PREVIEW: Midlands Air Festival

Introduction: it’s not often a new event arrives on the British airshow circuit – especially one as varied and intreaguing as the Midlands Air Festival, held at Ragley Hall in Warwickshire. The event will begin with “Nightfire”, a spectacular evening event on Friday 18th May, followed by a traditional airshow on the 19th-20th May. More information can be found at their official website.

At the show: given this is the first edition of the Midlands Air Festival, the organisers have done a superb job of attracting a high-quality flying display, in addition to an estimated 60 hot air balloons. The Nightfire event will be headlined by Airborne Pyrotechnics – who will fly with two Grob G109s and a Silence Twister – and O’Brien’s Flying Circus, performing in ‘Otto the Helicopter’. They will be followed by a hot air balloon nightglow and firework finale. During the weekend, several aerobatic teams will show their skill, including the TRIG Team and the Stampe Formation Team. Barnstorming entertainment will come from the Turbulent Team. There will also be rare and unique historic aircraft and classic jets, such as the de Havilland Vampire, a pair of Strikemasters, the Westland Wasp and a selection of WWII fighters, including the Spitfire, BF109 and Hawker Fury. It is hoped that next year’s show will build on the success of 2018’s event, also featuring aircraft from the Royal Air Force.

Tickets: the Midlands Air Festival is a ticketed event, and with only limited numbers of tickets on sale, they are expected to sell out before the show. Tickets will not be on sale on the day. Adult tickets to Nightfire cost £20.00 (half price for children aged 14-16, and under 14s go free), while tickets to either Saturday or Sunday cost £25.00 (children 14-16 pay £12, under 14s go free). Multi-day packages are available from £38.00. There are also VIP options starting at £70 per adult. Children enjoy a discounted rate.

Confirmed display aircraft:

  • Stampe Formation Team x4 SV-4 Stampe
  • Turbulent Team x4 Durine Turbulent
  • Airborne Pyrotechnics x2 Grob 109b & SA180 Twister
  • Strikemaster Display UK x2 BAC Strikemaster Mk.82a
  • TRIG Team x2 Pitts S-1D
  • Bob Grimstead Fournier RF-4D
  • Lauren Wilson Pitts S-1S
  • Brendan O’Brien Schweizer S300C
  • Peter Davies Rotorsport Calidus
  • PBY-5A Catalina
  • de Havilland Vampire T.11
  • Westland Wasp HAS1
  • Supermarine Spitfire Mk.I
  • P-51D Mustang “The Shark”
  • Hawker Hurricane
  • Hawker Fury Mk.II
  • Hispano BF109 Buchon
  • T-6 Texan
  • Beech 18