Duxford VE Day Anniversary Air Show 24th May 2015

Pictures of the restored Blenheim can to seen on the left of this page.

On a mixed day weather wise, two friends and I went to the Park and Ride near Cambridge by car. After paying four pounds for parking, we boarded the double decker bus and headed for Duxford. We made for the Flightline just after two Westland WAH-64 Apache AH1's arrived. After walking past the "Sally B/Memphis Belle" of which the B-17 Preservation Ltd were celebrating 40 years, we saw three Mustangs including what used to be "Old Crow" and which is now painted as a RAF Mustang Mk IVA with a Sharks mouth and belongs to the Norwegian Spitfire Foundation. We also saw a Beech 18 and a Meteor T7. Then an Agusta A109 arrived and parked over by the civilian visiting aircraft.
It was then onto the Apaches with Gunship 1 and Gunship 2 of the "Attack Helicopter Display Team" where I had a chat to a ground crew operator. Other aircraft included a Bristol F2B Fighter, Nieuport 17, RAF BE2, Travel Type R Mystery Ship, two Sparton Executive 7Ws, a Hawker Fury, making its first public display and a Sea King making its last season for their year. It will then be the Coastguards Agusta 139 or Sikorsky 92 next year. We then had a look at the American Hanger which is being refurbished and updated, so most of the aircraft are stored elsewhere. Inside was a B-29 Superfortress, a Super Sabre and a B-52. We then moved into the Aerospace Hanger where the Restoration Room was full of American aircraft including a SR-71 Blackbird, a Mustang and a B-17.
The show started at 2:00 with "The Road to the Second World War: The First World War". The Bristol F2B Fighter, a Nieuport 17 replica and a Royal Aircraft Factory BE2e flew in formation before splitting up to perform their individual displays. It was then the "VJ Day Salute Part 1" with a Corsair, Wildcat/ Martlet and a desert coloured P-40F Warhawk called "Lees Hope" in formation doing their display. They then formed up with the B-17G Flying Fortress "Sally B" and the three Mustangs in formation and just behind that a Catalina, C-47 Skytrain and a Beech 18 made up the "VE Day Salute". After a while the Mustangs split off and did "The VJ Day Salute Part 2". Later on the B-17 flew on her own, as the BBMF Lancaster could not fly, to form "Fighting Back-the Bomber War".
At 2:45 a Gloster Meteor T7 from Air Atlantique flew in large circles while the Beaver and Cosmic Wind flew later "Celebrating Peace and Commemorating Sacrifice Part 1". It was then onto another highlight of the show with a formation called "On the Defensive" with two Spitfire Mk 1a's and the Bristol Blenheim Mk 1 from the Aircraft Restoration Company/Historic Flying Ltd. The Blenheim was flown by John Romain and was built with the help of John Smith (Smudger), who is a great friend of our Club. The Norwich and District Aviation Group has been following the progress of restoring the Bristol Blenheim MkI for a number of years and we have been lucky enough to see behind the scenes watching him and others build it, so it was especially nice to see it in the air as this was the first Airshow it has flown in. Then a Hurricane Mk XII flew a solo.
At 3:20 a formation of a Gloster Gladiator and Hawker Sea Fury Mk 1, which was making its debut, flew together while two Sparton Executive 7W's, one of which I saw at Farnborough, a Travel Air Type R Mystery Ship, which I have never seen, and a Beech D17S Staggerwing flew in formation. This formation was called "The Road to The Second World War:The Inter-War Years". Later The Red Bull Duo Paul Bonholme and Steve Jones who race in the Red Bull Air Race' s going around pylons did various aerobatics in the cloud. They were in a section called "Celebrating Peace and Commemorating Sacrifice Part 2".
At 4:00 a Dragon Rapide and Avro Anson formed together making the "Second World War: With the Armies and the Navies" section. It was then on to the Sea King from Wattisham doing a dry rescue display "Celebrating Peace and Commemorating Sacrifice Part 3". Later a Yak-3 flew attacking a Storch while a Piper L-4 Cub, Auster Autocrat and Catalina were scanning the area depicting a time during the Second World War. This formed "The Second World War: With the Armies and the Navies, Part 2".
At 4:50 a pair of Westland Apaches from Wattisham took off to do their display. Sadly no pyrotechnic battles on the field but still a good show. Also the red 29 Sqn Eurofighter did its display and the Red Arrows finished the Show in their new livery and the sun came out at the end while doing their new formations such as Blackbird etc. This was called "Celebrating Peace and Commemorating Sacrifice, Part 4".
Just before 5:30 we headed for the Park and Ride near the entrance to return to Trumpington Road and our car.


Andrew Elphick

Click this Link for more information! Duxford VE Day Display