Category Archives: Airshow News Europe

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 RESULTS

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

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

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.

RAF will stage F-35B “role demo” at RIAT, says AOC 1 Group

FAIRFORD | The F-35B Lightning may perform more than just a flypast at the Royal International Air Tattoo, according to social media posts over the weekend.

The speculation started on Saturday when Air Vice Marshal Ian Gale, Assistant Chief of the Royal Air Force, asked on Twitter whether fans would like to see more than just the promised flypasts at the Air Tattoo. The following day, Air Vice Marshal Harv Smith, Air Officer Commanding No.1 Group, replied that the Lightning could be performing a role demonstration.

“All being well, our F-35B ‘role demo’ will involve fast and slow passes, finishing with a decel[eration] to hover and pedal turn, before returning to RAF Marham,” he said. The RIAT organisers re-tweeted the announcement on Monday, describing it as “great news”.

The F-35 had, until then, been confirmed to perform a single flypast on Friday 19th and Saturday 20th July. It was also slated to perform a fast and slow pass at the Royal Navy International Air Day one week prior to the Air Tattoo.

So far, RAF F-35Bs have flown twice at the Air Tattoo – once in 2016, performing a role demonstration (the jet also flew at the Farnborough International Airshow one week later), and as part of a special RAF100 flypast in 2018 with a Tornado GR.4 and the BBMF’s Lancaster. The F-35 then performed a fast pass and hover after the flypast.

114 aircraft from 7 nations to fly over Paris for Bastille Day

PARIS | Over 100 helicopters and planes will take part in a mass flypast over Paris this month to mark Bastille Day and the 70th anniversary of NATO.

Dozens of aircraft from the French armed forces traditionally fly down the Champes-Élysées on the 14th July as part of the annual Bastille Day parade, joined this year by planes from the UK, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Portugal and Denmark.

The first fourteen waves of the flypast will feature fixed-wing aircraft, followed by troops on the ground, then ten waves of helicopters. The full lineup is below.


FIXED-WING WAVE 1 | PATROUILLE DE FRANCE

Air Arm Aircraft Quantity
France French Air Force Alpha Jet 9

FIXED-WING WAVE 2 | EUROPEAN SECURITY

Air Arm Aircraft Quantity
France French Air Force E-3F Sentry 1
France French Air Force Mirage 2000-5 2
United Kingdom Royal Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon 1
Spain Spanish Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon 1

FIXED-WING WAVE 3 | OPERATION CHAMMAL

Air Arm Aircraft Quantity
France French Air Force C-135F Stratolifter 1
France French Air Force Rafale C 2
Germany German Air Force Tornado 1
Denmark Danish Air Force F-16 1
France French Air Force Rafale B 1
France French Air Force Rafale B 2
Belgium Belgian Air Component F-16AM 1

FIXED-WING WAVE 4 | OPERATION BARKHANE

Air Arm Aircraft Quantity
France French Air Force Mirage 2000D 3
France French Air Force Mirage 2000C 2

FIXED-WING WAVE 5 | NUCLEAR DETERRENCE & POWER PROJECTION

Air Arm Aircraft Quantity
France French Air Force A330 MRTT Phenix 3
France French Air Force Mirage 2000-5 2
France French Air Force Rafale 4

FIXED-WING WAVE 6 | PREPARATION FOR THE FUTURE

Air Arm Aircraft Quantity
France French Air Force Rafale B 2
France French Air Force Alpha Jet 2
France French Air Force Fokker 100 1

FIXED-WING WAVE 7 | RETURN FROM DEPLOYMENT OF F3R

Air Arm Aircraft Quantity
France French Navy Rafale M 4

FIXED-WING WAVE 8 | TRAINING

Air Arm Aircraft Quantity
France French Air Force PC-21 2
France French Air Force Alpha Jet 2
France French Air Force TB30 Epsilon 3

FIXED-WING WAVE 9 | SUPPORT

Air Arm Aircraft Quantity
France French Air Force Falcon 1
France French Air Force CASA CN-235 1
France French Navy Falcon 50M 1
France French Navy ALT-2 Atlantique 1

FIXED-WING WAVE 10 | TRANSPORT

Air Arm Aircraft Quantity
France French Air Force A400M 1
Portugal Portuguese Air Force CASA CN-235 1
France French Air Force C-160H FS Transall 1

