Archive for the ‘UK Airshow News’ Category

Air Tattoo Celebrates RAF100 in Style

Sunday, July 15th, 2018

RAF100 at Air Tattoo (image by Calyx)

(image by Calyx)

A record crowd of 185,000 people enjoyed a feast of flying as the Royal International Air Tattoo staged international celebrations marking the Royal Air Force’s Centenary at RAF Fairford.

In total, 302 aircraft, from 43 air arms representing 30 nations attended the airshow, of which 121 took part in the flying display.

Among the flying display highlights were a number of unique flypasts. A special tribute to the legendary 617 ‘Dambusters’ Squadron saw the iconic Lancaster bomber from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight fly in formation with the squadron’s current aircraft, the Tornado, and the RAF’s new state-of-the-art F-35B Lightning II. Another flypast featured nine RAF Typhoons in formation, as part of centenary celebrations.

Other flying highlights included displays by the US Air Force Heritage Flight; the Ukrainian Su-27 Flanker; the Royal Canadian Air Force CF-188 Hornet; the French Aeronavale Rafale M duo; the Italian Frecce Tricolori aerobatic display team and the RAF’s Red Arrows. Visitors on Saturday were treated to a rare flypast by a US Air Force B-2A Spirit stealth bomber that had made the round trip from its base in Missouri, US.

In the static aircraft park there were examples of aircraft from around the world including debut appearances by the Embraer KC-390 from Brazil, the Kawasaki C-2 from Japan and the HH-101A CaeSAR tactical helicopter from the Italian Air Force.

Just days prior to the airshow, history was made as the first transatlantic flight by a civilian-registered Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) touched down, ushering in a new era in unmanned aviation. The SkyGuardian is the latest version of the General Atomics’ MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted air system. Capable of flying for up to 40 hours at a time at altitudes of up 40,000ft, when SkyGuardian comes into RAF service it will be known as ‘Protector’.

Among the Royal guests in attendance at the Air Tattoo were HRH the Duke of Kent, Patron of the RAF Charitable Trust; HRH Prince Michael of Kent; HRH The Princess Royal and HRH Prince Feisal bin Al Hussein of the Jordanian Royal Family.

Guests from the world of politics included the Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond; the Secretary of State for Defence Gavin Williamson; the Parliamentary Under-secretary of State for Defence People and Veterans, Tobias Ellwood and the Minister for Defence Procurement Guto Bebb.

In total, the Air Tattoo hosted 79 military delegations including 64 military chiefs from around the world including Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier; the First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Philip Jones; Chairman of the NATO Committee, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach and Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Gordon Messenger.

Among the industry sponsors in attendance were BAE Systems’ CEO Sir Roger Carr; Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson; Boeing CEO Leanne Caret; Airbus CEO Tom Enders; Babcock CEO Archie Bethel; Senior Vice President Fujitsu Duncan Tait and Leidos CEO Roger Krone. Celebrities included Carol Vorderman, Sir David Jason, Susannah Reid and vocal group Blake.

Air Tattoo Chief Executive Andy Armstrong said he was delighted that so many people had turned up to celebrate the RAF’s centenary at RAF Fairford.

He said: “This year’s airshow has been many years in the planning and I think my team, including our amazing army of 1,500 volunteers, has really delivered something special to the nation.

“We’ve enjoyed some spectacular flying in glorious sunshine and a superb range of entertainment on the showground. Of course, it was disappointing we were unable to feature our planned RAF100 flypast on the Friday due to a localised weather front however, everyone understands that safety has to be our number one priority.

“The rest of our seven-hour flying programme went ahead as planned each day and provided a wonderful spectacle for the large crowds.”

Regular Air Tattoo visitor George Humphries, 55, from London, said: “The Air Tattoo is on my mind from the minute I leave the show, until I get in the car and start to drive to it the next year. It is so exciting. It really is the number one show in the UK.”

Robert Allen, 37, from Barwell, Leicestershire, who was visiting the Air Tattoo for the first time said: “I am here with my brother, dad and four of our children. It is mine and my brother’s birthday treat and what a treat it has been. I’d definitely recommend a visit to next year’s show.”

Next year’s Air Tattoo takes place on July 19-21, 2019.

www.airtattoo.com

Live Stream takes Air Tattoo Global

Thursday, June 28th, 2018

RIAT Red Arrows

Can’t make it to this year’s Air Tattoo or want to watch it again? PlanesTV will be broadcasting live from cameras situated around RAF Fairford on Friday 13, Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 July to bring you an amazing live experience, wherever you are in the world.

