Text: Serge Van Heertum - Pictures: Serge Van Heertum & Pierre Taquet - Translation: Marc Aryc   © sbap 2017
 

The first weekend of July saw the third airshow of the season for the dynamic team of the Shuttleworth collection. And what an airshow this was !
This time's theme was the "Military Pageant" with the accent on the cooperation between the troops on the ground and the Army Air Corps. The team, once again, rewarded the numerous spectators, with various morning activities and an airshow, which we can without a doubt, call genius. Since many years we can feel that the Shuttleworth's team is a closely netted team, giving everything for the love of aviation and its preservation.
As such the morning hours were dedicated to discover an uncountable number of military vehicles of all kind and also various outdoor exhibition stands showing uniforms and objects related to the troubled years of World War I and II. Numerous participants were dressed accordingly for the greatest pleasure of the photographers looking for a picture "of the past".
A beautiful 1918 Vauxhall D, a 1942 Dodge WC56 Command Car, a Harley Davidson wearing a "Betty Boop" nose art, an anti-aircraft Bofors QF 40mm gun, magnificently restored and functional (except for the firing part...) and many more jewels of the military history.
Following the traditional vehicles parade along the public zone, the flying part started with the start-up of the TF-51D "Miss Velma" (sadly damaged the week after during the Duxford Flying Legends) and see her in action, only to meet up with the B-17G "Sally B" Flying Fortress. A real festival of airplanes of all eras followed... Royal Aircraft Factory Be2c, Bristol F2b Fighter, Sopwith Triplane and the Bristol M1C resolutely modern compared to its fellow planes.
In between the wars we could see the Hawker Demon Mk I and Hawker Tomtit, the Schneider SF.38 sailplane. World War II, what a delight. TF-51D Mustang, B-17G Flying Fortress, Bristol Blenheim Mk I, Westland Lysander Mk III, Polikarpov Po.2, Avro Anson C.19, a trainer sailplane Slingsby Kirby Kite and a festival of Hawker Hurricane. No less than four "Hurries" for the pleasure of the eyes and ears.
First the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) Hurricane (LF363) recently maintained and repainted in the particular colours of Pilot Officer Tom Neil from 249 Squadron (GF-N) on the left and Pilot Officer Paul Farnes from 501 Squadron (SD-A) on the right side. But the highlight of the day were the three Shutlleworth based Hurricanes, the Sea Hurricane 1B (Z7015), Hurricane Mk I (R4118) and the newest member of the family Hurricane Mk I (P3717). A breathtaking demonstration with formation fly-by's, a superb break and solo displays from each of them, we can surely say, the pilots enjoyed themselves. Three Hurricanes together out of only eleven airworthy in the world... An amazing feat of strength achieved by the Shuttleworth's team... once again !
Thinking of it, it should be a "must" to organize a "Hurrie's Meet" as some of them are based in Europe (f.e. in Germany) but never seen on the airshow circuit. The only little glitch was the absence of the BBMF Lancaster, freshly out of a complete inspection and wearing its new colours. The airplane made the first test flight the next day on July 03. Surely we will see her next time.
Very interesting as well were the presentations of the aircraft and helicopters of the Army Air Corps with an Auster T.7, an Auster AOP.6, the duo De Havilland Canada DHC-2 " Beaver " AL. Mk I and Bristol " Scout " AH.1 both form the Army Air Corps Historic Aircraft Flight based at Middle-Wallop.
In short, an airshow as we like to see with its batch of originality and surprises. But the organizers were not to take a break on their way and as the summery weather was holding on and the winds were down (in the UK, not on the continent...) at the end of the day, part of the "Edwardian" collection aircraft was put into the skies. So in the falling lights we could watch the Avro Triplane and the Bristol Boxkite both from1910, jewels of the collection.
Really great moments and one can say "those magnificent men in their flying machines" flew as to make us relive the history and see what our grandparents and great-grandparents saw in their early life's.
Once the airshow over, it was time for the SBAP-team to drive back South and cross the Channel but with a head full of fabulous images. SBAP wishes to thank warmly and sincerely the whole Shuttleworth Collection's team for their work and passion and Mrs Ciara Harper in particular, media responsible, for her much appreciated support during our stay.

