UK Airshow News

AIRSHOW NEWS: Midair Squadron to display at RNAS Culdrose Air Day alongside Hunter WV372

30 July 2014

Image © Paul Johnson

The world’s only airworthy Canberra PR9 (XH134), along with her display partner Hunter XL577, will be joined by Hunter WV372 in a unique display at the RNAS Culdrose Air Day tomorrow, Thursday 31st July 2014.

Marking a new phase in the development of the Midair Squadron, this display will give the Cornwall crowds a taste of what is to come in the much-anticipated three ship display of the Midair Squadron.

Midair Squadron owner, Mike Davis, comments: “To fly the Midair Squadron alongside WV372 is a brilliant insight into the highly awaited and inimitable display formation on the air show circuit. Our second Hunter, XL600, continues to go through a thorough maintenance programme, and due to the unprecedented booking schedule for the Squadron’s Canberra and Hunter, it has taken slightly longer than initially projected. The sight of all three liveried Midair Squadron aircraft will be a spectacular sight and XL600 will be flown in formation shortly.”

The next scheduled display of the Midair Squadron will be next week at Festival of Flight, in Newcastle, Northern Ireland, where the Canberra and her counterparts will also overfly the Ulster Aviation Society’s collection, featuring XH134’s sister, at Long Kesh.

AIRSHOW NEWS: The First Sea Lord to attend Bournemouth Air Festival

Image © Paul Johnson

Bournemouth Air Festival has confirmed it will be hosting The First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff , Admiral Sir George Zambellas KCB DSC ADC at next month’s event. The professional head of the Royal Navy, Sir George will be here Friday 29th August visiting, amongst others, the flotilla of ships in the bay, meeting members of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines and seeing the Reserves and Cadets at work throughout the festival site.

Commodore Jamie Miller, Naval Regional Commander, said; “We are absolutely delighted to be welcoming our leader, The First Sea Lord, to the biggest community engagement event in the Royal Navy’s calendar. We are incredibly pleased to be showcasing our work here – the interactive village areas, beach assault demonstrations, music programmes and work of both the Cadets and Reservists – and lots of ships and aircraft too. This really will be cementing the partnerships and relationships we have made over the years and for years to come. And we do like Bournemouth lots too!”

It will be first time Sir George has experienced the incredible Air Festival – added Councillor Lawrence Williams, Tourism Portfolio Holder; “This is a fantastic opportunity for us to demonstrate how the event itself and people of Bournemouth work with and support the Armed Forces. The Royal Navy has played an integral part in making the Air Festival the success it is today and we’re extremely grateful. Year-on-year the event continues to grow with more ships, people and assets. And to have Sir George here to experience this first hand is a real accomplishment for us all!”

The Air Festival introduced a charity wristband in 2011 and has supported forces charities for the last three years. The Royal Navy Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC) has been the Navy nominated charity since 2011 and on Friday night the Hotel Miramar will be hosting the official Navy Blue Party in the presence of Sir George Zambellas. Tickets cost £40 per head, for more details call the Hotel Miramar 01202 556581.

RED BULL AIR RACE: Arch wins in Gdynia, widens championship lead

29 July 2014

GDYNIA (Poland) – Austria’s Hannes Arch widened his lead at the top of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship to 13 points with a brilliant victory in front of 130,000 spectators in Gdynia on Sunday, picking up his third straight win in Europe with some smart flying on the challenging track set up on the Baltic Sea. Britain’s Nigel Lamb was second while Matt Hall of Australia got his second straight third place as the two pilots flying the MXS-R planes once again put in stellar performances in the world’s fastest motorsport series to the delight of the crowd watching from the nearby beaches at the first-ever race in Poland.

Arch, who won the 2008 championship, now has 42 championship points at the midway point of the eight-race season. Britain’s Paul Bonhomme, the defending champion, was knocked out in the Super 8 round after getting a rare penalty and had to settle for his second straight fifth place, slipping further behind Arch on 29 points. Arch had lagged behind Bonhomme and Lamb in Qualifying but found a new line to fly the difficult 270-degree “Marine Wall” turn faster than anyone else. Arch stopped the clock in 1:09.895, Lamb was second in 1:11.306, while Hall was third in 1:11.538.

