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AIRSHOW NEWS: Farnborough International Airshow welcomes F-35

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In response to the announcement that the F-35 Lighting II aircraft will be flying at the Farnborough International Airshow, Amanda Stainer, Commercial Director for show organisers Farnborough International Ltd said, ‘We are delighted that the news has now been confirmed after weeks of speculation. We are incredibly pleased that the UK MoD and the US DoD have chosen the event to showcase the aircraft.’

She further added. “The JSF and F-35 programme has seen participation from nine partner countries including the United Kingdom. FIA will provide the perfect venue for many of the global supply chain companies involved in the programme to showcase their expertise”.

FIL Chief Executive, Shaun Ormrod also commented, “The F-35 Lighting II is one of the most advanced aircraft to be developed for a very long time and will create a great deal of interest at the show.”

The F-35 Lighting II’s presence at FIA14 also mark’s a unique aviation first with the aircraft’s VTOL (Vertical Take Off and Landing) predecessor, the Harrier, also being present at the show. Speaking about the occasion, Shaun Ormrod said, “The Harrier has played a distinct role in modern aviation history, a hero of the Falklands War and a superb example of aviation technology. The opportunity to see the last and next generation of vertical thrust aircraft at the same venue marks a milestone in aviation history.”

Defence Secretary, Sir Philip Hammond announced yesterday that the F-35 Lighting II will make its international debut in the UK at the FIA2014 and RIAT. The decision to fly the combat aircraft outside of the United States for the first time, following discussions between Philip Hammond and his US counterpart, Secretary Hagel, is a further demonstration of the progress with the Lightning II programme. The selection of two UK airshows also demonstrates the significant role that Britain has in the programme. Approximately 15 per cent of every aircraft is built in the UK.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said, “The US and the UK have worked closely together on the F-35 project from the beginning. We are the only country that is a first tier partner in the project, which is sustaining tens of thousands of jobs in the UK. This fifth generation stealth combat aircraft will be a major boost to British combat air power and it is entirely fitting that the F-35’s first stop outside the United States will be in the UK.”

The F-35 will be making demonstration flights at both trade show and the public weekend. The Harrier comes to show from the Spanish Navy.

AIRSHOW NEWS: Bronco Demo Team set to excel at Waddington again

The RAF Waddington International Air Show 2014 will mark a number of significant anniversaries this year, celebrating the rich history of aviation in the UK and a number of nationally significant events. One that is close to the organising team’s hearts and perhaps not as widely known will be the return of one particular team.

The OV-10B Bronco Demo Team is a group of enthusiastic people who aim to demonstrate this unique aircraft type to the public. The North American Aviation Rockwell OV-10 Bronco is a turboprop light attack and observation aircraft. It was developed in the 1960s for counter insurgency (COIN) combat. One of its primary missions was as a forward air control (FAC) aircraft in the Vietnam War.

Based at Kortrijk-Wevelgem airport in Belgium, the Team is centrally located in the heart of Europe. The OV-10 Bronco display pilot, Tony De Bruyn, is the driving force behind the project. Passionate about aviation since his early boyhood, Tony has been professionally involved in aviation since leaving school. A CPL(A) holder with over 4000 flying hours to his credit, he loves displaying the Bronco and showing the airplane to its best advantage; a rugged performer with awesome agility and fully aerobatic.

The Bronco Demo Team are returning to RAF Waddington following challenging times. On the 10th July 2012, just 9 days after the air show at RAF Waddington, Tony De Bruijn, was practicing his display routine over Kemble airfield in Gloucestershire, when the Bronco crashed and caught fire. Tony De Bruijn was badly injured with burns bur despite his injuries and with the support of his family and his loyal team, Tony has battled to make it back into the air, returning triumphantly to the controls earlier this year. Over the past 18 months and incredible amount of restoration work has made huge progress getting the Bronco ready for this year’s air show season.

