Yesterday I went to a delightful air show at Old Warden in Bedfordshire. It mainly consisted of rare and old planes with the most modern being a small stunt plane from 1988. The heavier aircraft were grounded because the ground was too boggy after so much rain. Today I spent a lot of time identifying each plane and reading up about them. I’ve posted my favourite photos that I took from the evening, together with my own write up of each aircraft I’ve included.
Bristol Boxkite – 1910
The aeroplane in the photo is a reproduction built by F. G. Miles Engineering Ltd in the 1960s for the film Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines as no original Boxkites exist. It is one of only three airworthy replicas in the world, the other two being in Bristol itself and Australia. Speed and range unknown.
Avro Triplane – 1910
The Avro Triplane in the photo is a replica built by the Hampshire Aeroplane Club at Eastleigh, Southampton for the film Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines. During the making of this film it was found to be a very impressive flyer and so the Trustees decided that it should be acquired to add to the Shuttleworth Collection. During the winter of 2000/1, the Avro Triplane was completely stripped down and restored. During this time the opportunity was taken to reapply the markings that the Triplane wore in Those Magnificent Men. It has a maximum speed of 25mph and a range of 0.3 miles.
Deperdussin – 1910
The Deperdussin shown in the photo is the second oldest airworthy plane in the world with the oldest being the Bleriot XI, the first airplane to cross the channel. Only 67 Derperdussins were built, around 1910, with the example in the photo being the only one left in the world. Speed and range unknown.
Blackburn Type D – 1912
The Blackburn Type D, sometimes known as the Single Seat Monoplane, was built by Robert Blackburn at Leeds in 1912. It was one of a kind as no others were built. It was a single-engine mid-wing monoplane. Restored shortly after the World War II, the plane in the photo is the oldest British flying aeroplane. It has a maximum speed of 60mph and an endurance of almost 3 hours.
Sopwith Pup – 1916
The Pup first flew in February 1916 and production ceased in 1918 with a total of 1770 built. It has a maximum speed of 111mph and an endurance of 3 hours.
Bristol F.2 – 1916
The Bristol F.2 (also known as a “Brisfit” or “Biff”) first flew in September 1916 and production ceased in 1927 after 5,329 had been built. The Brisfit proved to be a very capable aircraft, scoring many kills during World War I with its forward firing Vickers machine gun and Lewis gun mounted on a scarff in the read cockpit. There are only three airworthy examples of this plane in the world including D8096, the plane in the photo. It has a maximum speed of 123mph and a range of 369 miles.
Polikarpov Po-2 – 1929
The Polikarpov first flew in June 1927 and production ceased in 1953 after some 40,000 had been built. It started out as a basic Soviet training aircraft and as a military liaison aircraft due to its STOL capabilities. During the defense of Odessa, in September 1941, the Po-2 was used as a reconnaissance aircraft and as a light, short-range bomber. It has a maximum speed of 94mph and a range of 391 miles.
De Havilland Tiger Moth – 1931
The Tiger Moth first flew in October 1931 and was designed as a RAF pilot training plane. From 1931 to 1944 over 7,000 Tiger Moths were produced with many still in flying condition to this day (an estimated 250). It has a maximum speed of 107mph and a range of 302 miles.
Blackburn B-2 – 1932
The Blackburn B-2 was a British biplane side-by-side trainer aircraft of the 1930s. Designed and built by Blackburn Aircraft, 42 were built. It had its first flight in 1931 and retired in 1942 with only two airworthy examples in the world. Many of the aircraft remaining after World War II were handed over to the Air Training Corps as instructional airframes. It has a maximum speed of 112mph and a range of 320 miles.
Avro Tutor – 1933
The Avro Tutor first flew in 1931, entered service in 1933 as a pilot trainer and retired in 1941 after 606 had been built. The plane in the photo is the sole survivor, airworthy or not. It has a maximum speed of 120mph and has a range of 250 miles.
De Havilland Dragon Rapide – 1934
The Dragon Rapide first came into service in 1934 as a short haul airliner with a capacity of eight passengers and one pilot. It became the most successful short haul airliner of the 1930s with some still flying to this day giving pleasure flights to members of the public. It has a maximum speed of 57mph and a range of 573miles.
DFS Habicht glider – 1936
The Habicht was designed in 1936 by Hans Jacobs as an aerobatic glider and several flew at the Olympic Games in 1936, often within the stadium itself. Only a few Habichts survived World War II, and so many of those around today are replicas. The glider in the photo is a replica built in 2001 by the Zahn family and flies in many airshows around the country by Christoph Zahn. It has a maximum speed of 160 mph and a glide ratio of 21:1.
Miles Magister – 1938
The Magister first flew in 1937 and was designed as a RAF pilot training plane. By the start of World War II over 700 Magisters had been built and when production stopped in 1941 around 1,200 had been completed. It has a maximum speed of 132mph and a range of 380 miles.
Fieseler Storch – 1942
The Fieseler Fi 156 Storch (English: Stork) was a small German liaison aircraft built by Fieseler before and during World War II, and production continued in other countries into the 1950s for the private market. It remains famous to this day for its excellent STOL performance, meaning that it can land in very short spaces. It once rescued Mussolini from his alpine prison by landing in the tennis courts! It remained in production from 1937 to 1949 with over 2,900 being built. It has a maximum speed of 109mph and a range of 240 miles. It can also remain airborne at speeds of less than 30 miles an hour!
DHC-1 Chipmunk – 1946
The Chipmunk had its first flight in May 1946 and retired in 1972 having been the primary RAF trainer for almost 30 years. Over 500 remain airworthy to this day with more becoming flyable every year due to restoration. During its service over 1,000 were built and some remained in service with foreign air forces as late as 1990. Chipmunks remained in service with ATC Air Experience Flights until 1996 when they were replaced with Scottish Aviation Bulldogs. These were retired in 2001 and replaced with the current ATC AEF the Grob Tutor. The Chipmunk has a maximum speed of 138 mph and a range of 225 miles.
Extra 330 – 1988
The Extra 300 first flew in May 1988 and is a four prop stunt plane. The Extra 300 is stressed for ±10 G so tight loops and other stunts can be performed. It can also fly backwards in the hands of an experienced pilot, truly a sight to see! It has a maximum speed of 253mph and a range of 586 miles with auxiliary fuel.