Race Day Airshow

Shuttleworth Season Finale

Shuttleworth Race Day: Season Finale

October 6th 2024

Tomtit and de Havilland DH60 Moth racing in 2023

Tomtit and de Havilland DH60 Moth racing in 2023

The Shuttleworth Collection brings its 2024 season to a close with its traditional Race Day theme, with mock races in the air and vintage vehicles on the ground.

Aircraft will be listed here when known
Static Display

Race Day, Season Finale

previously 'Wings and Wheels'

October 1st

Seafire and Hawker Fury in 2023

Seafire and Hawker Fury in 2023

Shuttleworth bade farewell to the 2023 season with the return of 'Race Day', celebrating Richard Shuttleworth's passion for racing, both on the ground and in the air. The show was originally billed as 'Wings and Wheels', and that title was on the signposts directing traffic to the event, but Race Day it was.

The show promised some true classics from across the UK, and a few motoring and flying surprises. In the event around 150 historic vehicles graced the airfield and paraded in groups for over an hour before the flying started.

The headline attraction on the track was Sir Malcolm Campbell’s 350hp Sunbeam ‘Bluebird’, the holder of three World Land Speed Records, which was opposite the hangars for all to admire and had pride of place in its own slot, between the Edwardian Car Demonstration Sprints, on the main runway.

The weather was kind for the vehicles and for the aircraft. Although occasionally overcast, the sun was evident for most of the afternoon, beaming excellent lighting conditions for the modest crowd there to photograph or simply to admire the aircraft. The wind also abated as the afternoon progressed but it remained a little too strong for the Edwardians, none of which flew.

The rest of the programme was very full, with a good three hours of continuous flying.

Being Shuttleworth, there were some unusual combinations and plenty of aircraft that just are not seen anywhere else. And, being Shuttleworth, the flying was very close to the crowd, with some excellent topsides, as the aircraft traced the angle of the crowdline. Virtually all the aircraft were low and close. The exceptions being the Chipmunk, which was intentionally performing high aerobatics whilst the Desoutter, Hawker Tomtit and DH60 Moth displayed beneath, and Fighter Aviation Engineering's Hawker Fury, which made a couple of lovely passes with the Navy Wings Seafire but for its solo display was high and distant, for reasons that were not apparent, except for a nice, closer topside on departure.

Gladiator, Spitfire and Hurricane

Gladiator, Spitfire and Sea Hurricane

Cassutt Racer IIIM

Cassutt Racer IIM 'Kermit'


Westland Lysander

The first of the formations was the opening item on the schedule. The Collection's Spitfire, Sea Hurricane and Gladiator made a single pass in formation before splitting. The Gladiator was the first to perform a solo, followed by one of the best pairs routines seen in a very long while, when the Hurricane, flown by Frank Chapman and the Spitfire, flown by John Hurrell, arrived together but then flew alternating solo phases. Wizard flying, superbly choreographed, with action in front of the admiring crowd every second.

