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Where? Old Warden / Biggleswade, England
When? 07/08/2011

The Shuttleworth Collection's Old Warden airfield offers excellent photo opportunities both in the air and on the ground as the action happens very close to the visitor and the clear background gives timeless impressions. Apart from its already extensive collection the "Military Pageant" air display give the opportunity to see also other aircraft at this exquisite location.

This year's Pageant was scheduled for August, 7th and did promise very interesting visitors. Without anticipating the following report unfortunately the weather did not cooperate during the whole day as did the technique of some of the planned aircraft.

In an already well-tried fashion the gates opened at 9am with a scheduled start of the flying at 2pm, thus giving a lot of time to stroll through the hangars or visit the adjacent Botanic Gardens or the "Birds of Prey" centre.

Pageant So 3647 700 470 90
Pageant So 3647 100 67 85
Pageant So 3835 100 67 85
Pageant So 4296 100 67 85
Pageant So 4478 100 67 85

After the Historic Vehicle Parade the Spitfire IX of the OFMC was the opening act of the flying display, followed by the "Special Operations" Lysander, displaying its short take-off capabilities and explaining its role in flying from Britain to France in covered operations during WW II.

Ageant Spitfire 4369 700 470 90
Ageant Spitfire 4369 100 67 85
Pageant Spitfire 3668 100 67 85
Pageant Spitfire 4328 100 67 85
Pageant Spitfire 4336 100 67 85
Pageant Spitfire 4348 100 67 85
Pageant Spitfire 4364 100 67 85
Pageant Lysander 4408 700 470 90
Pageant Lysander 4408 100 67 85
Pageant Lysander 4417 100 67 85
Pageant Lysander 4435 100 67 85

The "Shuttleworth Trainers" were up in the air next, split up into three groups. At first the Blackburn B2 and the de Havilland DH82a Tiger Moth did go up, followed by the Avro Tutor, Hawker Tomtit and the de Havilland Chipmunk, with the latter one doing aerobatics. The final group under this theme were the Polikarpov Po2, Miles Magister and the Percival Piston Provost.

Ageant Trainers 4459 700 470 90
Ageant Trainers 4459 100 67 85
Pageant Tomtit 3703 100 67 85
Pageant Tutor 3715 100 67 85
Pageant B2 4451 700 470 90
Pageant B2 4451 100 67 85
Pageant Chipmunk 3733 100 67 85
Pageant Magister 3726 100 67 85
Pageant Provost 3723 100 67 85
Pageant PT22 4500 100 67 85
Pageant Po2 3684 700 470 90
Pageant Po2 3684 100 67 85
Pageant Po2 3693 100 67 85

The planned Vampire T11 had to be cancelled due to an engine change, but was very well replaced by the Sea Fury T20 of the Royal Navy Historic Flight. The fate of the Vampire was also shared by the BBMF's Lancaster which went unserviceable due to an defective engine and had to be cancelled upon short notice.

Ageant Sea Fury 4509 700 470 90
Ageant Sea Fury 4509 100 67 85
Pageant Sea Fury 3746 100 67 85
Pageant Sea Fury 3751 100 67 85
Pageant Sea Fury 3759 100 67 85

The Gloster Gladiator and the Fieseler Storch followed next under a "Western Desert Encounter" – and it's up to you to guess who did win the aerial encounter...

Pageant Gladiator 3798 700 470 90
Pageant Gladiator 3798 100 67 85
Pageant Gladiator 3825 100 67 85
Pageant Gladiator 4557 100 67 85
Pageant Gladiator 4563 100 67 85
Ageant Storch 4819 700 470 90
Ageant Storch 4819 100 67 85
Pageant Storch 4534 100 67 85
Pageant Storch 4549 100 67 85

There was also a Curtis P40 Kittyhawk announced, a type that I would have really liked to see displaying at Old Warden, but unfortunately it did not show up, leaving the Hawker Sea Hurricane 1b alone in the air during its routine.

