Duxford and Mildenhall – 18th September 2020

As we come to the end of another national lockdown (for some at least), the relative freedom we all enjoyed across August and September seems a long time ago. I thought it would be a fitting start to this years series of Advent posts to share this account of a warm Friday in September.

IMG_1784

Originally in many diaries as the first day of the 2020 Duxford Battle of Britain airshow, the show was sadly cancelled due to the pandemic a week or so before it took place. With the day booked off it only seemed right to go Duxford.

IMG_1674

The morning at Duxford was fairly quiet with only a few movements before lunch. Browsing online it became apparent that RAF Mildenhall were having a birthday event that afternoon and there would be some limited aerial activity.

IMG_1706

What followed was a quick drive up into Sufflok in time for the planned flying to take place. Mildenhall is always a great place to visit anyway with plenty of based USAF aircraft in the circuit. The first flying appearance was a welcome box four of fighters from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight perfuming a few flypasts. This was great to see as it was my only chance to see the BBMF in action this year.

IMG_1717

The fighters were followed by a series of flypasts in differing formations from the Red Arrows, again my only sighting of the RAFs display team.

IMG_1740

It was then left to a series of flypasts from the locally based aircraft, with four Lakenheath based F-15 Eagles leading the way, followed by a KC-135 Tanker, C-130 Hercules and a CV-22 Osprey.

IMG_1759

With the entertainment complete at Mildenhall it was time to get back to Duxford. John Romain was due to back in the NHS Spitfire PL983, fresh from its latest sortie covering Northern Ireland and Wales. I was convinced we had got back to Duxford too late but shortly after parking up that familiar sound and sight of the Mk XI Spitfire came around the corner into the circuit.

IMG_1788

In the late afternoon light there was a rare treat of a Belgian registered Bell 47 flying a practice display alongside a Duxford based Piper Cub. This routine offered a great combination of low and slow aircraft.

IMG_1819

The days flying entertainment was brought to a close with an extended aerobatic practice from Harvard Wacky ‘Wabbit, which looked great in the afternoon light.

IMG_1848

While not quite the day at Duxford that had been planned, it was great to spend a day chasing aeroplanes again and enjoying some unexpected practice displays too.

IMG_1878

Hopefully 2021 can see plenty more of these days take place as the world recovers from the events of 2020.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s