One of the biggest surprises of the 2012 season was the appearances at Duxford and Old Warden of the RAF RE8a and Albatros DVa reproductions from New Zealand based The Vintage Aviator Ltd. The aircraft had been built for display at the RAF Museum, Hendon along with a non-airworthy example of the Sopwith Snipe from parts in store by the museum.
However, prior to going on display, the RAF Museum permitted the airworthy Albatros and RE8a to fly at three shows at Old Warden and Duxford. The pair first appeared at the Shuttleworth Pageant in the hands of TVAL Chief Pilot Gene DeMarco and legendary US aviator Kermit Weeks. Both also displayed the aircraft a week later at Duxford where they appeared alongside the Fokker Triplane and Nieuport 17 replicas from the Great War Display Team.
However, perhaps the most memorable appearance by the Albatros and the RE8 came at the Shuttleworth Uncovered Air Display. Gene DeMarco returned the fly the RE8, but Stu Goldspink flew the Albatros. As well as appeared as their own duo, they were joined by the Shuttleworth Collections genuine Bristol F2b Fighter and RAF SE5a for a series of flypasts in the early evening sunset – magical stuff.