A record breaking airshow on the way to Old Buckenham
PUBLISHED: 08:11 16 June 2018
Paul Johnson/Flightline UK
Wingwalking, movie stars, Great War aircraft, the RAF and rides in a tank - is there anything that isn't happening at the two day Old Buckenham Airshow?
The chance to ride in a tank and a helicopter and even take control of a high performance World War Two Harvard trainer is all part of the weekend at the award winning Norfolk airshow on July 28-29.
The show has aircraft from every significant era since powered flight began, from the flyweight triplanes and biplanes of the Bremont Great War Display Team to the heavyweight Sally B, the B-17 Flying Fortress and superstar of the Memphis Belle and the super lightweight carbon fibre Extra.
Fans of fast moving and flashy aircraft will be delighted with the aerobatic line up with the Vans RV8, Wildcat Aerobatics Pitts Specials, Extra plus 41pc scale replica and the Slingsby.
The supercool bright yellow aerobatic Slingsby is brought by Rod Dean, who has flown pretty much every member of an aircraft dream team, including Chipmunk, Jaguar, Hurricane, Spitfire, Bearcat, Vampire, Venom and Mustang, and is known for his elegant aerobatic routines.
While the Mustang, Hawker Hurricane and Spitfire MH434 are guaranteed crowd pleasers who virtually steal the show wherever they go, particularly in this year – the 100th anniversary of the RAF – they could find themselves in the shadow of some other very special wartime greats.
The Bremont Great War Display Team flies replica World War One aircraft, and will be recreating flying-by-the-seat-of-their-pants dogfights in the Old Buckenham skies in south Norfolk.
The wartime biplanes and triplanes were built when powered flight was in its infancy and aircraft designers were still very much experimenting.
It means the replicas have a huge amount of charm, but can be very difficult to handle with limited visibility, stability and problems flying into wind among the challenges.
“It’s tricky, but that’s all part of it,” said Peter Bond, a Great War team pilot based near Dereham who is looking forward to bringing the unusual display to Old Buckenham.
He flies his homebuilt Fokker Triplane and the team is very excited about its Norfolk date, added fellow team pilot Gordon Brander.
“We are delighted to be appearing at the Old Buckenham Airshow for the first time. It is an event which has grown steadily over several years and is a very attractive show for us.
“Pete is delighted he has an airshow on his home patch and is really looking forward to flying in front of what has become known as a very enthusiastic and knowledgeable audience,” said Gordon.
What’s more, the Great War planes may even be landing on the grass runway at Old Buckenham. Landing at airshows is a rarity for these aircraft as several don’t actually have a wheel at the tail, so can only land on grass.
The airshow has a record breaking 24 displays over the two days, including a wingwalker and a very special tribute to the RAF.
Matt Wilkins, airshow organiser said the vast numbers of tickets already sold show that people are, justifiably, getting very excited about the weekend: “The only way to try and live up to last year’s record breaking airshow is to break yet more records.
“We’ve done that by having more displays than ever but quantity goes hand in hand with quality. No greater demonstration of this can there be but the news the Sally B, the only flying B-17 Flying Fortress, will be displaying both days.
“We’re looking forward to having our best, and definitely biggest, airshow yet.”
On the ground is more to see and do than ever before at the airshow weekend, which sets out to appeal to all the family, not just air display and aircraft enthusiasts.
There are more classic cars booked than ever before, a variety of different stalls in the Food Village, chances to have a go at various controls and all manner of stands, entertainment and military displays.
There is masses of free parking and children under 12 are free.
Tickets for Old Buckenham Airshow, July 28-29, from £12 online. www.oldbuckenhamairshow.co.uk