The world’s largest military airshow, Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) has announced the appointment of The Media Group to film and produce their official airshow DVD for 2013.
RIAT, held annually at RAF Fairford, Gloucestershire, is one of the UK’s top outdoor family events with upwards of 130,000 visitors each year. The 2013 show, a ‘Celebration of Aviation Excellence’ will take place over the weekend of 20 and 21 July. Footage captured at the event will go straight into post-production with The Media Group and the finished product is due to ship in August.
Richard Arquati, Head of press and public relations at the RAF Charitable Trust Enterprises said “The Air Tattoo has a fantastic line-up this year with around 200 aircraft from across the world taking part. Capturing all the action is tricky but we’re delighted to be working with The Media Group, who have the right balance of ideas and expertise to produce an exciting, memorable product.”
The Media Group will continue to produce the annual RAF Waddington airshow DVD, which they have produced for the past four years.
The Media Group’s managing director Keith Daniell says: “Airshows are fantastic events to film as there is thrilling action in the sky and lots of emotional stories behind the scenes. Our annual production for Waddington always gets great reviews and we’re looking forward to producing a new DVD that RIAT will be proud of.”
For their ‘British Airshows’ productions, Planes TV proudly boast ‘If You buy one Airshow DVD this year, buy this one!’ The British Airshows DVDs have always been superb retrospectives on the airshow season covering a number of major events and pretty well all of the different acts you encounter during a season. Though the formula for British Airshows is unchanged with small segments of film from different events in chronological order, the list of events was very different with some notable absentees from the usual lineup. Amongst the absentee were events like Southend and Eastbourne which sadly means there’s no footage of the Vulcan’s arrival around Beachy Head!
However there are some great additions too with the flypasts over Windsor Castle for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Falklands 30th Anniversary commemorations at the National Memorial Arboretum included. New airshows are also included with visits to Folkestone and Cleethorpes though I couldn’t help thinking seeing a little more from these events would have been nice!
The coverage starts before the airshow season with some footage of the CAA test flights and shakedown of Avro Vulcan B2 XH558 in April before the main airshow coverage starts with the Abingdon Air & Country Show. Many favourites are included include RIAT, Flying Legends, the IWM Duxford shows including the Merlins and Motors plus the American Air Day, Bournemouth Air Festival and RAF Leuchars. As ever, Planes TV present a superb mix of ground to air, in-cockpit and varied on-board angles throughout the main feature; particularly spectacular is the footage from the RNHF’s Sea Fury and Peter Teichman’s P-40 during the the Yeovilton Air Day coverage.
The production is introduced by Sean Maffett, but as with all of PlanesTV’s productions, the commentary for each event tends to be taken from live-recordings of the show commentary with the occasional piece to camera and voice-over. In general this works quite well, though the Farnborough section seems a little disjointed starting with displays voiced over by one commentator before moving on to some live recording from another! Also the commentary for the A380 doesn’t actually match the aircraft featured in the film which is the Malaysian Airlines example whereas the commentary deals with the Airbus development aircraft!
Alongwith the main feature disc, there is a second disc purely containing feature length footage of various displays with Planes TV’s trademark ‘Interactive InCockpit’ setup providing onboard and normal coverage of displays via the ‘Angle’ and ‘Audio’ buttons on the DVD player controller. The first of these is from the wonderful Gloster Meteor T7 flown by Dan Griffiths at the Duxford Jubilee Show and it is a classic! Other stand out footage comes from the OFMC Spitfire and Mustang at Dunsfold but all of it is very interesting viewing.
Distilling an entire season into a watchable production is never going to be an easy task, some of the various individual display coverage does seem very short at times but Planes TV do a great job of managing to fit almost every single highlight of the season into one film. If you want a reminder of great display season, this is it!
DVD REVIEW: RAF Waddington International Airshow 2012
2012 saw one of the best RAF Waddington International Airshows of recent years with a superb selection of modern military displays from across Europe and beyond. In particular the show was memorable for the international display debut by the Republic of Korean Air Force’s national display team, the Black Eagles as well as a appearances by the Saudi Hawks, the Swiss Air Force F/A-18C Hornet and Super Puma, Dutch F=16 Demo Team as well as an array of UK based types.