“I prefer to be the hunter than the hunted,” said Arch, who had struggled in training and Qualifying. “Being the hunter suits my style better. But I guess I’m going to have to get used to being the one that everyone else is hunting now.” Winning in Gdynia gave Arch his second victory in 2014 after he was first in Rovinj, Croatia and third straight win in Europe going back to 2010, when he was the Lausitz race in Germany. Arch was also second in Abu Dhabi to Bonhomme and second to Lamb in Putrajaya, Malaysia in the last race.

Bonhomme was bitterly disappointed about being hit with a two-second penalty for flying too high through one of the 25-meter high Air Gates, a controversial ruling that dimmed his hopes of winning a third straight championship ahead of the next stop at home in Ascot, Great Britain in August.

“From where I was sitting it looked alright to me,” Bonhomme said, adding it was “bleeding obvious” that the fifth place in Gdynia would damage his championship hopes. “If it was a ‘benefit of a doubt’ judgement call, then I’ll be pretty upset.”

Results: 1. Hannes Arch (AUT), 2. Nigel Lamb (GBR), 3. Matt Hall (AUS), 4. Kirby Chambliss (USA), 5. Paul Bonhomme (GBR), 6. Nicolas Ivanoff (FRA), 7. Peter Besenyei (HUN), 8. Pete McLeod (CAN), 9. Michael Goulian (USA), 10. Martin Sonka (CZE), 11. Mathias Dolderer (GER), 12. Yoshihide Muroya (JPN);

World Championship: 1. Arch 42 points, 2. Bonhomme 29, 3. Lamb 26, 4. Hall 21, 5. McLeod 18, 6. Ivanoff 8, 7. Sonka 8, 8. Muroya 7, 9. Chambliss 5, 10. Dolderer 4, 11. Besenyei 4, 12 Goulian 0

AIRSHOW NEWS: Air Day all set for Take Off!

22 July 2014

Image © Paul Fiddian

Final preparations are taking place to welcome over 30,000 visitors to the Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton’s annual International Air Day on Saturday 26 July. Few events can rival the intensity, drama and spectacle on offer at the award winning show, one of the Southwest’s largest one day events. It promises to be anaction-packed day out for all the family with thrilling flying displays and plenty to see and do on the ground.

Image © Paul JohnsonRNAS Yeovilton’s Air Day will be celebrating Carrier Aviation following the recent naming of the Royal Navy’s largest ever aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth. Visitors will experience over five hours of amzing flying displays which will include naval aircraft through the ages from rare historic warbirds like the Swordfish, Sea Fury and Skyraider to classic jets such as the mighty Sea Vixen and Hunter. The resident squadrons will perform spectacular role demonstrations such as the famous Commando Assault Finale, full of pyrotechnics. The ground displays will showcase modern Royal Navy assets and equipment with interactive displays showing the qualities, skills and professionalism of Royal Navy personnel working as a team to provide Front Line support to Protect Our Nation’s Interests.

Image © Paul JohnsonUndoubtedly, the stars of the show for many will be roaring displays by the Swiss Air Force F/A-18 Hornet and the award winning Belgian Air Force F-16 representing the cutting edge of modern global fighter technology. Further participants include a trio of foreign military aerobatic teams from Belgium, Jordan and Denmark. Amongst the helicopter displays the Royal Navy Black Cats Display Team will incorporate the Wildcat into their routine and the unbelievably agile RAF Chinook will return to amaze all. The RAF will also be represented by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’s Dakota, Spitfire and Hurricane. The Dakota’s debut Air Day appearance will be particularly poignant with it being the 70th anniversary of the D-Day Landings. One of the nation’s favourite aircraft, the iconic Vulcan bomber XH558, will also be firing up her four mighty engines for another majestic performance over the Somerset skies. Another notable classic jet will be the world’s only airworthy example of the Canberra which will be a display not to be missed!

