Abingdon Air & Country Show 2012
Report & photos by Stuart Freer
So the 2012 air show season is upon us again. With the United Kingdom announcing a drought at the beginning of April what then proceeded was the wettest April in history since records began, so the omens were not looking good for the opening air show on the aviation calendar. Luckily for the organisers it stayed dry.
A number of visiting aircraft were on view in the small static display including Tony de Bruyn’s immaculate OV-10A Bronco alongside a Merlin HC3A of 78 Squadron from nearby RAF Benson which has been long time supporters of the event. A very welcome addition to the static park was a Pilatus PC-7 Turbo trainer from the Royal Netherlands Air Force.
A large crowd enjoyed a varied and entertaining flying display. Kicking off the flying display was the Army Air Corp with there Lynx AH7 which flew a practice display. Not being officially allocated a display slot, it was good to see the Lynx being put through its paces including a hesitation pedal-turn and the famous double back flip.
Historic aircraft were well represented with the OFMC’s ‘Ferocious Frankie’ P-51D Mustang flown superbly by Alistair Key, sadly a T-28A Trojan in French Air Forces colours as worn during the Algerian War of Independence didn’t get in the air, due to engine problems. Pre-war Luftwaffe training aircraft were represented by a Bucker Jungmeister and Bucker Bestmann, flown as a pair. A very welcome addition to the flying was C-47A Skytrain ‘Drag ‘Em Oot’ a real D-Day veteran which paired up with Classic Aircraft Trust’s Avro Anson T1 prior to its own solo display.
The show has always been very well supported by the RAF with there training aircraft and 2012 was to be no different. Flt Lt Shaun Kimberley in his second season flying the Grob Tutor put on a very polished display with a number of flicks and turns. The most anticipated aircraft from the RAF solo displays was to be the Tucano T1 belonging to 72(R Squadron, based at Linton-on-Ouse, painted in a stunning red, white and blue scheme to celebrate the Queens Diamond Jubilee.
As always Abingdon is always a great start to the air show season despite this year’s cold conditions it was a thoroughly enjoyable day out.
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 it stayed dry for the day.
The author wishes to thank Neil Porter, Mark Rouse for their kind hospitality and assistance during his visit.