FIXED-WING WAVE 11 | EUROPEAN COOPERATION

Air Arm Aircraft Quantity
France French Air Force C-130J Hercules 1
Spain Spanish Air Force C-130H Hercules 1
Germany German Air Force A400M 1

FIXED-WING WAVE 12 | INTELLIGENCE

Air Arm Aircraft Quantity
France French Air Force C-160G Transall Gabriel 1

FIXED-WING WAVE 13 | CIVIL DEFENCE

Air Arm Aircraft Quantity
France Sécurité Civile Canadair CL-415 1
France Sécurité Civile Dash Q400MR 2

FIXED-WING WAVE 14 | EQUIPE DE VOLTIGE

Air Arm Aircraft Quantity
France French Air Force Extra 330 3

ROTARY-WING WAVE 1 | ATTACK

Air Arm Aircraft Quantity
France French Army Gazelle HF-V 1
France French Army Tigre 2
Germany German Army Tigre 1
Spain Spanish Army Tigre 1

ROTARY-WING WAVE 2 | ASSAULT

Air Arm Aircraft Quantity
France French Army NH90 Caiman 1
Spain Spanish Army NH90 Caiman 1
Germany German Army NH90 Caiman 1
France French Army AS532 Cougar 1
France French Army NH90 Caiman 1
United Kingdom Royal Air Force Chinook 2

ROTARY-WING WAVE 3 | SPECIAL FORCES

Air Arm Aircraft Quantity
France French Army Tigre HAP 1
France French Army Gazelle 1
France French Army AS532 Cougar 1

ROTARY-WING WAVE 4 | IMEX

Air Arm Aircraft Quantity
France French Army SA330 Puma 1
France French Army Tigre 1
France French Army AS532 Cougar 1

ROTARY-WING WAVE 5 | ÉCOLE FRANCO-ALLEMANDE

Air Arm Aircraft Quantity
France French Army Tigre 1
Spain Spanish Army Tigre 1
Germany German Army Tigre 1

ROTARY-WING WAVE 6 | NH90 JOINT TRAINING CENTRE

Air Arm Aircraft Quantity
France French Army NH90 Caiman 1
Spain Spanish Army NH90 Caiman 1
Germany German Army NH90 Caiman 1

ROTARY-WING WAVE 7 | TERRITORY PROTECTION & EXTERNAL INTERVENTION

Air Arm Aircraft Quantity
France French Air Force EC-725 Caracal 1
France French Air Force AS550 Fennec 2

ROTARY-WING WAVE 8 | MARITIME COMBAT AND PATROL

Air Arm Aircraft Quantity
France French Navy NH90 Caiman 1
France French Navy AS565 Panther 1
France French Navy Lynx 2
France French Navy AS365 Dauphin 2

ROTARY-WING WAVE 9 | NATIONAL GENDARMIERE

Air Arm Aircraft Quantity
France Gendarmiere Nationale EC-145 1
France Gendarmiere Nationale EC-135 2

ROTARY-WING WAVE 9 | CIVIL DEFENCE

Air Arm Aircraft Quantity
France Sécurité Civile EC-145 2

Patrouille de France and Breitling Jet Team to present one-off combined display

DIJON | France’s two main jet aerobatic teams will present a one-off synchronised 15-ship aerobatic display at the Meeting de France airshow in Dijon this weekend.

Photo: Alex Ohde

40,000 people are expected to attend the 7th July airshow, which will feature the first ever public combined aerobatic display of the two teams.

The Patrouille de France, the French Air Force Team flying eight Alpha Jets, and the Breitling Jet Team, a civilian unit flying seven L-39C Albatross jets, will join for several combined figures. This will include a 15-ship tricolour pass with coloured smoke as well as synchronised aerobatic manoeuvres, with both teams performing formation loops and rolls over the airport at the same time.

Photo: Alex Prins

Leader of the Breitling Jet Team Jacques Bothelin told France Bleu that the two teams have never combined in this way before, and that it will be the “only time” the joint performance will be staged.

Several members of the Dijon-based Breitling Jet Team previously served as Patrouille de France pilots. The two teams have joined forces before for flypasts and film shoots, including Patrouille de France: Le Film, but this will be the first time they have flown aerobatics together in public.

