Race Day

Shuttleworth Season Finale at Old Warden

Shuttleworth Race Day (Season Finale)

October 2nd
Flying cancelled because of poor weather prospects
DH88 Comet

Shuttleworth's DH88 Comet

The Race Day airshow is part of a Race Weekend at Shuttleworth, although there is only flying on the Saturday.

On airshow Saturday, Shuttleworth bids farewell to 2021 with its usual superlative flying, demonstrating the finest racing aircraft of the period, including the winning de Havilland DH88 Comet, celebrating Richard Shuttleworth’s racing career in the 1930s.

Drive-in change

The Shuttleworth Vintage and Race Day shows will revert to a car park format. There will be no covid boxes. Commentary will no longer be over the radio but through the PA system. Any payments for covid boxes will be refunded.

About Old Warden

This is a relatively small venue, where flying feels closer to the crowd than in some bigger airfields, even since the change in the regulations. The venue also has a mansion, Shuttleworth House, which is usually open to visitors for at least part of airshow days, park-like gardens (Swiss garden) and huge children's outdoor play area.

Old Warden is home to the Shuttleworth Collection of planes from both world wars and earlier, including original pioneering aircraft such as the Bleriot (identical to the one that made the first crossing of the English Channel). There are around 40 airworthy planes in eight hangars.

The collection is on static display most days throughout the year. There are significant flying events about monthly between May and October, ranging from daytime full airshows to evening proms and additional smaller events.

Aircraft are listed on the show's web site
DH88 Comet, Shuttleworth Collection
All appearances are subject to technical, weather and other constraints

Superb Flying but also a few disappointments at Race Day

Spitfire PL983

Spitfire PL983

No other airshow is quite like Race Day. There were a few aerobatic displays but most of the four hours of flying was taken up with groups of aircraft flying the same anti-clockwise circuit over the countryside east of Old Warden.

It is evident from social media and forum comments that this generates little excitement for many and for them the airshow season will have finished a week or two sooner.

For the significant crowds at Old Warden on that chilly October Day, however, Race Day represents the very spirit of Shuttleworth. The spirit of Shuttleworth is not jets, nor formation flying, nor flamboyuant aerobatics. The spirit of Shuttleworth is vintage aircraft and vintage road vehicles.

House closed

Shuttleworth House will not be open on Race Day. The vintage buses will still run to the house and back.

Visiting Aircraft
North American P-51D Mustang ‘Conrary Mary’ (Previously painted as Miss Velma. Replaced ‘Tall in the Saddle’)
 North American P-51D Mustang ‘Tall In The Saddle’. This was to have been Peter Teichman’s last ever public display, but it was cancelled.
Spartan 7W Executive
LeVier Cosmic Wind ‘Ballerina’
Taylor Titch
Midget Mustang
Druine D.31 Turbulent
Miles Messenger
Bulldog (that won the Kings Cup in 2002)
Miles Hawk Speed Six
Pitts: x6
Vans RV4 (Pace plane for Pitts race)
Slingsby T.13 Petrel Glider
Slingsby Falcon 1 Glider
Slingsby Kite Prototype Glider
Rhönsperber Glider (cancelled)
Grob Viking T1 (cancelled)
Aviat Husky Float Plane G-WATR
Cessna 172F Float Plane G-DRAM
Mew Gull: G-HEKL
Travel Air Type R Mystery Ship
Comper Swift: G-LCGL (Flew in the morning but not during the display)
Comper Swift: G-ECTF
Chilton: G-JUJU
Shuttleworth Collection Aircraft
Blackburn B2
DH60X Moth
DH60 Cirrus Moth
DH62A Tiger Moth
Southern Martlet
Hawker Sea Hurricane 1B
Miles Magister
ChipmunkDHC Chipmunk T.22
DH88 Comet
Percival Mew Gull
Chilton: G-AESZ (cancelled)
Chilton: G-CDXU (cancelled)
Comper Swift
Sopwith Camel
Bristol M1C
Sopwith Dove (did not fly)
Avro 504K (did not fly)
Spitfire MkVc G-AWIISupermarine Spitfire Mk Vc
Supermarine Spitfire PRXI ‘PL983’ (John Romain flying a tribute to Lettice Curtis)
Avro Triplane IV (cancelled)
Bristol Boxkite
Blackburn Monoplane Type ‘D’
Additionally the following are due to be on static display, but are not flying during the show
Chilton: G-DWCB
Sopwith Tabloid (Brooklands Museum)


Local area

Getting to Shuttleworth Airshows

By car

Shuttleworth's Old Warden Aerodrome is about two miles to the west of the A1 near Biggleswade. It is about 20 miles from junction 13 of the M1 and from the south it is about 30 miles from Junction 23 of the M25. It is signposted from the A1 at Biggleswade.

The Post Code (for sat nav) is SG18 9EP but, as with all shows, ignore the sat nav in favour of local show signs as soon as you see them.

Driving directions

There are links to other route planners in the Travel Advice section.

By Train

There is a train station at nearby Biggleswade, which is about 40 minutes from London Kings Cross and about 30 minutes from Peterborough. There is no bus service from the station to the aerodrome but there is a taxi rank close to the station.

Click here to create a pocket timetable for your journey between any stations on the National Rail network.

Travel Advice

Road traffic updates
Highways Agency
Incidents and enquiries
National Railway Map
DIY pocket timetable
Journey planning by public transport
Route planners (Road)
Bing (Microsoft)

Accommodation near the show

It is best to book as far as possible in advance. This is not only because nearby hotels and guest houses tend get booked up well before the date of an airshow but also because prices can be better when you book early online.

There are plenty of booking agencies. We find that many of the well known ones are better at finding hotels from international or larger UK chains and may suggest hotels in main towns or cities quite a distance from the show site.

There are three Premier Inn hotels in Bedford, another two in St Neots and more in in Hitchen and Letchworth, all roughly 10 miles away.

The International Hotels Group have a Holiday Inn Express in Bedford about 6 miles away and another in Stevenage, about 14 miles from the show.

Travelodge have three hotels around Bedford, between six and eight miles from Old Warden and two more within ten miles.

Click any of the blue names to go to the corresponding web site. Most of the links already have the location built in, but please check, and change as necessary, the dates, number of rooms and number of guests.

Weather for the show area

UK Met Office Forecast

A full 7 day Old Warden weather forecast from the UK Met Office

The Met office 7-day forecast includes actual and "feels like" temperatures, the likelihood of rain, wind speed, wind direction, wind gusts and visibility: the latter can have an impact on the viability of displays.

The BBC's 14-day forecast has overall conditions including and hourly estimate of temperature, wind direction, wind speed and UV range.

Click the blue-text link to go to the forecast. The location is already built into the links.

2021 Show Basics

October 2nd
Flying Cancelled

Airshow links

Show's web site


Sat Nav SG18 9EP
Driving directions
For links to other travel and route planning web sites, click the 'Getting there' tab


Air display from 14.00 CANCELLED


Photos taken at a previous Shuttleworth season finale.