I think LN Strike Eagle and Alexandra's better looking brother (
) have summed it up very nicely. I didn't go over the weekend, even though I had a ticket. The crappy looking forecast was the main driver but then the thoughts of a motorway drive in the rain, the queues, the security, the hassle of finding a place and keeping it, the annoying static parking of most stuff, the non aeroplane orientated drivel and nonsense, the noise of the fun fair, concerts and commentary...I could go on. Looking at the way the Saturday show went with the juicy stuff canned for the mundane, the pleasing of the sponsors over the punters, the over hype of everything, the general feeling that the punters were second best, well I'm glad I didn't go. RIAT just ain't fun no more.
Having said that, the weather for the arrivals days was fairly good and there was some jovial banter - the build up days are the not to be missed element of RIAT to me and many others. Having said, the overall impression from many I spoke to merely echoed what has been banging around on here for months and that is continuing now. I should really be there today - I love departure day, but then I look at the wx and also the list of stuff and, well..here I am typing this.
I really feel 2011 is a watershed year for RIAT, I really hope that there is some long, hard thinking and re-thinking of where they've been, where they are and where they're going.
Caper text me and said that he had counted 58 (IIRC) static military aeroplanes. That alone is proof of the pudding; thats a pretty pathetic number when considered, and the fact that they came from the lowest number of countries to attend since 1985 does nothing to support RIAT's claims and hype. It was a very poor show in such a big year and I don't buy this "next years going to be amazing" spin. Ater all, they said that this time last year....