Airshow first timer tips

Airshow first timer tips

Postby sheenangel on Tue 04 Jul 2017, 7:35 pm

Hi all,

RIAT 2017 will be my first airshow. Does anyone have any tips that might help me out?

I have a standard ticket for the Sunday and will have my 5 year old daughter with me if that makes any difference.
sheenangel

Re: Airshow first timer tips

Postby Adie1980 on Tue 04 Jul 2017, 8:16 pm

sheenangel wrote:Hi all,

RIAT 2017 will be my first airshow. Does anyone have any tips that might help me out?

I have a standard ticket for the Sunday and will have my 5 year old daughter with me if that makes any difference.


Get there as early as you can, saves on stress and queuing time :)
I aim to get to the car park (blue for me) for the time the gates open, which I think is approx 6:30am, and you get into the showground fairly quickly.
Unless the forecast looks nailed on for perfect sunshine, take provisions for all weather conditions!!! Not much natural shelter at Fairford.
Good comfortable walking shoes, if you plan to walk the static display line.
Enjoy yourself, this is the best airshow in the UK :smile:
Attending RIAT 2017 & Bournemouth Air Festival 2017
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Adie1980

Re: Airshow first timer tips

Postby alpha586 on Tue 04 Jul 2017, 8:17 pm

Where to start?
Right, if you want to make the most of the day and avoid the worst of the traffic aim to arrive at the gate for about 7- 7.30sh I know its difficult with a 5 year old. I would strongly advise taking a packed lunch, snacks drinks with you as the food prices are ridiculous! the last couple of years they have had free to use water bowsers at the food courts so if you run out dont throw your bottle away you can get a free refill. As you enter the showground there will be volunteers handing out free maps of the airfield, useful for first timers (quick tip: mark on the map which entrance you use very easy to forget after a long day) They also have wristbands for young children just in case they get lost.
The showground is huge and it will be a very long day for an adult let alone a 5 year old. Take advantage of the green cone road shuttle buses that travel up and down the length of the static display. They operate all day and are free to use. There is also a left luggage felicity you can use to drop off heavy kit or bulky food bag.
The only way to find out the flying programme is to buy the souvenir programme £12 on the day £10 in advance (via the RIAT website). It makes it easy to plan your day when you know what time your favourite displays are on. Some display timings are published on the RIAT App but not all. There is a lot of space on the crowdline to set up camp, just none anywhere near crowd centre (if you look out towards the runway you will see large florescent orange pyramids the biggest one is crowd centre, where all the displays are focused, right in front of the FRIAT stand) . If you take a windbreak or small shelter you must be at least 10 meters back from the rope to allow a good view for others. Lots of people take camping chairs to make the day a bit more comfortable but whatever you take you have to carry and its a long walk!
The weather is always the biggest factor turning a great looking line up into a washout, be prepared! I always set out with waterproofs sun-cream sunglasses wellies the lot just in case. Some displays are very loud definitely advisable to get some ear defenders for the little one.
Above all enjoy it! It is a very big airshow to loose your cherry and there is so much to take in especially in one day. Decide the things you want to see before you go and focus on these when you get there, otherwise it is very easy to get overwhelmed by the size of the place.
Hope you have a great day
Martyn
Lo que volará volará whatever will fly will fly!!
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alpha586

Re: Airshow first timer tips

Postby CJS on Tue 04 Jul 2017, 8:38 pm

Enjoy it, go with the flow, yes there are queues to get in but t shirt snooker is much fun.

Marvel at how awesome it is, take photos, get in cockpits with your daughter if you can and you'll both love it.

