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The place where pilots come to play

PUBLISHED: 08:33 10 March 2018

Spot the shark's mouth when the famous Mustang flies at Old Buckenham. Picture Eirik Ostensjo

Spot the shark's mouth when the famous Mustang flies at Old Buckenham. Picture Eirik Ostensjo

Eirik Ostensjo

A legendary warbird, an aerobatic icon and some of the best ice cream in Norfolk - the news for the next Old Buckenham Airshow simply gets better and better. We find out more.

The proximity flying of the Extra duo has to be seen to be believed.  Picture John AllanThe proximity flying of the Extra duo has to be seen to be believed. Picture John Allan

A WWII P-51 Mustang fighter is threatening to steal the show at one of the biggest airshows in Europe this summer.

One of the aviation superstars of World War II, no other wartime plane could go as high or as fast as the legendary P-51 Mustang,

But even this esteemed history doesn’t give it the guaranteed top spot at the Old Buckenham Airshow in south Norfolk on July 28-29.

It’s sharing the bill with the most famous Spitfire flying today, plus a Douglas DC3, a Flying Fortress and many more famous aircraft and high profile pilots.

The synchronised aerobatic flight of the Extra Duo. Picture John AllanThe synchronised aerobatic flight of the Extra Duo. Picture John Allan

The Mustang is arguable the only fighter aircraft to be held in the same regard as the Spitfire, says airshow event organiser Matt Wilkins, delighted to have them both at the airshow.

“We’re rapidly running out of WWII icons to display at this year’s airshow. The addition of P-51 Mustang ensures that we’ve got the two most inspirational fighters of the war joining the legendary Sally B, B17 Flying Fortress and a DC3; a line up beyond the wildest dreams of most airshows,” he adds.

The Mustang appearing is dubbed the Shark, due to the distinctive shark’s mouth design on its nose, part of a rare RAF nose art idea.

The crowd pleasing favourites continue too, with the Extra and scale model display returning by popular demand.

The distinctive Mustang shark is joining the line up at the Old Buckenham Airshow. Picture Eirik OstensjoThe distinctive Mustang shark is joining the line up at the Old Buckenham Airshow. Picture Eirik Ostensjo

Watch aerobatic pilot Chris Burkett flying his cutting edge carbon fibre Extra through one of the most demanding sequences of aerobatic manoeuvres seen in public. In a ‘little and large’ display, his aircraft is chased around the sky by champion pilot Mike Williams - piloting a 41 per cent remote-controlled scale model of the Extra.

The synchronised display was voted ‘Airshow moment of the year’ when first performed and was a highlight in a show of highlights at Old Buckenham last year.

There is much more too. The airshow is welcoming a few lucky budding aviators to start their flying career aboard another WWII icon.

“We’ll be joined by a T6 Texan, better known in the UK as the Harvard, a WWII fighter trainer,” says Matt.

Some of the flavours created in Norfolk by Dann's Ice Cream and heading to the Old Buckenham Airshow. Picture Dann's Ice CreamSome of the flavours created in Norfolk by Dann's Ice Cream and heading to the Old Buckenham Airshow. Picture Dann's Ice Cream

He explains that those climbing in the cockpit will not just be taking a pleasure flight; they’ll be taking control of the iconic aircraft under the steady hand and guidance of a highly experienced war bird pilot and instructor.

The family friendly airshow is the only airshow to make the list of Country Life’s 100 events of the Greatest Summer Ever and was the winner of the 2016 EDP Hoseasons Tourism Awards Family Event of the Year.

Part of the family friendly appeal is affordable ice creams and this year the airshow is working with Dereham-based Dann’s Ice Cream to offer the best ice cream it can – at wallet pleasing prices.

The luxury ice cream is all made on the family’s Norfolk farm using milk from a pedigree Holstein-Friesian herd, adds Matt.

Luxury lollies from Dann's Ice Cream will be on offer at the airshow. Picture Dann's Ice CreamLuxury lollies from Dann's Ice Cream will be on offer at the airshow. Picture Dann's Ice Cream

Find out more about the Old Buckenham Airshow on July 28-29 2018 at www.oldbuckenhamairshow.co.uk

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