Archive for July, 2012

A soaring spectacle at The Duxford Air Show

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

The Duxford Air Show (Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 September) is the highlight of IWM Duxford’s calendar of flying events.

In an outstanding aerial spectacle, the very best historic and modern aircraft display in the skies over this famous airfield. Featuring civilian and military aircraft, The Duxford Air Show always presents a fantastically varied programme with some distinctive and popular flying performances.

Flying displays confirmed to date include the world-famous Red Arrows on Sunday 9 September and the BAe Systems Hawk from 208 (R) Squadron at RAF Valley on Saturday 8 September. The Aerostars will be performing stunning aerobatics on Saturday 8 September.

A pair of Tornado GR4s from 15 (R) Squadron at RAF Lossiemouth will make their debut appearance at IWM Duxford in the 30th anniversary year of the Tornado entering RAF service.

Following its outstanding performance in striking Jubilee colours at The Jubilee Air Show, the Shorts Tucano from the Central Flying School Flight at RAF Linton-on-Ouse makes a welcome return at The Duxford Air Show.

Making only its second air show appearance is The Fighter Collection’s P-47 Thunderbolt Snafu which was a highlight of this year’s Flying Legends Air Show.

Performing thrilling flying displays at The Duxford Air Show are the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Dakota, B-17 Flying Fortress Sally B, The Fighter Collection’s Grumman F8F-2P Bearcat and Curtiss H-75A-1 Hawk, two North American T-28 Fennecs (from Radial Revelations and S Howell), PBY-5A Catalina from Plane Sailing (Saturday 8 September only), a Douglas DC-3 from Dakota Heritage Limited and three Spitfires.

There will also be an appearance by an Antonov AN-2, the largest single-engine bi-plane every produced and still flying.

An eclectic and exciting flying display awaits at The Duxford Air Show.

Purchase your tickets in advance to save 10% and get a free child ticket, which is available with every adult or senior ticket purchased.

This offer is on advance ticket purchases only; it cannot be used on the day of the event.

Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling the Box Office on 01223 499 353. The Box Office is open from Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 4.30pm.

There is no booking fee but a postage and packing fee applies per transaction.

Advance tickets will be available until:

5pm on Friday 24 August for overseas postal delivery

5pm on Wednesday 29 August for UK postal delivery

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Atlas takes to the air at Fairford

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

The RAF’s future airlifter, the Airbus A400M Atlas, is making its only UK flying appearance this year, taking to the air at the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire.

The giant aircraft took to the skies over RAF Fairford yesterday as part of the RAF’s Air Mobility flypast, along with the other transport aircraft based at nearby RAF Brize Norton. It will also appear in the flypast today.

Air Tattoo director Tim Prince said: “I am delighted the Air Tattoo was chosen as the venue for the naming ceremony for the A400M Atlas, and that Airbus Military’s chief test pilot, Ed Strongman, was able to fly the Atlas in our weekend’s eight-hour daily flying display programmes.

“Our visitors have been able to enjoy this fantastic aircraft on the ground, and they’ve also had two rare opportunities to see and hear this amazing machine fly in the skies over RAF Fairford.”

The aircraft appearing at Fairford is one of six prototypes being used by Airbus Military for the development of the aircraft. The first aircraft made its maiden flight in December 2009 and the first production aircraft is due to enter service with the French Air Force at the end of this year or in early 2013.

The RAF will receive the first of the 22 A400Ms ordered in 2014. The fleet is due to be based at Brize Norton.

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Spitfire Confirms Sponsorship Deal with Wings & Wheels

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

Dunsfold Wings & Wheels is thrilled to confirm that aviation’s favourite tipple, Spitfire Premium Kentish Ale, has signed up to support the charity airshow for its 8th consecutive year. The Kent brew will take a leading role in the 2012 show held at Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey on Sunday 26th and Monday 27th August.

Originally brewed to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, its characteristically Kentish, hoppy flavour and risqué advertising campaigns has made it a firm favourite with both beer and Wings & Wheels lovers.

Shepherd Neame Brand Manager, Kate Mclean, comments: “Spitfire Ale is delighted to be supporting Wings & Wheels again. The popularity of this fantastic family show keeps on growing and it’s great to be involved in an event that helps so many deserving causes.”

Wings & Wheels Event Director, Jamie McAllister, comments: “We are delighted that Spitfire has chosen to continue its support. The brand has become synonymous with Wings & Wheels over the years and their support is invaluable in helping us create an even bigger and more successful event than before.”

