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  Duxford Spring Festival 2019
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Text:

Urs Schnyder

Pictures:

Urs Schnyder

     
 

For wings aviation this is a first as we have never covered this airshow before. 

The motto of this yearís spring festival was: 75 years of the jet engine.  

According to this motto, there was a good selection of jets supporting the theme. Unfortunately the most interesting type, the Meteor T7 flying testbed of Martin Baker was only on static exhibition. However, as wings-aviation was on site already on Friday before the show we managed to capture the arrival of this historic aircraft. The pilot of Martin Baker cooperated by doing a few touch and go before the final landing.

 
 

Gloster Meteor F.4 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Gloster Meteor F.4 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Gloster Meteor F.4 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Gloster Meteor F.4 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

 

Hawker SeaHawk FGA-6 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

De Havilland Sea Vixen FAW-2 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

The main fighters in western Europe in WWII, Republic P-47D Thunderbolt, North American P-51 Mustang, Supermarine Spitfire Mk. Vc and a Casa Bouchon replacement for the Messerschmitt Bf-109E

From fast to low - From heavy to light

On Saturday the show took off with the RAFís most modern jet, the Typhoon FGR4 from No. 29 Squadron that was showing off this aircrafts agility.

A total contrast to this fast and noisy display was the Tiger 9 display team, flying the De Havilland DH82 Tiger Moth.  Despite the very strong winds they managed to keep their formation in good order.

This program was really one of contrasting points, as the Chinook followed the Tiger Moths. Considering its size and weight, it is amazing how the pilots manage to move it around the sky. Who could think that this aircraft is now in its 39th year with the RAF.

   

BAE Systems Typhoon FGR4, No 29 Squadron  (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

BAE Systems Typhoon FGR4, No 29 Squadron  (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

BAE Systems Typhoon FGR4, No 29 Squadron  (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

BAE Systems Typhoon FGR4, No 29 Squadron  (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

   

De Havilland Tiger Moth (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

De Havilland Tiger Moth (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

De Havilland Tiger Moth (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Boeing Chinook, No. 27 Squadron  (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

       

Boeing Chinook, No. 27 Squadron  (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Boeing Chinook, No. 27 Squadron  (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

The Grob Tutor was named after the Avro Tutor which served the RAF in the thirties. It is used for initial training and with the University air squadrons.

Miles aircraft are not seen at airshows very often. Therefore it was very welcome to have a trio of them with both the twin engine Gemini and the single engine Messenger.

   

Grob Tutor T.1 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Grob Tutor T.1 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Grob Tutor T.1 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Grob Tutor T.1 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

 

Miles M.65 Gemini and Miles M38 Messenger (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Miles M.65 Gemini and Miles M38 Messenger(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Miles M38 Messenger (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Miles M38 Messenger (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Harvard, Jet Provost and Strikemaster

 

The Provost team was made up of a Jet Provost T3 and a Harvard as the Piston Provost had presumably been unserviceable. The Jet Provost was of course the aircraft with which the RAF introduced its jet only flying training.

Developed from the Jet Provost was the Strikemaster, which served in the light ground attack role with several air forces, The aircraft on display had before served in the air forces of Oman and Saudi Arabia.

North American Harvard (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

 

North American Harvard and Hunting Jet Provost T.1 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

North American Harvard and Hunting Jet Provost T.1 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Hunting Jet Provost T.1 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Hunting Jet Provost T.1 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

 

BAe Strikemaster T.5 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

BAe Strikemaster T.5 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

BAe Strikemaster T.5 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

BAe Strikemaster T.5 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

British Army

 

Another aircraft for ground attack is the Agusta Westland Apache AH Mk1. Its display contained a lot of pyrotechnics that are obviously a great crowd pleaser. However, the Army was not just present with its newest hardware, but also with its historic flight which showed the beginnings of army flying and especially the development that helicopters have gone trough.

