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The Great Yorkshire Airshow
Elvington Airfield, 27/28 August

David Butler reports.
Shrouded in uncertainty, speculation and rumour, and making the local news for all the wrong reasons, it's a wonder The Great Yorkshire Airshow happened at all. Planned and conceived in a mere five months, the organisers' endeavours were handsomely rewarded by a huge and enthusiastic crowd reminiscent of Yorkshire air displays long gone.

Given the haste in which this large event was planned and executed, it was inevitable that the content would be similar to the previous year's Yorkshire Air Spectacular, minus the large scale models of course, but no one was complaining - this was a show driven by enthusiasm and helped by (on Sunday at least) plenty of 'unseasonal' sunshine! Jet cars and taxiing demonstrations by Victor K2 'Lusty Lindy' and Blackburn Buccaneer S2 XN974 acclimatised the ear drums to the aural assault that was planned for later in the programme, whilst the 'Pink and Black' Spitfire and Hurricane duo kicked off the flying display proper - much to the delight of this local crowd.

Other piston-powered beauties on duty at Elvington included Paul Morgan's Corsair and Fury, the BBMF trio, RNHF Swordfish, the Utterly Butterly Barnstormers and the Duke of Brabant's B-25 Mitchell, the latter forming up with the two Real Aeroplane Company fighters prior to its own display. 'Arrival of the day' must surely have gone to the Classic Aviation Projects Canberra B2 WK163, low level with 'pedal to the metal' it came, before going ballistic and no-doubt straining the pilot's g-suit way beyond the comfort zone! To cap that, Jonathon Whaley's Hawker Hunter F-58A 'Miss Demeanour' was put through its paces, accompanied by a symphony of blue-notes that made even the hardest bitter-swilling Yorkshiremen weep into their glasses! Marvellous stuff, that bitter!

The RAF graced us with their Harrier, Jaguar and Tornado F3s and very nice they were too, sending kids (and their parents) screaming in all directions. All this in stark contrast to the 1 FTS Tucano demonstration, a common enough type in this part of the world but rarely seen being given this sort of high-energy workout. Similar things could be said of the latest RAF type to enter service, the Grob Tutor, sedate looking machines for sure but surprisingly agile and a pleasure to watch (despite those nasty wheel spats). For many though, especially the enthusiasts, the French Air Force 'Voltige Victor 2000' Dassault Mirage F1 duo were the stars of the show. This is fast-jet flying of the highest calibre that must be seen to believed, the crowd were held spellbound for the full ten minute slot, spontaneously bursting into applause in a genuine show of appreciation when the two F1s recovered. All of this AND the Red Arrows...what more could you ask for?


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