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Shuttleworth Evening Air DisplayWhere? Shuttleworth / Old Warden
When? 16.08.2008

Shuttleworth’s Evening Display is one of the many possibilities during the year to experience their extensive collection of historic aircraft. The event took place at their homebase, the Old Warden Aerodrome that can easily be reached from London going north on the A1.

 

easy spotting!With the flying not starting before 5pm the last hours before sunset are well used to present their fabulous flying machines in perfect light on a nice summer evening. This year however the August evening was marked by a relatively strong and chilly wind, which led to the cancellation of the flying displays of the pre-WW I and WW I aircraft. Though the hopes were still high to see them towards the end of the display when the wind would calm down towards the end of the day, this was not the case and they could only be admired on the ground in their shelters.

But the displays that took place were fabulous and the relatively close distance to the runway as well as the pilot's skills to cut around the corners of the crowdline provided excellent photo opportunities.

Hawker Hind Sea Hurricane
Sea Hurricane Avro Tutor

The flying was split up in separate theme blocks, with the Ryan PT22 from 1941 and the BAES owned Blackburn B2 representing two different trainer aircraft from the early days of military aviation.

Ryan PT22  & Blackburn B2

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Another theme block were the German aircraft with a Klemm 35, Bücker Jungmann and Bestmann flying around in the still cloudy sky. (due to the German law the swastikas on the tail were removed on the photos to be on the safe side).

the Germans: Klemm 35, Bücker Bestmann and Jungmeister

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The British 1940s era was represented by a DHC-1 Chipmunk, two Miles Magister and a very colourful Tiger Moth circling around the airfield and obviously amusing the pilots a lot to take these aircraft to the air once again.

Miles Magister, DHC-1 Chipmunk and Tiger Moth

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The Avro Tutor and the Hawker Tomtit ware as well a very nice sight, with the sun finally breaking through the clouds and nicely illuminating their metal skin, thus reflecting the warm evening light.

Avro Tutor, Hawker Tomtit

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Another British trainer aircraft built in 1955 was the Percival Provost that showed off its already in former times highly appreciated manoeuvrability. The Gloster Gladiator, first built in 1943, was the first RAF fighter to have four Browning machine guns and had flaps and an enclosed cockpit. With the newer monoplanes entering service at that time as well this aircraft was not destined to have a long service life.

Percival Provost, Gloster Gladiator

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nice line-up!

My personal favourite that day was the elegant Hawker Hind, whose was started in proper style by a starting cart. The first Hinds entered RAF service in 1935 as a front line light bomber and were also used by several overseas air forces. The Collection's Hind was used by the Royal Afghan Air Force in 1938 and continued in use until the 1950s. It again found its way back to Britain in 1970 and flew again on 17 August 1981. Today it represents K5414 of 15 Squadron, Royal Air Force.

 

Hawker Hind

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the right car to go to Shuttleworth!It was flown together with the famous Westland Lysander, a short-take-off-and-landing (STOL) aircraft for low-level reconnaissance and observation. Shuttleworth's example is fitted with dummy long range fuel tank and ladder to represent V9367 / MA-B, an aircraft of 161 Squadron, flown by Pilot Officer Peter Vaughan-Fowler on operation Apollo during the winter of 1942, flying to France to support the French resistance in WW II. It is also worth to mention that this Lysander is the last airworthy example of this historic type.

 

Westland Lysander

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The highlight for many of the day was obviously the Sea Hurricane Ib, a special modified version of the Hurricane equipped with catapult spools and an arrester hook to enable it to land back on merchant ships that were modified to have a small flight deck. The pilot put the aircraft skilfully through its paces and the setting sun provided some stunning views of that aircraft in the air.

Hawker Sea Hurricane Ib

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During the day a Su-29 and a Silence Twister were also flown and nice to watch, but not in the historical context as all the other marvellous aircraft around the Shuttleworth collection.

Su-29, Silence Twister

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Getting back in the hangar

 

After the end of the flying display at around 7pm, there was still some time left to have a closer look at the hangars and the aircraft that will hopefully fly again during on of the next shows with less wind and to get a picture of the currently ongoing restorations before it was time to head back home.

 

Hangars & Restoration

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Please have also a look at > www.shuttleworth.org < for upcoming shows and current information about their fleet.

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