Shuttleworth Collection 'Battle of Britain' Evening Air Display Report

Saturday 14th August 2010

On Saturday the 14th of August large and torrential thunderstorms were sweeping across the south of England, threatening to put a damper on Old Warden's intriguing Battle of Britain Evening Air Display. However, the weather gods were on side as the airfield was spared a soaking until after the display had ended, giving the crowds in attendance a truly wonderful evening in which to enjoy the first rate flying on offer.

Huw Hopkins took a chance on the weather and headed to Bedfordshire for UKAR.

The show was opened by the pairing of the Shuttleworth Collection's Sea Hurricane and the visiting Me-108 for some formation flypasts before breaking into a dogfight scenario, the Hurricane victorious as ever!

Following recent vintage glider displays at Old Warden, the debut of the Kirby Kite provided a pleasing spectacle as it quietly performed some light aerobatics. Lee Proudfoot flew MH434 with a perfect balance of power and grace in the warm evening light, taking full advantage of the curved display line. The commentator's introduction of the world's most famous Spitfire as 'MH343' left a little more to be desired however.

Providing some light entertainment was Peter Holloway's Storch hiding from the Sea Hurricane in the trees by the new hangar, demonstrating its STOL performance. Trevor Roche took the Sopwith Triplane off of the shorter runway to give an impressive and agile display before the Parnell Elf made a welcome appearance as the light dropped.

As the wind was well within limits and with no immediate threat of rain, the Edwardians took centre stage, filling the twilight sky with sights and sounds from the pioneering days of aviation. The Boxkite and Triplane provided some close passes in loose formation giving the crowd a chance to see structures of the machines as well as the pilots' precarious positions. The Bleriot XI sustained a long period of flight during its 'hop' down the runway, quite an achievement for a 101 year old aircraft.