What a difference a day makes, this time last year we were baking in record temperatures of 28 degrees, this year the temperatures barely got up to 12 degrees which made it the coldest May day weekend here at the famous Shuttleworth Collection for their airshow premier 2019.
All wrapped up warm and ready for the start of the airshow season which starts this time of the year and runs through to October. Arrived early, thanks to my pal Brian who kindly gave me a lift and by the time we arrived,09-00am it was getting very busy, so the cold weather did not put the people off, so it was a quick look round to see what visiting aircraft turned up before heading off for a typical Shuttleworth full English breakfast with another one of my friends, Malcolm. There we were sitting outside in our winter coats, enjoying our breakfast, listening to the sounds of Merlin’s and watching vintage aircraft being towed to the display line, it doesn’t get any better then that, the breakfast went down well, a good start to the day.
Now it was time to get the camera out , so it was a slow walk back to the flight line and take a few images on route, what caught my eye was a gentleman riding a Pimped Penny Farthing dressed up as Biggles riding to the sounds of those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines and ride of the Valkyries, he attracting a good audience as well as being up for it, he was absolutely fantastic, hope he will be a regular at future events.
For a opening premier I would say this was a great start to the season, we had a couple of firsts, a landing of a Douglas Dakota,C-47A from Aces High, must admit the paint scheme on this was a bit rough and paint Peeling off in parts, but who cares it turned up, some say they might do something with it for the forthcoming 75th Anniversary of the D-Day landings in June. The other first was the heaviest aircraft type to land at Shuttleworth, a Consolidated PBY-7 Catalina based at nearby Duxford, both aircraft were opened to the public for inspection at a small fee of course, nice gesture, both took part in the flying display later in the afternoon.
Before the flying programme commenced I had a look round, took a few photos before making my way to the flight line to get ready for the afternoons flying. The show opened up with one of the Battle of Britain’s Spitfires doing a couple of flypast before the main attraction for some of the aviation enthusiast in attendance,North American Rockwell OV-10A Bronco, which had pitched up the day before, that was so nice to see this type hear for the first time at Shuttleworth, hope it returns soon. other attractions to the flying programme was a Bell Huey helicopter, G-HUEY, this particular helicopter was once flown by the Argentine Army in the Falkland’s war back in 1982, it was captured bought back, and for a bit of time remained in Argentinian markings.
With the rest of the flying programme it was a mixture of good visiting acts, such as a Bird Dog in French markings and a L4 Grasshopper in USMC markings both of which put on an entertaining show. The Shuttleworth participation was a good selection of various types from Bristol Fighter to the De Haviland Comet racer, all of which used the bend to its full potential. Apart from the weather and the high cloud base, which most people there were moaning about, learn to live with it, as a photographer, I adapt to the conditions of the day, I still managed to come away with some good images.
It was a great start to the season, the organisers once again set the bar high for the rest to follow, I for one will be back next time for my Shuttleworth fix, roll on.
here is Brian’s contribution