Sunday, 9 September 2012

Southport Air Show

This event was on both days of the weekend, so I decided to go today. On Sundays there's a direct train service to Southport from Chester, which I joined at Mobberley at 09:44 this morning. As far as Bolton the train was moderately busy, but from Bolton onwards, despite doubling the length to four coaches at Wigan Wallgate, it was packed.

The Chester - Southport train this morning, some time after the Bolton stop
The delay at Wigan meant we arrived at about 12:10, as Red Red Arrows were opening the show. I walked the 20 minutes or so down to the beach, buying an entry ticket on the way. In the light aircraft park was an old friend.

G-BCSL, which I part-owned an flew from 1978 until this year
Three years ago (2009) I flew Sierra Lima into the show with elder daughter Claire in the back seat. We were guests of Sefton Borough Council, and were given VIP passes on landing which entitled us to lunch in the VIP tent, and use of the executive loos etc. This year I was just another punter!
Picture taken by Claire of our arrival back in 2009, with the runways marked out on the beach (click on the picture to enlarge it to see them more clearly).

Steve Le Vien took this picture of us landing on the beach in 2009

 Claire and me with SL at the 2009 show

Back to today.... Hawker Sea Fury

RAF Tornado re-heats around the sky

 It finished with a vertical climb, but only to about five thousand feet before levelling off. Lightnings could do that all the way up to max ceiling..... and you could probably have bought a hundred Lightnings for the price of one tornado.

The Blades, four Extras doing formation aerobatics

Spitfire, Lancaster, Hurricane; the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight

The P51 Mustang. It had amazing range and flew high, so ideal for bomber protection. But it's no Spitfire in the handling stakes (you have to fly it, whereas a Spit you just 'think' around the sky).

A lovely day brought out the crowds. This view is from the sea wall.

That stalwart of the air show circuit, Brendan O'Brian ("hi, I'm Brendan O'Brian and I'm a pilot") did some crazy flying in a Cub

The idea was, I think, to land on the moving platform. I think, in the stiff southerly wind, he'd have done it if the 4x4 hadn't got bogged down in wet sand!

Rare Spitfire Mk X1; unique, actually!

The Spit climbs exuberantly into its element!

Another overcrowded train back to Mobberley!


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