Yorkshire Wings & Wheels Show Report

Saturday 31st July - Sunday 1st August 2010

On the 31st July Elvington returned to the airshow circuit, for the first time since August 2007. Trying to get an airshow back, after a lay off is notoriously difficult. So with a slightly different format and the public taxi debut of the Nimrod to lure the enthusiasts, could the Yorkshire Air Museum pull it off?

Ian Finch went to find out. Photography by the author and Phil Catleugh.

The Yorkshire Wings and Wheels Show to give its full title, began on the Friday with all the preparations you expect from an airshow. Increasingly these days more than flying is required to attract visitors and this show was no exception. The wheels part of the title was made up of monster trucks, stunt motorcycles and a motorcycle time trial at the end of the flying.

For my part it was also a first time on the other side of the fence as a junior member of the Handley Page Victor's ground crew. Friday also had an historic event as the Nimrod had not taxied since arriving in mid-April, so required validation. Those lucky enough to be at the museum on the Friday had a treat and saw her perform a slow speed taxi and one at high speed, thus clearing her for the event. With such a small line up of flying acts, the museum had to move quickly when Neil McCarthy's Jet Provost developed a problem at Culdrose and had to regrettably cancel. In the end we got the Harvard for both days instead of one and the Piper Cub and Fokker Triplane were added.

The weather managed to play ball for us with two dry, if not entirely sunny, days. The show itself went more or less to plan. As a smaller show, there was a good "friendly" feel, and the crowds got to see a good variety of acts. Each day the show began with the locally-based taxiable jets. It was particularly welcome to see a Buccaneer doing a decent rate of knots down a runway again. Then she was followed by Victor "Lusty Lindy". I’m biased, so you would expect me to say she was the star, but being on her parachute recovery team I can tell you that chute is heavy!

Last of the ground runs was the Nimrod making her public debut. The smokey Speys did not disappoint, with a slow taxi down to crowd centre then back to the threshold for a high speed run. On the Saturday we had the Seafire and Skyraider - both impressive displays. The T-28 Fennec was mightily entertaining on both days. The Breitling wing-walkers are most at home at these smaller events, and proved so once again. The Twister Duo were equally well-recieved, as they continue to go from strength to strength. Personally Sunday's run by Lindy was my personal highlight, as I was allowed to sit in the jump seat on the run! If you think she sounds good on the outside, the roar on brakes off from the inside is something I won't be forgetting in a hurry!

The Museum should be applauded for attempting to bring back a show some thought would never happen again. In the present economic climate it was a bold move. I hope it is given the support it deserves. Fingers crossed for a return in 2011.