Monday, 24 May 2010
Duxford Spring Opener
What will the weather be?... Was the most asked question of the 16th May 2010 in a special part of Cambridgeshire. The Duxford opening show, along with it's closing counterpart, is always a hit-and-miss affair weather wise and participation wise. Gladly, the latter did not disappoint, where the former remained true to form. Cold and windy, followed by windy and sunny, followed by warm and sunny finished off by Mustang, Harvard and Tucano displays in the rain.
A good line-up for the start of the season soon was chopped and changed with Lancaster, EuroFighter Typhoon and Sabre being scrubbed early on.
Behind the airshow the "TFC" hangar was undergoing major works on the west side doors so many of the aircraft under covers. With only US-registered TF-51 "Miss Velma" and Sea Fury participating in the show rumor is still rife that CAA Audits are not completed or resolved.
Back on the Display line you would be forgiven for thinking you were at a Great Warbird show with a Sea Fury, Mustang, a few Spitfires, four Hurricanes, SE5a, BrisFit, Gladiator, Dakota and B-17 interspersed with modern and training types. Impressive for a Spring show to say the least!
The flying display was not typical of most Duxford shows with acts not following each other as fluently as normally practised on this historic airfield. The show definately gave the air of caution and being put together as it went along. Never-the-less the show was a usual Duxford delight. The Shuttleworth WWI pair gave a noteably enthusiastic display and Stephen Grey in his Sea Fury gave a great feel of power dragging his airframe through the sky. Heavy BBMF input was more than welcome to the fray to bolster an already impressive Warbird display. Even as grey clouds drew-in, and this reporter went home, the show still went on through the rain. Gutsy move when there seemed to be more people queuing to leave than on the display line.
The IWM has got off to a great start and so has a lot to live up to in this Battle Of Britain year. The BoB Airshow at Duxford will be of particular interest in how they can top this show. We shall see....