2020 hasnt been the best year for everyone, in fact it is fair to say that many would want the year to be scrubbed now. The Covid pandemic has taken far too many people too early and left us with a new reality, social distancing.
Instead of accepting this new reality, the good people at the Shuttleworth Trust decided to think differently, with the help of the local Council and many others they devised the Drive-In airshow.
Having heard so many good things about the initial event, I took the plunge and bought a ticket for the 2nd August show. I was not disappointed, it proved to be an absolute god send.
Each vehicle had it’s own box in the natural ampitheatre of Old Warden. Commentary was brodcast over FM radio with ample refreshment and comfort stations. Having arrived at 11.00am I did not expect to get so close to the crowdline and I have subsequently heard some mumblings that people who arrived early found themselves a way away from the front.
The show theme was “at the Movies”, however it could have been just anything and the crowd would have lapped it up. A spritied performance from Cranfield University’s Jetstream 31 kicked us off, followed by John Romain in Arco’s Spitfire PRXI. The one that has been all over the UK, thanking the NHS for their hard work and dedication during the ongoing pandemic.
We were then treated to a variety of aircraft from the Collection. An odd couple were the collections excellent DH88 Comet paired with a Piper PA-25 Pawnee, to reflect their role is the Disney film ‘Planes’.
To see one Mew Gull is a delight but to see two! G-AEXF is an original (however heavily rebuilt) version, having originally been built and flown from within 500m of where I sit typing this. G-HEKL is a recent replica, however it is still great to see these two in the air together.
With the winds far too harsh for the “Edwardians” the final paring were the collections Spitfire Vc – AR501 and Sea Hurricane 1b – Z7015. Both showing their elegant lines in mixed light for photography.
Having gotten a healthy amount of sunshine and planes, we seperated happy to see the collection still showing it’s finest but in such a way that we can maintain that essential distancing whilst we go through the pandemic. Whenever normal is normal again at least we have Shuttleworth to keep us entertained.
Pictures from the show are below, hope that you enjoy!