Tony De Bruijn from the Bronco team said:
“We are back! Following a challenging last two years Bronco Demo Team are very glad and honoured indeed to return to the RAF Waddington International Air Show with our newly restored Bronco. We are looking forward to meeting, talking and thanking the many, many people who have encouraged and supported us so well over the recent testing times.”

Charles Skiera, the Deputy Display Coordinator said: ‘It is a great privilege to welcome the return of Tony, the Bronco, and the team back to Waddington. The team’s achievements, drive and personal determination to succeed in the face of such adversity is astounding. Their willingness to support the show both in the past and future is great and we are truly glad to see the team continue to prosper’.

This year’s RAF Waddington International Air Show will celebrate a number of milestones in the RAF history, including the Red Arrows’ 50th Display Season, 65th Anniversary of NATO, 70 years since the D-Day Landings and commemoration of the start of the First World War. Ticket sales began in November and are showing over 30% increase in sales from this time last year. For more information about the show, to book admission tickets or enclosure seats go to http://www.waddingtonairshow.co.uk/.

AIRSHOW NEWS: Air Tattoo makes Aviation History

AVIATION history will be made in the UK this summer when, in a major airshow ‘first’, the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, the Joint Strike Fighter, makes its much-anticipated European debut.

This hugely important multi-role combat aircraft, which has never before been seen outside of the US, will display at the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford on July 11-13.

Three examples of the F-35B, the short take-off/vertical landing version of the Lightning II optimized for operation from austere bases and smaller ships, will be based at RAF Fairford: two from the US Marine Corps and one destined for the UK. The flying displays on all three days of the airshow, will see participation by one aircraft.

The aircraft’s appearance at Fairford will allow a whole new audience to see at close quarters this highly advanced multi-role platform, which, in F-35B form, will demonstrate the ‘hover’ capability required for operation from, for example, Britain’s forthcoming new aircraft carriers.

Its appearance at RAF Fairford in July will be the latest in a long list of legendary military aircraft that have made their UK debut at the Air Tattoo. These have included the F-14 Tomcat in 1976, the MiG-23 in 1991, the Typhoon in 1995 and the V-22 Osprey in 2006.

Air Tattoo Chief Executive Designate, Andy Armstrong said: “Not only will people witness aviation history being made at the Air Tattoo this summer but they will also see a breath-taking demonstration of the future of combat aviation. Those people who, like me, enjoyed seeing the legendary Harrier display its hovering capabilities in the past will relish the opportunity to see its state-of-the-art successor.”

In the words of Lockheed Martin, the F-35B combines for the first time ‘the most lethal fighter characteristics: supersonic speed, radar-evading stealth, extreme agility and short take-off/vertical landing capability.’

The stealthy Lightning II is a vital aircraft for the air arms of the nine countries who have, thus far, signed up to become part of the programme: apart from the US and UK, also involved are Australia, Canada, Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway and Turkey.

The type is rapidly entering service with the US Air Force in CTOL (conventional take-off and landing) F-35A guise, and with the US Marine Corps in F-35B form. The UK plans to procure 138 F-35Bs for joint operation by the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy, and has begun pilot and maintainer training on the aircraft at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. The F-35 will, in future, become a common sight in our skies – but it will perform its first international display at this summer’s Air Tattoo.

The Air Tattoo is staged annually in support of the RAF Charitable Trust. Tickets for the event are only available in advance. Specially-priced Earlybird tickets for this summer’s Air Tattoo, on July 11-13, are available until May 31 from airtattoo.com or by calling 0800 107 1940. All accompanied under-16s go free. Free parking.

AIRSHOW NEWS: F-35 Lightning II jet to make maiden British flights at Air Tattoo and Farnborough

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The combat aircraft will fly in Britain for the first time this summer at 2 airshows.

The F-35 Lightning II will make its international debut in July at the Royal International Air Tattoo in Fairford and in the same month will also fly at the Farnborough International Air Show.