Recent DVD releases of the Waddington International Airshow have been produced by The Media Group who bring a unique style to the Airshow DVD format. TMG put a lot of effort into some ‘behind-the-scenes’ footage, not only of the many display items and aircraft that visit for the airshow, but also of the day-to-day life of RAF Waddington. That starts immediately with the station commander of RAF Waddington introducing the airshow and the station to to the viewer. Further filming includes visits to the Survival Equipment Section and interviews with personnel that service 5(AC) Squadron’s Sentinel R1 fleet and the RAF Regiment Auxiliary. While the format of the production a familiar to previous productions, the flying display commentary for the 2012 production is provided by the excellent Ben Dunnell, part of the new commentary team at the show this year.
2012 is an important year as Waddington also celebrated “The Year of Lincolnshire Aviation.” This is marked in the production with a very touching film about 92 year old Squadron Leader Edgar Pickles of the Royal Australian Air Force who served with 100 Squadron during the Second World War. Edgar visited the RAF Waddington Airshow and met the modern day 100 Squadron who were showing off one of their specially marked Hawk T1s marking the units 95th Anniversary.
The flying display is covered very well with both footage of the action as well as interviews with key personalities. The Korean Black Eagles appear very early on the film and receive some superb coverage with interviews and some striking on board footage. There’s also in depth coverage of Il Frecce Tricolori, Dutch F-16, Swiss Super Puma Demo Team and Saudi Hawks amongst others.
We have come expect great things from TMG’s coverage of the Waddington International Airshow, and they have not disappointed us with their 2012 coverage. With the superb line-up that Waddington offered this year this is possibly one of the best airshow DVDs of the year.
‘British Airshows’ is the signature production by PlanesTV and is the most comprehensive look over the airshow season. The DVD covers a number of different shows starting at Abingdon and concluding at the Duxford Autumn Airshow in October. The production is introduced by Sean Maffett, but most sections feature the commentary direct from the show specific DVD products. Although most footage is from PlanesTV other companies have also contributed, most notably Flying Machines TV with their footage from Flying Legends and the Royal International Air Tattoo. It is also good see events appear for which no DVD has been produced this year, namely Southend, RAF Cosford and the American Air Day at Duxford.
If there is anything negative to say about British Airshow 2011, it is the overall editing. The introductory pieces from each PlanesTV event specific DVD have been included which are often repetitive and often introduce acts not actually included in that event’s coverage. It would have perhaps been better for each show to have been introduced by a single narrator to give a brief synopsis of the show and introduce the show commentator on the live feed PlanesTV use! This certainly works for the Bournemouth Air Festival coverage with certainly has the smoothest editing! Also a little distracting is the editing of Flying Machines and RIAT which at times seems a bit rushed and almost doesn’t make sense, particularly the Legends coverage!
However, one cannot fault the comprehensive coverage on the DVD. Most, if not all of the UK’s major display teams feature at least one time or another in the two hours of coverage. British Airshow 2011 is like it’s predecessors a double disc product. Disc 2 features the very best of the interactive in-cockpit and aircraft mounted camera features that really make for exciting viewing -- some of the sequences are quite simply stunning!
This is essential viewing for airshow enthusiats and there’s some great and important moments captured in the production. However, the overall quality feel of the 2010 edition of ‘British Airshows’ seems to missing somehow!
Dunsfold is one of your reviewer’s favourite airshows of the year.It is quite different from other airshows as historic cars and military vehicles are given equal billing to aviation displays.
This year’s show proved to be another highlight of the season though did have to put up with it’s fair share of problems. The Red Arrows were forced to pull out following the tragic events are Bournemouth Airport and then there was a very last minute cancellation of the Vulcan on the first show day. Despite this the superb action laid on by the organisers meant everyone went home happy.
One of the touches that really makes Dunsfold is the commentary double act of Melvyn Hiscock and Brendan O’Brien who manage to pack a great level of fact in with some typically British humour. Much of that commentary is captured by Planes TV who have also managed to cram in the highlights from the motoring to give a true sense of the unique Dunsfold atmosphere.
