(ABOVE) Spitfire PR Mk XI running in for its first flypast (Martin Cole)

15 years of classic aviation at Breighton Aerodrome was celebrated in fine fashion during the weekend of the 24th and 25th July when the Real Aeroplane Company, Club and friends gathered for the annual International Classic Fly-in - casually referred to as 'the Breighton Bash' among the faithful. This year's event, though blighted by the kind of weather Mungo Jerry definitely wouldn't waste his biro on, attracted a plethora of mouthwatering types, in numbers rarely seen in this part of the world. All weekend the air reverberated to the music of Merlin's and Gypsy's, Pratt and Whitney's... er, and Elton John (note to self - we need to cheer up the airfield CD collection!).

Pictures © Real Aero Co unless otherwise credited.

(ABOVE) The Buchon ready at its dispersal

The sight that greeted everyone adjacent the carpark was the Luftwaffe diorama - the Buchon parked beside a German military outpost complete with numerous items of memorabilia, weaponry and a field hospital. Though we chuckled (only a bit), these guys did a brilliant job and their attention to detail was exemplary - pristine white gloves and cigars at the evening's hangar party - John Smith's instead of the schnapps being the only concession. The big 'opener' during Saturday's flying was the scramble of the resident Spitfire and Hurricane, the 'bandits' being a brace of warbirds from 'somewhere down south'. A short time later six 'big guns' appeared in the form of three P-51 Mustangs, a Yak 11, the Spitfire and Hurricane - gasps of delight - even from those of us in the know. Following the 'run and breaks' and subsequent recoveries, a pair of T-6's beat up the field in fine fashion, catching everyone out - more involuntary squeals of delight!

(ABOVE) Breighton's flying warbirds
(BELOW) The 'Big Wing' recovers

(BELOW) Lookin' for trouble - marauding Mustangs!

Unfortunately the Buchon was not yet ready to fly, despite the best indeavours of all those actively involved in the rebuild, however, it was taxied along the runway on numerous occasions to the delight of the crowd. Ironically, this Spanish built Messerschmitt 109 derivitive is powered by a Rolls Royce Merlin engine, yet another Merlin engined aircraft with its own distinct sound, and, it has to be said, a superb looking paddle-style propellor!

Sadly the planned BBMF appearance on Saturday was scratched. This was due to a prior engagement in the south of England over-running, the Lancaster couldn't be turned around in time at RAF Coningsby to meet the afternoon's engagements in the north. Sunday's appearance was much more successful, the Operations guys at Coningsby even asked it they could fly right over Breighton on the outbound journey to their display appearance at Sunderland, as well as calling in on their way back. So it was that a Lancaster, flanked by a Mk II Spitfire (the oldest Spitty flying in the world) and Mk II Hurricane, returned to Breighton for the first, and the second time in around sixty years!

(ABOVE) P-51D 'Jumping Jacques' - all-too-brief a visit during Saturday (Chris Mattison)

(ABOVE) Yak 11 on finals (BELOW) Excellent photograph showing two thirds of the BBMF during their routine (Gareth Horne) - CLICK HERE to see more of Gareth's brilliant pictures.

(TOP LEFT) Taxying the Buchon - hard work but someone's gotta do it! (Chris Mattison)

(TOP RIGHT) The wonderful thing about Tigger's - is that they look and sound so quintessentially British (Chris Mattison)

(LEFT) Job done! (Chris Mattison)

(BELOW) Harvards straffing the airfield (Martin Cole)

(BOTTOM) That BBMF flypast (Mike Sweet)

(ABOVE) The Breighton Hurricane on the prowl again (Martin Cole)