Shuttleworth kicked off its 2024 Airshow season with the ‘Best of British 2024 Air Show’ commemorating  the history of aviation and automotive technology in Great Britain, as well as the influence it has had across the whole world. Opening the show in front of what looked like a well attended crowd line was the BBME Hawker Hurricane LF363 with a flypast in the hands of  Officer Commanding BBMF Mark Sugden. De Havilland, Bristol and Magister all featured heavily with formation displays from each type.

The collection’s Percival Piston Provost T.1 XF603 took to the air and was followed by the newer Hunting Percival in the shape of Jet Provest XM479 flown by Mark Cooper. This was a late replacement for the Vampire and put in one of the stand out displays of the day with plenty of topside passes and not too high and distant.

It was then back to the early days of aviation with a selection of British classics from the likes of Sopwith, Bristol and the Royal Aircraft Factory.


The Navy Wings Fairly Swordfish put on an impressive display although it was missing its trademark torpedo and instead of its usually royal ensign on the last past we had a double wave from the observer, before departing back to RNAS  Yeovilton.

In a stunning tribute to the Best of British aviation the Gloster Gladiator, Bristol Blenheim and Westland Lysandar took off together before forming up for a series of spectacular formation passes. The aircraft then broke for solo displays with Jean-Michel Munn putting the Gladiator through its paces before John Romain put in arguably the best display of the day in the Blenheim before the graceful display of the collection’s Lysandar.

In its first visit to Old Warden Clive Denney put in a notable display in the Historic Aircraft Collection’s Hawker Fury Mk.I. Whilst the general opinion was that the display was a little on the high side it was surprising that the pilot received a warning for being too low and we can only assume he strayed a little low or over the parked aircraft on a pass. That being said there were plenty of top side passes to please the photographers and nice to see a new aircraft get its Shutleworth debut. Whist not an original scheme the Avro Anson which was built after the second World War is in a stunning RAF Coningsby Station Command scheme and put in an excellent display.

All too soon the first show of 2024 was coming to an end and it was the turn of the great British classic the Spitfire to close the show. First up was the Collection’s AR501 who opened with a pass with the Percival Mew Gull before putting in a very underwhelming series of underside passes with no use of the bend which is disappointing for a based aircraft. Thankfully Nick Smith arrived to close the show in the Fighter Collection’s Spitfire XIV, putting in a perfect display of the aircraft’s capabilities including two closing top side passes for the cameras.

A great start to the season with a limited but interesting collection of British aviation classics. Organisation was floorless as ever with quick entry and exit and an array of classic vehicle and military hardware alongside a series of traders to entertain the crowd ahead of the afternoons flying.