Archive for May, 2012

Sparkling Start to Air Tattoo Preview

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

DARE-DEVIL parachutists provided a taste of what’s to come when they dropped in to RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire yesterday.

Members of the RAF Falcons parachute display team unfurled a Diamond Jubilee flag as they drifted down to earth from 3,000ft at a special preview of the Royal International Air Tattoo.

The world’s biggest military airshow, which will take place on July 7 and 8, is this year celebrating HM the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, and a sparkling display of aircraft touched down to publicise this summer’s event.

Children’s tv presenter Barney Harwood flew in as the day’s special guest, arriving in style courtesy of an RAF Hawk flown by Fairford-born display pilot Flt Lt Phil Bird.

The logo on the flag delivered by the RAF Falcons had been chosen from thousands of entries in a children’s design competition run by the BBC’s Blue Peter programme, and presenter Barney performed the official raising of the flag, accompanied by the Fanfare team from the Band of the RAF Regiment.

Barney said: “I got my first Airfix kit at the age of eight, and that was a Hawk, so it was incredible to actually fly in one. It relays the message that anything is possible: I used to work in a kennels and now here I am in an RAF jumpsuit. It’s such a beautiful aircraft and it was so exciting to fulfil a lifelong ambition.”

Five spectacular aircraft touched down at the Gloucestershire airbase, including a Chipmunk with a royal connection – WP903, painted in the bright colours of the Royal Flight, is the actual two-seater trainer aircraft in which Prince Charles learnt to fly – and an RAF Tucano, painted in special Diamond Jubilee livery.

A deHavilland Vampire T11, which entered service with the RAF 60 years ago, was also on show, while a US Air Force MC-130 Hercules, operated by US Special Forces, also flew in, symbolising the close links between the airshow and the USAF.

Air Tattoo Chief Executive Tim Prince said: “It’s been great to provide a preview of what’s in store in July, as we have an exceptional line-up of aircraft. As well as a special mass flypast of Hawks in an E II R formation, the Air Tattoo will feature seven aerobatic display teams including Al Fursan, a newly-formed team from the United Arab Emirates who’ll be making their European debut at the airshow.

“Two countries, Colombia and South Korea, will be making their Air Tattoo debuts, the iconic Avro Vulcan will be here to thrill the crowds, and many of the world’s top fast jets will also be joining us in July. The world really is coming to Fairford this year – make sure you don’t miss out on the action.”

Bookmark and Share

Fantastic flying announced for The Jubilee Air Show

Monday, May 21st, 2012

We’ve a fantastic flying display now confirmed for The Jubilee Air Show on Sunday 27 May.

The Royal Air Force will be flying a range of powerful contemporary aircraft, including the BAe Hawk, from 208 (R) Squadron, Eurofighter Typhoon from 6 Squadron, RAF Leuchars and the Beechcraft King Air from 45 (R ) Squadron, RAF Cranwell.

16(R ) Squadron, RAF Cranwell will be displaying the Grob Tutor 115E. Used for elementary flying training, this was the type of aircraft that Prince William was taught to fly on at RAF Cranwell. He went on to fly a Shorts Tucano at RAF Linton-on-Ouse, which is also represented in the flying display.

The Westland Sea King, fromB Flight, 22 Squadron, RAF Wattisham is the type that Prince Andrew has flown and that Prince William is currently flying as a fully-operational Search and Rescue co-pilot with 22 Squadron, RAF Valley, Anglesey.

The Westland Lynx, from815 Naval Air Squadron, Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton, is the type of helicopter that Prince Andrew flew.

Many of the historic aircraft performing in The Jubilee Air Show also have connections to the Royal Family.

DCH-1 Chipmunk WP903 was built in 1952 and served with The Queen’s Flight. It was the actual aircraft on which Prince Charles learnt to fly. Two DCH Chipmunks will be flying at The Jubilee Air Show. In addition to Prince Charles, several other members of the Royal Family learnt to fly on this aircraft type, including Prince Philip and Prince Andrew.

The DH89A Dragon Rapide, owned by D & M Miller, is the type of aircraft owned by Prince Edward VIII in 1935. Prince Edward flew to and fromRAF Duxford in his Dragon Rapide to see the spectacular sight of the Royal Review on 6 July 1935, which celebrated the jubilee of his father, King George V. On his accession to the throne, a year later, as King Edward VIII, his Dragon Rapide became the founding aircraft of the King’s Flight.