One of the world’s largest military airshows will be staging a special international celebration of the Royal Air Force’s centenary with a range of exciting flypasts and aerial formations featuring current and historic RAF aircraft. More than 30 air arms from around the globe will be taking part from as far afield as Canada, Australia, Oman, Pakistan and Ukraine. Highlights include displays by the MiG-21, F-35A, Typhoon, CV-22B Osprey, AMD Mirage 2000D, Rafale and Chinook and, of course, the Red Arrows.

You can watch from just £10 by purchasing your live stream access HERE: https://watch.planestv.com/riat2018/

We’ve teamed up with PlanesTV to bring you a new and improved live stream service including:
– Over seven hours of flying displays each day
– Replays of the best of the flying in between displays
– Flying schedule available each morning so you can plan your viewing (subject to weather and serviceability)
– On Friday there will be a parade by service personnel from the Queen’s Colour Squadron and special RAF Flypast of up to 50 aircraft, whilst over the weekend there are plans for other special RAF flying formations
– On Demand replay of the broadcast available for 7 days – so if you miss something you can come back later and enjoy.
Earlybird discount ends midnight 30 June and prices will then increase by £5.

So, Log in, sit back and watch the world’s greatest airshow from the comfort of your own home! This summer’s Air Tattoo will feature a thrilling seven-hour flying display, featuring fast jets, aerobatic display teams, helicopters and giant transports. Tickets give access to live broadcast and also a video on demand replay until midnight on Sunday 22 July, so you can watch it again and again!

www.airtattoo.com

Transatlantic Flight Ushers in New Era in Unmanned Aviation

Tuesday, June 26th, 2018

Sky Guardian coming to RIAT

A transatlantic flight by a civilian-registered Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) taking part in next month’s Royal International Air Tattoo in Gloucestershire is set to usher in a new era in unmanned aviation.

As the first transatlantic RPA flight to land in the UK, it signals the beginning of a new chapter in the history of aviation and brings closer the possibility that one day, airlines may routinely operate aircraft remotely.

The General Atomics Aeronautical Systems’ MQ-9B SkyGuardian is due to take off from its base in North Dakota and embark on a 4,000-mile journey to RAF Fairford piloted by an operator located at the aerospace company’s Flight Test and Training Centre in Grand Forks. It has a wingspan of 79ft and can fly non-stop for in excess of 40 hours.

The aircraft, arriving in advance of the Royal International Air Tattoo on July 13-15, is scheduled to touch down in the UK on Wednesday, July 11. The CAA has approved SkyGuardian’s flight in UK airspace and has issued guidance to pilots and aircraft operators to take note of a series of airspace restrictions that will be put in place over certain areas of the UK to ensure its safe journey.

The Royal Air Force is due to bring into service the UK variant of MQ-9B SkyGuardian, known as PROTECTOR RG Mk1 which will increase its long-range surveillance and precision strike capabilities. It will feature in the static park as part of the Air Tattoo’s international celebration of the Royal Air Force’s Centenary.

A spokesman for the Civil Aviation Authority said: “The CAA supports the safe development of Remotely Piloted Aircraft in the UK as they can bring many benefits. We have worked closely with General Atomics, NATS and the armed forces to safely accommodate the SkyGuardian into UK airspace.”

Air Tattoo Chief Executive Andy Armstrong said the airshow has a proud history of featuring aviation ‘firsts’ and he was pleased that this would continue in 2018.

He said: “Remotely piloted aircraft, for both civilian and military use, are clearly an important part of aviation’s future landscape. We are already seeing a rapid growth in smaller airframes being used recreationally, for aerial photography and they have been used effectively in local search and rescue operations. We watch with great interest as further commercial applications are explored.

“It’s appropriate that on an occasion when we are celebrating the RAF’s centenary that we should present to the public not only aircraft from the RAF’s illustrious past and present but also offer a rare glimpse of its future.

“Whilst this particular airframe is being flown to very stringent aviation guidelines, I wish to remind everyone that strict rules and regulations exist regarding the use of smaller remotely piloted airframes, commonly known as drones. In the case of the Air Tattoo none are permitted to be airborne at or around the airshow and to do so would constitute a criminal act.”

www.airtattoo.com

Museum aircraft join Air Show line-up

Sunday, June 3rd, 2018

Boulton Paul Defiant at RAF Museum

A collection of aircraft from the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford will be joining the line-up in a static display at the RAF Cosford Air Show, taking place on Sunday 10 June 2018.

This year’s Air Show will feature a unique mix of aircraft, spanning the 100-year history of the Royal Air Force, which will be showcased in the flying display and in a special RAF100 Static Exhibition. This never before seen collection of aircraft gives aviation fans a once in a lifetime opportunity to see the revolution of air power over the last 100 years.

