Ask Andy - Your Questions Answered!

Ask Andy - Your Questions Answered!

Postby LN Strike Eagle on Tue 05 May 2009, 9:15 pm

UK Airshow Review Website Updates (05/05/2009)

Squadron Leader Andy Pawsey Exclusive Interview - Gareth Stringer puts your questions to the RAF Events Team.

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We'll have another update for you tomorrow with 5 more articles.
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Re: Ask Andy - Your Questions Answered!

Postby Crossbow on Wed 06 May 2009, 2:27 pm

Hello

Fantastic Report with excellent Pictures.No way to do it better!!
Thank you!!! :clap: :clap: :clap:

Hans :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
HJ Breuer
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Re: Ask Andy - Your Questions Answered!

Postby MrAngry2 on Wed 06 May 2009, 2:44 pm

Yes very good report all, certainly answers a lot of the 'why don't they just...' questions.
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Re: Ask Andy - Your Questions Answered!

Postby Ben Montgomery on Wed 06 May 2009, 4:52 pm

Yep very good report - thanks for answering all those questions LBS! :clap:
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Re: Ask Andy - Your Questions Answered!

Postby DeanW on Wed 06 May 2009, 6:04 pm

A very good article. Certainly gave me a greater understanding on the subject.
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Re: Ask Andy - Your Questions Answered!

Postby effects on Wed 06 May 2009, 7:22 pm

Do not understand his view on 'special' schemes, everyone should promote these as it is a great morale booster to see your Sqn's a/c marked up.
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Re: Ask Andy - Your Questions Answered!

Postby Red Dragon on Wed 06 May 2009, 8:20 pm

A very interesting read, and LBS explained his answers in detail, in a manner that satified my curiosity, not in the usual MoD automated response manner of "Because I say so" type of answer. Welldone LBS :clap: :clap: :clap:
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Re: Ask Andy - Your Questions Answered!

Postby hunterxf382 on Wed 06 May 2009, 9:00 pm

:clap: A very good read - well done to those that took part, and thank you "Light Blue Sky" for your answers and your time on this forum....
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Re: Ask Andy - Your Questions Answered!

Postby MOD on Wed 06 May 2009, 9:01 pm

I also am a little surprised by the comments regarding Special Markings on aircraft for Squadron Anniversaries etc. In the past Strike Command always made a point of arranging Press photocalls of these specially marked aircraft and sent them to several airshows as they could always guarantee to see lots of subsequent coverage in the Aviation magazines. Which was surely a good thing? Only the continentals seem to do this now - they at least seem proud to promote their historical heritage and not solely concerned with recruiting and PR.

The frequent comment made was "What's in it for the RAF" ( by sending aircraft to a display)? OK a Tutor display may excite a 13 year old, but for how long? It is certainly not going to inspire a future generation. They will soon have to look to an aviation forum to see the latest RAF hardware as ,apparently, the RAF themselves see no benefit in displaying their more interesting, front line, aircraft to the British public. To a generation brought up on Vulcan/Lightning/Phantom/Tornado/Harrier etc displays this seems a very short sighted outlook. IMHO :sad:
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Re: Ask Andy - Your Questions Answered!

Postby toom317 on Wed 06 May 2009, 9:05 pm

How very disapointing. The comment, "Corporate image is important and extends to more than a logo on an airframe. Press releases, souvenir programme, commentary, etc all play a major role in delivering the message.", says it all.

Is the RAF a fighting force or a service provider?
What exactly is this "message" you are trying to deliver?

"Any chance of a Squirrel or Griffin flying display at airshows next year?
I think I would answer this with a question - what benefit would we (the RAF) get from having them display? What would the impact be? This is an important Engagement Strategy policy strand - you don't just do something because you can.

Could we ever see a Dominie display?
Again, I would have to ask what would this really deliver for the RAF?"


