Category Archives: Airshow news

Four demo teams to stage 24-aircraft flypast over New York

NEW YORK | 24 military jets from four international demonstration teams will perform a parade over the Statue of Liberty on Thursday 22nd August.

The nine BAE Hawk T.1As of the Red Arrows, currently touring North America, will join the six F-16s of the Thunderbirds and six F/A-18s of the Blue Angels, as well as two F-35A Lightning II jets from the USAF’s F-35 Demo Team.

The formation will fly through New York at around 9:30am, passing southbound down the Hudson River, executing a turn over New York Harbor and returning for a northbound run up the river.

The Red Arrows, Blue Angels and F-35 will then go on to participate at the New York International Airshow the following weekend, with the Thunderbirds flying in Rochester, also in New York state.

Severe weather plays havoc, cancels major airshows

Stormy weather on both sides of the Atlantic has played havoc this weekend, cancelling several major airshows and flying displays.

The UK is in the grips of a powerful low pressure system, with forecasted 50 knot winds forcing the cancellation of the first day of the Blackpool Airshow on Saturday 10th August. Organisers are hoping to stage a full show on Sunday.

On Friday 9th August, the air display at Battle of Flowers in Jersey had to be scrapped. The wind is likely to prevent flying at the Combined Ops show in Headcorn, Kent, on both days, and also forced the postponement of the Elvington Large Model Airshow in York, rescheduled to the 12th-13th October.

In Canada, the Edmonton Airshow was cancelled after wet weather made the airfield waterlogged, with organisers deciding it was unsafe to open the gates to the public. Edmonton has experienced rainfall on 21 days in July – one of the wettest July months on record.

Tickets for the Edmonton Airshow 2019 will be valid at next year’s show.

Red Arrows to kick off North America tour with “Enhanced Flypast”

HALIFAX | The Red Arrows join six other Royal Air Force and Royal Canadian Air Force aircraft for a joint flypast to kick-start the Red Arrows’ Western Hawk tour tomorrow.

The Red Arrows will fly over Halifax waterfront with one of their A400M Atlas support aircraft between 14:00-14:30 on Sunday 11th August. It will be the Red Arrows’ first public appearance in North America since 2008.

Five RCAF aircraft will also take part: a CP-140 Aurora, CC-130 Hercules, CH-146 Griffon, CH-148 Cyclone and CH-149 Cormorant.

The event will be followed on Tuesday 13th August with a flypast over Parliament Hill in Ottawa and an aerobatic display at the AERO Gatineau airshow on the same day. They will also be performing at the Canadian International Airshow in Toronto and will stage a further “enhanced flypast” over Toronto next month.

Thailand tipped to host first major airshow in 2023

U-TAPAO | Thailand could host its first major international airshow as early as 2023, the Bangkok Post has said, as officials consider signing a 20-year deal with Farnborough International.

U-Tapao International Airport is tipped as the probable venue for the event, located just 15 miles from the coastal city of Pattaya. The proposed four-day biannual show could encompass private, commercial and military aviation, featuring up to 60 aircraft and 200 exhibitors.

Farnborough International is most famous for organising the Farnborough International Airshow in the UK, one of aviation’s longest-running and most prestigious trade events. They have also run the Bahrain Airshow since its inception in 2010.

While Thailand has never hosted a large international airshow, it is no stranger to aviation events. Every year, several air bases and airports – including U-Tapao – open their doors for Children’s Day events, and U-Tapao also hosted Air Race One in 2017. A smaller, annual show at Bangkok’s Don Mueng Airport, mostly featuring general aviation types, was trialed in 2009, but failed to make significant headway.

The Royal Thai Air Force held an airshow of its own in 2012 to mark its centenary, which featured its all-new aerobatic team, Blue Phoenix, alongside front-line Thai aircraft, Indonesia’s Jupiter Aerobatic Team and a Singaporean F-16C; sadly, although formed in 2011, Blue Phoenix has not displayed since. The air arm’s 1 Wing also staged an airshow in 2015, which was headlined by China’s August 1st (Ba Yi) aerobatic team.

