Season-ending shows, vintage restorations progress, and Sea Kings' end of service
Attractive aircraft line-ups and good weather have enhanced Shuttleworth’s 2018 airshows, and both returned for its season-closing Race Day on 7 October. This popular event opened with a Glider Race in which Slingsby Kirby Kite BGA310, Petrel BGA651 and swept-wing Falcon replica BGA3166 made a joint spiralling descent. The original Type 1 Falcon, built by Fred Slingsby in 1931, was a copy of German designer Alexander Lippisch’s RRG Falke trainer. First flown in 1986, BGA3166 is a recreation produced from original drawings by Ken Fripp at Southdown Aero Services, Lasham.
Following this gentle start, racing aircraft spanning the decades rushed through the calm autumn air. The first of two Mock Air Races saw the launch of BAE Systems’ DH60 and Blackburn B2; Shuttleworth’s DH60X, Magister and Southern Martlet; Chilton DW1A G-JUJU and Spartan 7W Executive NC17633, the latter comfortably outpacing the rest of the field. Later there was a carousel of eleven representative or actual King’s Cup Race participants. Past winners Cosmic Wind G-ARUL
Ballerina (1964) and ex-ghana AF Bulldog 122 G-BCUS (2012) flew together, while the resident DH88 Comet G-ACSS, Miles Hawk Speed Six G-ADGP and Mew Gull G-AEXF formed a thirties threesome. These three had appeared at the 1937 and ’38 races, the Mew Gull winning the latter in Alex Henshaw’s hands. The DH60, Tiger Moth and visiting Turbulent G-BLTC formed another flight of three, as did Shuttleworth’s Chipmunk and Desoutter I with Sywellbased Messenger 2A G-AKIN. The Comet and Mew Gull
were airborne again for the outstanding Famous Racers formation along with Mew Gull replica G-HEKL and Travel Air Mystery Ship G-TATR. They followed Husky A-1 G-WATR, Cessna 172F G-DRAM and Spitfire LF Vc AR501’S novel Schneider Trophy tribute, with the latter aerobatting high above the floatplanes. The Brooklands Museum’s magnificent Sopwith Tabloid, replicating 1914’s Schneider Trophy winner, was a notable ground exhibit alongside a host of famous racing cars. Many of these racers, with Brooklands’ very successful 1933 Napier-railton among them, took part in the Shuttleworth Sprint along the runway prior to the air display.
Other airborne combinations included F1 racers Midget Mustang G-AWIR, Taylor Titch G-AYZH and the Cosmic Wind; a sextet of Pitts Specials and Sea Hurricane 1b Z7015 and Anglia Aircraft Restorations’ TF51D Contrary Mary giving, at least, a flavour of the Reno Air Races. With the Avro 504K and Sopwith Dove unserviceable, WWI Racers comprised Shuttleworth’s Sopwith Camel and Bristol M1C pairing and, with G-LCGL pulled off the flightline with a broken exhaust pipe, the planned Comper trio became a duo.
Highlights of the solo displays were Peter Kynsey’s impeccable Cosmic Wind aerobatics and John Romain’s superb presentation of former Old Warden gate guardian Spitfire PR XI PL983. The latter honoured famed WWII ATA pilot Lettice Curtis, who had raced it post-war. The ‘Edwardian’ Bristol Boxkite, Blackburn Monoplane and Deperdussin drew 2018’s last UK airshow to a close, together with another closure: that of Roger ‘Dodge’ Bailey’s tenure as Shuttleworth’s Chief Pilot. His exit from the Blackburn’s cockpit elicited rousing applause from the appreciative crowd.
ABOVE: landing as a pair, the Slingsby Falcon replica (nearest camera) and Kirby Kite
Showstopping ‘Classic Racers’ formation of DH88 Comet, Mew Gull pair – original G-AEXF and replica G-HEKL – and Travel Air Mystery Ship
Miles Messenger trails the Shuttleworth Collection's Desoutter and Chipmunk in the Kings Cup parade
Le Vier Cosmic Wind Ballerina, in the hands of long-term owner Peter Kynsey
The Husky A-1 and Cessna 172F amphibian floatplanes power around the ‘race circuit’
The Comper trio flew before the air display but all-blue G-LCGL later went ‘u/s’
Shuttleworth’s Sea Hurricane and visiting Mustang brought big piston Reno-style racing to the event
Aero engine-powered Brooklands’ Napier-railton was one of the runway ‘racers’
‘Dodge’ Bailey after his last display as Shuttleworth’s Chief Pilot