Posts Tagged ‘Old Buckenham Airshow’

Living History in the air and on the ground

Monday, May 21st, 2018

Texan by Piotr Szydlo

Old Buckenham Airfield is delighted to announce another airborne legend from WWII will display both days over the weekend of the 28 and 29th July; A Hawker Hurricane. Completing the ultimate trinity of WWII allied fighters, the Hurricane adds to a line-up which includes the Spitfire and Mustang.

Responsible for 60% of the victories in the Battle of Britain, the Hurricane is often overshadowed by the glamorous Spitfire. As a result flying Spitfires now outnumber the Hurricane; a rare sight in the skies. The particular aircraft in question was built in Canada, written off in England during the War and then crossed the Atlantic again having been restored to form part of the Planes of Fame Museum in Houston, Texas. Today she is part of the Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar.

Saturday will see some airborne antics, guaranteed to be a winner with every member of the family, courtesy of the Turbulent Team. This four aircraft display team fly the remarkable and tiny Turbulent, a single seat low powered machine; the only aircraft type during the weekend to fly under a limbo.

The Turbulents seem to be happiest flying a few feet off the ground. In fact, they never go above 700 ft during a display. This is mainly because the optimum height for their favourite pastimes, such as balloon popping and flour bombing is rather close to the ground. They’ll also need to be close to the ground in order to get under the limbo. The approach that the incredibly skilled pilots of the four aircraft take mainly centres around fun. To neatly illustrate this point they describe themselves as flying “in the colours of the Early Learning Centre”

The future of Airshows relies on new talent; display pilots are the best of the best and each year not only do they need to pass rigorous assessments to gain their Display Authorisation from the CAA; they also need airshows to book them. Thanks to a brilliant new initiative from the CAA, we’re delighted to be able to bring the Airshow Crowd displays from a new era of display pilot.

The first such pilot is Andy Goodall who’ll be displaying his fearsome T-6 Texan “Wacky Wabbit” (named for a rather famous cartoon character); a WWII fighter trainer with a 600hp Pratt and Whitney radial engine. The T6, best known in England as the Harvard, is still in service with the Canadian Air Force and recognised as one of the
all-time great Display aircraft. Andy will be flying the same T-6 which (when the air displays are not in progress) members of the public can take to the skies aboard as part of a truly special trial lesson with a highly qualified flying instructor. This then will truly offer some very lucky members of the public the opportunity to fly aboard a display aircraft; a first for the Airshow.

On the ground, military exhibits and history are brought to life. This will be the first Airshow where the airfield is able to boast two museums; in addition the usual several acres of military displays including tank rides will be back by popular demand. They’ll be added to by a remarkable display by the Airborne Assault Living History Group. Featuring a recreation of a bombed Normandy barn, this evocative display will headine a host of living history exhibits, covering conflict throughout the 20th Century.

“After last year’s record breaking success, the challenge was always going to be finding a way of following it. Somehow we’ve managed to assemble a truly amazing line-up of airborne displays this year with even more to be announced next month. Thanks to groups like Airborne Assault and the hundreds of other living history enthusiasts who form part of the Airshow, the exhibits on the ground will be unmissable.”

A Legendary Warbird, An aerobatic icon, a scale model and Norfolk’s Best Ice Cream

Friday, March 16th, 2018

Extra Duo by G Force Aerobatics

A P-51 Mustang fighter from WWII will once again grace the skies over Old Buckenham this summer and it’ll be joined by the most innovative modern display act; where a carbon fibre aircraft is chased around the sky by a 41% scale model. Both display acts will appear twice over the weekend of the 28 & 29 July 2018 at the Old Buckenham Airshow.

WWII icons are no stranger to Old Buckenham; adding to an enviable list which already includes a Flying Fortress, the most famous Spitfire in existence and a Douglas DC3, the weekend will also feature the P-51 Mustang, arguably the only fighter aircraft to be held in the same regard as the Spitfire. The P-51 which will display on both Airshow days is called ‘the Shark’ due to the highly distinctive shark’s mouth design on the nose of the aircraft, part of an extremely rare RAF marking scheme.

