Celebrating their 75th Anniversary Blackbushe Airport will host its very own Festival of flight on the 1st and 2nd of July 

Former RAF Hartford Bridge the station opened in 1942 and was used throughout the remainder of Second World War for reconnaissance, defence and strike operations using Spitfires and Mosquitoes. Throughout its time as a RAF Station a number of very important figured landed there including King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, Supreme Allied Commander General Dwight D. Eisenhower and Field Marshal Montgomery the base officially closed on the 15th November 1946 before reopening in February 1947 as Blackbushe Airport under the control of the Ministry of Civil Aviation. Over the next 10 years the airfield would become a hub for cargo and maintenance with the likes of  Airwork Services, Britavia and British Eagle all operating from the airfield, during this time Blackbushe was also used as a major location for the 1956 film The Crooked Sky. Along side the civilian operations the United States Navy also opened a facility on the north-east edge of the airport handling visiting naval aircraft including the Lockheed P2V Neptune, Martin P4M Mercator, Douglas R5D Skymaster and Douglas R6D Liftmaster all this happened before the airport was closed again on the 31st May 1960. 

Blackbushe reopened as a civilian general aviation field on 6th October 1962 but not before the fight of one man Air Vice Marshal Donald Clifford Tyndall Bennett who’s resolve fought Hampshire County Council to open the airfield after a previous application was rejected on the 25th August 1961 he did this by buying land close to the airport preventing its destruction. In its later life the airfield was sold onto British Car Auctions who developed it into a centre of private, business and executive aviation before the current owners purchased the airfield.

The 2017 Festival of Flight will celebrate this rich history with over a 3 hour flying display planned and over 30 static aircraft currently set to appear. The event will support three amazing charities these are Help for Heroes, The Lt Dougie Dalzell MC Memorial Trust and Aerobility. Aerobility a registered charity founded in 1993 offering disabled people the opportunity to fly an aeroplane. The charity own a number of aircraft all specifically modified to meet the needs of all who wish to fly them you can find our review of their 2016 fly-in here http://www.britishairshowreview.co.uk/blackbushe-air-day-2016/

Current highlights at the time of the press launch include; the Boeing B 17 Flying Fortress ‘Sally B’ Sally-B will also be on the ground offering the public tours, Breitling Wing Walkers, O’Brien’s flying circus which will involve a Piper cub landing on a truck, The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Avro Lancaster and  a number of aircraft from the Army Air Corps Historic Aircraft Flight aside from the flying display there will be a number of static aircraft on the ground giving visitors the chance to get up close and personal with the RAF Chinook from nearby RAF Odiham, a British Antarctic Survey DHC Twin Otter, Hawker Hurricane and numerous civilian aircraft. Alongside the aircraft at the show visitors will also have the chance to see live performances from The Military Wives Choir and The Rock Choir but if you want a little move aviation fix there will also be ground runs from a Bristol Hercules engine and probably one of the most famous engines in the world the Roll Royce Merlin. Do not worry if you not a massive aviation fan or you simply want something else for you or your family to do when you are at the show as there will be numerous trade stalls to walk around as well a children’s zone and the chance to see Blackbushe from the air thanks to Scillonia Airways and Phoenix Helicopters who will be offering pleasure flights throughout the day. 

During the media launch for the Festival of flight we had the chance to fly in the Army Historic Aircraft Flight’s Westland Scout AH Mk1 – XT626 (G-CIBW) below you can see the video of that flight.

Latest Aircraft Participation

Royal Air Force

  • Battle of Britain Memorial Flight – Avro Lancaster B1 (FP)
  • Boeing Chinook HC4/6 (S) RAF Odiham

British Army

  • Army Historic Aircraft Flight Trust – de Havilland Canada Beaver AL1 (S)
  • Army Historic Aircraft Flight Trust – Agusta/Bell Sioux AH1 (F)
  • Army Historic Aircraft Flight Trust – Westland Scout AH1 (F)
  • Army Historic Aircraft Flight Trust – Taylorcraft Auster AOP9 (S)
  • Tigers Freefall Parachute Display Team (F) (TBC)

Classic Jets and Cold War Era Types

  • Westland Wasp HAS1 (F)
  • North American OV-10B Bronco (F) Bronco Demo Team
  • BAC Jet Provost T3 (S) JP Display Team
  • SIAI-Marchetti S.211 (S)
  • Scottish Aviation Bulldog T1 (S)
  • Percival Pembroke C1 (S)

Warbirds

  • North American P-51D Mustang (F) Norwegian Spitfire Foundation
  • Supermarine Spitfire PRXI (F) Hangar 11 Collection
  • Consolidated PBY-5A Catalina (F/S) Plane Sailing
  • Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress (F/S) Sally-B
  • Douglas C-47A Skytrain (S) Aces High
  • Hawker Hurricane I (S) BHHH
  • Great War Display Team – Avro 504K (F)
  • Great War Display Team – RAF BE2c (F)
  • Great War Display Team  – RAF SE5a x 3 (F)
  • Great War Display Team – Sopwith Triplane (F)
  • Great War Display Team – Junkers CL1 x 2 (F)
  • Great War Display Team – Fokker Dr1 x 2 (F)

Civilian

  • Breitling Wingwalkers – Boeing Stearman  (F)
  • O’Brien’s Flying Circus – Piper J3C Cub (F)
  • Antonov An-2 (F) HA-ANG/Para Support for CRWSADERS
  • Team CRWSADERS (F) 4-way rotation and 2-way sequential Canopy Formation team
  • Historic Gliders – Types TBC (F)
  • de Havilland Canada Twin Otter (S) British Antarctic Survey
  • Extra 300LP (S) 2Excel Aviation
  • Cessna C206 Caravan (S)
  • Cessna Citation (S) Blink Aviation
  • de Havilland Heron (S)
  • Cessna C172 (S) Float-Equipped
  • Gulfstream G280 (S)
  • Yakovlev Yak-52 (S) Aerobility
  • de Havilland DH89a Dragon Rapide (SP)

 

Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd July 2017

Gates open: 10am to 5pm

Venue: Camberley, Surrey, GU17 9LQ

Gate Prices: 

Adult £25

Child £8

Carer £8

Children under 2 free to enter however you must acquire a free ticket.  

2 Child Tickets free when you purchase 1 Adult ticket in Advance.

 

The outline event timetable for each day is as follows:

  • Car Park Opens – 0900
  • Showground Opens – 1000
  • Shuttle Bus – 0930-1200 & 1600-1800
  • Pleasure Flying – 1030-1130
  • Air Displays – 1200-1600
  • Showground Closes -1700
  • Car Park Closes – 1800

Article by Kurt Fairhurst assisted by Paul Atkin with a huge thank you going to all the Staff at Blackbushe Airport for more information please visit http://www.blackbushe75.com/