year Dunsfolds Wings and Wheels was a 2 day affair. Dunsfold has
a great format for their event in bringing together an airshow,
with a vehicle show with the added bonus of having a long runway
for the cars and bikes to race down. Dunsfold has a long association
with Hawker aircraft and is the birth place to a few of the stars
of the weekends show. Unfortunately the weather looked like playing
its normal airshow game with the wind and rain, but the only cancellation
was the BBMF DC3.
show kicked off with the cars and motorbikes. It was truly amazing
to see some of the aero cars running down the runway. These
were cars built in the 30s using aero engines. The star was
the famous Napier Rialton from Brooklands. Commissioned by John
Cobb, The car used a 24 litre Napier lion engine and was capable
of a top speed of 168 mph. This segment also featured many Ferraris,
Porsches, AC Cobras and other top sports cars and motorcycles.
Airshow started with a display from the Tigers Parachute Team.
Using a Cessna 206 as the jump ship they formed a 4 man display
team. The Tigers are soldiers from the Princess Of Wales Royal
Regiment. The team was made up by Lance corporal Chris Smith,
Lance corporal Frank Millerick, Private Shane Hind and Private
Gary Chapman. The lads were falling from the sky at speed of
up to 126mph, and did extremely well in the windy conditions,
with 2 of the parachutists hooking up to make a 2 man stack.
Once all had landed safely the reds made their entrance with
a run and break to land. They were to display later.
up was the RNHF Sea hawk. This was the 1st of 4 Hawker aircraft
to display with connections to Dunsfold.. Flying the Sea Hawk
was LT CDR Chris Gotke. Running in from the left he proceeded
with an excellent display with a series of wing overs and passes.
The end of the display was signaled by the popular wing waggle
followed by landing and taxiing up the runway with folded wings.
Cooper was up next in his Cap 232 with some truly amazing aerobatics.
Gerald is currently ranked 7th in the world and is also British
aerobatic champion. This display was what is known as a freestyle
display. The display consisted of lots of very precise rotations,
tumbles and rolls. The show was very high energy and ended with
Gerald inverted on approach. A truly awe inspiring aerobatic routine!!!
Peter Teichman was the 1st of the warbird participants in his
MKIIB Hurricane. Peter is a great display pilot and showed the
crowd just why the Hurricane was such a great workhorse. ‘Pegs’
(which is the nose art on the Hurricane) Looked absolutely fantastic
against the dark moody skies which had graced the show. The next
item to display really needs no introduction.
mighty Avro Vulcan, known now as the peoples aircraft, entered
quietly from the right. That was the only quiet moment as she
started her routine. It is quite amazing to see such a massive
aircraft being thrown around the sky as if it was a fighter. The
pilot made sure that he showed of the massive delta shape by turning
her on her side whenever he could. It is hoped to keep her flying
until 2014, but she does cost nearly £1 million a year to
operate. She finished with a low pass with wheels down followed
by a steep climb and bank to the right before departing.
1st of the RAF displays took the from of the Tucano. Tucano
display pilot Tom Bould did his usual high quality display,
showing the aerobatic capabilities of the Tucano, This then
was followed by the Grob Tutor. A firm favourite on the UK airshow
scene then followed, OFMC’s Spitfire and Mustang duo.
Led by Brian Smith in Spitfire MH434 and Alistair Kay in the
the P-51.The duo ran in from the left in their famously tight
formation. The 2 were having to work extra hard to keep it tight
as the weather was not ideal. Conditions were very windy. Brian
led the pair in to a series of rolls and turns, while Alistair
kept tightly tucked up just behind. They then split and the
spitfire was 1st for its solo display. Brian made good use of
the whole airfield to give a cracking solo. Alistair then took
his turn in the P-51 and did a very similar display to Brian.
