Duxford Air Festival 28th May 2017  
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Some friends and I went to Duxford on the 28th May, on a full Easton Coach, see the Air Festival celebrating Duxford's centenary. Sitting behind me was Dave Ditton and his son. On arrival we had our bags searched due to the recent Manchester bombing.
In the glorious morning sun I joined my friends and walked down the Flightline taking photos of the aircraft along the way. I saw a Gloster Gladiator, Curtis Hawk, the usual Harvard and Tiger Moths doing Pleasure Flights. A few visiting aircraft were also arriving. In some of the hangers I noticed a British Antartic Survey Twin Otter and a French aerobatic Xtreme Air XA-42 while in Hanger 1there was a replica of the Bloodhound land speed record car. Later I had a look inside a Bell-Boeing CV-22B Osprey and sat in the cockpit. After this I rejoined my friends and watched the display.
At 1:15 the Red Devils jumped out of a BN-2A Islander based at Headcorn. One parachutist had a large Union Jack while another had a Parachute Regiment flag. A North American Rockwell OV-10B Bronco displayed with poppies painted on and Lest We Forget 1914-18 on the upper surfaces of the wing and tail. This was to commemorate the First World War battlefields in Flanders where the Bronco is based. A Eurofighter Typhoon FGR from RAFNo 29 (R) Squadron RAF Coningsby came next and did a lovely display using smoke from its tail.
Two PT-17 Stearman from the Breitling Wingwalkers/Aerosuperbatics did their usual display with lots of smoke.
At 2:15 the B-17 "Sally B" formed up with a P-51D Mustang "Miss Velma" before doing solo displays.
Next came a Sopwith Pup, which did its usual display, as the wind was light.
Later an Avro 504K, two Fokker DR1 Triplanes, one of which I recognised from Shipdham's hanger, two Junkers CL1s, a Royal Aircraft Factory BE2C, three Royal Aircraft Factory SE5as and a Sopwith Triplane re-enacted a scene from WW1 having dog fights and bombing the ground using pyrotechnics.
Next a Calidus Autogyro displayed. Then an Army Air Westland Apache took off for a display using pyrotechnics on the ground while there was a running commentary of the battle scene. After this it did its usual display.
"The Blades" in their four Extra EA-300/330SCs took off to do their aerobatic and formation display.
Next a BAC 167 Strikemaster and a BACJet Provost T5 started their engines in front of us and warmed us up with hot air before flying in formation.
This was followed with the Shuttleworth's Collection's DH 88 Comet racer and two Mew Gulls also from Shuttleworth. After this came a DH90 Dragonfly and a DH89 Dragon Rapide which flew in formation.
A rare Norwegian Noordyn UC-64 Norseman and a DHC-2 Beaver also went into formation before breaking off to do their solo dispays. Trig Aerobatics, using two Pitts S-1D Specials, did an aerobatic display.
Next came the Consoildated PBY-5A Catalina from Plane Sailing.
Unfortunatly the DH-110 Sea Vixen did not fly due to a belly up landing at RNAS Yeovilton after it had done its Saturday display at Duxford. Thankfully the pilot is O.K and he managed to eject although the plane caught fire and was badly damaged.
At 5:15, for many the highlight of the show came in the shape of the French Air Force Dassault Rafale C which had flown from Cambridge Airport. This was in a special livery and did a wonderful display, which I thought was even better than the Typhoon.
Sadly the Mig 15UTI, which had refuled at Norwich Airport on Friday, from Norway could not start so two Supermarine Spitfire 1as took off and did a short display before being called back due to weather conditions and a road accident. Duxford also wanted to clear the visiting aircraft before anymore bad weather crept in.
Sadly it was time to leave and head back to the coach. Hopefully the Sea Vixen and Mig 15 will be back and the pilot of the Sea Vixen is soon back in the air.
Andrew Elphick