English airshows (and museums) a must-see

Ready for a break from castles and historical museums and want a little more action?

CALGARY, Alta. Nov. 19, 2016/ Troy Media/ – Airshows in England? Maybe you’re ready for a break from castles and historical museums and you’ve gotten into the great outdoors to explore Stonehenge and some of the other megaliths, but you want a little more action!

There are airshows all over the United Kingdom. You can find one … or two … every weekend from March to October. There are military airshows at Royal Air Force Bases and displays featuring antique airplanes. or antique aeroplanes as they like to say, at museums from north to south.

If you want to spare yourself from having too look all over the British Isles for times and dates, there are two big venues for airshows in England. You need look no further than the Imperial War Museum Duxford and The Shuttleworth Collection.

The [popup url=”http://www.iwm.org.uk/visits/iwm-duxford” height=”1000″ width=”1200″ scrollbars=”1″]Imperial War Museum Duxford[/popup] is a great place to see vintage aircraft. The museum is open all year and, four times a year, it hosts major airshows in England, with smaller shows almost monthly. You can expect to see rare and historic aircraft on the ground and in the air, including Second World War aviation legends like Hurricanes and Spitfires.

There are less well known legends like the Gloster Gladiator, or how about a Hawker Hind? If you’re into Mustangs and other American “warbirds,” there’s a great American Air Museum on the grounds.

Duxford was first in use in the First World War. It was a Royal Air Force Fighter Station in the Second World WAr. When it was closed, it was turned into the great museum it is today. Duxford is about 80 km (50 miles ) from London just off the M11 Motorway. It is only 16 km (10 miles ) south of Cambridge.

If you’re interested in seeing even older aircraft, visit the [popup url=”http://www.shuttleworth.org/” height=”1000″ width=”1200″ scrollbars=”1″]Shuttleworth Collection[/popup], in Old Warden, near Biggleswade. They specialize in “Edwardian Flying Machines.” The emphasis of their museum is on planes that are from the early years of flying, the First World War and the 1920s and ’30s, that is, between the wars. There are some Second World War aircraft and some that visit on flying display days.

The Shuttleworth collection is dedicated to keeping even the oldest of their planes flying, and they schedule flying displays throughout the airshow season. The airshows are subject to “weather, serviceability and availability” however, so check out their website to make sure the show will be on.

Conditions have to be just right for some of these fragile old aircraft, and the planes themselves have to be ready to fly. If that sounds like they almost take on a life of their own, they do. The pilots learn to listen to the old planes and if something doesn’t sound quite right, they don’t fly. You will, however, still be able to see them on the ground. These old planes take off and land on grass, and that’s fun to see all by itself.

The Shuttleworth Collection is just a few kilometres off the A1 Motorway about 48 km (30 miles ) north of London: you can drive to it in about an hour.

If you want to visit both, you’ll probably have to settle for a flying day at one and a visit to the museum at the other, but its still worth it. They are about an hour or two apart over country roads.

On rare occasions they have flying displays the same weekend: you’ll be able to see one on Saturday and one on Sunday. How’s that for seeing the best airshows in England?

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