Archive for the ‘UK Airshow News’ Category

Historic Navy Wessex Debut to Open Air Day!

Sunday, March 17th, 2019

Wessex HU5 by Kevin Wills

image by Kevin Wills

The world’s only flying Westland Wessex HU5 is coming home to Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton to open the flying display at the Royal Navy International Air Day on Saturday 13 July on its airshow debut! This fifty-plus-year-old former troop transport, search and rescue helicopter and Falklands veteran has only been flying again since February 2019. It will make an exciting new addition to the UK airshow scene after its first display at Air Day.

The Wessex, manufactured by Westland at Yeovil (now Leonardo Helicopters), was the Fleet Air Arm’s first purpose-built anti-submarine helicopter. The initial Wessex HAS1 (Helicopter Anti-Submarine) entered service in 1961, followed by the HU5 Commando variant two years later.

Able to carry sixteen combat-ready troops into battle, Wessex HU5s served all RNAS Yeovilton’s Commando Helicopter Squadrons in the early-mid 1970s. Key deployments included the 1982 Falklands Conflict, during which Wessex transported and inserted British Special Forces personnel and ferried in fuel, equipment and weapons.

100 Wessex HU5s were built including XT761, which rolled off the production line in 1966. It went on to equip 845 NAS, 848 NAS and latterly 771 NAS, whose bright red and blue Search and Rescue colours it wears today. In private ownership, XT761 now belongs to Historic Helicopters’ fleet of airworthy types and return-to-flight projects, based at nearby Chard. It is also part of the Navy Wings associate collection, alongside other classic naval aircraft and helicopter designs.

Set to give the five-plus-hour flying programme a nostalgic and colourful start, the sole airworthy Wessex HU5 is just one aspect of Air Day 2019’s planned vintage content.

Discounted advance tickets can be booked at www.royalnavy.mod.uk/airday.

Air Tattoo Visitors Will Be Over The Moon

Friday, March 8th, 2019

Tim Peake by ESA

(Image by ESA)

Visitors to this summer’s Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford in the Cotswolds are being promised a truly ‘out of this world experience!’

Renowned for being one of the most thrilling airshows on the planet, this summer’s event (July 19-21), which takes place on the 50th anniversary of the first manned moon landing, will be expanding its horizons beyond earth – to include the whole universe!

With its theme Air & Space: Inspiring The Next Generation Air Force, the Air Tattoo will be turning its spotlight to the heavens to look at some of the exciting and innovative ways organisations are reaching out into space. So, expect rockets, astronauts and lots of exciting entertainment and activities across the showground – including a planetarium.

As well as opportunities to view examples of commercial space rockets currently being developed in the UK, visitors will be able to see an ExoMars rover prototype in action as well as talk to the scientists and engineers responsible for operating it, thanks to Airbus Defence & Space.

Visitors on the Friday will also find themselves under the ‘microscope’ as Airbus DS’s Pleiades satellite flies over RAF Fairford taking a photo of the airshow as it orbits the earth.

Giving his seal of approval to the Air Tattoo’s Space theme will be British astronaut Major Tim Peake who will be making an appearance at the airshow on Friday, July 19.
As part of the European Space Agency (ESA), Tim was the first British ESA astronaut to visit the International Space Station, launching on a Soyuz rocket in December 2015 and returning to earth six months later having taken part in a variety of activities including conducting a spacewalk to repair the Station’s power supply.

Tim, who is currently Head of Astronaut Operations at ESA’s European Astronaut Centre in Germany, will be at the airshow to help inspire people in the critically-acclaimed Techno Zone®.

Air Tattoo Chief Executive Andy Armstrong said with the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing co-inciding with the airshow in July, there was no better time to explore the many ways in which the boundaries of space are being pushed back.

“In the past the airshow’s seen USAF U-2 aircraft that touch the edge of space but now we’ll be looking to feature craft that go beyond earth’s atmosphere. We’re still adding space attractions and hope to announce more astronauts before July’s airshow – it’s truly exciting. We’re particularly honoured to welcome Tim Peake who will be engaging with our young visitors on the Friday. Without doubt he’ll be a huge inspiration to all the engineers, pilots and, yes, astronauts of the future!”

