Category Archives: Airshow News Europe

RIAT will be Red Arrows’ last UK show of 2019, MoD confirm

FAIRFORD | The Royal International Air Tattoo will be the last European event to host the Red Arrows before they head on tour to North America.

Defence Minister Mark Lancaster announced today that the Red Arrows will perform at the Gloucestershire show on the 19th-21st July. They will then leave for America at the end of the month after a short period of maintenance and leave for team members.

The tour, called Western Hawk ’19, will see the world-famous team fly at venues across the United States and Canada in August and September this year to promote trade and cooperation with the UK.

No schedule has yet been announced for the tour, although a former Canadian military demonstration pilot said online that the team are all but confirmed for the Canadian International Air Show in Toronto. Red 1 Sqn. Ldr. Martin Pert recently said on Twitter that fans can expect to see the team’s 2019 schedule in early February, but it is not clear whether this referred to the American tour, or just to the team’s European season.

Mr Lancaster MP confirmed that the Typhoon Solo Display and other RAF display teams will remain in the UK for the rest of the airshow season. Their air display participation will be “carefully prioritised to deliverr maximum impact”, he said.

German Navy to display P-3C Orion at Cosford Airshow

COSFORD | The German Navy will make a rare UK flying display appearence at the Cosford Airshow this June.

The airshow organisers made the confirmation on social media today. It is the second flying display participant announced for the show after the Swiss Air Force’s F/A-18C Hornet was confirmed last week.

The German Navy had planned to display a P-3 at the Cosford Airshow 2015, but the aircraft could not make the show due to poor weather.

There are just eight P-3s in the German Navy’s fleet, which it purchased second-hand from the Netherlands in 2006. The fleet is currently undergoing a major modification programme which will keep the type in service until 2035.

The German Navy will also contribute a Sea Lynx Mk.88/88A for the static display.

The Cosford Airshow, near Wolverhampton, will be held on Sunday 9th June.

No Great Yarmouth Airshow in 2019, organisers confirm

GREAT YARMOUTH | One of the country’s newest seaside airshows has been cancelled for 2019, it was confirmed today.

The innaugural Great Yarmouth Airshow was held on the 16th-17th June 2018, attracting 175,000 spectators. However, the event made a loss of £582,000 and brought in less money to the local area than organisers expected.

Among other shortfalls, income from the show’s Park and Ride service was £100,000 less than expected, according to the Eastern Daily Press, leaving the local tourist board facing a shortfall of £60,000 heading into the new year.

Wildlife activists including the RSPB also said the show disturbed the breeding season for a rare colony of little turns which live near the town.

Photo: James Connolly

In October, the show’s organisers, the Greater Yarmouth Tourism and Business Improvement Area (GYTBIA), were looking into a number of options including staging a series of mini-airshows lasting throughout the summer.

However, they posted on Facebook today that they will not be holding an airshow in 2019. They added that they are “looking at options for the future”.

Last year’s show was headlined by the Red Arrows, with appearences from the Blades, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, Norwegian Air Force Historical Squadron, Great War Display Team and others.

The show was first planned to be staged in 2017, but had to be set back a year due to higher-than-expected costs.

Midlands Air Festival moves to new venue

NUNEATON | The Midlands Air Festival will return for a second year, this time being staged at Arbury Hall near Nuneaton, it was announced today.

The organisers were forced to make the move because Ragley Hall, who hosted the last show, were unable to offer any dates that did not already clash with other airshows. The organisers assured disappointed fans on Facebook that Arbury Hall would “another magnificent venue to hold a whole host of aviation”.

“As soon as you see Arbury, you will fall in love as well,” they said. “We did!”

The 18th-century Grade-I listed building is set upon 300 acres of private parkland.

The Midlands Air Festival made its debut last May, with a three-day show at Ragley Hall near Alcester. The first day featured a hot air balloon night glow and evening air display, with the second two days seeing mass hot air balloon launches and a full four-hour aerial display in the afternoon.

Lighter aircraft, such as those of the Stampe Display Team and Terry Martin’s Westland Wasp, operated from the grounds of the estate. Others, such as the Bristol Blenheim, P-47D Thunderbolt and Strikemaster Mk.82 flew in from airports including Coventry and Duxford.

