Model planes wow the crowds as popular airshow returns to Weston Park

Weston Park was transformed into a model aircraft heaven over the weekend as thousands of visitors enjoyed an annual event.

Nikki Bishop with a MIG 17 at the Weston Park Airshow International
Nikki Bishop with a MIG 17 at the Weston Park Airshow International

The sun was shining as visitors from all over enjoyed the sights of the Weston Park Airshow International, organised by Steven Bishop.

Realistic models with miniature pilots zoomed high above the stately home's expansive grounds.

Susan Bishop and a Red Arrows pilot at the Weston Park Airshow International

The atmosphere was one of excitement as crowds browsed the stalls, checked out the display models and eagerly awaited the Saturday evening dusk display with fireworks.

The weekend long event runs from Friday to Sunday, with many people choosing to camp out and not miss a moment of the action.

Weston Park Airshow International

Mark and Tracy Farrand, from Derbyshire, visit the show every year and were thrilled to be back after the show was cancelled in 2020.

The couple said it was always a big event in their calendar, as Mark is an avid flyer of model aircraft.

Rob Nason from Wrekin Model Flying Club at the International Model Airshow at Weston Park

Mark was buying a new electric glider from E-Soaring Gadgets to top up his collection.

"I have mainly all electric gliders and they range from serious stuff to lower end pieces," he said. "These are not toy aeroplanes, like many people think, it's serious equipment. A model jet like some on display here can cost around £20,000-£25,000."

A jet plane flies low to the ground at the Weston Park Airshow International

Tracy said Mark has taught her the basics of flying, but she loves to come to the events for the atmosphere and the great displays.

"It's a fun hobby for all ages, and it's really inclusive," she said. "I don't fly myself, but I love watching them. If you don't want to spend a lot on the models, you don't have to, and you can still get involved. Some of them are just brilliant though."

Mark said: "It's just wonderful to be back. We come on the Saturday to see the show on the evening – it's well worth it."

Visitors watching the skies at the Weston Park Airshow International

Colin Lucas, from Sussex, is a sales assistant at E-Soaring Gadgets, and was helping the couple buy another glider to add to Mark's 12-strong collection.

He said: "It's great to be back again. The atmosphere is always really nice and the show on Saturday is spectacular.

Weston Park Airshow International

"Flying has always been a great sport and it takes real skill and knowledge. Everyone here is always so great to chat to, we love coming each year and missed it a lot last year."

David Taub, owner of HSDJets, said they had traded in June at the model airshow but it wasn't the same as this month's show.

Andreas Gietz at the Weston Park Airshow International

Mr Taub sells top quality models of jets to customers and makes them more affordable for those people wanting to invest in the equipment.

"We import and distribute this brand and have a wide range of products," he explained. "The business is about bringing jets that are normally really expensive to make them more affordable for people.

Bob Arnold from Staffs Aero Club at Weston Park Airshow International

"It's for people who want to get into it, but don't want to spend loads. You aspire to fly a jet, like you would with normal physical flying, but they have always been upwards of £10,000 to buy which is a lot of money for some people wanting to progress with their flying.

"I have been coming here on and off since it started about 25 years ago. So it's really nice to be back and to see people out and about, chatting to each other. It's exciting."

The organisers held a show in June, which he attended, but said it was much quieter than this month's event and he loved the chance to see everyone again.

Thomas, Andy, Keith and Oli Hatch at Weston Park Airshow International

"The weather has been fantastic this weekend," he added. "And it's just a fantastic turn out, with lots of people, eager to chat about planes, which is great."

Martin and Soraya Maguire travelled from Jersey with their friends Anne and Stuart Cook from Wiltshire, and Lynne and John Sharman from Reading.

Malcolm Harle and his MK8 Spitfire at Weston Park Airshow International

The six of them were sat watching the model aircraft displays throughout the day, and had camped over from the Friday night.

They were all excited about the Saturday night display, and said it was a fantastic spectacle.

Weston Park Airshow International

"It's an amazing event, it's just 10 out of 10 for me," Soraya said. "It's just a brilliant time – the weather is great and the grounds are looking lovely."

Anne said her husband Stuart had recently got into model aircraft flying and is now an avid fan of the past time.

Dan Goule with his Pits challenger at the Weston Park Airshow International

"He is a building a glider at the moment out of balsa wood," she explained. "It's definitely becoming a new obsession for him."

Weston Park Airshow International

The show is the brainchild of Steven Bishop, who is big in the aircraft modelling world. Steve and his son Matthew are most well known for their scale Red Arrows duo display, which has taken them around the world and brings many visitors to Weston Park each year to marvel at the two time world champion formation display.

Steve is supported by his wife Jan who keeps the administration side of the airshow running.

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