I find your answers to those 2 questions baffling. What would the impact be? Well it would give the public you are trying to "engage" with, the opportunity to see the equipment that Helicopter Pilots and WSO/WSOp train on for starters. It would also make a change from the usual fare being served up at other airshows. Or is just not flash enough?
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Re: Ask Andy - Your Questions Answered!

Postby garethbrum on Wed 06 May 2009, 9:21 pm

MOD wrote:I also am a little surprised by the comments regarding Special Markings on aircraft for Squadron Anniversaries etc. In the past Strike Command always made a point of arranging Press photocalls of these specially marked aircraft and sent them to several airshows as they could always guarantee to see lots of subsequent coverage in the Aviation magazines. Which was surely a good thing? Only the continentals seem to do this now - they at least seem proud to promote their historical heritage and not solely concerned with recruiting and PR.

The frequent comment made was "What's in it for the RAF" ( by sending aircraft to a display)? OK a Tutor display may excite a 13 year old, but for how long? It is certainly not going to inspire a future generation. They will soon have to look to an aviation forum to see the latest RAF hardware as ,apparently, the RAF themselves see no benefit in displaying their more interesting, front line, aircraft to the British public. To a generation brought up on Vulcan/Lightning/Phantom/Tornado/Harrier etc displays this seems a very short sighted outlook. IMHO :sad:



I don't want to speak for AP but a couple of points may need clarifying. I'm sure he'll dive in when he's got a minute if he wants to add anything else.

Regarding special schemes the RAFET has nothing to do with this whatsoever and it is made clear in the feature that any decision on schemes is entirely down to the Squadrons themselves. Andy does also appreciate, as the feature says, that the squadrons take great pride in producing such schemes.

In terms of the comment "What's in it for the RAF" he doesn't say this with regard to any front-line aircraft - more with reference to the likes of Squirrel, Dominie and Griffin. C-130 is the closest we get to front-line in relation to this point and Andy makes it clear that the effect on training would probably be too great, although it (a 'duet' specifically) would be feasible.

Thanks for the comments so far folks - glad you find it interesting.
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Re: Ask Andy - Your Questions Answered!

Postby Major Grief on Thu 07 May 2009, 12:18 am

Gareth,
Thanks to you and Andy for a great article. :clap:
I was disappointed with some of the answers that Andy gave, but not with him if that makes sense. He's in a no-win situation really, because I've no doubt that if money were no object that RAFET would be giving us some monumental displays. I suspect that the real challenge for them is to do the best they can with very few resources.
Perhaps there needs to be some blue sky thinking here. Andy briefly mentioned outsourcing, and if he's serious I'm more than happy to have a crack at the solo Tucano display this year. I've never flown a full-sized aeroplane before, but I fly models so that's pretty close. I mean, how hard can it be? :biggrin:
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Re: Ask Andy - Your Questions Answered!

Postby IanOlder on Thu 07 May 2009, 12:34 pm

A very interesting article and a good insight into how the events team work. I was however also disappointed with the views on "special markings" which are generally welcomed by most enthusiasts and particularly photographers. Look at the reaction to the flynavy Hawks/Harrier and the blue Seaking or the recent thread showing the GAF F4. Hi-viz markings are popular, it would be nice if the RAFET could encourage it.

Additionally the response to the 'photo pass' question was a bit of a surprise (copied below).
I don't recall very many RAF displays incorporating the topside pass, infact recent displays of all types mostly show the belly of the aircraft. I think the question reflects quite a widely held view that the RAF lack's something similiar to the "dedication pass" used by the USAF ACC teams. The opportunity within a display routine for topside photo's is, just like some colourful markings, something most of us would appreciate.

Could we see the display acts having a USAF style photo pass incorporated into their display, where the aircraft come in low and fast, with the top side of the aircraft banked over towards the crowd - even if it was at the end of the display?

I would probably argue that a flypast like this has been incorporated in to almost every frontline display we've put on... and isn't it easier from a photographic point of view to get a shot when the aircraft is at 300kts rather than 500kts?!
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Re: Ask Andy - Your Questions Answered!