Tim Peake said: “I’ve been wanting to attend the Royal International Air Tattoo for some time and this year’s ‘Space’ theme presented the perfect opportunity. I’m really looking forward to it!”

RAF Fairford, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, was NASA’s only UK transatlantic abort landing site for the Space Shuttle and in 1983 hosted a visit by the spacecraft which was secured on the back of a jumbo jet bound for the Paris Air Show.

Tickets for the airshow, which is staged annually in support of the RAF Charitable Trust, can be purchased online at www.airtattoo.com or by calling 01285 713456. All accompanied under-18s go free.

Czech Air Force participation confirmed at RAF Cosford Air Show 2019

Wednesday, February 27th, 2019

Czech Air Force at RAF Cosford Air Show

Jets from the Czech Air Force will perform thrilling aerial displays in the skies over Shropshire in June, as part of the NATO 70th Anniversary theme at the RAF Cosford Air Show 2019.

Visitors will have the chance to see the SAAB JAS-39C Gripen perform an impressive solo display showcasing the power and agility of the fighter jet. All 14 Gripens operated by the Czech Air Force are based at Cáslav AFB, with their primary mission being Air Defence of the skies over the Czech Republic.

Accompanying the Gripen on Sunday 9th June, the Czech Air Force will also contribute a pair of Aero L-159 ALCA aircraft to the flying display which will perform an airfield attack role demonstration, accompanied with ground-based pyrotechnics. This is the first time either of these aircraft types have been seen at the RAF Cosford Air Show, so both are expected to be highlights of the event.

Air Show Operations Manager, Mr Peter Reoch, said, “We’re very excited to have the Czech Air Force participating at this year’s Air Show, becoming the 4th nation to confirm aircraft attendance so far. The participation of the Czech Air Force is particularly notable for us due to RAF Cosford’s role as a Czechoslovak Depot during WWII, where thousands of Czech airmen enrolled to the Royal Air Force.”

Tickets for the Air Show are selling fast. The RAF Cosford Air Show is an advance ticket-only event, with last year’s event completely selling out in the week prior to the show.

For more information about the displays planned at the Air Show, and to purchase your admission tickets, visit the Air Show website: www.cosfordairshow.co.uk

Air Tattoo Takes Centre Stage in Reds’ TV Salute

Saturday, February 9th, 2019

Red Arrows at RIAT

Millions of viewers tuning into the final episode of a fly-on-the-wall documentary series on the Red Arrows next week will see the Royal International Air Tattoo take centre stage.

Channel 5’s Red Arrows: Kings of the Sky documentary concludes next Wednesday (February 13) at 9pm with their appearance at the world’s greatest airshow.

As well as offering a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the airshow from the team’s perspective, the episode features footage of their thrilling flying display and their interaction with the many Reds’ fans on the ground.

Last month, the Red Arrows confirmed that they will be returning to the Cotswolds in the summer to take part in the Air Tattoo. Their displays at RAF Fairford on July 19-21 will be their last in the UK this year as they will be jetting off shortly after on a high-profile tour of the US and Canada.

The Western Hawk 19 Tour will see the team travel to North America as UK ‘ambassadors’ promoting trade and co-operation.

Air Tattoo Chief Executive Andy Armstrong said: “We’ve been told that next week’s episode is not to be missed by all Reds’ fans and Air Tattoo supporters. We were delighted to host the TV series’ production team at RIAT 2018 and what they’ve produced is a wonderful tribute to this amazing team.

“Permitting cameras behind-the-scenes at last summer’s airshow enables viewers to get a fuller appreciation of how important it is for all our participating aircrew and the airshow team to work closely together.

“I hope that after watching the series, viewers will want to come to the Air Tattoo in July to see their final UK display this year and to bid them farewell on their upcoming tour.”

Tickets for the Air Tattoo are already selling fast with Super Earlybird Saturday and Sunday tickets, and Saturday Earlybird tickets already sold out. To find out more about the airshow, book tickets and view the wide variety of enclosure options available, visit www.airtattoo.com or call 01285 713456. All accompanied under-18s go free.

