IN REACH OF THE SKIES

DUXFORD BATTLE OF BRITAIN ANNIVERSARY SHOW 2015

STOW MARIES VINTAGE FLY IN

LEEUWARDEN 2016

Duxford's Battle of Britain show took place on the weekend of 18th and 19th September which turned out to be a perfect break in some previously miserable weather. IWM decided to make this a ticket only show which was probably wise given the trafiic chaos for the anniversary show five years ago. Traffic flows getting in were good and we got lucky with a qick exit too. The show itself was, unsurprisingly, centred around Spitfires and Hurricanes including a brief appearance of two F-15s in company with a pair of Spits. The climax of the show was a 17 Spitfire flypast which, to quote an oft used word form our trip to the States, sounded awesome!

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Stow Maries airfield in Essex is former WWI field that is being restored as a flying museum and they hold several events through the year. This May 2016 fly in was an early season event that included a short flying display, sadly with winds sufficiently disruptive to keep the Albatross and Snipe on the ground.

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Luchtmachtdagen (or Air Force days) 2016 was held at Leeuwarden on 10th & 11th June. This is a free event organised by the Netherlands Air Force and my first visit to Europe for such a show. We attended Saturday via an organised coach trip. It was a bit grey with light drizzle on and off but we were treated to a day long flying event with plenty of side stalls and a good selection of aircraft on static display. Highlight was probably to see two F-35 Lightning IIs take to the air as they were initially advised at static only. Overall a very good show.

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Flying Legends 2016 featured many of the regular performers with new faces in the form of the Hawker Fury, the Electra 12 and Swiss Classic Flight. Sadly Bernard was also there but it was still a good show and the Heritage Flight was an interesting addition. Very polished performances as always.

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This May 2017 event was my first visit to an air show at Abingdon. Unfortuanately for the organisers new regulations following the Shoreham air show tragedy meant that the show had to be revamped somewhat with the show area on the opposite side of the airfield. In turn this meant new access arrangements and although I got lucky there were some serious traffic flow problems. The show also lost the BBMF Lancaster which wasn't ready following winter maintenance and the Sea vixen for the same reason. The promised UK show debut of the CAC Boomerang was also a non starter as the pilot did not have CAA approval. To top things off one of the Twister pair lost power and landed very heavily resulting in a 90 minute delay in proceedings. However, despite all that there were some good display performances and good visibility from the crowd line. A place I would consider returning to.

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The Fly Navy show was held at Shuttleworth and was my first experience of an air show at this venue although I have visited the museum in the past. Getting in and out was fairly straight forward, the weather was quite good albeit cool and a slight breeze kept one or two older aircraft, such as the Boxkite, on the ground. However, overall it was an enjoyable day with good photo opportunities.

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FLYING LEGENDS 2016

ABINGDON

FLY NAVY 2017

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