This year’s show will be held on the 17th-19th May. It will feature over 100 hot air balloons (including 40 special shapes) and more than 30 participating aircraft. The Friday evening ‘Nightfire’ display will also return.

Tickets will go on sale in mid-February.

Swiss F/A-18C Hornet display to return to Air Tattoo

FAIRFORD | The second flying display act for the Royal International Air Tattoo 2019 has been confirmed today.

The Swiss Air Force will return with their F/A-18C Hornet solo display for the second consecutive year, the organisers said.

The display is a firm favourite among airshow fans, not least because the aircraft’s flight control software has been updated and all angle of attack limitations have been removed. This allows for a particularly dynamic display.

The announcement comes less than a week after the same display act was announced for the Cosford Airshow in June, and after the Swiss Air Force’s PC-7 Team schedule was released. We can expect the rest of the Swiss Air Force’s full airshow schedules soon.

Last week, the first aircraft at the show was confirmed. Organisers revealed the Spanish Navy would contribute an AV-8B Harrier to the flying display.

The Royal International Air Tattoo will be held on the 19th-21st July at RAF Fairford.

Swiss PC-7 Team release 2019 schedule

PAYERNE | The Swiss PC-7 Tean will perform at international events in the UK, Spain and the Czech Republic this year.

Photo: Adam Landau

The team’s schedule was posted on their website yesterday. Other Swiss Air Force schedules will follow soon after.

Their schedule is as follows:

Dates Event
Feb 21-24 FIS Ski Weltcup, Crans-Montana, Switzerland
May 17-19 Fête des musiques Gruériennes, Les Moulins, Switzerland
May 24-25 Tag der Öffentlichkeit, Emmen, Switzerland
May 29-Jun 1 Heliweekend, Grenchen, Switzerland
May 29-31 Gewerbe- und Erlebnisausstellung, Buochs Switzerland
May 21-22 Eidgenössisches Turnfest, Aarau, Switzerland
Jun 28-29 15. Flüügerchilbi, Beromünste, Switzerland
Jul 5-7 Züri Fäscht, Seebecken Zürich, Switzerland
Jul 19-21 Festival Aéreo de Gijón, Gijon, Spain
Jul 26-28 Sunderland International Airshow, Sunderland, ENG, UK
Aug 30-31 Hunterfest St. Stephen, Obersimmental, Switzerland
Sep 6-7 Flüüger-Fäscht Schmerlat, Schaffhausen, Switzerland
Sep 20-22 NATO Days & Czech Air Force Days, Ostrava, Czech Republic
Oct 4-5 40. Modellflugtag, Hausen am Albis, Switzerland
Oct 11-21 Air & Space Days Verkehrshaus, Luzern, Switzerland
Dec 11-12 Brevetierung, Vitznau, Switzerland

Trial continues into Shoreham Airshow crash pilot

LONDON | The pilot of a jet that crashed at the Shoreham Airshow in 2015, killing 11 people, did “nothing” to stop the crash, a court was told.

Prosecutor Tom Kark QC told the Old Bailey that “serious negligance” was to blame for the accident, in which 11 people died. The crash occured during the Shoreham Airshow on the 22nd August 2015, when a Hawker Hunter Mr Hill was flying crashed onto the A27.

Mr Kark told the court that the jet had been flying a bent loop manoeuvre when the crash occured. He said the crash occured because the jet was up to 1,000 feet too low to complete the manoeuvre when it reached the top of its loop.

According to Mr Kark, experienced Hawker Hunter display pilot Jonathan Whaley reviewed cockpit footage of the crash shown to the court. He described Mr Hill’s decision to continue the manoeuvre as a “cardinal sin”.

Karim Khalil QC, defending, said that the G-forces acting on the aircraft meant that Mr Hill was “unable to properly and fully control the aircraft”. He argued that the alleged errors were too numerous for a pilot of Mr Hill’s experience to have made unless he was suffering “cognitive impairment”.