Red Arrows To Perform Air Tattoo Farewell Before USA Tour

Wednesday, January 30th, 2019

Red Arrows

The world’s favourite aerobatic display team will be performing their final salute at the Air Tattoo this summer, before they jet off on a high-profile tour of the USA and Canada.

The RAF Red Arrows will perform their last public displays in the UK on 19-21 July at RAF Fairford in the Cotswolds, before they fly to North America for the Western Hawk 19 Tour.

The team will travel across the two nations with a view to promoting trade and co-operation in support of the UK’s prosperity agenda.

Defence Minister Mark Lancaster announced their participation earlier this week: “The Red Arrows are an international symbol of Britain and this landmark event will generate a significant amount of investment. It is only right that, after more than a decade away, they return to the home of our closest defence ally.”

The Red Arrows are no stranger to the skies above RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire and have been a firm crowd-favourite at the airshow for the past three years.
Air Tattoo spokesman Richard Arquati said: “As always, we are delighted to welcome the Red Arrows back to the show.

“Their breath-taking flying displays never fail to disappoint however this year will be extra-special in light of their upcoming tour – we wish them a successful trip”.

In addition to featuring exciting aircraft from around the globe, this summer’s Air Tattoo will feature a wide range of entertaining and interactive activities in its critically-acclaimed Techno Zone®, Activity Zone, Vintage Village and RAF Experience.

Tickets for the airshow, which is staged annually in support of the RAF Charitable Trust, can be purchased online at www.airtattoo.com or by calling 01285 713456. All accompanied under-18s go free.

German Navy Participation Confirmed for RAF Cosford Air Show

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019

German Navy Orion by Dirk Jande Ridder

Two aircraft from the German Navy will be heading to Shropshire later this year to join the exciting array of aircraft displays planned for the RAF Cosford Air Show on
Sunday 9th June, including an extremely rare flying display by a Lockheed P-3C Orion.

The Orion is an iconic maritime patrol aircraft of Cold War era, which is currently flown by 18 different countries around the globe, with the German Navy operating a
fleet of eight airframes which perform patrols over the North Sea. On the ground at the Air Show, visitors will be able to get up close and personal with a Westland Sea
Lynx Mk.88A helicopter, also from the German Navy.

Air Show Operations Manager, Mr Peter Reoch, said, “We’re thankful to the German Navy for planning to support the RAF Cosford Air Show 2019 with these two fantastic aircraft, which will be highlights of the 2019 event for many aviation enthusiasts. These aircraft join the exciting aerial extravaganza planned to mark the 70th Anniversary of NATO at the RAF Cosford Air Show this year.”

Tickets for the Air Show are currently available at the discounted ‘early-bird’ price of £25.00, with accompanied under-16s entering free of charge, making the Air Show a great value for money family day out. This discounted ticket price will only be available for a limited time so Air Show organisers advise buying yours today to avoid missing out. Tickets are only available to purchase in advance of the Air Show, and last year’s event was a complete sell-out in the week prior to the show.

For more information about the displays planned at the Air Show, and to purchase your admission tickets, visit the Air Show website: www.cosfordairshow.co.uk

Iconic Jet to Perform Rare Air Tattoo Display!

Monday, January 14th, 2019

Spanish AV8B by Jakub Zurek

One of the world’s most iconic jets will make a welcome return to the Royal International Air Tattoo this summer – almost a decade since it last made an appearance in the flying display.

The Spanish Navy EAV-8B Harrier II Plus from 9 Squadron will display as part of the Air Tattoo, which takes place on 19-21 July at RAF Fairford in the Cotswolds. The aircraft is based at Rota Naval Base and operates from the Spanish Navy’s amphibious assault ship Juan Carlos I.

Until the arrival of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, the Harrier had been unique in being able to take off and land vertically, fly backwards, sideways and rotate on the spot. Its gravity-defying aerial displays were regularly among the highlights of the airshow’s flying programme.

Spanish Navy Harriers, in the form of the earlier AV-8S and TAV-8S variants, were last seen at the Air Tattoo in 1994. In 2010, an RAF Harrier GR.9 performed its final Air Tattoo display prior to its retirement from service in March 2011. Spain remains one of only a handful of nations that continue to operate the Harrier, Italy and the US (US Marine Corps) being the others.

