- Friday, 06 July 2012
The inspiring spectacle of a World War II Spitfire flying low over the crowd will be among the high spots of next weekend’s Kent County Show, held on Friday July 13, Saturday July 14 and Sunday July 15.
Jointly sponsored by Kent Crisps and Shepherd Neame, the Spitfire from the Historic Aircraft Collection is due to entertain the crowds at the Kent Showground around midday on the Friday and about 4pm on the Saturday of the show.
The Spitfire Mark Vb BM597 will be piloted by experienced aviator Dave Harvey who fell in love with Spitfires at the age of eight when his father took him to see The Battle of Britain at the cinema.
Dave said: “I was fascinated and decided that I wanted to be a fighter pilot and fly Spitfires and Hurricanes. I learned to fly when I was 18 and was lucky to join the Royal Air Force as a pilot at the age of 20. After RAF pilot training on the Jet Provost and Hawk I flew the F4 Phantom and the Tornado F3 on front line fighter squadrons.
“I also flew the Hawk as a weapons instructor, flying instructor and instrument examiner for nearly 17 years including three seasons as the solo aerobatic display.
“When my Hawk displays were over I was invited to fly the T33 Silver Star and F86A Sabre for Golden Apple Operations at Duxford. Finally, in 2007, my dream came true when I was asked to fly the Hurricane for the Historic Aircraft Collection, also based at Duxford. I completed my conversion on to the Historic Aircraft Collection’s Mk Vb Spitfire which I am delighted to be flying at the Kent County Show.”
In a nod to the aircraft’s historic role in World War II, Dave will be putting the Spitfire through its paces above the site of RAF Detling, the Battle of Britain airfield on which part of the Kent Showground is built.
Roger Moore, executive manager, Kent Showground, said: “This is wonderful news. We originally hoped to offer helicopter flights in tandem with a Spitfire in association with a specialist company but flying restrictions imposed by the Olympics did not make this viable. However, the Spitfire operators were still keen to take part in the show if a sponsor could be found.
“Jonathan Neame of Shepherd Neame and Anthony Curwen from Kent Crisps have stepped in and made it possible for visitors to the Kent County Show to enjoy the stirring sight of this iconic aircraft in flight.”
Kent Crisps and Shepherd Neame have recently worked together to produce a new crisp flavour, Roast Beef and Spitfire Ale, which will be available to sample at the show.
Kent Crisps, based in Birchington, works with producers across the county, such as Ashmore cheese and Biddenden cider, to create flavours evoking the tastes of Kent.
Spitfire Ale has been brewed at Faversham since 1990, when it was launched to mark the 50thanniversary of the Battle of Britain. Since then it has many thousands of pounds for service charities, particularly the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund and Help for Heroes.
The Historic Aircraft Collection was formed to restore and fly a number of piston-engined military aircraft including a Spitfire, a Hurricane, a Hawker Nimrod and a Hawker Fury. The planes fly in front of more than a million people a year and all fees, sponsorships and donations go towards keeping these rare aircraft in the air. For more details visit http://www.historicaircraftcollection.ltd.uk/
For more information on the Kent County Show, visit www.kentshowground.co.uk.