Image © Paul JohnsonAlthough the aircraft and their amazing displays take most of the limelight at Air Day there is plenty to entertain the family on the ground. The Sporting Bears Motor Club has arranged a special static display for Air Day consisting of 40 rare and expensive cars. There will be arena displays from HMS Heron Volunteer Band and the fiercely contested Field Gun Competition between HMS Heron and HMS Seahawk (RNAS Culdrose). In the hangars, the Yeovilton Military Wives Choir will be performing and you will also find engineering fairs presented by My Future My Choice and Imagineering. These two organisations aim to inspire the next generation in a fun, hands-on, interactive way towards a career in engineering. A Forward Operating Base will be set-up by the Commando Helicopter Force with plenty of equipment and demonstrations to demonstrate how the Force supports the Royal Marines in theatre. There will also be trade stalls, funfair, simulators and pleasure flights if you manage to take your eyes off the sky.

Advance tickets are still available from local Tourist Information Centres until 25 July. Visit or call the Ticketline on 08445 781 781 for more details.

Advance Ticket Prices: Adult £20, Child (5-15 yrs inc) £6, Child (Under 5) Free.

  • On the Day Ticket Prices: Adult and Senior £25, Child (5-15 yrs inc) £12, Child (Under 5) Free.
  • RNAS Yeovilton is one of the Navy’s two principal air bases, and one of the busiest military airfields in the UK. It is home to more than 100 aircraft operated by both front-line squadrons and training units of the Commando Helicopter Force, Lynx Wildcat Maritime Force, Army’s Aviation Reconnaissance Force plus the legendary vintage aircraft of the RN Historic Flight.

Social Media #yeoviltonad


AIRSHOW NEWS: Clacton Air Show line-up continues to take shape

Organisers of Clacton Air Show are promising one of the strongest ever line-ups of aerial displays for the event next month.

The Red Arrows, Avro Vulcan, Royal Canadian Lancaster and Battle of Britain Memorial Flight are already firmly placed in the programme during August 21 and 22.

They are joined by the Sea King Helicopter, Tutor, Autogyro, Essex Air Ambulance, and RAF Tucano.

And now the team has also managed to sign up the Breitling Wingwalkers, the Trig Aerobatic Team, Rolls Royce Spitfire, the Bulldog as well as Richard Goodwin and his modified Pitts S2S G-EWIZ.

There is also going to be one more major announcement for flight fans at the start of August to round off a stunning collection in the skies over the town.

Mark Platt, TDC’s Cabinet Member for Tourism, Culture, Leisure and Events, said he is really excited at the prospect.

“Every year the team works hard to put together the best possible programme to bring in the visitors and thrill those of all ages who turn up for the show,” he said.

“They really have pulled out all stops this year and it promises to have all the necessary elements for a great event.

“I am delighted by what we already have in place but I have been told that there will be one more significant announcement which will really put the final touches to the line-up.”

Cllr Platt said he is delighted to be able to welcome back the Breitling Wingwalkers – who missed out on Clacton last year – and looks forward to the Trig Aerobatic Team performing once again.

The Wingwalkers have been specialists in display flying for almost 30 years and operate one of the best known civilian air display acts in Europe.

Pilot Martyn Carrington is a local lad who learned to fly at Clacton Airstrip and is always keen to visit his home town.

“Being a qualified pilot myself I am looking forward to two days of top flight entertainment in the air supported by plenty of other activities on the ground,” added Cllr Platt.

Clacton will once again be the only seaside East Coast event of its kind as attempts to get Lowestoft and Southend off the ground again have met with failure.

Hopefully fans that would previously go to those shows in the past will be tempted to come along to Clacton as they did last year.

The Clacton Air Show is the signature event on Tendring’s tourism calendar and a vital boost to the District’s economy – bringing in around £4 million more than would be generated over the two days without the event.

Last year it attracted around 140,000 people over the two days.

Due to hard work and careful budgeting the event is getting to a point where it is close to breaking even and is sustainable.

Anyone wanting information about trade space should contact 01255 686683 or 01255 686654.

AIRSHOW NEWS: Sell out Air Tattoo for Reds 50th Season

13 July 2014

A SELL-OUT crowd of 140,000 turned up at RAF Fairford over three days to join celebrations marking the Red Arrows’ 50th display season at the Royal International Air Tattoo.

They were rewarded with breath-taking aerobatic displays from fast jets, transport aircraft, helicopters and classic warbirds. The aviation fans’ favourite was the rare appearance of two classic Cold War ground-attack strike aircraft, the Sukhoi Su-22s from Poland, while the visitors were also treated to the last UK appearance of the A-7 Corsair from the Hellenic Air Force.

