The sixth RAFBF Airshow at East Kirkby offered a great family day out, with a varied mix of display teams, aerobatics and warbird displays. Sadly the weather conspired to disrupt proceedings a little, with a small number of brief, but heavy, showers moving across Lincolnshire during the afternoon’s flying. A small number of aircraft cancelled as a result, or rescheduled display slots to avoid the worst of the inclement weather conditions.
As regular visitors will know, the annual airshow is held in support of the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund and the continued restoration of resident Avro Lancaster Just Jane. With advance tickets sales in the region of 4000, visitors enjoyed cockpit displays, vintage vehicles and numerous trade stalls around the museum site.
In the air, marking a first display appearance at East Kirkby was YAK-3M ‘White-100’ G-CGXG. Interestingly, although a WWII
design, this aircraft was part of a small batch assembled by YAK and partners in the USA during the early 1990s, to represent as closely as possible a wartime aircraft. ‘White-100’ is powered by an
Special mention should also be made of the 1944 vintage Beech D-17S Staggerwing N9405H. Resplendent in her bright yellow paint scheme, N9405H was another first time visitor to East Kirkby. Also adding to the quality of the RAFBF flying programme was the Dutch B-25 Mitchell, Bulldog T.1 XX543/G-CBAB, Trig Aerobatics, the YAK Display Team, Hardwick Warbirds, Richard Lake’s Spitfire TD248/G-OXVI, Justin Needham's South Vietnamese schemed Cessna Bird Dog, Peter Davies in his Autogiro and the barnstorming antics of Captain Neville's Flying Circus.
Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre's Andrew Panton and display director Mike Woods are to be hugely congratulated for once again assembling such a varied and entertaining airshow. Special mention should also be made of the fire crews, aircraft marshalling staff and L.A.H.C.s ground staff for all their hard work on the day that resulted in such a smooth running event.