May 6th - Season Premiere & RAF centenary

Re: May 6th - Season Premiere & RAF centenary

Postby boff180 on Sun 06 May 2018, 10:54 pm

LN Strike Eagle wrote:
It seems people have been arriving earlier and earlier for a while though - the place is always busy at the advertised gate opening time.


I got there around 8:10 and the queue was back to the public highway at that point. I was parked up about 8:40/8:45 and by then the front row was full up to the vehicle crash gate, I had to set up to the right of the gate.

I’ve nevrr had to do that at that time before, there’s usually plenty of space in the corner. My car was 6 rows back even at that time!

I’m reserving judgement on the Typhoon until I see the full display, todays was altitude restricted which clearly affected it. That said, compared to last years there were some moments that did appear more aggressive. OW doesn’t suit fast jet displays but fair play for them running a display that coveted 100 years of the RAF.

Andy
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Re: May 6th - Season Premiere & RAF centenary

Postby ted633 on Mon 07 May 2018, 6:30 am

Fantastic day yesterday. Weather obviously helped, but all the flying was superb. Seeing the Lancaster approach on that line and the anticipation of it going 'round the bend' was great, and then to get formation passes with the Anson as well. TE311 dropping in to say hello while they were forming up was a nice surprise too.
Special mentions have also got to go to the Blenheim & Spitfire displays, especially the farewell pass from MH434 towards the end of the show. Good to see the Blackburn Monoplane airborne as I've never seen that before.

As for getting in, I aimed for a 12 o'clock arrival and got in at 1, the main reason for the queue being the car parking itself, not the ticket checks, which seemed like barely organised chaos with cars parked at all sorts of angles!

Had no issues with toilets, but, as others have said, my main gripe would be the catering. The queue was enormous and would have taken over an hour, so I didn't bother. This is something that needs looking at for all shows, as even at last years Fly Navy (Dull, grey day) I still queued 45 minutes for food. I'd take Duxford/RIAT style catering over that, as at least I can get it without a long wait!

Other than that, it was a great afternoon and a great way to kick off the season. Roll on Fly Navy III.
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Re: May 6th - Season Premiere & RAF centenary

Postby Tbolt on Mon 07 May 2018, 6:51 am

This was a great show and a real classic, some lovely flying. The Typhoon had two things against it - it was first which meant the light wasn't great for photography and it was a dry day which meant very little vapour but even then it wasn't great, but it's the RAF so guess we can't expect an Old Warden tailored display. But after that things quickly put a smile on my face. One of these days when sat behind a Hurricane and Spit I will get a descent flaming start picture!

I got there early so didn't have a problem with traffic arriving or leaving but was surprised by the queue to get in later on, don't remember seeing it like that before. As for large queues for the toilets, I didn't had a problem, the main toilets between Hangar 4 and 5 always seemed to have a queue so I just used the small toilets between Hangar 1 and the Gift shop which didn't have a queue, I guess due to less obvious signage a lot of the non-regulars go to the bigger toilets.

The catering was inadequate again - just having Old Warden's own catering for a sell out show is not enough.
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Re: May 6th - Season Premiere & RAF centenary

Postby Andover on Mon 07 May 2018, 7:32 am

I'm a newbie to Old Warden. Never been before because I wasn't all that interested in all the old stuff before, but I'm glad I've changed!

What a beautiful little airfield it is! I had a two hour drive and originally intended to get there for 10.00, but then thought if I arrive at 9.00, I'd stand a better chance of parking closer to the crowd line - a very good decision indeed, as I was only two rows back in the main airfield area, and could view from the car. A 10.00 arrival would have had me in a separate area (southward) and away from crowd centre. Didn't queue on the road, just a steady crawl from the western entrance across the estate to the airfield, which was no problem at all, and actually very pleasant on a sunny day. They'd actually opened the gates before 9.00 due to demand of traffic.

A great show, loved the Anson's new scheme, all the formations, and anything silver is good (Demon, Tutor, etc.) And some great top side passes. The lighting got better as the day went on as the sun moved behind.

As for food, I always bring my own - why would you want to queue for it?

Why haven't I done this one before? Watching these delightful machines on a cloudless warm day is just delightful. And as I say, such a beautiful venue

Welldone Shuttleworth! Will go to the evening ones next!
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Re: May 6th - Season Premiere & RAF centenary

Postby Harvo266 on Mon 07 May 2018, 8:48 am

cg_341 wrote:Serious, Harvo? Can the Typhoon display do no wrong in your eyes?

There's one good weather display, it doesn't get more or less aggressive depending on who is watching!

Oh, I’m quite happy to admit yesterday’s display wasn’t as good as I’ve seen it, but as others have said, a tight box, altitude and a flat display was against it. It will be much more suited at other shows, I’m sure.
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Re: May 6th - Season Premiere & RAF centenary

Postby Ryan. on Mon 07 May 2018, 9:30 am

Arrived at about 10 and the queue to get it was long and slow moving. Longest it's ever taken me to get in, including the sell out when the Vulcan did it's final display.

I took my boyfriend so did more than normal, the House and the Swiss Gardens it is sometimes easy to forget that Shuttleworth isn't just about aeroplanes.

The show itself I felt was excellent. The Typhoon was a bit distant but I didn't exact anything closer really. The BBMF really stood out, the Spitfire especially putting on an especially good solo display. The Blenhiem was made for Shuttleworth fantastic display. Lots of other highlights too.

