Duxford August Flying Days

One of the high points of the past two seasons has been the increased regular flying days from Duxford. These events, broadly every other weekend through the summer offer a 1-2 hour flying display from a selection of based aircraft as part of an otherwise standard museum day. I’ve already covered the May and June events but thought I’d use this post to cover off the three days that took place in August. At the height of the Summer holiday, these were all mid-week events and each had very different styles.

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The first event had a notional theme of “19 Squadron” which were of course based at Duxford as was the based Spitfire N3200. In practice, N3200 was about the only act with a direct link to the theme. The event had an unusual line up but did offer some unique sights. First and foremost a notable visitor on the flightline was recently the recently restored radial Yak 3 now based at North Weald. This was the first time I’d seen the airframe since it left Duxford after an extended post Legends stay some years ago.

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Another pre-show treat came in the form of a couple of passes from a pair of Lakenheath based F-15s, a clear bonus of having a mid-week show and some welcome support from the USAF.

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The main show kicked off with the Battle of Britain pairing of Spitfire I N3200 and Hurricane I G-HRLI. Both aircraft flew one pass together, before flying their own solo aerobatic displays. John Romain put on a typically polished routine in the Spitfire.

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Next there was a wonderful exhibition of Yak-50 aerobatics from Petery Kypers, more often seen at the controls of B-17 Sally B or one of Aero Legends’ Dakotas. A very rare UK appearance up next, with a solo display from a Nanchang CJ-6. While there are now a few examples of the type airworthy, I can’t recall seeing a display in a number of years.

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The trio of radials was wrapped up with a wonderful routine from Nigel Wilson in Anglian Warbirds’ T-6. I commented in my Old Buckenham report that this routine really was an impressive account of this great trainer.

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The final act of the day was a rare appearance from Stu Goldspink at the controls of a Mustang. P-51D Miss Helen made for a great show closer with some graceful aerobatics.

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The middle of the three showcase days was a bit of an oddity. The show actually only featured three light performances. With the Tiger Club Cap 10 putting on a particularly spirited display, alongside the Hurricane Heritage Harvard and Peter Kypers’ Yak 50. This was a bit of a shock as it wasn’t billed as being different to any other flying day. The sting was taken out of this reduced day a little with the sight and sound of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight carrying out full engine runs in the morning.

The final August flying day was very much a return to form with a great selection of aircraft on show. Stu Goldspink bookended either end of the show, with a graceful opening routine in the Fighter Collection’s Corsair and flying the penultimate slot of the day in Hurricane R4118. This Hurricane routine in particular will live long in the memory with wonderful flowing vertical aerobatics (the first time I can recall this airframe doing so at a public event before).

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Steve Jones put on a wonderfully impressive high energy aerobatic sequence in Spitfire I N3200. This sequence offered a very different routine to the typical Mk I displays.

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David Beale made a welcome Flying Day debut with his Mew Gull, marking another rare appearance away from Old Warden.

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This show also featured two displays from a pair of display teams, one brand new and one very much tied into airshow tradition. The Starlings flew an impressive routine of high enrrgy and formation aerobatics and the Turbulent team delivered their usual level of fun for the assembled crowds.

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The August flying days overall provided a great chance to enjoy some planned flying at Duxford and in places brought some truly special moments for the 2021 season.

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