Category Archives: Airshow News Europe

Royal Jordanian Falcons release 2019 European Tour schedule

AQABA | The national aerobatic team of Jordan today posted the schedule for their annual European tour.

UK and France make up the bulk of the schedule, including an appearence for the first time at Old Warden. The team will also perform in Belgium, Greece and the Republic of Ireland.

Date Show
Jun 29-30 Meeting de l’Air de Cazaux, BA120 Cazaux, France
Jul 7 Shuttleworth Military Airshow, Old Warden, UK
Jul 13 Royal Navy International Air Day, RNAS Yeovilton, UK
Jul 20-21 Royal International Air Tattoo, RAF Fairford, UK
Jul 27-28 Bray Air Display, Dublin, Ireland
Aug 17-18 Biggin Hill Festival of Flight, London, UK
Aug 24-25 Meeting International de la Somme, Albert – Picardie, France
Sep 7-8 Fête de l’Air Lens, Lens – Benifontaine, France
Sep 15 Sanicole International Airshow, Hechtel, Belgium
Sep 21-22 Athens Flying Week, Tanagra AB, Athens, Greece

UK & France make up bulk of Breitling Jet Team schedule

DIJON | The Breitling Jet Team’s 2019 schedule has been released on the website of the team’s parent company, Apache Aviation.

Photo: Alex Ohde

The French-based team will spend most of the year in their home nation, but will also make a number of trips to the UK. Several of these will be to headline airshows that would otherwise lack a major jet team due to the Red Arrows’ North America tour.

They will also display in Switzerland, Austria and the Czech Republic.

Date Show
May 25-26 Duxford Air Festival, IWM Duxford, UK
Jun 2 Heli-weekend, Grenchen, Switzerland
Jun 8 D-Day 75ème Anniversaire, Arromanche, France
Jun 22-23 AéroLac Annecy, Meythet, France
Jul 7 Meeting de France, Dijon, France
Jul 20-21 Royal International Air Tattoo, RAF Fairford, UK
Aug 4 Coupe d’Europe de Montgolfières, Mainfonds, France
Aug 10-11 Blackpool Airshow, Blackpool, UK
Aug 15-18 Airbourne – Eastbourne International Airshow, Eastbourne, UK
Aug 17-18 Biggin Hill Festival of Flight, London, UK
Aug 31-Sep 1 Czech International Air Fest, Hradec Králové, Czech Republic
Seo 6-7 AirPower, Zeltweg, Austria
Sep 12 Jersey International Air Display, St. Helier, Jersey

RAF shortlist three potential new Red Arrows bases

Three RAF bases have been shortlisted as potential new bases for the Red Arrows after RAF Scampton closes by 2022.

In a letter published by The Lincolnite, defence minister Tobias Ellwood told Lincoln MP Karen Lee that the three bases under consideration are RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire, RAF Leeming in North Yorkshire and RAF Wittering in Cambridgeshire.

Mr Ellwood said the Ministry of Defence will now carry out “detailed studies to assess the suitability of the sites as a potential basing solution.” The RAF are also working with the Civil Aviation Authority to design and allocate the airspace the Red Arrows require to conduct their training flights.

The Red Arrows began life at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, before moving to RAF Kemble (not Costswold Airport) and then to RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire in 1983. In 1995, the team relocated to RAF Cranwell, also in Lincolnshire, although they continued to use Scampton for training flights. The Red Arrows finally moved back to Scampton in 2000.

The base, which is in a poor state of repair, was due to close in 2014, but this was later delayed until 2022. All units will be relocated and the land will be sold off. Scampton is currently home not just to the Red Arrows, but also to the No. 1 Air Control Centre and the Mobile Meteorological Unit.

Of the three bases that could now host the Red Arrows, Waddington is by far the busiest, being the hub for the RAF’s ISTAR capabilities. Around 3,500 people work at the base, and it is home to aircraft such as the E-3 Sentry and RC-135 Rivet Joint. Waddington used to host one of the UK’s largest airshows, but this was stopped after the 2014 show due to an increasing operational tempo.

