On August 21, 2011, Oxford Airport, UK, will play host to its first ever airshow and family open day called ‘Fly to the Past’. The organisers say the event invites: “people of all ages to embrace the history of flight, with 12 hours of activities, in the air and on the ground.”
Fly to the Past will feature four hours of vintage aerobatic displays, giving spectators the opportunity to see World War One biplanes, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and the moving sight and sound of the last flying Avro Vulcan in the world.
Making the short journey down from their home at AIRBASE Coventry Airport is one of the world’s oldest flying twin-engined jet aircraft, a Gloster Meteor NF11, and also equally vintage – a de Havilland Vampire and Venom. The three aircraft are part of a remarkable collection of aircraft mostly from the 1950s, put together by Air Atlantique’s Mike Collett.
The event will utilise giant state-of-the-art screens to beam up-close, as-it-happens action from the live display, along with interviews from the pilots before they take off, archive footage of the aircraft’s history, and even poetry and newsreel footage to evoke the mood of the era that each part of the display represents. A surround-sound recorded score, spanning everything from Elgar’s Allegro for Strings through to Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven, will accompany the displays, along with effects and live commentary.
As well as the historic air display, the organisers say that there will be on-the-ground attractions and entertainment for spectators, stating that: “on entering the show, visitors will immediately be transported back in time, with music, archive news reports, jingles, effects and live commentary synchronised to historic aviation images on giant screens and live entertainment on the ground.”
Other attractions said to be on offer include military vehicle displays, retro pleasure flights and helicopter rides. Theatrical living history displays and a wide variety of food, fashion, music and dance-based attractions will also enable visitors to immerse themselves in the culture of days gone by.
In the evening the big band sounds of The John Miller Orchestra will take to the event’s main stage to finish off the party in style, while trained swing dancers will invite audience participation.
David Hurst, Commercial Director of Fly to the Past, says he is delighted to be bringing the first airshow to Oxford’s skies: “we are incredibly excited and grateful to Oxford Airport for their generous support in allowing us to stage this event. By bringing history to life both in the skies and on the ground, this is going to be a truly unique family day out.”
After three sell-out shows at Blenheim Palace in previous years, this is the first time that the Fly to the Past event will take place at Oxford Airport. Running from 09:00 to 21:00, advance tickets are available at a special price of £20 for adults. Admission is free admission for children aged 16 and under. Tickets can be purchased online at www.flytothepast.co.uk or by calling 0844 576 0136. Corporate packages are also available.
Alternatively, tickets can be bought on the day at a cost £35 for adults; children aged 16 and under – free with a paying adult.