Helping to make this display possible, the RAF Museum will be rolling out eight aircraft from its collection to be exhibited outside on the airfield, as part of the ground displays.

Aircraft confirmed to appear will include the Bristol M1C a First World War monoplane introduced into the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) to compete with the Fokker monoplanes. Displayed alongside the Bristol and representing the early days of aviation will be the Sopwith 1 ½ Strutter, a two seat multi role aircraft used widely by the RFC, the Royal Naval Air Service and by the French, Belgian and United States Air Forces.

The Wolverhampton built Boulton Paul Defiant, a two-seat turret fighter operated by No 307 (Polish) Squadron RAF during the Battle of Britain, will be rolled out of the Museums ‘War in the Air’ Hangar to represent the Second World War era in the shows ground displays. Joining the Defiant will be the Gloster Gladiator 1, the first enclosed cockpit and last bi-plane to enter into RAF service, most successfully employed overseas particularly in the defence of Malta.

A collection of post Second World War and Cold War transport aircraft, the de Havilland Devon C2, Percival Pembroke C1, both lightweight communications and transport aircraft and the Scottish Aviation Jetstream T1 pilot trainer, will also be joining the ground displays. This is the first time in many years these aircraft have been moved outside and is a perfect opportunity for aviation fans and photographers to get stand-alone photos.

Organisers are confident the close-up access to some of the RAF’s most iconic aircraft through the ages will prove popular with visitors to the family show which attracts in excess of 50,000 visitors each year.

RAF Museum Cosford Public Relations Executive, Michelle Morgans said:
“We are delighted to be able to support the show again this year and celebrate the RAF centenary in such a spectacular way. In addition to the aircraft being moved out of our hangars for display on the airfield, we will also be bringing the Gloster Meteor F9/40 out of storage exclusively for the show, which we hope will prove popular with visitors.”

In addition to the aircraft displays, the Museum’s Access and Learning team will be running workshops in the Whittle Innovation Hub, situated on the airfield. Families can enjoy some hands-on fun and take part in rocket car activities during free drop-in sessions, just one of the many STEM themed activities running throughout the day within the hub.

Tickets for the RAF Cosford Air Show are advanced sale only and cost £29 per person with free entry for accompanied under 16s. Tickets will not be available to purchase on the gate so to avoid disappointment, visit the show’s website www.cosfordairshow.co.uk and book online. Tickets are also available to purchase in advance from the Museum.

Living History in the air and on the ground

Monday, May 21st, 2018

Texan by Piotr Szydlo

Old Buckenham Airfield is delighted to announce another airborne legend from WWII will display both days over the weekend of the 28 and 29th July; A Hawker Hurricane. Completing the ultimate trinity of WWII allied fighters, the Hurricane adds to a line-up which includes the Spitfire and Mustang.

Responsible for 60% of the victories in the Battle of Britain, the Hurricane is often overshadowed by the glamorous Spitfire. As a result flying Spitfires now outnumber the Hurricane; a rare sight in the skies. The particular aircraft in question was built in Canada, written off in England during the War and then crossed the Atlantic again having been restored to form part of the Planes of Fame Museum in Houston, Texas. Today she is part of the Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar.

Saturday will see some airborne antics, guaranteed to be a winner with every member of the family, courtesy of the Turbulent Team. This four aircraft display team fly the remarkable and tiny Turbulent, a single seat low powered machine; the only aircraft type during the weekend to fly under a limbo.

The Turbulents seem to be happiest flying a few feet off the ground. In fact, they never go above 700 ft during a display. This is mainly because the optimum height for their favourite pastimes, such as balloon popping and flour bombing is rather close to the ground. They’ll also need to be close to the ground in order to get under the limbo. The approach that the incredibly skilled pilots of the four aircraft take mainly centres around fun. To neatly illustrate this point they describe themselves as flying “in the colours of the Early Learning Centre”

The future of Airshows relies on new talent; display pilots are the best of the best and each year not only do they need to pass rigorous assessments to gain their Display Authorisation from the CAA; they also need airshows to book them. Thanks to a brilliant new initiative from the CAA, we’re delighted to be able to bring the Airshow Crowd displays from a new era of display pilot.

The first such pilot is Andy Goodall who’ll be displaying his fearsome T-6 Texan “Wacky Wabbit” (named for a rather famous cartoon character); a WWII fighter trainer with a 600hp Pratt and Whitney radial engine. The T6, best known in England as the Harvard, is still in service with the Canadian Air Force and recognised as one of the
all-time great Display aircraft. Andy will be flying the same T-6 which (when the air displays are not in progress) members of the public can take to the skies aboard as part of a truly special trial lesson with a highly qualified flying instructor. This then will truly offer some very lucky members of the public the opportunity to fly aboard a display aircraft; a first for the Airshow.

