Shuttleworth Season Premiere airshow 2017

Shuttleworth Season Premiere airshow, May 7th 2017. Photography by Steve Crampton.

Shuttleworth Season Premiere

The 2017 UK airshow season got off to a great start with the Shuttleworth Season Premiere airshow on May 7th. Celebrating the great aviator, Alex Henshaw, many of the items in the show had a connection to him, directly or indirectly - aircraft like Percival Mew Gull, G-AEXF, in which Alex famously flew from Gravesend to Cape Town and back, breaking all records and Hawker Tomtit K1786, flown by Alex during the second world war when working as a test pilot at Castle Bromwich.
Primarily showcasing the Shuttleworth Collection’s own aircraft, the flying display at this year’s Season Premiere was opened by a visiting aircraft, Plane Sailing’s Consolidated PBY Catalina, this beautiful seaplane gracing the skies over Old Warden from its base at Duxford. Old Warden based Hawker Demon, resplendent in its metallic silver livery followed, with a spirited display, before the rather strange looking Fauvel AV-36 Glider was put through its paces.
Alongside the Mew Gull, the aircraft most associated with Alex Henshaw is the Spitfire. As Chief Test Pilot at the Castle Bromwich factory, Alex Henshaw flew over 10% of all the Spitfires manufactured, so it was no surprise that Spitfires featured in the flying display. What was surprising, perhaps, was the matt black colour scheme sported by the BBMF’s Mk.XVI Spitfire when it appeared. Was this a night-fighter variant? No. It turns out this was the undercoat being used as the aircraft was in the process of being repainted. IWM Duxford based Mk1 Spitfire, N3200 was another welcome sight in the skies over Old Warden. It was hard to believe that this early model Spitfire was shot down over France in 1940 and buried on the beach at Sangatte for over 40 years, before being recovered in 1986 and restored to flying condition over many years, such was its immaculate paintwork and display.

De Havilland DH88 Comet
Sopwith Triplane
Polikarpov Po-2
Hawker Tomtit
Avro Tutor
Comper Swift
Hawker Hurricane MkI
Hawker Sea Hurricane MkI
Percival Mew Gull
Consolidated PBY Catalina
Consolidated PBY Catalina
Consolidated PBY Catalina
Hawker Demon
Hawker Demon
Hawker Demon
Piper Super Cub
Fauvel AV-36 Glider
Fauvel AV-36 Glider
Spitfire Mk LF XVIE
Spitfire Mk LF XVIE
Spitfire Mk LF XVIE
Miles Messenger
Miles Messenger
Miles Messenger
De Havilland DH.85 Leopard Moth
De Havilland DH.85 Leopard Moth
De Havilland DH.85 Leopard Moth
De Havilland DH.60X Moth
De Havilland DH.60X Moth
De Havilland DH.60X Moth
Miles Gemini
Avro Anson
Avro Anson and De Havilland Dragon Rapide

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