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G-AMSV Returns to Coventry

An old friend returned to Coventry yesterday when G-AMSV, in her striking Indian Air force livery, landed here for extensive maintenance by our engineers. Sierra Victor was part of the Air Altantique fleet here for many years. She'll...

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Baginton Air Pageant

The initial details for the Baginton Air Pageant are up on the website! As we don't have the space for a full-on air show attracting 20,000 or so people, we're aiming for low-key, themed days like this. A couple of thousand people,...

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Newquay Pleasure flights

We promised we'd be back to fly in Cornwall, and here we are. We'll be heading south with a Rapide and Chipmunk to spend a week at Newquay from 25th July, with a further visit planned in August. The flights are bookable in the normal...

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New Dakota Book

Geoff Jones just told me that his new book on the DC-3, released to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Dak's appearance, is now available. The cover sports a lovely shot of G-ANAF, shot by Simon Westwood before her radome goiter was...

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Nimrod Engine Run

We've just confirmed plans by NPT to run all four of the Nimrod's Rolls-Royce Speys on Saturday 9th May. We expect the thunder to start just after lunchtime. Come along and enjoy some audio power - and please dip into your pockets...

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Baginton Air Pageant

Relive The Classic Air Races of the Forties and Fifties

Following the success of our opening event on 2nd May we're back again with a tribute to those heady years that followed the Second World War. As Britain recovered from the recent horrors it was united by a fierce national pride and a renewed love for what Charles Lindbergh had christened "The wild freedom of danger". Only a decade before, Britain had been defended by biplanes and local militia who marched with broomsticks at the slope. Now the skies whistled with jets and the thunderclap of sonic booms as the Black Arrows swooped above enthralled crowds. The heroes of the War were the pop stars of the fifties, and aces like Neville Duke and Eric "Winkle" Brown were pushing back the boundaries of Man's knowledge of the air.

Against this backdrop, the King's Cup Air Race, dormant throughout the war, re-emerged in triumph in 1949, to be won by a Miles Gemini. Our Baginton Air Pageant on 4th July harks back to those days of speed and innovation.

Vintage Aircraft Flying at Baginton air Pageant

Join us for a re-creation of those days. Come as you are, of course, but if you want to help make it authentic by dressing in period then you'll be making the day even more enjoyable for everyone.

Gates open at 10:00 am and the pleasure flight fleet will be busy straight away. The air displays proper are set to begin between 1:30 and 2:00pm

Admission Prices

You can save on the at-the-gate prices below by buying your tickets in advance. Click here to save money!

Adult ticket: £15
Child or senior ticket: £10
Children under 8: Free
"Carfull" value ticket (up to 4 persons): £28


Please note that all aircraft and activities are subject to change.

Reliving the King's Cup

You Could Take a Flight in the Winning Aircraft!

The centrepiece of the pageant will be a mini-recreation of the King's Cup Air Races that ripped through the Coventry skies all those years ago. The KIng's Cup pitted very different machines against one another, relying on a complex handicapping system and, above all, the pilots' skills to leave the outcome in doubt right up to the finish line. In the spirit of the period, our four contenders will take off in handicap order before speeding around a pre-set course to race wingtip to wingtip, prop to prop for the finish line. There'll be a just-for-fun sweepstake where you can place your "bet" on the winner. Pick the right entrant and you could find yourself taking your seat in the winning cockpit for your own experience of a vintage racing machine.

The Race Competitors
Mile Gemini displaying at Baginton

Miles Gemini - race winner 1949

The Gemini appeared at the end of World War 2 and was an immediate hit with private buyers. Twin Cirrus engines gave it a decent turn of speed and retractable undercarriage kept fuel consumption within reasonable limits. Its roomy, four-seat cabin made it a useful people-carrier, but tricky low-speed handling made it less than ideal for inexperienced handling. With a 15mph speed disadvantage against the Proctor, expect the Gemini to work hard to keep its speed up and take advantage of its slippery aerodynamics in the race for the line.

Percival Proctor displaying at Baginton

Percival Proctor - race winner 1959

A popular air race contender, the Proctor was rugged, manoeuvrable and dependable. Capable of 160mph in level flight, the Proctor was fast for its time and the streamlined spats on the undercarriage allowed it to gather speed rapidly in a dive. Expect it to be hitting close to 200mph on its final run in.

