Havering’s air show hailed a success

This year’s Military and Flying Machines air show has been hailed a success, despite the Olympic flying restrictions.

Thousands of people turned out for the show at Damyns Hall in Aveley Road, Upminster on Saturday August 4 and Sunday August 5.

Organiser Colin Tebb said: “The whole show went really well.

“We had lots of things stacked up against us this year, there was the weather and we had to make lots of changes because of the Olympic flying restrictions, but it still went ahead.”

Highlights of this year’s show included a flypast by a Royal Navy Merlin helicopter, which is currenlty being used by troops in Afghanistan.

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Visitors found themselves caught up in the latest series of Wheeler Dealers when TV presenters Mike Brewer and Ed China turned up to do some filming.

Colin said: “We have had lots of TV crews over the years at the show, but it was the first time having something so popular.

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“They told us not to announce it, but we had lots of people going over and one of the experts is also going to feature in the show.”

Other atrractions included 300 military and classic vehicles from jeeps to massive tanks, to tank transporters and heavy artillery displays.

Visitors were treated to more than 60 historical re-enactment displays showing life in the military from medieval times up to the modern day with the uniforms and authentic equipment giving an insight into the life of a soldier.

Colin said: “It was the closest people could get to experiencing what life was like during the war years.”

In June, the committee who organised the show were told that the B-17 Flying Fortress, made famous by the film Memphis Belle could not be displayed because of Olympic flying restrictions.

Colin feared that the fans of the aircraft- Europe’s only airworthy B-17-may stay away.

Other aircrafts taking part in the event also had to be fitted with tracking devices so that authorities could monitor them.

Colin said: “A lot of shows through the country had to be cancelled because of the Olympics, so I am happy that ours still went ahead and was so successful.”

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