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  Shuttleworth Military Pageant 2017
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Text:

Urs Schnyder

Pictures:

Urs Schnyder

   

Already the name indicates that here we have something special. In a time when everybody talks about airshows, here we have a pageant, a name that takes us back to the old Hendon Air Pageants of the twenties and thirties.
If you have never attended a Shuttleworth display, you will be very positively surprised. This already starts on the way to the venue. Once you leave the A1, you travel on a narrow road, past the main entrance to the airfield. You pass trough part or the Old Warden village and enter the grounds trough a gate. The only thing missing is the Victorian gatekeeper that asks your business.

Driving past the Shuttleworth College to the airfield proper, the impression of entering the past is increasing.

On the whole you have a feeling of being on a garden party, not least because of the relatively small size of the airfield. The grass runways somehow support this as there are no big aircraft on site. For all these reasons I prefer Shuttleworth to other bigger events.
This time there were some re-enactment groups as well as military vehicles from the time of the second world war present. There are normally also some vendors, but as a rule they only sell aviation related items.

Already before the flying started, it was obvious that some of the aircraft from the program would be missing, with the Gladiator for example being in the maintenance hangar. Also the Battle of Britain Flight Lancaster and Spitfire didn’t turn up, despite the fact that Shuttleworth is listed on their homepage.
The most important thing for a good air display however is the weather, and this time it fully cooperated to make it a memorable day.

Prelude

 

The Shuttleworth Collection doesn’t only own some very rare aircraft, but also a good number of vintage cars. Some of these normally parade along the crowd line before the flying starts. This time there were more of them than usual because of the visiting military vehicles. As this is an integral part of every Shuttleworth Military Pageant, some of them are shown here.

 
1914 Clayton & Shuttleworth portable engine ‘Dorothy’
  1903 Baby Peugeot (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) 1903 De Dietrich Type SM (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) AEC Army Lorry (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) Premier Despatch rider (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

First World War

I had never seen the BE2e flying before, so this was something to look forward to. The display of the aircraft didn’t disappoint, as it was flown in such a manner that you could see it from all angles, which was really appreciated.

Likewise the Bristol M1c did give a super display. You could directly sense that the pilot enjoyed himself as well. Like the BE2e before, there were enough possibilities for top views of the aircraft, which make for more interesting pictures than just views from underneath.

The Sopwith Triplane made its first flight in March 2017 after having suffered a landing accident in 2014. It is actually a replica built to original plans in 1990. After seeing it the late Sir Thomas Sopwith actually declared it a late production model due to its workmanship and realism.

The Bristol F2b is an original aircraft built in 1918. It didn’t see wartime service but served with 208 Squadron in Turkey in 1923. It joined the collection in 1952 after having been restored by the Bristol Aeroplane Company.

 

Royal Aircraft Factory Be2e (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Royal Aircraft Factory Be2e (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Royal Aircraft Factory Be2e (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Royal Aircraft Factory Be2e (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

 

Royal Aircraft Factory Be2e (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Bristol F.2B Fighter (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Bristol F.2B Fighter (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Bristol F.2B Fighter (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

 

Sopwith Triplane (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Sopwith Triplane (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Sopwith Triplane (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Sopwith Triplane (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

 

Bristol M1C Bullet (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Bristol M1C Bullet (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Bristol M1C Bullet (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Bristol M1C Bullet (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Silver Wings

The thirties were the most colourful in the history of the RAF with distinctive squadron markings. The Central Flying School also played a part with their aerobatic teams special markings as seen on the Avro Tutor and the De Havilland Tiger Moth.

The Hawker Demon in No. 64 Squadron markings displays very well the flamboyant colours of the time. The Demon was derived from the Hawker Hart bomber, which at the time could outpace any fighter and so was turned into a fighter itself. The Hawker Tomtit is the last of these aircraft produced, and the sole survivor. It was presented to the collection in 1956 by Hawker.

The Avro Anson never flew with the military, being built in 1946 and spending most of its life in survey or transport work. It ended up with the Strathallan museum. When that organisation folded, British Aerospace bought it for 600Ł as it wasn’t airworthy at the time. It was restored by retired Volunteers and is flying again since 2002.

 
Avro 621 Tutor in CFS Aerobatic Team Colours (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) DH 82 Tiger Moth in CFS Aerobatic Team Colours (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) DH 82 Tiger Moth in CFS Aerobatic Team Colour (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) Hawker Demon and Hawker Tomtit (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)
 
Hawker Demon and Hawker Tomtit (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) Hawker Demon in No 64 Squadron colours (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)  Hawker Demon in No 64 Squadron colours (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)  The sole surviving Hawker Tomtit (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)
 
The sole surviving Hawker Tomtit (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) Avro C19 Anson (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) Avro C19 Anson (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) Avro C19 Anson (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Second World War

Despite the non appearance or the Lancaster, this was nevertheless an interesting topic with aircraft of completely different sizes and performances.