Prince Philip flew both the North American Harvard, of which two are displaying at The Jubilee Air Show, and the Gloster Meteor T7, an example of which, operated by Air Atlantique Classic Flight, wowed the crowds at last year’s Autumn Air Show and makes a welcome return to IWM Duxford at The Jubilee Air Show.

Glorious historic aircraft flying at this celebratory show include two stunning 1930s Hawker Nimrod single-seat biplanes; three examples of the iconic Spitfire, synonymous with IWM Duxford’s famous heritage; the famous B-17 Flying Fortress Sally B ; the stalwart wartime multi-role Avro Anson and the iconic Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Avro Lancaster, Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire.

In celebration of this year’s Olympics, there will be a display by the Bucker Jungmeister, which swept the board in the aerobatic competition at the Berlin Olympics in 1936.

There will be a rip-roaring display by the F-16 Fighting Falcon from360 Squadron, Belgian Air Force, and aerial dynamics from the French Air Force’s Patrouille Cartouche Dore aerobatic teamand the SBach Duo of top aerobatic pilots Steve Jones and Paul Bonhomme.

On the ground, there will be fun-packed activities for all the family to enjoy and the whole museum is open to explore. The Airfix Make and Paint Zone will be in AirSpace, where you canmake and paint your own Airfix model and take it home as a souvenir of your day at The Jubilee Air Show. There will be family activities in AirSpace and the American Air Museumplus exciting children’s rides across the museum.

Advance ticket booking has now closed, but tickets can be purchased on the gate at The Jubilee Air Show
on Sunday 27 May.

For further information go to

Bookmark and Share

Cosford Countdown

Monday, May 21st, 2012

With less than four weeks to go the Cosford Air Show (Sunday, June 17) is counting down the days to the biggest aviation event in the West Midlands. The flying display promises to be one of the most exciting yet with everything from fast jets to biplanes and from helicopter to gliders. The Great War Bird Team will be honouring the hundredth anniversary of the Royal Flying Corps and a line up of training aircraft in the air and in the specially themed static park area acknowledge another centenary, this one for the Central Flying School. Other highlights include role demos from the Tornado and Sea King from the Royal Air Force and the Apache from the Army Air Corps. Of course no Cosford Air Show would be complete without the appearance of the Red Arrows, the Falcon Parachute display team and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. The famous Blades display team, the Agusta 109 helicopter display from Belgium and a stunning performance from the Typhoon round off the spectacular air display.

The thrills in the air are matched by a new and exciting ground programme. As well as the traditional indoor craft fair and three hangars packed with military exhibitions and interactive displays from all three services, this year sees the first ever appearance of the RAF Field Gun Display in the new arena. The arena programme, which also includes military bands and Guide Dog displays, runs from the moment gates open until the start of the flying display making RAF Cosford Air Show a full day of entertainment for the whole family.

Full information on the show including details of all participating aircraft can be found on the air show web site –

Bookmark and Share


Monday, May 21st, 2012

The dramatic flypast of RAF Hawks that flew over Windsor Castle at the weekend as part of the Armed Forces’ tribute to HM The Queen will provide the centrepiece of the Royal International Air Tattoo’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire this summer.

Visitors to the airshow on July 7-8 will be able to see a repeat of the EIIR flypast, comprising 27 BAE Systems’ Hawk fast jets from RAF Valley in Anglesey and RAF Leeming in Yorkshire.

Other Diamond Jubilee attractions will include specially-painted aircraft, a display of current and historic aircraft with ‘Royal’ connections and a Diamond Jubilee Lawn featuring a wide variety of themed attractions with a street party atmosphere.

Air Tattoo spokesman Richard Arquati said the Air Tattoo would provide the perfect complement to this summer’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

He said: “Mass flypasts are only rarely staged because of the incredible amount of practice and planning involved. To have the opportunity to feature the EIIR element of the Armed Forces’ official tribute to the Queen at Fairford is not only a great honour but it will also provide a wonderful spectacle for our visitors.”
Also at the Air Tattoo will be a number of legendary aircraft also celebrating their 60th anniversaries, including the Vulcan bomber, the US Air Force B-52 and the Vampire T11.

This summer’s Air Tattoo will feature aircraft from around the world, including South Korea, Russia, Colombia and Saudi Arabia. The eight-hour flying programme includes the European debut of the United Arab Emirates’ Al Fursan display team, the Red Arrows and the unique MV-22 Osprey.