RAF Wittering is a major station for flight training and is home to a number of units operating the Grob Tutor. RAF Leeming is also a Grob Tutor training base, and is also used by 100 Squadron, who fly Hawk T.1As in the aggressor training role. Both bases are very close to the A1, which may restrict their use for display training.

Attack Helicopter Display Team is back for 2019

MIDDLE WALLOP | The Army Air Corps will return to the airshow circuit this year with the revival of the Attack Helicopter Display Team (ADHT).

The ADHT have been the AAC’s only airshow team in the last few seasons, and have typically performed at just a small handful of events each year due to the ACC’s considerable operational commitments. For that reason, the team were unable to display at all in 2018.

On Facebook yesterday the team announced their return, adding that training will start at Middle Wallop next week. “Stay tuned for details on the Team and our schedule for the year,” they said.

The much-loved team flies an AH-64D Apache role demonstration, often synchronised to ground pyrotechnics. For the 2015 season, they performed with a pair of Apaches, but since reduced back to a solo display. The same will be true for the 2019 season.

AHDT are the second UK military helicopter team to make a comeback this year: in January it was announced that the Royal Navy Black Cats will also be returning, having not displayed since 2016.

Shoreham crash pilot found not guilty of manslaughter

LONDON | The pilot of a Hawker Hunter that crashed at the Shoreham Airshow in August 2015, killing 11 people, has been acquitted.

Andy Hill had been attempting a loop at the time of the accident, which prosecutors said was flown lower and slower than it should have been. They accused the 54-year-old of reckless flying at the seven-week trial at the Old Bailey.

The defence said Mr Hill was suffering “cognitive impairment” at the time of the crash, possibly due to high G-forces.

The trial concluded on Tuesday 5th March with the verdict following on Friday morning. Previously, Mr Hill had also been cleared of one count of endangering the safety of an aircraft.

End of an era: Farnborough Airshow axes public weekend

FARNBOROUGH | One of aviation’s most prestigious events, the Farnborough International Airshow, has scrapped its public weekend, it was announced today.

For decades, the Farnborough International Airshow has delighted millions of fans with stunning air displays on the weekend following the main trade event. However, in recent years, the show has come in for heavy criticism and has been hit by new safety restrictions that severely impacted the flying displays.

“This decision has not been taken lightly and we understand that the public weekend has been a part of many people’s lives for a long time,” Farnborough International said on Facebook. “Although this marks an end to this aspect of the Airshow, it is an opportunity for us to create a more engaging event for young people and the public on Friday of the trade show.”

In 2016 and 2018, the Red Arrows performed only flypasts at the event following a safety review. Other performances were scaled back as building developments encroached on the airfield. Visitors also criticised the public days for high ticket prices and featuring too many  civilian acts, many of which could be seen at free airshows across the UK.

A spokesperson for Farnborough International told BBC News that the 2018 show received “very negative and vitriolic feedback” from visitors. She also said that the effects of the Shoreham Airshow crash in 2018 “expedited” their decision to cancel the weekend show.

According to ITV News, the airshow organisers had also been losing money on the public weekend. The trade event – which includes a smaller flying display – will go ahead, with the last day of the show also being open to public visitors.

