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Waddington Airshow 2014

 

 
 
 

Well the alarm was set for a 3am start with a 3:45 departure for RAF Waddington's Lincolnshire base with an ETA of 7:30am, I left in what was quite a downpour but checking with the BBC Weather forecast it looked like it was going to clear from 10am onwards according to the radar/sattelite imagery. As it was it turned out to be quite a hot day once the rain did clear of as promised. I managed to find myself in quite a detour again due to the Grand Prix at Silverstone coinciding with the air show and saw some spectacular scenery and quaint villages en route due to the detour so I can't complain!

On arrival the traffic management was much better than usual and entering the base though not superfast was what you would consider "normal" under the circumstances, it turned out that the attendance was at capacity and I heard figures of 70k plus attending this show.

   

A visit to the live side of the airfield to view and photograph the various participants was only slightly marred by the poor weather but that didn't prevent me trying out some moody photos of the attending aircraft which included a few firsts for me in the shape of the Swedish historic flight who had brought a Tunnen, Viggen and Draken. I must confess to being a bit too keen on seeing the Draken in flight and was pouring over the airframe so much much that I used up most of my alloted time at that particular hard standing.

   
   

Next stop was to see the two Eurofighter Typhoons on a separate hard standing, both were "special tails" (a reference given to airframes that are painted in commemorative markings or special squadron markings), both aircraft had been sent to the show from 29(R) Squadron at RAF Coningsby with one example displaying triple X on a black background and the other in D-Day invasion stripes, I was hoping the latter would be displaying as in my view the stripes make it very photogenic, I wasn't to be disappointed.

   
   

Then the final part of the live side tour each with a ten minute window of opportunity would find the media circus whizzing around to nab a few shots of the blades team and the RAF's Tucano trainer with this years paint scheme looking very attractively adorned with poppies on the fore end of the fuselage which looked rather cool against the moody threatening clouds which had held off the worst of the downpour for us.

   
Back at the media centre and the Staff had laid on Coffees Teas and fresh selection of pastries which were quite welcome after grizzly start, the RAF Staff were immaculately dressed and very courteous to all involved in the media centre, I have to say I am quite impressed at how much effort goes in to looking after the media visitors from early doors to show closure, I would like to offer my heartfelt thanks to all at RAF Waddington who have looked after me for the last four consecutive reviews.
   

After refreshments a stroll around the various trade stalls to see what was on offer for those who like to browse and may not be dedicated aviation fans like yours truly, I stopped by the Lincolnshire Bomber Command Memorial stand where I met Gary Eason of Flightartworks who was sharing a section of the Lincolnshire Bomber Command Memorial Stall with a view to donating 30% of proceeds from his prints to the memorial fund.

I have seen Garys work elsewhere online but to see it for real as it were was something very different, his digital work is outstanding and carefully researched for historical accuracy, my personal favourite is of the Dambusters with the water rushing by underneath the bomber on a low approach to the dam. His work can be found via twitter @flightartworks or on his website if you are not attending any shows.

Review by Ken Brannen
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