 
 
 
The 9th of May 2017 saw the much-rumoured arrival of a new resident at The Shuttleworth Collection in the shape of Battle of Britain veteran Hawker Hurricane P3717. This bringing the strength of resident airworthy Hurricanes at the Old Warden Airfield to 3, a number which we believe is not equaled anywhere else in the world. The day also saw final confirmation that the aircraft has not been sold to an overseas buyer and that she will remain in the UK.
P3717 is privately owned and has been placed with the collection to serve as a living reminder of the sacrifice and valour of the young men who flew the type during the second World War. P3717 joins the much treasured R4118 and Hawker Sea Hurricane and will be seen flying at the upcoming Collection air show's this season. The sight of the three Hurricanes on the Old Warden Grass is going to be something to behold!
P3717 was built by Hawker Aircraft Ltd as one of 544 Hurricanes built as part of the third production batch. P3717 was taken on charge by the Royal Air Force in June 1940 and was delivered to newly formed 253 Squadron at Kirtön-in-Lindsey on 13th July 1940. Three days later on the 16th July, a Polish Pilot Officer, W. Samolinski would report to the Squadron, He would be flying P3717, when, less than seven weeks later, the aircraft was heavily damaged in combat with Messerschmitt BF 110's.
By the end of July the Battle of Britain was in full swing and in anticipation of the inevitable requirement, 253 were brought up to operational status, moving from Kirton to Turnhouse on July 21st, then to Prestwick on August 23rd and finally into the thick of things on August 29th when the squadron arrived at RAF Kenley one of the key 11 Group sector fighter stations.
P3717 was being flown by P/O Samolinski, when on the 30th August it was one of thirteen aircraft participating in a squadron scramble at 10.50am and ordered to patrol over Maidstone ready to face any threat to its Kenley base.
When no attack on Kenley materialized, 253 were vectored towards Brighton. It seems that a dogfight between elements of 253 and aircraft of Albert Kesselring's Luftflotte 2 broke out over Redhill in Surrey. P3717, flown by Samolinski was involved in this and Samolinski claimed and was officially credited for the destruction of a BF 110 in this action.
P3717 made it back to Kenley but not before one of the enemy aircraft had damaged it to such an extent that it had to be returned to the manufacturers for significant repairs, these repairs took time and once complete P3717 was reissued to 257 Squadron to see further service. P3717 was later returned for major works a second time and modified to MK 2 standard after which it was then sent to Russia from where it was recovered in the late 1990's.
The restoration to flying condition has taken over 10 years to accomplish and was only completed in March of 2017.
(Source Shuttleworth Collection)
 
(Coll Denis Eusicom) (Coll Denis Eusicom)
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1910 Bristol Boxkite
1910 Avro Triplane
1914 Royal Aircraft Factory Be.2c
1916 Sopwith Triplane
1917 Bristol F2.b
1917 Bristol M1C
1928 Hawker Tomtit
1931 De Havilland DH.82A "Tiger Moth"
1934 Bristol Blenheim MkI
1937 Hawker Demon MkI
1937 Kirby Kite
1937 Schneider SF38 EoN Primary
1938 Weltland Lysander MkIII
1940 Hawker Hurricane MkI R4118
1940 Hawker Hurricane MkI P3717
1941 Hawker Sea Hurricane 1B
1944 Hawker Hurricane IIc LF363 (BBMF)
1944 Polikarpov PO2
1944 North American TF-51D Mustang "Miss Velma"
1944 Boeing B-17G Flying fortress "Sally B"
1946 Avro Anson C19
1947 Auster AOP6 TW356 (Former Belgian Army code A-3)
1960 Auster T7 WE569
1961 De Havilland Beaver AL Mk1 XP820
1963 Westland Scout AH.1 XT626
 
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