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Kemble Classic Airshow 2009
De Havilland Vampire T55 - G-HELV - Air Atlantique Classic Flight - United Kingdom   Hawker Hunter T7 - G-BXKF - Delta Jets Ltd. - United Kingdom   Hawker Hunter T7 - G-VETA - Skyblue Aviation - United Kingdom   Hawk T1 - XX289/CO - 100 Squadron - Royal Air Force

Kemble Airshow 2009

Words and photographs Stuart Freer

This years airshow at the beautiful Cotswold airfield was staged over two days for the first time. The show has come a long way since the first relatively small event held in 1996 which welcomed the return of the Red Arrows.

The static park was mainly made up of Delta Jet residents. But making it's first public appearance was Meteor T7 WA570 from Meteor Flight. Founded in the 1970's the company based at Yatesbury in Wiltshire began restoring WS807 an NF11 but found problems with corrosion so this was abandoned. WA591 was selected from a total of five airframes which the team had acquired and worked started on her in 1990. Over the next few years an engine overhall & test facility was set up.

In 2006 a deal of joint ownership was struck with Air Atlantique. This sponsership has enabled volunteers to concentrate on rebuild and provide guidence to the correct procedures and eventual permit to fly. The aircraft was moved to Kemble in 2008. WA591 will fly in 2010.

There were a number of firsts for this years event, the United States Air Force took part in the airshow for the first time with the 100th Air Refueling Wing from RAF Mildenhall sending one of its KC-135R Stratotanker air to air refuelling tanker aircraft which performed a flyby on both days. There appearance was appropriate being that the USAF is a part of Kemble's history. Similar aircraft the EC-135H's from the 10th ACCS also based at RAF Mildenhall in the mid 1980s were maintained at Kemble, when the airfield was home to the USAF's Support Group Europe.

For most enthusiasts the highlights of the flying display was the return of the Avro Vulcan in the Cotswold skies on the Sunday only, there was almost an eerie silence as the public watched 'Delta Lady' go through her display routine.

In this centenary year of Naval Aviation it was only fitting to see an example of the Fleet Air Arms most impressive aircraft the De Havilland Aviation's Sea Vixen FAW2 G-CVIX/XP924 resplendent in her orginal 899 NAS markings. The aircraft was flown by Lt Cdr Matt Whitfield Commanding Officer of the Naval Flying Standards Flight at NAS Yeovilton.

Avro Vulcan B2 - G-VLCN - Vulcan to the Sky Trust - United Kingdom
Jetstream T2 - XX486/567 - 750 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm   Hawker Hunter GA11 - G-BZPC - Delta Jets Ltd. - United Kingdom   Hawker Hunter GA11 - G-BZPB - Delta Jets Ltd. - United Kingdom   Gloster Meteor T7 - G-???? - Meteor Flight, the - United Kingdom
De Havilland Sea Vixen FAW2 - G-CVIX - De Havilland Aviation Ltd. - United Kingdom
De Havilland Sea Vixen FAW2 - G-CVIX - De Havilland Aviation Ltd. - United Kingdom   De Havilland Sea Vixen FAW2 - G-CVIX - De Havilland Aviation Ltd. - United Kingdom   Gloster Meteor NF11 - G-LOSM - Air Atlantique Classic Flight - United Kingdom   Gloster Meteor NF11 - G-LOSM - Air Atlantique Classic Flight - United Kingdom
Hawk T1 - XX307 - 208 (Reserve) Squadron - Royal Air Force

The flying display was spilt into two sections with an hour and a half break for lunch. The first aircraft to perform was the RAF display Hawk T.1 from 208(R) Squadron at RAF Valley, Anglesey. Flown by Flight Lieutenant Matt Barker. For the 2009 season the display Hawk has been painted in a patriotic colour scheme & underneath a large RAF roundel with a red heart at it's centre, the badge of the Royal Benevolent Fund, who are celebrating there 90th anniversary.

An aircraft from a bygone age the Percival Pembroke G-BNPH/WV740 owned and piloted by Andrew Dixon which put on a majestic display, it only seemed appropriate that it was followed by the newest training aircraft in the RAF, the Beech King Air B200 from 45(R) Squadron at RAF Cranwell.

Kicking off the afternoon proceedings were the home team Delta Jets with there Hunter T.7 G-FFOX/WV318 in the all Black markings of the 'Black Arrows' from 111 Squadron. Closely followed by Air Atlantique Classic Flight Club's Gloster Meteor NF11 G-LOSM/WM167 which flies in the markings of 151 Squadron. At the end of the Meteors display the pilot teamed up with the Hunter to perform an immaculate formation fly-bye.

A late and welcome addition to the flying programme was Peter Vacher's Hurricane Mk1 G-HUPW/R4118. This aircraft is in immacukate condition. It has been recently restored to flying condition after a three year rebuild.

For the first time this year the Army Air Corps Blue Eagles helicopter display team flew a Lynx Mk 7 and an Apache AH1, formation flying at it's very best particular when it's flown in large helicopters. Continueing with the rotary action the Royal Navy 'Black Cats' never dissappoint. Flying a pair of Lynx attack helicopters from 702 Squadron, the team have won numerous awards for there precision and aerobatic capabilities.

The nearby transport base RAF Lyneham supported the show well with two C-130J Hercules one in the static park & another performing a spirited fly through. This years Typhoon display from Flight Lieutenant Scott Loughran was mightily impressive as ever with a number of high G turns.

Closing the flying programme was Rolls-Royce's Spitfire PR.XIX PS853 based at Filton which teamed up with G-FFOX Delta Jets Hunter T7 to perform a unique formation flyby. A fitting end to a thoroughly enjoyable day out at this classic airfield.

The author would like to thank the airshow organisers for there help and co-operation in preparing this article.

Hawk T1 - XX307 - 208 (Reserve) Squadron - Royal Air Force   Supermarine Spitfire PR Mk XIX - G-RRGN - Rolls Royce - United Kingdom   Beech 200 - ZK451/K - 45 (Reserve) Squadron - Royal Air Force   Hawker Hurricane I - G-HUPW - Minnmere Farm Partnership - United Kingdom
Typhoon FGR4 - ZJ939/DXI - 17 (Reserve) Squadron - Royal Air Force
Percival Pembroke C1 - G-BNPH - United Kingdom - Privately Owned - United Kingdom   Hawker Hunter T7 - G-FFOX - Delta Jets Ltd. - United Kingdom   Westland Wasp HAS1 - G-BZPP - United Kingdom - Privately Owned - United Kingdom   Apache AH1 - ZJ220 - 673 Squadron - Army Air Corps
Hawker Hunter T7 - G-FFOX - Delta Jets Ltd. - United Kingdom
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