Classic Aviation

Classic Aviation

Monday, 18 October 2010

The Finale

As is custom in the modern airshow circuit; Duxford provided the setting for end of season curtain close. The Sun was perfectly brilliant, and sometimes blinding, that made for great and often unusual photography.
unusually for Duxford the show only included Kennet Aviation's Seafire, as a late replacment for the Royal Navy Historic Flight's ailing Sea Fury T.20, to be the closest resemblance of a Spitfire.
Despite this fact the day was all about her majesty, the enigmatic, Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress "Sally B". Europe's only airworthy B-17 was celebrating her 65th birthday along with all her owners, pilots, staff volunteers and friends. No single airframe can claim to be more deserving of an airshow being dedicated just to them.
The biggest surprise of the day was the wonderful arrival on RNHF's Fairey Swordfish; back in the air after nearly a decade of problems.
The show itself was delivered with the usual Duxford gusto; starting with what could easily have been the finale... "Sally B" was flanked by no less than three P-51D Mustangs in the form on "Big Beautiful Doll", "Ferocious Frankie" and "Miss Velma" and over-flown by two F-15 Eagle's. A wonderful USAAF tribute to one of it's historic ambassadors.
The Trojan T-28 pair added ruggedness to the beauiful spectacle. Entertainment of the unusual nature was provided by O'Brien's Flying Circus by landing their Piper Cub on top of a moving platform along the runway. The Royal Navy Black Cay Lynx pair gave their usual delightful display.
A historic Navy tribute followed the wonderful Sea Hawk in the form of TFC's Sea Fury T.20, Bearcat and Kennet's Sea Fire. A Pitt's four-ship lead by Nick Grace paid tribute to ye' olde Rothman Display Team, a very rare sight at UK arishows.
After a power of strength by the Army's Apache the crowd were treated to a delightful DC-3 two-ship; both D-Day veterans. The show was closed with a true DX favorite in the form of Golden Apple's Sabre; which we all hope is not the last time we see her in UK skies.

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