Text: Serge Van Heertum - Pictures: Serge Van Heertum & Marc Arys - Translation: Marc Arys  sbap 2015

Anyone who likes historic aviation knows the Shuttleworth Collection. More than a regular museum, they bring the airframes back in airworthy conditions. Throughout the year, many events are organized at Old Warden Airfield and the Military Pageant Airshow is one of them. The 2015 edition was held on July 05 and the program was that interesting your preferred SBAP team crossed the channel to report on this aviation fair for you.

Early in the morning and before starting our 'work', we took some time to have a wel-known 'full English breakfast" at the Shuttleworth restaurant. A real delight... and now we were ready for a splendid day !

Together with the airshow, one could have a look at various exhibitions, including vehicles or aviation related equipment. Wandering around through the many booths we regularly ran into participants dressed as people used to dress back then... in a typical British atmosphere... Fantastic to see the British people still proudly live their history, something clearly missing on the 'old continent'.

During the morning the Shuttleworth teams were quite busy. Some into administrative or organisational tasks (thanks a lot Ciara) others, like the technical teams, preparing the airplanes for the afternoon show, doing the walk-arounds, having engines test-running and some pilots having a test flight.

On to the airshow now. Starting at 14:00 local time, the first flight was already one of the highlights of the day : the Avro Vulcan XH558. XH558 is the last airworthy bomber of the cold war era and V bomber series. Sadly the aircraft is in its last flying year as the decision has been taken to ground XH558 after the 2015 season. The two main factors leading to this decision are technical and financial issues. The three expert companies on which XH558 depends, have all decided to end their support to the project and under civil aviation regulation only it is quite an impossible task to have the Vulcan fly further on. The future of XH558 will be made of high speed taxi runs and Vulcan visit tours at her homebase of Finningley-Doncaster airport. 
The attendance of the delta bomber to the Shuttleworth pageant was surely appreciated by the public and mostly by a very charming lady seated near us. She appeared to be the daughter of the first RAF Vulcan pilot, who could not make it to the show due to its respectable age of 98 ! 

After his demonstration, the Vulcan made way for the
Avro Anson Mk 19 and the De Havilland DH-89A Dragon Rapide. Two transport aircraft used by the Royal Air Force and other air forces as well, including Belgium, but also by civilian operators. Both aircraft belong to the Shuttleworth Collection, although the Dragon Rapide happens to be privately owned.

Following transport we had a fighter flying overhead, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight
Supermarine Spitfire MkVc. Recently maintained and repainted, the aircraft, in RAF 64 Squadron colours, did some nice passes showing the invasion stripes worn during D-Day. 

Next one, a real unsophisticated glider, the
Elliots Primary EoN. This training glider developed after the war is clearly a copy of the German SG38 Schulgleiter. In 1948 the Primary EoN was chosen by the Air Training Corps and by the Combined Cadet Force under the name Eton TX.1

Back to the Second World War with the German
Fieseler Fi156 Storch against the British Gloster Gladiator. This demo-pair gave us an idea on the first days of the conflict in Europe and with a little imagination we could see air combat above Belgium when Belgian Gladiators had their first war operations. Both aircraft presented with maestria belong also to the Shuttleworth collection.

The show moved on to the training aircraft and we could see the
Miles M.14 Magister, the De Havilland DH-82A Tiger Moth, the Avro 626 Tutor and the Percival P.56 Provost taking to the skies. Amazing to watch these aircraft in their natural element again after so many years but do also imagine them in service with the Belgian Air Force, except for the Provost, of course.

Then we flew back to the "between the wars" period with a dual presentation of a
Hawker Hind and a Hawker Demon, both aircraft of the Shuttleworth collection. Those aircraft were the most modern fighters in the 1930's and, during the presentation, we could see and feel two powerful and handy airplanes but both clearly outdated at the beginning of the second World War. The preservation state of both airplanes is simply amazing and the aluminum skin reflecting in the sun of Shuttleworth was just a marvel to watch.

After the two biplanes, we had a second
Supermarine Spitfire PR Mk XI in the air. Rarely seen at airshows, this full PRU blue painted aircraft is owned by Peter Teichman from Hangar 11 based at North Weald. The PL965 was built mid-1944 and is the only airworthy sample of this model in Europe.
Two old gliders, a German
Schneider Grunau Baby and a Slingsby Radar Kite. Both are from between the wars concepts and it was interesting to compare the German and the English design. Airborne by a dual tow done by the Shuttleworth Collection Piper PA18 Super Cub.

Time now to take to the seas and have a look at two aircraft designed for the Royal Navy. The Shuttleworth Collection
Hawker Sea Hurricane MkIb (Z7015) was presented together with the Supermarine Seafire Mk XVII (VL105) coded SX336. This latter was built by Westland Aircraft Ltd. at Yeovil and based on board the HMS Gamecock in 1946.

