Duxford Autumn Air Show
P-51D Mustang G-BTCD Ferocious Frankie and Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX MH434 at Duxford Autumn Air Show 2009. Photo by Ross Cannon
Duxford's Autumn Air Show is every year during October and the closing event to the UK’s air show season. Duxford’s Autumn Air Show features some brilliant modern and historic aircraft which put on a display of aerobatics and spectacular flypasts. This is a great chance to finish off the air show season with Duxford's last display.
Duxford Autumn Air Show 2013 - 13th October 2013
The 40th Anniversary
After torrential rain throughout saturday night which carried on through much of the morning things began to look better. With cloud base improving and an odd glimpse of the sun it began to look as if this 40th anniversary air show was going to see some aircraft flying. Duxford had as many representative aircraft types here for the show as possible which were here 40 years ago, starting the display was Sally B Duxford's resident B-17 Flying Fortress, always a popular participant with her finally at the end of the show with a simulated engine fire. Bringing things back to the modern age, Black Cat 2, a navy Lynx helicopter, a regular visitor to Duxford but needless to say a very precise display by this aircraft. Carrying on with the slower aircraft we had the combination of the Beaver, Rapide, Stearman and the Staggerwing, much slower and not very often seen all in the air at the same time. One aircraft which was eagerly awaited was the Canberra PR9 but due to adverse weather conditions was unable to make the trip up from Kemble, but the Catalina moved forward a slot and gave a stunning display which was set off by a heavy shower and black clouds in the background.
Somewhat of a strange combination was the pair of Buchons and a Chipmunk, while the fighters carried out high speed passes and high loops the Chipmunk kept close and low with graceful loops and rolls. To add more noise to the surroundings a welcome return to Duxford was the Apache helicopter flown in from Wattisham in Suffolk, but today we did not have the privilege of seeing HRH Prince Harry occupying the front cockpit, but needless to say the Apache was put through its paces by its crew. Adding to the noise around Duxford was the next formations, made up of Harvards and T-28s both these types have been used as training aircraft in past times. The only jet aircraft to display at Duxford was the Hawker Hunter (Miss Demeanour), this aircraft is well know for her unique paint scheme and was as usual flown by Jonathon Whaley in what was probably his last UK display, as usual he treated the crowds to fast flybys and high loops and his usual repertoire of manoeuvres before carrying out a high speed pass with the customary blue note. Bringing us back to the present time the Matadors carried out precision aerobatics in these very manoeuvrable aircraft, with a show of graceful manoeuvres interspersed with stall turns, stalls and spins. What a better way to close the air show at Duxford than a formation of four Spitfires and a lone Hurricane, taking some of our older visitors back to the wartime years when these types of aircraft could be seen in the Cambridgeshire skies, based here at Duxford around seventy years ago.
Images courtesy of Bob Franklin
A pair of Magisters were next on, these aircraft with their open cockpits just caught the edge of the rain but persevered with their demonstration of low level slow speed handling. The Tucano from RAF Linton-on-Ouse, the Tucano has played a major part in RAF pilot training and ably demonstrated here the manoeuvrability and versatility of this aircraft.
Duxford Autumn Air Show 2012 - Sunday 14th October 2012
Image courtesy of Bob Franklin
The day started with a slight frost and even though the sun was out most of the day there was still a chill in the air. The theme for this show was the 70th anniversary of the North American Mustang, with resident Mustangs displaying later in the day. As usual there was a good static line up and the ever popular flightline walk was well populated. This was Duxford’s last show of the season and was made up mostly of resident aircraft with a handful of visitors. First on was the BBMF Dakota from RAF Coningsby which carried out a well coordinated display and it made a nice change to see this aircraft at Duxford. Other aircraft included Pete Kynsey in Cosmic Wind, the Black Cats Lynx pair and the Red Hawks Display Team each bringing with them a different display which you would expect from such diverse aircraft. Throughout the afternoon the theme was diversity with displays which included the Boeing Stearman, Harvard, and Piper L-4 Cub. From the RAF came flypasts by the Hawk and Tucano, not often seen flying as a two ship, but could be seen later carrying out their last displays of the season.
Images courtesy of Bob Franklin
Other aircraft at Duxford included the Sea King helicopter from RAF Wattisham which carried out a crew man rescue which was followed by the Trig Team in their Pitts Specials which set the pace for the next few fast moving displays. These aircraft included the Cap 232, Spitfire, and Hispano Buchon, Skyraider and the P-40 Warhawk/P-40F Warhawk pair. Slowing things down it was time for Sally B to take to the sky once again demonstrating this large aircraft which helped to win World War II. Once again it was nearly time to finish the air show, and what better aircraft than a pair of P-51 Mustangs with their unique sound reverberating around Duxford’s hangars. The last item on the programme was Jonathon Whaley in the colourful Hawker Hunter (Miss Demeanour) which carried out a flypast with one of the Mustangs before finishing the show with a 1950s style display with the Hunter's customary blue note which follows the usual high speed pass at the end of the display. Overall a well balanced display with decent weather to finish the season off.
Images courtesy of Stuart Thurtle www.aircraftimage.zenfolio.com
Duxford Autumn Air Show 2011 - Sunday 16th October 2011
Duxford's last air show of the season fielded a mixed selection of classic and modern aircraft. The theme was to mark the 60th anniversary of the Korean War, throughout the show Duxford's regular commentators Ben Dunnell and Colin Wilsher kept the visitors interested with information about the aircraft and the part they played during the Korean War. Sally B, an all time favourite with the Duxford crowds gave her usual performance. Sally B is one of only a handful of airworthy B-17s and one of the biggest World War II aircraft flying in Europe and is a credit to Elly Sallingboe and her team who keep her aircraft flying. Other aircraft displaying were Justin Needham's Cessna Bird Dog, a de Havilland Beaver from The Aircraft Restoration Company and a pair of Piper L-4 Grasshoppers. A first for Duxford was the arrival of Dan Griffith in the beautifully restored Meteor T7 from Coventry.
Another familiar aircraft at Duxford was Kennet's Skyraider flown by Rod Dean, both these aircraft put on well polished displays. There were the usual displays by the resident Mustangs, Spitfires and Harvards. Coming to the more modern aircraft, The Black Cats Helicopter Display Team put on their normal precision display. Two pilots who were completing their last display season were Dan Hayes flying the Short Tucano, Dan has been a regular at Duxford throughout 2011, the other was Mitch Beulen displaying the Belgian F-16 in his last UK show. As the show drew to a close the Catalina carried out several flypasts before landing on the grass, as Mark Linney took off on the main runway in the F-86 Sabre (always a popular aircraft at Duxford) getting the crowds attention with the trademark black trail behind it. A fitting tribute to the 60th anniversary of the Korean War and what better way to end the 2011 season.
Images courtesy of Bob Franklin and Chris Cannon
Duxford Autumn Air Show 2010
Visitors to Duxford's Autumn Air Show were treated to clear blue skies as Sally B took to the sky with three P-51 Mustangs. They were closely followed by a pair of Lakenheath based F-15s, what a way to celebrate her 65th birthday and thirty five years on the air show circuit. A display from The Black Cats Helicopter Display Team was also of note and not seen for many years was the superb acrobatic teamwork by four Pitts Specials.
Images courtesy of Derek Walker
Duxford Autumn Air Show 2009 - Sunday 11th October 2009
Images courtesy of Ross Cannon
Images courtesy of Ross Cannon