Category Archives: Airshow News Military

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.

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.

US Navy to launch F-35C demonstrations in 2020, say ICAS

The International Council of Air Shows have tentatively announced the start of a new military demonstration team for the 2020 season, but the US Navy deny an announcement has been made.

Taking to social media, ICAS said that the US Navy have been given the green light to perform aerobatic demonstrations at eight to ten shows next year with the F-35C Lightning II. The F-35C is the largest variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, and the only one not to have been put through its paces on the airshow circuit.

The US Navy quickly responded to the tweet, saying: “The Navy has made no such announcement.”

The demonstration team plan to make an official announcement at the ICAS Convention this December, ICAS said.

US Navy Super Hornet Tactical Demonstrations cancelled for 2019 season

US Navy officials are poised to axe the remainder of the TACDEMO team’s 2019 season, after a premature announcement on Facebook saying all remaining shows had been cancelled.

The team is scheduled to display the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet at eight venues across the USA this year, with five shows still to come. However, the display is drawn from VFA-106 squadron, who are primarily tasked with training new Super Hornet crews.

In a statement, the squadron said: “As the East Coast Super Hornet Fleet Replacement Squadron, the mission of VFA-106 is to provide the fleet with superbly trained replacement aircrew to support fleet readiness. This mission will always take priority over displaying the remarkable Super Hornet across the country.

“While unfortunate, the remainder of the TACDEMO schedule for 2019 has been cancelled. Our dedicated, volunteer, air crew and maintainers must focus their efforts on training the next generation of Super Hornet aviators and flight officers.”

However, the Navy Times said officials had confirmed that discussions had taken place, but that no decision had been made and that the announcement was made prematurely.

VFA-106 said that they appreciated the support they have received so far this year and that they “remain optimistic” that they will return to the circuit in 2020 – but they have already flown a reduced schedule in recent years due to operational requirements.

VFA-122’s Tailhook Legacy Team will continue to fly the rest of their season schedule.

Blue Angels’ “Fat Albert” replacement will be British C-130J

PENSACOLA | The US Navy has confirmed that the Blue Angels’ latest support aircraft will be an ex-Royal Air Force C-130J Hercules.

Photo: David Leadingham

The team’s ageing C-130T was retired earlier this year, after several years of maintenance problems and fleet groundings, with rumours circulating that the Navy may pursue a British Hercules to replace the much-loved plane.

The Navy confirmed on Monday that they have signed a $30 million deal with the UK Ministry of Defence to purchase a surplus C-130 – less than half the cost of buying an entirely new aircraft, according to the Pensacola News Journal.

The C-130J variant will also offer greater capacity and better maneuverability than the C-130T, which could lead to enhanced aerial demonstrations if the new plane becomes part of the show.

The aircraft will be delivered in spring 2020.

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

Air Tattoo confirm Romanian MiG-21 for the flying display

FAIRFORD | A rare Soviet jet fighter design will be making a long-awaited return to the Royal International Air Tattoo this year, it was confirmed today.

The Romanian Air Force will again attempt to display a MiG-21 LanceR in the flying display as part of the 70th anniversary of NATO celebrations. The type last participated in the RIAT flying display in 2001, and in the static display in 2005.

Last year, after much negotiation, Romania promised a MiG-21 for the show, but withdrew after a fatal accident during a flying demonstration in their home country just days beforehand.

The Romanian Air Force will also provide a C-27J Spartan for the static display.