I’ve said it before but it needs saying again – I’m living a dream.
After a somewhat disappointing ‘appearance’ at the Abingdon Airshow as my airshow season starter (where I remained on the ground due to some epically bad weather), my next show was to be the one I was both most nervous and most excited about – the Shuttleworth Collection Classic Wings evening airshow at Old Warden.
Old Warden is home to one of the most incredible collections of rare, exotic and historic aircraft in the world, with the vast majority of the collection being in flying condition and flown regularly by the team of collection pilots, who also happen to be some of the most experienced and talented pilots in the world. With aircraft including genuine 1900’s aircraft, some of the rarest and most iconic warbirds, and my personal favourites – the record breaking Comet and Mew Gull air racers, I really was to be in incredible company.
My display slot was the last of the ‘main’ show slots (but before the Edwardian aircraft, which I was bitterly disappointed to not have seen fly due to having to depart to beat the sunset getting home), after some incredible acts. To actually see the infamous DH Comet racer flying in formation with the Spitfire and Hurricane of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, and then again in formation with Alex Henshaw’s cape record setting Percival Mew Gull will likely remain some of my all-time top airshow memories.
The main thing for me though of course, was not the watching of the other fantastic aeroplanes, but my own flight and the debut of my 2015 display sequence (slightly modified to suit the venue’s curving display line and constantly being tweaked and modified, as per normal).
More flick rolling, torque rolls, tailslides, flat spinning and lots of dynamic and traditional aerobatic maneuvers make up my performance for this season and I must say I’m having more fun with it than ever. Sliding backwards through your own smoke, flying inverted at low level along a runway, receiving rounds of applause when you get out of the aeroplane…what’s not to love?
With many more shows on the horizon this season, I’m still practicing hard and continuously developing the maneuvers and sequences to create the most thrilling and entertaining performances I possibly can – taking on as many comments and views as I can get hold of, so please, if you see me fly do let me know what you liked/didn’t like/think could be better/think would look amazing, it all helps!!
To all the chaps and chapesses at Old Warden who were so welcoming and made my visit as stress-free and enjoyable as it was, thank you. Hopefully I will be back soon 🙂