At 10:00 I arrived at Old Buckenham with my parents, paid for our tickets and purchased a programme. First I headed for the Pleasure Flights area near runway 25 where there was a Cessna F172H Skyhawk, a Robinson R-44 II and a yellow Boeing Stearman. As well as these there was a yellow Beech Staggerwing called "High Maintenance".
As the main flying display was at 1:30pm I spent the morning having a look around the stalls, where I noticed our Aviaton Group's stall with some of the members helping to sell books etc. Nearby our stall there was the "New Farm Aviation Heritage Group" and "The Spirit of Coltishall" stall from Neatishead Radar Museum, with its Jaguar cockpit, which attracted the attention of many children who were queuing to sit inside. Further round there were plenty of Classic Cars to view and Military vehicles. In the far corner there were tank rides and a monster truck to ride on.
After going back to where I started from I saw some visiting aircraft. Then at 12:00 a Yak-52 dropped some Teddy Bears out of the plane, "The Ted Devils", that were wearing parachutes. When they had landed some Honda Gyro canopy scooters picked them up. The Bears' parachutes had made and had been nominated by local schools. The "Wild Cats" in their black and white Pitts Specials performed aerobatics before the main show, but would also be appearing later.
At 1:30 the flying display started with Matt Summers who flew his aerobatic Van's RV8. Next Maurice Hammond came into view with his North American P-51D Mustang "Janie". He performed an excellent display with the distinctive sound and whistling of the Merlin Engine. An Auster AOP6, which I also saw at Farnborough Air show a couple of weeks ago, then took off and showed how versatile it was as a reconnaissance aircraft. The Yak-52 came and did a further solo display before the Supermarine Spitfire LF IXB from The Old Flying Machine Company from Duxford performed, on the Sunday only, for a record fifth year running. Next a CASA 1 131E Jungmann 200 biplane did its classic aerobatic display.
The B-17G Flying Fortress, Sally B/Memphis Belle, came in low over the flight path and showed how maneuverable it was, also displaying with its bomb bay open. Later it poured smoke from its engines to commemorate all those who had flown the American bombers especially around this area. The "Wildcats" Pitts Special's did their usual aerobatic display, together with the heart but with the cupid's arrow missing following the Edge aerobatic plane crash.
The Hawker Nimrod II was a bit disappointing as it was too far away due to the latest rules following the Shoreham air crash last year. The Consolidated Catalina did a wonderful display showing its floats both down and up. This was used extensively during WWII to rescue downed pilots from the sea and Coastal Command anti shipping/submarine hunting and bombing. Later it would go into service, water bombing to put fires out.
The Extra EA 300/S and remote controlled model version did a great display with the remote controlled aircraft trying to mirror the Extra and sometimes outperforming it. After the display "The Honey Belles" sung various songs from the 1940s while everywhere was being packed up.
It is estimated that over 5000 people attended the Show over the two days making this one of the best shows ever for Old Buckenham.
Andrew Elphick
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