Shuttleworth Collection American Air Display Report

Sunday 4th July 2010

Sunday 4th of July saw the American themed display take place at Old Warden. With the favourable summer weather continuing it was a pleasant way to ignore the woes of the tennis and World Cup football and spend a relaxing day at one of the UK's top airshow venues. Ironically falling on Independence Day, the organisers succeeded in attracting a variety of aviation designs showcasing the pioneering US aviation industry.

Ian Matthews spent a swell day at The Shuttleworth Collection. Photos by the author and Steve Buckby.

The original participants list boasted such delights as P-51 Mustangs and the Skyraider but in the run up to the show these disappeared to leave a handful of visitors to support the locally based participants. A strong wind also put paid to the more delicate items due to appear in the flying display but there was still enough to keep the large crowd amused.

Display programme highlights included some great passes by B-17G 'Sally B' and the F-86A Sabre from Duxford. The award for the most amusing participant must go to the L-21B Piper Cub with its large rubber ring tyres. The Cub bounced its way down the Old Warden grass runway, a real handful in the strong wind.

There was a welcome return for the Cessna Bird Dog and Spartan Executive, with a pair of Ryan PT-22s continuing the US theme. The based Avro 19 put on a spirited performance but the barnstorming antics of the Magister pair and Tiger Moth fell foul of the blustery conditions, although there was some success in the balloon bursting competition.

With the cloud rolling in and the unique Lysander, Hind and Gladiator formation bringing the flying to a close, the Shuttleworth faithful started to disperse but there was a surprise in store! A pair of transiting Army Air Corps Apache helicopters appeared from behind the trees to perform a low flypast up the crowd line.