Braving the weather at Shoreham Airshow

21 Aug

Yesterday saw the 70th anniversary of Winston Churchill’s famous "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few" speech. There was an event commemorating the anniversary in London yesterday, and a whole range of events commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain this year.

In theory then this weekend was the perfect weekend for the Battle of Britain Airshow at Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex. If today’s experience was anything to go by, the weather has proved less than perfect. The day began with misty rain and low cloud, and although the rain did stop and the cloud lift, it had a significant impact on the day’s flying display.

The English Summer

The photo above shows the situation at about 10:45am, just a quarter of an hour before the flying display was due to start. It is a miracle that any flying did take place, and it was about around midday that a rather reduced display began. Despite the low cloud and much of the country suffering similarly poor conditions the organisers did manage to put together a pretty good show, mostly based on aircraft already onsite.

Fortunately there was a lot to see on the ground, several aircraft on static display, various tents and displays by various businesses and charities, the historic airport terminal and even a postcard dealer in the craft tent.

Shoreham Airport Terminal from a chinook

One of the now regular features of the airshow is a recreation of a Battle of Britain scramble, with Hurricanes and Spitfires taking to the air to fight off a lone Messerschmitt attacker. Fortunately this was able to go ahead and with the help of the Home Guard the attacker was repelled.


Unfortunately a lot of the big attractions like the Vulcan, Red Arrows, Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and The Blades were unable to make it. Hopefully they will have a better day tomorrow, but unfortunately I won’t be there.

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