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In Honour of Her Majesty

Duxford are famous for their program of airshows throughout the season, this year they kicked things off celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
By Andy Evans.

Avro Anson Display

In 1952, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II took the thrown of a nation and its Commonwealth that was recovering from war. Back then, the RAF was one of the stronger air forces in the world. It stands to reason then that an airfield and facility with a rich history spanning the length of her reign pays it's own tribute to an astonishing monarch.

Eurofighter Typhoon FGR.4 ZK333

Belgian Air Compenent F-16 Demo

Avro Anson Display

Sally B

Eurofighter Typhoon DA4 - ZH590

Spitfire Finale!

Usually called the May or Spring airshow by Duxford, good use was made of the shows timing to co-incide with the celebrations for the Diamond Jubilee. The main theme of the show of course being the Royal family.

UK airshows over the past few years have been plagued by bad weather, but perhaps paying tribute itself, the weekend of this airshow saw clear skies and very high temperatures. As a result, Duxford were treated to bumper crowd all eager to see a display with perfect blue skies just once in 2012!

As per usual, Duxfords superb museum exhibits provided the majority of the static display at the airshow however, a number of visiting aircraft did arrive during the day specifically to be on static display. A lot of visitors of the show were eager to see The Fighter Collections newest aircraft, a P-47 Thunderbolt named 'Snafu'. Understandably it will not be making a flying debut until Flying Legends however, somewhat disappointingly the aircraft was almost hidden from view and the cameras.

The flying display kicked off with a raw from the RAF Typhoon display team with one of their first displays of the season. Making full use of the blue sky the display seemed more energetic than previous years however it is still no where near as dynamic as its main "rival" on the show scene, the Rafale.

With the key theme being the Diamond Jubilee, a number of the displays centred around this theme with a formation display by "Royal" aircraft, either those that had been flown by royals or were part of units that had. This included the Chipmunk Prince Charles learnt to fly in and a very rare Avro Anson.

Speaking of rare aircraft, making a welcome return to the airshow season for 2012 is the Meteor T.7 of the Classic Aircraft Trust. This is the oldest flying jet aircraft world which was returned to flight only last year after a major refurbishment. As expected, the display was superb and the aircraft (and its pilot) quite easily stole the show.

Whilst this show was a celebration of all things British over the past 60 years, two foreign acts also took to the sky. The first being a debut on mainland British soil; the French Cartouch Doré display team flying their Epsilon trainers. Whilst it is great to see new acts in the UK, it is fair to say that their display could greatly benefit from the use of smoke however their PacMan formation was very very good. Putting a flare in proceedings was the first display in 2012 by the Belgian Air Component F-16.

Sporting a new pilot and paint scheme, the F-16 display was a masterpiece of power and precision made all the better for the photographer by the liberal use of flares!

The show as always was ended with a superb formation display of warbirds, this year was the turn of three Spitfires whose grace and tight formation aerobatics would put the Horsemen to shame. All in all, a great show with great weather to start the year off with!

27th May 2012 - Tucano ZF269 Close Up

27th May 2012 - Meteor inverted!

27th May 2012 - Nimrods

BBMF Display

27th May 2012 - Lightning!

Belgian Air Component - Flares!

Andy Evans would like to thank the organisers at Duxford for such a superb event, information on the rest of their airshows for 2012 can be found here. To view more photos from the event, either visit our flickr pages and or click here to navigate to our image gallery.