The Air Tattoo is staged in support of the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust. Tickets, priced from £39, are available from or by calling 0800 107 1940. All accompanied under-16s go free. Free parking.

Bookmark and Share

BLADES and AEROSTARS to appear at Cosford Air Show

Sunday, May 20th, 2012

The first details of the RAF Cosford Air Show have just been released. The Air Show organiser Wing Commander (retired) Amanda Butcher said “Although we are still waiting for formal confirmation from the Royal Air Force we are expecting to see most of the RAF’s best displays at Cosford on Sunday 17th June. However we have already started to book some of the other stars of the show and can confirm that both the Aerostars and the famous Blades display team will be here”

One of the themes of the 2012 Cosford Air Show will be 100 years of the Central Flying School and there will be a selection of aircraft both in flying display and in the static aircraft the ground to celebrate this special event.

On the ground the RAF Regiment Band will be just one of several bands playing as part of the all day entertainment.

Tickets went on sale two weeks ago and are already selling well. This year’s airshow is already shaping up to one of the best family days in 2012.

Full information on the show can be seen on the air show web site –

Bookmark and Share


Sunday, May 20th, 2012

The latest announcements from the Cosford Air Show promise a thrilling new aspect to the flying display with role demonstrations from a host of military aircraft.

The RAF Sea King from HRH Prince William’s unit at RAF Valley will be working with the RAF Mountain Rescue team to provide a demonstration of the work done by the Search and Rescue teams. This is a unique opportunity to see winching operations at first hand and to meet members of the team on the ground afterwards.

The Tornado GR4 Role Demo will show how the RAF employs aircraft on operations in support of people on the ground. You can expect some loud bangs and the noise of aircraft in full re-heat with pyrotechnics being used to simulate various attack profiles.

More action comes from the Apaches of the Army Air Corps with their stunning attack helicopter role demonstration. The Army Apaches play a key role in Afghanistan and this display gives the public a taste of the skill shown by these front line pilots.

Other new announcements include a Lynx from the Royal Navy Helicopter display team The Black Cats and a welcome overseas visitor, the Augusta 109 from the Belgian Air Force with its special flying display. The line up of historic aircraft includes the Swordfish and Sea Fury of the Royal Navy Historic Flight and a selection of aircraft representing 100 years of the Central Flying School.

All of this alongside the Red Arrows, the Typhoon, the Blades, the RAF Falcons and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight will make this year’s show one of the most exciting yet.

Full information on the show can be seen on the air show web site –

Bookmark and Share

Best of British at Cosford Airshow

Sunday, May 20th, 2012

Cosford Air Show is set to be one of the highlights of the aviation year with a full line up of RAF aircraft just confirmed. As well as the Red Arrows and the RAF Falcons parachute display team there will be an opportunity for nostalgia in the Queen’s Jubilee year with a display from the Spitfire, Hurricane and Lancaster of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. Other confirmed historic aircraft include the vintage pair of Meteor and Vampire.

For those hoping for some fast jet thrills both Typhoon and Tornado will be displaying their 2012 routines along with classic jets such as Gnats, the aircraft type once flown by the Red Arrows.

All-day ground entertainment includes something for all the family with a children’s funfair, an indoor craft fair, bands and exhibits and free entry to the RAF Museum. Many of the displays and exhibits are under cover, so whatever the British weather does there will be somewhere to go to get out of the rain or the sun!

Full information on the show can be seen on the air show web site –

Bookmark and Share

Announcing the IWM Duxford Air Shows App for 2012

Sunday, May 20th, 2012

The IWM Duxford Air Shows App for 2012 will soon be available to enhance your experience of our 2012 air shows.

The App offers a library of over 100 aircraft that have graced the skies over IWM Duxford, containing fascinating biographies, exciting statistics and stunning photographs.

Using the My Log section, you can collect your favourite aircraft from across the season’s air shows, which you can then admire at your leisure.

The useful map tool enables you to locate specific aircraft on display at the museum, together with museum exhibitions and air show amenities, to ensure that you don’t miss a thing at our air shows.

The App is free to download. The library, My Log and map tools are available free of charge.

Download the automated flying schedule which gives minute-by-minute information during the air show as the aircraft commence their displays. You can then also set reminder alerts to make sure that you don’t miss your favourite aircraft displaying.

The flying schedule is bought in app at a cost of £0.69.

