Have you heard the one about the airshow without a cloud in the sky? Unusually for the UK and especially in October the rarely seen phenomenon of a cloudless day was seen in the skies over Cambridgeshire on Sunday the 10th October.
The Met men had predicted a near perfect day for the day before, they got that wrong as usual. With this in mind, the weather forecast of a near perfect day was looking somewhat dubious as I drove past the Cardington Airship hangars on the way to Duxford. At least I think I did, they may have been demolished for all I could tell such was the low cloud base. By the time I reached Madingley however as if by magic it was a glorious morning.
The ideal location for photographs comes at a price at Duxford, a long walk and a field full of piles of rotten onions. That said this was more than made up for by the spectacularly good Chocolate Cake on sale at Duxford Primary School where I parked. Its a really nice facility and a triumph of free enterprise. For the record, they offer parking for the day for a fee but they dont condone leaving their grounds. However they dont stop you. It’s all run by the PTA and all monies raised go back into providing facilities for the school. I’ll admit you aren’t paying for the airshow, but you are putting something directly back into the community it affects. And in any case, if the school didnt offer the facility its doubtful that I would have driven halfway across the country to get to the show.
October shows at Duxford can sometime be a bit of a Curates Egg, this one was quite good. In fact just before the flying proper started it produced one of the highlights of my airshow year. Without too much pre-show fanfare, indeed it has been flying for just less than a week, the RNHF Swordfish LS326 arrived. Its first airshow for two years (and that was a one off) and its first landaway in over 10 years. It didnt display and left just before the Naval Flypasy (more of this later) but it was wonderful to see. Heres hoping that all the hard work by the Engineers at the RNHF pays off and she stays trouble-free.
It was happy birthday to the B-17 SallyB. The big day was commemorated with a flypast by the girl herself accompanied by some Little Friends, the USAF from RAF Lakenheath joined in as well with 2 F-15C Eagles. If the idea was to have the Eagles fly over at the same time as the Warbirds, it didnt quite go to plan. But they were welcome nonetheless.