Amazing! We woke up early on the 24th August to find that the weather looked pretty good for an airshow—this is the first time in the couple of weeks that we’ve been here in the UK that the conditions look good for filming and taking photographs. To say that we were relieved that the weather would be good for the Little Gransden Air and Car Show would be an understatement!
Airshows in the UK seem to work differently from the way that they do at home in New Zealand. You can get into the car park from about 8:00am onwards, but the gates to the show don’t actually open until 10:00am. So by 9:45am there’s usually a long queue of people waiting for the gates to open. At precisely 10.00am they do open, and then there’s plenty of time to look around the trade stalls and get food as the flying displays don’t start until about 1:00pm—in New Zealand half the flying displays are over by 1:00pm. In the UK flying runs through until about 5:00pm so there’s a good four hours of flying, and on a day like today when the weather was pretty good, and the flying programme can keep pretty much to schedule, they’re able to fit quite a bit of flying into the aerial display time, so it works out to be quite a good day.
Little Gransden is just a small airfield, and there were approximately 7500 tickets sold which meant the place was pretty much at capacity. They’ve never (since 1992) had a sell-out crowd before, and the fact they did this time can be pretty much put down to the appearance of the two Lancasters, although another significant highlight of the day was the flypast of the Avro Vulcan jet bomber. At RAF Marham it just flew over with the Lancasters and then departed, where-as today it did three flypasts on its own and it was impressive— it was great to be able to see and hear this huge beast of an aircraft in the flesh.
There were plenty of other things happening in the air to keep everyone entertained throughout the afternoon—Supermarine Spitfire, North American P-51 Mustang, Hawker Hurricane, Fiesler Storch, North American T-28 Trojan, more de Havilland biplanes, Spartans and a whole host of highly skilled aerobatic and formation pilots showing of their aircraft and skills. On the other side of the field there were military vehicles, buses, vintage and classic cars and all sorts of other things to see and hear. All in all it was a great show and a worthy cause (the show is designed to raise money for the BBC Children in Need Appeal)—if you ever have the chance to visit Little Gransden sometime, then do it!