However, the Prosecution also told the court that Mr Hill was a “known risk-taker”. He had been issued a “stop, stop, stop” call at the Southport Airshow one year before the crash at Shoreham for performing a “dangerous manoeuvre” that took him “far too close to the crowd”. The court also heard that Mr Hill had been reprimanded for flouting regulations during a display at Duxford, also in 2014.

Mr Khalil defended Mr Hill, saying he was “not a cavalier pilot” and said it would be “remarkable” to find a pilot who had never made an error.

Giving evidence, the chairman of the show’s Flying Control Committee, Derek Davis, said he realised something was wrong as the aircraft descended from the manoeuvre. “I thought the aircraft on the descent was not being controlled,” he said.

Mr Davis added that the way the aircraft was flying indicated that there was something wrong either with the aircraft or its pilot.

At a pre-trial hearing, the judge said the trial will determine whether Mr Hill was “at fault” for the accident or whether he was disabled by G-force at the time of the crash. The trial began on Wednesday 16th January at the Old Bailey and is expected to last up to seven weeks.

Swiss F/A-18C Hornet confirmed for Cosford Airshow

COSFORD | The Swiss Air Force will be thundering back to Cosford this year, with the first international display act was confirmed today.

The Swiss Air Force will be making a welcome return to the show with their F/A-18C Hornet Solo Display. The demonstration last featured in the Cosford Airshow in 2015, but has been seen in the UK more recently at the Royal International Air Tattoo and Scottish International Airshow in 2018.

The display is a firm favourite among airshow fans, not least because the aircraft’s flight control software has been updated and all angle of attack limitations have been removed. This allows for a particularly dynamic display.

The Cosford Airshow will be held on the 9th June 2019. The remainder of the Swiss Air Force’s airshow schedules are usually released in January and we expect to see them soon.

Harrier to return to RIAT in hands of Spanish Navy

FAIRFORD | The first confirmed aircraft for this year’s Royal International Air Tattoo is the Spanish Navy EAV-8B  Harrier II Plus.

The VTOL jet, which operates from the Spanish Navy’s amphibious assault ship, Juan Carlos I, will perform in the flying display. Spanish Navy Harriers, in the form of the earlier AV-8S and TAV-8S variants, were last seen at the Air Tattoo in 1994.

The last Harrier flying display at RIAT was by an RAF Harrier GR.9 in 2010, just months before the UK retired the type. The Spanish Navy more recently displayed their Harriers at the Farnborough Airshow in 2014 and 2018.

The Royal International Air Tattoo will be held at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire on the 19th-21st July 2019.

World’s last flying Meteor NF.11 makes final flight

BRUNTINGTHORPE | The UK’s last flying Gloster Meteor in private hands touched down for the final time on Saturday 5th January, and will now be maintained in a taxyable condition.

Meteor NF.11 WM167 arrived at Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome as part of a celebratory ticketed event. Other classic aircraft, including a Vampire T.11 and Strikemaster Mk.80A, joined the Meteor for an impromptu fly-in.

WM167 was built in Coventry in 1952 and flew with the Royal Air Force  until 1975, seeing out the final years of its service as a target tug. It was  purchased by a private collector and reverted to NF.11 configuration shortly afterwards.

The jet was operated until recently by the Classic Air Force, a now-defunct aviation museum and warbird operator based first in Coventry and then Newquay. She was a regular airshow performer during this time, and the only flying Night Fighter Meteor in the world. The charity, who owned two Meteors, folded in early 2016.

Both Meteors, as well as two ex-CAF Venoms, were purchased by American collector Marty Tibbitts in 2017. The first Meteor, T.7 WA591, was taken to the United States and made its American airshow debut at Oshkosh last summer, while the remaining jets stayed in the UK. Meteor NF.11 WM167 was donated to the Classic British Jets Collection at Bruntingthorpe following Tibbitt’s death in an accident last July.

The jet will be maintained in a fast-taxy condition, along with a collection of other Cold War-era jets at Bruntingthorpe, and will likely participate in public events such as the biannual Cold War Jets fast-taxy events.

A further pair of UK-based Meteors are used by Martin Baker as testbeds for their ejector seats, but these are rarely seen in public. The only other airworthy Meteor in the world is a Meteor F.8 owned by the Temora Aviation Museum in Australia.