Not much of an airshow, thanks to new CAA regulations — but a topnotch gathering of vintage aircraft
Now in its eighteenth year, the Goodwood Revival draws an incredible array of historic aircraft, cars and other vehicles to the Sussex aerodrome and motor racing circuit. While the Revival is primarily about motor racing — the title refers to the re-commissioning of the perimetertrack circuit, which was closed for competition in 1966, when landowner the Earl of March decided that the new three-litre F1 cars were too fast for the track — Goodwood has a long history as both a military and civil aerodrome, and the aviation side is not neglected.
Sadly, post-shoreham the flying is no longer as good as the racing (which was fantastic) and although the Blenhiem, Hurricane, Mustang and a brace of Spitfires looked and sounded superb, this wasn’t the airshow that previous Revivals have showcased.
The aviation highlight is undoubtedly the Freddie March Spirit of Aviation award, a concours d’élégance for pre-1966 aircraft. This year the array of machines on display was simply stunning, and included the world’s oldest airworthy Chipmunk (from Canada), a recently-restored Spitfire Mk IX and a beautiful DC-3 (from Norway). The judging panel — which included Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton, Air Marshal Sir Christopher Harper, Steve Boultbee-brooks, Stephen Bayley, Mai Ikuzawa and Pilot Flight Test Editor Dave Unwin — faced an almost impossible task.
First place eventually went to the stunning 1934 DH83 Fox Moth owned by Bruce Broady, with Peter Bishop’s immaculate 1936 Miles M11 Whitney Straight second and Steve Carter’s rare 1948 Ryan SCW145 third.
From top: Fox Moth scooped Spirit of Aviation concours award in the face of Goodwood’s apparent obsession with shiny metal aeroplanes; Observer Corps re-enactor — or is it a disguised CAA man checking flying display altitude and line? The ill-fated Albatros (see ‘Old Timers’ p.47); front-engined Grand Prix cars get off the line, most of them sporting ‘non-period’ roll-over hoops; by contrast, a lady very much in period costume (the Editor insists he chose this image for no reason other than to show that the weather was not all sunny); William and George Unwin admire oldest airworthy Chipmunk G-AKDN, cover flight test star of Pilot’s August issue, which was on static display (wouldn’t it be nice to see a civvie aeroplane flying aerobatics at the Revival for a change!) Ferrari battles its way around a very wet track; and an overhead view gives an idea of the classic and vintage machinery displayed on the aerodrome during at the Revival, as ever the military theme being predominant