The roar of the Typhoon to be heard in Norfolk
- Credit: Paul Johnson/Flightline UK
Could they be any more different? The latest additions to the line up for the Old Buckenham Airshow reveals one of the loudest aircraft heard in Norfolk skies – and one of the quietest.
Wow! That’s definitely going to be the reaction when one of the noisiest planes ever seen at the Old Buckenham Airshow shows off its capabilities.
It’s not allowed to pull out all of its tricks, that would involve permission to fly supersonic – and that doesn’t happen very often as that turns up the volume from very loud to extremely loud.
But the airshow crowd will have an amazing view of what the RAF’s 29 Squadrons Typhoon FGR4 can do. The fastest, most powerful and loudest aircraft ever to visit the Airshow, it makes its debut this year, and it’s going to be a noisy one.
This impressive beast can blast from a standstill straight up to 35,000 feet and a speed of 1,150mph (Mach 1.5) in 2 minutes and 30 seconds. That’s thanks to its 20,000lb of thrust, boosted by afterburning – which basically adds a bunch of fuel at the back of a jet engine to supercharge speed with a crowd-pleasing burst of rocket-style flames.
Jet fans, or anyone impressed by films such as Top Gun, are going to love it, says airshow director Matt Wilkins.
“It’s a £60-70 million 29 tonne fighter jet. It’s extremely impressive, and very noisy,” says Matt, expecting the rowdy display to set off quite a few car alarms in the car park.
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The Typhoon will be flown by Flt Lt James Sainty, and while the crowd will hear all about the Typhoon’s usual collection of weaponry from the 27mm Cannon to the precision guided bombs and air to air missiles, it’s the sheer speed and power they’ll never forget.
It’s one of the most impressive examples of firepower ever to appear at the Old Buckenham Airshow, and with a past show pedigree ranging from Spitfire, Hurricane and Mustang to Flying Fortress, DC3, Harvard and countless rare and unusual aircraft dating from the early days of aviation to the present day, the Typhoon is joining quite a catalogue.
Another amazing first for the airshow, which takes place July 30-August 1, will be the debut of an electric aircraft. Powered by electricity exclusively from solar panels, the NUNCAT’s CH701 project is being developed at Old Buckenham Airfield. It’s still in development and not allowed to fly yet, but it will be running for the show.
"This will be the first time the public will see the future of flight,” says Matt, adding that the sun-powered plane may be tiny compared to the Typhoon but the debut will be just as exciting.
It’s an aircraft being developed for a myriad of uses, such as the vital mission of connecting parts of the developing world where medics can travel by road for days to reach settlements.
“With a very short gravel landing strip and a solar panelled shelter, anywhere can be reached,” says Matt.
“A journey of days across a river delta becomes 30 minutes or less and the aircraft will carry pilot, medic and equipment,” he adds.
The one appearing at the show is currently the only one in existence and should be ready for its first flight this year. The ultimate aim is to build hundreds at Old Buckenham where the projects’ factory is planned to be based.
Preparations are well underway for the airshow on July 30-August 1, but if (due to restrictions) it does not happen, all tickets will be valid for the 2022 show.
Old Buckenham Airshow takes place from July 30-August 1. Camping and admission tickets available now. Under 12s free. www.oldbuckenhamairshow.com