Postby TomG on Sun 10 May 2009, 8:01 pm

,Whilst it was heartening to read the article and good of Andy to take the time and effort to provide us with an insight into the process, I too was quite disappointed to read some of the responses to the questions posed. Whilst acknowledged as a personal point of view the comment regarding special schemes puzzled me; yes, the aircraft are "instruments of airpower" but are also a valuable "engagement tool" when seen at airshows around the country generating interest and comment from the public. I would much rather see a tastefully marked front line aircraft such as the IV(AC) Sqn Harrier GR.9 or II(AC)Sqn Tornado GR.4 than one bearing the cheap and tacky 'RAF 90th' stickers that peel off in no time at all.

As for the decision being in the hands of the respective squadron, I was under the impression that there is an approval process for any such scheme before application to the aircraft? Witness the all black 43(F)Sqn F.3, 29 Sqn's short lived, gaudy, flame bedecked F.3 and the first version of the 208 Sqn Buccaneer all of which saw the powers that be step in and enforce removal of the scheme or changes to the presentation.

Regarding the topside pass; I don't recall any RAF fast jet display in the last 35 years or so that had an equivalent to the USAF 'Dedication Pass' - photography easier at 300kts? Maybe. More impact and a lasting impression at 500kts when appearing from slightly behind an expectant audience? You bet!!

Cheers, Tom
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Re: Ask Andy - Your Questions Answered!

Postby garethbrum on Sun 10 May 2009, 8:54 pm

Tom, there may well be an approval process but I don't think it is one that involves the RAFET, as the article says.
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Re: Ask Andy - Your Questions Answered!

Postby agdickie on Sun 10 May 2009, 10:05 pm

TomG wrote:Regarding the topside pass; I don't recall any RAF fast jet display in the last 35 years or so that had an equivalent to the USAF 'Dedication Pass' - photography easier at 300kts? Maybe. More impact and a lasting impression at 500kts when appearing from slightly behind an expectant audience? You bet!!


While not a dedicated "Dedication Pass" the RoleDemo did introduce a topside from the Sentry at the end, for the photographers. A genius idea if i may say so, not that i ever got to see it :sad:
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Re: Ask Andy - Your Questions Answered!

Postby TomG on Mon 11 May 2009, 5:35 am

garethbrum wrote:Tom, there may well be an approval process but I don't think it is one that involves the RAFET, as the article says.


Fully acknowldege that Gareth; I was commenting 'in addition' to the question below and subsequent answer which read:

"Will a Typhoon ever receive special colours? E.g. for 100 years of No 3 Sqn in 2012?

Hope not - see previous answer! Any decision to do this would be down to OC No 3 Sqn."

Tom
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Re: Ask Andy - Your Questions Answered!

Postby TomG on Mon 11 May 2009, 5:36 am

agdickie wrote:
TomG wrote:Regarding the topside pass; I don't recall any RAF fast jet display in the last 35 years or so that had an equivalent to the USAF 'Dedication Pass' - photography easier at 300kts? Maybe. More impact and a lasting impression at 500kts when appearing from slightly behind an expectant audience? You bet!!


While not a dedicated "Dedication Pass" the RoleDemo did introduce a topside from the Sentry at the end, for the photographers. A genius idea if i may say so, not that i ever got to see it :sad:


Agreed but with the best will in the world the E-3D is hardly a 'fast jet' - in the context given here.

Tom
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Re: Ask Andy - Your Questions Answered!

Postby effects on Mon 11 May 2009, 10:34 am

effects wrote:Do not understand his view on 'special' schemes, everyone should promote these as it is a great morale booster to see your Sqn's a/c marked up.


My comment was based on his comment
"I would have no special schemes whatsoever on any frontline aircraft, if it was my decision! These aircraft are not advertising hoardings, nor are they supposed to be flying around like kids with their faces painted - they are instruments of airpower and, as such, should be seen as best as possible in their natural state. The Red Arrows does the gloss - the rest of the aircraft I would like to see as they should be."