This will be the first time the combat aircraft has flown outside of the United States. The selection of 2 UK airshows demonstrates the significant role that Britain has in the programme. Approximately 15% of every aircraft is built in the UK.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said:

“The US and the UK have worked closely together on the F-35 project from the beginning. We are the only country that is a Level 1 partner in the project, which is sustaining tens of thousands of jobs in the UK.”

“This fifth generation stealth combat aircraft will be a major boost to British combat air power and it is entirely fitting that the F-35’s first stop outside the United States will be in the UK – its second home.”

The MOD has 3 aircraft which are all currently based in the US undertaking training with Royal Navy and Royal Air Force pilots. Orders for further aircraft will be placed over the next few years.

The UK’s first operational Lightning II squadron, 617 Squadron, is scheduled to transition to RAF Marham in Norfolk from the US in 2018 ahead of flight trials of the Queen Elizabeth Class Carrier later that year.

The F-35 Lightning II will be capable of undertaking a wide range of operations from intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions to high intensity combat, including air defence for a Carrier Task Group and offensive support for ground forces.

The Royal International Air Tattoo is open to the public from 11-13 July and Farnborough International Air Show is open to trade visitors from 14-18 July and open to the public 19-20 July.

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AIRSHOW NEWS: More Military Displays for RAF Cosford Air Show

Today the organisers of the RAF Cosford Air Show revealed a number of exciting additions to aircraft appearing at this year’s event.

Following on from last year’s popular Medical Emergency Response Team (MERT) demonstration, which saw Prince Harry in his first air show appearance, the RAF Chinook and Army Apache will again be at Cosford as part of the planned six-hour flying display. As well as performing their individual displays, they will showcase the combat capabilities of the two helicopters in an exciting joint demonstration with the RAF Regiment. Other helicopters taking part in the flying display include the Royal Navy Lynx, making a welcome return with its ‘Black Cat’ solo routine.

The Navy are also represented by the Royal Navy Historic Flight displaying the Swordfish & Sea Fury, joining a number of historic aircraft already confirmed for this year’s event including the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and the Great War Team.

On the ground, a number of military aircraft join the resident Jaguar fleet, with an Army Air Corps Defender and RAF King Air being the latest additions to the static displays.

Air Show spokesman Amanda Butcher said “Although we now know details of most of the UK Military aircraft we are expecting to announce more aircraft displays soon so visitors should check our website, Facebook Page and Twitter regularly.”

Details of where to buy tickets can be found on the RAF Cosford Air Show website, with advanced tickets held at last year’s price of £20 and children under-16 and parking free.

AIRSHOW NEWS: Avro Vulcan Bomber set to roar at the 2014 RAF Waddington International Air Show

The Organisers of the RAF Waddington International Air Show are thrilled to announce that the iconic Avro Vulcan Bomber B2 XH558 will return to Waddington in July to perform its magnificent display in front of more than hundred thousand visitors over the Air Show weekend of 5th & 6th July.

The Avro Vulcan was designed in the late 1940′s by the same team that built the Avro Lancaster. It is a jet-powered delta wing strategic bomber which was operated by the Royal Air Force during the Cold War as a nuclear strike platform. Although the Vulcan was originally armed with nuclear weapons, it was capable of conventional bombing missions, a capability which was used in Operation Black Buck during the Falklands War. The RAF retired the Vulcan in 1984 but XH558 was kept active for flying displays until 1992.

XH558 is the only flying Vulcan in the world and is also the oldest complete Vulcan anywhere. She represents over 300 bombers which made up the UK’s contribution to the NATO strategy of deterrence. The Vulcan is now an inspiring tribute to the hundreds of thousands of dedicated service men and women who maintained and flew the aircraft.

This much loved aircraft, ‘The Spirit of Great Britain’, as she is affectionately known by the public, returned proudly to the public domain at the RAF Waddington International Air Show in July 2008 and has performed in front of millions of spectators all over the country since then.

During 2014 Vulcan To The Sky Trust (VTST) will be commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the end of the Cold War, with the Vulcan being the centrepiece as the last flying example of the V-Force.

