Duxford Air Festival – Sunday 28 May 2017

The first airshow of the year at IWM Duxford offered a very varied and full flying programme spanning from Great War to present day military machinery, with much in between. Undoubted highlight was the Rafale of the Armee de l’air which outshone the RAF’s Typhoon, though the latter is still a powerful routine. There was a distinct lack of warbirds for a Duxford show, but that made for a more varied event. The Sea Vixen had displayed on the Saturday but suffered a wheels-up landing back at base after a hydraulic failure, and the MiG-15 was scrubbed at the end of the show.

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Royal International Air Tattoo – Fairford – 17 July 2015

The Friday of RIAT consisted of a few arrivals, practice displays and a mini-display which included a Battle of Britain seventy-fifth anniversary flypast of Spitfires and Hurricanes. Much of the ‘static’ was also available for viewing. Most of the day suffered from grim weather, until, typically, after the flying had finished!

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VE Day 70th Anniversary Airshow – Duxford – 23 May 2015

This show was always going to be remembered for the public display debut of ARCo’s Bristol Blenheim Mk.IF, but it offered a great deal more, with HAC’s Hawker Fury also debuting, and a number of other new schemes and rarely seen aircraft – such as HAC’s Hurricane in Polish Sqn. colours, the beautiful ‘Mystery Ship’, Norwegian Spitfire Foundation’s Mustang ‘The Shark’ (previously a regular at UK airshows as ‘Old Crow’), and for many a final chance to see a Sea King display before the type is retired from service. Ground events focused on the VE Day theme, with visitors encouraged to join in with the celebrations. Sadly the weather remained overcast for most of the day, just about breaking for the final acts of a highly original and enjoyable flying programme.

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Duxford, Cambs, UK - 23 May 2015. Marking the seventieth anniversary of VE Day and seventy-fifth anniversary of the Battle of Britain, a Bristol Blenheim Mark I fighter carried out its first public display after many years of restoration. It is the only flying Blenheim in the world. Blenheims were in service with the RAF at the outbreak of World War Two, and this one was joined by two Mark I Spitfires of 1939/40 vintage recreating a sight possibly not seen since that era.Other flypasts and ground events also marked VE Day

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Abingdon Air & Country Show – 3 May 2015

Having suffered a number of pre-show cancellations, the show was also unfairly hit by the weather with a number of heavy downpours during the day adding to the blustery wind. The organisers however did manage to chop and change to serve up a very enjoyable show – as ever making great contributions to charities such as the featured Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance. The event saw the debut of the RAF’s 75th anniversary Battle of Britain pairing of Typhoon and Spitfire, which appeared just after one of the worst periods of the day’s rain and which could so easily have been added to the cancellations. The images below cover some of the highlights of the show and also illustrate some of the added attractions at the event, plus some ‘arrivals’ on the Saturday, a day which ended with a night shoot:

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RIAT Fairford – Friday – Red Arrows ‘Pit Day’ – 11 July 2014

In a change to the usual format the Friday of RIAT included the chance to view a small section of the static on base as well as the day’s arrivals and practice displays. Highlight of the day was a formation by the Red Arrows joined by a single example from each of the Patrouille Suisse, Frecce Tricolori, Patruoille de France and the Breitling Jet Team to celebrate the Red’s fiftieth display season.

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RAF Waddington International Air Show – Sunday 6 July 2014

The weather on the Sunday at Waddington started grim and remained so for much of the day, typically only really breaking late in the day as the show drew to a close. Undoubted highlight was the return of the Swedish Air Force Historic Flight which this time debuted their Draken along with a second appearance by the Viggen. Other notable flying acts included the Spanish Air Force Patrulla Aspa, the RAF’s own RC-135V Rivet Joint, Dutch Hawker Hunter Foundation F6, Swiss Hornet, SoloTurk, Midair Squadron and Vulcan XH558.

The event is the main RAF ‘at home’ show and attracts around 150,000 visitors over the weekend, which unsurprisingly causes an amount of traffic issues – especially for those attempting to leave as the display draws to a close (as pictured). There will be no airshow at Waddington in 2015 due to the planned runway re-shaping, and a campaign is underway to ensure that it returns from 2016.

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