Farnborough through the ages

  • 1940s: The first SBAC show at Farnborough was held in 1948. Over the following years, debut displays came from the de Havilland Comet and Armstrong Whitworth A.W.52, among dozens of others. Only British aircraft participated.
  • 1950s: 1952 saw Farnborough’s worst ever tragedy, when 29 spectators and two pilots died as a de Havilland Sea Vixen disintegrated mid-flight. Appearing for the first time in 1952 were the Avro Vulcan and SR.45 Princess, followed by the Fairey Rotordyne in 1958. Also in 1958, the Black Arrows flew a record-breaking 22-ship loop and barrel roll.
  • 1960s: 1962 saw the debut of the Harrier “jump jet” prototype. Later in the decade, several classic British airliners joined the show, including the VC-10 and de Havilland Trident. For the first time, aircraft with major British components could also take part.
  • 1970s: Concorde appeared at the show in 1970. In 1974, US aircraft participated, including the SR-71 Blackbird and C-5 Galaxy, as the show opened itself fully to international aircraft.
  • 1980s: The first of the modern twinjets appeared at Farnborough, including the Airbus A310 and Boeing 767. Military displays included the Dassault Rafale, MiG-29, BAe EAP (Eurofighter Typhoon prototype) and the Rockwell B-1 Lancer.
  • 1990s-2000s: The Eurofighter Typhoon made its Farnborough debut in 1996. More modern airliners then began to take part, including the Airbus A380 in 2006 and the Boeing 787 in 2010.
  • A decade of decline: In recent years the show’s public weekend has increasingly made use of civilian acts such as the Breitling Wingwalkers and Mark Jefferies’ Extra 330SC. In 2016, the RAF Typhoon Solo Display and Red Arrows stopped performing full aerobatic displays at the venue. The 2018 show saw long gaps in the flying programme and was recieved badly by visitors.

Row forces Red Bull Air Race from Budapest to Balaton

ZAMÁRDI | The Red Bull Air Race will land in a new venue this July after the Mayor of Budapest blocked plans for the race to be held in his city.

Photo: Armin Walcher / Red Bull Content Pool

Zamárdi, on the southern shore of Lake Balaton in Hungary, will host the competition for the first time on the 13th-14th July. The well-known holiday town has a population of just under 2,500 people – but with its experience hosting large outdoor events, dozens of hotels in the area and good links to the Hungarian capital, Zamárdi’s Mayor, Gyula Csákovics, is confident that the event will be a success.

He said: “The city of Zamardi has over 15 years of professional experience in hosting large, outdoor events and is perfectly suitable for hosting the Red Bull Air Race. The surroundings and the spectacular view will live up to the standards of the competition, and Red Bull Air Race will bring great publicity to both the city and the whole Balaton region.”

Red Bull Air Race officials have evaluated several towns on Lake Balaton in recent weeks after the Mayor of Budapest said he would not allow the race to be held there. István Tarlós has long called for the event to be banned from the city, citing noise complaints and disruption to the daily lives of local people.

Photo: Armin Walcher / Red Bull Content Pool

Budapest has hosted the air race in almost every year of the championship has been held: from 2003 to 2010 and again from 2015 to 2018, only missing the race in 2014. The venue is particularly well-loved by fans, who enjoy watching the aircraft fly over the River Danube, in front of the Hungarian Parliament and under the Chain Bridge.

Ticket holders for the Budapest race are entitled to a full refund; ticket options for the Balaton race will be announced soon.

Spanish Air Force airshow dates 2019

Spain’s two military aerobatic teams, Patrulla Aspa and Patrulla Aguila, have announced their schedules for 2019.

Patrulla Aguila, who fly seven C-101 Aviojets, will perform at overseas events in Portugal, the Netherlands, France and Austria. Patrulla Aspa, flying five EC-120 helicopters, have just two overseas shows; one in Portugal and one in Switzerland.

Display dates for the air forces EF-18 Hornet and Eurofighter Typhoon solo displays have not yet been released.

