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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Waddington International Airshow – 6/7 July 2013

With two of the outstanding highlights of the show covered here SOLOTURK and here SwAFHF, plus coverage of the V (AC) Squadron centenary here V(AC) Squadron the following is just a brief photo report on a few of the other items in attendance. Waddington 2013 proved to be a great success, enjoying great weather and massive crowds. It also once more lived up to its ‘International’ title, attracting in particular the very best examples from the mainland European nations amongst both its static and flying displays.

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Swedish Air Force Historic Flight – Waddington – 6 July 2013

Whilst most impressive display of the day at Waddington went to that flown by Captain S.Yalın Ahbab in the SOLOTURK F-16, it was the appearance of the three classic SAAB jets of the Swedish Air Force Historic Flight which would serve up the highlight for the enthusiasts – eventually! The Sk60 flew its display as planned, but the two rarer beasts – the JA29 Tunnan and, more particularly, the JA37 Viggen – drew gasps of despair when it was announced that each was suffering technical issues and couldn’t fulfill their scheduled slots. Thankfully both were subsequently cleared to display later in the programme, in perfect light, making for a memorable sight and possibly the highlight of the 2013 display season.

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The Swedish Air Force Historic Flight is based at Såtenäs, and the displays at Waddington were the first for the Flight in England, and the first in the mainland UK for the Viggen which had previously displayed in Jersey.

SOLOTURK – Waddington International Airshow – 6 July 2013

Continuing the Waddington International Airshow theme, an undoubted highlight of that show was the display of power and vigour given by Captain S.Yalın Ahbab in the Turkish Air Force ‘SOLOTURK’ F-16C.

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The ebullient Captain’s character shows through in his display routine, which includes a roll directly after take-off. This was the sole UK appearance by SOLOTURK, a young team which began displaying in 2010. It is operated by 141st Squadron Command from the 4th Main Jet Base Command, Ankara-Akinci, and operates a stunningly-schemed ‘Viper’ plus a spare jet with minor detailing. Hopefully the team will visit the UK more frequently in the future.

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V (AC) Squadron RAF Centenary Special Tail

No. 5 Squadron Royal Flying Corps was formed at Farnborough on 26 July 1913 and, following the outbreak of the First World War, deployed to France on 15 August 1914. Equipped with a variety of aircraft types it carried out reconnaissance for the British Expeditionary Force, flying its first missions on 21 August. The Squadron took a leading role in the development of aerial photography and wireless telephony during the early days of the War. Now titled V (Army Cooperation) the squadron was reformed on 1st April 2004 at RAF Waddington, marking the beginning of a new era in the world of military Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), continuing in the role in which it served with such distinction in its early days. The new role for ‘5’ is to operate the Airborne Stand-Off Radar (ASTOR) System, which consists of five Sentinel R1s – modified Bombardier Global Express long-range business jets – and eight Ground Stations.

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To celebrate its centenary the squadron have decorated the tail of ZJ692 with a special scheme. The Maple Leaf  commemorates the Squadron’s close links with the Canadian Corps during WWI and also appears on the squadron badge. Sentinel ZJ692 is illustrated at its home base and in formation with the Red Arrows on 6 July during the Waddington International Airshow.

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