Many thanks again for posting about the show. I think what Leuchars managed to attract on the day was excellent and many shows across the country would be envious. As Iain pointed out 4 foreign jet displays plus the older jets really lifted the flying display this year. However, my emotions will get the better of me here, I was extremely disappointed with how the home team was represented and how the static display was laid out. I really think the Leuchars team need to look around at other shows and start thinking out of the box in terms of how they do the static next time. Again the majority of the aircraft in attendance both foreign and domestic was excellent and with less aircraft available to attend, something needs to be done to maximise what they have.
I've been going to Leuchars since before I can remember and one of the things that attracts me to the show every year is how the base is represented. Having one 111 F.3 on static and another, JU at that, tucked away in the hanger made my blood boil. I know there are still a number of F.3's tucked away in various locations at Leuchars and I cannot believe that some of them could not be used in the static. I heard a lot of stories about why and I am not going to repeat them on here but it seemed to me that the new leadership at Leuchars was embarrassed about their own. I was there on Friday for the enthusiast package and on Saturday for the show and the feeling on base just wasn't the same for me. Something wasn't right.
Unfortunately nothing could be done about the issues with the jets for the Q launch so no complaints there. I was glad to see that at least something was planned and salvaged.
Why did the RR Spitfire replace the traditional F.3 flypast for the sunset ceremony? I watched the Spit and F.3 form up in the distance and disappear as the SAR Seaking left the base. the Spitfire began its display approximately 8 minutes before the sunset ceremony. I was hoping the flypast could still have happened in that time or even scrub the display and go forward with the flypast. Even after the sunset ceremony, the F.3 came straight into land - why couldn't they do a break and land?
Another question, why did the Typhoon fly with the Reds? Great to see, absolutely, but why on earth did they not fly with an F.3???
The use of barriers in the static must be the worst of any airshow. It seems absolutely pointless having the barriers so tight to the aircraft if people can still touch the jets. The taxi ways were tight too with static jets at one side and all the food stalls on the other side. There was a lot of people around either looking at the jets or waiting in line for food and it was quite difficult to make your way through the crowds. I'm not sure that layout was particularly wise. I think there needs to be a rethink on how the airfield is laid out in future. I felt sorry for the traders as the lack of static was really evident once you walked past the Vulan on the cross runway. There were a small number of GA lined up and nothing "juicy" to drag the public up the taxiway were the trading stalls were. No F.3's at the entrance to welcome the puiblic in either as per previous years.
I had a few issues with the enthusiast package this year too but I will pass on my feedback to the airshow office.
Apologies for the rant, it isn't aimed at you Andy. I just came away from the weekend disappointed. We had great weather and some great aircraft but it just didn't feel the same for me. Great commentary and apologies for not being able to catch up with you over the weekend.