Wings & Wheels firmly cemented its reputation as one of the best family airshows in the UK over the August bank holiday. More than 30,000 visitors were treated to action-packed five-hour flying displays, thrilling all day motoring demonstrations and an Arena packed with exciting new Zones and shopping experiences.
The RAF Hawk Display Team’s first female pilot, Flt Lt Juliette ‘Jules’ Fleming put on a thrilling solo display in a Hawk T1, a fitting tribute to ‘Women in the Air’ day, held to mark the 100th anniversary of the first British woman to get a pilot’s licence, Hilda Hewlitt who made history at Brooklands on August 29 in 1911.
The 60th anniversary of the Hawker Hunter fighter jet was also marked by a unique formation display from the Royal Navy Hawker Sea Fury and the colourful ‘Miss Demeanour’ Hunter, as well as Team Viper – the only Hunter formation team in the world – demonstrating their power to the crowds.
The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight with the Spitfire, Hurricane and Lancaster, provided a fabulous flypast whilst a Second World War P-51 Mustang performed a stunning finale to the weekend. Favourites the Brietling Wingwalkers, Glider FX and Brendan O’ Brien’s Flying Circus with Mr Booglaloo and The Blades, Matadors and Sabre F-86 didn’t disappoint as they helped make-up the Wings of the Show.
New additions to the Arena, The Stunt Zone sponsored by Ford and featuring world record holder Paul Swift was an instant hit with the crowds as he demonstrated fast action parallel parking, j-turns, pirouettes and two wheel driving. Visitors also found themselves dancing through the new 1940s and Military Zones as Nick Kirby and Alison Nott from Everythins’ Jumpin’ gave jive dance master classes.
The Hot Rod Zone got everyone’s toes tapping to some rockabilly music courtesy of The Radio Ramblers featuring The Blackwater Valley Boys and Lynette Morgan. The Hot Rod cars, courtesy of the Detonators Car Club, powered up and down the runway with special guests from Help for Heroes Tedworth House co-piloting as they joined Brooklands Museum’s spectacular motoring demonstrations of modern and classic cars and motorcycles.
On a more poignant note the Show held a moving tribute to Red Arrows pilot, Flight Lieutenant Jon Egging, as the poem ‘High Flight’ was read before the whole event came to a standstill observing a one minute silence. Over 2,000 visitors on both days paid their personal respects by signing books of condolence that will be passed on to Flt Lt Egging’s family.
Jamie McAllister, Events Director, Wings & Wheels said: “Over the last seven years, Wings & Wheels has helped Dunsfold Aerodrome raise more than £250,000 for charitable causes. Each year a small team of staff and a dedicated group of volunteers work tirelessly to ensure the Airshow happens and is a huge success. I would like to thank all of these individuals and all those who have supported the show through sponsorship, donations and by purchasing tickets. This year’s Show was our best yet!”