That is why I said 'his view'.
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Re: Ask Andy - Your Questions Answered!

Postby agdickie on Mon 11 May 2009, 2:58 pm

TomG wrote:Agreed but with the best will in the world the E-3D is hardly a 'fast jet' - in the context given here.


Yeah, me once again not reading the post fully :oops:
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Re: Ask Andy - Your Questions Answered!

Postby jetwash on Mon 11 May 2009, 4:41 pm

MOD wrote:I also am a little surprised by the comments regarding Special Markings on aircraft for Squadron Anniversaries etc. In the past Strike Command always made a point of arranging Press photocalls of these specially marked aircraft and sent them to several airshows as they could always guarantee to see lots of subsequent coverage in the Aviation magazines. Which was surely a good thing? Only the continentals seem to do this now - they at least seem proud to promote their historical heritage and not solely concerned with recruiting and PR.

The frequent comment made was "What's in it for the RAF" ( by sending aircraft to a display)? OK a Tutor display may excite a 13 year old, but for how long? It is certainly not going to inspire a future generation. They will soon have to look to an aviation forum to see the latest RAF hardware as ,apparently, the RAF themselves see no benefit in displaying their more interesting, front line, aircraft to the British public. To a generation brought up on Vulcan/Lightning/Phantom/Tornado/Harrier etc displays this seems a very short sighted outlook. IMHO :sad:


Tutor....excite....me (13 yr old). I wouldnt be excited if it flew over my head at ten feet. Not saying its a bad display, just not as exciting as a Typhoon :sleepy:
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Re: Ask Andy - Your Questions Answered!

Postby MOD on Mon 11 May 2009, 7:58 pm

Exactly jetwash ... I was quoting "loosely" Andy Pawsey You can stand next to a 13 year old and say to them - "if you joined the Cadets you could be up in a Tutor next week". Wow I can remember when the RAF Cadet Cpt would have been pointing at a Lightning in Firebird markings and saying - "one day son this will be all yours." :grin:

This whole issue smacks of that modern oxymoron - "Customer Service" ie they (the tax paying public) will get what we give them and like it...
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Re: Ask Andy - Your Questions Answered!

Postby jetwash on Mon 11 May 2009, 10:35 pm

Also, if there was a Dominie display, in my opinion, it would be better than a tutor. I know kids my age would rather see a punchy display, like the king air's, flown by an aircraft that makes a bit of jet noise, and is bigger (dominie), than a small quite prop plane. And for Joe public, who dont really appreciate a well flown display by a small quiet white plane, a few rolls, a loop and a fast noisy pass (any front line jet)would make them interested and more likely to join.
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Re: Ask Andy - Your Questions Answered!

Postby Light Blue Spy on Wed 13 May 2009, 11:33 am

Thanks for the comments on Gareth’s well written piece. Will try and answer some of the individual comments. (Deep breath) Here goes . . .

(effects) “Do not understand his view on 'special' schemes, everyone should promote these as it is a great morale booster to see your Sqn's a/c marked up.”

My view is easy to understand – I disagree! I have no issue with schemes on training aircraft and know that the guys take pleasure and pride in what they produce. Any extra requirement for bright colours and pictures-in-the-air is covered by RAFAT. I like to see frontline aircraft just as nature intended (and just they way we work with them every day) ie weary, dirty, armed!! I think some realism is important and a GR4 slipping out of an armoured suit via a large toothy zip whilst baring an impressive set of fangs – just doesn’t do it for me. Would you apply the same argument to fire engines, police cars, Challenger tanks, T42 Destroyers, etc? I believe much of this argument is founded of photographers wanting to differentiate their 2,546th typhoon picture from all the rest.

I am sure most of you will be pleased to know that the Events Team (and me specifically) have no influence on colour schemes as they are decided upon and produced at Squadron level, in line with certain rules and regulations.