Oh and ear defenders, definitely ear defenders :-o

Enjoy, it's a brilliant day out. :-)
"Forewarned is forearmed"
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CJS

Re: Airshow first timer tips

Postby 2e1var on Wed 05 Jul 2017, 4:55 am

Just checked the app, most of it is out of date !
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2e1var

Re: Airshow first timer tips

Postby Duffer on Wed 05 Jul 2017, 7:22 am

The app is usually updated sometime the week before the show.
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Duffer

Re: Airshow first timer tips

Postby speedbird2639 on Wed 05 Jul 2017, 11:35 am

FWIW here are my tips:

- get there as early as you can. Traffic will be huge so if possible try to avoid the potential delay by getting there before gates open. Times are on the RIAT website

- take a beach shelter/ small tent/ large fisherman's umbrella. It gives you some shelter in case it is too hot ( :lmao: ) or in the more likely scenario of there being some rain. Folding chairs or a travel rug to sit on - its a long display.

- food and drinks are the usual expensive prices driven in part by the high fees charged by RIAT. I always take my own food and drink. Non carbonated drinks can be frozen to help keep other things cool in your bag.

- have a look at the weather websites the day before and pack appropriate clothes. A lightweight shower proof jacket is also good to keep the wind off if it is a bit cool.

- I wouldn't bother with the programme. There are only 2 pages in it you will need on the day and someone always uploads a screen shot on Facebook. Save your £12.

- Don't forget to use a high number SPF sun screen even if it is cloudy. I would recommend wearing a hat/ baseball cap to keep the direct sun off your head - nothing like a massive headache to spoil your day.

- If you are into photography then I would recommend going to the left of the centre of the flightline ( the western end of the runway) that way you are less likely to be shooting into the sun later in the afternoon.

I think that covers the main points - stay hydrated and if its at all sunny use the sun screen.
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Re: Airshow first timer tips

Postby Brevet Cable on Wed 05 Jul 2017, 12:58 pm

Assuming you stay for the whole show, it's a 12 hour day - 10 ½ if you leave when the flying display finishes - without adding on any travelling time and if you arrive early as has been suggested by some you can probably add an hour to that.
One thing I can't see having been mentioned yet is to tune your car radio to 'Wings FM' on 87.7 FM.....they'll usually give out traffic updates & weather forecasts, plus they'll also say if there are any changes to the display schedule as well as doing brief features on some of the aircraft & display teams.

I can only speak from the 'Blue' entrance perspective......
Don't know if they've changed it in recent years, but as far as I can recall there aren't any toilet facilities in the car parks.
If you do get there before the gates open, you could always wander up the lane to the Kempsford campsite, where you'll be able to purchase something to eat/drink ( and avail yourself of the portaloos if needed )
My personal preference on the Sunday is not to other joining the queue until after the gates open ( unless you really like standing around doing nothing ).....after the initial scrum & attendant stop-start movement of the queue, it usually settles down to a fairly steady flow & it doesn't really take all that long to get into the showground.

If you don't mind missing out on some of the helicopter stuff ( they tend to do a lot of their display in front of the VIP/FRIAT area ) I'd suggest viewing from the 'Green' or 'Red' area rather than 'Blue', if only because most of the spectators tend to head for the 'Blue' crowdline leaving the other areas ( Green in particular ) sparsely populated.
You also don't really need to be at the front of the crowdline to get a decent view ( it is, after all, a flying display :lol: ).....the only thing you may miss out on is when the aircraft are on the ground.
If you watch the display from the Eastern end of the 'Green' zone ( where flags 4 & 5 are on the showground map ) you'll not only be near to the portaloos if needed, you'll also be near the 'Activity Zone' in case your daughter gets bored/restless.
Brevet.. Meh !!
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Brevet Cable

Re: Airshow first timer tips

Postby The Star of Woo on Wed 05 Jul 2017, 1:13 pm

I can't see it mentioned in any of the other replies to your question, but if you have a 5 year old with you I guess you'll need plenty of loo stops, which is always the issue with Fairford. There are usually portaloos in the car parks before you get through the security at the entrances, then it'll be quite some way before you find another one. For some unfathomable reason Fairford organisers seem to prefer what we call 'loo city', there are loads and loads of them all in a couple of areas, but for a young child (and also for the not so young) these loo cities are a long way apart, which is ridiculous.

Anyway, what I'm saying is, if you see one in the car park, pop your child in for a wee before you join the queue to get in!!!

