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Shuttleworth Season Premiere - Old Warden, Bedfordshire, 6th May 2018

Shuttleworth Season Premiere May 2018 generated by VisualLightBox.com
01 RAF 100 season premiere Shuttleworth May 2018 02 RAF 29 Sqn Typhoon FGR4 ZK318 Shuttleworth May 2018 03 RAF 29 Sqn Typhoon FGR4 ZK318 Shuttleworth May 2018 04 RAF 29 Sqn Typhoon FGR4 ZK318 Shuttleworth May 2018 05 BBMF Avro Lancaster B1 PA474 Shuttleworth May 2018 06 BBMF Avro Lancaster B1 PA474 Shuttleworth May 2018 07 BBMF Avro Lancaster B1 PA474 Shuttleworth May 2018 08 BBMF Spitfire XVI TE311 Shuttleworth May 2018 09 BBMF Spitfire XVI TE311 Shuttleworth May 2018 10 BBMF Spitfire XVI TE311 Shuttleworth May 2018 11 Avro Lancaster B1 PA474 and Avro XIX Anson Shuttleworth May 2018 12 Avro XIX Anson G-AHKX Shuttleworth May 2018 13 Avro XIX Anson G-AHKX Shuttleworth May 2018 14 Miles Magister G-AKPF N3788 Shuttleworth May 2018 15 Miles Magister G-AKPF N3788 Shuttleworth May 2018 16 Miles Magister G-AKPF N3788 Shuttleworth May 2018 17 Miles Magister G-AKPF N3788 Shuttleworth May 2018 18 DHC-1 Chipmunk T10 G-BNZC 671 Shuttleworth May 2018 19 DHC-1 Chipmunk T10 G-BNZC 671 Shuttleworth May 2018 20 DHC-1 Chipmunk T10 G-BNZC 671 Shuttleworth May 2018 21 Magister G-AKPF N3788 and Chipmunk T10 G-BNZC Shuttleworth May 2018 22 Percival Provost T1 XF603 G-KAPW Shuttleworth May 2018 23 Chipmunk T10 G-BNZC and Provost T1 XF603 Shuttleworth May 2018 24 Spitfire MkI N3200 G-CFGJ Shuttleworth May 2018 25 DH82A Tiger Moth K2585 G-ANKT Shuttleworth May 2018 26 Tiger Moth G-ANKT and Avro Tutor G-AHSA K3241 Shuttleworth May 2018 27 Bristol Blenheim Mk.I L6739 G-BPIV Shuttleworth May 2018 28 Bristol Blenheim Mk.I L6739 G-BPIV Shuttleworth May 2018 29 Blenheim MkI L6739 Sea Hurricane IB Z7015 and Hurricane I P3717 Shuttleworth May 2018 30 Blenheim MkI L6739 and Sea Hurricane IB Z7015 Shuttleworth May 2018 31 Bristol Blenheim Mk.I L6739 G-BPIV Shuttleworth May 2018 32 Bristol Blenheim Mk.I L6739 G-BPIV Shuttleworth May 2018 33 Bristol Blenheim Mk.I L6739 G-BPIV Shuttleworth May 2018 34 Sea Hurricane IB Z7015 G-BKTH Shuttleworth May 2018 35 Sea Hurricane IB Z7015 G-BKTH Shuttleworth May 2018 36 Sea Hurricane IB Z7015 G-BKTH Shuttleworth May 2018 37 Sea Hurricane IB Z7015 G-BKTH Shuttleworth May 2018 38 Hurricane MkI P3717 G-HITT Shuttleworth May 2018 39 Hurricane MkI P3717 G-HITT Shuttleworth May 2018 40 Hurricane MkI P3717 G-HITT Shuttleworth May 2018 41 Hurricane MkI P3717 G-HITT Shuttleworth May 2018 42 Hurricane MkI P3717 G-HITT Shuttleworth May 2018 43 Hurricane MkI P3717 G-HITT Shuttleworth May 2018 44 Hurricane MkI P3717 G-HITT Shuttleworth May 2018 45 Hurricane MkI P3717 G-HITT Shuttleworth May 2018 46 Hurricane MkI P3717 G-HITT Shuttleworth May 2018 47 Avro 504K E3273 G-ADEV Shuttleworth May 2018 48 Avro 504K E3273 G-ADEV Shuttleworth May 2018 49 Avro 504K E3273 G-ADEV Shuttleworth May 2018 50 Avro 504K E3273 G-ADEV Shuttleworth May 2018 51 Bristol F2B Fighter G-AEPH D8096 Shuttleworth May 2018 52 Bristol F2B Fighter G-AEPH D8096 Shuttleworth May 2018 53 Bristol Scout Replica 1264 Shuttleworth May 2018 54 Bristol Scout Replica 1264 Shuttleworth May 2018 55 Bristol Scout Replica 1264 Shuttleworth May 2018 55 SE5a F904 G-EBIA Shuttleworth May 2018 56 SE5a F904 G-EBIA Shuttleworth May 2018 57 SE5a F904 G-EBIA Shuttleworth May 2018 58 Sopwith Camel D1851 and SE5a F904 Shuttleworth May 2018 59 SE5a F904 G-EBIA Shuttleworth May 2018 60 SE5a F904 G-EBIA Shuttleworth May 2018 61 Sopwith Camel D1851 G-BZSC Shuttleworth May 2018 62 Sopwith Camel D1851 G-BZSC Shuttleworth May 2018 63 Sopwith Camel D1851 G-BZSC Shuttleworth May 2018 64 Sopwith Camel D1851 G-BZSC Shuttleworth May 2018 65 Sopwith Triplane N6290 G-BOCK Shuttleworth May 2018 66 Radar glider and EON Olympia VV400 Shuttleworth May 2018 67 Radar Glider Shuttleworth May 2018 68 Radar Glider Shuttleworth May 2018 69 OFMC Spitfire IX MH434 Shuttleworth May 2018 70 OFMC Spitfire IX MH434 Shuttleworth May 2018 71 OFMC Spitfire IX MH434 Shuttleworth May 2018 72 Bristol Boxkite replica G-ASPP Shuttleworth May 2018 73 Bristol Boxkite replica G-ASPP Shuttleworth May 2018 74 Bristol Boxkite replica G-ASPP Shuttleworth May 2018 75 Bristol Boxkite replica G-ASPP Shuttleworth May 2018 76 Bristol Boxkite replica G-ASPP Shuttleworth May 2018 77 Bristol Boxkite replica G-ASPP Shuttleworth May 2018 78 Bristol Boxkite replica G-ASPP Shuttleworth May 2018 79 Bristol Boxkite replica G-ASPP Shuttleworth May 2018 80 Bristol Boxkite replica G-ASPP Shuttleworth May 2018 81 Roe IV Triplane G-AANI Shuttleworth May 2018 82 Roe IV Triplane G-AANI Shuttleworth May 2018 83 Blackburn Monoplane No 9 G-AANI Shuttleworth May 2018 84 Blackburn Monoplane No 9 G-AANI Shuttleworth May 2018 85 Blackburn Monoplane No 9 G-AANI Shuttleworth May 2018 86 Blackburn Monoplane No 9 G-AANI Shuttleworth May 2018 87 Spitfire MK Vc AR501 G-AWII Shuttleworth May 2018 88 Spitfire MK Vc AR501 G-AWII Shuttleworth May 2018 lightbox gallery scriptby VisualLightBox.com v6.1