Contemporary aviation is also well represented thanks to the return, by overwhelming demand, of Chris Burkett and Mike Williams. Chris, an aerobatic master, will fly his cutting edge carbon fibre Extra aircraft through one of the most demanding sequences of aerobatic manoeuvres imaginable. This alone is a remarkable sight, made all the more extraordinary by the fact that he’ll be chased around the sky by Mike piloting a 41% remote controlled scale model of the ‘real’ aircraft. Voted as the ‘Airshow moment of the year’ when first performed, both days will see the duo complete a truly unmissable airborne feat, guaranteed to be the talk of the Airshow crowd once again.

In another first, the Airshow will allow a few lucky budding aviators to start their flying career; aboard another WWII icon. We’ll be joined by a T6 Texan, known better in the UK as the Harvard; a WWII fighter trainer. Those lucky enough to climb aboard will not be going for a ride; they’ll actually be taking part in a first flyingn lesson, where they’ll take control of the iconic aircraft, all under the steady hand and guidance of a highly experienced warbird pilot and instructor.

Finally, the Airshow is improving its family friendly credentials even more. In 2015 we successfully took on the Ice Cream Van Cartel by offering quality Ice Cream at a wallet friendly price. This has proved a huge success over the last two years and we’re delighted to announce that we’re working with Dann’s Ice Cream to offer the very best quality ice cream, all made on their Norfolk farm using milk from a pedigree herd. Despite offering a truly luxury ice cream; the prices will still remain as affordable as ever and maintain our victory over rip-off prices.

Matt Wilkins – Airshow Event Organiser “ We’re rapidly running out of WWII icons to display at this year’s Airshow. The addition of P51 Mustang ensures that we’ve got the two most inspirational fighters of the war joining the legendary Sally B, B17 Flying Fortress and a DC3; a lineup beyond the wildest dreams of most Airshows. The Extra and the Model’s return ensures that everyone can be astonished and find out that the hype is well and truly justified. Add to that our new found ability to offer Norfolk’s best Ice Cream courtesy of Dann’s and this is shaping up to be the best Airshow yet”

More Aviation Icons for the Old Buckenham Airshow – now even more family friendly

Monday, February 12th, 2018

Dakota at Old Buckenham Airshow

Old Buckenham Airfield is delighted to confirm that its annual Airshow will add another icon of Aviation to Norfolk’s skies this summer on the 28th and 29th July. For the first time the Airshow will feature an airliner; in this instance arguably the most influential in history, the amazing Douglas DC3. At the same time, the Airshow, winner of the 2016 EDP Hoseasons “Family Event of the Year” is unveiling a new Family Centre at the Airshow, offering a range of family facilities rarely found at an outdoor event.

Very occasionally mankind gets something so right at the first attempt that it really can’t be improved upon. Aviation has one such example; after 81 years the Douglas DC3 is still in active commercial service every day, no small feat for an aircraft which many people regard as the basis of the airline industry.

Capable of landing on just about anything (including, with modifications, water and ice) the DC3 is one of only three airliners capable of landing at Old Buckenham, where it will do just that over the Airshow weekend, as well as flying a display each afternoon. Significantly, this year’s Airshow will be the first occasion in more than 70 years where a DC3 will land at Old Buckenham; the last arrived during WWII, carrying on a mission typical for the aircraft; evacuating wartime casualties from Normandy to nearby Wymondham Hospital.

The DC3 will take its rightful place amongst a host of other icons already confirmed, including the extraordinary B-17 Flying Fortress, Sally B and Supermarine Spitfire Mk. 9, MH434; for many the most famous single engine aircraft in existence.

On the ground, the Airshow will build on its credentials as one of the regions favourite family events. The event’s new Family Centre will offer a range of facilities to help families have the best possible day out. The new Centre will feature Nappy Changing and Breast Feeding areas, among other services. This facility adds to a host of factors which were central to the Airshow being awarded the coveted EDPHoseasons Tourism Awards “Family Event of the Year” in 2016. The Airshow continues to offer free admission for the under 12’s, over an acre of funfair, gourmet food village and quality ice cream without rip off prices; all essential in ensuring that families have a great, yet affordable day out.

