UK Airshow News

Category Archives: Waddington

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

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

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

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

AIRSHOW NEWS: Hummingbird and Hornet set to thrill crowds at Waddington

The Spanish Air Force helicopter display team will fly their first ever UK display at the RAF Waddington International Air Show this year.

The Patrulla ASPA team will be flying five Eurocopter EC-120s at the show in July.

It will be the team’s first appearance at an air show anywhere in the UK. The team, formed in 2003, has pilots drawn from 782 Escuadrón based at Armilla in south eastern Spain.

The announcement is a coup for the organisers of the Waddington Show, which celebrates its 20th year this year.

It has already announced the appearance of the Swiss Air Force’s F/A-18 Hornet. The aircraft, then piloted by Captain Ralph “Deasy” Knittel, last appeared at the show in 2012 and came second in the best flying display award.

The Spanish team, one of only a few Air Force helicopter display teams in Europe, made their first appearance outside Spain in 2005 at the Portugal Air show.

The team’s routine combines formation, opposition passes, solo routines and completed with a smoke system that is more regularly found on fast jets.

The EC-120 Colibri, Hummingbird in English, was first developed in 1998 and can carry up to two pilots and four passengers, with a cruising speed of 120 knots and a maximum speed of 150 knots.

Paul Sall, Air Show Director, said: “The air show team are thrilled to welcome the return of the Spanish Air Force, making Spain the second country to confirm their support for 2014.

“This year represents a real milestone for the show. Not only is it our 20th year but it’s the 50th display season for the Red Arrows. So we are absolutely determined to make this show the best ever and we are delighted that a truly exciting programme is already coming together.”

This year’s show is marking a number of important landmarks – the 65th Anniversary of NATO, the 70th Anniversary of D Day and the 50th Display Season of the Red Arrows among them.

The event, launched two decades ago to raise public understanding of the RAF and its role, attracts upwards of 140,000 visitors every year.

Proceeds from the show are donated to force and local charities. Since 1995 the show has donated a staggering £3.3m to charity.

Tickets sales began 1 November 2013 and are showing an increase in sales from this time last year.

For more information about the show or to book tickets go to

DVD REVIEW: RAF Waddington International Airshow 2013

Produced by The Media Group. Available from priced £15.99

The RAF Waddington International Airshow is the Royal Air Force’s premier airshow of the year and is the biggest shop-window for the public to see what the RAF does. The 2013 event took place in the mid-summer heatwave and saw participation from across Europe.

The show also celebrated two very important RAF anniversaries; the 95th Anniversary of the Royal Air Force itself and the 70th Anniversary of the Ruhr Dams raid by 617 “Dambusters” Squadron. As such, the event attracted Royal patronage and Honorary Air Commodore HRH Earl of Wessex provides an introduction to the show and RAF Waddington for the Media Group’s production.

As with most airshow DVDs, the Media Group’s production covers all the major flying display highlights over the 107 minute running time with clear and informative commentary from Ben Dunnell. For the most part of the footage of the flying is generally good but on occasion it is quite shaky and certainly for the coverage of the Belgian F-16 the sound doesn’t quite match the visuals! There are however several highlights including some dramatic on-aircraft footage from Mike Brageot’s Xtreme Air XA41

What really sets the Media Group productions apart is the level of detail they put into the production. The Dambusters Anniversary and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight feature very strongly at the beginning of the production with interviews with OC BBMF Squadron Leader Dunc Mason plus other key personnel plus a charming interview between Dams Raid veteran Johnny Johnson and current 617 aircrew plus behind-the-scenes footage of the BBMF hangar at nearby RAF Coningsby. There is also a look at the RAF Waddington Heritage Centre plus interview with those currently stationed at Waddington plus of course many of the visiting display crews.

Overall, this is a great souvenir of the 2013 RAF Waddington International Airshow. The DVD adds an extra dimension to the show with its extended coverage, particularly of the Battle of Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and the Dambusters 70th Anniversary

AIRSHOW NEWS: Advance Ticket Sales Rocketing Sky High at RAF Waddington International Airshow

With the RAF Waddington International Airshow only days away, the organising team are delighted to report that advance ticket sales are so high that there is a strong possibility that all available tickets will have been purchased prior to the event and that there may not be any tickets on sale on the day.

On-line ticket sales have now closed but advance tickets are still available until Friday 5 Jul 2013, from local branches of HSBC and Morrisons Supermarkets (Please check the airshow website for local participating branches)

To re-iterate, visitors are advised to buy their airshow tickets in advance from participating outlets as there is no guarantee that tickets will be available on Saturday 6th July and Sunday 7th July.

The Organisers are keen to stress that unless visitors are in possession of an Advanced-purchase ticket prior to travel that they are unlikely to be able to gain entrance to the Airshow.

AIRSHOW NEWS: Royal Jordanian Falcons 2013 Tour Schedule

The Royal Jordanian Falcons have released details of the their 2013 Tour.

