Aerospace and Defence 2018, Waterkloof Air Force Base, Pretoria (now Tshwane) 19-23 September 2018 Report by Peter and Kim Davison This biennial show celebrated 20 years in 2018 with a much enhanced air display. Seven hangars of trade exhibitions highlighted both suppliers and buyers of military hardware over three trade days that remained open but mainly unmanned on the two public days when around 90,000 visitors flocked to this hot and dusty airbase; home to transport and communications squadrons of the modernising South African Defence Forces.
Light Aircraft Association Rally 2018 Sywell, Northamptonshire 31 March - 2nd April 2018 Report by Peter Davison This popular annual event is unique in the British aviation calendar and is long established at Sywell. Though dependant on the weather, this year near perfect, it attracts homebuilders in particular to network and purchase components and learn from both experts and peers the skills required to build, fly and operate in the general aviation environment. It naturally attracts enthusiasts and photographers keen to record all that is new and of special interest in one location. This generates considerable income for the LAA and its contributors and encourages the next generation of private pilots, engineers and fabricators.
Air Force Centenary Airshow, Radom, Poland 25-26th August 2018 Report by Peter and Kim Davison Another Air Force, another Centenary. The annual airshow at Radom, around 100km south of Warsaw, has become a regular fixture of the European Military airshow circuit attracting attendees from across the continent. Given the number of Nations keen to celebrate Poland's Anniversary this may have backfired a little for visitors. The flying display did not feature any Polish military aircraft beyond the two excellent National display teams flying Orliks and Iskras.
Gdynia Babie Doly and seafront, Poland 18-19th August 2018 Report by Peter and Kim Davison This event, on the northern Baltic coast, combines a beachfront location with a conventional airshow with the beach event running into the night. Fireworks are deployed from barges as aircraft, gyrocopters and parachutists scatter sparks across a darkening sky. An evening search and rescue demonstration with searchlights showing how hazardous that operation can be. During the day, at Babie Doly airport, an aerobatic festival held over an expectant crowd with primarily civilian general aviation exhibits.
Central Warsaw, Poland, 15 August 2018 Report by Peter and Kim Davison Every year on 15th August Poland celebrates with a mass military flypast and armoured parade. 2018 was special as the Polish Air Force; like the RAF and Finnish Air Force was marking its' centenary. The event commenced around 1300 hours and runs north to south. In past years it has followed a main thoroughfare but, in 2018, the route overflew the river, still running north south so the lighting is challenging for photographers but the elevated nature of the old town provides vantage points if you stake out your position. As the hour approaches vast crowds line the river bank. The parade of soldiers and armoured vehicles convene in a city park mid afternoon for families to engage.
Farnborough Airport, Hampshire, England 16th-22nd July 2018 Report by Peter Davison and Colin Coulthard This world famous and renowned airshow has, for years, exhibited all that is new and innovative in aviation with the famous halls reconstructed for each show. This year was the first to utilise permanent purpose-built structures although the dry summer weather prevented them being rain-tested as in past years. All the major players were present and industry support appeared healthy with large commercial orders announced. However, the trade day aerial demonstrations were limited, to some extent by new safety regulations in a built up area. Those that really suffered were the public; charged prestigious rates on the final weekend for an apology of a flying display and many closed exhibitions; something needs to change for 2020.
Royal International Air Tattoo, RAF Fairford, England 13-15th July 2018 Report by Peter Davison and Colin Coulthard Now that's what we call an airshow! Three full days of co-ordinated aerial excellence in near perfect weather shows what can be done when over forty nations gather to help celebrate the centenary of the Royal Air Force. Add hundreds of willing volunteers working with industry and service experts and you get the largest military airshow in the world. Thanks to all concerned.