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Church Fenton Air Show - Sept 26th

By Stephen Carr

This was the first air show at the former RAF Church Fenton, now renamed Leeds East Airport. The Yorkshire MVT were to display a number of vehicles as part of the ground attractions, and I tagged along too, although I possibly travelled the furthest, with a three hour, 100 mile drive each way ( did anyone bring an MV from further a field? ). I got there about 10am including three quarters of an hour in the queue to get in. It was still quite dull and overcast upon arrival, but someone said later that there were over 70 military vehicles on display. 
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As the morning moved on towards lunch, the sky got brighter and it got warmer when flying started. The show had a very retro feel with so many classic jets, and the most modern aircraft were probably the Raven display team. The jet displays included the Gnat Team, Meteor and Sea Venom, Provost, MiG15 and the Avro Vulcan.
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There were plenty of warbirds too, with a C-47, three Spitfires, P-40, P-51 and Hurricane.
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The C-47 put on a great low level display. 
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Because of the Shoreham Hunter crash, there were restrictions on how the classic jets could be displayed. Despite these restrictions, the pilots showed the aircraft off very well, giving the crowd views of all sides of the aircraft. 
Slowing the displays down a bit were two helicopters, a Bell UH-1 Iroquois and a Hughes OH-6 Loach.
The MiG 15 put on a great flat display, and the silver finish looked great in the sun light. It is painted in the markings of Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin.
The clipped wing Spitfire and P-40 were from the Fighter Collection. The program said Spit and Sea Fury, but this must have had a technical problem, being replaced by the P-40. The P-51 was from the Old Flying Machine Company.
The Historic Aircraft Collection  provided the third Spitfire and the Hurricane, which both looked great tail chasing against the blue sky and white clouds of a Battle of Britain Summer sky. 
After the Gnat display, they formed up with the Vulcan for several passes. Following this, they rearranged the formation to fly the missing man formation, in memory of their team member Kevin Whyman, who was sadly killed when his Gnat crashed at Carfest at the beginning of August.
The Vulcan then closed the show, flying a full display in fantastic sun light, ending the show with a near vertical climb and flying off into the Sun set and into history.
It was a long, tiring drive home, and I didn't make it home until well after dark.