The XH558′s eagerly- anticipated, performance will be a significant addition to the display programme that already includes an array of aircraft from the RAF, Royal Navy and Army Air Corps, with spectacular displays lead by the RAF Red Arrows and the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

A number of foreign military display aircraft have also already confirmed their attendance, including a debut by the Spanish helicopter display team ‘Patrulla ASPA’, the thunderous Swiss Air Force ‘Hornet’ Solo Display and a special display by the Slovak Air Force with their Albatross L-39 training aircraft, specially decorated to commemorate Czechoslovak pilots who fought in the RAF during the Second World War.

RAF Waddington International Air Show Director, Sqn Ldr Paul Sall (Rtd) said: “This year’s display is shaping up really well, with an exciting line up already confirmed. I am really delighted that the XH558, such a favourite of the crowd, will also display this year. There is no doubt that this iconic aircraft, which was once stationed here at RAF Waddington, will once again create the ‘Vulcan Effect’, thrilling thousands of our spectators at the Show this year.”

Dr Robert Pleming, Chief Executive of the VTST said: “I’m delighted that all of the hard work carried out over the winter by the VTST team, supported by many other companies, will now enable us to return XH558 to the 2014 RAF Waddington International Air Show. It is of course highly appropriate that the aircraft is making a return to RAF Waddington, where she was based for many years in a variety of roles, including her final one as the display aircraft for the Vulcan Display Flight, before her retirement from RAF service in March 1993.”

“It was of course at Waddington where XH558 made her high-profile and emotional return to public displays on an unforgettable Saturday back in July 2008.”

“This is a great opportunity for us to say a very big thank you to all of XH558′s loyal supporters who have stayed with her through thick and thin, because without their unstinting help we would not be where we are today. We are incredibly grateful that the Vulcan is appearing once again at this famous RAF Station, giving people, particularly those who have not seen her before, the chance to experience the incredible spectacle of this truly iconic and much-loved aircraft.” To find out about the many ways that you can help to support Vulcan XH558 visit www.vulcantothesky.org.

This year’s RAF Waddington International Air Show will celebrate a number of milestones in the RAF history, including the Red Arrows’ 50th Display Season, 65th Anniversary of NATO, 70 years since the D-Day Landings and commemoration of the start of the First World War. Ticket sales began in November and are showing over 30% increase in sales from this time last year. For more information about the show, to book admission tickets or enclosure seats go to http://www.waddingtonairshow.co.uk/.

AIRSHOW NEWS: Slovak Air Force returns to the RAF Waddington International Air Show with a tribute to Czechoslovakian pilots involved in D-Day Operations

With participation already confirmed from 9 countries, the Organisers of the RAF Waddington International Air Show are delighted to announce another addition to this year’s displays. The Slovak Air Force has confirmed that it will be making a welcome return to the show, demonstrating its L-39CM CM Albatross jet trainer. The aircraft is specially painted this year to celebrate the life and achievements of Sqn Ldr Otto Smík, a young hero of the English skies who fled Slovakia at the onset of the Second World War and became one of the most successful combatants among Czechoslovakian pilots who served in the Royal Air Force. In celebration of Sqn Ldr Smík’s 90th birthday anniversary, the L-39CM Albatross tail art currently features a portrait of this young, talented fighter.

Shortly after Czechoslovakia was occupied by Hitler on 15 March 1939, the Germans declared Slovakia to be an independent state. Despite many Slovaks welcoming this new independence it was not welcome news to some and this was the case in the Smík home. Otto, now eighteen, made a dash across Europe arriving in England in 1940, promptly mustering into the RAF to pursue his love of aviation. Smík was eventually posted to 312 Sqn RAF, flying both the Hurricane and Spitfire, claiming 13 confirmed kills of enemy aircraft during his service.

