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Kemble Again!
Andy Evans reports back from Kemble Airshow 2009, held on the weekend of Saturday/Sunday 20th/21st June 2009.
By Andy Evans and John Featherstone.

Well, what a way to kick the website off now that my course has ended. The popular air event at Kemble; previously known as the Kemble "Air Day" is now known as the Kemble "Airshow". Why the sudden change? The show has now gone to two days and as always, was highly anticipated.


A clash with the KLu Open Dagen at Volkel in the Netherlands has worked to Kemble's advantage. Rather than having a very very similar display as happens at a number of UK two day shows, it has allowed the displays to have very different star acts. One Saturday, the Red Arrows gave their all in difficult conditions where, on the Sunday, the mighty Vulcan graced the skies over the airfield. However, both of these were eclipsed on both days by the welcome return to the airshow season of the Sea Vixen.

On both days, the Sea Vixen gave a superb and spirited display made all the sweeter on the Saturday by a rare appearence of the sun. A major part of this years show was classic Jets and this is what has made Kemble famous. Not only do you get the home team Hunters but items such as the aforementioned Sea Vixen and Vulcan; this year the display even included a pair of Venom's! What was noted this year from the Home Team was the display of a single Hunter. Usually, atleast two or even three of Delta's Hunter's grace the skies in addition to their Gnat however, this year these stayed on the ground. A sign of the times?

Following on from this, the airshow season is suffering this year from a significant decrease in RAF displays although the Typhoon did its best on both days to defend the RAF's honour which, was one of the noisiest I have ever witnessed.

So where-to now for Kemble?

Expanding to two days has shown how successful Kemble has become, with a lineup that is likely to eclipse a certain military RAF show this year! However, with the declining number of airshow acts and the increased effect on fuel and insurance; how long Kemble can maintain the show at two days remains to be seen. What it is hoped should remain is the superb UKAR Enclosure where; for an extre-fee there are photographic opportunities unrivalled on the entire airfield. With a front row seat and no obstructions from ATC Cadets or speakers!

Kemble will always hold a very special place in enthusiasts hearts. The airshow manages to attract many vintage jet aircraft which make full use of the close crowd line. In addition, many of the participants park on the cross runway in-front of the crowd. Thus allowing for some superb photographic opportunities to the normal punter and the hardened enthusiast. This though was recently put under threat by a claim that the airfield did not have planning permission. However, thankfully this has now been dropped and Kemble can remain as an operational airfield.

We await Kemble 2010 with bated breath and as always; it will be interesting to see what they can pull out of the bag!

The author wishes to thank Kemble Air Day and UK Airshow Review (UKAR) for the photographic opportunities provided. If you would like to learn more about Kemble Air Day, visit their website. UKAR can be found at www.airshows.co.uk including a very active forum! More photo's from this event can be found in the Gallery.

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