2014 Show Report

Lest We Forget

We are indebted to Dominic Mitchell who shot this awesome video of the Memorial Flight of Lancaster, Spitfire and Thunderbolt which flew on the Sunday of the show. Click HERE to view it. Dominic shot a lot of video during the weekend and you can view it all on his Youtube channel HERE and view his Facebook page HERE Horizon Hobby have also posted an article detailing their view of the show. Click HERE to view it. A huge thank you goes to James McDowall from North Weald Airfield who added a ream of photographs for us to share with you. You will see credits attached to each of his images.And of course a massive vote of thanks to all of you who have contributed photos, comments and other material to our website. There are far too many of you to mention individually but you will all know who you are.

2014 Arrives in Style

There is a whole lot of rubbish talked about the weather! Some swear by the Met Offic, some by the BBC, some by websites such as Wunderground. As Wings & Wheels proved this year, the only reliable forecast is your hand when you stick it out of the window! 

A Crowd at the 2014 Show

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Our forecasts ranged from wall to wall thunderstorms to heavy showers from Friday afternoon to Saturday afternoon. What a lot of rot! In fact, we experienced a couple of showers throughout the day that stopped flying on one occasion but the rest of the day was cloudy but dry!

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All our Traders were in place by Friday evening and the show got off to a punctual start with Pilot's briefing at 0930 and flying starting at 1000. As usual, we had a huge range of modelling disciplines on show ranging from the ever popular flying displays through the huge boat pool with its water-borne and static models, the Tamiya Truckin' boys with their eternally complicated road layouts and scenarios, the indoor flying marquee that showcases more impressive and varied models every year, the Dalek Builders Guild, the Model Hovercraft association, the RAFMAA, North Weald Model Club, the UK Tank club and oh-so-many more! The bottom line is that there was something for everyone, whether they simply wanted to come and watch some modelling activity or buy and sell at the huge Bring & Buy marquee or research the possibilities of a new and varied hobby. Boxes were transferred from the showground to the public car park all day...and some huge boxes there were too! Trade was brisk and there was much meeting of old friends and making of new friendships.  

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We had lots of interest in the event this year, not just from our usual fans but also by a lot of new local residents and also by BBC Essex who interviewed Jane Stephenson live on radio in a full discussion about the show.  


St John's Crew

Still to come on this Saturday was the evening entertainment with the 2 Nightingales regaling us with 1940's-type music in the bar, barbecues and Oriental Food to be had and still more talking over a pint! The girls turned out to be a stunning success and you may well be seeing more of these two next year!  

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As an added fillip to the show this year, we were visited by a small flight of Biggin Hill based aircraft that showcased a fly-by for the gathered crowds. To judge from the conversations heard afterwards, this certainly provided some food for thought concerning future modelling projects! The aircraft in the flight were the De Havilland Hornet Moth, the Luscombe Silvaire, the Miles Messenger, the Piper Warrior and the Rearwin Sportster - a real treat for us all.   DH Hornet Moth.jpgLuscombe Silvaire.jpg 

Miles Messenger.jpg  

Piper Warrior.jpg

Rearwin Sportster.jpg

Having previously said that believing the forecast is difficult, for once in their lives the Met Office, BBC and all the other forecasting platforms seemed to be in agreement about the Sunday. They all now predicted warm, dry conditions with calm winds! So if you hadn't managed to get down to North Weald Airfield on the Saturday it seemed like a good idea to join us on the Sunday for what promised to be another day filled with fun, laughter and excitement all round.

Sunday dawned bright and beautiful as promised and flying got off to a punctual start with the RAFMAA putting in a lovely, scale-like performance with their models. One of the noticeable hallmarks of Wings & Wheels 2014 was the large number of Teams flying together who had obviously put in a lot of practise getting their routines and performances just so. Teams included the TJD Warbirds, the RAFMAA, Tiger Team, Horizon, Optifuel, amongst a host of others, This type of flying is well suited to North Weald due to the open space of the airfield allowing a wide variety of display options to the teams.

Team Horizon.jpg

Team Optifuel James McDowall.jpg

Of course, the ultimate team formation flight this year was the Memorial Flight put on by Ali Machinchy, Steve Holland and Greg Veasey. Flying the Spitfire, Lancaster and Thunderbolt respectively, these three pilots flew a display that was befitting the commemoration of this event, 100 years after the start of WWI. See Dominic Mitchell's Youtube link at the top of the page.

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BBMF Thunderbolt.jpg

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It was fitting then, that Ali Machinchy who won the Pilot's Choice Trophy at the show in 2013, should hand the prize on to Steve Holland who was Pilot's Choice this year. Ali was presented with a permanent trophy that consists of three rotor blades from a Rolls Royce jet engine set in a polished base. Steve was awarded a hug from Jane Stephenson and Les Eagle, Flight Director!

Holland Trophy.jpg   Machinchy Trophy.jpg

Whilst talking about winners, Jane Stephenson, Show Director, was able to present our latest Facebook competition prize to the lucky recipient Bob Elam. This superb Parkzone SE5a model had been kindly donated by Horizon Hobby, represented here by John Norris!

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All the proceedings were being observed by an amazingly large crowd of spectators on the flight line. Egged on by our Commentator, Dave Bishop, they were all happy to give a wave for the camera!

Crowd right.jpg   SE5a Prize.jpg

And they were quite right to be cheerful for some of the displays to come were awesome in their own unique ways. From biplanes...

Nieuport.jpg   Bronco1.jpg


...to huge scale aircraft such as the Bronco...

Bristol.jpg   Bronco scale James McDowall.jpg

...and Pitts Python...

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...fast jets...

SE5a.jpg   Fast jets.jpg

...to heart-stopping moments and the downright unusual!

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All in all the crowd loved it. They loved it away from the flight line as well. There was constant action on the boat pool, not just from the static displays in the marquee and on the main pool but also by the opportunity to have a go on the little pool as well.

Boat Incident Jamesw McDowall.jpg  Boat Pool Lifeboat James McDowall.jpg

Boat Pool Patricia.jpg   Boat.jpg

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The annual jamboree that is the Bring and Buy marquee run by the Harlow and District MFC was just as busy as ever. With such a wide selection of modelling paraphernalia on show there was almost nothing you couldn't buy! 

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All around the showground there were surprises around every corner

Have a go concentration.jpg   Paddle Steamer.jpg  Dalek1.jpg

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Many of our visitors decided to make a weekend of it and stayed in our massive campsite on the airfield itself. This has proved to be a constant attraction over the years and looks like going from strength to strength.

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We do like to look after our visitors and not only did we put on entertainment and food in the bar on the Saturday evening, there were some unusual opportunities to dine during the day as well!

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If (for some peculiar reason!) you didn't manage to get to North Weald in 2014 to visit the Wings & Wheels Model Spectacular then you could do an aful lot worse than put next year's dates in your Diary right now! Saturday and Sunday 27th & 28th June 2015 will be the dates for our next extravaganza. Don't miss the fun!