The only UK formal airshow to take place in a traditional format was Headcorn’s three day event in September put on by Aero Legends. This featured the usual combination of based machines and visiting warbirds. Despite very strong winds and low cloud throughout the weekend, it was remarkable a show went ahead at all, let alone the spectacular event that was delivered.
Many of the pilots put in impressive performances to put on a display during that weekend but I don’t think many were working harder than the Stampe display team. With winds gusting in the 30 knot range, I don’t think many would have been surprised if the team of biplane trainers had not got out of the hangar, let alone into the air.
However, on all three days the Stampes were able to take to the sky and despite the blustery conditions they put on a wonderful display on each occasion. On the Saturday of the show, the team even flew twice, initially as a four ship, before following up with a 5 ship display later in the day.
The four ship display was closed off with a tailchase and break before the ever impressive solo aerobatic performance from team leader Chris Jessen. This display is one of the best vintage aerobatic routines around. Whilst conditions prevented the usual array of flick-rolls, the incredibly tight loops being flown into the strong headwind made for a great spectacle.
While the big warbirds will often steal the headlines at a show such as Headcorn, the Stampe display team once again made a great impression and remained a memorable part of each day. Being a Headcorn local I’ve grown up enjoying these displays and it has been a joy to see the team get out and about more around the country for others to enjoy.