The Flying Circus Air Show is one of the most enjoyable air shows I've ever had the pleasure of attending. As of the end of the 2012 season, I've been six times. The best part of having their own aerodrome is that they can have an air show every Sunday from May through October. There are a number of aircraft that are based right on the airfield and a number of others that fly in each Sunday just for the airshow. Watching the arrivals is half the fun. They come in from all points of the compass starting about 11:00 AM after the gates open.
The air show doesn't start until 2:30 PM, so you might wonder what they are doing arriving so early. The answer is simple, they are giving rides. Yep, for a very reasonable price you can get a ride in an open cockpit aircraft. If you're really brave, you can even sign up for the aerobatic ride. That's where you go upside down in the airplane. Don't worry, you'll get a parachute to wear, which is standard issue for aerobatics. I've never seen anyone fall out during a ride, but they do give you instructions, just in case. The only one I've ever seen come out of a Flying Circus aircraft is the one who brings the American flag down to start the show while our National Anthem is performed. It looks something like this:
A few quick notes about the facilities. First, they have real facilities, not your normal air show porta-poties. Additionally, they have benches set up for the crowd, although you're welcome to bring your own. Some seats have umbrellas for shade. They also have food, which is pretty good but even better is the fact that it's reasonably priced. So make sure you stop by Fifi's Cafe for some tasty treats while you enjoy the show!
Sometimes things get a little out of control, like when the flying farmer shows up and swipes an aircraft during the show. He's a pretty good pilot for a guy who cuts the grass. Not sure what I'm talking about? Then check out the show for yourself because you really do need to see it to believe it!
The show lets the men and women of the Flying Circus demonstrate the capabilities of these aircraft, many used to train pilots during the Second World War. They do this with some formation flying, practicing bombing with "flour" bombs (the Black Baron has a bad habit of being in the wrong place during this demonstration), practicing tight turns while chasing after a roll of paper towels dropped out of the cockpit and trying to pop balloons with their propellers.
There are a couple of aircraft that show up from time to time that aren't strictly WW-II era trainers. Usually, its an aerobatic type of aircraft that shows up to put on an acrobatic display for the crowd. More airplanes that go upside down and perform some amazing stunts in the air over the crowd.
One of the most impressive acts at the Flying Circus air show is the wing walking performance. There are a number of brave men and women at the Flying Circus who are willing to head out on the wing of the Circus' silver and black Stearman. It's an absolutely amazing sight to see a person climbing around the wings and fuselage of an aircraft while it does some amazing stunts, including going inverted!
Do yourself a favor, if you live anywhere near Bealeton Virginia, do yourself a favor and get to this show. It's worth the drive. To find out more about the show, including their schedule and directions, visit their web site - The Flying Circus