Wings & Wheels is a sensational summer event for the whole family! The unmissable heart pumping roar of powerful jet engines, the twisting and turning trills (thrills?) of death-defying stunts, the iconic beauty of vintage and classic machines and the joyful buzz of delighted spectators will blow your mind and leave you and your loved ones breathless!.

Binoculars will be at the ready as the ‘Wings’ of the event ensures visitors are treated to phenomenal and diverse five hour air displays including show favourites the Red Arrows, Avro Vulcan and Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. Headlining the explosive *NEW* additions to the show is the Tornado GR4 display in which the two RAF aircraft will perform an astonishing and intense simulated attack on the airfield in an aggressive and exciting display of power and force. Adding to the *NEW* displays will be breath-taking routines from the RAF King Air, Apache Attack Helicopter and the B-25 Dutch Mitchell Bomber, which will be performing its only UK air display in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the airfield.

With sparkling hub caps, perfect paintwork and the deep murmur and reverberation of finely-tuned engines, you don’t need to be a petrol head to delight in the ‘Wheels’ of the show. A mouth-watering selection of vehicles will take to the Top Gear track in a two hour auto spectacular which showcases a range of supercars and classic and vintage icons in an awe inspiring display of power and speed. Delivering an element of nostalgia to the ‘Wheel’s, the regal Military Vehicles will complete a cavalcade for spectators before statically displaying in the Military Zone. The Stunt Zone not only welcomes back Paul Swift and his world record j-turns, fast action parallel parking and two wheel driving, but will be hosting a gravity-defying display of balance, back flips, somersaults and other hair raising stunts with *NEW* freestyle motorbike stunt performances – proving that two wheels are just as dramatic as four!

The excitement and anticipation doesn’t stop at the main displays, as the 32 acre public arena is bursting with a huge variety of interactive attractions containing all you need for a great family day out. The 1940s Zone will swing to the beat of jive dancing master-classes and historic re-enactment while the Hot Rod Zone will host live rockabilly music, themed retail outlets and a stunning display of nostalgic and ‘kustom’ Hot Rod vehicles. *NEW* interactive displays include the famous Boeing 747 film set which will open its doors to visitors for the first time and Dunsfold’s 70th anniversary display which will reveal the illustrious aviation and motoring history of the site. The show arena also boasts laser quest, kids driving, paintballing, kit-plane demonstrations, aviation and motoring simulators, military outlets and displays, static aircraft, a Wall of Death, fairground, emergency services demonstration and over 80 retail outlets selling a wide variety of products and gifts.

Taking the hassle out of your day the show includes added extras to make your experience even more enjoyable; over 25 fixed-price catering outlets, two bars, hospitality facilities, free and on-site parking, public camping, a lost children point, disabled access, mobility provision, informative show commentary, opportunities to meet the pilots, a raffle, official show merchandise and grandstand seating.

The 8th annual Wings and Wheels will be held over the August Bank holiday weekend; Sunday 26th & Monday 27th August 2012, at Dunsfold Park near Guildford, Surrey, and is open to spectators from 09:00 until 18:00.

Tickets start from £18 for adults, £40 for a family (two adults and three children aged 5 – 15yrs), £5 for children aged 5 -15yrs and under 5s are free. Hospitality packages start from £65 per person, weekend passes, grandstand tickets and camping are also available. For more information visit or to book tickets call 08712 305572.

Wings & Wheels is promoted by Dunsfold Park Limited with proceeds going to nominated charities: Brooklands Museum Trust, Cranleigh Village Hospital Trust, Help for Heroes and Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance.

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Wings & Wheels Secures Attack Helicopter Display

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

Visitors to this year’s Wings & Wheels can be forgiven for thinking they are being hunted as the Show welcomes the Army’s skilful tank destroyer, the Apache helicopter. The fierce defender of the skies will be on display for the first time at Dunsfold Aerodrome as the Attack Helicopter Display Team joins the incredible Wings line-up.

An impressive piece of machinery the 2001 Apache attack helicopter is designed to hunt and destroy tanks and has significantly improved the Army’s operational capability. Able to operate in all weathers, day or night and detect, classify and prioritise up to 256 potential targets in a matter of seconds, it could assess the whole Wings & Wheels audience in just 2 minutes!

High hovers, twists, pedal turns, wingovers and flypasts are just some of the team’s signature moves as they give visitors a glimpse of its array of weapons including the aptly named Hellfire missiles, rockets and a 30mm chain gun. In addition to the distinctive Longbow Radar located above the rotor blades, this Apache is equipped with a Day TV system, Thermal Imaging sight and Direct View Optics. Defensively it possesses a state of the art fully integrated Defensive Aid Suite.