In June 1944 Smík’s squadron was part of the support for Operation Overlord, better known as the D-Day Landings, during which thousands of allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy in northern France at the start of a major offensive against the enemy. Whilst the operation was a great success, Smík was sadly killed later on that year, aged just 22 years, after his badly damaged aircraft crashed on landing.

70 years on as we commemorate the anniversary of D-Day, Sqn Ldr Otto Smík’s memory will live on in the skies above RAF Waddington, during the air show over the 5th and 6th July 2014. The Albatross will be supported by a Let410, a type not often seen in the UK, which will be on static display.

Mr Paul Sall, The Air Show Director said: ‘We are thrilled to welcome the Slovak Air Force back to RAF Waddington, particularly with such a poignant tribute that will remind us all of the bravery of all forces personnel involved in the D-Day Landings operation.’

The aim of the air show is to raise public understanding of the RAF and its role, attracting over 140,000 visitors every year. Proceeds from the show are donated to force and local charities. Since 1995 the show has donated over £3.3m to the RAF Benevolent Fund, RAF Association and other worthy causes including funding for the Air Cadets and the Lincolnshire Bomber Command Memorial Fund.

Tickets sales began in November and are showing over 30% increase in sales from this time last year.
For more information about the show, to book admission tickets or enclosure seats go to http://www.waddingtonairshow.co.uk/.

AIRSHOW NEWS: U.S. set to approve international debut of F-35 fighter

From Reuters News Agency

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Defense Department is poised to approve the first trans-Atlantic flight of Lockheed Martin Corp’s F-35 fighter jet in July, when the new warplane is expected to take part in two international air shows near London, according to multiple sources familiar with the issue.

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is “very close” to a decision that would allow two or three F-35s to fly at the Royal International Air Tattoo, or RIAT, an annual military air show outside London, and the larger Farnborough air show, held every two years, said the sources, who were not authorized to speak publicly.

Britain, which contributed $2 billion (1.2 billion pounds) to the development of the new radar-evading fighter jet and plans to buy 138 F-35s in coming years, asked for the jet’s participation to help showcase the increasing maturity of the new radar-evading plane. Britain was also the first international partner on the program.

Details of the F-35′s international debut are being worked out, including how much it will cost to fly the planes to London and who will pay for it, but no issues have emerged to prevent the appearances, the sources said.

The costs will likely be shared by Britain, the Pentagon’s F-35 program office, the U.S. Marine Corps and industry.

Lockheed and Britain’s Ministry of Defense declined comment. Officials at the F-35 program office had no immediate comment.

“Having the aircraft front and centre on the UK stage will focus attention on the fact that it’s a fairly mature program at this point, with over 100 jets built,” said one of the sources.

British Defense Secretary Philip Hammond is due to meet with Hagel during a visit to the United States this week, but they are not planning an announcement about the F-35′s UK debut, said one of the sources.

Current plans call for at least one of the participating F-35s to be one of the three F-35 B-model jets already built for Britain, with a UK pilot at the controls.

Participating in the international air shows will allow the Pentagon’s F-35 program to carry out additional training and learn how the plane’s logistics, maintenance, aerial refuelling, and security systems work overseas, the sources said.

“This will be an opportunity to learn real-world lessons and allow additional time to resolve any problems before the first airplanes are delivered overseas,” said one of the sources.

Lockheed and Britain’s Ministry of Defence declined comment. Officials at the F-35 program office had no immediate comment.

Lockheed is the main contractor on the $392 billion F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the Pentagon’s costliest weapons program. Northrop Grumman Corp and Britain’s BAE Systems are the biggest suppliers.

Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp, builds the single engine that powers the plane. Britain’s Rolls Royce Group builds the lift fan that enables the B-model of the F-35 to land like a helicopter.

Boeing Co’s F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jet is also due to fly at the RIAT air show.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Ros Krasny, Sandra Maler and Peter Cooney)

AIRSHOW NEWS: RAF line-up confirmed for Wings & Wheels 10th Show

Plans for the 10th annual Wings & Wheels have got off to a flying start with confirmation from the RAF that the Red Arrows, Tucano and Tutor as well as iconic legends from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight – Lancaster, Spitfire and Hurricane – will all be part of the weekend’s aviation line-up.

