The Shuttleworth Year 1994
The Shuttleworth Collection at Old Warden in Bedfordshire is easily the UK’s and arguably the world’s most important centre for restoration and display of pre-war vintage aircraft.
It is nothing short of astonishing that they can maintain so many classic airframes in flying condition and with the good fortune of superb weather at nearly all their flying displays in 1994 – their Golden Anniversary Year – they were able to display virtually the whole of their collection over a series of specially themed events.
Wing warping pioneers from the earliest days of powered flight are entrusted to the air. WWI’s deadly aerial battles are re-enacted. The aircraft types from the peace which followed show technological strides – metal airframes, delta wings, rotorcraft and reliable engines – heralding the 30’s, a time of record breaking and carefree enjoyment of the air. Military training in the 30’s is hardly more advanced than the civilian aircraft of the day and the RAF approach WWII with obsolete biplanes. The Spitfire arrives just in time.
The Shuttleworth Collection includes important aircraft from each of these eras, but their shows attract other operators too. Purposeful and powerful visitors from WWII to the present combine to make a complete history of powered flight on display, but it’s the Shuttleworth aircraft – no fewer than 33 fly here – which dominate this video.