Scampton Airshow   10th September 2017
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At 6 a.m. I boarded an Easton's coach from Castle Meadow with a couple of friends and headed for Scampton. On the way we stopped at the Farm Shop at Holbeach for a quick break. As there had been a car crash on the A15, we had to go past RAF Cranwell and we saw the two Gate Guards (Dominie and Jet Provost). Eventually we got to RAF Scampton at around 10 a.m. and queued up to be searched. After getting a programme and map we made our way to the static aircraft. There we saw a mixture of old and new aircraft which included a McDonnell Douglas CF 118 Hornet (188783), the SAAB Silver Wings Team (Draken (35810 SE-DXP), Viggen (37098 SEDXN), Lansen (32542 SE-RMD) and a Tunen (29670 SE-DXB) and various civil aircraft. Also Scampton's Hawker Hunter Aviation Team was outside, with a Hawker Sidley Buccaneer (XX885 G-HHAA), a Sukhoi Su-22 M-4 (98+14), a Mc Donnell Douglas F-4F Phantom II (37+89) and a Hunter 58 (ZZ191). In addition, there was also a collection of classic cars.

The Flying Display started at 11 a.m with a Pitts Special (G-EWIZ) doing various aerobatics. Next came an Avro C19 Anson (G-AHKX) from the Shuttleworth Collection, followed by a Calidus Autogyro (G-DISP). A Bombardier Sentinel R1 (ZJ191) led nine Red Arrows which made a wonderful formation. My friends and I then moved to the far end where the Red Arrows had parked and saw the rest of the Show from there. This was a good area for taxiing aircraft and we were just in time to see the RAF Falcons jump from a Canadian registered Dornier 228 (C-FPSH), which did a low drop before landing. Later we saw a Percival Pembroke C1 (WV740 G-BNPH) taxi before doing a few circuits of the airfield. Sadly, due to where we were standing, the Stand by the enclosures was in the way of our seeing much of the main display, but you can't have everything. Behind a Catalina and Merlin we could just see a Belgian Air Force SABCA (GD) F-16A MLU Fighting Falcon (FA-123), warming up before taxiing. This was a special one with the Belgian flag on the tail and stripes on the wings. It did a marvellous show and later took off with its spare (FA-136).

Instead of the programmed show of two Strikemasters, a BAC Jet Provost T5 (XW325 G-BWGF) and a BAC Strikemaster Mk 82A (425 G-SOAF) flew in formation together. Duxford's Boeing B-17 Sally B (124485 G-BEDF) took off and did its usual display to commemorate all the U.S Bomber crews. Another Duxford owned aircraft came in the form of the Catalina (433915 G-PBYA "Miss Pick Up") which did a lovely display showing off its amphibious floats etc. A North American P-51D Mustang called "Tall in the Saddle"(472035 G-SIJJ) from North Weald took off and did a briliant display. Next came The Global Stars with their four aerobatic aircraft (Extra 300/S G-EXIL, Extra EA260 G-EXTR, Extra EA300/SC G-IHHI, Mudry CAP 232 G-IITC), which did several maneuvers in formation and separately. Later two Boeing Stearman (SE-BOG) and (N74189) took off with the Breitling Wingwalkers and displayed with two girls on top of the wings. As the Battle of Britain Flight was cancelled a KC-135R Stratotanker (58-0066) from Pease Air National Guard Base in New Hampshire, New England flew over, showing first its refueling pod down and then up. Next came a Westland Gazelle HT3 (ZB623 G-CBSK) from the Gazelle Sqn followed by The Red Arrows with only eight aircraft as the wife of Red 5 pilot, Chris Lyndon Smith, had just had a baby girl, so he was unable to join the display.

A Dassault Alpha Jet E (E26) with a special painted tail took off before flying around doing various maneuvers. A Boeing 727 (G-ORSB) Oil Spill Response plane flew over and sprayed water instead of oil dispersant. Next came a North American OV-10 Bronco (99+18 G-ONAA) which took off showing the words "Lest we Forget" and had poppies along its fuselage. A Norwegian DH100 Vampire FB6 (PX-K LN-DHY) and a Norwegian DH115 Vampire T55 (PX-M LN-DHZ) taxied around not far from where we were standing, before turning and taking off to do their formation flying. To finish the Air Display a Eurofighter FGR4 (ZJ352) from RAF Coningsby flew in before doing its solo display.

On leaving the Show we went past Lincoln and saw the Bomber Command Memorial in the background and Lincoln Cathedral. We also passed RAF Waddington, where we noticed a Boeing RC-135W Airseeker and some E-3D Sentrys, then we passed RAF Cranwell. Had there been extra time we could have had a look at the Scampton Heritage Museum and indoor events. However as it was a nice day, although a bit breezy and dull, I still enjoyed it and cannot wait for next year's Air Show.

Andrew Elphick

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