Royal International Air Tattoo 2023

RAF Fairford, Gloucestershire, 14-16th July 2023 Report by Peter Davison & Colin Coulthard Reputed to be the largest military airshow in the world RIAT certainly lived up to its name this year. Compared to the dry sweltering heat of 2022 the weather this year was disappointing; Friday was almost totally washed out with severe wind and continuous heavy rain, the Saudi display team being the only significant fliers. Saturday and Sunday also had frequent heavy showers but the sun shone occasionally. With numerous surface attractions with some shelter the crowds still came and enjoyed this amazing spectacle.

UK Grand Prix Helicopters 2023

Turweston Aerodrome, Buckinghamshire, 9th July 2023 Report by Peter & Kim Davison The British Grand Prix is held at Silverstone Circuit and, as the event grows in status and popularity, the road closures and parking restrictions have increased to a point where dawn departures and extreme patience are needed to attend as a spectator. No doubt inflated hotel prices also limit bookings to those 'on the payroll' of sponsors or contributing teams. The need for a local helicopter shuttle has therefore increased to a point where circuit management of an aerial kind is required. The airfield at Turweston, headquarters of the UK LAA (Light Aircraft Association) provides the main base; particularly on race day itself.

Paris Air Show 2023

Le Bourget, Paris, France 18-25 June 2023 Report by Peter Davison & Colin Coulthard This spectacular showcase of world aviation, returning after the pandemic, never fails to impress. This year just arriving on time was an issue with almost no car parking due to a new rail station being constructed on site for the upcoming Olympic Games. Once there though there was ample reward for the effort. The environment was centre stage with new initiatives and stories of the potential impact on the industry of electric power, new materials and fuels struggling to 'make a difference'. This had no effect on airline orders with massive contracts announced for over 700 new airliners for delivery well into the 2030s.

AeroExpo 2023

Sywell Aerodrome, Northampton, UK, 8-10th June 2023 Report by Peter Davison This annual festival was slightly lower on attendance than previous years. The forecast was for 700 visiting aircraft but less than half arrived and almost none stayed overnight. The hot weather and breezy conditions may have affected Thursday and Friday and thunderstorm warnings, that came to nothing, reduced the Saturday numbers.

Microlight Trade Fair 2023

Popham Airfield, Winchester, Hampshire, UK 29-30 April 2023 Report by Peter and Kim Davison This annual festival of lightweight aviation incorporates a compact trade event with lectures, talks and sales areas with a popular start to Britain's shrinking airshow diary. Blessed with some of the best spring weather of the year, not only did it attract over two hundred microlight aircraft but also hundreds of enthusiasts keen to exercise their cameras and notebooks after a grey, damp winter and early spring.

Northolt Photoshoot 2023

RAF Northolt night photoshoot 16 March 2023 Report by Colin Coulthard RAF Northolt's Night Photoshoots started in January 2009 as a way to help fund raise for the restoration of Building 27 at RAF Northolt. Building 27 was built in 1928/9 and became RAF Northolt's Sector Operations Building, part of the Dowding system of Air Defence. Between 1936 and 1939 ACM Hugh Dowding used the building to develop what was to become the world's first Integrated Air Defence System. It closed as an operational operations building on 17th June 1940 due to its vulnerability to air attack Post WW2 it became offices, initially as the marketing department of embryonic British European Airways (BEA) who were based at Northolt between 1946 and 1954. It later served as various admin. offices for 32 Squadron.