Untitled Document
Shuttleworth Evening Air Show 2018



"...could this be Photography perfection?... Quite possibly."

The last couple of Air Show Seasons have seen a return to the Evening Air Show format at The Shuttleworth Collection.  This years schedule sees no less than three Evening Air Shows at the Collection “Where everything flies”.  The June Show arrived hot on the heels of the fist (May) Show of the year which immediately set the bar high. 

The June show looked to be seriously threatened by poor weather, but luckily the forecast rain never arrived the belts of cloud dispersed throughout the day, giving way to fantastic, albeit breezy, summers evening.  Sadly due to the strong breeze that was present for the duration of the show, the inclusion of the Edwardian was sadly thwarted.

The Evening air shows usually run exclusively with the collections own air frames with an absence of visiting participants.  June’s show followed suit except for a minor last minute addition in the form of the Shuttleworth based Dornier DO-28 Sky Servant.

Shuttleworth is well know for its laid back atmosphere with free run given to the site and its hangars allowing for relaxed viewing of the collection up close, as well as a plethora of other activities including vintage bus rides, walks around the Swiss Gardens and several classic vehicle parades.

The planned flying element of the day & evening kicked off promptly at 6.30pm with a gentle aerobatic display from the Fauvel Glider and a rather spirited display form the Collection’s 1932 built Comper Swift.  Painted in its Red paint scheme originally worn in 1933, the single seat sporting aircraft swept through the Old Warden skies, providing both a wonderful site and sound.

With the flying programme underway it was time for some classic racers to take to the skies with a flying display from two simply stunning air craft; the petit Percival Mew Gull and the glorious DH88 Comet.  The two gave a stylish pairs display before breaking off into their single displays. 

Another Shuttleworth Stalwart, the Westland Lysander took to the skies giving an evocative display, reminiscent of night time incursions into France during the dark days of the Second World War. 

Anyone who knows the Old Warden venue will know how good it is for Photographers, with a dog legged display line, closer than average flying, and, for a lovely change at an air show, the sun isn’t sitting right in your face all day.  Team this with an evening timetable with summer evening light with the sun on your back; could this be Photography perfection?... Quite possibly.

As the light continued to warm and soften it was time for some warbird action in the form of two Hawker Hurricanes with some fantastic flying from the Collections own Sea Hurricane 1B and the Privately owned (collection housed) Hurricane Mk I, the second Battle of Britain Veteran Hurricane to be homed within the hangars of the Shuttleworth Collection. 

The watching crowd were treated to what I can only describe as the best Hurricane display I have ever seen, an absolutely magical sight.  The display pilots appeared to have an amazing time displaying both as a pair and as single air frames; beautiful to see, beautiful to hear.

More Warbird participation was on the cards with a visit from the Battle of Britain Memorial Fight’s Mk IX Spitfire, sporting an absolutely stunning desert camouflage livery representing 92 Sqn Spitfire EN152 flown by Neville Duke in Tunisia during 1943.  Squadron Leader Andy Millikin gave a couple of superb topside passes displaying that new paint work off to the full.

Training aircraft were also represented by numerous examples throughout the evening with appearances by the Avro Tutor, Tiger Moth, Chipmunk and Piston Provost, each participant giving brilliant displays in the breezy conditions.

The flying display came to a close with the collections newly refurbished Supermarine Spitfire Mk Vc, giving its second flying display since the clipped winged example roared back to life and took to the skies  at the end of March.  A powerful display from the evening’s pilot, ripping up the airfield in a series of ferocious beat ups before gently retuning to the grass strip in glorious setting sunlight.

Looking at the second of the years evening air shows it pretty fair to say the organisers and pilots put on a fantastic evening, what better way to spend a summers evening?

As well as a final evening air show planned for the 14th July, the collection is also holding several other shows throughout the season, for full details take a look the collection website for full details.


Review by Jonathan Wintle

website promotion