Air Tattoo Chief Executive Andy Armstrong said: “The chance to see a flying Harrier is always a hugely welcome one, and we at the Air Tattoo are delighted that the Spanish Navy will be participating at RIAT 2019, especially in this NATO 70th anniversary year.

“The Harrier has been a major part of NATO since it first entered RAF service 50 years ago, and its attendance will be an important part of our tribute – as well as offering a spectacular flying display.”

In addition to featuring exciting aircraft from around the globe, this summer’s Air Tattoo will feature a wide range of entertaining and interactive activities in its critically-acclaimed Techno Zone®, Activity Zone, Vintage Village and RAF Experience.

Tickets for the airshow, which is staged annually in support of the RAF Charitable Trust, can be purchased online at www.airtattoo.com or by calling 01285 713456. (Tickets for Friday 19 July come with a £10 money off merchandise voucher if booked before 31 January). All accompanied under-18s go free.

Swiss Fighter Jet Adds Noise to Air Show Line-Up

Sunday, January 13th, 2019

Swiss Hornet by Peter Reoch

Exciting news arrived today that the Swiss Hornet Display Team will be performing at the RAF Cosford Air Show on Sunday 9ThJune 2019, showcasing their breath-taking fast jet display of the legendary McDonnell Douglas F/A-18C Hornet.

The Hornet was designed as a naval fighter with reinforced undercarriage, folding wings and tail-hook, however it is used by many land-based air arms across the globe. The Swiss Air Force operate their fleet of Hornet for air defence duties, armed with a 20mm Cannon and Sidewinder missiles.

Air Show Director, Mr Clive Elliott, said, “We’re excited and honoured to be welcoming the Swiss Air Force, once again, to the RAF Cosford Air Show this summer. The Swiss Hornet Display Team won the award for best flying display on their previous visit to our Air Show in 2015. They are regarded as one of the best fast jet displays in Europe and I’m sure their display will be a highlight of the day for all of our visitors.”

Tickets for the Air Show are currently available at the discounted ‘early-bird’ price of £25.00, with accompanied under-16s entering free of charge. Earlybird tickets will only be available for a limited time so Air Show organisers advise buying yours today to avoid missing out. The RAF Cosford Air Show is an advance ticket-only event, with last year’s event completely selling out in the week prior to the show.

For more information about the displays planned at the Air Show, and to purchase your admission tickets, visit the Air Show website: www.cosfordairshow.co.uk

Voices to soar for Christmas Concerts at the Fleet Air Arm Museum

Sunday, December 9th, 2018

HMS Heron Band

All the right Con-chords will be played as this year’s popular Christmas Carol Concert returns to the Fleet Air Arm Museum on December 13th and 14th.

Visitors can join the HMS Heron Royal Navy Volunteer Band under Concorde 002 in Hall Four of the Yeovilton museum.

The concert features several classics and festive numbers for the occasion. Doors open at 6.30pm, the concert starts at 7.30pm.

General Manager of the Fleet Air Arm Museum, Marc Farrance, said: “Our Christmas Carols are very popular and they’re held in such a unique setting – under the Concorde 2.

“We are delighted to host the HMS Heron Royal Navy Volunteer Band for another two evenings of fun and entertainment.

“The event has been incredibly popular in recent years. We now hold it over two nights to make sure no one missed out on tickets and this year will be the same.

Tickets are £15 each and include a mince pie and mulled wine on arrival. A bar and refreshments will also be available

It is strongly recommended that those wishing to go purchase their tickets in advance.

They can be purchased from the museum during normal opening hours, by calling 01935 840565 or online at www.fleetairarm.com

Wings & Wheels Changes Date in 2019

Thursday, November 29th, 2018

Wings & wheels

For its 15th Show, Wings & Wheels is returning to its original 2005 spot in June! The airshow will now take place on Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th June 2019.

The decision to change the date was made following the announcement that the Red Arrows will be on tour in North America throughout August and September and after consultation with exhibitors, participants, volunteers and visitors.