Spitfire and Sea Hurricane
Shuttleworth-based aircraft
Avro Anson in Coningsby coloursAvro C19 Anson G-AHKX in RAF Coningsby colours (was BAe Systems but donated to Shuttleworth Collection)
Avro TriplaneAvro Triplane replica G-ARSG (Shuttleworth Collection) Did not fly. Too windy.
Blackburn B2Blackburn B2 G-AEBJ (was BAe Systems but donated to Shuttleworth Collection)
Bleriot XIBlériot XI (Shuttleworth Collection) Did not fly. Too windy.
Bristol BoxkiteBristol Boxkite (Shuttleworth Collection) Did not fly. Too windy.
Comper SwiftComper CLA7 Swift G-ACTF (Shuttleworth Collection)
de Havilland Canada Chipmunk T.22: Shuttleworth CollectionDHC Chipmunk T.22 (Shuttleworth Collection)
DH88 CometDH.88 Comet, Shuttleworth Collection
de Havilland DH51de Havilland DH.51 'Miss Kenya'
de Havilland DH60 Mothde Havilland DH.60X Moth G-EBWD (was BAe Systems but donated to Shuttleworth Collection)
DeperdussinDeperdussin (Shuttleworth Collection). Did not fly. Too windy.
DesoutterDesoutter Mk1 G-AAPZ (Shuttleworth Collection)
Gloster Gladiator Mk IGloster Gladiator Mk 1 G-AMRK 'K7985' (Shuttleworth Collection)
Hawker Sea Hurricane Mk 1b G-BKTH Z7105/7-L: Shuttleworth CollectionHawker Sea Hurricane Mk Ib G-BKTH Z7105/7-L, Shuttleworth Collection
Hawker TomtitHawker Tomtit (Shuttleworth Collection)
Hawk Speed SixMiles Hawk Speed Six
Miles MagisterMiles Magister 'P6382' G-AJRS (Shuttleworth Collection)
Parnall ElfParnall Elf
Mew GullPercival Mew Gull G-AEXF (Shuttleworth Collection)
Royal Aircraft Factory SE5aRoyal Aircraft Factory SE5A G-EBIA
Sopwith TriplaneSopwith Triplane replica 'N6290 Dixie ll': Shuttleworth Collection
Sopwith PupSopwith Pup (Shuttleworth Collection)
Southern MartletSouthern Martlet (Shuttleworth Collection)
Spitfire MkVc G-AWII AR501Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk Vc G-AWII 'AR501' (Shuttleworth Collection)
Lysander IIIA V9367Westland Lysander IIIA G-AZWT, Shuttleworth Collection
Visiting Aircraft
Cassutt III Racer 'Kermit'Cassutt Racer IIIM ‘Kermit’ (Trevor Jarvis)
Chilton DW1a G-DWCBChilton DW1A G-DWCB (Chris Barnes)
Chilton DW1a G-CDXUChilton DW1A G-CDXU (Michael Gibbs)
Hawker Fury G-CBELHawker Fury FB.II G-CBEL 'SR661' (Painted as Sea Fury Prototype) (Fighter Aviation Engineering)
Zivko Edge 540Zivko Edge 540 (Mark Jefferies)
Harvard FE511 Hurricane HeritageNorth American T6 Harvard FE511 (Hurricane Heritage)
Navy Wings HarvardNorth American Harvard Mk IV G-NWHF (Navy Wings)
Harvard Wacky WabbitCanadian Car Foundry Harvard Mk IVM T-6H AJ841 'Wacky Wabbit' (T6 Harvard Aviation)
Mew Gull G-HEKLPercival Mew Gull (Replica) G-HEKL (David Beale)
Slingsby Kirby KiteSlingsby Kirby Kite
Slingsby T.13 Petrel GliderSlingsby Petrel (Graham Saw)
Spartan ExecutiveSpartan 7W Executive (Nigel Pickard)
Seafire Mk XVII. Navy WingsSupermarine Seafire Mk.XVII (Navy Wings)
Spitfire PL983 (NHS Spitfire)Supermarine Spitfire Mk G-PR.XI 'PL983' (Aircraft Restoration Company)
Travel Air Mystery ShipTravel Air Type R 'Mystery Ship' G-TATR (Richard Seeley)
Travel Air D4000Travel Air D4000 (Richard Seeley)

In case there are mistakes or changes, please check the show's site for the latest list.
Appearances are always subject to technical, weather and other constraints.

Bluebird at Shuttleworth Race Day in 2023

Bluebird at Shuttleworth Race Day 2023

The Collection's Lysander was originally expected to be included in the opening formation but was a little late to the party and took off and displayed as a solo. During the display the cover of the access panel appeared to lose one of its fastenings, causing the cover itself to be bent back by the force of the slipstream, but without affecting the quality of the display.

One of the great things about airshows at Old Warden is the variety of aircraft, many of which are simply not seen elsewhere. That applies to most of the examples from the Collection's but it also applies to visitors, who are more likely to come to this and similar small airfields than to airshows at bigger venues or seaside shows.

Examples are the Travel Airs, two of which displayed at Race Day. The Travel Air Type R Mystery Ship is a replica, but nevertheless a very rare type indeed. It has been seen elsewhere, notably at Little Gransden about six weeks earlier, but it is not an aircraft many casual airshow attendees will have witnessed. The Travel Air D4000 is less rare but also seldom seen at shows. Both were here at Race Day; both owned by Richard Seeley and both expertly handled around the Old Warden Airfield by Dan Griffith.

On Race Day there was - well, a race. It was a mock race between six of Shuttleworth's aircraft from the '20s and '30s. The race was a handicap, so the aircraft took off at timed intervals and raced in anti-clockwise circuits around the airfield. After the prescribed distance, Scott Butler gave a wing waggle to claim victory in the de Havilland DH.51 'Miss Kenya', notionally the slowest of the competitors, beating off the faster Blackburn B2, Parnall Elf, Southern Martlet, Miles Magister and Avro Anson.

Superb Flying at Race Day

Spitfire PL983

Spitfire PL983

No other airshow is quite like Race Day. There were a few aerobatic displays but much of the four hours of flying was taken up with groups of aircraft racing around the same anti-clockwise circuit over the countryside at 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 flamboyant aerobatics. The spirit of Shuttleworth is vintage aircraft and vintage road vehicles, doing what vintage aircraft and vehicles do, the superb Shuttleworth way.

Visiting Aircraft
North American P-51D Mustang ‘Contrary 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)

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 9DT 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 Shuttleworth Airshows

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.

The location is already built in to the link but please check, and change as necessary, the dates, number of rooms and number of guests.


Some More Options

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.

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

Weather for the Old Warden area

UK Met Office Forecast

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

BBC Forecast

A 14-day forecast from the BBC

What the forecasts tell you

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.

2024 Show Basics


October 6th

Airshow links

Show's web site

Tickets in 2024

Tickets are available now from the Shuttleworth web site


Gates open 9:00
Event ends 17:00 (ish)


Driving directions

For links to other travel and route planning web sites, click the 'Getting There' tab


Photos taken at earlier airshows at Old Warden