Lucky passengers on board our hot air balloon flight from Biggleswade on Monday evening were treated to some extra entertainment during their flight. The balloon launched from Old Warden, Shuttleworth Airfield, in Bedfordshire, coincidentally at the same time as two pilots in replica WW1 aircraft were displaying their spectacular flying Biggleswade WW1 aircraft by hot air balloonskills. Making it even more special, it is one of the last times the aircraft will fly as they are only on loan to Shuttleworth for September, before they retire to a life in the RAF Museum at Hendon, North London. The RE8 and Albatros aircraft are very rare reproductions of WWI fighters and they arrived in the UK from The Vintage Aiviator Ltd in New Zealand just a few weeks ago. Photographer Darren Harbar took some great photographs of the unusual event.
He recalled: "The Royal Flying Corps RE8 was flown by Gene DeMarco and was on a photo sortie at the time of the flight, I captured a photo of the aircraft flying right by the balloon. The German Albatros flew later which was piloted by Mr Kermit Weeks, he performed a series of strafing passes around the basket, much to the delight of those on board."
WW1 aircraft at Shuttleworth, Old Warden AirfieldThe passengers had an amazing opportunity to see their own mini airshow from the unique perspective of the basket. Virgin Balloon Flights Bedfordshire pilot Spencer Craze told us:
"It was a perfect evening for ballooning. The aircraft came quite close making an even more exciting experience for the passengers, it was all very good fun."
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