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  Dunsfold Wings & Wheels Airshow - Dunsfold, Surrey 30th August 2009


Review -
This year the weather gods finally deserted the Dunsfold Wings and Wheels show.  A constantly lowering cloud base and chilly blustery wind at the Surrey airfield put paid to visits from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, and Hawker Hunter 'Miss Demeanour' from Kemble with the Vulcan looking in doubt until thirty minutes prior to its display when we were told by commentator duo Brendan O'Brien and Melvyn Hiscock that the bird was in the air.  The graceful delta winged machine looked particularly menacing against the steely grey sky and the VTST team's effort on getting to the show should be congratulated.

Wings and Wheels is now in its fifth year and growing in popularity with each display.  The format is tried and tested with the wings provided by a pre-show fly-in and a two part air display while the wheels, in the shape of historic and modern speed machines, are let loose on the runway for two sessions during the day alongside a procession of military vehicles.

The air display itself is themed around Dunsfold’s Second World War history and usage by Hawker as a test site from 1951.  The Duke of Brabant Air Force’s TB-25N Mitchell represented 320 Squadron of the Royal Netherlands Naval Air Service based at Dunsfold as part of 139 Wing, 2 Tactical Air Force in 1943/44. Sadly the display by a modern day RNLAF AB412SP of 303 Squadron was cancelled.

The link with Hawker’s was less than in previous shows with Peter Teichmann’s Hangar 11 Collection Hurricane IIB G-HHII the only historical Hawker type able to display.  Modern Hawker lineage was also limited to the solo RAF Hawk T.1 and the Red Arrows who closed the show after arriving with eleven aircraft direct from a tour of Poland.  The Royal Air Force also fronted a Grob Tutor from RAF Cranwell and a Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4 from 3 Squadron, the latter closing the first segment of the display in typically noisy and vapour lashed fashion, while the planned Chinook went tech and could not display.

The show was opened by the Princess of Wales Regiment Parachute Display Team the ‘Tigers,’ with the Great War Display team also in the first segment, entertaining the crowd with no less than nine replica aircraft wheeling around the sky in the shape of three SE5As, two 'Junkers CL.1s', a Sopwith Pup and Triplane, Fokker Dr1 Triplane and Nieuport 17.

In addition to the Vulcan and the Red Arrows the second flying segment showcased several display teams with routines from the Blades, Red Bull Matadors, Swift Aerobatic team and two Stearmans from Team Guinot, while formation flying was continued with the pairs display from the Old Flying Machine Company's P-51D Mustang 'Ferocious Frankie' and Spitfire MK.IX MH434 flown by Alistair Kay and Brian Smith.

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