The Red Arrows are celebrating their 50th display season this year and recently unveiled a striking new Union flag tail design to their Hawk aircraft, the most significant change to the look of the Team’s famous aircraft in its history. Headlining the Show on Sunday 24th August, the Red Arrows will also help Wings & Wheels celebrate 40 years since the Hawk first flew from the Aerodrome.

Jamie McAllister, Event Director, Wings & Wheels comments: “We are delighted to confirm the RAF’s allocation at Wings & Wheels this year which is just the start of a series of announcements for our air and motoring programmes. The Show and airfield celebrate some very special anniversaries this year and plans are underway to make it the best event yet.”

As well as enjoying RAF aircraft in action, visitors to this summer’s Show will also get the opportunity to meet some of the pilots and crew, watch over two hours of motoring action on the Top Gear track and participate in the Zones and shows throughout the Arena.

The 10th annual Wings & Wheels will be held over the August Bank holiday weekend; Saturday 23rd & Sunday 24th August 2014, at Dunsfold Park near Guildford, Surrey, and is open to spectators from 09:00 until 21:00.

Tickets start from £20 for adults, £45 for a family (2 adults and 3 children aged 5 – 15yrs), £6 for children aged between 5 and 15yrs and under 5s are free. Hospitality packages start from £150 per person, weekend passes, grandstand tickets and camping are also available. For more information visit www.wingsandwheels.net or to book standard tickets call 08712 305 572.

Wings & Wheels is promoted by Dunsfold Park Limited and in 2014 will be assisting the fundraising efforts of Brooklands Museum Trust and Help for Heroes.

AIRSHOW NEWS: RAF Announces Air Tattoo High Flyers

The Royal International Air Tattoo was given a boost this week after the RAF announced which aircraft would be starring along with the Red Arrows in this summer’s flying programme.

Legendary aircraft such as the Lancaster, Spitfire, Hurricane and Dakota will be joined by the RAF’s state of the art multi-role combat aircraft, the Typhoon and the basic trainer aircraft, the Tucano on Saturday July 12 and Sunday July 13. The Typhoon and Tucano will also be flying on Friday, July 11, as part of the special Red Arrows Pit Day.

The power and agility of the Typhoon makes it one of the most eagerly anticipated performers at the airshow. Piloting the multi-role combat aircraft in 2014 will be Flt Lt Noel Rees from 29 (Reserve) Squadron based at RAF Coningsby.

Demonstrating the capabilities of the Tucano, which provides basic fast jet flying training to RAF and Royal Navy student pilots, will be Flt Lt Dave Kirby. The aircraft, which features the Royal British Legion logo, poppies and the words ‘Lest we Forget’, is operated from No 1 Flying Training School, at RAF Linton-on-Ouse.

As well as enjoying RAF aircraft in action, visitors to this summer’s Air Tattoo will be able to get close to a wide range of RAF aircraft parked in the Showground. There will also be the opportunity to meet many of the pilots and crew.

Air Tattoo Chief Executive Tim Prince said that once again, the RAF has demonstrated the immense value it sees in the airshow, in terms of public engagement opportunities and international diplomacy.”

He said: “The Air Tattoo provides the Royal Air Force with a unique platform on which to highlight the capability of its aircraft and the dedication and skill of all those who fly, maintain and support them. Not only will airshow visitors will be able to see the RAF’s operational aircraft and those from the BBMF that have earned legendary status but they will also be able to join us for the biggest international celebration marking the Red Arrows’ 50th display season.”

The Air Tattoo is staged annually in support of the RAF Charitable Trust. Tickets for the event are only available in advance. Specially-priced Earlybird tickets for next summer’s Air Tattoo, on July 11-13, are available until May 31 from airtattoo.com or by calling 0800 107 1940. All accompanied under-16s go free. Free parking.

 

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