Matt Wilkins, Airshow Organiser, said “Every minute of every day for 81 years a DC3 has been airborne and working somewhere in the World, usually saving lives and always performing a mission that no other aircraft is capable of. We’re delighted that, after more than 70 years, Old Buckenham will once again play host to a true giant of the skies; which will be with us on the ground and in the air all weekend. Our main mission is to introduce future generations to the world of aviation and the Airshow’s latest innovations in the form of the Family Centre will make it easier for everyone to enjoy the weekend.

Tickets for the Old Buckenham Airshow are available online at and are selling at a faster rate than in 2017, which set new records for advanced tickets sales; resulting in a sell-out crowd.

Old Buckenham Airshow completes its 2017 display roster with a 25 tonne movie star

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

B27 Sally B

Old Buckenham Airfield is thrilled to reveal the last act of its 2017 Airshow display lineup; the extraordinary Boeing B-17 ‘Sally B’, star of Hollywood blockbuster “Memphis Belle”. The Airshow, winner of the EDP Tourism Awards “Family Event of the Year” in 2016, will take place on the 29th and 30th July.

The Flying Fortress completes the 2017 lineup; arguably the most diverse in the Airshow’s long history. Along with the B-17 three other wartime icons will be displaying on the afternoon of the 30th July; the Supermarine Spitfire, North American P-51 Mustang and Hawker Hurricane; arguably the three most recognisable and evocative fighters of World War II.

The exotic warbirds will be joined by a mixture of extraordinary acts, from the high energy aerobatics of the Extra 300, chased around the sky by a 41% scale model, to another American Airshow legend; Otto the Helicopter flown by the incomparable Brendan O’Brien who will also once again attempt to land on a moving vehicle whilst aboard his Piper Cub.

The Airshow will once again also provide one of the largest classic car gatherings in the region, along with a vast military display including tank rides. Pleasure flights are available courtesy of a Bell executive helicopter and show-goers can also start their flying career in a variety of machines, including a WWII Boeing Biplane. Popular favourites such as the Food Village (we only allow reasonably priced quality local food vendors on site) and the Attack and Destroy Bar will return with a bespoke range of beers created solely for the weekend. For families, the host of amenities that made us Award Winners are maintained and improved upon, but one key element remains; kids under 12 continue to have free admission to the show.

For the second year in a row the show will be televised and advance ticket sales have set another record, the fifth year in a row where a new level has been set. As a result the pre-purchase of tickets is highly advisable.

Matt Wilkins, Airshow Organiser said “It was a tall order trying to match last year’s display which featured more horsepower than before. This year we truly have something for everyone, including the coveted trio of Spitfire, Hurricane and Mustang. Kids and adults across the US have been amazed by Otto the Helicopter and we’re delighted to be able to bring him to Norfolk for the first time. We’ve done all we can to live up to our award of “Family Event of the Year” and look forward to another great weekend on the 29th and 30th of July”

All information including ticket sales is available online at

Shark, Saffron and Rod

Sunday, May 7th, 2017

Shark Mustang by Eirik Oestensjoe

The Award Winning Old Buckenham Airshow; now featuring another fearsome iconic Warbird and some equally fearsome new beers.

Old Buckenham Airfield is delighted to announce another extraordinarily rare new addition to its Airshow on the 29th and 30th July. For the first time, P51 Mustang “The Shark” will appear on both days. Operated by the Norwegian Spitfire Foundation and based with the storied Boultlbee Flying Academy at Goodwood, ‘The Shark’ gets its name from an extremely distinctive paint scheme on the nose of the aircraft; it bears the face of a Shark over the equally unusual RAF markings. An RAF marked North American fighter aircraft was a very unusual sight in WWII and only one aircraft carried the ‘Shark’ scheme replicated today.

The P51 Mustang is often described as the American Spitfire. The two aircraft shared the legendary Merlin engine, which produces 1200hp in the Spitfire. Thanks to a two stage intercooler supercharger power far more power is available in the Mustang; a truly fearsome 1,720hp.

‘The Shark’, in earlier guises, is no stranger to Airshows. As ‘Old Crow’ this P-51 was the darling of the Scandinavian Airshow circuit for a decade before coming to England.

