The Cotswold airshow is growing in popularity every year, with
its heavily loaded display of classic jets. This year sees the
Hawker Hunter celebrating its 60th birthday and The Cotswold Airport
definitely celebrated it in style.
weather was not looking to be too favorable, but in actual fact
wasn’t too bad. There was the odd sporadic shower plus a
few heavy downpours, but that did not deter the crowds. Neither
did it affect the lineup. Everything due to fly that day did make
it. The ground attractions were of the normal quality standard
upheld by the Kemble Organisers. This included a nice array of
model aircraft, The Williams f1 team (with 3 cars) and plenty
of trade stalls to empty your pockets!!
the cloud base relatively low, The first display of the day
were forced to start their show a bit lower than normal. The
Renegade parachute team were back for another year at Kemble,
and didn’t disappoint. All the jumpers made it out of
the AN-2 aircraft even though this was to be their lowest ever
display jump. A great effort by the Hobby parachutists. Once
clear, 2 Dutch Hawker Hunters which had been due to arrive on
the Friday had chance to finally touchdown at Kemble. This then
led on to a great display of RC Model aircraft flying, which
is somewhat of a tradition at Kemble shows. The Breitling wingwalkers
were not down to fly at the Cotswold show, but from outside
the airfield you would have never have realized. 2 large scale
RC Stearmans complete with moving ‘walkers’ did
an amazing display which would have fooled anyone from a distance!!
led on to the first of the days Hunters to display. For me,
one of the best paintjobs ever on an aircraft took centre stage.
Miss Demeanor is a firm favourite with Airshow goers, with its
‘1960’s ice lolly’ colours (as described by
the commentator), owner, Jonathon Whalley put on the best display
of the day. The skies cleared to create a brilliant blue backdrop
for the Hunters display. Flight Lieutenant Dan Hayes then put
the RAF’s Tucano through its paces. This year , the Tucano
is in a silver livery and looks rather good against a blue sky.
His great final pass left the way clear for Flight Lieutenant
Jules Fleming to bring in the RAF’s Hawk Trainer. This
years colours are not quite as exciting as previous one’s,
but I have to admit ‘Jules’ certainly makes up for
that. Running in at 600mph and pulling into a max rate turn
set the standard for another quality show. I did hear her say
that she would like to fly business jets, but she hasn’t
got these out of her system yet! That’s one pilot I’d
like to have fly my business jet!! To close the first part of
the show was Neil McCarthy in Jet Provost T.3A XM479.
lunch, the next of the 8 flyable Hunters took to the air. Team
Viper had previously flown BAE Strikemasters, but have now converted
to the Hawker Hunter. The team flew a 4-ship for Saturdays display
and the flying was excellent. Consisting of various formation
passes the display was great to see. The team then split into
a 3 ship to with a lone Hunter making some nice passes. I thought
the final split was brilliant, including the solo Hunters final
pass with a ‘Hunter blue note’ added. Nice touch!!
This was the Teams first display with the Hunters and I cant
wait to see them again…
next display was a bit of an emotional one for those at the
Cotswold airport. Wings Venture DC-3 N1944A is sadly leaving
for the us to be put on static display in a museum. This particular
Dakota was used on D-Day and also in Operation Market Garden.
I’m not sure who was flying her but I really enjoyed the
tight turns a nice low pass to finish on. Another of Kembles
residents were up next, but they also brought a heavy downpour
for the start of the show too. Luckily for Ultimate High, the
rain was over quickly ad we could all enjoy the rest of their
display without umbrellas. The best part of their act for me
was the mock dogfight between 2 Bulldog aircraft. Ultimate High
offer the general public the chance to fly in these aircraft
and try to shoot each other down . For r more info on what they
offer check out www.ultimatehigh.co.uk.
you had wanted to see the mighty Avro Vulcan then Saturday was
the day for you. 558 had landed on the Friday so the crowd were
treated to seeing the ‘Delta Lady’ takeoff. She
kicked up plenty of spray from the wet runway and climbed away
in a steep right hand climb. The Vulcan brings in huge crowds
for organizers, and Saturday was just the same. The flight line
got very cramped as people flocked to the front to see the ‘Peoples
Bomber’. They really showed how maneuverable the Vulcan
is with lots of steep turns and a simulated landing before departing
O Brien is renowned as a great showman (and pilot!) Unfortunately
he was not able to fly in his flying circus act due to a manicure
appointment. Instead he had someone stand in for him under the
name of Captain Bugaloo!! Some say Bugaloo is said to be the
oldest pilot in the world being 101 years old, and that one
of his may jobs was as a doughnut salesman . All I know is that
he sounded awfully like Brendan O Brien! The whole display is
so comical, with his crazy flying and the great commentary by
Helen Tempest. Brendan tries to land hi Piper cub on a trailer
towed by a car down the runway. With the weather being windy
and rainy, I’m please to say he did manage to touch down
on it once. Great flying Brendan!!
acts included a great pairs display by a BBMF Spitfire and their
Dakota and the Sea Fury T20 from Yeovilton. More naval aircraft
came in the form of the Royal Navy Blackcats. They performed
their usual stunningly close pairs formation display in the
Lynx helicopters. Another highlight was the Meteor, Venom pairing.
I enjoyed the formation passes before the meteor pulled up into
a half loop leaving the stage clear for the DeHavilland Venom.
Its lovely to see such a rare classic as this. As it did a low,
slow dirty pass the meteor passed at high speed above it to
start its display. A brilliant High energy display by the pair.
brought the show to its finale. 8 hunters appeared from the right
to commemorate the 60th anniversary of this iconic classic jet.
The formation did a couple of passes before splitting into a 5 and
3 ship. With the 3 ship running in with a break to land the other
5 formed the missing man formation in honor of Firefighter Steve
Mills who tragically lost his life in an accident at Kemble in April.
They too then did a run in and break to land, bringing the show
to a close.
was another fine show, put together by the organisers. One great
idea for this year was having the audio speakers on the floor rather
than on poles. It meant no annoying shots of an aircraft looking
like it had crashed into a speaker! I’d like to say a big
well done to everyone involved, especially the commentary team.
They did a great job of keeping everyone entertained. I look forward
to next years show….
by Neil Darby - click HERE
for Neil's Showcase