Abingdon Air & Country Show 2012
For the third time in a row, and in the second season of the Bronco Demo Team, we had once again the honour to present the OV-10B "Bronco" to the public at the Abingdon Air & Country show. It turned out soon that the show was again different. Beside some great static and flying displays, which already impressed us last year, the organizers managed to invite some interesting new guests.
This year I decided not to go directly to Abingdon, but to fly in early from Hamburg in Germany, to experience that the U.K. is the place to be when it's about vintage aircraft. Starting the weekend arriving early Saturday morning in Birmingham to see the RAF Museum Cosford, Shropshire, which is only a few miles away from the airport. RAF Cosford has some very unique aircrafts on display which you won't find anywhere else around Europe. An impressive example is the Messerschmitt 410 "Hornisse" (Hornet). It is one of only two surviving around the world, presented in top condition, next to other rare or even unique aircrafts like the Mitsubishi Ki-46 "Dinah" and Messerschmitt Me 163 "Komet".
The time flew by and so the Bronco Demo Team members met at Abingdon Airfield Saturday afternoon. Tony and Edith had already arrived in the Bronco earlier that day from Belgium. Difficult weather conditions above the channel, and along the planned route, gave them an interesting flight, but they made it once again safe and in time to the show. I arrived nearly at the same time at the airfield as Jessie, Wim and Ivo which took the long drive by car, also from Belgium, through the Eurotunnel. Sorting things out for the following Sunday was done in a few minutes thanks to the ever well organized show. After dropping the bags at the hotel and a quick dinner, Wim and I decided to go back to the flight line to join some other aviation enthusiast for an also excellent organized night photo shoot with all participating aircrafts. Despite temperatures close to the freezing point and a very cold wind it was a great opportunity to take some amazing pictures.
The Sunday was once again a great day with flying and static displays. The “Breitling Wingwalkers” performed with the powerful sound of radial engines, a lot of smoke, perfect formation aerobatics and charming women walking the wings. The RAF Tucano and Hawk displays demonstrated the performance of modern aircraft without being less impressive. P51 "Mustang", Spitfire and DC3 formed a contrast to the EC-135 Rescue Helicopter which made a flyby to say thanks to all the visitors supporting this charity event for the benefit to the air rescue service. The PBY-5A "Catalina" was the last performer of the day, succeeding too many others to list here. So after a great day the team went back home to Belgium and Germany.
I had to go back on Monday and took the opportunity to stop at the RAF Museum London (Hendon). This museum holds e.g. the most extensive collection of surviving German WW II aircrafts in Europe like the Junkers Ju87 G2 "Stuka” (the only one in Europe), Junkers Ju88 R1, Messerschmitt Me 110 G2, next to Messerschmitt 109 E3 and G2, Heinkel He162 or Focke Wulff 190. Only six hours were way too short to see all the exhibits in detail and left the chance to come back after the Abingdon Show 2013.
We would like to thank everyone of the Abingdon Air & Country Show organizational team for their great hospitality. We hope to come back next year for another great show and maybe a flying display of the Bronco, which so many visitors requested during the countless interesting chats on Sunday afternoon.

Written by Thomas Viertbauer, Bronco Crew Chief

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