35th Anniversary event, Geilenkirchen Air Base, Germany, 1 - 2 July 2017 Report by Peter Davison The NATO joint base at Geilenkirchen is home to the NATO fleet of Boeing E-3A Sentry AWACS squadron that is shared by all the member states and provides Command, Control and active radar cover for NATO operations within strict guidelines in many theatres. This was a rare opportunity to witness their operational family of nations in one place. Although attracting numerous participants there was no flying display; the runway playing host to four of the eighteen based E-3s.
EFLEVA fly-in Sanicole, Belgium, 30 June - 2nd July 2017 Report by Peter Davison EFLEVA, the European Federation of light, experimental and vintage aircraft is now ten years old and brings together constructors, restorers and operators within the sector throughout Europe. This was their first gathering with around two hundred bookings from across the continent. Sadly the weather did not co-operate thereby reducing those able to make the journey but those that did found a hospitable greeting and numerous opportunities to share their experiences.
Paris Air Show, Le Bourget, France 20th-25th June 2017 Report by Peter Davison and Colin Coulthard Having visited every Paris Salon since 1973 I can confirm that this event enjoyed, or suffered, the hottest weather on record. This spectacular trade show brings together all the aviation nations to showcase their products both in the extensive exhibition halls and, in the air or on static display, their latest products. An amazing number of commercial orders were either negotiated or announced with Boeing's 737 MAX taking the top spot. This failed to distract from the massive lead Airbus enjoys having brought the A321 to market well ahead of the Boeing product.
AeroExpo and HeliUK Expo 2017 Wycombe Air Park, Buckinghamshire, England 1-3 June 2017 Report by Peter and Kim Davison This, the twelfth Aero Expo, was returning to Wycombe after a long stay at Sywell and what a great move. A more visitor friendly airport with improved viewing opportunities and increased hangar space for trade stands, seminars and facilities. The helicopter competitions were balanced and visible witout any conflict with the numerous GA visitors from across the country; the slight decrease in European visitors more due to weather warnings than the more southern location requiring navigation close to the London zone. Generally the weather was fine and warm over all three days.
Middle Wallop Army Aviation Centre, England 8th April 2017 Report by Peter and Kim Davison The Sud-Aviation/Westland SA.341 Gazelle helicopter, whilst looking contemporary, celebrated a 50 year anniversary at Middle Wallop in Hampshire. The base is home to Apache maintenance and the Army Air Corps Museum who hosted the event.
Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Maryland, USA 29-30 October 2016 Report by Peter Davison and Peter Gregory This rarely held event promises the opportunity of seeing test aircraft from the famous Navy Test Pilot School. These often modified examples enjoy bright colour schemes and rarely leave the base since they are dedicated to evaluation, systems development and weapons clearance. Unfortunately, this year, only the rotary exhibits featured strongly and then only in the static display. A fairly last minute cancellation by the Blue Angels adding to the disappointment of the large and enthusiastic crowd.
Oldtimer-Fliegertreffen 2016 Hahnweide Gliding Site, Germany 9-11 September 2016 Report by Peter and Kim Davison This annual gathering of vintage and veteran aircraft, just south of Stuttgart, grows in popularity every year. This year it coincided with the last weekend of the local school holidays and extremely hot weather and attracted huge crowds on the weekend. There were over a hundred classic aeroplanes, any six of which would be star attractions at many less specialist events. Being a long, thin, grass runway, gliding field, one might also conclude that the event is in danger of outgrowing the venue. The closeness and aspect of the runway creates some fine photo opportunities despite the sun being in your eyes in the afternoon.