A who's who of aviation is coming to Norfolk's skies
PUBLISHED: 10:33 11 July 2019
There's a record breaking line up of rare and amazing aircraft and pilots at this year's Old Buckenham Airshow.
Where else could you have an absolutely amazing view of everything from the only airworthy B17 Flying Fortress in Europe and a super cool Douglas DC3 to the greatest and much loved 'big three' of the Second World War fighter aircraft; Spitfire, Hurricane and Mustang!
The line up for the display this year is so long it's almost unbelievable, with so many superstars of the aviation world it's impossible to know who takes centre stage.
It means the only airshow in Norfolk is yet again boasting a stellar display plus a host of ground-based attractions to keep everyone in the family happy.
The aircraft include those very much loved three treasures of the Second World War, plus Sally B, the heavyweight darling of the film Memphis Belle, guaranteed to grab everyone's attention as she roars across the sky.
There's an impressive collection of aerobatic aircraft too, bringing plenty of wow factor to this award-winning airshow. Norfolk's aerobatic darlings, the Wildcats, are due to give their 100th display on the first day of the airshow.
One display certainly not to be missed is what's believed to be the first ever triple Harvard flying display at Old Buckenham.
While the sight and sound of the Harvard, also known as the North American T6, is well known to airshow fans, seeing three Harvard's in formation is pretty special.
Packing 600hp and unbelievably strong, the Harvard is famous for preparing WWII fighter pilots for the extraordinary power they would be flying when they took to aircraft like the Mustang.
Showgoers will probably recognise 'Wacky Wabbit'; the Duxford-based camouflaged Harvard flown by Glen Fricker. He'll be joined by another long standing Airshow friend and display pilot genius, Nigel Willson in the second T6. Add the extremely rare fixed landing gear T6 version - known as the Yale - flown by Paul Jones and an attention grabbing triumvirate creates another Airshow first.
Spectators are in for a treat when RAF legend and author, Rod Dean, brings his masterclass in aerobatic aircraft control aboard an agile, bright yellow Slingsby. Rod has flown 59 or so different aircraft from Spitfire, Hurricane, Mustang and Meteor to Vampire and Hunter and is loved for his precision flying, crowd pleasing, showmanship.
There's more yellow too with the nifty but oh-so-elegant yellow Beechcraft Staggerwing, named High Maintenance, flying on both days.
Look out for the Historic Aircraft Collection's extraordinary Hawker Fury also displaying on both days. Originally manufactured in 1935, it's the only Fury now in existence and one of the most powerful - and beautiful - biplanes ever created.
Precious moments abound at the airshow - who will ever forget the first time Sally B came into view, or the day Honor Blackman, star of the original Goldfinger movie and Bond Girl Pussy Galore was reunited with the Hiller helicopter she piloted in the film! This year is no exception, such as the chance to not only watch the classic Douglas DC3 in action - the chic aircraft adored throughout the world for pretty much launching commercial passenger flights and idolised as the icon of the halcyon days of luxury air travel - but to climb aboard her too.
She'll be on display on the ground, starring with a red Staggerwing as part of the new static aircraft display on the airfield's Eastern Apron; a massive expansion of the exhibition and crowd space for the 2019 Airshow.
We can't wait for the super speedy and stylish SIAI-Marchetti SF.260, a slippery military trainer which easily zips its way beyond 200 mph. She'll be in the safe hands of pilot Paul Freeland, who knows a thing or two about speed as Principal Engineer of motor racing icons, Cosworth.
Paul is also one of the new crop of display pilots and displays at the Airshow with a 'Tyro' Display Authorisation; a part of the CAA's 2018 initiative to encourage more pilots to enter the top tier of aviation and become display pilots.
In Old Buckenham Airshow's inimitable style of always striving to improve, there's even more on the ground for the family to enjoy in 2019.
Check out the live evening entertainment, children's funfair and masses of stands and stalls, hundreds of classic cars, local food village, Attack and Destroy bar with specially brewed airshow beer - and an array of military displays.
What's more, the airshow not only welcomes a very special guest to open the air displays - the Town Crier of Attleborough, Alan Austin, but the first day coincides with the celebration of all that is great about our county - Norfolk Day.
The airfield's two museums are open too with the 453rd Bombardment Group Museum, which houses the largest collection of 453rd memorabilia in existence, and the 8th Air Force Heritage Gallery welcoming visitors throughout the show weekend.
Old Buckenham Airshow, July 27-28, from 10am. Tickets are available in advance for £18 per adult (£20 on the gate), £7.50 12-16 year olds, concessions available at www.oldbuckenhamairshow.com. Children under 12 are free.