As this this series of season high points comes to a close, is a look at the debut season of the Hurricane Heritage fleet being displayed by their owner, James Brown. The Hurricane Heritage brand is now a familiar name in the historic aviation scene, having been the operator of Hurricane Mk I R4118 since Peter Vacher sold the fighter back in 2015. It was always a clear stated ambition of the new owner that he would one day fly the aircraft and hoped to display it as well.
Soon after the arrival of the Hurricane the collection’s Harvard arrived from Sweden at the time wearing a less than authentic racing style scheme which was quickly removed as part of an in depth overhaul, resulting in the wonderful RAF colours the machine now wears. The Harvard made its debut display with the collection in the hands of Stu Goldspink at the June evening show at Old Warden back in 2017.
Fast forward to late 2018 and James had taken his first flight in the Hurricane, a process that has since been very well documented in a number of articles. I am also sure we all enjoy living vicariously through the Hurricane Heritage Twitter account at James’ adventures. This was a particular highlight of that first lockdown in the spring/early summer of 2020 when the Hurricane seemed to be flying just about everywhere!
Bringing things up to date and into the current year, the airshow season was able to get underway with the traditional season opener at Old Warden in May. Amongst the list of the usual displays and some notable visitors was the debut public display from James Brown in his Harvard. Having completed his display authorisation during the latter part of 2020 this was a great sight to see.
First and foremost it was wonderful to see this Harvard in a display again and what followed was a wonderful routine. High level aerobatics start the routine, making great use of that disntictive Harvard sound to keep the crowds attention, before descending into a series of passes closer to the crowd. This made for a wonderful first display and was a great moment to be present for, having followed the journey over the past few years.
As the season continued there were other Harvard displays, alongside a work up of a routine in the Hurricane. This would culminate with it being announced that James would be flying his first display in the Hurricane at Little Grandsden at the end of August.
There are few better venues to enjoy warbirds, particularly if they are operating off the airfield as the Hurricane was on the day. Being able to watch the pre and post flight activities leading up to this momentus occasion was great. As with the Harvard earlier in the season this routine was a combination of higher level aerobatics and lower sweeping figures.
This made for a great start to another chapter of the Hurricane Heritage story and added another owner operator display pilot to an illustrious list of warbird favourites over the years.
I look forward to enjoying more displays from James and the Hurricane Heritage fleet in 2022 alongside the exciting news that they will be operating the two seat Hurricane BE505 from White Waltham for flights.