Shuttleworth Race Day

Drive-in airshow 2020 at Old Warden

Shuttleworth Race Day: Drive-in Airshow

4th October 2020
DH88 Comet

Shuttleworth's DH88 Comet

Shuttleworth's penultimate show of the season is a celebration of air racing.

This is a Shuttleworth socially distanced, drive-in airshow, following the pattern already established in 2020.

Commentary and pre-show music will be broadcast on FM radio. On-site takeaway catering and plenty of clean toilets and sanitiser will be available.

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.

Due to fly unless marked static
Spitfire MkVc G-AWIISupermarine Spitfire Mk Vc G-AWII 'AR501' (Shuttleworth Collection)
More details of aircraft when announced and on the show's web site
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 column if you prefer to plan ahead or don't have sat nav.

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.

The variety of rail tickets and fares can be very confusing. Trainline and Raileasy web sites list all ticket and fare options for the time and day of travel you choose but they both levy an admin fee. Click either of the blue ticket agency names to go to their web site.

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.

Expedia list a good selection of smaller, as well as bigger, hotels and will find accommodation in villages and small towns as well as the main centres. They also give, and take, Nectar points.

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.

2020 Show Basics

October 4th 2020

Airshow links

Show's web site


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


Gates open: 10.00
Air display: 14.00 - 18.00
(18.30 if Edwardians fly)


Photos taken at a previous Shuttleworth October airshow.