Photo: Nathan Thompson

The announcement comes as the Breitling Jet Team face an uncertain future. After several seasons flying most displays with just six aircraft, the team expended back to a seven-ship in June this year. However, at the start of July, it was announced that Breitling will end their sponsorship of the team at the end of the 2019 season.

Operators of the Breitling Jet Team, Apache Aviation, will also be staging a formation display with the TB30 Epsilon at the show, which will feature dozens of military and civilian aircraft.

Breitling to end sponsorship of Breitling Jet Team

DIJON | The Swiss watchmaker Breitling is to end its sponsorship of the Breitling Jet Team at the end of the 2019 airshow season.

Photo: Alex Ohde

The Breitling Jet Team are a French-based team flying the L-39C Albatross, operated by Apache Aviation. They are the world’s largest professional civilian jet team, and have performed as far afield as China, Japan and the USA. They have flown 3,000 demonstrations in 39 countries since they were formed in 2003, immediately coming under Breitling sponsorship.

The team is lead by Jacques Bothelin, who has formed several major civilian aerobatic teams. He is the most experienced civilian jet team leader in the world.

Photo: Nathan Thompson

For 2020 and beyond, Mr Bothelin is exploring new sponsorship strategies, which could see new sponsors or co-sponsors continue to support the team.

Breitling withdrew support from several airshow acts during the 2017 season, including the world-famous UK-based Breitling Wingwalkers.

 

Saudi Hawks will return to Europe for Polish airshow debut

GDYNIA | The Saudi Hawks will perform in Europe for the first time since getting their new paint scheme at the Gdynia Aerobaltic show in Poland.

Photo: Jim Lucas

The distinctive aerobatic team, flying seven Hawk Mk.65A jet trainers, was formed in 1999 and received training from the Red Arrows, performing a very similar style of display. They first performed in Europe in 2011 at the AirPower Zeltweg show in Austria, and have appeared at other major events including the Royal International Air Tattoo and the International Sanicole Airshow.

The jets were given new paint schemes ahead of the 2019 display season, wearing a smart dark green livery with white feather motifs.

Gdynia Aerobaltic said that their show will be the Saudi Hawk’s only European appearance of 2019. They will be joined by three C-130 Hercules support aircraft.

Canadian C-130 to star at Royal Navy International Air Day

YEOVILTON | This year’s Royal Navy International Air Day will feature a UK debut in the form of a rare C-130J-30 tactical display from the Royal Canadian Air Force.

The Royal Canadian Air Force has contributed several times to the show’s static display, and last year staged a performance with a CF-188A Hornet, but this will be the first time one of their Hercules transport aircraft has flown at the show.

Other stars will include a Spanish Navy Sea Harrier and a trio of French naval warbirds including the Breguet Alizé.

The Royal Navy International Air Day will be held at RNAS Yeovilton on the 13th July.

Where can you watch air displays this Armed Forces Day weekend?

With dozens of towns across the UK celebrating Armed Forces Day this weekend, airshow fans can look forward to at least seven free flying displays across the country.

Towns including Plymouth, Folkestone, Milton Keynes, Salisbury, Scarborough, Cleethorpes and Littlehampton are all due to host air displays – some small, but some very large and varied.

Here is a rundown of all the flying action you can expect. Please note that while all these events are free to attend, some require online ticket registration.


National Armed Forces Day Event

SATURDAY 29th JUNE | This year, the National Armed Forces Day Event is being hosted by Salisbury. Thanks to Ministry of Defence backing, Salisbury will see the widest variety of military aircraft of any Armed Forces Day event this year. The air display will be held n the afternoon at Hudson’s Field. Visitors must reserve free tickets to attend.

Time Aircraft Team/operator Notes
TBC x9 Hawk T.1A
Lancaster, Hurricane, Spitfire
Tutor T.1
WAH-64D Apache AH.1
x2 Westland Gazelle
TBC
Fairey Swordfish
Royal Air Force – Red Arrows
Royal Air Force – Battle of Britain Memorial Flight
Royal Air Force
Army Air Corps
Gazelle Squadron
Historic Army Aircraft Flight
Navy Wings
Flypast
Display
Display
Flypast
Display
Display
Display


Plymouth Armed Forces Day

SATURDAY 29th JUNE | Plymouth has hosted one of the larger Armed Forces Day airshows in the UK for the last few years, with the displays centered on Plymouth Hoe and Smeaton’s Tower. This year’s flying display is slightly shorter than at recent editions of the event, but features the Red Arrows as the headline act.