Using Facebook and email you can share your air show experience with friends and family.

The App is optimised for iOS 4.3 and above running on iPhone 3GS, 4 and 4S handsets and an Android 2.2.2 and above.

The Flying Legends air show is not included in this app.

Bookmark and Share


Thursday, May 17th, 2012


On display: 31st May 2012 – 31st May 2013

Entrance: FREE

The Royal Air Force Museum invites its visitors to turn on, tune in and take off with the revolutionary aviation artist David Bent.

His fans include international air force pilots, art collectors, Chiefs of Staff, captains of industry and even the legendary Red Arrows – with whom he has collaborated as Artist in Residence.

Considered as challenging, thought provoking and innovative, David Bent’s art combines the technological with the spiritual and compels the viewer to stop and take notice.

Inspired at an early age by his father’s passion for aviation, David has dedicated his life to his art and love of aviation and travelling. All of his work references aspects of his life’s journey and offer a personal glimpse into his unique world view. Each composition demands time for re-examination as details, previously hidden when first viewed are revealed anew forcing multiple re-interpretations.

Big, bold and captivating, whether wittily subverting the destructive power of nuclear arms race, celebrating the sheer joy of pilots in flight or enticing the viewer to work out the hidden imagery contained within his art, David Bent’s style is considered by many to be a breath of fresh air for aviation art.

Combining both the traditional and avant garde, David Bent presents the Royal Air Force in a way that you have not thought of it before. His view is, so to speak, through an unfamiliar prism, at times humorous, at times fantastical and at times linking his admiration for the shapes of the natural world with his interest in aeronautical structures.

Andrew Cormack Keeper of Visual Arts, Medals and Uniforms at the Royal Air Force Museum:
“The RAF Museum is delighted to host an exhibition of the work of aviation artist David Bent. He brings a new look to the subject, at times witty and charming, at others subtly menacing, but imbued with a deep respect and affection for the Royal Air Force and for all who conduct their business in the heavens”.

David Bent:

“As an artist in love with aviation, I am honoured that such a historic and brilliant place as the RAF Museum is hosting this exhibition of my work.”

The exhibition will also be supported by a series of activities and trails enabling unique opportunities for children and young people to interact and to be inspired by the Art and the stories behind it.

Further details on these activities will be posted on the Museum’s website during the next couple of months.

Entry to Fresh Air is free of charge to visitors; as is entry to the Museum. The exhibition will be shown daily from 10am to 6pm until May 31st 2013. For further details please visit or dial 020 8205 2266.

Donuts launch jam packed Wings & Wheels You Tube Channel

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

The Wings & Wheels team were in a spin yesterday as the aerodrome reverberated to the sound of squealing tyres and laughter and the spray of sugar, jam and smoke as the girls took up a donut eating challenge to celebrate ‘National Donut Week’. It wasn’t pretty and mind over matter certainly came into play as donuts were scoffed in a minute of dizzying spins in the donuting stunt car of Paul Swift.

Not wanting Wings & Wheels fans to miss out on all the edible and vehicle donut action the team made sure to capture the fun on camera! The video clip launches the *NEW* Wings & Wheels You Tube Channel today, ‘wingsandwheelsuk’, which is set to be packed with the latest videos and updates in the lead up to the show which takes place on 26th & 27th August 2012. Follow this link for the video: 

Nancy Edwards, Wings & Wheels Event Manager, comments; “We know from our social networking sites that our fans love a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the preparations for the show. The You Tube channel is designed to share some of the hard work and fun that goes into creating such a fantastic and popular two day event as well as to give visitors a glimpse of the action we have in store over the August Bank Holiday weekend.”

Wings & Wheels 2011 saw the exhilarating introduction of the Stunt Zone which included action such as hand-brake turns, two wheeled driving and donuts! In order to bring visitors even more death defying stunts an exciting line up of new performances have already been confirmed to take place! Ahead of the 2012 show, last year’s headline act, Paul Swift, returned to the venue at Dunsfold Aerodrome to showcase his phenomenal driving skills and to lend a hand in the team’s ‘National Donut Week’ challenge.

More Wings & Wheels pre-event preparations are set to appear via You Tube in the coming months and visitors should take a look at for all the latest news and offers. Tickets to the show start from £18 for adults, £40 for a family (2 adults and 3 children aged 5 – 15yrs), £5 for children aged between 5 and 15yrs and under 5s are free

Bookmark and Share