Tyabb Airshow 2016

Sopwith PupWell, Tyabb Airshow has come and gone for another 2 years – and what a great show it was!

The day started out a bit grey and gloomy, at least it was when I arrived at 0700 to open up our hangar and organise our planes. By that time, the airfield was already buzzing with people setting up and preparing for the day. Next to our hangar were Avia Aviation, Cirrus agents for Australia, and main sponsors East Link (motorway) as well as a welcome coffee van.

Next door to us in hangar 10, a P51 Mustang is being restored and although the engine has yet to return from the States after re-building, the Mustang had its cowlings on and really looked the part. To add to the fun, the Mustang Car Club rounded up about a dozen varieties of convertible and coupé Mustang cars to surround the aircraft. They also had a 12-cylinder Rolls-Royce Merlin engine on display – an engine used in the Spitfire and Hurricane WWII fighters, as well as in the P51. Next to it was a Mustang car V8 engine which did look rather small next to its aero-engine companion!

The cloud base was high enough for the flying display to start on time at around 1230 and we were treated to an almost unending procession of wonderful old warbirds, from Sopwith Pup and Snipe, right through to the huge C-17 Globemaster transport, which did a few low-level fly-pasts along the strip. It was quite something to see such a large aircraft over our little airfield.

The finale seemed to have just about every display aircraft in the air at the same time, with lots of aerial explosions and a ‘wall of fire’ to end the show.

There will soon be an official DVD of the show available, so I can’t show off too many photos of the action, but here’s a small selection – click here to go to the gallery. All photos courtesy of Mike Rudd.

Old aeroplanes – aren’t they wonderful?

ImageI have always loved old aeroplanes. I can remember as a small boy going along to air shows and being thrilled by the rumble of big radial engines and the spine-tingling noise of a 12-cylinder Merlin engine on a Spitfire. And the smooth sound of the ubiquitous Lycoming or Continental flat four. There’s just something about the smell, sound and look of an antique aircraft that pushes all my buttons – well, many of them, anyway!

A while back, I joined the Antique Aeroplane Association of Australia – AAAA – which is (strangely as its name suggests) an association for the owners and operators of older aircraft. They have a great website at: http://www.antique-aeroplane.com.au where you can find out all about old planes and how to join AAAA.

They categorise their aircraft in four ways – Antiques are those aircraft in production in or before 1945; Classics are from 1945-1955; Contemporary are 1956-1970; and Warbirds are what they say – aircraft of any age, ooperated by the military of any country. The AAAA has gatherings all over Australia and they have a current events list on their website. Of particular enjoyment each year are the various State & Territory ‘Toy Runs’ for collecting presents for disadvantaged children – check the AAAA website for details later in the year.

Meanwhile, I’ll soon be flying my own antique aeroplane, which is older than me but in much better condition! Watch this space…