Another show I need to catch up on is my first visit to Old Buckenham.
This show had long been on the to do list but thanks to either weather of clashes I had never quite made it.With 2021 resulting in the return of a number of airshows to the circuit, it seemed like the perfect year.
Set in the picturesque countryside, Old Buckenham was a USAAF bomber base during World War II and the onsite museum pays great tribute to those times, together with the appropriate American classic cars on show really gives a unique feel. The 2021 event lasted a wonderful variety of acts including a number of warbirds, which is always guaranteed to be a hit fro my perspective.
The runway at Old Buckenham is too short to allow many of the performing types to operate from the venue but a number of the smaller types did. The largest machines to operate from Old Buckenham on the day were the Historic Aircraft Collection Hurricane (on a rare display away from Duxford) and Anglian War Birds T6. The latter flew a wonderfully impressive aerobatic display at low level and close in to the crowd. This year has seen a revival in T-6 solos after what feels like a quiet few years and Nigel Wilson’s routine builds nicely on his always impressive Yak-52 performances we have enjoyed over the years.
The quintessentially British Tiger 9 team, on this occasion consisting of 8 Tiger Moths and the wonderful Moth Minor were a great opening act, building up the start of the show nicely as they taxied out to the grass strip.
A real highlight of the afternoon’s flying, given the airfield’s wartime history was a wonderfully graceful display from Sally B. Though Old Buckenham was a B-24 base during the war, it was still impressive to se a bomber return to the airfield and as ever, the B-17 is an impressive sight at a smaller venue such as this.
Duxford warbirds played a big part in the afternoon, with that most famous Spitfire of all, MH434 closing proceedings (alongside Mk I N3200 earlier in the day). Earlier in the show there was the billed “Victory Formation” which saw a wonderful pair of solo displays and a tail chase from Buchon Yellow 10 and Mustang Miss Helen. John Romain flew a typically polished low level aerobatic solo before John Dodd joined for a tailchase before launching into his own solo Mustang routine.
The Tiger Club supported the show well with the Turbulent Team putting on their typical entertaining show and a debut display from their Cap 10 which delivered a polished aerobatic routine.
The high point for many of the Old Buckenham line up was the RAF Typhoon display, marking a rare fast jet display for a smaller show.
All in all, Old Buckenham offers a great display and it is always good to see another of the smaller venues return following the pandemic, providing wonderful variety for the circuit.