Belgian Air Force Demo Team 2012
   Text & Pictures: Bruno Ghils  sbap 2013
England offers a whole bunch of opportunities for aviation lovers, that you have the possibility to go see something different at any time.
Manston wasn't that far away from Dover, going there didn't take a lot of time, as when you're coming from the continent, the boat or train does the rest!
We can qualify Manston airshow as: "what our English neighbours do best".
It's a convivial airshow, where enthusiasts, children, veterans and families meet to share their passion... the passion for aviation, of course, but their passion for the English culture as well. English cars, bikes, music, the army, the Royal Air Force, fish and chips, tea, the bad weather, wind, clouds... all in all, a true English airshow!
This show, organized on the civil airport of Manston (neighbor of the RAF Manston airbase) in Kent, promised us a superb program, but unfortunately the meteo, and in particular the wind had reduced and modified several participations. The Vulcan, the Tucano solo display, the fantastic Apache demo of the Army Air Corps, warbirds such as the P40 and P51, the B25 from our Dutch neighbors, the B17 "Sally B" from Duxford, the beautifully painted Hunter "Miss Demeanour", or the "Red Stars Rebels" on Aero Delfin... all that makes up a program that other airshows would be glad to present.
All this on a civil airport, that didn't even stop its other activities for this show!
We're not forgetting the incredible "RAF Manston History Museum" or the magnificent memorial of the battle for England, but that will be for another article. In short, if this show is once more organized next year, it's worth your while to go there. At least we'll go back with pleasure! And I must add that the taxiway and the flight line were very close to the public zone. The photographers, spotters, or "normal" enthusiasts just had to point and click for some unique images. This is something becoming more and more rare, but we really have to thank the perfect organization for this.
If we had to point out a negative element of the show, to me it was the very limited static display, especially compared to current standards. But once again, the meteo had a big hand in this occurrence. It prevented certain planes to come, even though they were planned in the program.
SBAP wants to thank the team "Vulcan to the sky" (
www.vulcantothesky.org ), the Tucano solo display team ( www.raf.mod.uk/tucanodisplayteam ), the RAF Manston History Museum ( www.rafmanston.co.uk ), but also AS Enterprises, Heritage Events, the press team of the South East Airshow, and miss Penny Williams in particular, for the hospitality and logistic aid.
Airport activities remain ongoing during the show The youngsters discover the military way of life...
Some collector items Not only airplane are preserved, the UK is a real paradise for the military freaks
Stand by for the airshow So british...isn't it?
The youngsters in the different cadet corps
RAF Tornado GR4 from 9th Sqn RAF Hawk T.1 from 208 Sqn
Aero L-29 "Delfin" from the "Red Stars" Avro Vulcan. The only one!
Hawker Hurricane from Heritage Hangar association Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX
Operations continue during the show... Douglas DC-8-62 from Sailflycargo (South Africa)
Boeing B-737-300 from Small Planet Airlines, a low cost Lithuanian company Socata TB-10 "Tobago"
The Hurricane from Heritage Hangar collection A well known way to avoid wind gust...
Curtiss P-40M Kittyhawk from Hangar 11 collection Usualy based at North Weald airfield
Spitfire Mk IXe "Spirit of Kent" The TA805 is normaly based at Biggin Hill
Hawker Sea Fury T.20 from the Royal Navy Historic flight
Short Tucano solodisplay from 72 Sqn
North American B-25J "Mitchell" from KLU Historic Flight... ...the former Duke of Brabant
Nigel Willson and his Yak-52
North American P-51D "Jumpin Jacques" Second plane owned by the Hangar 11 of North Weald
The XH558 preparing for the display The Avro Vulcan, always a top in the airshow, but not sure that the plane will continue to fly...
Hawker Hunter "Miss Demeanour"
The "Red Stars" A smartfull duo!
Westland WAH-64 Apache AH-1 Performing a role demo
Boeing B-17G "Sally B" And for the end, British heavy cloudness...

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