Goodwood’s air spectacular for RAF diamond jubilee in 1978

A refurbished Mosquito makes a low pass for the crowds.
A refurbished Mosquito makes a low pass for the crowds.

Low cloud, mist and rain failed to ground those magnificent men in their flying machines at Goodwood Airfield, near Chichester. 

They took to the skies in West Sussex in one of the biggest flying displays ever seen in the county to pay a spectacular diamond jubilee tribute to the Royal Air Force. 

Ground displays over the weekend included a battle by the Sealed Knot, the Household Cavalry mounted quadrille, and the Royal Artillery’s crack motorcycle display team. 

The flying programme on both days was topped by the world’s premier aerobatic team, the Red Arrows, performing their wet weather display.

Some of the most impressive aerobatics came from Peter Phillips, flying a tiny red biplane, in which he demonstrated an immaculate 20-point ‘hesitation roll’ – the first time such a feat had been seen at Goodwood. 

Among the mass of other aircraft, it was a Spitfire from the Battle of Britain flight that brought back memories for Frank Westfield, 75, from Chichester. He flew one from Tangmere in the Second World War.