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.
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.
Finnish Air Force 100th Anniversary Airshow. Jyvaskyla Air Base, Central Finland, 16-17 June 2018 Report by Peter Davison and Colin Coulthard Finland rarely holds military airshows other than the ‘Midnight Hawks’ display team event at the Kauhava Air Force Academy. Hence, this event was eagerly awaited and attracted a considerable number of aviation enthusiasts; many making their first visit to the country whose welcoming attitude was a pleasure to experience. Finland has many significant aeronautical museums and these enjoyed, or suffered, a great increase in visitors keen to see the blend of east and west evident across the collections.
Wings and Wheels Show 2018 Stow Maries, Essex, UK, 20 May 2018 Report by Peter Davison This fairly recent initiative to re-open a former First World War Aerodrome and feature primarily replica aeroplanes in the context of the period fills a welcome, if belated, gap in UK aviation history. A well displayed Aviation Museum, period buildings and historic vehicles provide an educational insight into life in the early years of aviation.
Wanaka, Otago, South Island, New Zealand 30 March to 1 April 2018 Report by Peter and Kim Davison This biennial airshow is held at Easter, alternating with the themed event at Blenheim Omaka. It has a massive impact in the region fuelling full hotels and adding pressure to nearby cities, particularly the tourist activity mecca of Queenstown. Weather is also a factor as the region is famous for its surrounding mountains and fjords creating a similar but far greener backdrop than Las Vegas, Nevada, home of Red Flag. For thirty years Wanaka has provided a showcase for the considerable restoration expertise in New Zealand. Many world famous warbird collections have Kiwi restorers to thank for prime flying exhibits. There are close links to the New Zealand Warbirds organisation headquartered at Ardmore near Auckland.
Miramar Airshow, San Diego, California 22-24 September 2017 Report by Peter Davison Of all the US West Coast military airshows, the US Marine Corps at Miramar is a must see with only Edwards AFB having similar status. This massive base, well away from public view, is home to the training and attack squadrons of F-18 Hornets and the new MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotors, backed up by C-130 Hercules and H-53 Sea Stallions. With an aggressive 'can do' Marine Corps mission it was a welcome change to witness an attack demonstration rather than just civilian demonstrations.