Category Archives: Airshow news

Australian International Airshow is first 2021 show to be postponed by coronavirus

AVALON | The Australian International Airshow has become the first 2021 airshow facing postponement due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Photo: William Reid

Organisers are worried the show, originally scheduled for the 23rd-28th February, will face logistical problems and uncertainty about international travel, which they said would cause “unacceptable risk” to the trade portion of their event if the show were not to be rescheduled. Instead, organisers are considering holding the show in November 2021, with precise dates to be confirmed shortly.

With the show’s public days due to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Royal Australian Air Force, it is important that the show goes ahead before the end of 2021, with the anniversary itself taking place on the 31st March. The Australian International Airshow is expected to be the largest airshow celebrating the anniversary.

The Royal Australian Air Force aways provide a strong mix of displays, featuring aircraft such as the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, F-35A Lightning, KC-30 MRTT, C-17A Globemaster, BAE Hawk 127, C-27 Spartan and others, although their participation at the 2021 show is expected to be particularly spectacular. It is also likely to feature the first Avalon performance of The Roulettes in their brand new Pilatus PC-21s.

“Don’t take the risk”: EAA announce cancellation of AirVenture 2020

OSHKOSH | The Experimental Aircraft Association’s annual AirVenture show has been cancelled officially for 2020 because of continuing uncertainty over the coronavirus pandemic.

The airshow, scheduled for the 20th-26th July, is billed as the world’s largest aviation celebration. It had been due to feature the Canadian Forces Snowbirds, demonstrations and heritage flights from the US Air Force, and an expanded warbird segment to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II.

In an email to EAA members, the CEO of the EAA, Jack Pelton, said: “It is May here in Wisconsin, and unfortunately like many of you across the country, we are still under a stay at home order through May 26. Normally, this is the month when we start our preflight planning for EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. By this time, we should have begun ramping up our entire site in preparation for our July convention … But because of circumstances beyond our control, none of this can happen now.”

Mr Pelton also said there was continuing uncertainty over what health guidelines would be in July, and whether large public gatherings will be permitted. “Right now, there are three phases that have been defined in Wisconsin as the recommended procedures,” he said. “As I write this, we are not in Phase 1 yet. Phase 2 restricts gatherings to 50 people. Phase 3 allows for mass gathering with restrictions.”

He added that he could see “no clear path” to meeting health and safety requirements, such as sanitization, separation and personal protection.

“My conclusion is, like in any good flight planning, don’t take the risk,” he said. “Therefore, I have no choice but to cancel AirVenture 2020. Together, we can come back stronger, safer and ready for AirVenture 2021 and create a memorable world class aviation event.”

Most airshows worldwide are cancelled through to the end of June, with a growing number of July, August and September events also being scrapped. For details of the latest cancellations, please visit our global airshow calendar.

Royal International Air Tattoo cancelled amid coronavirus outbreak

FAIRFORD | This year’s Royal International Air Tattoo, known as the world’s largest military airshow, has been cancelled due to the coronavirus, the first July airshow to be hit by the disease.

The airshow had been due to take place from the 17th-19th July at RAF Fairford, with performers such as the Patrouille Suisse, Royal Danish Air Force F-16AM and US Air Force F-16C expected to take part in the flying display.

The airshow organisers said: “This decision has not been taken lightly and a significant amount of work sits behind this course of action.  The crisis, which is worsening by the day, and the implications of which are becoming more profound, has led us to conclude that the most prudent course of action is to cease any further planning to deliver this significant event.

“The Air Tattoo is reliant on the support of a wide range of stakeholders, not least the participation of international air arms, medical professionals, military security teams and our Emergency Services, many of whom are delivering a fundamental contribution to fighting this crisis. We believe delivery of our event would distract them from this.

“At the heart of this difficult decision is our firm belief that staging the Air Tattoo this year would not only run counter to the current Government advice but would also be beyond what we could reasonably ask of our supporters. We recognise that our decision will have a negative financial impact on our valued suppliers and traders, on the local economy that benefits so much from the large influx of people who arrive in the area for one week in July, as well as on our parent charity. For this we apologise.”

Although dozens of airshows have already been cancelled globally due to the coronavirus, the Royal International Air Tattoo 2020 is the only one so far beyond mid-June to be scrapped. However, given its reliance on international air arms, the event is particularly vulnerable to global pandemics.

