Old Buckenham Airshow shatters records as aviation giants fill skies

Old Buckenham Airshow 2016. ANL-160730-211314005

Old Buckenham Airshow 2016. ANL-160730-211314005

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After another record-breaking Old Buckenham airshow, organiser Matt Wilkins was left with one question: How do we beat that?

“But we’re working on it and will have some announcements and dates soon,” he said.

Old Buckenham Airshow 2016. Mike Williams with his model. ANL-160730-211338005

Old Buckenham Airshow 2016. Mike Williams with his model. ANL-160730-211338005

For the second year running attendance reached a new high, with around 10,000 at the wartime American bomber base at the weekend.

After the tragedy at the Shoreham airshow a year ago, which has affected a number of displays since, the attendance figure showed airshows remained popular, said Mr Wilkins.

His only problem was whether to try to grow the show even more or keep it on the scale it is: “A large garden party with some extremely rare and wonderful aircraft flown by some of the best pilots in the world.”

Two of the rare aircraft on view were the Sally B, the only flying B-17 bomber in Europe, and the ten-ton Catalina flying boat with its 114-ft wingspan.

Old Buckenham Airshow 2016. ANL-160730-211510005

Old Buckenham Airshow 2016. ANL-160730-211510005

“The importance of their roles in the Second World War cannot be overstated and they have rightly achieved iconic status,” said Mr Wilkins.

In contrast to the stately flypasts of the two veterans were displays by the Old Buckenham-based Wildcats, and the unique sight of Chris Burkett in an aerobatic Extra 330 joined in the sky by a scale model Extra “piloted” by remote control champion Mike Williams.

The show and displays were a great testament to all the organisers and volunteers who worked so hard to prepare them, said Mr Wilkins.