Seven aerobatic display teams flew in to join the Red Arrows’ celebrations thrilling the crowds with their precision flying. On Friday (July 11), team leaders from the Patrouille de France, Frecce Tricolori, Patrouille Suisse and the Breitling Jet Team performed a special anniversary formation flypast with the Red Arrows.
Red One, Squadron Leader Jim Turner, said: “We love all the European display teams and are most grateful to all those that have helped us celebrate this weekend.”

In total 240 aircraft from 31 air arms representing 25 countries took part in the Air Tattoo.
Senior military guests included: Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford and US Air Force Chief of Staff, General Mark Welsh III; plus air chiefs from 48 other countries including Turkey, Singapore, New Zealand, Bangladesh, Japan and Montenegro.

Industry guests at the Air Tattoo included Mrs Marillyn Hewson, CEO of Lockheed Martin; Mr Hakan Buskhe, President of Saab Global and Mr Simon Laffin, Chairman of the Flybe Group. Celebrities Alan Carr, Robson Green, Carol Vorderman, Adam Henson, Sir David Jason and Bruce Dickinson also attended the three-day show.

Royalty was also represented at the airshow with HRH The Prince of Wales, HRH Prince Michael of Kent and HRH Prince Feisal of Jordan enjoying the airshow.

Air Tattoo Chief Executive Tim Prince, who retires immediately after the airshow, said: “It’s great that such a bumper crowd was able to enjoy what we had to offer over the three days. The weather was good, the flying was fantastic and once again the Red Arrows lived up to their star billing. My thanks go to all those who visited the airshow, the many aircrew who participated and everyone who contributed to the successful staging of this event. Under my successor Andy Armstrong, I am confident the Air Tattoo will continue to be a wonderful celebration of international aviation and an event of which UK plc can be rightly proud.”

The Air Tattoo medical teams reported no major incidents and a relatively quiet time for those on duty. Senior Medical Officer Sqn Ldr Darren Ellison said: “We dealt with 250 patients with no major problems, just a range of minor illnesses from heat-related issues to blisters and abrasions.”

Senior Fire Officer Barry Scott said: “We’ve enjoyed a very quiet show. The main excitement was being on stand-by for the Apache role demo when we thought the pyrotechnics might set the grass on fire, but we weren’t needed, and that’s the way we like it.”

First-time visitors to the show were a Colony of Beaver Scouts from 1st Purton & Lydiard Scout group. Parent Emma Hudson-Ellis, from Swindon, said: “We’ve been here since 7.30am and have had a fantastic day. The flying displays are absolutely brilliant, especially the Red Arrows, who we always love to see, and we’ve still got quite a lot to see on the ground before we go home.”

Mark Smeaton from Nailsworth in Gloucestershire, had brought his family on their first visit to the Air Tattoo. He said: “The quality of the flying is just amazing, especially the formation displays. The whole show seems very well organised, and everything’s covered. Our five-year-old was more than slightly traumatised by the noise of the Eurofighter, but two members of the Air Tattoo CREW instantly leapt to our rescue, supplying earplugs and generally saving the day. We were impressed, and we’d definitely come again!”

The Royal International Air Tattoo is staged annually in support of the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust which, in turn, awards grants in support of the RAF family, including serving personnel and Air Cadets. Since it was established in January 2005, the Trustees have awarded over £2.1 million to a wide range of projects and initiatives.

AIRSHOW NEWS: Farnborough Airshow selects Midair Squadron XH134 for Flying Display

10 July 2014

Midair Canberra PR9

Cotswold Airport, Gloucestershire: The world’s only airworthy Canberra PR9 (XH134) will form part of the flying display at this year’s Farnborough Airshow on 19th – 20th July 2014.

Having successfully passed the display validation for the public event on Monday, XH134 will be in prestigious company, joining the flight programme featuring the RAF Red Arrows and Avro Vulcan XH558. She will continue to remain on static display for the duration of the public event as well.

Midair Squadron pilot Sqn Ldr Dave Piper (Ret.) commented: “The validation process for the Farnborough Airshow ensures the Flying Control Committee (FCC) approve our solo display routine. We’re delighted to include Farnborough as another key feature on the Midair Squadron display season schedule and look forward to next week enormously.”