It is the third UK airshow to be officially cancelled, after the Midlands Air Festival and Duxford Air Festival were pulled from the calendar earlier in the week. Schools are to close to most pupils today, and 1.4 million Britons with underlying health conditions are being advised to self-isolate for 12 weeks, starting over the weekend. Follow the latest news as the outbreak continuis to affect the airshow industry on our coronavirus live blog.

The next Royal International Air Tattoo will be held on the 16th-18th July 2021, and will celebrate the show’s 50th anniversary. Remember if you want to re-live previous Air Tattoos, our 90-minute documentary on RIAT 2018 is available on our website!

Belgian Air Force Agusta A109BA solo display dates 2020

The Belgian Air Force’s Agusta A109BA solo display can be seen at the following events this year.

Date Show Location Country
May 16-17 France Portes Ouvertes BA116 Luxeuil Saint-Sauveur France
Jul 11/td> United Kingdom Royal Navy International Air Day Yeovilton UK
Jul 21-23/td> France Meeting Aérien International Albert – Picardie France
Sep 11 Belgium Sanicole Sunset Airshow Hechtel Belgium
Sep 13 Belgium Sanicole International Airshow Hechtel Belgium
Sep 19-20 Italy 60th Anniversary of the Frecce Tricolori Rivolto Italy

Belgian Air Force Red Devils 2020 airshow schedule

The Belgian Air Force’s official aerobatic team, the Red Devils, have published their 2020 airshow season. The team, who fly four Marchetti SF.260s, will perform at nine events, including two international shows.

Date Show Location Country
Jun 14 Denmark Danish Airshow Karup Denmark
Jun 21 France Aerotorshow Valence Chabeuil France
Jun 27-28 Belgium Aérodrome en Fete St Hubert – Cerfontaine Belgium
Jun 27-28 Belgium Cerfontaine Belgium
Jun 28 Belgium Le festival Des Ballons et des Ailes Le Roeulx Belgium
Jul 1 Belgium Open Door Koksijde Belgium
Jul 4-5 Belgium BOACK Koksijde Belgium
Jul 4-5 Belgium Navydays (flypast only) Zeebrugge Belgium
Sep 13 Belgium Sanicole International Airshow Hechtel Belgium

Spanish Air Force Patrulla Aspa 2020 airshow schedule

GRANADA | The Spanish Air Force’s EC-120 Colibri aerobatic team have released their 2020 airshow schedule, which includes two international shows.

Date Show Location Country
Mar 7 Spain Estaremos en las Jornadas Aeronauticas de Tablada Seville Spain
May 13-17 Germany Internationale Luft- und Raumfahrtausstellung (ILA) Berlin Germany
Jun 21 Spain Festival Aéreo de Motril Motril Spain
Jun 27 Spain Fiestas Patronales de Burgos San Pablo Spain
Jul 23-26 Spain XV Criterium Aeronautico y XXXVII Vuelta Aerea a Galica Lugo Spain
Jul 24-26 Spain Festival Aéreo de Gijón Gijón Spain
Jul 24-27 Spain Regata Tall Ship Race La Coruna Spain
Oct 10-11 France Free Flight World Masters Saint-Maxime France


Belgian Air Force F-16AM “Dark Falcon” 2020 display dates

The Belgian Air Force’s popular F_16AM Fighting Falcon solo display is due to participate in 16 events spanning eight countries this year. It will be the final year with Captain Stefan Darte, callsign “Vador”, flying his “Dark Falcon” jet.

Date Show Location Country
May 23-24 United Kingdom Duxford Air Festival Duxford UK
May 30 Croatia Croatian International Military Airshow Zadar Croatia
Jun 6 Norway Rygge Airshow Rygge Norway
Jun 13-14 France Meeting de l’Air Cognac – Châteaubernard France
Jun 28 Belgium Ursel Avia Ursel Belgium
Jun 28 Belgium Aérodrome en Fete St Hubert – Cerfontaine Belgium
Jul 1 Belgium Open Door Koksijde Belgium
Jul 4 Belgium BOACK Koksijde Belgium
Jul 17-19 United Kingdom Royal International Air Tattoo Fairford UK
Aug 1-2 Latvia Wings Over Baltics Jurmala Latvia
Aug 23-24 France Meeting Aérien International Albert – Picardie France
Aug 29-30 Slovakia Slovak International Air Fest Sliač Slovakia
Sep 6 France Meeting Aérien de Cambrai Cambrai – Niergnies France
Sep 11 Belgium Sanicole Sunset Airshow Hechtel Belgium
Sep 13 Belgium Sanicole International Airshow Hechtel Belgium
Sep 19-20 Italy 60th Anniversary of the Frecce Tricolori Rivolto Italy


New air race series promises races in 10 countries; first season starting in December 2020

EDITOR’S NOTE: Since the publication of this article, the WCAR website has been taken down. This page refers to information available on the website before its removal.