To finish a very nice victory roll from the spit.
great display from the OFMC duo. A nostalgic sight came in the
shape of 4 Turbulants from the Tiger club. These tiny aircraft
are powered by a 1600cc VW car engine, and wowed the crowd with
their daring. A series of formation passes, surely not easy
due to the gusty conditions , then gave way to the good old
days of flying. The limbo was 1st, with each aircraft taking
it in turns to try and fly under two poles joined together by
a banner. All 4 aircraft passed underneath showing their skill.
Next was the flour bombing. The aim was to drop 1ib bags of
flour into a small marked square on the airfield. A direct hit
set of a small pyrotechnic. Once again the chaps showed their
true skill by hitting the square several times. The act finished
by balloon popping, with 2 out of 6 popped. This signaled the
end of the 1st halves flying display and gave way to the cars
and bikes for their 2nd run of the day.
airshow restarted with the ever popular RAF Typhoon display.
This was another well executed routine, which was a mixture
of noise and speed. After the Typhoon had departed it was time
for commentator, Brendan O Brian to show his crazy flying act.
Only O Brian would be mad enough to try to land his modified
Piper Cub on top of a moving trailer.
trailer was pulled down the runway by a 6.5 litre Bentley. All
credit goes to Brendan for flying as wildly as he did and also
whoever was driving the Bentley. After 4 attempts at landing
they called it a day. The wind was horrendous and The cub did
well to get anywhere near the trailer. Unfortunately it was
another runway landing. Better luck next time Brendan!!.
Typical of airshow weather,
a sharp shower then ensued, and the crowd disappeared under
a sea of umbrellas. This left the Red Arrows sat on the runway
waiting for the rain to clear. Once the rain had almost stopped
the Reds took off for a rear crowd arrival. The people that
had stayed were treated to typically professional and inspiring
display from the RAFs finest.
As the Red Arrows landed the
skies in front became blue once again to give the Blades a perfect
stage to display on. The Blades also entered from crowd rear
and split into pairs. This season sees the Blades teaming up
with the RAF association, bringing a great new colour scheme.
The aircraft are painted blue and black and have the associations
wings on the underside and top of the wings. The Blades team
are made up of ex Red Arrows pilots. I think my favourite manoeuvre
was the Blades mirror stall split.
The pawnee, twister and glider
then appeared from the right to do their display. Obviously
in the windy conditions the display was not its usual high energy
self. A series of flat passes then gave way to the twister for
a solo, while the Pawnee and glider climbed for height so the
glider could start its show. After a truly elegant display by
Guy Westgate it was time for the Breitling wing walkers team.
The team have been around many years now sporting many different
sponsors and colour schemes.
This latest scheme of orange and white really
stood out against the deep blue sky. The teams routine included
the girls climbing back into the cockpits whilst flying. A very
well done in the windy conditions, rather them than me!!! More
aerobatic displays were seen from the Red Bull Matadors pair
of Paul Bonhomie (recently crowned red bull air race champion
2010) and fellow competitor Steve Jones. Following that was
the Silence Twister duo. These are small Spitfire shaped home
builds which are very maneuverable and aerobatic.
round the fling off there then followed a trio of aircraft,
all synonymous with Dunsfold. 1st was the hawker Hunter, Miss
Demeanor. This has to be one of the most striking colour schemes
ever to adorn an aircraft (see picture) Jonathon Whalley really
put her trough her paces, showing why the Hunter was such a
success. Hunters , along with the final two display acts were
developed at the Dunsfold airfield.
next act was the last from the RAF, the display Hawk. Due to
unknown circumstances the hawk display pilot was recently changed
and this could have been why the display was so short. However
the flying was technically superb. The final act was very welcomed.
The Harrier has been missing from the display circuit, so its
always a draw when it does perform. Again a very short display
but who could fail to be impressed, stunned and inspired by
such a great engineering wonder.
On the whole, given the weather, I found The
Wings And Wheels display at Dunsfold to be very enjoyable. This
was my 1st visit and certainly won’t be my last. The mixture
of aircraft, cars and motorbikes means there’s lots to
see. I can’t wait for 2011.…..
by Neil Darby - click HERE
for Neil's Showcase