections F2b and SE5a, a dogfight ensued before the RE8 came back to finish of the Enemy…….or something like that. Either way it was simply the best display I have ever seen at an Airshow, I lost count of the number of never to be repeated passes made by these ultra rare aircraft. For a historic aircraft enthusiast, if that didnt do it for you then you may as well give up now!

We were treated to a number of wonderful 4 ship passes before the Great War was rounded off by Dodge Bailey with a superb display in the Sopwith Triplane.

And with that, they were all pulled back into the Paddock for the public to enjoy once again

The flying days for the RE8 and Albatros are now over

……………………………………………………….(or are they?)

Peter Teichman closed the main part of the show in the magnificent Hangar 11 P-51 Mustang, a superb display that used every inch of the display line, and then some!

The sun had set, the wind had dropped and the trees werent moving, lets sneak a quick Eds display in! Oh go on then.
The Avro Triplane and Bristol Boxkite flew their magic and brought the show to a close.

Finally, the title of this thread says it all. Should you however be at Shuttleworth and see any of these gents in the pictures below, its all their fault.

Thank you Gentlemen, thank you for making me grin like a nutter. It was a magnificent show.


2 responses

  1. Rob Millinship

    I had an Albatros in the the gun sight of my SE5a…… or was I dreaming? Probably the result of reading too many Biggles books as a kid!

    September 24, 2012 at 8:20 pm

  2. Jim Robinson

    It was indeed! I love the September evening show, invariably a good one!

    September 24, 2012 at 7:37 pm

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