The new airshow will compete with three established events in the region: the Langkawi International Maritime & Aerospace Exhibition in Malaysia, the Singapore Airshow (previously Asian Aerospace) and the China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition (Airshow China) in Zhuhai.

It is not yet clear whether the new Thai airshow will feature flying displays as one of its main attractions, but the annual Children’s Day events, as well as the RTAF’s participation in recent editions of LIMA and the Singapore Airshow, prove its willingness to perform to the public and its ability to stage world-class aircraft demonstrations.

Patrouille de France suspend displays after jet crashes into road

PERPIGNAN | The Patrouille de France suspended all aerobatic displays after one of their jets crash-landed in a field and crashed into a wall by a main road on Thursday 25th July.

The French Air Force team had just performed a practice display at Saint-Cyprien and were returning to Perpignan – Rivesaltes Airport when ‘Athos 2’ landed in a field near the airport and skidded into a roadside barrier. The pilot managed to eject and was reportedly injured, but the Patrouille de France said there was “no cause for concern” about his health.

The team have halted their displays while an investigation determines the cause of the accident, but posted on Tuesday 30th July that practices and displays had been resumed. They expressed hope that Athos 2 will re-join the team soon, after his recovery.

The Patrouille de France are France’s national aerobatic team, flying eight Alpha Jets. They can trace their routes back to 1931. Today’s accident is the team’s first for almost a decade.


Torbay Airshow to return in 2020 under a new name

TORQUAY | The Torbay Airshow will get a new lease of life after its continuation was threatened last winter.

Councillors have agreed to pay £25,000 towards an airshow in 2020, scheduled for the 6th-7th June. This is far short of the £90,000 grant given to show organisers in 2018 – but funding was abruptly cancelled in November last year due to spending cuts. After fears of cancellation, sponsorship deals and donations ensured the event could go ahead again in 2019.

Next year’s show is expected to be re-branded the English Riviera Airshow to reflect the event’s major sponsor, the English Riviera Business Improvement District, who promote tourism in the area. They paid £10,000 towards the cost of the 2019 event, and Devon Live report that they are negotiating a further deal for the 2020 show.

The Torbay Airshow began in 2016 and is estimated to be worth £7 million to the local economy. It costs a total of £200,000 to stage each year.

Baltic Bees Jet Team fly first 7-ship display at Wings Over Baltics

TUKUMS | Latvia’s Baltic Bees Jet Team made their debut as a seven aircaft team at their home show in Tukums on the 20th-21st July.

The popular team, who have displayed in Europe, China and Africa, was established in 2008 with two jets, expanding to four, five and then six jets in the years that followed. By expanding to a seven-ship this season, they have become the largest civilian jet team in the world, as the Breitling Jet Team have been flying the majority of their shows with just six jets this season.

Wings Over Baltics is the Baltic Bees’ home show, organised by members of the team and conducted at their base, Jurmala Airport. The airport is owned by the aerobatic team’s parent company.

Wildcat Aerobatics cancel remainder of 2019 season

Wildcat Aerobatics have cancelled the remainder of their display season due to aircraft unservicablility, it was announced on Monday.

Photo: James Connolly

The Norfolk-based team of Al Coutts and Willie Cruickshank fly two Pitts Specials, and are a common sight at several UK airshows. They said: “It is with an overwhelming sense of sadness and disappointment that, due to a significant aircraft unserviceability issue, one of our Pitts Special aircraft is out of action for the foreseeable future.

“Regrettably, despite our best efforts, we have been unable to source a stand-in aircraft which means that we are going to be unable to display for the remainder of the 2019 season. Wildcat [Aerobatics] will, however, be displaying at Aylsham Show in August as a singleton.”

Six shows have been cancelled so far: the Sunderland International Airshow, Old Buckenham Airshow, East Kirkby Airshow, Whitby Regatta, Cromer Carnival and AirWaves Portrush.

Australia’s Hall and Britain’s Murphy triumph at Lake Balaton

ZAMARDI | Matt Hall took an emphatic victory at the third round of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship 2019 over Lake Balaton in Hungary.

