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Duxford Spring Air Festival - Duxford, Cambridgeshire 28th May 2017

01 B-17G Flying Fortress Sally B G-BEDF Duxford May 2017 02 Shuttleworth racers Duxford May 2017 03 AAC Apache AH1 Duxford May 2017 04 OV-10B Bronco G-ONAA Duxford May 2017 05 Red Devils Duxford May 2017 06 Red Devils Duxford May 2017 07 Red Devils Duxford May 2017 08 Red Devils Duxford May 2017 09 RAF 29 Res Sqn Typhoon FGR4 ZK354 Duxford May 2017 10 RAF 29 Res Sqn Typhoon FGR4 ZK354 Duxford May 2017 11 Breitling Stearmans Duxford May 2017 12 B-17G Flying Fortress Sally B G-BEDF Duxford May 2017 13 B-17G Sally B and P-51D Miss Velma Duxford May 2017 14 B-17G Flying Fortress Sally B G-BEDF Duxford May 2017 15 B-17G Flying Fortress Sally B G-BEDF Duxford May 2017 16 B-17G Flying Fortress Sally B G-BEDF Duxford May 2017 17 TF-51D Mustang NX251RJ Miss Velma Duxford May 2017 19 TF-51D Mustang NX251RJ Miss Velma Duxford May 2017 20 TF-51D Mustang NX251RJ Miss Velma Duxford May 2017 21 TF-51D Mustang NX251RJ Miss Velma Duxford May 2017 22 TF-51D Mustang NX251RJ Miss Velma Duxford May 2017 23 Great War Display Team Duxford May 2017 24 DH88 Comet G-ACSS Duxford May 2017 25 AAC Apache AH1 Duxford May 2017 26 AAC Apache AH1 Duxford May 2017 27 AAC Apache AH1 Duxford May 2017 28 AAC Apache AH1 Duxford May 2017 29 ETR03 Dassault Rafale C 4-GL Duxford May 2017 31 ETR03 Dassault Rafale C 4-GL Duxford May 2017 32 ETR03 Dassault Rafale C 4-GL Duxford May 2017 33 ETR03 Dassault Rafale C 4-GL Duxford May 2017 34 Spitfire MkI pair Duxford May 2017 ETR03 Dassault Rafale C 4-GL Duxford May 2017 TF-51D Mustang NX251RJ Miss Velma Duxford May 2017 lightbox gallery scriptby VisualLightBox.com v6.1


Comment -
On paper at least, IWM Duxford�s season opener over the 27th and 28th May weekend should have been a memorable show. Fast jets included the RAF Typhoon and L�Armee de l�air Rafale, the French jet making one of only two UK airshow appearances due in this season. Classic jets saw Sea Vixen �Foxy Lady� booked alongside another cold war icon, the MiG-15UTI from the Norwegian Air Force Historical Squadron. Warbirds due to show included stalwart B-17G Sally-B, a P-51D and a pair of Spitfires. Other acts included vintage racers from Shuttleworth, the Army Air Corps Apache role demo and the Great War Display Team.

However, on the day (we visited on the Sunday) things just didn�t gel and I certainly left a little somewhat deflated, feeling that it was one of the least inspiring shows I had been to for a long time. Certainly, on the photographic front I came away with hardly any pictures, something which has not happened for me at an airshow for a very long time.

To be fair, several factors did work against the show. The biggest disappointment was the lack of �Foxy Lady,� the Sea Vixen having suffered a serious hydraulic failure returning to Yeovilton the previous day. Fortunately, pilot Commander Simon Hargreaves pulled off a safe and skilful emergency wheels-up landing seeing both pilot and aircraft back on the ground in one piece. I certainly wish �Foxy Lady� an expedient return to flight as soon as possible.

We also lost the MiG-15 display as a traffic incident outside of the airfield led to its cancellation. It was therefore left to the Typhoon and Rafale to bring on the noise but the Typhoon seemed lost in the wide expanse of Duxford�s greying skies, the rolls and vapour-filled turns being too far away for any meaningful photography. The Rafale put on a much tighter display with more �presence,� however, by then the standard UK grey airshow sky had well and truly set in and the effect of the exotic colour scheme was curtailed.

Perhaps it was the dulling grey sky and the threat of an imminent rain front that contributed to my despondent mood, but the Spitfire pair that then closed the show again seemed quite lost in a sky that, on other occasions, has been filled with warbirds galore.

Admittedly, the sun did come out earlier in the day and this helped proceedings, the Red Devils being one of my highlights due to the 2,000 square feet Union Jack that one of the paratroopers dropped with. The big-friend, little-friend pairing of Sally-B and Miss Velma was my other personal highlight, again, a bit of sun and blue sky helping to liven things up photographically.

In conclusion, IWM were aiming for a more family orientated show, and this was reflected by the acts that were booked, although events outside of Duxford�s control impacted even on this. However, for a warbird fanatic, who has experienced so much magic at this historical airfield, it was a disappointment. Yes, I saw the participant list beforehand and so knew it would be no Flying Legends or Battle of Britain show, but the magic of Duxford that is normally present was just not there this time.

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