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Red Arrows flypastMaturity reached!

Dave Eade/DEltafoto reports on Rougham's main event of the year, held on 17 August

Regular readers will recall that we have enthused in the past as the Rougham show - piece by piece - gets better, more sophisticated and generally slicker year by year. 2008 was no exception as the ultimate addition to any show, an appearance by the RAF Aerobatic Team was included. Okay - it was only a fly-by, but with its position so near the town of Bury St. Edmunds and the ever-increasing Moreton Hall Housing Estate slowly encroaching from the west it's probably the best the organisers are going to get.

As the time for the flypast approached, many scanners were switched on and from the Tower frequency came the call "Red Arrows - one minute!" A member of the fire-crew raised his watch, paused and then called "Fifteen seconds!" From the south appeared an immaculate arrowhead of ten Hawks (Manager in the box) trailing white smoke and flying directly over the airfield - including their recently regained permission for crowd-rear arrival.

Too soon they disappeared over to the north-west to leave a chorus of 'Wows', 'Yippees', applause and many a man stroking the raised hairs on the back of his neck.

As time goes on Rougham has steadily increased its RAF participation - as well as the Reds, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight supported with its Lancaster and Spitfire; 22 Squadron carried RF-4out a double flypast in the Sea King and Andy Preece gave an exhilarating performance, as always, in the Grob Tutor.

An interesting first timer in the line-up this year was the Fournier RF4 Redhawk Glider, which when added to Team Guinot, two P-51 Mustangs, the Piston Provost, Yak-52 and Pilatus P-2 gave a very varied and interesting show.

The Rougham event is a perfect blend of airshow, military collections and County Show. The audience tends to be local, with not too many airshow enthusiasts, but it provides the perfect day out for the family, trader and photographer alike. Peter Eager and his team are to be thoroughly congratulated again this year for a well-Yak 52organised show.

Your scribe would also like to extend his thanks to Derek Vanstone Books and to Nigel Wilson and Debs for the flight (or should that be fright!) of my life in the Yak.


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