Displays | Jubilee Air Display, Duxford, 5th May 2002

 

A delightful day of weather across the majority of the UK did not quite extend to Duxford for the Jubilee Air Show. On arrival, heavy rain clouds dominated the skyline but thankfully the conditions had improved somewhat by the time that the flying started. However, the high winds prevented the Spitfire and Hurricane of the Battle of Britain Memorial flight leaving Lincolnshire and the RAF Falcons parachute had to be postponed. In addition, the Memorial Flight's Lancaster was another late absentee. Those changes though did not affect a highly enjoyable day with a great collection of aircraft included in the show.

A visit to the flightline was a worthwhile additional cost and enabled me to get really close to the Bristol Blenheim, Tigercat F7F, Bearcat F8F, Spitfire Mk9 and Spitfire T9, Kittyhawk, Corsair and Mustang. It was also great to get a good look at the Tornado GR4 which was giving it's first public display of 2002.

Following the postponement of the parachute jump the show was opened by the Falklands Anniversary Tribute of Helicopters including the Wasp, Chinook and Puma. Also included was the majestic site of the Merlin giving it's first ever public display. It was a good way to start. Next was the section I had being looking forward to, aircraft of 1952 being represented by the Spitfire T9, Grumman Bearcat F8F and Tigercat F7F. This trio was a complete joy, the sound of the merlin engine and the two cats being everything I had hoped for and more. The Spitfire is of additional interest as it was originally built as a LF (Low Altitude Fighter) Mk9 and was the first allied aircraft to shoot down an enemy aircraft on D-Day when it claimed a Ju88. Towards the end of their display, B17-G Flying Fortress "Sally B" took off and it did so in a such a majestic manner! I had forgotten how delightful this aircraft looks, particularly when in flight. For me this section of the display was worth the entrance fee by itself.

This was followed by an impressive display by the RAF Tornado GR4 and then a varied collection of aircraft under the banner of "Royal Flying & Aircraft of 1952", this included the great sight of the Bristol Fighter and Avro Tutor from the Shuttleworth Collection at Old Warden.

Bringing the airshow towards its conclusion were the Breitling fighters; Spitfire Mk9, Kittyhawk, Corsair and Mustang. A great group of aircraft and a fine display, for me, this was a great end. The Harrier GR7 providing a worthy encore although by this time I was on the way back to the car to beat the crowds.

The weather might have tried to spoil the day - but it didn't come close. Many thanks to everyone involved for a fine show!

 

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