Military Airshow, Old Warden, 7th July 2019

11th July 2019
Written by: Rob Slusar

Summer has finally kicked itself into gear, so my season of Airshows is well and truly underway. This week was the start of a 3 week run.

Old Warden

Old Warden is a small airfield in the countryside of Bedfordshire. It’s history dates back to 1932 when Richard Shuttleworth landed on the family estate and seeds of the “Shuttleworth Collection” were sown.

These days, the museum is still privately owned and houses a number of aircraft dating back as far as WWI.

Being a smaller airfield, it is a very different feel to the likes of Duxford and hosts a number of smaller shows throughout the summer months.

The Show

This was my first time at Old Warden. Despite only living 40 minutes away, I have always been busy on the show weekends. This yeah i was impatient to change that and selected the military airshow as my maiden visit.

Being a smaller field, the type of people that go there are different, you are closer to the action and it is a much more relaxed atmosphere.

The show was opened with military vehicle parade. This we were told is the largest collection of military vehicles they have ever had. This parade included vehicles from WWII and some which were even present on the western front during WWI. As much as I love planes, it is always amazing to see these vehicles lovingly restored and cared for so that we can still enjoy them today. You will see some of these later in the photos.

The Flying was opened with the arrival of the first warbird in the form of the P-47 Thunderbolt and what followed was a nostalgic mix of warbirds from WWII as well as a number form WWI.

The importance of training aircraft was also demonstrated with a number of the collections pre-war training aircraft showing why they were such versatile planes.

The two big highlights of the day for me were the Royal Jordanian Falcons, and the mass Hawker Hurricanes display. There are around 15 left flying, 8 of them in the UK, 7 of which were at Old Warden on this sunny afternoon.

No one can deny the beauty of a Spitfire, but the Hurricane was the work horse. People don’t often pay it much attention, but the truth is it shot down more enemy craft than the Spitfire.

The show closed with a number of Edwardian aircraft expertly flown in the light breeze.

The Photos

Having not been here before I had a lot to learn, where to stand, where the light was, and even how long a lens I needed on.

Its amazing being that close to the planes. You can get right in if you wish and you are able to get shots here that you can’t at other places.

There were a number of planes I have never seen fly before, and with all those Hurricanes you can’t help but be trigger happy.

Hopefully you enjoy my results.

Final Thoughts

Despite the weather forecast being so so, it turned out to be a wonderful day. It was a thoroughly enjoyable event (even if I did get sunburn) and it has well and truly cemented a place on my air show venue list.

It’s a quaint little site but still steeped in history. It houses some amazing air craft and is totally different to any of the other shows I have been to. It’s certainly made an impression on me and I will be back.

Thanks for looking


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