Airshows. Coming to a sky near you!
The fore runner of todays air show was the flying circus that often accompanied the fairgrounds that toured the country. In these, enterprising pilots made a living by selling joy rides. They used first world war planes that had been aquired cheaply. From these small beginnings grew many of todays airlines.
We can still look aloft in wonder and appreciate the spectacle performed by todays skilled pilots. The flying circus might be gone but the airshows around our country grow ever more popular.
One was flying over Burgundy with a hot air balloon, moving gently with the wind, and the other, flying in Concorde, travelling faster than the speed of sound.
One of the best free shows is held in the North East of England at Sunderland .
The Sunderland Internastional Airshow will be celebrating its 30th Anniversary on 27th- 29th July . There is superb unresticted viewing over a wide beach .
There are all sorts of experiences to be had and of the airshows around the country the ones that are held over seaside resorts have the least restrictions on the displays.
One attraction I enjoyed visiting was The Shuttleworth Collection at old Warden where they have series of events.
Unlike museums, there, you can see planes of World War One vintage that actually flying. LINK
At the time of my visit it was even possible to fly as a passenger in a Dragon Rapide. The kind of twin winged passenger airliner that was popular in the 1930's
Near Cambridge you can still arrange flights in one or in other classic planes like the Tiger Moth where the kit you out, 'Biggles Style' complete with flying helmet and goggles LINK
Flying clubs often have special events and organise "Fly Ins"
that bring smaller planes from all over the country, sometimes even from abroad . For tghe aitr minded its a chance into tpeer into cockpits and look at modifications and liik at everything from microlights to para gliders
At this airfield it was a case of "Honey I shrunk the plane" as the guy who built this two thrid scale version of a Messersmit squeezes into the cock pit before flying off to do a circuit.
And planes can get even smaller. Keep an eye open for the model aircraft events where proud builders put on display and fly their aircraft.
If you get hooked and settle down to watch, be sure to do it in comfort. Bring a camp chair with you. The grass can be damp
And on a personal note, favourite flights
Report & photography by Allan Rogers