Displays | May Air Display, Duxford, 4th May 2003

 

Gloster Gladiator (G-AMRK) at Duxford - Click for Full Image

Republic P47-D Thunderbolt (226671) "No Guts No Glory" - Click for Full Image
 

The May 2003 Air Display at Duxford was blessed with a fine sunny day; however a blustery wind caused a few problems with the Avro Lancaster from the Battle of Britain Flight being the main casualty. However, Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress 'Sally B' more than made up for the missing Lancaster - I cannot think of a more inspiring sight than seeing this wonderful aircraft flying across the Duxford air strip.

Other impressive participants were the wonderful Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, Fiesler Storch and Bristol Blenheim. A particular highlight for me was the sight of the Shuttleworth Collection's Gloster Gladiator, a quite beautiful aircraft in immaculate condition and the only current airworthy example. I can remember seeing this aircraft as a young boy at a number of Old Warden displays - to see it again was a joy. It's hard to believe that the Gladiator was involved in hostilities only a few years before the advent of jets - a testimony to the speed of aircraft development during the period around the second world war. Another impressive participant was the Avro Anson of the Air Atlantique Historic Flight, especially impressive when taking off in tandem with the Blenheim.

The RAF were well represented with a Tornado, Jaguar, Hawk and Tucano all giving very impressive displays - the Tornado is always a very impressive sight and it's low level, swept wing, high speed pass is always a showstopper for me. It didn't let me down. A nice surprise was the late inclusion in the show of Duxford-based North American T28, although it only flew in to Duxford for it's display and did not land it was great top see this aircraft with it's distinctive sound put through it's paces.

Shame about the Lancaster but all in all this was a very enjoyable day!

 

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