2011 UK Airshows

MAY 19 2011
Airshows >> UK: Duxford Spring Air Show - Women in Aviation - Preview

Duxford’s Spring Airshow, being held this Sunday, the 22nd of May, will be celebrating women in aviation. Looking at the show's line-up it’s certainly great to see that Duxford has genuinely grasped the theme and made the most of it; with roughly half of the displays set to showcase some of the country’s finest female fliers – featuring everything from warbirds to hang gliders and fast jets to high performance aerobatic aircraft.

The press preview for the show was held at Duxford on the 12th of May and was attended, perhaps most notably, by Flt Lt Jules Fleming who, as I’m sure you all know by now, is the 2011 Royal Air Force Hawk Display Pilot. Jules flew in from RAF Valley on Anglesey in a 208(R) Sqn Hawk T1 and joined a host of other women currently serving in the RAF, including Gp Capt Lorraine Pemberton and Sqn Ldr Glynis Dean, with a group photo shoot being held in front of the jet.

The event's display programme should cater for everyone’s tastes, such is the character we've come to expect of Duxford’s Spring Air Shows. A fun element is included with barnstorming from Captain Neville's Flying Circus and the Breitling Wingwalkers. Thrilling aerobatics will also be brought to the table thanks to the inclusion of a Bücker Jungmann, CAP 232 and Slingsby T.67M Firefly.

Warbird fanatics will be pleased with the likes of The Fighter Collection and Historic Aircraft Collection Hawker Nimrods while a show celebrating women in aviation wouldn’t be complete without Carolyn Grace flying The Grace Spitfire. The Old Flying Machine Company's Duxford favourites MH434 and 'Ferocious Frankie' will provide the classic shapes of the Spitfire and the Mustang although, and most unfortunately, the Historic Aircraft Collection’s Hawker Fury, which is undergoing final assembly at a secret location, has been removed from the list, so we will have to eagerly await its debut for a little longer. However, with the loss of the Fury the show has gained The Fighter Collection’s Curtiss Hawk 75, an aircraft which will be making its first return to the airshow scene since 2008.

On the classic jet front the Air Atlantique Classic Flight Gloster Meteor NF.11 is set to make a welcome return to the skies over Duxford along with Duxford favourite, Golden Apple’s North American F-86A Sabre, currently adorned with the special scheme she wore for last weekend's anniversary Tiger Meet at Cambrai in France. The Armed Forces of today will be represented by the Royal Navy Black Cats along with the RAF Tucano and RAF Hawk displays, with Jules given the honour of closing the show. Unfortunately her new display schemed Hawk will not quite be ready in time for the show and it looks like Southend, Jules' home show, may get the honour of its first public appearance.

As the press preview concluded Jules departed in the Hawk against a typically stormy spring sky. A 500ft pass down the runway with a wing waggle signalled her farewell until the show this weekend and she headed back to RAF Valley – a journey which would easily take four hours by road covered in only 35 minutes!

The Spring Air Show looks like a great all round event which should cater for the whole family as well as more avid aviation fans. All we need now is some fine weather!

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