The second airshow to be held at East Kirkby was a great success; held in support of both the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund, and the on-going restoration of Lancaster B.VII NX611. Despite the threat of some poor weather, which thankfully stayed away, the airshow's largest ever crowd was treated to some choice acts and excellent flying.
Attending aircraft were varied. Undoubtedly catching the enthusiast’s eye were the bright yellow Fokker S11 in Dutch Air Force markings, Italian schemed SF-260 and French Aeronavale MS733.
Moving away from the warbirds for a moment, Dennis Neville's Flying Circus provided plenty of barnstorming style entertainment with its Thruxton Jackaroo, Chipmunk, Queen Bee and Tiger Moth. Aerobatics were provided in grand style by Gerald Cooper in his Cap 232, and the Swift Aerobatic Team equipped with PA-28 Pawnee, SA-180 Twister and S-1 Swift duo.
Nigel Wilson’s Yak-52 performed a pleasing routine that included a number of low topside passes for the photographers. Other displays came from an MT03 Autogyro flown by John Elliot and John Sully in Taylor Titch G-BKWD. Another crowd pleasing routine came from Peter Lawton and Stan Hodgkiss with their brightly coloured RV-4s.
Returning to the warbirds, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight provided Spitfire MK356 and Hurricane LF363 for a solo and paired display to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain. The UK’s only airworthy Fairchild PT-19 Cornell PT-19A (N33870) was superbly displayed by Dale Fetherby and the American aviation themed continued with L-4 Grasshopper N123SA displaying its low speed capabilities, along with recently installed large low pressure rubber ringed tyres. Maurice Hammond always supports events at East Kirkby extremely well, and this show was no exception with both P-51 Mustangs Marinell and Janie in attendance along with Stearman and Harvard. Both P-51s closed the show, performing a truly exceptional routine along with Rob Davies’ P-51 Big Beautiful Doll.
Naturally Lancaster NX611 featured strongly in the display, performing two taxy runs on the grass strip.
Although the weather (and light for photography) wasn’t at its best, the displaying pilots still managed to exhibit their aircraft with skill and in an entertaining manner. The event will be repeated once again next year, with the organisers planning to add additional warbirds to the flying programme – a most welcome move for this event that continues to go from strength to strength.