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Abingdon Air & Country Show
Harvard - G-TEXN - Privately owned   Jungmeister - G-BUTX - Privately owned   Tucano - ZF342 - 72 (Reserve) Squadron - Royal Air Force   North American T-28S Fennec - N14113 - Aircraft Restoration Co. - United Kingdom
BAC Jet Provost T3A - G-BVEZ - Newcastle Jet Provost Company - United Kingdom   Percival Pembroke C1 - G-BNPH - United Kingdom - Privately Owned - United Kingdom   Provost T1 - G-MOOS - PrIvately owned   Chipmunk T10 - G-MAJR/WP805 - Privately owned

Abingdon Air & Country Show 2011

Report by Mike Freer

With torrential over-night rain and a gloomy daytime weather forecast, it looked as though, once again, the weather gods were not going to look favourably on the Abingdon Air & Country Show. However, the brisk wind blew most of the storm clouds away to produce some very pleasant bright sunny weather. Even a Red Kite bird of prey was noted soaring high over the airfield, much to the annoyance of some of the local crow population.

A record crowd enjoyed a varied and entertaining flying display. There was everything from a glider display and a Piper Pawnee towing a banner, advertising a local brewery, to the mighty Vulcan, which brought the show to an end. A number of visiting aircraft were on view including Tony de Bruyn’s immaculate OV-10A Bronco alongside a Merlin HC3A of 78 Squadron and a Puma HC1 of 33 Squadron from nearby RAF Benson.

Privately owned aircraft were represented in the flying display by an aerobatic demonstration given by a Bucker Jungmeister and also the SWIP Team in their Silence Twisters, looking very much like mini Spitfires. A Short Skyvan also went aloft to disgorge the Tiger parachute team.

Historic aircraft were well represented with a Harvard resplendent in U.S Navy markings and a T-28A Trojan in French Air Forces colours as worn during the Algerian War of Independence. The glorious sound of Alvis Leonides engines heralded the appearance of the Percival Pembroke. Another, and equally rare, aircraft from the Percival Aircraft Company stable was the Provost T1, followed later in the day by the jet engine powered version in the shape of Neil McCarthy in his Jet Provost T3.

The Royal Air Force commenced its 2011 air show season at Abingdon with solo displays performed by Flt Lt Shaun Kimberley in the Grob Tutor; Flt Lt Dan Hayes in the Short Tucano and Flt Lt Jules Fleming in the Bae Hawk.

The highlight of the afternoon was the Avro Vulcan making its 2011 public debut. Everything on the airfield came to a standstill as thousands of people stared in amazement at this, the most charismatic of aircraft ever to grace the skies. With a howling roar, the show came to its climax as the mighty Vulcan climbed sky-wards, thus ending a very enjoyable day out for all present.

Merlin HC3A - ZJ995/AD - 78 Squadron - Royal Air Force
Avro Vulcan B2 - G-VLCN - Vulcan to the Sky Trust - United Kingdom   Avro Vulcan B2 - G-VLCN - Vulcan to the Sky Trust - United Kingdom   Skyvan - G-BEOL - Invicta   Rockwell OV-10B-NH Bronco - G-BZGK (w/o 10-07-2012) - United Kingdom - Privately Owned - United Kingdom
Puma HC1 - XW231 - 33 Squadron - Royal Air Force   Merlin HC3A - ZJ995/AD - 78 Squadron - Royal Air Force   Jumeister - G-BUTX - Privately owned   Jungman - G-BUCK - Privately owned
Avro Vulcan B2 - G-VLCN - Vulcan to the Sky Trust - United Kingdom
Touchdown Conclusion

Once again Neil Porter and his dedicated team of volunteers pulled it off again, producing a most varied and entertaining show, with something of interest for all the families and enthusiasts alike.

In aid of the Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance fund, there was plenty to see, both in the air and on the ground and though the weather tried its best to scupper proceedings, luckily, the sun shone throughout most of the day.

The author wishes to thank Neil Porter, Mark Rouse and Darren Hall for their kind hospitality and assistance during his visit.

Touchdown Rating - 4 out of 5
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