Gerry Forristal, Wings & Wheels Aviation Director comments; “Helicopters are an incredible spectacle at airshows so we are delighted to confirm we are one of only five shows the Attack Helicopter display team will be displaying at with not one, but two Apache’s. This year’s five hour airshow is on course to be our best yet as Wings & Wheels returns for two days on Sunday 26th & Monday 27th August.”

Other aircraft set to perform in the main aircraft display at Dunsfold Wings & Wheels include RAF Red Arrows, Tornado GR4, Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, RAF Tucano Display, RAF Hawk, RAF Tutor as well as a host of civilian aircraft all accompanied by entertaining and knowledgeable commentary from aviation experts and enthusiasts.

Tickets 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. Hospitality packages start from £125 per person, weekend passes, grandstand tickets and camping are also available. For more information visit or to book tickets call 08712 305572.

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Japan Acts to Strengthen Military Ties

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Japan said its announcement today that it would be sending an aircraft to participate in its first ever European airshow this week was a step towards developing closer military ties with the UK.

A Japanese KC-767J from the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force will arrive at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire on Thursday (July 5) for the weekend’s Royal International Air Tattoo (July 7-8).

Other than for State visits, it will represent the first time a Japanese military aircraft has touched down on British soil.

Capt (Navy) Atsushi Minami, Defence Attache at the Japanese Embassy in London said the decision to send an aircraft to the Air Tattoo was taken following visits to Japan by the RAF’s Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton last year and by David Cameron in April.

Capt Minami said: “When Prime Minister Cameron paid and official visit to Japan, our two prime ministers agreed in a joint statement to upgrade bilateral defence co-operation in various fields. On instruction from the two Prime Ministers, the Japanese Defence Minister and the UK Defence Secretary signed a Defence Cooperation Memorandum earlier this month (June).

“The prodigious economic growth of countries in East Asia amid the delicate strategic balance in the region represents both an opportunity and a challenge for Japan and the UK. Japan and the UK are each other’s most important partners in Asia and Europe, respectively. We hope our participation in the Air Tattoo will enhance defence cooperation between our two countries.”

Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton, said: “I am absolutely delighted to see the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force participating in this year’s Royal International Air Tattoo. During my visit to Japan, late last year, I was particularly keen to secure the attendance of the JASDF for the 2012 Air Tattoo and I am very pleased that the Taiko Drummers have also travelled to Fairford to provide some outstanding entertainment and to showcase some Japanese culture; It is my pleasure to welcome them to the United Kingdom.”

European Airshow Council Chairman Gilbert Buekenberghs said: ” Whilst other nations will also be sending aircraft to European air shows for the first time this summer, most notably South Korea and Colombia, it is the backdrop against which Japan is proposing to participate that makes their visit to the Air Tattoo so significant. Whilst other far flung nations may choose not to attend for reasons of distance or cost, Japan’s absence over the years has been self imposed, a restriction borne out of the Second World War. That they now feel the time is right to participate more fully on the international stage is to be applauded – and certainly one welcomed by the European airshow community.”

Aviation author Lindsay Peacock said: “Since the end of World War Two, the Japanese have adhered to a pacifist clause in its constitution that prohibits it from settling international disputes with the use of military force. However, in recent times, the once strict interpretation of this clause has been relaxed somewhat, resulting in participation in training exercises such as ‘Red Flag Alaska’ as well as involvement in humanitarian efforts. In addition, Japan is now beginning to play an increasing role in global security. Sending its first ever military aircraft – a Boeing KC-767J – to an airshow in Europe is an indication of Japan’s growing confidence.”

In addition to its 14 crew, on board the KC-767J will be a troupe of 26 Taiko drummers from the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force. They plan a series of performances during the airshow.

The aircraft, one of four JASDF tankers, will arrive via Elmendorf US Air Force Base, Alaska, on July 5.

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Former RAF pilot killed in airshow tragedy

Sunday, July 1st, 2012

The pilot of a historic DeHavilland Hummingbird aircraft was killed today when his plane crashed in front of more than 600 spectators at the Old Warden Military Pageant.

Ex RAF Tornado pilot Trevor Roche had only been in the air a few minutes when the aircraft crashed into the ground at around 09.45 this morning.

Old Warden fire services immediately attended the scene and were joined by Bedfordshire emergency services, however have reported that Mr Roche was killed instantly.

The airshow was immediately cancelled and all spectators sent home.

Air Accident investigators from the AAIB are currently in attendance to look into what caused the crash.

Airscene’s thoughts are with the family of Mr Roche.

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