Another welcome return visit of 2021 was Stow Maries. Another of the few venues to hold an airshow in 2020 but one that I have not visited for a show since 2017. Stow is a great venue and home to a wonderful museum. As one of most original WW1 airfields in the country it is also the perfect home for the World War 1 Aviation Heritage trust. The trust has based a number of the Vintage Aviator reproduction aircraft out of Stow over the years (the wonderful Sopwith Snipe, 2 examples of the Be2 and 2 Albatros).
It was the latest arrival to Stow (the “new” Albatros) that was to be the star of the show. Despite arriving in the UK late in 2018, delays relating to COVID and maintenance meant that it only made it’s debut appearance in 2020. This years opening show at Stow offered another chance to enjoy this wonderful example of a World War 1 machine take to the sky. Though wind conditions looked to ruin those plans, Jean Munn was able to get the aircraft into the air and fly a wonderful extended routine. The wonderful note of the Albatros Mercedes Benz has been much missed since the Trust’s last example returned to New Zealand following an accident. We are truly lucky to have had these wonderful reproductions operate in the UK and I look forward to many more years of enjoying them. The Albatros would be joined by the Be2 at a later Stow event as well.
Away from the WW1 machines, the show was opened with a surprise visiting act in the form of David Beale’s wonderful Mew Gull. An Old Warden regular, seeing this airframe display elsewhere is a rarity. David flew a powerful routine from this classic racer making the most of the short display line at Stow.
The Tiger Club have long been supporters of Stow Maries and this show saw the Turbulent Team deliver their tyically entertaining performance for those in attendance.
Another based WWI type also displayed, with a graceful routine from the based scale SE5a complete with display smoke system. A planned appearance from the Old Warden based Neiuport 17 was sadly stopped by high crosswinds.
One machine that did make the journey from Old Warden was the Miles Magister. Again, a rare performer aware from Old Warden this offered a great chance to see this classic Miles design up close in great conditions.
The show was brought to a close with a trio of DHC Chipmunks, marking the return of the long running “Red Sparrows” display team.