Auster Autocrat displaying at Baginton

British Taylorcraft Auster - race winner 1956

The Auster proved itself as a doughty little workhorse in World War 2, performing sterling work as a spotter, reconnaissance and liaison aircraft. Pleasant to fly but tricky to land, it became a popular private plane in the early post-war years and many turned up in air races. It's a decidedly staid performer in this company, but expect the handicappers to be generous as a result. Given the right start, the Auster could turn in a surprise finish.

de Havilland Chipmunk displaying at Baginton

de Havilland Chipmunk - race winner 1953, 1966, 1973

The performance numbers put the Chipmunk as the second slowest contender here. But it can out-climb and out-turn all of them, which is why the Chippie became such a popular racing mount. A fast climb allows it to gain height and then turn that height into speed in a dive, and an ability to change direction faster than Pac-man means that this could be a strong bet.

The Display Performers
Gloster Meteor displaying at Baginton

Gloster Meteor T7

You saw her night-fighter sister strutting her stuff alongside the Vampire at our Airbase Gets Airborne event in May. Now it's the turn of our beautiful silver bird to show her colours. The T7 is over a ton lighter than the NF-11, so look forward to a spectacular performance.

Now the world's oldest flyable jet aircraft, our Meteor was the cutting-edge jet trainer when she took to the skies in 1949. Take yourself back to those days as you watch her flash by.

de Havilland Venom displaying at Baginton

de Havilland Venom

Following the Vampire's spectacular display on May 2nd we couldn't resist giving one of the Venoms an outing. Very similar to its predecessor at first glance, the Venom stands out for its wider, swept wings. The replacement of the Vampire's Goblin engine with the latest de Havilland Ghost took maximum speed to 640mph and wingtip tanks and under-wing drop tanks gave the Venom the range to make it a powerful war machine.

Jet Provost T3 displaying at Baginton

Jet Provost T3

She might not be able to hustle the way the Jet Provost T5 did on our May display, but the JP3 is the model that our pilots prefer. She's lighter, numbler and speaks to the pilot far more eloquently. Like many aircraft and classic cars, the earlier variants often demonstrate a design purity that later developments lack. The T3 retains the simplicity and flying pleasure of the original while the shortcomings of the T1 have been ironed out to make a real pilot's machine.

Percival Pembroke displaying at Baginton

Percival Pembroke

She couldn't make our May display, though the Dove made a crowd-pleasing understudy. But her new Permit will be in place for July 4th and our lovely Pembroke will be showing off her secrets for the show. The early post-war years were uncertain ones, and the threat of nuclear conflict made the Cold War a tense time. Our Pembroke performed heroic spy plane duties over the borders of the eastern bloc. Look out for the camera ports!

hornet Moth displaying at Baginton

de Havilland Hornet Moth

Setting the spirit for our race re-enactment, this pretty little biplane will show the classic lines and nimbleness that made it such a hit between the wars. This immaculately turned-out example belongs to Ben Cox, our Chief Engineer, who, as well as being a notable mender of aged airframes, can put in an impressive performance as a display pilot.

See Them Fly - From Inside!

Pleasure flights fleet

As usual we'll be airing our collection of pleasure flight machines, including the long-awaited return of the beautiful Dove/Devon. You'll be able to see the Warwickshire countryside, as well as get an exclusive airborne view of the day's activities through the windows of a rare classic.

And on the ground, of course, that means even more comings-and-goings of vintage aviation to enjoy.

Click here to book your flight

Making Our Own Thunder

Shackleton and Nimrod engine runs

Trailer-mounted Alvis Leonides engine If you're the kind of person who thrills to the sound of a Spitfire engine (and, believe us, we're right with you on that!) then you're going to love the sound of four Rolls-Royce Griffons in chorus. The world's only taxiable Mark 2 Shackleton (soon to become the world's only flyable Shackleton) will be creating her own weather system when she spins up all eight of her propellers. Then the mighty Nimrod, the aircraft that inherited the Shackleton's crown of protector of Britain's shores, will light up her strobes and nav lights for some great photo opportunities.

When things quieten down you'll be able to explore inside both of these classics and see for yourself how it felt to fly long missions over the freezing grey of the North Sea.

You'll also be able to see and hear the Coventry-built power behind the Percival Pembroke and our soon-to-fly Twin Pioneer. John Hoole will be running his ever-popular Alvis Leonides engine, with more vintage engines likely to be announced soon.


Retail Stalls at the Air Display

We'll be offering retail and presentation stall space to vendors or exhibitors with products or services that would interest our visitors. If you'd like to come along on the 4th July and sell your wares, click here to enquire.