UKAR's Top 10 UK 'Airshow Moments' of 2016

UKAR's Top 10 UK 'Airshow Moments' of 2016

Postby UK Airshow Review on Sun 01 Jan 2017, 10:50 am

Top 10 UK 'Airshow Moments' of 2016 - Now into it's eighth year, our run down of 10 of the UK Airshow season's greatest moments.

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Do you agree with our choices? Have your say in this thread, and let us know what your airshow highlights from the summer of 2016 were.
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Re: UKAR's Top 10 UK 'Airshow Moments' of 2016

Postby CJS on Sun 01 Jan 2017, 1:24 pm

Can't argue with that list I don't reckon - the significance of the F-35s at RIAT has to give it number one slot.

Certainly one of my highlights - from just one show I would also add the Ramex Delta's final display and the Greek Phantoms. I enjoyed the Chipmunks very much too.
"Forewarned is forearmed"
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Re: UKAR's Top 10 UK 'Airshow Moments' of 2016

Postby Pringles on Sun 01 Jan 2017, 2:26 pm

I question the inclusion of the Blenheim as the 8th best UK airshow moment - whilst it was no doubt a polished display, was it really that impressive when compared with displays this year? It strikes me as a little as though it was the 'least worst' display at the Shuttleworth Season Premiere, rather than as one of the best all year? Perhaps with the decrease in shows covered by UKAR it is worth distinguishing that these are the top 10 moments covered by the UKAR team - off the top of my head I'd push for the inclusion of the 320 (Netherlands) Sqn temporary schemed B25 Mitchell which was part of a reunion of veterans at Dunsfold and included a flypast with Sally B; also Flt Lt Mark Long's fantastic Typhoon display this year or the flying debuts of the Gazelle Squadron at Cosford and the Army Air Corps Historic Squadron at Abingdon?
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Re: UKAR's Top 10 UK 'Airshow Moments' of 2016

Postby andrewn on Sun 01 Jan 2017, 10:14 pm

regards the F-35 as the #1 choice I sort of agree and sort of disagree. Having been at Leeuwarden and seen the F-35's display in Europe for the very first time, in inclement weather and being thrown around much more impressively than the RIAT demo then this would have been my choice. Less F-35's than at RIAT but, for me, much more impactful. I may have been way back from the crowdline, it may have been raining, but still the sight of those '35's coming in at treetop height and then the huge vapour "cone" at what seemed very high speed is a memory that will live me forever - a bit like Binbrook '87 for those that remember it :)

EDIT: Doh - UK list, I get that now :)
Last edited by andrewn on Sun 01 Jan 2017, 11:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: UKAR's Top 10 UK 'Airshow Moments' of 2016

Postby UKTopgun on Sun 01 Jan 2017, 11:14 pm

But this is a UK top ten...
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Re: UKAR's Top 10 UK 'Airshow Moments' of 2016

Postby Dan O'Hagan on Sun 01 Jan 2017, 11:30 pm

I think it's a fair list, and one which illustrates the moribund state of airshows in 2016. When a token demonstration by an aircraft as soulless as the F-35 tops the bill, debut or not, it rather suggests that the game is up.

Will 2017 be any better? Hopefully, yes. Modern military is beyond saving, but there are plenty of exciting warbird developments, not least the Bf109E at Biggin. I'll predict now that it'll be top of the list in 12 months time...

I suspect the big news in 2017 (and possibly beyond) that will shape the future of airshows will take place in the law courts as the aftermath of Shoreham is finally addressed. Interesting times ahead, for sure.
Dan O'Hagan

Re: UKAR's Top 10 UK 'Airshow Moments' of 2016

Postby boff180 on Mon 02 Jan 2017, 7:30 am

Pringles wrote:I question the inclusion of the Blenheim as the 8th best UK airshow moment - whilst it was no doubt a polished display, was it really that impressive when compared with displays this year? It strikes me as a little as though it was the 'least worst' display at the Shuttleworth Season Premiere, rather than as one of the best all year? Perhaps with the decrease in shows covered by UKAR it is worth distinguishing that these are the top 10 moments covered by the UKAR team - off the top of my head I'd push for the inclusion of the 320 (Netherlands) Sqn temporary schemed B25 Mitchell which was part of a reunion of veterans at Dunsfold and included a flypast with Sally B; also Flt Lt Mark Long's fantastic Typhoon display this year or the flying debuts of the Gazelle Squadron at Cosford and the Army Air Corps Historic Squadron at Abingdon?


Slightly strange clarification that it's UKAR that have chosen this top 10 as that's blatantly obvious?

The Blenheim was included because of what it represented at that stage of the season before the CAA began issuing dispensations. The civilian circuit was getting to grips with the awful new regulations that had neutered many displays. Then the Blenheim came along and gave a little bit of hope that, when an aircraft was flown correctly, there was potentially something to salvage giving a reason to continue attending civilian shows. That's why it was chosen as a moment.

