2016

All previews, features and reports from 2016 can be found below. Pages marked withThis is Flight videos include a video.

Which airshows will we report from in 2016?

List is subject to change, with more shows to be added soon:

  • Singapore Airshow, Singapore This is Flight videos
  • Luke AFB Airshow – 75 Years of Air Power, USA
  • Barksdale AFB Defenders of Liberty Airshow, USA
  • Shuttleworth Season Premiere, UK
  • Spirit of St. Louis Airshow, USA
  • EBACE Geneva, Switzerland
  • RSAF Open House, Singapore This is Flight videos
  • Duxford American Airshow, UK This is Flight videos [LIVE]
  • Greenwood Airshow, USA
  • Shuttleworth Fly Navy Air Day, UK
  • Torbay Airshow, UK
  • Weston Air Festival, UK
  • RAF Cosford Airshow, UK [LIVE]
  • Thunder Over Cedar Creek Lake, USA This is Flight videos
  • RNAS Yeovilton Air Day, UK This is Flight videos
  • Royal International Air Tattoo, UK This is Flight videos [LIVE]
  • Farnborough Airshow, UK This is Flight videos [LIVE]
  • Bray Air Display, Ireland
  • Offut AFB Airshow, USA
  • East Kirkby Airshow, UK [LIVE]
  • Airbourne Eastbourne, UK
  • AirWaves Portrush, UK
  • Goodwood Revival, UK
  • Red Arrows Asia Tour, Singapore This is Flight videos
  • Wings Over Houston, USA This is Flight videos

REPORT: 2016 in review

There’s no doubting that 2016 was one of the toughest and saddest years in recent airshow history, but this article is a celebration of all the best moments that have still made it a season to remember.

 


FEATURE: flying with Chipmunk WK514

Featuring stunning air-to-air photographs and archived images, we explore the unique history of this aircraft and give insight into the behind-the-scenes elements that made its air-to-air sortie a success.

 


REPORT: Wings Over Houston

With strong support from the Commemorative Air Force and local air museums, Wings Over Houston always delivers warbird action in spades. Throw in the Blue Angels as the headline act and a varied static display, and the result is one of Texas’ top airshows.


FEATURE: is the Red Arrows tour doing more harm than good?

The ongoing Asia-Pacific tour of the Red Arrows seems to have achieved nothing other than tarnishing the team’s reputation. That’s partly the fault of the RAF, partly the fault of the weather and partly the fault of the local media, argues Adam Landau.

 


FEATURE: the state of restoration: an inside story

Ross Sharp, airshow expert and Director of Engineering at The Peoples’ Mosquito, shares his thoughts on developments in the aircraft restoration scene which have lead to a collection of airworthy warbirds unimaginable a few decades ago.

  


FEATURE: Wing to wing with the FireFlies

This is Flight is proud to have had the privilege of working with one of Europe’s youngest aerobatic teams on an exclusive interview and air-to-air sortie to uncover the story of this brand new act which, with daytime and pyrotechnic shows, has taken the scene by storm.

  


REPORT: Air Waves Portrush

One of Northern Ireland’s largest airshows, Air Waves Portrush, this year ran a night time display for the very first time, in addition to the usual afternoon air displays. Sadly, weather and aircraft serviceability did detract from the event.

 


FEATURE: Flying the Catalina

Taking a break from flying PC-6 Porters in the mountains of Indonesia, Matt Dearden has taken up displaying the PBY-5A Catalina in the UK. At the East Kirkby Airshow, he tells us what it’s like to fly one of the largest aircraft on the British display circuit.


REPORT: East Kirkby Airshow

The East Kirkby Airshow was a thoroughly enjoyable affair with a relaxed family atmosphere and a good selection of interesting aircraft, including two Avro Lancasters. There are few places where you can get quite as close to the action as East Kirkby!


REPORT: Farnborough Airshow – public weekend

We’ve bucked the trend: despite heavy criticism, the Farnborough Airshow scored highly by our books. The varied three days of entertainment included the A380, A400M, 727, F-35, F/A-18F and Typhoon, as well as a gamut of warbirds and light aircraft,

 


REPORT: Offutt AFB Open House

Providing a good chance to see the Thunderbirds back in action, we very much enjoyed our time at Offutt. While some lighter aircraft were affected, threatening weather only added to the spectacle of the fast jets – especially the F/A-18, which nearly stole the show!


REPORT: Bray Air Display

Bray’s annual airshow surely featured one of the strongest lineups of any seafront airshow this year. Frecce Tricolori, Team Raven and Patrouille Tranchant flew on both days, with the Red Arrows and SwAFHF Viggen and Draken performing on Sunday.

  


REPORT: Royal International Air Tattoo This is Flight videos

The world’s largest military airshow did not disappoint, with a stellar 9-hour flying display, including almost every major fast jet family in operation – F-5, F-16, F-22, F-35, Typhoon, Gripen, Rafale, Mirage and MiG-29, as well as several national aerobatic teams.

