World and show firsts to thrill the crowds at Norfolk airshow
- Credit: Paul Johnson/Flightline UK
Three Spitfires, two Hawker Hurricanes, two Second World War spotter aircraft and a whole team of skydivers - this summer's Old Buckenham Airshow is all about rare formations and historic firsts.
Not only is the incredibly powerful, super impressive - and super noisy - RAF Typhoon appearing for an unprecedented display on both days of the Old Buckenham Airshow on July 30-31, but the show promises many never seen before moments.
It will be Old Buckenham's first formation of three Spitfires, its first formation of Hurricanes and the first time a P-51 Mustang has met a German 109 at the Airshow over Old Buckenham.
There's much more excitement too, said Airshow director Matt Wilkins.
"It will be the first time two examples of the American Second World War trainer of choice; the North American T6 fly here.
"We’ve had a T6 display before; its 600hp Pratt and Whitney engine is a monster by comparison with most. At the time the Tiger Moth was still extensively used by the RAF and it has less than a quarter of the power (and weight) of the huge radial engined T6," said Matt.
"Two at once, in the hands of pilots Nigel Willson and Rod Dean hasn’t happened here before," he added.
It means that more than half of the air displays at Old Buckenham, one of the largest airshows in the UK, are firsts.
One of those firsts, announced last month, is looking like a moment of history beyond the bounds of Old Buck and the UK, said Matt.
The planned display of the Pipistrel Velis Electro was already shaping up to be the UK’s first-ever electric aircraft participation at an airshow. It now looks a distinct possibility that it’ll be the first in the world," said Matt. What's more, the Pipistrel Velis Electro will be powered by electricity generated by solar panels at the Old Buckenham Airfield.
Some ‘old favourites’ will be in the mix too, said Matt, delighted that the Gulfstream G6 of the Golden Era is back in the form of a very rare Beechcraft Staggerwing.
"Capable of landing and taking off from very small runways, the Staggerwing (named for its unique wing arrangement) uses raw power to then climb up to 28,000ft and 200+mph. Useful if you’re moving Hollywood stars about in peacetime and generals in wartime," he said.
The airshow plans a moving tribute to Ukraine with a formation of Yak trainers flying to commemorate the Ukrainian Air Force. These Soviet-era aircraft were used extensively by the Ukrainian air force, training the previous generation of fighter aces.
Although hesitant to call it a showstopper in a show packed with heritage, breathtaking aerobatics, rare and unusual aircraft and formations, there will be a huge crowd reaction to the return of the RAF’s awesome Typhoon – one of the most sophisticated and powerful military aircraft in existence, returning for the second year in a row.
Another more modern aircraft arrives with one of the UK’s newest display pilots for an aerobatic masterclass. Christophe Simon will re-visit in his French CAP 10 to the place where his career began in 2021.
Add all this to a recreation of the last dogfight over Europe in WWII, the Super Decathlon, De Havilland Beaver, P47 Thunderbolt, the Turbulent team, RAF Falcons, p-51 Mustang, Catalina and the superstar four-engined Boeing b-17 Flying Fortress Sally-B, and many, many more and this summer's show is set to be spectacular.
There's plenty of on-ground activity too, from classic vehicles to funfair and live music.
Old Buckenham Airshow is July 30-31 at Old Buckenham Airfield. Entry is by ticket only, with under 12s free. With the airshow already 80 percent sold, the organisers expect it to sell out soon. https://www.oldbuckenhamairshow.com/