FLYING LEGENDS 2017
DUXFORD SEPTEMBER SHOW 2017
FLYING LEGENDS 2018
WARBIRDS DOWN UNDER 2018
DAKS OVER DUXFORD
FLYING LEGENDS 2019
Flying Legends 2017 will undoubtedly be the best warbird air show of the year this side of the Atlantic but didn't really meet the high standars of previous years. I felt that the content was a little bit light and wasn't helped by visiting P51B Berlin Express suffering a damaged canopy that stopped it displaying after one pass which also meant that we lost the Horsemen and visiting P51D Frenesi. The hoped for appearance of ME 190-E White 14 didn't happen and on the day the TFC Sea Fury, P-36 and Gladiator failed to appear. I did catch the Shuttleworth Comet for the first time and the weather was grand so not all was lost. I did the Saturday show so missed the forced landing of P-51 Miss Velma at the show close on Sunday. Thankfully the pilot was fine and his landing in a field the wrong side of the M11 kept the damage to the aircraft to a minimum all things considered.
This was my final air show of the year and came about due to a pretty good line up of aircraft which included a chance to catch the BBMF Lanc, in new paint, for the first time in a couple of years. The weather was fairly good, if a little cool, we had six Hurricanes performing together and a massed Spitfire display amongst other highlights.The main let down was poor management of the car park on exit. As parking was charged for I wasn't too impressed. Oh and there was also the Norwegian Mustang chewing in to the tail of Miss Helen. Lucky they got away with that one!
Although I have been to the museum at Cosford in the past this was my first airshow here. The show was a special one to mark the centenary of the RAF and several museum exhibits were outside in the static display which was great to see. The show was extremely busy with very long queues to get in but overall it didn't disappoint and was worth the effort especially as the weather was grand.
After being a little disappointed with the 2017 show I was in two minds about attending this year. However, the presence of the Flying Bulls DC-6 and four Buchon 109s swayed me and I was there as usual. The flying was as good as the weather which made up for the traffic delays getting there and with the heritage flight as well Flying Legends 2018 got a thumbs up from me.
We din't specifically go to Oz for this air show but we did make sure that our visit coincided with when it was taking place although my wife will say it was my reason for going! However, this is usually a biennial show but the last event was actually in 2015 so the timing happened to work. The show is held a Temora where there is a museum of largely air worthy aircraft including the only such Lockheed Hudson anywhere in the world. It was held over two days in October and we attended both, the flying programme not being the same each day. The weather was great as was the flying. There aren't as many aircraft to call upon as back Europe but there were quite a few aircraft that I had not seen before. Overall it was pretty well organised and benefitted from support of the RAAF. I managed to take quite a lot of pictures and there are more in my blog here, here and here!
Daks over Duxford was part of the 75th anniversary of D-Day held over two days on 4th and 5th June. There were 23 Dakotas on the flightline 15 of which had flown in from America including "That's All Brother" the actual aircraft that led the formation of para troop drops over Normandy in 1944. Sadly we were caught in some long traffic delays getting in to the event despite stopping over nearby and although the weather wasns't too bad it was too breezy to permit a planned para drop to take place. I had hoped that there would also be a large formation flight of the Daks but although small groups went up the final departure was in a stretched line astern formation which was disappointing. Overall though it was good to see so many of these old workhorses in one place.
it's hard to be too dismissive of what is always one of the best warbird shows, especially in Europe, but ultimately I only attended Legends because I had a friend with me who had flown in from Canada. There were over 40 aircraft displaying and the Red Arrows were there too for the Saturday but seemed almost out of place and were restricted by the weather. Basically though the content seemed to be lacking a certain oomph. A lot of the usual performwers were present bu there was nothing special save five Buchons and they only performed a proper 5 ship flypast on the Sunday. There were no Hurricanes, nothing from Shuttleworth, no BBMf, no Red Bulls, only two Mustangs. Really as much missing as was present. The displays themselves were polished as ever but when Legends has a wing walking act you know they are struggling. I don't regret going but if the line up were to be the same next year I will give it a miss which would be the first time in many years.
IN REACH OF THE SKIES