Sally B doesn’t need any introduction. This time she was escorted by the P-51 Mustang “Miss Velma”. The small airfield is probably not easy for a big aircraft like the B-17 to display at, but they manage it nevertheless.

One of the best performances was given by the Bristol Blenheim. One really has the impression that here is a pilot that flies for the photographers. Really outstanding the way John Romain put the Blenheim through its paces, fully using the shape of the airfield to give good top views of the aircraft.

Another Highlight was the display of the three Hurricanes in formation. I can’t remember having seen this before. After some formation flypasts the Hurricane P3717 gave a display that really was worth the entrance fee alone. It really was top class.

In contrast the Polikarpov is slow and somehow sounds like a sewing machine. The collections example was built in 1944 and delivered to Yugoslavia after the war, where it flew with different organisations before coming to Britain in 1990. It was acquired by the collection in 2004 and after a lengthy restauration flew again for the first time in 2011.

 
Boeing B-17 Sally B escorted by North American P-51D Miss Velma (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) 

Boeing B-17 Sally B (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) 

Boeing B-17 Sally B (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) 

 

Boeing B-17 Sally B (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) 

Boeing B-17 Sally B (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) 

North American P-51D Miss Velma (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) 

North American P-51D Miss Velma (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) 

 

Bristol Blenheim Mk. I (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Bristol Blenheim Mk. I (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Bristol Blenheim Mk. I (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Bristol Blenheim Mk. I (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

 

Hawker Hurricane Formation (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Hawker Hurricane Formation (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder) 

Hawker Hurricane Formation breaking (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Hawker Sea Hurricane Z7015 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

 

Hawker Sea Hurricane Z7015 and Hawker Hurricane P3717

Hawker Sea Hurricane Z7015 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Hawker Hurricane P3717 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Hawker Hurricane P3717 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

 

Polikarpov PO-2 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Polikarpov PO-2 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Polikarpov PO-2 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Polikarpov PO-2 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Army Co-Operation

The Army brought the Westland Scout and the Beaver. The announced Sioux didn’t materialise. The Beaver and Scout did fly in formation but on the whole gave only a short display. The co-operations aircraft took over, with the Tiger Moth, Bristol Fighter and Lysander flying in Formation to represent different aircraft in Army cooperation service.

Specially designed and built for Army Co-operation work was the Westland Lysander. As it couldn’t operate unless there was air superiority it was a failure in its intended role. Instead it came into it’s own for clandestine work, inserting agents into occupied territory. This it could do well due to its short take off and landing capability. Two Austers stood for the Armys AOP missions using these aircraft.

 

Westland Scout and DHC-2 Beaver (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Westland Scout and DHC-2 Beaver (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Westland Scout (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Westland Scout (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

 

DHC-2 Beaver (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Auster T.7 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Auster AOP.6 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Formation of early Army Co-operation flying

 

Westland Lysander (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Westland Lysander (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Westland Lysander (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Westland Lysander (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Edwardians and Gliders

 

What do early flying machines have in common with gliders, you may ask. The speed is not that different, and in the case of the Schneider SF38 you need a very daring pilot, to have himself towed up to heights that this machine originally never reached. All this not even sitting in a cockpit, but only on a wooden beam. It was mostly used for basic training being towed by some students until it took to the air.

The Kirby Kite of 1937 is already a more advanced craft, despite the open cockpit. It was acquired by the collection in 2011.

Towards the end of the flying program, every eye is on the windsock to see if the wind is dying down, which is a prerequisite for the Edwardians to take to the air. This time it was the Avro Triplane and the Bristol Boxkite. Both of these machines were built for the film “This magnificent men in their flying machines”. As the Shuttleworth Collection was involved in the making of the film and the machines closely resemble the original, it was decided to acquire them for the collection.

The Shuttleworth Collection Cub towing the Schneider SF38

 

1938 Schneider SF38 (EoN Primary)

 

1938 Schneider SF38 (EoN Primary) (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

The Shuttleworth Collection Cub towing the Kirby Kite (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

The 1937 Kirby Kite (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

The 1937 Kirby Kite (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

 

The Avro Triplane (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

The Avro Triplane (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

The Bristol Boxkite and Avro Triplane (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

The Bristol Boxkite (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

 

The Bristol Boxkite (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

The Bristol Boxkite and Avro Triplane (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

The Bristol Boxkite and Avro Triplane (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

The Avro Triplane (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

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last update 12. August 2017

Written 12. August 2017

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