Shuttleworth’s Sunday Airshow in early September has been shaped into the Vintage Airshow over recent years, featuring not only a host of based and visiting classic aircraft, but a showground full of delights that will interest anyone with an interest in machinery of yesteryear. A classic car paddock, the Collection’s agricultural machinery at work, steam traction engines and a host of vintage lorries, busses and other vehicles are littered across the showground, meaning there is something to discover around every corner before the flying display in the afternoon.
Arriving overhead the airfield mid-morning and breaking into the circuit to join the event on the ground was the Aircraft Restoration Company’s Bristol Blenheim. Back in the air after a lengthy spell on the ground during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Blenheim was a joy to see it flying. Whilst many warbirds, particularly more straightforward and commercially in demand types such as Spitfires, returned to the air fairly quickly, the Blenheim has had longer on the ground, one supposes until the global situation really settled and events returned to normality, given the effort required to get the Blenheim and its Bristol Mercury engines back in the air. John Romain piloted the light bomber for its display, beginning with a formation pass with the Avro Anson. It was a joy to see the Blenheim grace the skies again in a typically flowing display.
The Hangar 11 Collection brought their P-51D Mustang Tall in the Saddle, for what was Peter Teichman’s final display at Old Warden, as he is set to retire from display flying later in the month at the IWM Duxford Battle of Britain Airshow. Peter has been a stalwart of the display scene in the UK and Europe over the past decade and a half, enabling so many to enjoy his aircraft over the years, including; Staggerwing, P-40, Mustang, Hurricane and Spitfires XI and IX.
In stark contrast to the horsepower of the Mustang, one of the highlights of the show was the 1929 Klemm L25-1A G-AAUP. A rare participant at any airshow, the rather ungainly looking monoplane is the only example airworthy in the UK and one of few in Europe as a whole.
A theme of Percival aircraft underpinned the show, with several aircraft from the British manufacturer featuring. One particularly lovely formation saw Proctor G-AKIU, the sole airworthy example at current, leading the pair of Mew Gulls.
The Collection’s Piston Provost and visiting Jet Provost represented the final years of the company as Hunting Percival before their amalgamation into BAe Systems.
Making a very welcome return to the Old Warden skies was Hawker Demon K8203, back in the air after suffering engine woes since 2018. The 1930s classic was displayed in fine fashion by Scott Butler alongside the Collection’s Gloster Gladiator. What with the Demon, Hind and Tomtit being out of the air in recent years it was very welcome to see a pair of silver biplanes from the golden age of the interwar RAF at a Shuttleworth show again.
Another highlight of the day was the first appearance of the WW1 Aviation Heritage Trust’s Albatros D.Va away from its home base at Stow Maries. The TVAL-manufactured replica arrived in the UK in 2018 and is emblazoned in the striking markings of Otto Kissebnerth, complete with lozenge camouflage wings, black fuselage and large Edelweiss. Kissenberth was an ace of 20 aerial victories and commanded Royal Bavarian Jasta 23b. The Albatross was put aloft with the Nieuport replica, re-creating one of his dogfights and victories. Several more First World War types followed in a classic Shuttleworth aerial carousel.
For more information on upcoming Shuttleworth airshows and to purchase tickets, follow this link: www.shuttleworth.org/events/