The Shuttleworth Pageant had the unique distinction of hosting the first public outing of The Vintage Aviator Limited’s flying replicas of the Royal Aircraft Factory RE.8 and the Albatros DVa along with a static example of the Sopwith Snipe. They had been shipped over from New Zealand and re-assembled at Old Warden before the chief engineer of TVAL Gene DeMarco, flying the RE.8, and American aviation collector Kermit Weeks, in the Albatross, test flew them a couple of days before the show. The RE.8 and Albatross were only going to fly at two Old Warden and One Duxford air show before all three are incarcerated as static aircraft in the darkness of the Royal Air Force Museum, Hendon. They both flew a very sedate routine as befitting a unique pair of aeroplanes and first display’s by both pilots with loose formations and taking turns in chasing each other over the Bedfordshire countryside. Although there was extensive cloud cover all day, the sun did actually shine through gaps in the clouds for the display by the WWI pair. The majority of the Pageant was made up of the collection’s resident aircraft with a few guests. Many of the flying routines started with a couple of formation flypasts like the group of four Miles aircraft, the Demon and Hind, before they split up to do individual routines. Unfortunately I couldn’t stay for the Edwardians to come out to fly but a thoroughly enjoyable day out, despite the lack of sun, made all the more special for the inclusion of the RE.8 and Albatros.
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Sony Alpha SLT A-57 + Sigma 18-250mm f3.5-6.3 & Sony 70-400mm f4.5-6.0 lens