Archive for April, 2011

Tigers Set to Roar Into Air Tattoo

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

A dramatic tiger-painted aircraft from the Belgian Air Force will be among a number of striking aircraft heading for this summer’s Royal International Air Tattoo.

The Air Tattoo, which takes place at RAF Fairford on July 16-17, will feature a colourful range of specially-decorated ‘Tiger’ aircraft from the NATO Tiger Association. ‘Tiger’ aircraft come from NATO squadrons that have a Tiger or Big Cat in their emblem and their association marks its 50th anniversary this year.

Links between the Air Tattoo and the NATO Tiger Association stretch back to 1977 when the airshow hosted the 17th official NATO Tiger Meet. This was an annual get-together first held in 1961 when the 79th Tactical Fighter Squadron of the US Air Force sought links with another squadron bearing a tiger insignia, the French Air Force’s 1/12 Escadron de Chasse. In 1977, 12 ‘Tiger’ squadrons took part in the Air Tattoo and since then, the Air Tattoo has regularly welcomed many colourfully painted aircraft from the association. The Belgian Air Force will be sending two F-16s: the Tiger-painted one from 31 Squadron will be on static display while a second, from 349 Squadron, will take part in the flying display. Both are based at Kleine Brogel Air Base.

Other Tiger squadrons already confirmed for this summer’s Air Tattoo will come from France, Germany and Austria as well as RAF and Royal Navy aircraft.

In addition to hosting a gathering of Tiger aircraft, the Air Tattoo will be marking its 40th anniversary and turning the spotlight on aircraft and equipment involved in the roles of Strike and Reconnaissance. Visitors on Sunday July 17 will also be able to enjoy a one-off lunchtime performance by X-Factor star Alexandra Burke.

Tickets for the Air Tattoo, priced from £39 each, are available by visiting or calling 0800 107 1940. All tickets must be purchased in advance. All accompanied under-16s go free.

Bookmark and Share

Air Tattoo Welcomes Back Old Flames

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

AN aerobatic display team that attended the second International Air Tattoo in 1972 is set to return to the UK this summer to mark the 40th anniversary of what has since become the world’s largest military airshow.

Les Diables Rouges (The Red Devils) aerobatic display team, part of the Belgian Air Force, will be taking part in the Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire on July 16 & 17.

In 1972, the two-ship team took part in the airshow when it was staged at North Weald airfield. The pilots flew Fouga Magisters. Five years later, the team disbanded.

However, the Red Devils have now reformed, flying SF-260 aircraft, and they plan to return to the Air Tattoo in the summer to celebrate their historic links with the airshow.

A spokesman for the Red Devils said he was delighted the new team would be taking part in the Air Tattoo. He said: “I hope our participation will serve to emphasise not only our historical links but also the enduring relationship that exists between the Belgian Air Force at the Air Tattoo.”

Air Tattoo Chief Executive Tim Prince, who helped found the airshow in 1971, said the Red Devils’ would help conjure up a wonderful sense of nostalgia at this summer’s event. He said: “We had some good times at those early shows and I recall the Diables Rouges, with their Fouga Magisters, performed beautifully. It is a great honour to see them return for this special occasion.”

In addition to celebrating its 40th anniversary, this summer’s Air Tattoo, on July 16-17, will host a gathering of specially-decorated ‘Tiger’ aircraft from the NATO Tiger Association. ‘Tiger’ aircraft come from NATO squadrons that have a Tiger or Big Cat in their emblem and their association marks its 50th anniversary in 2011. The ‘operational’ spotlight STAR 11 will focus on aircraft and equipment involved in the roles of Strike and Reconnaissance.

Tickets are available by visiting or calling 0800 107 1940. All tickets must be purchased in advance. All accompanied under-16s go free.

Bookmark and Share

Bada Gets Off To A Flying Start

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

Leading figures from the UK aviation and airshow industries met in Gloucestershire this month to launch the British Air Display Association (BADA).

The association, which announced an initial membership of 82, aims to be the focal point for developing and encouraging safe practices as well as promoting the industry to those involved in staging airshows, including display pilots, organisers, and authorities such as the Civil Aviation Authority and the Military Aviation Authority.

