Uncovered, unrivalled – Shuttleworth’s finest show of the year
Once a year they do things a bit differently at The Shuttleworth Collection. Instead of on the airfield, the aircraft are lined up on the paddock, available for close inspection. Its my favourite show of the year.
A week before the show, the latest aircraft to join the collection arrived from the Northern Aierplane Workshop. This is a replica Sopwith Camel that has been painstakingly built from (very few) original drawings, it was out in the paddock appropriately completely uncovered. The NAW have produced two other replicas for the Collection, namely the Sopwith Triplane, a late production aircraft according to Tommy Sopwith and I wont disagree with him, and the Bristol M1c. It will be wonderful to see all three in the air together. The team were present for its first appearance and I took the opportunity to get a group photo along with the Shuttleworth Engineers.
It was a day of firsts all round. Before the show Peter Holloway had his first flight in the Bristol F2b Fighter, he will display it at the next show with any luck. On landing the grin on his face could probably be seen from space, even if the landing was “buy one get one free!”
The Hawker Tomtit appeared part way through its restoration work.
The beauty of this show is that you can get close up to the exhibits, with some of the aircraft being available before and after they fly. For the first time this year, a number of large scale Radio Controlled models.
So here is how the plan works. roughly half the aircraft in the flying display were in the paddock so the public can view them, they were then towed out when their flying slot was due. Those that were on the flightline before flying were, where possible, brought back into the paddock after flying. Working like this meant that most of the aircraft rotated through the paddock for close inspection. On with the flying, starting with Hurricane and Hind, honorable Hawkers and of course distant cousins of Sopwiths.
Kirbys, Compers, Parnalls and Avros.
The Gemini was next up, followed by a brace of Mercurys in Lysander and Gladiator.
And finally, the Edwardians. Only the Avro Triplane and Bristol Boxkite braved the conditions, the winds were a bit high for the older aircraft. As ever it was magnificent to the those men in their flying machines.