Comment - every now and then there is an airshow that stands out amongst the others and Shuttleworth’s 2018 season opener was definitely such an event. Firstly, gin clear skies coupled with the sun’s position (that just gets better as the day goes on, ending right behind the crowd) made for excellent lighting conditions. Add in the now famous B-axis and curved display line, an official RAF 100th birthday celebration event, including a Typhoon and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’s Lancaster PA474, plus the much anticipated display debut of the Collection’s Supermarine Spitfire Vc AR501 which had recently emerged from a 13 year ground up restoration, everything was in place for what would be a superb event.

At 2pm proceedings were opened by the 29 Squadron Typhoon FGR4 with special RAF100 tail markings, although the display felt, as usual for RAF Typhoon displays, rather distant, providing very little in terms of decent photographic opportunities from the crowdline. Next gem was Avro Lancaster B1 PA474 and it was with a rush of relief and barely controlled euphoria that I watched the four-engine bomber approach from the B-axis and tip its starboard wing towards the crowd giving us a wonderful chance for a well-lit topside view against blue skies - something I have never had the chance to photograph before! For me, definitely one of my top highlights from the 2018 season.

After an interlude from the BBMF’s newly repainted Spitfire XVI TE311 which made some excellent knife-edge passes (hats off to the BBMF whose displays have changed dramatically in recent years to become much more photographer friendly) PA474 returned in formation with another Avro design, namely BAE Systems Avro XIX G-AHKX also recently repainted in RAF colours. What a unique formation this was.

Gems kept on coming, a personal highlight being the Blenheim and Hurricane formation followed by displays from all three aircraft involved, Hurricane I P3717’s green and brown camouflage scheme looking especially resplendent in the fresh spring sunshine. A display debut from Shuttleworth’s Sopwith Camel replica was also another highlight alongside Stu Goldspink’s display in the OFMC’s Spitfire IX MH434 that closed out the main portion of the flying display.

Speaking of Spitfires, one item that did disappoint was the no-show from AR501. I had been very excited to see the aircraft out in the sun when we arrived at Old Warden and was very much looking forward to see it flying again, mainly due to the fact my book A Tale of Ten Spitfires, that was to be published in September 2018, told the combat history of AR501 alongside nine other Spitfires, AR502 to AR510. I had started writing the book as an article around the same time that AR501’s restoration began. Writing and finishing the project as a book had taken up a large part of the last three years of my life and seeing the Spitfire again meant a lot to me. Unfortunately, as the day wore on, no matter how many times I glanced over to where the Spitfire’s nose pointed skywards, I never saw the prop blades turn and flicker into life. As the realisation dawned I felt a pang of disappointment, finding out later that poor weather in April had delayed the necessary flight time AR501 needed to log to enable it to be signed off for displays. It would be October before I got to see the Spitfire airborne, unfortunately in grey skies, a situation not rectified until the Flying Proms in 2019, but that’s for another review!

However, with such glorious conditions and aircraft my disappointment did not last. Making the most of the benign weather conditions we stayed to see the Edwardians come out and were treated to displays from the Bristol Boxkite, Roe IV triplane and Blackburn Monoplane No 9. What a way to end a fantastic day at one of the country’s best airshow venues.

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