A new website promoting the World Championship Air Race, the successor to the Red Bull Air Race, has been launched, appearing to provide the first official confirmation that the new series is under development.

The new website promises races in 10 countries spanning four continents, featuring 36 pilots. Although it is not yet clear who will be competing, photographs show former Red Bull Air Race Masterclass and Challenger Class pilots such as Juan Velarde, Kevin Coleman and Petr Kofpstein.

The race calendar, which is “coming soon”, will include “some of the world’s best cities”. The first series is scheduled to begin in December 2020, running until Q3 of 2021.

The World Championship Air Race claims to be “the new and improved continuation” of the Red Bull Air Race, which ended in 2019 after Red Bull pulled its support for the series. In January 2020, it was speculated that a continuation series had been set up by a Hong Kong investor, with the help of former Red Bull Air Race pilots and officials.

This includes Willie Cruickshank, the former head of aviation and sport at the Red Bull Air Race, who earlier told the Italian website MD80 that he had received a “positive response” from potential venues looking to host the new series. Mr Cuickshank will be the series director of the new sport.

Challenger Class pilot Dario Costa also confirmed he is involved in the development of the World Championship Air Race, while Masterclass racers Ben Murphy and Kirby Chambliss have expressed interest in racing again.

The 36 pilots promised on the new website is much more than the 14 Masterclass and 12 Challenger Class pilots who competed in the Red Bull Air Race, of whom several were also due to retire at the end of the 2019 season, meaning that an intake of new names is to be expected. These will likely be graduates of the WCAR Academy, a purpose-run course designed to teach prospective pilots the art of aerobatics and air racing.

Pilots will race in aircraft including the MXS-Racer, Edge 540 V2 and Edge 540 V3, according to the new website – all aircraft which competed in the final series of the Red Bull Air Race.

The website also promises other features, including live entertainment and hospitality.

While much remains unknown about the new racing series, fans will doubtless be delighted to see confident steps towards the revival of the much-loved Red Bull Air Race.

Patrulla Aguila jet crashes near San Javier, killing solo pilot

SAN JAVIER | The solo pilot of the Patrulla Aguila was killed in an accident near the team’s base in Murcia today, Thursday 27th February.

The Spanish Air Force confirmed that a C-101 Aviojet from the General Air Academy crashed into the sea near La Manga in an area commonly used for training flights. It was being flown by Patrulla Aguila’s solo pilot, Aguila #5 Commander Eduardo Fermín Garvalena, who did not eject.

Patrulla Aguila said they were “broken with pain” over the loss of their team mate, who had over 2,300 hours of flying experience. He flew the Eurofighter Typhoon before joining the General Air Academy in San Javier in 2017, joining Patrulla Aguila as the solo pilot for the 2019 season.

The Air Force said Cmdr. Garvalena was conducting a routine training flight at the time of the crash. However, as all Patrulla Aguila pilots also serve as flight instructors, it is has not been made explicitly clear whether he was flying with the team on his final sortie.

According to Murcia Today, the jet which crashed was one of the oldest in service, having been flying for over 30 years.

Patrulla Aguila have been Spain’s main national aerobatic team since 1985, and currently perform with seven C-101 Aviojets. The solo pilot is responsible for some of the team’s most daring manoeuvres, such as the tailslide and outside loop.

It is the third fatal crash of a General Air Academy plane in Murcia in seven months, with one of the previous accidents taking the life of former Patrulla Aguila soloist Comandante Francisco Marín. The ageing C-101, which first flew in 1977, is used as an advanced and basic jet trainer in the Spanish Air Force, although it is soon to be replaced in the basic jet training role by the Pilatus PC-21.

The Spanish Air Force had previously attempted to procure Korea Aerospace Industries T-50B Golden Eagles as advanced jet trainers, which would be used by Patrulla Aguila, but the deal did not come to fruition.

Although the Alenia M-345 is seen as the front tunner, it is not yet clear which design will replace the C-101 and F-5B in the advanced trainint role, or which type will eventually equip Patrulla Aguila. However, the initial order of 24 PC-21s is likely to be insufficient for Patrulla Aguila’s C-101s to be replaced for at least the next few years.