Shuttleworth season shapes up
Much preparatory activity has taken place at Old Warden as another busy Shuttleworth display season approaches. It is anticipated that two of the Collection’s distinctive pre-war light aircraft, the English Electric Wren and Parnall Elf, will be back in the air. The Wren emerged from two years of refurbishment in February 2019 and was flown the following month in some style. The 1923 Lympne Trials aircraft customarily performs brief, low-level ‘hops’, but on 28 March it flew a sustained circuit. It is hoped this can be repeated at forthcoming flying days.
With its 115hp Cirrus Hermes II engine overhauled and reunited with its re-covered airframe, the sole-surviving 1932 Parnall Elf G-AAIN is heading towards final assembly. Bristol F2B Fighter D8096 is next in line for overhaul and will enter the workshop once the Elf is completed.
Flown on 21 March, 1909-built Bleriot XI BAPC-3 has reclaimed its title as the world’s oldest airworthy aircraft. Given sufficiently calm weather, there should be several chances to see this 110-year-old ‘Edwardian’ airborne between May and October.
This year’s Sunday display programme begins on 5 May with the Season Premiere, for which ARC Lysander IIIA V9312’s debut is lined-up. Other visitors include a Vietnam-themed trio of O-1A Bird Dog, UH-1H Iroquois and the Bronco Demo Team’s OV-10B, plus Aces High’s Dakota and Plane Sailing’s Catalina, both of which will operate from Old Warden. The new Flying Festival on 2 June will include the RAF Red Arrows’ third Shuttleworth showing of recent years, while the Military Airshow on 7 July will feature up to seven Hurricanes and P-47D Thunderbolt Nellie. See www.shuttleworth.org/ events/airshows for the full events lists and anticipated participating aircraft details.
The English Electric Wren, once again airworthy, made a full Old Warden circuit on a recent test flight
Formerly based at Old Warden, R4118 is to return as one of seven Hurricanes at the Military Airshow on 7 July