GRR

Freddie March Spirit of Aviation at Revival 2022

17th September 2022
Andrew Willis

Inspired by keen aviator Freddie March – later the ninth Duke of Richmond and Gordon – the Freddie March Spirit of Aviation presented by Bonhams is a concours d’elegance for rare and historic aircraft built up to 1966. 

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Situated outside Goodwood’s original WW2 scramble hut – where Sir Douglas Bader would have relaxed smoking his pipe before setting off for his final mission of WW2 – and overlooked by the modern Goodwood Aerodrome Cafe, the ‘F.M.S.O.A’ is appropriately located at the Goodwood Revival.

An event within an event, the airfield is littered with aircraft. Large and small. Military and civilian. Each has a plaque below their nose that speaks of exceptional provenance and heritage.

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Looming over the entire field is a 1943 Consolidated PBY or ‘Catalina’, with a queue of excited enthusiasts waiting their turn to explore within its fuselage and cockpit. The two plexiglass bubbles either side of the aircraft – designed to aid spotters searching vast seascapes for downed airmen or enemy U-boats in WW2 – have the faces of inspired children pressed against them. 

At the other end of the scale is the diminutive 1929 Klemm l25A. A 9-cylinder powered two-seater ‘gentleman’s carriage’ of the skies. It is the 16th oldest aeroplane on the British Civil Aircraft Register and one of only two airworthy survivors.

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Throw in a P-51 Mustang, a gaggle of Spitfires, the world’s only two-seater Hawker Hurricane, a Bucker Jungmeister  – which competed in the1936 Olympic games as an aerobatic display entrant – and a 1933 Moth Major – the type of plane used by Amy Johnson on her pioneering flight to Australia – the scope of airframes and stories to explore is dizzying. 

Thankfully, the responsibility of crowning best in show lies in someone else’s capable hands. No easy task judging by this lot…

Photography by Tom Baigent.

  • Freddie March Spirit of Aviation

  • Revival 2022

  • Goodwood Revival

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