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  Shuttleworth Collection Autumn Airshow - Old Warden, Bedfordshire, 4th October 2009

Review -
Sometimes it just all comes together! Great light, evocative aircraft and a relaxed atmosphere made the Shuttleworth Collection's end of season display on October 4 a memorable event. Ok, so the sun did hide a few times and the wind refused to drop enough to allow the Edwardians into the sky in the evening, but the essential flavour of the day was truly magical.

The beginning of the show was themed around the 75th anniversary of the 1934 MacRobertson England to Australia Air Race, and was due to open with a live taxi of the Collection's DH88 Comet Racer Grovesnor House. The aircraft actually won the 11,300 mile race, reaching Melbourne in just 2 days, 23 hours and 18 seconds. Although the Comet's two Gipsy Six engines powered the machine along the field during a practise ground run late morning, the power plants unfortunately refused to start for the display proper.

The theme continued into the flying with Peter Holloway's Miles M3B Falcon Six G-AAEG opening proceedings, the prototype Falcon G-ACTM having flown just in time to compete in the Air Race in 1934. Two more types representative of competitors then followed in the shape of Tim William's DH80a Puss Moth G-AAZP and Henry Labouchere in DH89 Dragon Rapide G-AGSH.

Military types then took to the air with a lively airfield 'attack' from Clive Denney in Bf108 Taifun G-ETME which was seen off by Keith Dennison in the Shuttleworth Collection's Sea Hurricane IB. The Collection's Sopwith Pup, Sopwith Triplane and Royal Aircraft Factory SE5a also got airborne during this segment providing some great topside passes along Old Warden's photographer friendly display line.

The next segment was dedicated to trainers and light aircraft, including John Morris in 1946 built Luscombe 8A Silvaire and two separate three-ship formations, the first consisting of the 1930 built Hawker Tomtit, 1933 built Avro Tutor and 1940 built DH82a Tiger Moth, something uniquely Shuttleworth. The second three ship was made up of DH82a Tiger Moth G-ANOH leading the Collection's Miles Magister and DHC-1 Chipmunk. Aerobatics were also catered for including the shape of two Yak-50s of the Yakovlevs Display Team and all black Harvard IIB G-AZSC from the Goodwood Aero Club. Closing this segment, and whetting the appetite for the imminent heavy metal came the Collection's Percival Provost T1.

As the light just got better the crowd was treated to the growl of the Avro Anson XIX before warbirds took to the air once more as Peter Teichmann displayed the Hangar 11 Collection Hurricane IIB for the first time at Old Warden, followed by the unique formation of Stuart Goldspink in the Demon Displays Ltd Hawker Demon and Chris Huckstep in the Collection's Gloster Gladiator. The insect like Lysander then finished this segment flown by Dave Mackay. Final act as the sun began setting was the Primary EoN 'Dagling' Glider air launched by Piper Cub.

All in all this was an intimate and atmospheric display, the venue providing a backdrop and 'feel' that is missing from most larger shows. Coupled with some truly unique aircraft, the show rounded off the 2009 display season in fine style.

back to airshow photographs from 2009