2005 Edition





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IFOS is certainly not an airshow in the strictest sense.  Several hundred visiting ships join a large proportion of the Royal Navy's own vessels for unique event. Many of those ships bring with them their own helicopters and aircraft which are never usually seen at airshows in the UK and can afford aviation enthusiasts some very unique oppotunities. Paul Johnson/Flightline UK reports. All Photography copyright of Author.

It's an important year for Britain's maritime heritage. 2005 marks the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar and the week leading up to IFOS saw the largest royal fleet review ever seen with naval vessels from all over the world many of which stayed for IFOS bringing with them some very rare helicopters such as a Russian Navy Kamov Ka-27 on board the Admiral Levchenko, Indian Navy Sea King Mk42, Pakistaini Navy Alouette III and a South African Altas Oryx. Of course many of the Royal Navy ships have aircraft on board, not least the HMS Illustrious which not only had RN types but also a complete selection of Harriers from Brooklands Museums' P1127, a Harrier GR3 and GR7 and of course a Sea Harrier FA2.

However, it's not just static aircraft. The centrepiece of the whole event is the Operational display, this year called "Operation Swift Strike." Involving all three armed forces, the display is narrated by none other than airshow commentator Stratton Richey and depicts operations against enemy forces guarding a coastal arms dump. In previous years this has been held in the confines of one of the naval bases' basins, but this year took place over open water allowing more dynamics between the air and the ground. It's certainly something the major airshows should take a look at!

On the Flightdeck - Click to Enlarge

Onperation Swift Strike - Click to Enlarge

 copyright Flightline UK 2005