The flying action is superbly well captured despite some very variable light levels. There’s some great footage of the unique Hawker Sea Fury and Hunter formation that was one of the true highlights of the show. Further to that footage there’s some great on-baord angles on the F-86A Sabre, Fox Glider, Tiger Club Turbulent Team and the Tigers Parachute Display Team.
This is a fine reminder of a great weekend or an excellent introduction to one of the best events on the circuit!
DVD REVIEW: RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day 2011
Without doubt, RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day was one of the very best airshows in 2011 with an unparalleled varied flying display with participants from across Europe. In 2011 Yeovilton celebrated the 40th Anniversary of the Westland Lynx with support not only from the Royal Navy, but also the Army Air Corps and AgustaWestland who are based on the other side of Yeovil.
The show started with an impressive balbo of 9 Westland Lynx based at Yeovilton chased by the AgustaWestland Wildcat, the latest incarnation of the Lynx design which will enter service with the Navy at Yeovilton in 2015. The highlights just keep coming though with a solo Wildcat display, Polish MiG-29, Dutch AH-64D Apache, French Navy Role Demo of Super Etendard and Rafale, Vulcan and Sea Vixen, Belgian F-16 and of course the might Commando Assault finale.
As with all Planes TV productions, the order of flying on the DVD closely resembles the order of flying on the day of the show. Yeovilton’s flying display was very well constructed with some great contrasts and that does reflect well in the DVD. There are some great ground shots too including some interesting artistic panning shots, particularly on the jet pan. As you would expect the footage of the flying displays is of a very high quality. With such an interesting collection of displays though, it is a little disappointing that there are no interviews or background stories to the displays that were such great feature of equivalent DVDs of Waddington or Bournemouth. An obvious miss in this regard was the lack of coverage of the static collection of historic and international Lynx airframes and commentary on the Lynx story or some of the more interesting static display aircraft such as the F-4 Phantom from the Luftwaffe.
There are a very good selection of the interactive in-cockpit special features covering the Dutch Apache, Black Cats, Royal Navy Raiders and Vulcan. Overall this is superb reminder of a great airshow with some spectacular footage.
For many reasons, RAF Leuchars Airshow 2011 was a very significant event. Defence Cuts and financial cutbacks may have reduced the show’s static displays, but the flying display was a very well varied and impressive affair. A few weeks aftre the show, it was announced the RAF would be leaving Leuchars over the next few years with the Typhoon squadron (No 6(F)) based there supposedly moving to RAF Lossiemouth. Happily though, this airshow will not be the last staged at Leuchars.
It was however a show that enjoyed several seasons of weather in one day with moments of brilliant sunshine interspersed with some very bleak grey rainclouds However, those conditions do create some impressive cloudscapes! Such varied weather however does create problems for all photographers weather they shoot stills or film, but PlanesTV’s camera operators have coped well despite the rain! The extensive coverage covers everything from the early morning Radio Controlled Model Aircraft display (watch out for the dramatic ‘crash’ and impressive response from the station’s fire and rescue!) right through to the closing sunset ceremony giving a true flavour of a RAF Leuchars Airshow.
As with many recent productions, PlanesTV have use a direct feed from the show commentary to provide narration for the show. For the most part this works, though there are occasions where background noise, mostly music does become a little distracting.
The flying display footage captures some great moments, the Vulcan appearing though the gloom with vapour streaming from it’s wing-tips is just the first of many. The Leuchars airshow took place just two weeks after the tragic accident at Bournemouth Airport which claimed the life of Flt Lt Jon Egging. Planes TV have included the tribute paid to Jon Egging in their productions, first on the teams arrival at RAF Leuchars and as part of their display later in the afternoon.
As ever there is some great on-board footage extras; particularly impressive is that taken from the cockpit of the Belgian Air Component F-16 solo display. Overall, this in another impressive DVD and well worth a look, even if like me you didn’t attend the RAF Leuchars Airshow.
The August Summer Holidays see plenty of airshow action along the South Coast. One of the most well loved airshows is that held at Shoreham Airport is aid of the Royal Air Forces Association. The show has not had a souvenir DVD produced for a number of years so it is good to see Planes TV finally produce one for the 2011 show which enjoyed much better weather than in previous years.
