Royal International Air Tattoo 2016

RAF Fairford, Gloucestershire, England 8-10 July 2016

Report by Peter Davison and Colin Coulthard

Well, what a show this year. The long awaited UK debut for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter that cancelled at the last minute in 2015. Not satisfied with that and with it being a Farnborough year, the organisers attracted no less than six examples for our education and pleasure. Three Air Force A models from the training wing in Luke, Arizona, two B models from MCAS Beaufort , South Carolina and the first RAF B model. Combine that with an A330 tanker from Australia and Boeing 767 from Japan and you realise the extensive reach of the Air Tattoo team and the reputation of this, the largest military airshow in the world.

Continue reading...

Bristol Balloon Fiesta

Ashton Court, Bristol, 7-9th August 2015

As with any Lighter-than-air festival the weather is a key component. Safe flying requires calm conditions and a complete absence of thunderstorms. For a pleasant change this was the forecast for all three days; attracting balloonists and the public to this free admission event. Apart from the fairground and retail attractions of the grassed amphitheatre it is early morning and early evening that provide the best launch conditions.

Continue reading...

Exercise Indradanush 2015

RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire 17-30th July 2015

When rumours started to circulate of an Anglo-Indian exercise in the UK in July all thoughts immediately turned to RIAT; was there a chance that this prestigious airshow might spring yet another surprise. Sadly it was not to be though, as the three support aircraft were to be stationed at RAF Brize Norton in nearby Oxfordshire, almost every enthusiast chose to ‘pass by’ this operational base before or after their Fairford visit.

Continue reading...

Royal International Air Tattoo 2015

RAF Fairford, England, 17-19 July 2015

2015 heralded the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain and was celebrated in style at RIAT.

A magnificent selection of Hurricanes and Spitfires were brought together to fly in loose formation, accompanied by a real Messerschmidt 109 and Spanish built HA-1112 Buchon. The crowning glory was the first RIAT appearance of the newly restored Blenheim.

Continue reading...

10th AeroExpo UK, Sywell

29th – 31st May 2015

This year’s AeroExpo trade show was well attended on the Saturday due to fine if cool weather. Friday was mixed and Sunday wet and windy. The trade/spectator area had been reduced as a partner event, Heli UK Expo with a helicopter rodeo, had been added; highly relevant as Sywell is a major centre for helicopter operations.

Continue reading...

Nyutubaru, Japan Air Self Defence Force Air Fest

Nyutubaru Air Base, Miyazaki, Kyushu, 7 December 2014

Known as ‘Fightertown’ Nyutubaru is one of only two bases still flying the F4 Phanthom in Japan (Hyakuri, north of Tokyo, being the other). It also houses two elements of F15s, a standard attack squadron and an Aggressor unit that wear distinctive camouflage schemes. The base is very active and the southern perimeter has numerous vantage points for photographers, a well-positioned café and extremely understanding attitude to the strong public interest in their activities.

Continue reading...