Date Show Aircraft
Mar 27-31 International Educational Opportunities Exhibition, Madrid, Spain Aguila, Aspa
Apr 21 25th Aniversario de la creación del Escuadrón de Vigilancia Aérea 13, Totana, Spain Aguila
May 3 Bodas de Plata en la Academia General del Aire, San Javier, Murcia, Spain Aguila
May 11-12 Open day, Armilla AB, Granada, Spain Aguila, Aspa
May 18 Open day, Getafe AB, Spain Aguila, Aspa
May 25-26 Meeting de l’Air de BA115 Orange, Orange – Caritat, France Aguila
Jun 1 Day of the Armed Forces, Spain Aguila
Jun 14 50th Anniversary of the Movie ‘Battle of Britain’, Tablada, Seville, Spain Aspa
Jun 14-15 Luchtmachtdagen, Volkel, Netherlands Aguila
Jun 15 Open Door, Tablada, Seville, Spain Aspa
Jun 29-30 67th Anniversary of the Portuguese Air Force, Viseau, Portugal Aguila, Aspa
Jun 30 Festival Aéreo de Motril, Granada, Spain Aspa
Jul 5-7 Züri Fäscht, Zurich, Switzerland Aspa
Jul 12-13 Open day, Malaga, Spain Aguila
Jul 12-14 Festival Aéreo Torre del Mar, Malaga, Spain Aguila, Aspa
Jul 21 Festival Aéreo de Gijón, Playa San Lorenzo, Gijón, Spain Aguila
Jul 24-45 Day of Santiago Apóstol, La Coruña, Spain Aguila
Jul 25-27 14th Criterium Aeronáutico y 36th Vuelta Aérea a Galicia, Lugo, Spain Aguila, Aspa
Sep 6-7 AirPower, Zeltweg, Austria Aguila
Sep 14-15 Vuelta Ciclista a España, Madrid, Spain Aguila
Sep 17 Día de la Ciudad Autónomica, Melilla, Spain Aspa
Sep 27 Bodas de Oro en la Academia General del Aire, Murcia, San Javier, Spain Aguila
Oct 12 National Day, Madrid, Spain Aguila

Czech jet trio brings thunder to Cosford Airshow

A trio of Czech Air Force jets are set to fly at this year’s RAF Cosford Airshow as the event’s international lineup continues to grow.

The CzAF’s JAS-39C Gripen display is already the second solo jet demonstration confirmed for the event. The display has been seen before  in the UK at the Yeovilton Air Day and the Royal International Air Tattoo, winning the The RAFCTE Trophy for the Best Flying Demonstration by an Overseas Participant at the latter event in 2017.

Also joining the show will be a pair of L-159 ALCAs, last seen in the UK in 2017. The duo previously performed with flares and ground pyrotechnics – and the Cosford Airshow’s tweet, saying the display would “bring the fire”, indicates that the same will be true this year.

The Cosford Airshow is scheduled for Sunday 9th June. Already confirmed for the flying display are the Swiss F/A-18C Hornet solo display and rare UK flying display appearances from the German Navy P-3C Orion and the Danish Air Force’s main display team, Baby Blue.

RAF Chinook Display 2019 airshow schedule

The RAF Chinook Display 2019 airshow schedule has been released, with the team due to perform at 15 events in the UK and Channel Islands.  Currently there are no international appearences planned.

Date Show
May 25-26 Duxford Air Festival,  IWM Duxford, ENG, UK
Jun 1-2 Torbay Airshow, Torquay, ENG, UK
Jun 9 RAF Cosford  Airshow, ENG, UK
Jun 15-16 Dunsfold Wings & Wheels, Dunsfold Park, ENG, UK
Jun 22-23 Weston Air Festival, Weston-super-Mare, ENG, UK
Jul 6-7 Wales National Airshow, Swansea Bay, WAL, UK
Jul 19-21 Royal International Air Tattoo, RAF Fairford, ENG, UK
Jul 25 RAF Odiham/RAF Marham Families Day, ENG, UK
Jul 26-28 Sunderland International Airshow, Tyne & Wear, ENG, UK
Aug 10-11 Blackpool Airshow, ENG, UK
Aug 16-17 Airbourne: the Eastbourne International Airshow, ENG, UK
Aug 22 RAF Wattisham Families Day, ENG, UK
Aug 23 Sidmouth Regatta, ENG, UK
Aug 30-Sep 1 Bournemouth Air Festival, ENG, UK
Sep 12 Jersey International Air Display, St. Aubin’s Bay, Jersey (CHI)