Another aviation icon will be making a very welcome return to the Airshow, in the form of one of the most respected and experienced pilots there has ever been; Rod Dean. 21 years in the RAF saw Rod become an expert on an array of the most potent fighter and bomber jets. Since 1984 Rod has displayed just about every type of aircraft, including the Spitfire, Mustang and Hurricane. He’s so good that he wrote an acclaimed book about his “Fifty years of Flying Fun” and along the way became a highly respected aviation journalist. Rod will be appearing on both days.

In 2016 we introduced the all new “Attack and Destroy Bar”. Created solely for the Airshow this mobile pub, named for the motto of the 453rd Bomb Group, offers a complete range of drinks including a number of specially brewed, exclusive ales. For 2017 the Airshow is delighted to confirm that the Attack and Destroy Bar is teaming up with Saffron Ales, an award winning artisan brewery based in Henham. Saffron’s range of heritage ales, brewed with a contemporary twist, have been created to satisfy all palates and they’re producing four, truly one off, new ales for the bar. For the first time, the Airshow will be able to offer bottled versions, in strictly limited numbers. The ales commemorate highlights of the show. One is named for ‘The Shark’ Mustang, another for the Hawker Hurricane and a third for Otto the Helicopter, announced as an act last month.

One final beer will commemorate the last aircraft to be confirmed for the Airshow. Both the beer and the details of our mystery act will be confirmed in early May and cap off what is likely to be regarded as the finest and most diverse mix of aircraft ever assembled at Old Buckenham since the War.

The Airshow’s appeal to families will also be enhanced with the addition of Sim- Fly Combat. Sim-Fly have been offering extremely popular virtual flight experiences at Old Buckenham for over a year, using a state-of-the-art simulator (the only one of it’s kind in the UK) since 2015. They will shortly launch a remarkable new experience, where up to four players can take control of WWII fighters and dogfight each other in the virtual sky, sat in replica cockpits of the Spitfire and Messerschmitt 109.

Airshow Organiser, Matt Wilkins said “ This year is shaping up to be the best yet for Old Buckenham. ‘The Shark’ is an extraordinary aircraft and the preserve of the largest airshows; Rod Dean can truly be described as the grand master of modern aviation and our enhancements on the ground, with the new beers from Saffron and SimFly’s new Combat simulator ensures that we’re living up to last year’s tourism award as “Family Event of the Year”.

The Old Buckenham Airshow – Return of a Family Favourite

Sunday, March 19th, 2017

Yoyo - O'Brien's Flying Circus

The Award Winning Old Buckenham Airshow is delighted to announce the return of arguably the most successful and entertaining pilot in history, Brendan O’Brien.

O’Brien last visited Old Buckenham in 2014 where he successfully landed his Piper Cub on top of a trailer moving along the runway. This feat forms part of his legendary “Flying Circus” a firm family favourite on the Airshow circuit for decades. Brendan’s display, aside from being fabulous entertainment, relies on his unrivalled skill and experience. He has over 200 FAI Aviation Records, more than anyone in history. His has a license to fly every type of machine capable of being airborne, from balloons to airliners. His list of aircraft flown includes over 300 types and he has operated aircraft on every continent, including Antartica. Along the way he’s hosted his own TV show, syndicated worldwide and become one of the most admired spokesmen for Aviation flying today.

Brendan will be appearing both days at the Airshow and everyone will get a chance to see his extraordinary antics aboard the venerable Piper Cub. He’ll try once again to land on a trailer, a feat which requires ultimate skill. It’s small wonder that Brendan is the only pilot performing such an act in Europe.

This year, show goers will get a chance to see even more of Brendan’s skill than before. The Airshow will see the debut in Norfolk of Brendan’s latest acquisition, Otto the Helicopter. A fixture in the US, Brendan managed to acquire Otto in 2016 and bring him permanently to England. Otto, in the hands of a master aviator like Brendan, is capable of simply extraordinary and entertaining feats. Otto, by way of example, is the only helicopter which likes to play with a yoyo; in this case a specially made toy with 3ft diameter.

