|Title:||Cold War Jets Open Day|
Leaden skies and the threat of rain failed to deter visitors for the first Cold War Jets Open Day of 2011. In fact, visitor attendance was significantly higher than at previous events, filling the overflow car park.
Far from static museum pieces, many of the aircraft at Bruntingthorpe are carefully maintained in full working condition and able to perform high-speed taxy runs, up to nearly take-off speed, under their own power. Aircraft runs take-place right to left, with the crowd-line along the right-most part of the runway.
Since the aircraft do not fly, the crowd is allowed to stand a little closer to the aircraft than would be allowed at a normal airshow. Visitors are thus able to benefit from the full sight and sound of a vintage jet at nearly full power as it accelerates away from the crowd down the runway.
The show opened with the arrival from the left hand end of the runway of three Buccaneers in echelon formation. After turning in front of the crowd, the trio folded and extended their wings, before each performed a high speed taxi run in turn. This little bit of showmanship was greatly appreciated by the crowd.
in contrast, the next aircraft to run was the Comet which, as a safety precaution, was chased at a distance by a former USAF Fire Engine. Next came the Canberra, which as small enought to be able to perform a 360 degree turn on the runway before commencing its run.
After the Canberra came the Iska, resplendent in its new 2-tone grey colour scheme, which was followed by the Lightning. The star of the taxy runs, this distinguished jet drew many visitors away from the static park to admire its taxy run. A deafening roar was accompanied by blue-red flames from the afterburners as it rapidly disappeared down the runway.
At this point a Jet Provost perfomed a flypast and then circled to land from the left hand end of the runway. It taxied in past the crowd line to park with the taxying jets. Three Jet Provosts then performed 360 degee turns and sequenced taxy runs.
Closing the display were the Victor, the Hunter and then the Nimrod, The two large aircraft required quite bit of preparation to get all four engines start and then complete the ‘pre-flight’ taxy checks. In the meantime a flypast by a Jet Provost and Venom from the Air Atlantique Classic Flight, and later a pair of Sea King/Commando troop transport helicopters from the Royal Navy, kept the crowd entertained.
A flypast by aircraft from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight was scheduled for 4.00 pm, but this had not occurred by 4.30. At this time the Vulcan was being towed out to the runway for its departure back to it’s new home at Doncaster. Safety requirements dictated that for an actual take-off the crowd had be moved back to the normal airshow distance, and this was accomplished by the ATC cadets. The Vulcan take-off was a great end to the day.
Away from the runway, visitors were able to peruse an aero jumble, examine the static aircraft, (including Vulcan XH558), and gain access to the interiors of the Super Guppy and Comet.
Unfortunately, the large crowd overwhelmed the limited catering and toillet facilities available, resulting in long queues building up. Additional facilities will need to be provided for future events. For similar reasons, a longer crowd-line and stronger crowd barriers would be beneficial.
All in all, a very enjoyable day. The introduction of some showmanship in the taxy runs was commendable and greatly enhanced the appeal of the show. Well done to all the hard working event staff and back-room planners.
Flying: XN637 Jet Provost T.3 zzzzzz Sea King zzzzzz Commando (Arctic colours) XW433 Jet Provost T.5A Air Atlantique Classic Flight WK436 Venom FB.50 Air Atlantique Classic Flight Taxying: XW544 Buccaneer S.2B XX894 Buccaneer S.2B XX900 Buccaneer S.2B XS235 Comet 4C WT333 Canberra B(I).8 1018 TS-11 Iskra XS904 Lightning F.6 XN582 Jet Provost T.3A XN584 Jet provost T.3A XM355 Jet Provost T.3 XM715 Victor K.2 XL565 Hunter T.7 XV226 Nimrod MR.2 Static: XX889 Buccaneer S.2B F-BTGV Super Guppy 201 XJ494 Sea Vixen FAW.2 WT806 Hunter GA.11 XT630 Scout AH.1 'PF179' Gnat T.1 G-BAXX Cessna 150L (85) Mystere IV '43-35943' Beech D18S '3303' MH.2521M Broussard G-BNIO Luscombe 8A G-CPPM Harvard II G-TOMC AT-6D Harvard XH558 Vulcan B.2 Cockpits: XH592 Victor B.1A XV328 Lightning T.5 - F-4F Phantom II
To be added after the event.
To be added.