Clacton Airshow 27th and 28th August 2015
Click to see photos in the Gallery
Seventeen of us boarded the mini bus at Longwater Retail Park and left at 8:00 to see the Clacton Air Show on Thursday. This was probably our last chance of seeing the Avro Vulcan flying. We were all having a laugh and chatting on the way so time went very quickly. We arrived at the Clacton on Sea Bowls Club, but were not allowed to park our Minibus there as we had done in previous years, so Peter dropped everyone off and went to park elsewhere. Unfortunately our secretary, Jan, tripped over outside and was patched up at a local hospital. She did however get back in time to see the Air Show. I am sure we all wish her a speedy recovery. We all had a hot drink and something to eat at the Bowls Club and some of us had a go at their raffle and bought things from their stalls.
Later I went to have a look at the stalls outside along The Front and then headed for the Pier. At the end of the Pier I saw some Thames Barges (SB Hydrogen which was built in 1906, SB Kitty which was built in 1895, SB Reminder which was built in 1929 and SB Thistle which was built in 1895, also SB Pudge built in 1922) and a Piper Cub towing a banner. I stayed on the Pier as this was a good place for photographs.
At 1:00 the Air Show started with a SA Bulldog T1 and a Grob G115E Tutor T1 in formation before splitting up and doing their separate displays. Next came a Rotorsport UK Calidus autogyro. This shot from end to end and reminded a lot of group members of Ken Wallis. A rare French team came next with three Long Eze aircraft which looked like coat hangers with engines that pushed through the air while doing aerobatics. The team was called La Patrouile Reva. At 2:00 The Battle of Britain Hurricane and Spitfire flew in formation before splitting to do their solo displays and then joining up again later. Sadly the Lancaster was missing as it had engine trouble. Next came the Chinook. This did a great display coming close to the Pier with the rear crew member waving out of the back door with bright orange gloves. Following this was a rare chance to see a Mig 15 from the Historical Squadron of Norway which did a short display but was well worth seeing as it has been a long time since I have seen one fly. The B-17 Flying Fortress “Sally B” came into view and showed its topside and opened its Bomb Bay.
At 3:00 The Red Arrows flew from Norwich Airport to Clacton before starting their full display of formations and breaks which is always a crowd pleaser especially with the sea as a backdrop. Following The Red Arrows a Britten-Norman Islander flew in gaining height ready to drop a ribbon to find out the wind direction before dropping The Tigers Parachute Team. They landed in the shallow part of the sea by the beach before saluting to the Mayor. After this Team Raven flew with their white and black Van's RV-8 aircraft. These had chequered tails and noses with the American Airforce roundel on the sides. The highlight of the show for a lot of people came in the shape of a large mantis ray/Delta. This was the Avro Vulcan that had been to RAF Lakenheath previously in formation with some F-15's just before 4:00 and then coming on to Clacton. The Vulcan B2 looked spectacular displaying over the sea with the roar of its engines.
Then the last aircraft of the Air Show for the day came into view which was the delta shaped Eurofighter Typhoon with a red tail and canards celebrating Number RAF 29 Squadrons Anniversary. It did a great display and climbed with reheat on the engines. On the way back to the Bowls Club I had a chat to Cpl Andy Rae who is the PR Team Manager for the Typhoon and also managed to get some signatures of the Red Arrows Engineers who were in Clacton. Many people I know at Norwich Airport will have photos of the aircraft and pilots and many people will have obtained the autographs and booklets as they always come to the fence to see the people gathered there.
Friday was a very similar day but with the Vulcan and Chinook missing and their local Air Ambulance starting the Show.
Many thanks to the Bowls Club for their hospitality and Peter Wood for organising and driving us there and back.

Andrew Elphick        Click this Link for more information! Clacton Airshow