The Airshow is also delighted to confirm that a 1943 Beechcraft Staggerwing will display on both days. The Staggerwing is often voted as being one of, if not the most beautiful aircraft of all time in surveys. Only the Supermarine Spitfire appears as routinely in such surveys. The aircraft is also one of the most advanced for its time ever built. Capable of taking off from small grass landing strips, it can cruise for a thousand miles at 200mph before landing on another small grass strip. The example displaying is named High Maintenance. Once affectionately described as the most effective means of turning money into noise, the aircraft earns her name not least because she is fitted with (and needs) six fuel tanks.

On the ground the Airshow, the EDP Hoseasons Tourism Awards ‘Family Event of the Year’ in 2016, continues to make improvements. New facilities for families, including baby changing facilities are being planned. An improved site layout will add more viewing space and more entry lanes will limit queues at peak times.

The Airshow is also delighted to announce a new alliance with Brasteds, one of the regions’s foremost catering companies. Brasted’s will be bringing their unrivalled expertise to the extremely popular VIP Enclosure during the show. Brasted’s is a multi award-winning catering and events company, with over 30 years’ experience serving royalty, dignitaries, celebrities and guests across Norfolk.

Matt Wilkins, Airshow Organiser: “ The English Language contains 171,476 words. None of them are good enough to begin to describe Brendan O’Brien, statistically the greatest peacetime pilot there has ever been. We’re therefore thrilled to have him back and offer Otto the helicopter his East of England debut; sure to be a massive hits with the kids here as he has been in the States. With all the improvements we’re making we hope to continue to be worthy of our award as Family Event of the Year. “

Old Buckenham Airshow Confirms Another Aviation Giant

Sunday, July 3rd, 2016



The Old Buckenham Airshow is pleased to confirm details of the final acts which make up its largest air display weekend ever on the 30th and 31st of July.

The show has already confirmed the return after more than a decade of the only flying B-17 Bomber in Europe, Sally B, star of Memphis Belle. In a new development another American giant will perform at the show on both days in the form of a Catalina Flying Boat. This 10 ton giant boasts a 114 foot wing span. Designed an built for bombing, submarine hunting and search & rescue, the Catalina is still in service today as a fire-fighting platform. Others are used for fishing in the Pacific Ocean. The aircraft displaying at Old Buckenham is in wartime USAAF markings of the 8th Air Force 5th Emergency Rescue Squadron.

Both days at the Airshow crowds will also be able to see a truly unique act, described as one of the most innovative and thrilling of recent years. It has also been described as one of the most amusing. Noted Advanced Aerobatic competitor Chris Burkett will be flying his Extra 330, a 330hp carbon fibre aerobatic aircraft capable of withstanding forces of +/- 10g. This alone is a spectacular sight. Chris, however, will be joined in the sky by what appears to be an identical blue Extra. The other aircraft is, in fact, a 41% scale model flown by Mike Williams, a multiple remote control champion who has been flying models since he was 9. Mike’s skills allow him to control the model in unison with Chris in the full size aircraft and the resulting ‘little and large’ act has been the talk of aviation for the last two years.

2016’s Airshow features some of the most powerful aircraft on the display circuit; to provide something in the way of balance the show has also confirmed a slightly more modest 145 hp Auster, a venerable WWII spotter plane, still popular as a trainer and pleasure aircraft. The Auster is the final act to be confirmed for the record line up.

Matt Wilkins, Airshow Organiser; “It was a major coup to have secured the first display by B-17 Sally B n over ten years. To be able to add to it with the mighty Catalina is fabulous. Both aircraft are enormous and the importance of their roles in WWII cannot be overstated. They have rightly achieved iconic status and this will be a remarkable Airshow weekend. To further add to these the ‘Extra & Model’ act is very exciting and this mix of old, new and unique means that we will have to work very hard to try to beat this year’s lineup in years to come” Tickets for the show are available online at Forward sales are comfortably above the record levels seen in 2015 and organisers anticipate a sell-out attendance; advance purchases are
recommended to avoid disappointment.

For further information please contact Old Buckenham Airfield on 01953 860 806 or visit