Hall started his day in style by knocking out his main rival, Yoshi Muroya, in the Round of 14. Yoshi misjudged the wind conditions, opting for a conservative racing line, and finishing in 12th place – enough to knock him off the top spot in the championship standings.

Ben Murphy and Pete McLeod had a frustrating start to the competition, flying some of the fastest net times of all the pilots, but picking up penalties in the vertical turn manoeuvres. Both pilots made it to the Final Four by flying more conservative lines earlier in the day, but each picked up a one second penalty in the final. Murphy had the fastest net time of the round, beating McLeod into second place by 0.009 seconds.

Martin Sonka, who was treating the Lake Balaton round as his home race, was odds-on favourite for the win. He won Qualifying and posted the fastest time in the Round of 14, but struck a pylon at an easy gate in the Final 4. The three second penalty pushed him down into fourth place, but pushed him into the lead in the title standings.

The championship has been thrown wide open ahead of the final race of the season in Chiba, Japan, this September.


Race finish Pilot Country Race points Final time Penalties Quali finish
1 Matt HALL AUS 25 0:58.839 6
2 Ben MURPHY GBR 22 0:58.957 +1 4
3 Pete MCLEOD CAN 20 0:58.966 +1 10
4 Martin SONKA CZE 18 1:02.391 +3 1
5 Juan VELARDE ESP 14 1:00.001 +1 2
6 Kirby CHAMBLISS USA 13 1:00.063 12
7 Michael GOULIAN USA 12 1:00.108 7
8 Cristian BOLTON CHI 11 1:00.525 13
9 Petr KOPFSTEIN CZE 5 1:00.307 8
10 MIka BRAGEOT FRA 4 1:00.446 +1 3
11 Nicolas IVANOFF FRA 3 1:00.607 +1 5
12 Yoshi MUROYA JPN 2 1:01.106 9
13 Matthias DOLDERER GER 1 1:02.555 +3 14
14 Francois LE VOT FRA 0 1:03.804 +4 11


Position Pilot Team Country Total points Change
1 Martin SONKA Red Bull Team Sonka CZE 65
2 Matt HALL Matt Hall Racing AUS 61
3 Yoshi MUROYA Team Falken JPN 55
4 Ben MURPHY The Blades Racing Team GBR 37
5 Michael GOULIAN Team Goulian USA 37
6 Nicolas IVANOFF Team Hamilton FRA 33
7 Juan VELARDE Team Velarde ESP 32
8 Mika BRAGEOT #11RACING Team Eyetime FRA 31
9 Pete MCLEOD Cashback World Racing CAN 30
10 Kirby CHAMBLISS Team Chambliss USA 26
11 Cristian BOLTON Cristian Bolton Racing CHI 24
12 Francois LE VOT FLV Racing Team 12 CAN 21
13 Petr KOPFSTEIN Team Spielberg CZE 10 =
14 Matthias DOLDERER Matthias Dolderer Racing GER 4 =


Malta Aviation Society in “advanced talks” to bring back airshow

LUQA | The Malta Aviation Society have announced that the popular Malta International Airshow may return in 2020 if talks with Malta’s Ministry of Tourism go well.

In a short statement, the show organisers said they were in “advanced talks” with the government department, with the aim of holding a show next year.

The island nation’s annual airshow began in 1993, but faced problems in 2016 when the flying display was forcibly moved from Luqa Airport to Smart City. The show was held again in 2017, but had to be cancelled the year after because organisers could get no reply from the Ministry of Tourism, whose support is vital. There were no plans to stage an airshow this year.

The Malta International Airshow is well known for attracting rare displays, with the last two editions featuring such rare acts as the Saudi Hawks, Turkish Stars, Ukrainian Su-27 Flanker and a pair of Polish Su-22 Fitters. The Red Arrows and Frecce Tricolori jetted in for the 2015 event, while in 2011, the airshow enjoyed a rare coup when a pair of defecting Mirage F.1ED fighters from the Libyan Air Force appeared on static display.