View Full Version : RAF 50th Anniversary Airshow RAF Abingdon

Peter Barron
16th Oct 2003, 02:22
I went to the RAF 50th Anniversary Airshow at RAF Abingdon in 1968.

From what I remember it was a great airshow with a terrific flypast, also had my first flight in a Morton Air Services Heron at the show.

Would anyone know if there was ever a video made in later years of the Airshow as I would love to see the airshow again, especially the flypast with all the Vulcans, Lightnings etc.


16th Oct 2003, 02:36
I can't help you with a video but I took a fair few photographs of the static park (on colour slides) which I would be happy to share with you.

Peter Barron
16th Oct 2003, 03:22

Thanks for your reply and thanks for the offer of sharing your slides.
Unfortuneatly I don't have a projector but I would have loved to seen the pictures.
I have a friend who scans his slides on to his computer, do you by any chance do the same, then the pictures could have been sent by email.
Thanks again.


16th Oct 2003, 03:29
I shall ponder the problem. I probably have the technology but I'm not sure that I have the time!

I could easily get a set of prints done but first I have to find the slides. No doubt having waited this long you can afford to wait a little bit longer!

16th Oct 2003, 05:24
Can you imagine how feeble it would look if the RAF tried to repeat that show 35 years later? It was bad enough comparing the 1953 Coronation review with the joke of a few months ago, but at least even in 1968 most RAF aircraft were relatively modern - and in those days there were rather more than the pathetically few military aerodromes we have now......

16th Oct 2003, 06:55
I was there! Flew in in a Hastings from Colerne, or was that only for the work parties earlier in the week.
Thing I most remember is a magnificent replica Boxkite or similar, with a Gnome Rotary engine. First time I'd ever seen such an a/c fly. First time I'd heard a rotary run too.

Mike W

16th Oct 2003, 11:16
"...but at least even in 1968 most RAF aircraft were relatively modern..."

Yes indeed Beags.

Its remarkable to look back to that time and reflect that in 1968 PA474 was still only 23 years old and the BBMF's 'vintage' Spits and Hurricanes were all under 30. Today the RAF have quite a few 35 year old machines still in operational service.

[As a No. 1 Group 'erk' I was at Scampton for the 50th, but the flypast was the same.]

Through difficulties to the cinema

Evening Star
21st Oct 2003, 15:42
I went to the RAF 50th Anniversary Airshow at RAF Abingdon in 1968.

Me too! Imagine Evening Star as an impressionable child of five being taken to his first ever airshow. Do not have the clear memories held by you gentlemen of, shall we say, more mature years. Instead have a positive kaleidoscope of my childish impressions of the event. Treasured memories!

Peter Barron
21st Oct 2003, 17:02
Evening Star.

More mature years, not by a lot, I was only 9 when I went.
I can remember that the flypast seemed to go on and on as it was so big.
I can also remember going for my very first flight in the Morton Heron.
When we were half way through our 10 minute flight the pilot said that he had been told to go away and hold as there was some VIPs arriving at Abingdon, so in the end we got a 30 minute flight, which was nice.


21st Oct 2003, 23:25
Skylark 4 it was a Vickers FB5 Gunbus. First aircraft in the RFC with a vickers macine gun. Flown by BAC test pilot Dizzy Addicott who opened the show and had the heck of a job keeping it airborne with gusts up to 30kts. I also remember a beautiful Hawker Hind that was presented to the RAF by the Afghan Airforce during the show.

22nd Oct 2003, 06:14
I thought the best bit was the display by the Belgians, "Les Diables Rouge" in their Hunters, and I think in their last week before disbandment. If memory also serves, they were led by a Fg. Off, and the other 3 were either Warrant Offrs/ Sgts.They flew tighter than a ducks a**e, and did a bomb-burst that went to the 4 points over the top of a loop and then passed at the bottom, at the intersection of the 4 runways, with smoke.Great timing!! That, chips and chocolate, are about the only things commendable about Belgium( apart from those who served)

Evening Star
a little off topic , but are you a follower of Venus , or the 9F?

22nd Oct 2003, 06:57
Ahhh - I actually remember the announcement that British Rail's last real steam choo-choo was going to be named 'Evening Star'...

About the same time that they announced an Anglo-French supersonic airliner was going to be built....

Evening Star
30th Oct 2003, 16:38

Those four years over me clearly make all the difference in clarity of memory.

Chatted with my father a few days ago about this. I remember the programme had some visions of the future, including a military Concorde armed with three Blue Steel missiles! However, gather the programme was lost during a house move a few years ago, which is a shame. However, he remembers a later airshow at Abingdon, where Concorde made its first appearance at the airshow. I missed that, as that weekend they sent me to boy scout camp nearby, learning woodcraft skills but looking up every time something interesting flew over.


9F. Friend of the NRM. (Although also, impending marriage to a Venus in human form:E:ok:.)


Suspect that makes me a museum piece as well:hmm:!

Peter Barron
30th Oct 2003, 19:25
Evening Star.

The programme was the 1968 RAF year book, it had a seperate insert for the flying programme.
The year book sometimes crops up on ebay so you might find a replacement there sometime.
Just had a look at mine and the Concorde with the 3 Blue Steels is in there, now that would have been interesting !!!!


30th Oct 2003, 20:08
Abingdon 1968 - RAF 50th Anniversary.

To fill in a passenger log that I started in 1970 - Does anybody possibly have the RAF serial of the S.55 Helicopter that was giving the press short flights to take air to ground shots at the 'press day' a couple of days before the main event?