Midair Squadron yesterday presented its English Electric Canberra PR9 and Hawker Hunter T7 duo display to the press and invited guests at their Cotswold Airport (formerly Kemble) home ahead of this Sunday’s airshow debut at Abingdon Air & Country Show. Karl Drage reports.
The aircraft, Canberra XH134 / G-OMHD and Hunter XL577 / G-XMHD make up two thirds of Midair Squadron and have been extensively restored by C2 Aviation at the Gloucestershire airfield situated a handful of miles south west of Cirencester. The appearance at Abingdon Air & Country Show will be the first time that the two aircraft have displayed together in public.
The restoration of the Canberra, which flew in 2013 for the first time since 2006, has been covered extensively here on GAR and in Global Aviation Magazine, and we were also present for the unveiling of XL577 in its silver Midair Squadron colour scheme. She only returned to the skies on Monday of this week after being earthbound since 2009.
It is hoped that the third aircraft, Hawker Hunter T7 XL600 / G-RAXA, will join the other two aircraft in July. An additional aircraft, XE665, a Hawker Hunter T8C, has been painted in Midair Squadron colours and will be a static exhibit only.
Piloting the aircraft for the preview were Dave Piper in the Canberra and Chris Heames in the Hunter.
Commenting at the celebratory event, squadron owner Mike Davis, said, “It’s a wonderful day to celebrate the addition of XL577 to the Midair Squadron. Following 24 months of extensive restoration fuelled by a personal passion and a dedicated team, I am delighted to see these aircraft flying together. Our pilots have put on a show-stopping display routine for our guests this afternoon.
“Today marks the start of the busy display season for the Squadron, one which we’re very much looking forward to and delighted to have become involved in”.
In addition to Abingdon Air & Country Show (4 May), Midair Squadron assets are already confirmed for displays at Llandudno Air Show (24 May), Cosford Air Show (8 June) and Waddington International Air Show (5/6 July).
Karl Drage extends sincere thanks to Midair Squadron, C2 Aviation and Inter Relations & Company.