Back to the war in Europe, in particular to the Battle of Britain with the
Bristol Blenheim Mk I (L6739) recently restored and starting his first season of airshows in the capable hands of John Romain. A first Blenheim (G-MKIV) was recovered from Canada and underwent a 12 year restoration project by a small team, who brought the aircraft back to flight in May 1987. In a terrible incident for all involved, the Blenheim was badly damaged in a crash just one month after its first flight. Harnessing all their determination to get a Blenheim back in the air, the same team of volunteers strove over the next five years to restore a second Blenheim, (G-BPIV), and in June 1993 she took to the skies, before being rolled out to the public at her home at Imperial War Museum Duxford. In August 2003 the aircraft suffered an accident at landing and the damages were so significant that the aircraft was dismantled. The wrecks were transferred to Blenheim Ltd in December 2003. Originaly the aircraft was a Canadian Bolingbroke version and the Blenheim Association decided to start the restoration. Later on a Mk I nose came into possession and it was decided to modify the airframe to adapt the Mk I nose to it. You have to know that some of the controls like throttles, pitch control, carburettor and hydraulic controls were completely in different places within the two aircraft types and it was one of the biggest challenges to adapt those in the "new" nose. The aircraft is painted in the colours of 23 Squadron that took part in the Battle of Britain. After 11 years of hard work and sometime heavy headaches, the plane made its maiden flight on November 20, 2014 at Duxford and is now fully ready for the 2015 airshow season as we could see at Old Warden Airfield.

The last part of the event was dedicated to the First World War and the
SE5A, Bristol F.2B Fighter, Avro 504K and Sopwith Pup were readied up at the beginning of the afternoon to conclude this pageant with a great finale but sadly the wind was clearly too strong and the flight director decided to cancel the display for security reasons. A wise decision as to preserve those magnificent machines, avoiding any risk of damage to one of these jewels.
The Royal Aircraft Factory SE5A was taxied back near the public and a little remembrance ceremony was held in memory of all people who took part in this conflict. Moreover, this ceremony was held in presence of Lady Delamain and her family. Lady Catherine Delamain is the daughter of Major Charles Edward Murray Picktorn (84 Sqn), who flew the Shuttleworth collection SE5A (F904) during WWI and shot down one of the last German Fokker D VII fighter of the conflict. Indeed this aerial combat took place on November 10, 1918. Again a great war story and a wonderful archive and research work done by the Shuttleworth Collection enthusiasts. The show was concluded by a drop of Poppies overhead the airfield in memory of all who gave their life for our freedom.






Some view of the ambiance and exhibitions (Serge Van Heertum)

(Serge Van Heertum - left / Marc Arys - right)

Show was over and 2015 saw once again a wonderful edition. 
We can just say, if you never went to Shuttleworth, 
try a trip to this mythical place, you surely will not regret this !
The SBAP team would like to thank the Shuttleworth teams 
for the fantastic job they have done putting together 
this airshow and particularly Mrs Ciara Harper, 
our media contact, for the usual warm welcome and 
the facilities granted during our stay at 
the Old Warden Airfield.

All is ready for the morning traffic and the airshow (Serge Van Heertum)
Visitors aircraft: Piper PA-22-108 Colt (Serge Van Heertum)  Piper PA-44-180 Seminole (Serge Van Heertum)
Preparing the plane for the afternoon show (Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
Engines check (Serge Van Heertum) Starter car (Serge Van Heertum)
Some visitors: North American T-6 Harvard (Serge Van Heertum) Westland Scout AH1 (Serge Van Heertum)
Possibilities were offered to make a flight in a Dragon Rapide
(Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum)
The Military Pageant Airshow 2015
Avro Vulcan XH558 (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Marc Arys) (Serge Van Heertum)
 
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
 
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
   
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
   
(Serge Van Heertum) (Marc Arys)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
Avro Anson Mk 19 & De Havilland DH-89A Dragon Rapide (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Marc Arys) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
Supermarine Spitfire MkVc (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
Elliots Primary EoN (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
Fieseler Fi156 Storch & Gloster Gladiator (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
Miles M.14 Magister,De Havilland DH-82A Tiger Moth,
Avro 626 Tutor & Percival P.56 Provost
(Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Marc Arys)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
Hawker Hind & Hawker Demon (Serge Van Heertum)
Starting procedure (Marc Arys)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Marc Arys)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
Supermarine Spitfire PR Mk XI (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
Schneider Grunau Baby & Slingsby Radar Kite (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
Hawker Sea Hurricane MkIb & Supermarine Seafire Mk XVII (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Marc Arys) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
Bristol Blenheim Mk I (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Marc Arys)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
SE5A, Bristol F.2B Fighter, Avro 504K & Sopwith Pup (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
Lady Delamain and her family in front of the father SE5A  (Marc Arys) Poppies drop (Serge Van Heertum)
(Marc Arys) (Serge Van Heertum)

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