Sunday 6 December 2020

Warbirds on Parade, Ardmore

Here are two tips for when you attend a Warbirds display at Ardmore Airfield (which you really should): take a chair, and sit near the loudspeakers. We had one chair between the four of us, which was dumb because we're all too old now to sit comfortably on the grass, and we also stood too far away to hear properly what the announcer was saying. After all, these are planes, they're up in the air - there's no need to scriggle through the crowd to a front-row position.

And, very pleasingly, there was certainly a crowd. Having been there a few weeks ago to talk to the organisers, it was really good to see their hard work bear fruit. And it sure was organised, from start to finish - very good.

It's always interesting to see these old planes, which up close look so flimsy and basic, or dauntingly complicated, but even better is to see them in action, which they certainly were today. It was extraordinary, to see a triplane chasing a biplane overhead, dipping and turning remarkably nimbly. They started with the old ones, the stated reason being that they're harder to handle when the wind gets up later - which just makes you marvel even more at what their pilots took on, originally.

The planes gradually got newer, and faster, and there was even a race between a Mclaren and an Extra aircraft flying low and, of course, beating the car. Best of all, though, was when the Spitfire - the only one flying outside Britain - suddenly zoomed overhead, going straight up, stalling, swooping down, then going into barrel rolls and loop-the-loops. Spectacular! And so thrilling to hear that distinctive throaty roar as well as see it in action.

The Roaring Forties aerobatics team was brilliant, too - lots of vapour trail patterns, and impressive close-quarter manoeuvres. It was all so good, except for the bit where silly men pretending to be soldiers, but far too fat and in only approximate uniforms, did a bit of popping off of fake guns, lying on their podgy tummies beside the runway. Daft. Apparently they came out yesterday and camped overnight, staying in character the whole time. I was much more impressed by the pilot who flung his plane all over the sky and then, after landing, climbed out in his shorts and t-shirt and just strolled away into the crowd.

It was a really good display, and I'm glad I went. Recommended. 

No comments:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...