Famous Second World War aircraft to thrill the crowds at Norfolk airshow
- Credit: Archant
The line up of aircraft set for Old Buckenham Airshow on July 30-31 promises the evocative roar of a fleet of warbird engines - and much more besides.
Airshow fans are in for a huge treat with the now rarely seen sight of three Spitfires flying together. The trio is all part of a blistering programme for the summer show, which not only looks set to have the largest number of Second World War aircraft assembled at Old Buckenham Airfield since it was a wartime base, but brings many more rare, unusual, exciting - and noisy - aircraft. They'll range from the electric aircraft of the future to warplanes of today and yesteryear.
There's the return, for the 10th year running, of what's known as the most famous single-engined aircraft in the world, MH434 the Mk IX Spitfire. It's appeared in pretty much every film featuring a Spitfire - from the Battle of Britain, Land Girls and The Longest Day to A Bridge too Far and Piece of Cake.
Her appearance, with that distinctive piston engine sound, always brings a collective lump to the throat of the crowd enjoying the annual Old Buckenham Airshow. When she's joined in the Old Buckenham skies by the very first Spitfire, Mk1 and another superstar loved by film fans, Mk X1, there will barely be a dry eye to be seen.
The Spitfire may be chiefly remembered as the symbol of the Battle of Britain, but there will be plenty more misty-eyed moments from the likes of the Hawker Hurricane, a true fighting superstar of the Second World War.
Matt Wilkins, show director, said the Hurricane was a formidable beast in the war: "For every two aircraft the Spitfire shot down, the Hurricane was responsible for three. Just eight of these marvels are still flying in the UK, fewer than 20 worldwide, and we’ve been able to feature one of them for the past few years; a feat in itself."
This year will see two of these rarest and most significant aircraft of all time flying in the sky at Old Buckenham at the same time.
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The wartime tribute continues with the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, which packs an impressive 2000hp. This American multi-purpose bruiser, once loaded with rockets and bombs, is one of only two flying in the UK. It's hard to miss too, the massive Pratt and Whitney Double Wasp engine has 18 cylinders, very short exhausts and sounds like thunder!
The phenomenal warplane part of the display is all part of celebrating the 80th anniversary of the USAAF’s arrival in Norfolk and especially Old Buckenham Airfield, which was built as the wartime home of the USAAF 453rd Bombardment Group flying B-24 Liberators.
"Back by popular demand, a unique double act is returning which is a trifle more modern," said Matt. "For several years now, airshow visitors' eyes have been deceived as aerobatic legend Chris Burkett in his Extra 300 is chased around the sky, by himself. Specifically, he’s chased by a 43pc scale model of himself and his aircraft, operated from the ground by multiple champion remote control ace Mike Williams."
Matt says the flying is so extreme that it becomes particularly difficult to tell which one is which and the mystery is solved only when Mike performs the scale model’s party piece. "It has a power to weight ratio of 1:1 (Chris's full-size plane doesn’t) and so it can hover in mid-air, pointing vertically."
Second World War treasures, aerobatics and many more aircraft and displays on the set list, plus a full ground-based programme means Old Buckenham Airshow is looking set to be the best yet.
Admission is by advance ticket only. Available now at £32.50 adult, £16.25 ages 12-16, under 12s free. Find out more and book at www.oldbuckenhamairshow.com