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Category Archives: Shoreham Airshow Blog

SHOREHAM AIRSHOW BLOG: April Showers

It’s been very wet and windy at Shoreham recently. Considering the lovely weather we all enjoyed in March, we hope the return of the blustery April showers don’t herald a wet summer even though the South East’s gardeners and water companies could desperately do with some rain.

Since the last blog, it has been a bust time for airshow organisers. The end of March saw the British Air Display Association AGM and pre-season symposium at RAF Fairford. Thanks must go to Tim Prince and his staff at RAFCTE for providing the venue and refreshments for a very useful meeting. These “get togethers” provide a useful forum for sharing ideas and problems with the rest of the airshow community and also to hear updates from those who allocate military assets and other roles that are very much behind the scenes. We’d like to add our congratulations to all those that were presented with the various awards.

Back at Shoreham, ticket sales are starting to pick up and we’ve had a very large order all the way from the Netherlands! The past week has also seen a very interesting presentation from Geoffrey Lee on the art of air to air photography. In the end, we made over £600 for the Royal Air Forces Association and learnt a great deal on the difficulty and technique on taking images from fast jets! We must thank Geoff for being so generous with his time during the evening.

The flying display is really starting to take shape now. Alongside our very strong support from the Royal Air Force we’ve added a few further items since the last blog. We’re delighted to welcome back out local aerobatic pilot Justyn Gorman who will be presenting his very popular Decathlon display and a new display in Pheonix Flying’s Scottish Aviation Bulldog as part of our CFS theme. The Bulldog is actually an aircraft with very strong Shoreham links being the military development of the Beagle Pup which was designed at and first flew from Shoreham Airport!

We also have started to put together our traditional ‘Battle of Britain Scenario.’ We happy to announce that the Spitfire Ia operated by the Aircraft Restoration Company will be taking part for the first time along with two examples of the Hispano HA-1112MIL Buchon representing Me109s! Joining the Spitfire Ia will be ARCo’s Spitfire IXT as well as the HAC Spitfire Vb and Hurricane XII. There will be further additions announces soon.

Ticket sales continue to come in as well as applications for the Executive Marquee – to get your tickets please visit http://www.shorehamairshow.co.uk .

SHOREHAM AIRSHOW BLOG: Bring on the noise!

The longer daylight of hours of March signify we’re rapidly approaching the summers months and the start of the European airshow season. Indeed it was still just light as the fourth committee meeting ahead of the 2012 Shoreham Airshow got under-way in the Terminal Building earlier this week.

February is a frustrating month as nothing really seems to happen yet you suddenly feel it should be! However there is always some business to attend to. Shoreham Airport itself has seen and will be seeing some quite major changes. Firstly the entire Shoreham Airport site (the airfield and the Buildings) has once again come under the control of one company. The slightly shabby looking Terminal Building is slowly starting to receive some much needed TLC too! Regular visitors to the building will have noticed that the reception area has gone with it’s staff moved to an upstairs office. The airport owners have also taken control of the Terminal Restaurant which is now opened for longer and has expanded it’s tables in to the main foyer which at first does seem a little odd!!

The developments are not just confined to the buildings. There is the possibility of some changes to the access to the airfield which will affect the airshow. This could cause our Safety and Security Manager Ian Taylor some extra work in the coming weeks as there may have to be come changes to the layout of the ground show to accommodate these developments and some requests from airfield operations. Ian puts in a hell of a lot of work conducting regular meetings and table-top exercises with the airport, security companies and  the emergency services to cover all eventualities right up to the show itself.

In general, things are happening a little faster than in 2011. More people are booking in their classic cars than in previous years and also bookings for Tickets and places in the executive marquee are up on last year at this time!

Talking of the show, airshows finally received their full Royal Air Force allocations this week following the final sign-off by the MoD. Shoreham are delighted to announce that they have been included on the calendar for the Tornado GR4 Role Demo Team from XV(R) Squadron at RAF Lossiemouth.  We also have the full selection of the RAF 22 Group Trainer solo displays to help celebrate 100 years of the Central Flying School, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and the RAF Falcons Parachute Display Team. These allocations are key to the airshow, not only has they provide many highlight but the show office now have a much better idea of the remaining budget for civilian displays and what else we need to book in for the flying display. We also hope to hear back from Joint Helicopter Command and some European Air Forces in the coming weeks! Stay tuned!

Finally, this is the last call for Geoff Lee’s Photographic Presentation at Shoreham Airport on Wednesday 18th April. Geoffrey informally talks about how and what preparation and planning goes into getting dramatic photographs of aircraft in flight. He discusses which equipment he uses for each type of sortie as well the final presentation to the client. He talks about some of his memorable and difficult sorties as well as some failures. The talk includes a short video and a photographers view on “24hrs in the life of Eurofighter Typhoon”. Tickets for this event are priced £15. See http://phototalk.shorehamairshow.co.uk for more information and to buy tickets.

SHOREHAM AIRSHOW BLOG: Full speed ahead

It may only be a matter of weeks since the last time the airshow committee gather, but a lot has happened in the mean time.

The show publicity machine is now getting up-to speed with new posters and flyer already in production. The first major press releases will be on their way ready for the local papers and aviation magazines too.

Traders are now booking their pitches too, and classic car and military vehicle are starting to enquire about joining the show.

On the aviation front, we’re still waiting to hear back from the military who will start feeding through their allocations though we are delighted that one our longest supporters, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, will once again be with us with their standard contingent of Lancaster, Spitfire and Hurricane.

The military allocations tend to shape the rest of the show, but a few acts have been booked ahead of this. All being well we will be welcoming back the full fourship display from the Breitling Wingwalkers. Though the team are regulars across Europe, the four-ship display is seen very rarely and Shoreham will once again be one of the few venues to witness this unique display. Joining them will be the SWIP Team, GliderFX, Plane Sailing’s Catalina and the entire Great War Display Team.