On the ground, military exhibits and history are brought to life. This will be the first Airshow where the airfield is able to boast two museums; in addition the usual several acres of military displays including tank rides will be back by popular demand. They’ll be added to by a remarkable display by the Airborne Assault Living History Group. Featuring a recreation of a bombed Normandy barn, this evocative display will headine a host of living history exhibits, covering conflict throughout the 20th Century.

“After last year’s record breaking success, the challenge was always going to be finding a way of following it. Somehow we’ve managed to assemble a truly amazing line-up of airborne displays this year with even more to be announced next month. Thanks to groups like Airborne Assault and the hundreds of other living history enthusiasts who form part of the Airshow, the exhibits on the ground will be unmissable.”

www.oldbuck.com

RNAS Yeovilton’s Resident Forces Join Air Day Line-Up

Sunday, May 20th, 2018

RNAS Yeovilton Wildcat

RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day has a sensational line-up ready for Saturday 7 July but we can now confirm details of two spectacular Role Demonstrations provided by the resident Commando Helicopter Force and the Wildcat Maritime Force.

There will be an explosive, pyrotechnic-filled role demo from the Commando Helicopter Force (CHF) Merlin and Wildcat helicopters. Headquartered at RNAS Yeovilton, CHF comprises of three squadrons – 845 NAS and 846 NAS, currently flying Merlin HC3/3As but transitioning to upgraded HC4s, and 847 NAS, equipped with the Wildcat AH1. These two helicopter types are at the forefront of amphibious and land-based Royal Marines operations worldwide and they’ll both be in action with troops on board at Air Day. Joining them are Hawk T1s from 736 NAS, based at RNAS Culdrose: a welcome return to Air Day’s flying programme for the Royal Navy’s ‘Maritime Aggressors’.

From the Wildcat Maritime Force (WMF), and unique to Air Day, will be a solo Wildcat HMA2 display packed full of spectacular flares. The Fleet Air Arm’s new multi-mission maritime helicopter, operated by the WMF’s two squadrons – 815 and 825 NAS, will be put through its paces in this exciting role demonstration. A pair of Wildcats will also take part in a flypast with the Royal Navy’s Sea King ASaC7 as it bows out of service and three Wildcats will be available to view up close on static display.

Prepare for a frontline battlefield experience like no other – cameras at the ready!

To book tickets and to see the full list of participating aircraft, visit www.royalnavy.mod.uk/yeovilton-airday.

Belgian Displays Add International Flair to Air Show Line-Up

Sunday, May 20th, 2018

Belgian Air Force F16 by Bart Rosselle

Two aircraft from the Belgian Air Force will be performing at this year’s RAF Cosford Air Show, adding more international flavour to the event on Sunday 10th June, which celebrates the Royal Air Force’s centenary.

Adding noise and power to the flying display will be the legendary F-16 Fighting Falcon. The F-16 single-engine multirole fighter was first delivered to the Belgian Air Force in 1979. The aircraft is used for both combat operations and in recent years, Belgian F-16s have carried out Baltic Air Policing, joint Belgian-Dutch Air Policing and deployed to Jordan in support of the fight against ISIS. The jet will be painted in an eye-catching colour scheme for its display, designed by the display pilot himself, callsign ‘VADOR’. Also displaying will be their Agusta A109 display. The A109 is a medium sized helicopter which is used in a number of roles such as medical evacuation and troop transportation.

Over 70% of the online tickets for the RAF Cosford Air Show have now been sold, with a sell-out expected in the comings weeks and organisers are urging those who wish to attend to buy theirs soon. Air Show Director, Mr Clive Elliott, said, “There really is so much going on both in the air and on the ground this year and people are obviously getting that message. We’ve never seen tickets sell quite this fast.”

Tickets are currently available from the Air Show website, and a range of retail outlets including the RAF Museum & Local Tourist Information Centres. A joint ticket combining rail travel and Air Show admission at a reduced price is also available from any manned railway station.

www.cosfordairshow.co.uk

Wings & Wheels at Air Day!

Saturday, May 5th, 2018

SAS Land Rover at Yeovilton Air Day by Chris Bowman

As wings and wheels always complement each other so well, we’ve made sure that there’s more to Air Day than just aircraft! Our extensive vehicle exhibition includes an array of ex-military vehicles, classic cars and high-performance supercars to view and even sit in.

