Somewhere above “an airshow at all” on the list of “things I didn’t expect to see in 2020” would be the sight of a BAE Jetstream being flown through a dynamic solo display at an airshow. Even less likely to my mind would be this performance taking place at a venue as perfect as Old Warden.
Cut to 2nd August 2020 and the start of the second Shuttleworth Collection drive in airshow and you’d be forgiven for assuming it was one of the based machines being put through its paces in the hold to the west of the airfield.
Soon it would become apparent though that it was in fact Cranfield University’s BAE Jetstream which ran in with typical Old Warden style. Unsurprising given that it was the former chief pilot Dodge Bailey behind the controls.
This routine made this once commonplace type take on a whole new appearance with a routine closely modelling the more familiar twin at Old Warden, the DH88 Comet. The routine ended with wonderful “zoom” climb departure away from the cross runway at Old Warden.
This was a truly unexpected way to kick off the first daytime show of the season and made for a unique sight in a year where the organisers could have been forgiven for “just” booking the usual acts.