  • 8-9 JUNE – Gothenburg Aeroshow, Sweden
  • 15-16 JUNE – Lappeernranta, FinalndD
  • 29-30 JUNE – Leszno, Poland
  • 6-7 JULY – RAF Waddington, UK
  • 13 JULY – RNAS Yeovilton, UK
  • 20-21 JULY – Royal International Air Tattoo, UK
  • 31 AUG-1 SEP – Krefeld, Germany
  • 7-8 SEP – Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic
  • 13-15 SEP – Sanicole, Belgium

AIRSHOW NEWS: Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16 Demo Team Display Dates 2013

The Royal Netherlands Air Force has released the 2013 schedule for their F-16 Demo Team. It includes two UK shows, namely RAF Waddington International Airshow and the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford.

  • 26th May – Volkel in de Wolken, Netherlands
  • 31st May – Leeuwarden, Netherlands
  • 2nd June – Châteaudun, France
  • 12th June – Leeuwarden, Netherlands
  • 14th-15th June – Lutchmachtdagen – Volkel, Netherlands
  • 28th-29th June – Zeltweg, Austria
  • 6th-7th July – RAF Waddington, UK
  • 20th-21st July – RIAT, RAF Fairford, UK
  • 28th July – Gijon, Spain
  • 31st May – Leeuwarden, Netherlands
  • 3rd-4th August – Keckskemet, Hungary
  • 31st- August-1st September – Silac, Slovakia
  • 13th-15th September – Sanicole, Belgium
  • 22nd-23rd September – Ostrava, Czech Republic
  • 27th-29th September – Athens, Greece

For more information, visit the F-16 Demo Team website

AIRSHOW NEWS: Iconic Vulcan set to roar at RAF Waddington International Airshow

RAF Waddington’s International Air Show has welcomed the news that the iconic Avro Vulcan Bomber XH558 will once again be gracing the skies at this year’s air show, scheduled for the weekend of 6th and 7th July

This much loved aircraft returned triumphantly to the public domain at the RAF Waddington International Air Show in July 2008 for the first time after an absence of 16 years and has been seen by many millions of people all over the country since that incredible first year. Confirmation of her attendance means that visitors to this year’s Air Show can look forward to what many observers’ term the ‘Vulcan Effect’; this being used to describe the amazing impact the aircraft has on the public when she appears at air shows and other events.

RAF Waddington International Air Show Director Paul Sall says: “We’re working really hard on an exciting line up for this year’s Air Show, so to have confirmation that the Avro Vulcan, which is such a favourite of the crowd, will attend is fantastic news.”It is almost 20 years to the day since XH558 was retired from the Service and left RAF Waddington for what some thought would be for good. However, since 2008 XH558 has been kept in superb running condition by the Vulcan to the Sky Trust and volunteers at Robin Hood Airport at Doncaster. Now research to extend the flying life of this, the last airworthy Vulcan has taken a significant step forward as engineers seek to solve the technical challenges that could stop the aircraft flying after the 2013 season.

VulcanRobert Pleming, Chief Executive of Vulcan to the Sky, says: “I’m delighted that our plans to return Vulcan XH558 to the 2013 air display season are currently still on schedule, despite the financial challenges that we have faced over the winter. Indeed we still have to overcome some significant financial hurdles to enable us to achieve our objectives in 2013. However, it is always a great pleasure to bring the Vulcan back to her home at RAF Waddington, where I am sure she will, as ever, be afforded a very warm welcome. All of the success that has been achieved has only been made possible by the efforts of the public, who have supported XH558 so loyally and admirably. We do hope that XH558 will continue to justify the public’s support in 2013 and beyond.”

This year’s event will celebrate the RAF’s 95th Anniversary and commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the World War II Dam Buster Raids. Tickets for the Air Show have been on general sale since November 2012; early indications are that it’s going to be another sell out year. With advance tickets breaking last year’s records, this year’s Air Show looks set to be winner and without doubt a great family day out.

Tickets for the event are available from the official Air Show website: . Advanced tickets are discounted and the organisers encourage advance purchase as on the day tickets may be limited if demand is at such a level where the gates may be closed based on pre show sales.

AIRSHOW NEWS: RAF Chinook Display Team Announced

From the RAF Chinook Display Team Website

The 2013 RAF Chinook Display Team has been announced. The Team is back after an award winning 2012 season and ready to put on the best display yet. The captain for 2013 will be Flight Lieutenant Paul Farmer. This will be his second year with the Display Team. This year’s Co-Pilot is Flight Lieutenant Gareth Allen, the Display Manager Flight Lieutenant Kyle Thomas and the Rear Crew are Sergeants Andy Caldwell and Steve Jones. The season this year will be made all the more challenging due to the two over water displays. The lack of visual references for the pilots makes the manoeuvres flown far more challenging.

The RAF Chinook Display this year will be flown by crew members who have recently served in Afghanistan. Members of the team, made up of personnel from 18 and 27 Squadrons, arrived back from Op Herrick as recently as December 12.

‘We hope that the 2013 display will be viewed as the best yet, really allowing the crew to demonstrate the power and manoeuvrability of the Chinook, something that you might not expect to see from such a large aircraft’.

You can see the Team display at the following events during the 2013 season:

9 June: Cosford Air Show
6-7 July: Waddington International Air Show
13 July: Yeovilton International Air Day
20-21 July: The Royal International Air Tattoo, Fairford
16-18 August: Eastbourne Air Show
24-25 August: Car-fest South for Children in Need
30 August – 1 September: Bournemouth Air Festival



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