Held at the headquarters of the Royal International Air Tattoo in Fairford, the inaugural meeting saw the election of a committee to run the association. It comprises: Acting Chairman Ian Sheeley; Acting Vice Chairman George Bacon; Secretary Robert Windsor; Treasurer Colin Hitchins and committee members Geoff Brindle, Rod Dean, Dave Walton, John Davies, Rick Peacock-Edwards and Glen Moreman.

Ian Sheeley said: “the inaugural meeting was a great way to launch this new national association with an encouraging number of members present. The new committee provides a wealth of experience that will help BADA get off to a flying start”.

He added: “The key thing now is to maintain the momentum, and the first issue we’ll be looking at relates to airspace restrictions associated with the London Olympics next year and their effect on the airshow business – that’ll be receiving a great deal of our attention. The launch of BADA is an exciting development for the UK airshow industry and I’m looking forward to working with the rest of the committee and our members to build for the future.”

Bookmark and Share

Aerobatics competition hosted at Imperial War Museum Duxford gets Royal approval

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

Imperial War Museum Duxford is delighted to welcome the very best British aerobatics pilots on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 May, as they compete for the Duxford Trophy.

The 2011 Duxford Trophy promises to be even more visually exciting than in previous years, with an enhanced competitive zeal amongst the pilots, leading to more dynamically exciting displays.

For the first time, The British Aerobatic Association has been granted the right to award the inaugural Queen’s Air Race Challenge Cup to the winner of its Speed Aerobatics contest at IWM Duxford on Sunday 29 May.

Queen Elizabeth II has followed in her grandfather’s footsteps in recognising achievements in aviation sport through the Queen’s Air Racing Challenge Cup in association with the Royal Aero Club. The Royal Aero Club Council voted for the British Aerobatic Association to award the first Queen’s Cup to the winner of the Duxford Speed Aerobatics competition.

The trophy, made of Irish silver, bears the Queen’s Coat of Arms and dates back to 1724. At 287 years old, it becomes probably the oldest active sporting trophy in the UK.

The King’s Cup was originally established by King George V as an incentive to the development of light aircraft and engine design. An annual British handicapped cross-country air race, the King’s Cup was first contested on 8 September 1922.

During its years as an RAF fighter station, Duxford was home to a number of pilots who entered the King’s Cup Air Race, including Flying Officer Richard L R Atcherley, who was a pilot and Qualified Flying Instructor with No.29 Squadron at Duxford, equipped with Sopwith Snipes. He was the winner of the King’s Cup in 1929.

Hubert Jones had already competed in the King’s Cup when he was appointed Commanding Officer of No.19 Squadron in 1925 and he continued to compete in the Air Race during his time at Duxford.

IWM Duxford upholds the tradition of those wartime aerial aces in its annual hosting of The Duxford Trophy. Participants in the 2011 competition are amongst the most skilful aerobatic pilots in the UK, with proven records in competition at Advanced and Unlimited levels. They include members of the British Aerobatic Team representing Great Britain at international events.

Come and see the adrenalin and excitement of competition aerobatics at Imperial War Museum Duxford and see the winning pilot claim the first Queen’s Air Race Challenge Cup.

The Duxford Trophy is included in standard admission to the Museum and, as usual, children aged 15 and under go free.

Bookmark and Share

F.A.B! A Night at the RAF Museum

Monday, April 18th, 2011

18th April 2011

Calling all children of the 60s & 70s! The Royal Air Force Museum London is inviting you to revisit your childhood on Saturday 14th of May by opening its doors for a special evening event that will take them back to their childhood futures.

From 7pm until 11pm, the museum will be opening up its Milestones of Flight, Bomber and Historic Hangars for free to over 18s and giving adult visitors the opportunity to play with giant sized versions of classic children’s games whilst listening to music of the 60s and 70s inspired by ‘futurism’, ‘the white heat of technology’ and Cult TV shows from their childhoods.

For those who spent their school hours idly day-dreaming about living on Tracy Island and piloting Thunderbird 2 the museum is offering the exclusive and rare opportunity to enjoy an audience with Sylvia Anderson, the voice of Lady Penelope and the co-creator of Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlett, UFO and Space 1999.

In an interview to be held in the museum’s cinema at 7.30pm, Sylvia will talk to fans about her career; the iconic actors that she worked with and the inspiration behind the characters that she created taking questions from the audience. After this she will be available to talk to fans whilst signing copies of her latest book ‘Sylvia Anderson – May Fab Years’ in the museum shop. Only 210 tickets for this element of the evening will be available from from Thursday 28th April retailing at £12.50 each, the profits of which will go to the maintenance of the museum’s aircraft collection.