The first of the new acts to Shoreham for 2012 has also been booked. Former Team Viper pilot Dan Arlett will be displaying a BAC Jet Provist T5 as part of the show’s Central Flying School Cenentary theme. Dan, who is a current CFS pilot, will be operating from Shoreham itself and the aircraft will be wearing special CFS100 decals for the 2012 display season.

Another event for people interested in aviation photography is also being planned by the Shoreham Airshow media team. Renowned air to air photography and Media team member will be goving a presentation on how he goes about capturing stunning images for the Royal Air Force and BAE Systems of aircraft such as Eurofighter Typhoon. The presentation will be take place at Shoreham Airport Terminal Building on the 18th April in the restaurant. Tickets are priced just £15 and are now available from http://phototalk.shorehamairshow.co.uk.

Tickets for the main show are also available now from the main show website: http://www.shorehamairshow.co.uk

Shoreham Airshow Blog: Starting to think aviation!

The first full week of January brings the second Airshow committee meeting. The Christmas and New Year festivities mean there’s a bit of a lull in progress, though the Website team have managed to get the ticket sales under way as well as get all the forms for traders, charities and the executive marquee on-line.

However, it is perhaps time to think aviation in terms of the displays that will grace Shoreham’s skies in September. The first few acts have started making enquiries and sending in quotes for consideration by the flying display sub-committee while we wait for the all important military allocations to be made public.

As touched on in the last blog the central theme will the 100th Anniversary of the Central Flying School and that does open up some possibilities for some interesting types for the flying and static displays. One recent addition to the display circuit does catch the eye but we will have to see if budget and logistics fall into place.  Feedback from last years show highlighted a lack of jets and we’re certainly determined to remedy that shortcoming. It is actually a tough problem to solve as military air arms are cutting back their airshow participation quite significantly – for example to the Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16 will only likely attend 10 events during the 2012 season. It will therefore fall to the expensive classic jets to fill the void and a whole spectrum of jets will be looked at inside and outside of the CFS theme.

Balancing the flying display is key to a successful event and there will be the usual mix of entertaining civilian acts and warbirds in the show. Also, I hope there may one or two aircraft appearing that will be a little out of the ordinary!

An all important part of running an airshow is organising accommodation from all the display crews which is another aspect of the show that is planned well in advance. One of the unexpected bonuses of moving the airshow date has been that despite losing one of the usual aircrew hotels (it was closed over the winter) the event no longer clashes with an bowls tournament in nearby Worthing! It is often surprising just how many external influences there are when running large events such as airshows!

One item of news we can reveal is that as well as the airshow, we are planning a special event for anyone interested in photography to be held on the evening of 18th April. Renowned air to air photographer Geoffrey Lee (Planefocus) will be giving a special presentation on his years as a photographer for British Aerospace and various military air arms. Keep an eye on the Shoreham Airshow website for details in the near future!

Tickets for this year’s show can be bought from the airshow website: Please visit http://tickets.shorehamairshow.co.uk for more details.

 

EDITOR’S BLOG: Shoreham Airshow 2012 starts here!

It may not even be Christmas yet, but the Shoreham Airshow Committee have met for the first time despite the cold weather. I’m lucky enough to be on the committee being responsible for the management of the website which is donated by Flightline UK. Over the coming months I hope to run a series of blogs detailing some of the latest news from behind the scenes at one of the UK’s most popular airshows.

2011 was a good year for Shoreham in terms of the execution of the event – most things went very well indeed. However, there was a marked drop in income for the show. It is not something that is unique to Shoreham. Several other shows have suffered similar stories and sadly some of them will not be re-appearing in 2012. Sadly in these days of few wage increases, ever increasing fuel costs and so on means that everyone from the aircraft operators to the family are having their budgets squeezed. Despite this, the airshow did manage a significant donation to the Royal Air Forces Association Wings Appeal which is a great achievement in these tough times.

So what of the future? Firstly, at the wash up meeting in September the committee overwhelmingly voted to carry on, but changes would have to be made to the airshow in order to protect it from the costs. Every bit of spending has been reviewed in the essential business meetings and where necessary changes have been implemented. The committee itself has been restructured too to help spread the demands over the membership.

The changes are not just behind the scenes and some will be very noticeable to regular visitors. A tricky balance needs to addressed between the show’s own expectations and finances, those of the traders and particularly those of the thousands of visitors who together have helped to bring in over £1.6 million for the annual RAFA Wings Appeal. Attending a show must be of value to traders; if they turn up and are bypassed or missed by visitors they will not come again and some of the changes being discussed at the moment will hopefully improve their exposure to the crowds. Equally, the show should be attractive to not just aviation minded visitors, but the whole family and the show will bring in changes to to maximise the appeal.

There will changes to the flying display, and I’ll hopefully be able to detail these in future blogs but for the now I can say the main theme of the airshow will be the “100th Anniversary of the Central Flying School.”  The flying display team will be liaising with the RAF Events Team over the coming months as well as private operators to have some fitting aircraft to celebrate this important milestone.

This blog may mention ‘finance’ and ‘money’ quite a bit, but that is possibly because it is one of the biggest worries facing airshow organisers in 2012 alongside safety throughout the show. It is not only display act costs that increase each year as fuel and maintenance costs rise. In particular Policing, Security and Insurance costs seem to rise year on year too and any event organiser will tell you they are feeling the squeeze.  It may seem all doom and gloom, but the changes being made to Shoreham Airshow should end up having a positive outcome for all! More next month!

Tickets for the RAFA Shoreham Airshow 2012 will be on sale in the near future – keep checking http://www.shorehamairshow.co.uk for more details.

 

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