British Warbirds Mark Low-Key RAF CentennialJohn Morris
Many had high hopes for a gathering of British warbirds at EAA AirVenture to mark the 100th Anniversary of the Royal Air Force. And many had hoped for a special turnout of restored RAF/RCAF aircraft from Canada, such as the Avro Lancaster bomber and Fairey Swordfish naval attack biplane that have visited Oshkosh in the past. But poor weather and other circumstances kept them away, at least through Tuesday, July 24.
Instead, the RAF was represented by the EAA Museum’s non-flying Mosquito and Pitcairn Autogyro, a smattering of Chipmunks on the flight line, a Canadian Tiger Moth and several T-6 trainers and Harvards in RAF and RCAF colors. A couple of Jet Provost trainers could also be seen. At least a pair of Spitfires graced the grounds.
A planned display of early British jets, including a Meteor T.7, was canceled after the death of leading jet collector Martin Tibbitts in a British Venom at Sheboygan, Wisconsin, while preparing for AirVenture.