Wednesday, 28 August 2013

The North Moreton Air Pageant

A Hurricane at the North Moreton Air Pageant

I grew up in the small Oxfordshire village of North Moreton and thought I knew the village pretty well. One place in the village I had never been two was the village air strip; North Moreton (not quite) International Airport for the third village Air Pageant.

Alvis

Sunday started with rain clouds gathering and we were all putting our faith in the weather forecast predicting that it would clear up around lunchtime. The morning rain caused several planes to arrive late and several of the more well heeled guests were going to fly in for the pageant and had to drive instead. However, by two o'clock the sun had come out and the show was underway.

Battle of Britain fly past

There was an impressive display for a small air show. The small and nippy Pitts Special started the display. I can't remember the order but we had a glider set to music, a flight past from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, a Hurricane, Gnat and a display from eight Tiger moths.

The large light of a Roller

The Hurricane is owned by the owner of the air field and is the only surviving Battle of Britain Hurricane left flying. It was brought home from India (I'm not sure when) and is credited with five kills in WWII. It was great fun to have the plan buzzing above the crowd.

A Gnat (which was the plan used by the Red Arrows before the current Hawk) was the only jet engined plane in the show and the speed difference to the propeller driven aircraft was very striking.

Gnat

The show was closed by a display from eight Tiger Moths. Apparently they are an easy to fly, but very hard to fly well, which is why fast jet pilots love flying them as a hobby.

In addition to the planes there was the most impressive selection of vintage Rolls Royces I have seen in one place.

After the slow start the afternoon exceeded my expectations. It was village fete meets air show, with the perfect amount of rural charm.

Pratts

Tiger Moths

RAF Merlin

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