Lincolnshire's largest independent airshow excelled itself this year with a stellar cast of acts and aircraft. Firmly in the enthusiast's spotlight was the first ever visit by a Bristol Blenheim to East Kirkby, in the form of the beautifully restored Mk.I L6739, operated by John Romain and his Duxford based Aircraft Restoration Company. With nearby RAF Digby housing Blenheim Mk.1Fs during the early months of 1940, and 57 Squadron operating the Mk.I and later the Mk.IV between 1938 and 1940, this was a very exciting reminder of Bomber (and indeed Fighter) Command's earliest wartime equipment in the county.

 

The near capacity crowd at East Kirkby were also treated to a great line-up of warbirds and vintage aircraft, with appearances by Peter Vacher's MK.I Hurricane R4118, Richard Lake's Spitfire TD248 and Maurice Hammond's P-51 Mustang Janie. Another first time visitor was the smartly polished Spartan 7W Executive NC17633, one of only 34 of these exciting executive transport aircraft built in the USA during the late 1930s.

 

Display teams excelled at the airshow. The Wildcat Aerobatic Team aims to deliver crowd thrilling displays; and thrill they most certainly did with their choreographed flying encapsulating both close formation and synchronized pairs flying with Pitts Special biplanes. Another spell binding act featured G-Force Aerobatics, with Chris Burkett flying the Extra 300S and Mike Williams flying a 40% scale model in a unique and faultless display.

 

Naturally the resident Lancaster Just Jane  featured in the display line up and performed three taxy runs – and if that wasn't exciting enough, Just Jane  was joined for these runs by East Kirkby hangar mate Dakota Drag 'em oot. In a tribute to the Battle of Britain's 75th Anniversary, a special formation was flown to close the airshow. This formation consisted of the visiting Blenheim, Hurricane and Mustang overflying in formation the taxying Lancaster and Dakota. A fitting tribute and one that was greatly appreciated along the crowd line.

 

The 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. The next major event at the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre is Props and Pistons on 31 August, with around 200 exotic cars on site, plus flying displays by Hawker Hurricane, The Fighter Collection's Goodyear Corsair, Hardwick Warbirds P-51 Mustang pair and Justin Needham's Cessna Bird Dog.

 

The Bristol Blenheim  (To play the album below please move your cursor over the bottom of the slideshow for the control panels).  

Airshow 2015  (To play the album below please move your cursor over the bottom of the slideshow for the control panels).