The Shuttleworth Collection's Flying Proms 2023

By Juri Keyter


Let me start off by stating that this event report or any of its photographs can never represent the experience my wife Liezel and I had at this event. I knew it would be nice, but I never expected the emotional impact this show would have on us.

We are all familiar with the Shuttleworth Collection and the fine classic aircraft the organisation maintains and fly, but Flying Proms is a completely new concept to me. I always knew that a Flying Proms event is an air show combined with some kind of musical performance, but I can tell you that it is far more than that. When we arrived, we saw the huge marques type stage erected in the public viewing area with the national symphony orchestra setting up. I knew immediately that this was going to be special and assumed that the program would alternate between the orchestra and flying performances. Boy, was I wrong! It all ran concurrently with the theme of the music played by the orchestra matching the choreographed air display of each performing aircraft.

National Symphony Orchestra

When the orchestra started playing the song “The March”, I did not make the connection with the air display until the WWII Lancaster bomber appeared from behind some trees in the distance. The music was of course the theme song of the 1955 “Dambuster” film and everyone were standing as this piece of history made a turning pass so that we could all see the top of the aircraft. The combination of the orchestral music and the roaring Merlin engines were simply indescribable. I get goosebumps just writing about it.

Lancaster Bomber

Spectators standing during the Lancaster performance

Probably my favourite aircraft of all time is the Gloster Gladiator. I love both its looks and its sound but when the orchestra started playing the theme song of the film “Gladiator” and this nostalgic aircraft roared past us, it literally left me choking.

Gloster Gladiator

A Spitfire and Hurricane formation graced the skies as they always do at a Shuttleworth Collection air show but again, the combination of the aircraft sound and the music by the National Symphony Orchestra made it an incredible experience.

Supermarine Spitfire

The flying event only started at 7PM, so the low position of the sun directly behind us at that time of the day made it absolutely perfect.

Hawker Tomtit

Tiger Moth

Hawker Tomtit & Tiger Moth Formation

Comper Swift

Westland Lysander

de Havilland DH51

Hawker Tomtit

After sunset, we were entertained by a Grob 109 duo and an Extra 330 with interesting lighting and Airborne pyrotechnics while a soprano joined the orchestra for more breath-taking performances.

Grob 109 Pyro Display Team

Extra 330

National Symphony Orchestra with Soprano

A spectacular fireworks display ended the event at around 10PM.

Closing fireworks display

I cannot believe that this was my first Flying Proms!! I will not mis this again!!!

Oshkosh Clips 2013 to 2019

Events 2023
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