Up, up and away

Up, up and away, By Sam Paine - 28th April 2008
(Credit: Mudgee Guardian)

This year's Wings, Wheels and Wine air show was the biggest yet, with 3000 patrons passing through the gates.

Mudgee Aero Club secretary Rob Duffy attributed this year's success partly to the decision to move the show to the ANZAC Day long weekend.

He and coordinator Dan Power estimated that the monetary benefits for the Mudgee region could be measured in millions of dollars, as many visitors arrived early and stayed in Mudgee through the week leading up to the show.

This year, the show ventured into a new W, with a wool display including exhibitions of wool clothing and demonstrations by male and female shearers.

As wine has always been intrinsic to the air show, Mr Power said, "it was just a natural progression to the other product that's in the area."

Nine wineries offered tastings on site, and members of Mudgee Fine Foods brought various local products to taste and purchase.

Other stallholders offered a variety of material for air show enthusiasts, from model ships to framed prints of war planes in pencil.

The team behind Mudgee High School's solar powered car brought it along to compare with UNSWs solar powered racer.

Four rows of classic cars were lined up on the airfield, while the skies were filled with flying displays.

Special guest Father John Fowles showed off the four-seater kit plane in which he will soon circumnavigate the continent.

A highlight of the day was a pair of high-flying aerobatic performances by Paul Andronicou and Paul Bennett, followed by feats in formation by six RAAF Roulettes.

A crew from the ABC attended the show to film the roulettes for a new program on remarkable careers.

Motor Magazine will also use Mudgee as the backdrop for a photo shoot this week, after making a successful appearance at the air show with a number of impressive new-model cars.

Mr Power reported increased numbers of car clubs, partly due to the support of the president and secretary of the Council of Motor Clubs, who have been promoting the event and are now discussing bringing an annual motor rally through Mudgee en route to Bathurst. For more photos from Wings, Wheels and Wine, see Wednesday's Weekly.


Paul Bennett