Have a fabulous day, it's the best airshow, you'll both be mesmerised with it all, and yes, I totally agree, Ear Defenders are an absolute must and I don't mean cotton wool balls, but the proper cup ones.

Enjoy.
The Star of Woo

Re: Airshow first timer tips

Postby Brevet Cable on Wed 05 Jul 2017, 3:07 pm

The Star of Woo wrote:I can't see it mentioned in any of the other replies to your question

Other than in my post...... :whistle: :lol:
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Brevet Cable

Re: Airshow first timer tips

Postby sheenangel on Thu 06 Jul 2017, 8:16 am

This is all so helpful, thank you so much, particularly in regards to the loos (they always ask when you're as far away as possible).

In regards to the parking, are you allocated a parking area or can you choose i.e. its been recommended that I view from the green area, can I park near there? I usually research this sort of stuff months in advance, but the tickets were bought for us as a present last week so I've only just found out I'm going :smile:
sheenangel

Re: Airshow first timer tips

Postby strangelookingalien on Thu 06 Jul 2017, 8:22 am

Don't be disheartened by the busy crowdline - if you walk to the far western end (the left hand side of the crowd line) there is almost always space on the crowdline to watch and also plenty of space for your daughter to run around if she gets restless. It's a little bit more relaxed than the hectic and sometimes packed middle ground.
strangelookingalien

Re: Airshow first timer tips

Postby trebleone on Thu 06 Jul 2017, 8:57 am

sheenangel wrote:
In regards to the parking, are you allocated a parking area or can you choose i.e. its been recommended that I view from the green area, can I park near there?


The coloured 'zones' each have corresponding coloured entrances and car-parks; so the shortest route on foot from your car to the Green zone (western end) would entail using the Green car-park and entry point, however the car-park you end up depends on the route you take to get there - the coloured routes on the map on this page: http://www.airtattoo.com/airshow/visiting/visitorinformation/travel take you to the corresponding colour car-park.
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Re: Airshow first timer tips

Postby Brevet Cable on Thu 06 Jul 2017, 9:28 am

sheenangel wrote:In regards to the parking, are you allocated a parking area or can you choose i.e. its been recommended that I view from the green area, can I park near there?

Where you get to park depends on which route you travel in on, which depends on where you're travelling from.
If you're coming from the Southwest/South/Southeast, the usual route will be 'Blue' ( off Junction 15 of the M4 ), although you could also use the 'Red' ( M40 Junction 8/8a ) or 'Brown' ( M4 Junction 17 ) routes.
Of course, there's nothing stopping anyone from travelling up the M5 to Junction 11 in order to join the 'Green' route.
If you're coming from the North/Midlands you've got the option of the 'Green' ( M5 Junction 11 ) or 'Red' routes.

The only one where you may have an option of where to park is the 'Brown' route, but that's determined by the people directing the traffic -- depending how busy it is, you could end up in either the Green or Blue car parks.

To be honest, I wouldn't worry too much about which car park you end up in.....as others have posted, the free 'shuttle bus' within the showground covers pretty much the whole length of the showground and has stops next to all the entrance gates and the car parks aren't very far from the entrances ( For example, if you look on something like google maps, the row of fields to the left - Northwest - of High Street are the Blue car park https://binged.it/2tLCu0R)
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Not an enthusiast or a spotter
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Re: Airshow first timer tips

Postby mikek on Fri 07 Jul 2017, 6:54 pm

sheenangel wrote:Hi all,

RIAT 2017 will be my first airshow. Does anyone have any tips that might help me out?

I have a standard ticket for the Sunday and will have my 5 year old daughter with me if that makes any difference.


i would really think about whether you're taking your daughter to an airshow or if she is going with you to an airshow.
Nothing wrong with either, but they're 2 completely different things & if you mix the 2 you might have problems.
My kids (early 20's) love it now, but i remember (q̶u̶i̶t̶e̶ ̶r̶i̶g̶h̶t̶l̶y̶ to my shame) getting cross with them when they were about your daughter's age for not watching the displays.
Handsomest UKAR member.
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mikek

Re: Airshow first timer tips

Postby sheenangel on Fri 14 Jul 2017, 6:54 pm

speedbird2639 wrote:- I wouldn't bother with the programme. There are only 2 pages in it you will need on the day and someone always uploads a screen shot on Facebook. Save your £12.