Significantly, we are delighted to have the Sporting Bears join this year’s Air Day for the sixth year running. They will be displaying a selection of their members’ cars for all to see, including classics, sports and supercars like 2017’s unforgettable £2 million Pagani Huayra! The official HASBRO Optimus Prime truck and his good friend Bumblebee will join them once again.

The Sporting Bears are a club made up of volunteers from across the UK whose sole purpose is to raise funds and smiles for children’s charities. To date, they have raised over £2 million and support over 110 different charities. They are very proud that 100% of all funds raised or donated go directly to the charities.

Alongside the wings and wheels, this show has everything to keep the whole family entertained. There will be a vast range of showground attractions from the latest defence technology exhibitions, engineering fairs and service displays to trade stalls, arena displays, military bands and the chance to meet pilots and even sit in the cockpit! For the thrill seekers, there will be simulators, fairground rides and helicopter pleasure flights to enjoy.

To book tickets and to see the full list of participating aircraft, visit www.royalnavy.mod.uk/yeovilton-airday.

RNZAF Jet To Make 11,000 Mile Journey To Join RAF Cosford Air Show

Friday, May 4th, 2018

Royal New Zealand Air Force B757

Travelling from the other side of the globe, the Royal New Zealand Air Force will be celebrating RAF100 alongside the Royal Air Force on Sunday 10th June at the RAF Cosford Air Show, with their B757-2K2 airliner set to perform in the flying display.

The Boeing 757, which first flew in 1982, is more commonly used by commercial airlines and many visitors to the Air Show may have travelled on the aircraft type during their summer holidays! The Royal New Zealand Air Force, however, use their aircraft for strategic airlift operations, carrying cargo and personnel, including VIP transport and humanitarian aid delivery. This includes operations to deliver supplies to research facilities where the aircraft operates from an ice-runway.

On its trip to the UK, the aircraft will carry exhibits from the Air Force Museum of New Zealand which will be on display at the Air Show, spread across the ‘Vintage Village’ ground displays. Air Show Deputy Director, Marilyn Summers, said, “Showcasing the relationships that the Royal Air Force has with countries around the globe is an important part of our RAF100 celebration. It’s fantastic that the RNZAF will be sending their B757 to display at the Air Show and to have input from the Air Force Museum of New Zealand as part of our unique ground displays.”

Tickets for the RAF Cosford Air Show are selling at an unprecedented rate due to the unique nature of this year’s centenary celebrations. Organisers are advising the public that they should buy their Air Show tickets as soon as possible to avoid disappointment as they look set to sell out in the coming weeks. They are available from the Air Show website and a selection of local outlets including Tourist Information Centres and the RAF Museum. Further details can be found at www.cosfordairshow.co.uk.

American Heavies Add Weight to Air Day

Friday, April 27th, 2018

USAF Globemaster at Yeovilton Air Day

Royal Air Force aircraft past and present will be out in force at RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day on Saturday 7 July but here’s a taste of its future: the state-of-the-art Boeing P-8A Poseidon courtesy of the US Navy Maritime Patrol Squadron VP-10, currently on its maiden European deployment, will be on static display.

Making its RNAS Yeovilton debut, the US Navy Poseidon is a cutting-edge, long-range multi-mission maritime platform. Carrying torpedoes, anti-ship missiles and depth charges, its roles include anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare, plus search and rescue and, whilst in RAF service, the protection of the UK’s submarines and aircraft carriers.

Also attending from the US Air Force is the huge Boeing C-17A Globemaster III from Joint Base Charleston’s 315th Air Lift Wing. With its impressive combined 170,000-pound cargo capacity and short, makeshift runway use capability it can be tasked with tactical airlift, airdrops, troop transportation and medical evacuation. Its cargo hold will be opened-up to walk-through at Air Day – a fantastic opportunity to see this very impressive strategic transport aircraft up-close.

These two US military aircraft will be joining other heavyweights in the static park, most notably the massive KDC-10 Extender from the Royal Netherlands Air Force. To give an idea of the sheer size of this incredible aircraft, it can also carry 65 tons of cargo or a mixed 30 ton/165 passenger load! The KDC-10 can offload an astonishing 1,750 pounds of fuel a minute, ‘topping-up’ NATO combat aircraft to extend their operational reach.

Visitors will also be able to see the Royal Canadian Air Force’s CC-130J Hercules. An unusual UK airshow participant, it’s supporting the CF-18 Hornet Demo Team already confirmed for Air Day’s impressive flying display.

To book tickets and to see the full list of participating aircraft visit www.royalnavy.mod.uk/yeovilton-airday.