One year ago I was fortunate to visit a very special place. Old Warden Airfield, home of the Shuttleworth Collection, located near Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, UK. The trip was a 50th birthday/25 Wedding Anniversary gift from my lovely wife Kathy. Some of you may be familiar with OW, but for those who are not, Old Warden has something like 37 aircraft in it's collection, and is home for everything from a 1909 Bleriot (the oldest aircraft in the world that still flies), to a Supermarie Spitfire. Every month they put on wonderful flying displays. Most of aircraft in the collection (even the original WW1 birds) fly! I was there for the annual Pageant Air Display.
From their website:
The Collection is famous for its regular flying displays. During the season, all of the airworthy aircraft are flown in displays, alongside visiting aircraft from other operators and from other Services, re-creating flying during the Edwardian period, the First World War, the peacetime years of the twenties and thirties and the Second World War. Modern aircraft are also a regular feature and provide an intriguing contrast with the veteran and vintage types.
It is a specail place! heaven on earth for a guy like me.
As they say.. "Time flies at Old Warden."
While a few of the aircraft are full scale replicas, like the Bristol M1c and Sopwith Triplane, most are not, like the 1916 Sopwith Pup (actually a converted Dove), the 1918 Avro 504K, SE5a and the 1918 Bristol Fighter.
I thought I'd celebrate the 1 year anniversary of my wonderful trip by sharing some of my OW pictures with the group, at least the ones of the WW1 types. As you'll see in the static shorts, it was a beautiful, sunny morning. Of course, by the time flying had started, it had gotten cloudy and windy. Not great for flying or photography. The pilots did a wonderful job putting on a great display despite the less than optimal conditions. They fly for the crowd, and put on a display the likes of you'll probably never see on this side of the pond.
I feel extremely lucky to have been able visit the hallowed grounds of OW. It is a remarkable place full of wonderful, fantastic flying machines and wonderful people. The sights and smells of the hangars and flying display are with me even today. I hope to make it back in a couple of years, and this time take Kathy with me.
Bristol F2b Fighter