Any luck with this so far?
sheenangel

Re: Airshow first timer tips

Postby sheenangel on Fri 14 Jul 2017, 7:09 pm

mikek wrote:
sheenangel wrote:Hi all,

RIAT 2017 will be my first airshow. Does anyone have any tips that might help me out?

I have a standard ticket for the Sunday and will have my 5 year old daughter with me if that makes any difference.


i would really think about whether you're taking your daughter to an airshow or if she is going with you to an airshow.
Nothing wrong with either, but they're 2 completely different things & if you mix the 2 you might have problems.
My kids (early 20's) love it now, but i remember (q̶u̶i̶t̶e̶ ̶r̶i̶g̶h̶t̶l̶y̶ to my shame) getting cross with them when they were about your daughter's age for not watching the displays.


She's only 5 so I'm guessing she won't be watching all the displays :lol: She's a huge Flightradar and plane enthusiast though luckily.
sheenangel

Re: Airshow first timer tips

Postby Andyperkins on Fri 14 Jul 2017, 7:09 pm

sheenangel wrote:
speedbird2639 wrote:- I wouldn't bother with the programme. There are only 2 pages in it you will need on the day and someone always uploads a screen shot on Facebook. Save your £12.


Any luck with this so far?


The display timings have been available on here since Wednesday.
Andyperkins

Re: Airshow first timer tips

Postby sheenangel on Fri 14 Jul 2017, 7:44 pm

Found it thank you!
sheenangel

Re: Airshow first timer tips

Postby mikek on Fri 14 Jul 2017, 7:45 pm

sheenangel wrote:
mikek wrote:
sheenangel wrote:Hi all,

RIAT 2017 will be my first airshow. Does anyone have any tips that might help me out?

I have a standard ticket for the Sunday and will have my 5 year old daughter with me if that makes any difference.


i would really think about whether you're taking your daughter to an airshow or if she is going with you to an airshow.
Nothing wrong with either, but they're 2 completely different things & if you mix the 2 you might have problems.
My kids (early 20's) love it now, but i remember (q̶u̶i̶t̶e̶ ̶r̶i̶g̶h̶t̶l̶y̶ to my shame) getting cross with them when they were about your daughter's age for not watching the displays.


She's only 5 so I'm guessing she won't be watching all the displays :lol: She's a huge Flightradar and plane enthusiast though luckily.


well, i hope you both have a great time.

has anyone mentioned ear defenders?
Handsomest UKAR member.
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mikek

Re: Airshow first timer tips

Postby dhassell on Sat 15 Jul 2017, 4:23 am

mikek wrote:
sheenangel wrote:
mikek wrote:
sheenangel wrote:Hi all,

RIAT 2017 will be my first airshow. Does anyone have any tips that might help me out?

I have a standard ticket for the Sunday and will have my 5 year old daughter with me if that makes any difference.


i would really think about whether you're taking your daughter to an airshow or if she is going with you to an airshow.
Nothing wrong with either, but they're 2 completely different things & if you mix the 2 you might have problems.
My kids (early 20's) love it now, but i remember (q̶u̶i̶t̶e̶ ̶r̶i̶g̶h̶t̶l̶y̶ to my shame) getting cross with them when they were about your daughter's age for not watching the displays.


She's only 5 so I'm guessing she won't be watching all the displays :lol: She's a huge Flightradar and plane enthusiast though luckily.


well, i hope you both have a great time.

has anyone mentioned ear defenders?


Probably recommended getting ear defenders for a 5 year old! As it does get pretty loud, especially during take off. I believe RIAT do sell them on site, but I do not know how much they cost!
dhassell


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