Pageant Hurricane 3853 700 470 90
Pageant Hurricane 3853 100 67 85
Pageant Hurricane 3885 100 67 85
Pageant Hurricane 4660 100 67 85
Pageant Hurricane 4663 100 67 85
Pageant Hurricane 4664 100 67 85
Pageant Hurricane 4670 100 67 85
Pageant So 3647 700 470 90
Pageant So 3647 100 67 85
Pageant So 3835 100 67 85
Pageant So 4296 100 67 85
Pageant So 4478 100 67 85

A very nice and interesting WW II formation was the Avro Anson, Gloster Gladiator and Hawker Sea Hurricane 1, with the only slight drawback that the Anson was in civil markings. However thumbs- up for this nice idea!

Ageant WW II 4626 700 470 90
Ageant WW II 4626 100 67 85
Pageant WW II 4616 100 67 85
Pageant WW II 4711 100 67 85
Pageant Anson 4649 700 470 90
Pageant Anson 4649 100 67 85
Pageant Avro Anson 3657 100 67 85
Pageant Avro Anson 4380 100 67 85
Pageant Avro Anson 4385 100 67 85
Pageant Avro Anson 4391 100 67 85

The eagerly awaited WW I scene had to be cancelled due to the weather, leaving only the Sopwith Pup being towed in front of the spectators to demonstrate the operation of a rotary engine. The Sopwith Triplane, SE5a and Bristol F2b stayed in the hangars.

Pageant WW I 4511 700 470 90
Pageant WW I 4511 100 67 85
Pageant WW I 4519 100 67 85
Pageant WW I 4521 100 67 85
Pageant WW I 4529 100 67 85

For the Hawker Demon and Hind the wind gusts were no problem and they took it to the air once again in a well known and executed formation flying routing with some single-ship passes at the end of their demo.

Pageant Hawker 4718 700 470 90
Pageant Hawker 4718 100 67 85
Pageant Hind 3934 100 67 85
Pageant Hind 4750 100 67 85
Pageant Demon 3898 700 470 90
Pageant Demon 3898 100 67 85
Pageant Demon 4753 100 67 85
Pageant Demon 4758 100 67 85

As at the start of the display the last act also came flying in from the nearby Duxford airfield: the "Cadillac of the skies", the North American P51D Mustang, once again from the OFMC, giving a very nice display routine to appreciate the sight and sound of a Mustang in the air, combined with some very nice photo passes. Unfortunately, as for the most part of the day, the sun was hidden behind some clouds.

Pageant Mustang 3960 700 470 90
Pageant Mustang 3960 100 67 85
Pageant Mustang 3988 100 67 85
Pageant Mustang 4009 100 67 85
Pageant Mustang 4766 100 67 85

And as during the whole day the heavy gusts did continue well into the evening, inhibiting a performance of the "Edwardians", the Blackburn Monoplane Type – D, Bristol Boxkite, Avro Triplane, and last but not least the Deperdussin and the Blériot XI.

Ageant Static 4238 700 470 90
Ageant Static 4238 100 67 85
Pageant Spitfire 4808 100 67 85
Pageant Static 4207 100 67 85
Pageant Static 4209 100 67 85

But fortunately the dark clouds only moved either South or North pat the airfield, and the initially feared hailstorms did not realize themselves. Thus after all this trip to Shuttleworth made once again a great day out, though the hoped-for variety of the display was greatly reduced due to missing guest aircraft. But the Shuttleworth Collection alone has so much variety to offer in the air!

Click on these photos to see them in full size:

911 Pageant Gladiator 4585 911 Pageant Lysander 4408

911 Pageant Sea Fury 3758 911 Pageant Spitfire 4328 911 Pageant Storch 3781

911 Pageant Po2 3684 911 Pageant Hind 3934 911 Pageant Hurricane 4664

911 Pageant Mustang 4009 911 Pageant Hawker 4721

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