UK Airshows

JUN 11 2012
Airshows >> UK: Preview - Wickenby's 70th Birthday Airshow 2012

This is an airshow that always entertains and it looks as if Wickenby Wings and Wheels 2012 will keep that tradition running. The show line-up will feature displays from Britain's best aerobatic pilots, including a flypast from the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, on Saturday, and a full display from The Matadors, Steve Jones and Paul Bonhomme, on Sunday.

It's not just about flying either and, to add to the fun, there will be a large collection of vintage cars and motorcycles, children's entertainment, 4x4 off-roading and great food, as well as a 1940s' charity dinner and dance on Saturday evening.

Other aerial displays will entertain across the weekend with The Blades, British Aerobatic Champion Gerald Cooper performing unlimited aerobatics in his Sbach, and the consistently excellent SWIP Team, all performing.

In keeping with Wickenby Aerodrome’s 70 year aviation history, nostalgia will be amply supplied with displays from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’s Hurricane and Dakota, the WW1 Airco DH2, Morane, Jungmann, Jungmeister and an iconic Tiger Moth, along with wingwalking from Aerobatic Tactics’ Boeing Stearman. Add to that a Jet Provost, the Microlight Jousters and Dennis Neville's Flying Circus, and there really is something to suit all tastes.

If you've ever fancied becoming a wingwalker, just like those intrepid 1930s' barnstormers, then Wickenby is offering a unique opportunity to train with Aerobatic Tactics’ experienced air display team on its Boeing Stearman Biplane, during Wings and Wheels, and the following weekend, Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th June.

The experience includes a full safety brief and walk-through and, once airborne, you will take part in a ten minute display practice in front of your friends and family, with a zoom climb from 135 mph to finish! After landing you will receive a certificate confirming that you are a trained wingwalker. To register your interest or perhaps to surprise your dad for Father’s Day, submit an enquiry form quoting reference WWW to receive further details and costs. Please note, wingwalkers must be under 12 stone (77kg) and sign a fitness declaration.

On Saturday evening the aerodrome will host a 'Fun of the 40s' charity dinner and dance, in aid of the Lincolnshire Air Ambulance and The Royal Air Force Association; which provides welfare to current and former members of the Royal Air Force and their families.

‘Fun in the 40s’ will no doubt dish up a fantastic atmosphere, reminiscent of those famous post-war victory parties, and the authentic 1940s' marquee will provide a great backdrop for the live swing band and bar, and the perfect excuse to don vintage military uniform or tea dresses to do the Lindy Hop on the dancefloor. So they tell me, anyway! Ticket prices include a hot carved buffet, followed by strawberries and cream.

That's not quite all, as sunset displays with aerobatics from Gerald Cooper in the Sbach 300 and the SWIP Team, are also planned.

You can book your tickets for ‘Fun in the 40s’ from the Wickenby Wings and Wheels website.

Aerobatic champion, Gerald Cooper, is well aware of just how important the event is to his home airfield, as he told me when we spoke earlier:

"Wickenby is an airfield of great historical significance, especially as we don't have too many Bomber Command sites in use any more. We've got a museum here at the aerodrome too and I'm sure visitors to the show will enjoy checking that out, especially as the Bomber Command Memorial is very much in the news at the moment."

Now that he's had his hands on the Sbach for a few months, I couldn't help but wonder what we can expect to see in terms of an airshow performance from the man himself?

"I did a couple of airshows at the end of last season but I was very new to the aircraft and was probably, if I'm honest, a little nervous. I've been flying it for much long though, now, and I have to say that as an airframe for unlimited aerobatics, it really is top notch and is showing great potential. Wickenby will see my first over-airfield displays this season and I'm really looking to them. It's always good to display at home!"

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