(MOD) “I also am a little surprised by the comments regarding Special Markings on aircraft … always guarantee to see lots of subsequent coverage in the Aviation magazines.”

Maybe true but, take it from me, getting coverage in aviation magazines is not a problem! Also (I am sure you will jump at me for this!) a reader of an aviation magazine is already engaged so not really a key target for us. If we have to specially spray paint airframes to get media coverage, something is seriously wrong.

(MOD) “The frequent comment made was "What's in it for the RAF" ( by sending aircraft to a display)?”

I think my personal views on the current availability of RAF display assets are well known. The “Vulcan/Lightning/Phantom” world is long gone. We do see benefit in displaying the more interesting aircraft but the ends have to justify the means? You may think it is short sighted but then have you hid in a Wadi waiting for your fast air support to arrive? Or tried to maintain a squadron of elderly aircraft with a low number of spares and an even lower number of engineers? Or told your family that despite being away on operations for the last 6 months, you are now working every weekend this summer?

(toom317) “How very disappointing. The comment, "Corporate image is important and extends to more than a logo on an airframe. Press releases, souvenir programme, commentary, etc all play a major role in delivering the message.", says it all. Is the RAF a fighting force or a service provider? What exactly is this "message" you are trying to deliver?”

Some time ago, the RAF sponsored a large survey to gauge what the public though of the RAF. Some of the main responses were “Battle of Britain”, “Biggles”, “The MOD Roundel” (as in MODs & Rockers, not Ministry of Defence!). Not exactly a ringing endorsement of a modern fighting force. About the same time the Guardian published an article on the hardworking Army C-130s! The RAF is the not the sole operator of UK military aircraft. So, when the RAF appears in front of the public (man and/or machine) I want them to recognise their RAF and feel proud. That is the message I am trying to deliver and it does require the range of methods I mentioned. I sat in a Southport restaurant last year on the Sunday after the show overhearing a familiy discussing how much they enjoyed the display by the army helicopter "with the two rotors that makes a funny noise"!

Service Provider? Fighting Force? Work it out for yourself.

(toom317) “I find your answers to those 2 questions baffling. What would the impact be? Well it would give the public you are trying to "engage" with, the opportunity to see the equipment that Helicopter Pilots and WSO/WSOp train on for starters. It would also make a change from the usual fare being served up at other airshows. Or is just not flash enough?”

Accordingly to MOD (above), it is certainly not flash enough! Sure, we could have a display representing every single type of training aircraft we have in service. Would that add to engagement? The training types are already well represented with Tutor, Tucano (usually), Hawk and King Air. SAR demos are not as common as they use to be but still work well at the right venue. Of course if we did have a Squirrel, Griffon or Dominie display we would really have to logo them up otherwise they would look just like their civilian equivalents! I am all in favour of a “change from the usual fare” at airshows as demonstrated by the TBM-700 displays at RIAT.

(IanOlder) “I don't recall very many RAF displays incorporating the topside pass, in fact recent displays of all types mostly show the belly of the aircraft. I think the question reflects quite a widely held view that the RAF lack's something similar to the "dedication pass" used by the USAF ACC teams”

I disagree, but as a non-photographer, I am probably wrong. Judging by the images I have seen on this site over the years (including when we had more front-line jet displays) plenty of photographic opportunities have been provided. I certainly took on-board comments after Role Demo 07 and tried to make Role Demo 08 more photogenic. Indeed, a few members of this site were given a sneaky-peak of the Role Demo 08 plan, long before we actually flew it, and asked to comment on it from a photographic point of view. Perhaps something we could carry through further.

Probably enough for now. Thanks for the interest.
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Re: Ask Andy - Your Questions Answered!

Postby MOD on Wed 13 May 2009, 6:36 pm

Thanks for the honest replies to my "criticisms". I appreciate where you ie RAFET are coming from.
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