For further information on the Midair Squadron and their display schedule, please visit

AIRSHOW NEWS: Important Information for the Duxford Flying Legends Air Show

Ahead of the Flying Legends Air Show, IWM Duxford has released some important safety information:

· IWM Duxford takes great care to ensure its air shows are as safe as possible for everyone involved.

· It is not safe to occupy the fields immediately south of the runway during the air show. If you do so you are putting yourself and the display pilots in harm’s way.

· In the event of an incident it is imperative that the emergency services have clear, unhindered access to the tracks across this land.

· There is no public access to these fields at any time.

Jointly issued by IWM Duxford, Cambridgeshire Constabulary and the owners of this land.

AIRSHOW NEWS: Time runs out for F-35B at Air Tattoo

Despite everyone’s best endeavours, it has now been decided that the Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II will not fly at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) 2014 as all of the aircraft currently remain grounded.
Air Tattoo Chief Executive Tim Prince said the decision was a great disappointment given the amount of planning that had gone into bringing the aircraft over to RIAT for its international display debut.
He said: “It’s not unusual for there to be delays in the development programme of any new military aircraft, and the Air Tattoo has been working closely with teams from Lockheed Martin, the US Marine Corps, Department of Defence and MoD to ensure the aircraft touched down at RAF Fairford for the Air Tattoo. Unfortunately we’ve simply run out of time.”
An MoD spokesman said “The safety of pilots and aircraft has to be our priority. Of course, it is disappointing that the Lightning II has not arrived in the UK in time for the Air Tattoo but we fully support the decision not to grant clearance for the aircraft to make their first transatlantic flight to the UK until the technical investigations following an engine failure are complete.”

Mr Prince added: “We fully understand and support the decision as safety of pilots and aircraft has to be paramount.

“Fortunately, the F-35B is only one of more than 200 exciting aircraft representing 33 air arms from 27 countries around the globe that will be taking part in RIAT 2014, which begins tomorrow (Friday, July 11). We are looking forward to staging the UK’s biggest celebrations marking the RAF Red Arrows 50th display season at the world’s largest military airshow.”

AIRSHOW NEWS: Two high flyers added to the line-up for Clacton air show

4 July 2014

The ever popular crowd-pulling Vulcan bomber will be returning to the award winning Clacton Air Show this summer.

Tendring District Council (TDC), organisers of the event, has secured its appearance on Thursday, 21 August.

The Avro Vulcan, the most recognisable of the V-bombers, made its debut at the air show in 2012 and proved a smash hit with people travelling from far and wide to get a glimpse, before returning again last year.

The aircraft appearing at Clacton is the world’s last flying Avro Vulcan.

There had been fears that it would have to stop flying at the end of last year but its future is secure through to the end of 2015 at least.

The Avro Vulcan was one of the most impressive aircraft of its time and remains so to this day, incorporating many advances in technology and aerodynamics when it was designed in the years after the Second World War.

Its requirement was to fly long distances and drop nuclear bombs but the only war it ever took part in was a conventional one in the Falklands.

Also making an appearance this year is the Royal Canadian Lancaster Bomber with the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight which is tipped to be a “once in a lifetime event” with this particular formation.

Mark Platt, TDC’s Cabinet Member for Tourism, Culture, Leisure and Events, said both the Vulcan and the Lancaster Bomber are major attractions for the show.

“I am delighted that the team has secured these remarkable aircraft for the Clacton Air Show and I’m sure this echoes the sentiments of thousands of enthusiasts,” he said.

“This free event promises to ‘wow the crowds’ – and these aircraft will guarantee that promise”.

Further details of other flights, activities and attractions will be unveiled over the coming weeks.

Additional parking will be laid on this year along with park and ride open-top bus transfers to transport enthusiasts to the area from Clacton Factory Outlet and Holland-on-Sea.

The Clacton Air Show is the signature event on Tendring’s tourism calendar and a vital boost to the District’s economy – bringing in around £4 million more than would be generated over the two days without the event.

Anyone wanting information about sponsorship opportunities, hospitality, or trade space should contact 01255 686683 or 01255 686654.

General Air Show enquiries can be made on 01255 686633.

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