Battle of Britain Open Day
|Date||17th September 2000|
|Weather||Variable high cloud and quite cool.|
|Highlights||The varied display and the nostalgic 'atmosphere'.|
|Report||Not all of the advertised
items made it to the show, most notably the flypast by two USAF B-52's and
the RNLAF F-16 contingent being reduced from 4 to only 2. However, there
was plenty of other 'fast' jet activity including a rare display by a Royal
Danish Air Force F-16B and the French Air Force Jaguar duo.
The day though belonged to the Spitfire and Hurricane which were seen in varying numbers throughout the day. For this year's 60th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, there does seem to have been an effort to give the Hurricane its fair share of credit; it often being overshadowed by the more glamourous Spitfire. More the pity that the BBMF's Hurricane went 'tech' and was unable to accompany the flight's Spitfire and Lancaster.
All in all, a good show worthy of its title.
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Not quite up to the standard of the Belgian Air Force F-16 solo display seen earlier in the year at the Air Fair but a reasonable display nonetheless by this Royal Danish Air Force F-16B, especially as this was an impromptu display for this show.
RAF 'fast' jet displays often get better as the display season progresses, with the Tornado GR1 being no exception this year, which seemed to give a more 'gutsy' display than at the Air Fair.
Perhaps the best looking of all the current airworthy Hurricane's?
The World's only flying example of the Blenheim performed a nice display to commemorate its participation in the Battle of Britain, even though it did only participate as a very much outclassed night-fighter.
It was appropriate that the BBMF sent the oldest Spitfire still flying and the only one to have actually taken part in the Battle of Britain, Mk IIa P7350.
A lovely banking turn against a pleasant background as the BBMF Lancaster PA474 positions for a flyby with its gear down.
I don't think the Lancaster PA474 has ever looked better, having this year been presented as 'Mickey the Moocher' and finished in a much more representative satin finish, instead of the high gloss of recent years.
Not as dynamic as the Mirage F1 duo seen here back in 1996 but a well executed display all the same, these French Air Force Jaguar's appeared at Biggin Hill, having displayed at RAF Leuchars the previous day.
This year's Tornado F3 routine seems to be the best for a number of years, with the majority of the display using full afterburner.
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