 

Westland Scout AH.1 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

 

De Havilland Canada Beaver and Auster AOP-6 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

De Havilland Canada Beaver (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Auster AOP-6 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Hughes Apache AH.1 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

 

Hughes Apache AH.1 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Hughes Apache AH.1 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Hughes Apache AH.1 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Hughes Apache AH.1 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Heavy Iron

 

The Catalina will of course always be remembered as the plane that found the Bismarck and therefore led to her destruction by the Royal Navy. Every airshow commentator has to mention this fact. No Duxford airshow without Sally B, and so it was also this time.

U.S. Fighters were then on the program with the Thunderbolt and Mustang flying some very close formation aerobatics. For me this was the highlight of the day as it must be challenging to fly two such different Machines in this way.

 

Consolidated Catalina (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Consolidated Catalina (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Consolidated Catalina (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Boeing B-17F Sally B (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

 

Boeing B-17F Sally B (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Boeing B-17F Sally B (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Boeing B-17F Sally B (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Republic P-47D Thunderbolt and North American P-51 Mustang (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

   

Republic P-47D Thunderbolt and North American P-51 Mustang (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Republic P-47D Thunderbolt and North American P-51 Mustang (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Mc Donnel Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Display Teams

The Blades flying the Extra EA-300LP are a civilian flying team made up of ex red arrows pilots and a national aerobatic champion.

A real first was the appearance of the Baderís Bus Company Display Team flying the Piper PA-28 Warrior. It is special in that all its pilots are disabled. Two of the pilots had one leg amputated and one has suffered a spinal cord injury. However, they fly their specially modified aircraft with the approval of the CAA.

Wing walking was back with the Aero Superbatics Boeing Stearman. Hatís off to the girls, who did their routine on top of the wings on a rather cold day.

 

The Blades Aerobatic Team Extra EA-300LP (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

The Blades Aerobatic Team Extra EA-300LP (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

The Blades Aerobatic Team Extra EA-300LP (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

The Baderís Bus Company Piper PA-28 Warrior (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

 

The Baderís Bus Company Piper PA-28 Warrior (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

The Baderís Bus Company Piper PA-28 Warrior (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

The Baderís Bus Company Piper PA-28 Warrior (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

The three pilots of the team. (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

   
 

Aero Superbatics Wingwalkers, Boeing PT-17 Stearman (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Aero Superbatics Wingwalkers, Boeing PT-17 Stearman (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Aero Superbatics Wingwalkers, Boeing PT-17 Stearman (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Aero Superbatics Wingwalkers, Boeing PT-17 Stearman (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

       

Aero Superbatics Wingwalkers, Boeing PT-17 Stearman (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Breitling Jet Team

The Breitling Jet team made one of its rare appearances. It remains to be seen, how long they continue to do so, as Breitling has cancelled almost all of its sponsoring contracts with airshow participants and aviation related activities. Apparently the Jet Team has a longer running contract that is not easy or cheap to cancel. 

 

Aero Albatros L-39 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Aero Albatros L-39 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Aero Albatros L-39 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Aero Albatros L-39 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

 

Aero Albatros L-39 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Aero Albatros L-39 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Aero Albatros L-39 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Aero Albatros L-39 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Spifire

Very appropriately, Duxfords own Spitfire Mk. 1a closed the days flying program with its display.

     

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. Ia(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. Ia(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. Ia(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

The program on Sunday was basically the same with two exceptions. The announced flypast of the Mustang and Thunderbolt with two American F-15 was advanced to the start of the show, most probably due to the expected rain. However, this was the biggest disappointment as the F-15 kept a big distance between themselves and an even bigger distance to the Mustang and Thunderbolt. After one flypast they turned and left for home, which makes you wonder if the US Air Force trains formation flight and if the F-15 is an all weather aircraft.

The other difference was of course the weather with some heavy showers during the day that had everybody hiding under their umbrellas.

My thanks go To Rachel Powell for providing press facilities.  

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last update 19. Juni 2019

Written 10. Juni 2019

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