The annual Dawlish Airshow is one of my most anticipated airshows each year, as the various vantage points around the area offer some fantastic and alternative viewing points. These provide vantage points where you can view the show from, let’s say, a slightly different angle to normal. Heading out of Dawlish Station (I never attempt the drive down as the station is ideally placed), walk along road to Teignmouth up to The Smugglers Inn, where a hill behind offers a fantastic viewing point.
Some of the static helicopters can also be found in this area and this year saw the Royal Navy Sea King, a Gazelle, and Agusta A109 2-LIFT located here.
The weather forecast in the preceding days was not looking favourable at all, but on the day, the sun was out for the morning before early afternoon the weather closed in with a thunderstorm just offshore & low cloud which unfortunately led to the cancellation of the Red Arrows and Battle of Britain Memorial Flight displays.
Notable items in the varied flying display were the Royal Navy Sea King Search and Rescue display, The Royal Navy Black Cats display team with their new Wildcat HMA.2’s, Mark Petrie in the BAC Strikemaster and Rich Goodwin flying his Pitts, but the star of the show was undoubtedly the RAF Typhoons display, flown very energetically by Flt Lt Jonny Dowen over the hill and the bay using a Typhoon painted in a Battle of Britain colour scheme.It was also a final time that the Avro Vulcan XH558 would display here at Dawlish and it did not disappoint, making some nice loud passes with the noise echoing around the bay. It was a shame that the lower cloud base prevented us from witnessing its great climbouts and wing-over.
Special mention must go to John Beattie in the Seafire, not just in making it to the show from RNAS Yeovilton in the deteriorating weather but managing to provide a subdued display consisting mainly of flypasts as the cloud base was too low for him to even put the aircraft upside down.
Despite the weather issues during the afternoon, as always, it was a successful show with a varied flying display and I for one will look forward to visiting again in 2016.
Photography by Gary Morris and Matt Sudol.
© South West Aviation Photographers