Time Aircraft Team/operator Notes
10:30 Merlin Mk.3 Royal Navy Flypast
17:10-17:55 Sea Fury T.20
Spitfire
x9 Hawk T.1A
Navy Wings
Royal Air Force – Battle of Britain Memorial Flight
Royal Air Force – Red Arrows
Display
Flypast
Display


Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes Armed Forces Day

SATURDAY 29th JUNE | Wycombe Air Park (Booker Airfield) near High Wycombe will host the Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes Armed Forces Day event. There is a full and varied flying display programme. Visitors must register to attend.

Time Aircraft Team/operator Notes
13:40 Lancaster Royal Air Force – Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Flypast
14:30 Extra 330SC Mark Jefferies Display
14:40 Yak-52 Nigel Wilson Display
14:50 Westland Wasp HAS.1 Terry Martin Display
15:02 T-6 Harvard IIA Anglian Flight Centres Display
15:12 x2 Fokker DR.1
x2 RAF SE5a
x2 Junkers CL.1
Avro 504
Sopwith Triplane
RAF BE2c
Great War Display Team Display
15:32 Auster AOP9
Beaver
Sioux AH.1
Historic Army Aircraft Flight Display
15:49 x3 PA-28 Warrior Bader’s Bus Company Display
16:11 x2 Chipmunk Vintage Pair Display
16:23 British Army – Silver Stars Parachute drop


Scarborough Armed Forces Day

SATURDAY 29th JUNE | Scarborough traditionally hosts a large Armed Forces Day show, and this year is no different. The RAF Typhoon is sure to be the headline act.

Time Aircraft Team/operator Notes
11:30 Spitfire Royal Air Force – Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Display
13:15 Tucano T.1 Royal Air Force Display
14:00 Rotorsport Calidus Peter Davies/Gyro Air Displays Display
15:00 Sikorsky S-92 RNLI/HM Coast Guard Role Demo
16:00 Typhoon FGR.4 Royal Air Force Display


Littlehampton Armed Forces Day

SATURDAY 29th JUNE | The Seafront Greens will host historic warbirds as part of Littlehampton’s Armed Forces Day celebration.

Time Aircraft Team/operator Notes
TBC Hurricane Royal Air Force – Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Flypast
TBC Spitfire Boultbee Academy Display


North East Lincolnshire Armed Forces Day

SATURDAY 29th-SUNDAY 30th JUNE | The demise of the Cleethorpes Airshow quickly lead to the town hosting one of the biggest Armed Forces Day flying displays in the country. The bulk of the flying action will take place on Sunday. Look out on Saturday for a pyrotechnic-filled dusk air display – the first such performance at an Armed Forces Day event!

Time (Saturday)
Aircraft Team/operator Notes
TBC Strikemaster Mk.82A
Cap-232
Mark Petrie
Tom Cassells
Display
Display
16:30 Dakota Royal Air Force – Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Flypast
21:30 x2 Vans RV-8 FireFlies Display Team Display
Time (Sunday)
Aircraft Team/operator Notes
TBC x2 Vans RV-8
Tucano T.1
Typhoon FGR.4
Hurricane
Fairchild Argus
P-47D Thunderbolt
Miles Magister
FireFlies Display Team
Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force – Battle of Britain Memorial Flight
Private
Fighter Aviation Engineering Ltd.
Private
Display
Display
Display
Display
Display
Display
Display


Folkestone & Hythe Armed Forces & Community Fun Day

SUNDAY 30th JUNE | The Red Arrows return to Folkestone this year after a popular RAF100 display in 2018 – but this time, they are joined by other airshow acts as well.

Time Aircraft Team/operator Notes
13:00
Dakota
British Army – The Tigers
TBC
Parachute drop
TBC
14:00 Biplanes TBC Display
15:00 Spitfire TBC Display
16:00 x9 Hawk T.1A Royal Air Force – Red Arrows Display