Gaydon (Battle of Britain) 1969 Airshow
18 - 21 Sept 1969
On 17 Sept 1969 Linton Gin flew from Linton-On-Ouse taking their ground crew with them.
A "Full & Flat" show lasting 20 minutes was flown on the 18th for the press day.
The 19th Sept was used to change the aircraft.
The team flew back to Linton, changed aircraft & returned to Gaydon on the same day.
The "full" show was flown at RAF Gaydon (Battle of Britain), for the public, on the 20th.
The team followed this with another Battle of Britain show at Benson ( also on the 20th ) & then returned to Gaydon.
The team & groundcrew returned to Linton on the 21st.
GIN Pilots / Aircraft flown on 18 Sept 1969
????? / ?? - Sid Edwards
XP634 / 49 - Al Colesky
XP633 / 41 - Joe Whitfield ( with Dave Coldicutt as passenger )
XR666 / 47 - Dave Waddington
GIN Pilots / Aircraft flown on 20/21 Sept 1969
XR666 / 47 - Sid Edwards ( the shows were flown with Dave Coldicutt as passenger )
XR670 / 54 - Al Colesky
XP683 / 51 - Joe Whitfield
XP679 / 36 - Dave Waddington ( Possibly XP633 / 41 )
Spare aircraft & "5th" Linton GIN Jet Provost
XP679 / 36 - Dave Coldicutt
Did anyone spot the "error" above ?
Dave Waddington's logbook entries list the Tail Number ( eg #36). Dave Coldicutts logbook lists the Serial Number (eg XP679)
For all his flights made on the 20th September Dave Waddington's logbook lists the aircraft he flew as #36 ( XP679 ).
He also lists that hew flew #36 back to Linton on the 21st.
Dave Coldicutt's logbook shows he flew XP679 from Linton to Gaydon on the 19th ( no clash with Dave W's entry ) & flew back to Linton in XP679 ( #36 ).
This is the same aircraft that Dave W. claims to have flown in his Logbook.
My theory is as follows. For EVERY show that involved an overnight stop, Dave W flew the same aircraft all weekend.
I would assume this to be the case here too. According to his logbook he flew #41 to Gaydon, then the rest of the weekend he flew #36.
Obviously it's possible that #41 had a problem & Dave W took the spare 1ircraft for the shows on the 20th.
But, this would mean that someone had to fly #41 home. ( probably Dave W or Dave C ).
So, IF #41 had had a problem, who took the chance & did the return leg in it ? As is detailed below, the return leg was not just a normal flight.
So, I assume Dave W's logbook is wrong & he flew #41 ( XP633 ) all weekend.
The excellent Scramble website ( details credited to LAAS Aviation News and Review & Paul Seymour ) lists 7 aircraft that attended the shows.
As well as the above mentioned aircraft they list the following Linton GIN aircraft......
Here are a couple of scans of the programme for this show.
As the following text & pictures show there were 5 Linton GIN aircraft at Gaydon, I have no explanation for the scramble website listing 7 aircraft in total.
The day after the show, on the 21st Sept 1969 the team (including a 5th spare aircraft flown by Dave Coldicutt ) took off for Linton-on-Ouse........ & just happened to be in the air at the same time as "Les Diables Rouges" - The Belgian 6 ship Fouga Magister team.
There followed an "inpromptu" loop involving 6 Fouga Magister's & 5 Jet Provosts. The flight home took about 20 minutes longer than normal.
Here's what Al Colesky had to say about it ....
During the busy season we met up with the Belgian Air Force aerobatic team on a number of occasions at the various venues and quite a friendship was formed.
Socially in the Pub of some or other Officers Mess the highly illegal idea of forming up to perform a mixed formation loop was hatched.
Middle to end September both teams were based at RAF Gaydon and performed a number of shows in the area.
On the way back from Gaydon we found "to our surprise" that both teams were in the air together and deciding that as it was fairly late and all the crowds should have gone home and we would have a GO.
I remember thinking at the time that as I was a junior officer and had to simply follow the leader, stuck to him like glue.
Boss Sid had his work cut out for him in formating onto not only an aircraft of completely different aerodynamic parameters but six of them in formation.
As Murphy tells you, somehow the fact that something was going to happen that afternoon got out and the crowd waited, photographs were taken and I believe that Squadron Leader Edwards was not too popular in certain eyes of the Royal Air Force.
I firmly believe that he got away with it as it was a damn good loop and very well executed.
& here's what Joe Whitfield said ....
The Diables Rouge story is as follows.
The Belgian team, flying Fouga Magisters, had displayed at an air show at RAF Gaydon as did GIN.
In the bar that night both teams lobbied their respective leaders for us all to get together the following day, join up and loop the whole formation.
After much ale and persuasion they both agreed and we did just that.
The whole deal was extremely unusual and, had anything untoward happened, would have resulted in a great deal of [....] hitting the fan.
Anyway the angels were on our side that day and it went off without a hitch.
& here's what Dave Coldicutt said ....
When we were in the bar at Gaydon, after the show on Saturday, some of us were talking to the Diables Rouge guys, and the idea of the loop came up.
Everyone thought it a splendid plan, and we first approached Paul, the leader of the Diables.
He was in favour.
Now our minimum manoeuvre height was 500ft, and we kept religiously to that.
However we had watched the Diables’s show, and we estimated that they were operating at around 200ft.
So we said to Paul “You must promise Sid that you will keep to 500ft minimum”.
Paul replied (in a pronounced Gallic accent) “I promise Sid anything,...... but I STILL pull up at 200ft”.
No height is recorded for the loop.
So what did this look like ? Well I just happend to have 2 pics from Dave Waddington's log book. Pretty impressive stuff !
Here's the "Diables Rouges" team brochure from 1969. Click on the cover to see the entire brochure & some publicity photos.
Actually the "powers that be" can't have been too upset about the loop, allowing it to be mentioned in the "Rolls Royce News" paper from March 1970.
At the time this was published Linton GIN no longer existed, having already been renamed Linton Blades.
The T4's were replaced with T5's & 2 of the regular '69 team had left. So not everything published was correct !
If you have further details or photos of this show, or especially of the loop ! please feel free to use the "contact" link on the left.