Sunshine, rain, sad farewells and poignant tributes all contributed to the overwhelming success of the eleventh Wings & Wheels on Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th August. Over 38,000 people visited the historic airfield to support and celebrate the best displays in aviation and motoring.
A poignant tribute was held each day to remember those affected by the Shoreham tragedy as the Show paused for a minute’s silence at the start of the air displays. The Kittyhawk flew gracefully across the aerodrome to signal the end of the silence and open what was the best air display the Show has had to date.
The Typhoon Display Team didn’t disappoint as the impressive jet roared through the skies. The state of the art jet flew first in a solo display then as part of a Synchro Pair alongside a WWII Spitfire bringing together old and new in a commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.
Once again the Red Arrows showed why they are the best in the world as the sky was filled with their red, white and blue smoke. And then the Hawk T2 demonstrated why the aircraft built at Dunsfold is still a world class fighting machine with their role demo and display of firepower.
Crowd favourite the RAF Chinook helicopter defied gravity and showed of its versatility and manoeuvrability. The RAF Tutor demonstrated why the aircraft is so good for training future pilots and the Tigers Freefall Parachute Display team dropped into the Show with their customary precision before meeting visitors and showing how to pack a parachute.
The Vulcan howled an emotional goodbye to the crowds on Saturday but bad weather forced her to abort on Sunday.
The history of the aerodrome was evident in the skies with the Dutch B-25 Mitchell Bomber, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flights Spitfire and Hurricane, the DC3, Mustang and, for the first time at Wings & Wheels, the moving tribute that is the B-17 Flying Fortress The Sally B.
The Blades, Breitling Wingwalkers, Turbulent Team, Glider FX, MiG 15, Jet Provost and Richard Goodwin showcased the skill of civilian flying.
Brooklands Museum once again showed off some of the most exotic and outrageous machines around, from its own collection and from dozens of private owners in the Motoring Demonstrations. Spectators watched an eclectic mix of vehicles from vintage classics to modern favourites blasting down the famous runway in full view of the crowd line. Amongst machines that made their Dunsfold debuts were Lorne Jacobs’s exciting new evocation of Sir Malcom Campbell’s Blue Bird land-speed record car on the 1920s and, in total contrast, the 760HP Tesla P85D electric car capable of accelerating from 0-60MPH in around 3 seconds and a top speed of 155MPH in near-total silence.
Aero-engined favourites, Robin Beech’s 27-litre Handlye Special and John Dennis’s 1907 Berliet Curtiss, and modern supercars including Lamborghini Aventadors and Huracans, a Ferrari LaFerrari, Maserati MC Stradales and McLaren 650S. Slightly older, but no less impressive, was the Jaguar XJ220S (the fastest production car of its day), a NASCAR racing Chevrolet Impala and a trio of Plymouth Superbirds.
Elsewhere on site, the Wheels Zone featured special interactive displays from Transformer Car Hire who brought along their Transformers motion picture replicas. The car clubs had over 300 vehicles including the Jaguar Enthusiasts, Muddy Diffs Overland, MX5, Skyline Owners Club and DS3 Club.
The Stunt Zone was smokin’ as drift teams Scrape ‘n’ Skid and Team 1340 showcased their winning formula and drivers from Mission Motorsport showed that nothing holds them back in their stunt MX5 cars
And for the first time since its retirement from RAF service in 2013, Brooklands’s Vickers VC10 airborne tanker made a public appearance with a full-bore-acceleration taxying demonstration on the Sunday.
The Military Zone was brimming with history as re-enactment groups and a collection of over 80 military vehicles exhibited on the Second World War aerodrome. Tanks were new to the Zone as visitors not only got to ride them but experienced the awesome firepower of the 1943 T-34 which fired to signal the start of the military vehicle parade each day.
As the last plane touched down the party started across the arena with a mix of musical evening entertainment with Champagne Blitz, a 1940s songbird trio armed with smooth harmonies, seamed nylons and lots and LOTS of red lippy and the Rocking Rebels who jived through some classic 50s rock’n’roll.
Jamie McAllister, Event Director, Wings & Wheels comments: “We had it all at Wings & Wheels this year, tears, laughter, sunshine and rain but without doubt it was the best show we have put on. Each year we work hard to improve everything on the ground and in the air and there were so many highlights it’s difficult to single one thing out from the aviation and motoring displays. There are countless people to thank for ensuring Wings & Wheels is such a success, not least our visitors who support us each year without fail. Thank you and see you in 2016!”
Wings & Wheels were joined by Help for Heroes, Brooklands Museum Trust and Age UK Waverley, all charities that the Show supported through a variety of initiatives.