The Royal Air Forces Association Airshow at Shoreham is undoubtely one of the most sucessful shows of recent years. It's a favourite amongst pilots, volunteers and the public and is one of the very few shows to have a "fun" atmosphere about it. This year sees the 19th installment of what is fast becoming one of the most respected airshows on the calendar. Paul Johnson/Flightline UK reports. All photography copyright of the Author.
The RAFA Shoreham-by-Sea branch has raised in excess of £1.25 million for the Royal Air Forces Association. The association provides much needed support and care for those who serve or have served with the Royal Air Force and it's different branches as well as their families. In nearby Storrington, the RAFA has a care home at Sussexdown.
The Shoreham Airshow started as a small fete organised by RAFA on the corner of Shoreham Airport. A chance flypast by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight lead into the development of the airshow as we know it today. The last few years have seen the airshow grow in popularity, not only with those who take part or are locals, but with those much further afield. The crowd numbers have been creeping up with all the profits going straight to RAFA.
Shoreham Airport itself is the oldest licenced airport in the UK and still has regular scheduled services. Routes include the Channel Islands as well as services to Le Touquet. The airport is very bust with general aviation as well as education aqnd engineering so forning a hub of local employment on the Sussex Coast.
The shows unique location in close proximity to the English Channel poses some different demands for airshow safety. During the airshow weekend a RNLI Lifeboat is stationed off the coast in case of an emergency. The show is immensly grateful to the RNLI for supporting the show and a new Lifeboat Station is currently being constructed in Shoreham for which an appeal if being held to raise funds.To help give the appeal an extra boost, Coxswain Peter Huxtable agreed to do a wingwalk with Team Guinot. Also flying on top of the wing was Rachael Snutch from the Royal Air Forces Association. Team Guinot will be giving a rare performance with all five of their aircraft and wingwalkers as well as the unique "pink" smoke they debuted at Flying Legends airshow earlier in the yeat.
For those who live in the local area, keep your eyes on Meridian TV on the 18th August as new news reporter Charlotte Wilkins took a flight to remember with Peter Teichman in his P-51D Mustang Jumpin Jacques which will also be taking part in the airshow alongside his P-40M Kittyhawk and the Duke of Brabant's B-25 Mitchell.
Warbirds as ever will feature well in the Shoreham flying display. John Romain is once again organising the big "Scramble" set piece that will involve about six Spitfires, two Hurricanes as well as the Luftwaffe in the form of the Me109J Buchon and Me108 Taifun. One of the shows opening acts will by Carolyn Grace with her Spitfire Tr9 ML407. Joining her for the fist time at Shoreham will be her son Richard and his display team, the Dukes of Cassutt. One of the major sponsors will again be Spitfire Ale so keep an eye out for their refuelling point during the day. Though there will be no Sally-B this year, there will be the PBY-5A Catalina and the maritime flavour will continue with the Swordfish from the Royal Navy Historic Flight. Modern Royal Navy equipment will be on display with a solo display by a Westland Lynx from RNAS Yeovilton in Somerset.
Since making that chance appearance all those years ago, The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight have supported the show ever since and will once again have prode of place during the show. Both the flight's Spitfire and Hurricane are expected to overnight at Shoreham on Saturday so that the crowds can get a closer look at these historic machines.
Early jets will be represented by the Vampire Preservation Group's Vampire T11 from North Weald. Subject to servicability and weather, the Avro Vulcan B2 XH558 is expected to display over Shoreham on one of the show days.
The modern day Royal Air Force will out in force with almost all of the solo displays ; Grob Tutor T1, Shorts Tucano T1, BAE Hawk T1 and Eurofighter Typhoon F2. Photographer Geoffrey Lee will be at the show to sign his new book documenting his finest photographs from the devlopment of the RAF latest fighter aircraft.
As ever, a host of the finest civilian displays will perform at Shoreham. One of the first displays of the day will be the return of Christian Moullec and his unique display of Geese and Cranes flying alongside himself in a flexiwing Microlight. Guy Westgate returns with his Swift Aerobatic Display Team which this year has been carrying RAFA logos on the Glider to help promote a competition jointly run by RAFA and Absolute Brighton (another of the show's sponsors and producers of this year's official DVD) to win a flight with Guy after the show.
Show favourites, The Blades and the Yakovlevs both return to display some team aerobatics over the skies of Shoreham and complete the exciting varied line up on offer this year.
Tickets are available from the Shoreham Airport Terminal as well as the show website :- http://www.shorehamairshow.com .
Purchase advance tickets and save 25% off the gate price.
You can order using your debit/credit card and you tickets will
arrive through the post in just a few days. Remember, kids
under 12 go free!
|Junior (U12's free with Adult)