The DVD follows Planes TV’s new approach to DVD production using audio recordings of the actual show commentator rather than a commentary recording in a studio after the event. For the most part it works very well recording the atmosphere of the day much more comprehensively.
One of the great features of Shoreham Airshow is the brilliant backdrop of Lancing College and the South Downs and these feature well in the filming. As you would expect from Planes TV the filming of the displays is very competent. Obvious highlights come from the on-board footage from the Great War Display Team, the Pitts Pair, T-6 Texan and the rare four-ship display by the Breitling Wingwalkers which is featured in expanded form in the special features section of this DVD.
Another highlight is the Sea Vixen display -- it’s final pass with water vapour exploding off the top surfaces of the wings was one of the visual highlights of the entire airshow season!
As ever, this DVD offers great coverage of the event -- a perfect souvenir from the event.
The Bournemouth Air Festival 2011 was one of the most outstanding events of airshow season. Following a very, very damp Thursday which led to the cancellation of the day’s activities, the following three days saw some outstanding weather with the flying displays enjoyed by huge crowds. Sadly as many of you will know, the event hit the national headlines following the fatal Red Arrows accident that occurred as the team recovered to Bournemouth Airport following their display on the Saturday.
Since the event first started in 2008, the event has been well supported by Hallmark Productions who not only produce the souvenir DVD, but also provide a number of video clips for the Air Festival’s own YouTube channel.
The flying displays are covered in great depth, particularly compared with some other airshow DVDs which sometimes only give a few seconds of airtime to some displays. Coverage is also very complete with every act covered in the main feature except the Red Arrows. The filming of the flying displays is superb with not only some superb image quality and clarity, but also a pleasing number of different angles. The film crews have taken full advantage of Bournemouth’s wonderful seafront venue and there is also plenty of brilliant mini-cam footage from in the cockpit and mounted all over various aircraft.
The main commentary is provided by Brendan O’Brien, but impressively many of the displays feature commentary from the pilots involved. Much of this has been recorded after the event, some of which has been done via Skype and provides a fascinating insight to the displays and how they are performed which means you can forgive a slight drop in sound quality.
However, what I find most impressive are the many bonus features. Perhaps the most notable is coverage of the Red Arrows display on the Saturday which is present minus commentary which is very poignant. There are some extended interviews with airshow personalities such as Paul Bonhomme, Brendan O’Brien and Jonathon Whaley and the RAF pilots. Another feature which also stands out is a time-lapse sequence of the seafront which shows the incredible scale of the event.
The Red Arrows accident clearly made coverage of the Bournemouth Air Festival very difficult, but Hallmark have produced a wonderful reminder of a truly great event!
Produced by Adrenalin Television; available from airtattoo.com priced £16.95 DVD, £24.95 Blu-Ray
The Royal International Air Tattoo is the UK’s biggest military airshow and this year celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the NATO Tiger Association as well as it’s own 40th anniversary. In forty years the show has grown from relative modest beginning to one of the most important dates on the military aviation and defence calendar.
Adrenalin Television’s production is suitably pitched for the event covering all aspects of the event from the flying displays, static displays and some of the most important events take took place around RIAT such as the naming ceremony for the RAF’s new Airbus A330MRTT Voyager KC1.
The production is superbly narrated by one of the Air Tattoo’s commentators, Ben Dunnell. There are many different interviews with important personalities from the show and pilots interspersed amongst some superb filming of the flying displays.
2011 saw very mixed weather conditions throughout the six days of aviation activities at Fairford which is something the filming crews have coped with admirably. It also has meant some of the sequences are particularly dramatic with vapour streaming from the aircraft during their displays.
Like most airshow productions these days, the DVD allows viewers to turn the commentary off and on during playback via the audio button, but the commentary is very well pitched and is kept to a minimum during the displays.
The flying display filming contains an impressive amount of minicam footage from on-board the display aircraft. Some displays such as the French Air Force Rafale display contain multiple on-board minicam angles giving a superb sense of the work of the displays pilots during their routines.
The 2011 DVD is a superb production whether you went to the show or not. It’s high quality presentation and production means it is another stand out product.