Jamie McAllister, Events Director, Wings & Wheels comments: “We’ve thought carefully about changing the date of Wings & Wheels to ensure that we are able to continue to put on the very best show for visitors. We had to consider a number of things, including what exhibitors and air displays would be available in August vs June and have concluded that a return to the show’s roots in June is a positive step for the airshow. We are now moving forward and planning the show for Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th June and are excited to welcome visitors to the new dates.”

The sensational summer event for the whole family, Wings & Wheels at Dunsfold Aerodrome, will be celebrating its 15th Show with a change in date to Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th June. Famous favourites in the air and on the ground will blow your mind, whilst the attractions and Zones in the Arena will keep you entertained and buzzing with delight the WHOLE weekend.

Eyes to the sky as the ‘Wings’ of the event treats visitors to outstanding and diverse 5 hour air displays which have previously included show favourites the Red Arrows, Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (Lancaster, Spitfires), Chinook, Hurricane, the Tigers Parachute Display Team, The Blades, Jet Provost, Hurricane, Strikemaster, O’Brien’s Flying Circus, the Bronco Demo, Richard Goodwin, The Turbulent Display Team, B-17 Flying Fortress Sally B, NAHF Vampire Pair, NAHF MiG 15 and Fireflies Aerobatic Team, accompanied by witty and knowledgeable commentary from aviation experts and display pilots.

The ‘Wings’ of the event would not be complete without a close-up inspection of all the weekend’s visiting aircraft including Dunsfold’s resident Boeing 747 in the ‘Wings Park’ and Aces High DC3, all open for tours.

Supercars and classic and vintage icons put on an awe-inspiring display of power and speed on the Top Gear track in a 2 hour auto spectacular. The ‘Wheels’ of the show included displays from Koenigsegg Agera R, McLaren 12C, Lamborghini Aventador Roadster and Huracan, Pagani Zonda, Ferrari California T, Aston Martin Rapide, Dodge Monaco, TVR Tasmin 280i, Ducati Multistrada 1200s, Ferrari F355 Berlinetta, Ford GT40 and Lotus Elise.

Visit the Wheels Zone with a bigger and better crowd line parade and interactive displays from car and motorbike clubs. The popular Monster Truck arena returns offering demonstrations and passenger rides.

The Military Zone & Parade is interactive and explosive bringing re-enactors in a living history zone and our popular military vehicle parade. The Zone has over 80 military vehicles, six re-enactment groups, as well as the history of Dunsfold Aerodrome and Army, Navy and RAF recruitment stands for everyone’s enjoyment.

Sid’s Zone is an action packed free area for the little ones. From 10:00 until 16:00 the kids can join in with colouring competitions, arts and crafts, paper plane challenges, face painting and the popular Sid’s Trail which encourages the whole family to search the arena for questions and answers to win a goody bag. Meet and greets with show mascot Siddeley and the display pilots are not to be missed.

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 show arena boasts go-karts, aviation and motoring simulators, military outlets and displays, static aircraft, fairground and over 60 retail outlets selling a wide variety of products and gifts. Shopping in the arena includes a craft marquee full of tempting tea time treats to take home and craft gifts.

As the last aircraft touches down the party starts across the arena with musical evening entertainment from Champagne at the Blitz, a 1940s songbird trio armed with smooth harmonies, seamed nylons and lots and LOTS of red lippy!

Taking the hassle out of your day the show includes added extras to make your experience even more enjoyable; over 18 fixed-price catering outlets, two bars, hospitality facilities, free on-site parking, public camping, lost children point, disabled access, informative show commentary, opportunities to meet the pilots, official show merchandise and grandstand seating.

The 15th annual Wings & Wheels will be held on Saturday 15th & Sunday 16th June 2019, at Dunsfold Park near Guildford, Surrey, and is open to spectators from 09:00 until 20:00.

Advanced rate tickets from £24 for adults or £55 for a family. Single child tickets (for children aged 5 – 15) will be £8. Children under 5 go free. Hospitality packages start from £199 per person, weekend passes, grandstand tickets and camping are also available. For more information visit www.wingsandwheels.net or to book standard tickets call 08712 305 572.