Ul­ti­mate Fight­ers

Pilot - - OLD TIMERS - www.war­bird­flights.co.uk.

Sy­well-based Ul­ti­mate War­birds has launched a new four-ship dis­play team: the Ul­ti­mate Fight­ers. Com­pris­ing Fighter Avi­a­tion En­gi­neer­ing’s P-47D Nel­lie, Air Leas­ing’s Spit­fire T9 ML407, HA1112M4L Buchón ‘Red 11’ and Anglia Air­craft Restora­tions’ TF-51D Con­trary Mary, the quar­tet will demon­strate the ex­cit­ing, dy­namic and unique per­for­mances of these air­craft in a care­fully chore­ographed rou­tine of aer­o­bat­ics, tail chases and dog­fights. Pi­lots Richard Grace and Dave Pule­ston (of the for­mer Trig Aer­o­batic Team), along with Jon Gowdy and Andy Durston (the Fire­flies Aer­o­batic Dis­play Team), are no strangers to for­ma­tion aer­o­bat­ics but this is a new op­por­tu­nity.

Richard Grace said: “We were in­spired by the Bre­itling Fight­ers [for­mer OFMC team of 1999-2003, led by Ray Hanna] and the Flying Le­gends’ Balbo, along with want­ing to do some­thing dif­fer­ent.” Andy Durston ex­plained: “The idea grew from a con­ver­sa­tion be­tween a few of us. In Oc­to­ber of 2018, we were con­duct­ing some film­ing to pro­mote Ul­ti­mate War­birds’ pas­sen­ger flights (see p.24). It gave us an op­por­tu­nity on each to try out var­i­ous for­ma­tion ma­noeu­vres, in­clud­ing a hand­ful of loops. It turned out that those three air­craft were closely enough matched to make us be­lieve it was pos­si­ble to achieve some­thing not seen for a while on the UK air­show cir­cuit.” More in­for­ma­tion at

ABOVE: Ul­ti­mate Fight­ers’ Thun­der­bolt, Spit­fire, Buchón and Mus­tang team in for­ma­tion

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