Shuttleworth Collection – Premier Display of 2019 – Air Show Report

Aces High's former RAF Douglas C-47A-75-DL Dakota 42-100884/TS423 over the Biggleswade as part of the Shuttleworth Collection's recent air show. The aircraft as it is pictured here was part way through the process of being painted to represent 'Mayfly' a C-47 flown by the 79th TCS on D-Day. (photo by George Land)
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Shuttleworth Collection – 2019 Season Premier Air Show

by George Land

Sunday, May 5th, 2019 saw the Shuttleworth Collection hold their first show of the 2019 season, at Old Warden Aerodrome, in Biggleswade, England. The display featured a selection of Shuttleworth’s own aircraft and those based with them, along with a good selection of visiting historic types as well. The participants ranged from First World War aeroplanes such as the Avro 504K, Bristol M-1C Monoplane, Sopwith Camel and Triplane through to aircraft from the twenties, thirties and World War Two period with a Gladiator, Spitfire and Hurricanes making appearances, then and on to the Vietnam War with displays from the North American Rockwell OV-10 Bronco and the amazing Bell HU-1 Iroquouis ‘Huey’.

Supermarine-Westland Spitfire L.F.Mk.Vc AR501 DU-E No.310 (Czech) Squadron RAF G-AWII. (photo by George Land)

This event saw the arrival and landing of what I believe to be the two largest aircraft to have made a stop at Old Warden, the Canadian Vickers PBY-5A Catalina (Canso OA-10-Vl) 44-33915 Miss Pick Me Up and the Douglas C-47A-75-DL Dakota 42-100884/TS423-RAE N147DC sn19347, the displays by these two alone made the show worthwhile.

The excellent flying programme well organised and orchestrated by the volunteers of the SVAS with the flying under the control of the new chief Pilot Paul Stone as usual commenced at 2pm with the appearance of the Battle of Britain’s Mk.XVI Spitfire, this was followed a series of segments featuring different types of planes from different era’s which allowed the planes to be displayed to their best advantage.

Supermarine Spitfire Mk.XVl, TE311, represents TD240 SZ-G No.131 (Polish) Wing Grp Capt Aleksander Gabszewicz BBMF. (photo by George Land)

The segments ranged from basic training gliders through primary and basic trainers to advanced trainers up to fighters from the First World War through the late thirties to World War Two along with Observation/co-operation as well as transport planes, and a maritime patrol aircraft supported by civil aircraft and an early passenger plane in the colours of the British European Airways.

The one disappointment was that ARCO’s newly restored Westland Lysander went technical on the morning, so the sight of two ‘Lizzies’ flying together will have to wait until later in the year. 

The running order of the show was: 

Battle of Britain Memorial Flight – Spitfire Mk.XVl TE311

Vietnam _ NA Rockwell Bronco

Training – Elliots Primary EoN Type 7 Glider

WW2 – Spitfire and Hurricanes

Training – Tiger Moth and Blackburn B2

WW2/Vietnam – C-47 Dakota

Early WW2 – Gladiator

Vietnam – Huey

Observation – Birddog and Grasshopper

Civilian /General Aviation – de Havilland DH51 Moth and Southern Martlet

WW2/Vietnam – Catalina

Post WW2 Trainers – Piston Provost and de Havilland Chipmunk

WW1 – Avro 504K, Bristol M-1C Monoplane, Sopwith Camel and Tri-plane

Civilian Airliner – de Haviland Rapide

WW2 Army Co-operation – Westland Lysander

Racing Planes – de Havilland Comet, Percival Mull Gull and Miles Speed Hawk 6   

Overall the event was as usual for Shuttleworth a very enjoyable occasion ran well and that catered for all aviation enthusiasts as well as the general public.

Many thanks indeed to George Land for this story and his lovely images!

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