 


REPORT: Yeovilton Air Day 2016

The Royal Navy’s biggest airshow of the year benefited from strong foreign participation, including Team Orlik and the French Navy’s Rafale M duo. The Royal Navy also announced a new initiative for their historic aircraft – Navy Wings.

  


REPORT: Weston Air Festival

Sadly, Sunday at the Weston Air Festival was ruined by poor weather, with just six acts managing to display on Sunday, despite a stellar lineup planned by the organisers. The event was also hit by low attendance.

  


REPORT: Greenwood Airshow

Our first “small town airshow”, Greenwood in Mississippi, was headlined by the Aeroshell team in stunning conditions. No fast jets here, just barnstorming, warbirds and solo aerobatics.

  


REPORT: Shuttleworth Fly Navy Airshow

With a mini-balbo, rotary display and the amazing Sea Vixen, the Fly Navy Airshow was a little different from other Shuttleworth shows, and it’s the first airshow we’ve attended to get 10/10 in all five categories.

  


REPORT: RAF Cosford Airshow

Dampened by poor weather and a clash with a major foreign airshow, the Cosford organisers struggled to pull together their usual high-quality air display. Although there were some highlights, calcellations hit the show hard.

  


REPORT: Torbay Airshow

The first annual Torbay Airshow was a mixed affair: a relatively varied and interesting flying display was marred by a very distant display line. The highlights included the RAF Typhoon, Sea Vixen and three popular display teams: the Blades, Yakovlevs and Red Arrows.

  


REPORT: Duxford American Airshow This is Flight videos

With a host of WWII warbirds and two national aerobatic teams, Duxford was on top form with its opening show of the year. The American theme commemorated the re-opening of the American Air Museum and Duxford’s relationship with the USAF.

  


REPORT: EBACE Geneva 2016

Every year, the best of the world’s business jets and private aircraft head to Geneva for a non-public trade show. This year’s event was dominated by the A350, 787 and 757, as well as the brand new locally-produced PC-24.

  


REPORT: Spirit of St. Louis Airshow

With a bumper lineup of two jet teams and two fast jets, as well as some rare warbirds, the Spirit of St. Louis Airshow and STEM Expo presented by Boeing made for a thoroughly enjoyable few days.

  


REPORT: Barksdale Defenders of Liberty Airshow

Headlined by the USAF Thunderbirds, the Barksdale AFB Defenders of Liberty Airshow was a great day with plenty of variety, despite some of the stars of the show pulling out at short notice. Highlights included the B-52, T-33, P-51 and B-29.

  


REPORT: RSAF Open House This is Flight videos

A poor flying display was the only let-down for the first RSAF Open House in five years. There was plenty to see all day, the event was excellently planned and organised and it gave a very rare chance to get incredibly close to jet fighters.

  


REPORT: Shuttleworth Season Premiere Airshow

Despite critical reviews from many regarding new safety regulations, we awarded the Season Premiere Airshow with 9.6/10! Aside from WWII and WWI Shuttleworth favourites, it also included a rare appearance from the Red Arrows.

  


FEATURE: Raptors and Eagles at Lakenheath

From now until May, USAF F-22 Raptors are being deployed to the UK for the first time. While here, they are training with USAFE F-15 Strike Eagles, and other Europe-based aircraft. The F-22 will display at RIAT later this year.

  


REPORT: Luke AFB Airshow – 75 Years of Air Power

Our first US show of the year was at Luke AFB, Arizona, starring the USAF Thunderbirds and the debut of the F-35 Heritage Flight, displaying the F-35A Lightning II and its namesake, the P-38 Lightning.

  


FEATURE: is the F-35 right for Britain?

Following the announcement of the F-35’s UK airshow debut, Alex Prins examines the contravention Joint Strike Fighter programme, the problems that have blighted it and the role the jet will play in RAF/RN service. Photos comes from Jacob Hanna.

  


FEATURE: the Rise and Fall of the British Airshow

Experienced airshow organiser Ross Sharp discusses the air displays of old, as well as some of the threats that face the industry today, including the demolition of venues and the CAA’s increased fee structure.

  


REPORT: Huey Display Team night shoot This is Flight videos

The Huey Display Team ran their first night shoot, featuring their Huey and Loach, and hosted by pilot and owner Phil Connolly. Phil took the time to discuss some of his views on the airshow industry with us.

  


REPORT: Singapore Airshow 2016 This is Flight videos

With the Black Eagles, A350, B-52 and Su-30, the Singapore Airshow had all the ingredients to become one of the world’s best airshows. Sadly, it will instead go down as being one of the most frustrating.

  


FEATURE: CAA Airshow Charges – What they Mean

Pilots and display organisers offer their thoughts and opinions on the CAA’s new proposals which will see the cost of holding a major airshow increase tenfold.

  


PREVIEW: 2016 Airshow Season


Previews (red) will become reports (blue) shortly after an event has taken place. You can also find features (green) which aren’t relevant to a particular event or time. Only selected events have preview pages.