The Aero Legends shows at Headcorn have built up a great reputation for putting on Duxford-like warbird set pieces over the last five years. 2020 could have easily been a far more subdued version of the formula but actually saw one of the most memorable routines.
The Saturday and Sunday of the show saw a trio of Duxford based warbirds join the Aero Legends fleet already on the ground at Headcorn. This meant that Headcorn was able to offer the UK debut of an Hispano Buchon in 2020, with John Romain putting on a great solo display in the difficult conditions as a mock airfield attack.
This Buchon arrival was followed by a dramatic scramble from “Parky” in Aero Legends’ single seat Spitfire Mk XI, which quickly turned to catch up the Buchon for an extended tailchase sequence combining a series of close formation passes as well as rolls.
With the dogfight over a further trio of fighters took to the sky, with Aero Legends’ two seat Spitfire NH341, flown by Charlie Brown, followed by Spitfire I N3200 (making it’s Headcorn debut) flown by Martin Overall and Dave Ratcliffe in Hurricane I R4118. The 5 fighters then formed up for a series of formation passes before an extended tailchase sequence.
This routine was made all the better by seeming so unlikely in the year that 2020 had been up to that point. It was hard to believe that such a performance could actually happen this year. Any Battle of Britain sequence that features an actual veteran machine from the conflict (Hurricane R4118) and an authentic Spitfire Mk I (N3200), is always going to be a special moment.
Watching the five fighters join the Headcorn circuit and touch back down in challenging conditions was also a great moment and after the show the Duxford based machines were taxied back down the airfield to the hangars, making for some great photo opportunities.