Additionally, the museum will have on display throughout its galleries original and studio standard models and characters from Century 21 television programmes and will also show favourite episodes from Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlett in the Museum’s cinema specially selected by Sylvia Anderson herself.

Paul Hudson, Head of Marketing at the Museum states:

‘The Royal Air Force is renowned across the world for the humanitarian aid that it provides at times of global crisis. Indeed, it could be argued that for many across the world it is truly their International Rescue. As a child of the late 60s, who was captivated by the adventures of the Tracy Brothers, I am particularly honoured to host their co-creator and to display original models from the series. I am confident that this event will prove to be as fascinating to our adult audience as our day-time events are to our younger visitors.’

The Royal Air Force Museum is open daily from 10am to 6pm daily. Admission is free with last admission being at 5.30 pm. For further details about this event, please visit Tickets will be sold through the museum’s online shop.

Bookmark and Share

All New Aviator Club is Open for Business

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

Visitors to Airbourne: Eastbourne International Airshow have the chance to book now for the new and improved Aviator Club hospitality marquee offering uninterrupted views directly on the flying line.

The popular seafront airshow returns to the UK’s sunniest place from 11-14 August and promises dynamic flying displays from fast jets to historic aircraft, and from freefall parachutists to international planes.

New for 2011, organisers are moving its popular Aviator Club to a better position directly on the flying line and will be offering guests exclusive chalets with two tables of eight in each.

Eastbourne Borough Council Events Manager Mike Marchant said “We are very excited to launch the 2011 Aviator Club packages and really kick off the countdown to this year’s Airbourne. Our new Aviator Club packages provide the ultimate way to soak in the fantastic Airbourne atmosphere while enjoying unrivalled views of the flying displays and the packages really are a must for airshow fans.

“Boasting a new smaller chalet arrangement this year, the Aviator Club will also offer a unique and private venue for wining and dining business clients and I hope we see many Eastbourne businesses taking advantage of this fantastic event on their doorstep.”

Guests can book now for the Aviator Club from just £60+VAT per person and look forward to a first class day out in August enjoying coffee and home made cookies and biscuits on arrival, champagne, two-course summer lunch and an afternoon strawberry cream tea. Guests will also receive a copy of the official airshow programme and have access to a private Aviator Club bar. Those who book before 30 April will also receive a 15% discount for the Thursday of Airbourne.

For more information on Airbourne 2011, to book a place in the Aviator Club, or to find out about other ways to support the event including sponsorship and advertising opportunities, visit or telephone 01323 415442.

Bookmark and Share

Rare Chance To Step Inside Historic Aircraft

Sunday, April 10th, 2011

14th May 2011
6.00pm – 8.30pm
£10.00 per person

The Royal Air Force Museum Cosford will be opening up its doors to visitors for a special evening event taking pace on Saturday 14th May. A selection of aircraft and cockpits will be available for close viewing for a limited number of visitors. This event is one of many taking place around the country as part of the national ‘Museums at Night’ weekend.

During ‘Open Cockpits Evening’ members of the public will have the chance to see inside a number of cockpits including the Hunter F4, Buccaneer, Phantom and a Gnat T1 as previously used by the world famous Red Arrows team and get a feeling of what it was like to fly these much loved aircraft.

Other major highlights for aviation enthusiasts include the opportunity to walk through the mighty Vulcan bomber cockpit and other Cold War aircraft including the Belfast, York and Hastings. It is hoped to have a total of 13 aircraft available for this rare opportunity of close viewing.

Museum Curator, Al McLean says:

“The open cockpits evening will be a rare treat for our visitors. This is something that we have not able to do very often and some of these cockpits have not been seen at Cosford before.”

This is an evening event open from 6.00pm to 8.30pm. Numbers will be limited and admission is by advance ticket only. Tickets costs £10.00 per person and will be on sale from Monday 11th April from the museum. Height restrictions will apply.

The event ties in with ‘Museums at Night’, a national event where hundreds of museums, galleries, libraries, archives and heritage sites will unlock their doors for special evening events over the weekend of 13th-15th May.

A second ‘Open Cockpits Evening’ at the Museum is planned for Saturday 17th September 2011.

For further information on the Open Cockpit Evening, please contact the Museum on 01902 376200 or visit

Bookmark and Share