Apart from one item in your list someone from staff was present at all of those you've listed, they were not top 10 highlights in 2016 in our opinion, it's a testament to the quality in the industry that there were so many high points during what was a difficult year. In regards to the Typhoon as a "moment" the BAE display uniquely in P1E config was more worthy of that tag, in fact it almost made it in to the list, even if it was less dynamic. There were far better fast jet displays at RIAT to be honest.

Andy
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Re: UKAR's Top 10 UK 'Airshow Moments' of 2016

Postby Spotty_Jag on Mon 02 Jan 2017, 11:31 am

Pringles wrote:Also Flt Lt Mark Long's fantastic Typhoon display this year

Not sure how 35+ separate display can constitute a single 'moment'. It's not meant to be a list of the top displays or rarest participants.
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Re: UKAR's Top 10 UK 'Airshow Moments' of 2016

Postby The Baron on Wed 04 Jan 2017, 6:27 am

I'd have thought that the return of PA474 to the circuit would have made the list. It was certainly a highlight for me.
Loafer for Mr. Da Vinci.
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Re: UKAR's Top 10 UK 'Airshow Moments' of 2016

Postby duxfordhawk on Wed 04 Jan 2017, 10:25 am

Nothing on that list that I can argue with, many I experienced first hand although I attended less airshows than I normally would. The 2016 season was always going to be a difficult one with the new post Shoreham regulations, but the glass is definitely half full.

For me RIAT with the F-35's deserves to be number 1 and in general RIAT was my airshow highlight, and the top ten definitely echos that.
All the best for 2017 UKAR's.
Last edited by duxfordhawk on Wed 04 Jan 2017, 10:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: UKAR's Top 10 UK 'Airshow Moments' of 2016

Postby CJS on Wed 04 Jan 2017, 10:38 am

duxfordhawk wrote:.
All the best for 2018 UKAR's.


Can we have 2017 first please? :surrender:
"Forewarned is forearmed"
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Re: UKAR's Top 10 UK 'Airshow Moments' of 2016

Postby duxfordhawk on Wed 04 Jan 2017, 10:51 am

CJS wrote:
duxfordhawk wrote:.
All the best for 2018 UKAR's.


Can we have 2017 first please? :surrender:


OOP's let me correct that.
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Re: UKAR's Top 10 UK 'Airshow Moments' of 2016

Postby Elliott Marsh on Wed 04 Jan 2017, 1:18 pm

I thought I'd throw my tuppence into this thread, with a few thoughts in response to the questions posed at the end of the article.

I can see the rationale for including the Blenheim, but it seems a little odd given there were some excellent displays carried out later in the season - the Spitfires in July, Mew Gulls in... September (?) and the mad Hurricane/Cosmic Wind/Mew Gull/Spartan Executive/Tailor Titch air race, to name but three, which were genuinely excellent rather than being the tepid high point of a depressing afternoon. Quite surprised Dodge Bailey's sunset Comet epic didn't make it into the rankings and, looking away to Duxford, that the 15 Spitfires and/or Fury/Bearcat pair missed out.

TFC and the Sea Vixen at Fly Navy were two of the crowning highlights of the year, and would likely be at the very top of my list. The Vixen starting its display with a low entry to an on-crowd wingover was a hell of a mission statement!

Similarly the Fury at Legends is a real standout. There was a tremendous buzz when the aircraft arrived at Duxford on Wednesday (men sprinting!) and that only grew with each of Richard Grace's sublime practice displays. You don't get that magic too often. Appreciate the entries were penned by different authors, but I chuckled at the contract between "great power and agility" at Legends "boom 'n' zoom" for the Fly Navy entry, used to describe similar high-powered aerobatic routines. I'm firmly of the view that warbird aerobatics are infinitely more interesting than constant topsides and flat routines, FWIW.

I wasn't at VL or RIAT, but having seen four Rafales at La Ferté-Alais in May (Friday's practice being comfortably the most exciting fast-jet demo I've ever seen), RAMEX Delta at RIAT '15 and Florennes, and the Wings of Storm at Kecskemet in 2013, I'm not at all surprised that they made the list. I can't really comment on the F-35 as I've yet to see it display, but I can see both sides of the argument. A charisma vacuum it may be for many, but it was a significant debut that undoubtedly warrants a place on the list. Whether top billing is appropriate depends entirely on your point of view!

I think there was much more to enjoy this year than many give credit for. Having attended only Duxford, Old Warden, Stow Maries and Sywell in the UK, I can comfortably fill a top 10 with highlights that generally stand up against previous years' offerings. Not a year that'll be remembered fondly, but one to simply get through safely - after all the madness at the start of the year and the ripples that sent through the scene early on in May 2016, I'm grateful to have enjoyed the year as much as I did.
Elliott Marsh


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