I have to agree that the warbirds not the gliders should have finished the main show off. Although I don't know if AR501 was due to fly with the Spitfires or perhaps end the show in it's own right?

On the subject of catering, it is something that has come up before that the catering gets every overwhelmed. I'd encourage people to message Shuttleworth as they do take feedback onboard. Although now not perfect, they have admitted so themselves, the new PA system is a lot clearer after a number of critisms towards it. Let them know and hopefully in future it'll change.

Overall though an amazing start to the 2018 season. :clap:
Ryan.

Re: May 6th - Season Premiere & RAF centenary

Postby Flare Path on Mon 07 May 2018, 10:17 am

You will have to forgive me if my post is wax lyrical. However, the Season Premiere, coupled with outstanding RAF contributions and great weather made this one of the best starts to an airshow season in sometime.

The BBMF contribution – particularly the way they displayed – was sensational. Generous topside showings and close flying were a joy to witness and I'm grateful, not only the amazing Lancaster introduction, but the quite superb impromptu TE311 appearance. It was very hard to pick fault with their involvement and hopefully we see more great flying like this throughout the year. In addition, they brought along WG486 which looked absolutely beautiful – one of the highlights for me (Has this been repainted recently?)

I didn't think the Typhoon was all that impressive, but restrictions in place meant it was not possible for a full display, so that probably took some of the sting out of the performance - I hoped (like some of you) we would all be deafened by the end of the performance. On the debate whether Jets work at Old Warden, the answer is definitely yes – the Sea Vixen in 2016 proved it's possible to make it work and do it very well.

Avro Anson looked splendid in her new colours, but the solo display was a bit distant to have any real impact. The formation with the Lancaster was a nice touch.

Lots of other highlights, including the Blenheim and Hurricane pair topped off a great day. The bar has now been set very high for RAF100 and the rest of the calendar year, but this show might already have been the highlight. :win:
Flare Path

Re: May 6th - Season Premiere & RAF centenary

Postby Airwolfhound on Mon 07 May 2018, 10:19 am

Well, for a season opener, I thought Shuttleworth's was better than could have been expected.

Got there just after 8.30am, first row parking spot, and a very short stroll to where we camped out for the day. We always park ourselves up by the gates where the vehicle displays enter from and get a fab view of the runway and curve around by the control tower so all shots were catered for with minimum fuss. Thankfully, the 'smoking' brigade kept themselves at a distance so didn't have to suffer their odour and litter.

The flying display was top notch, and photography wise got some unique shots.

Very pleased to have made the decision to come 10 minutes down the road than to go to Abingdon (especially after seeing the Abingdon photos so far). Shuttleworth is blessed with the sun position towards the afternoon so got some amazing light on the Edwardians :-)

Great to see the Puma so close, the Typhoon was ok but have seen better displays from it.

All in all just a great day out. The only slight downer was queuing up for 45 minutes around 11.30am for our lunchtime burgers but all things considered they didn't require a 2nd mortgage to purchase and were quite yummy :-)

Took around 2 minutes to get off base and was home within 10 minutes so pretty darn good for the whole day :-)

650 photos taken and about 635 keepers lol :-)
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Re: May 6th - Season Premiere & RAF centenary

Postby Big Dave on Mon 07 May 2018, 11:44 am

We arrived at the end of the queue from the A1 at 9:42 and parked 45 minutes later about 50 yards beyond the the exit road and 20 yards back. My O/H, who has devised traffic management plans for far larger events, reckoned traffic management at Old Warden was very poor and potentially dangerous; towards the end of the afternoon departing cars were driving through people walking back to their vehicles though for many there was a safer route to the same exit via the back of the car park. After flying had ended, two lanes of cars merged into one on a pedestrian route to depart across the runway whereas the west route via Bedford was unused.

Catering outlets were unprepared for the numbers yet the event was known to be a sell-out and I read Old Warden capacity is 7,000. By 10:30, an hour before breakfast ended, the cafe had sold out of bacon and getting a hot drink was a nightmare as the drinks machines were too complicated for many people causing long delays, there should have been staff on them. Cold drinks were very expensive, £5.60 for two small bottles of 'freshly squeezed' lemonade and the sole drinks outlet near us, a mobile coffee seller, had run out of coffee by mid-afternoon. The toilet facilities fell below that required for a crowd of that size and supplies need to be replenished more often in the portaloos.

The commentary was all but unintelligible where we were sitting. We caught no more than 10-15% of what was said even though we were mid-point between two speakers and parked visiting aircraft did an excellent job of blocking the view of take offs and landings for thousands of paying spectators; this really does need dealing with. There seems to be plenty of space to park them elsewhere. Similarly the Puma, why park it side on blocking the view?

Despite all of that we had a thoroughly enjoyable day, Old Warden is our favourite air show venue by far even though we are only able to visit twice a year. The Typhoon's display was uninspired though thankfully quickly over with and that RAF 100 scheme - embarrassing or what, perhaps they blew their budget on tarting up their support vehicle. Great to see the Lancaster with its new scheme but sad to hear that it returned to Coningsby on three engines, hope it's not a serious problem. A cold war jet would have been welcome to plug a huge gap in the '100 years' but we appreciate that jet power is not what Old Warden is about.

As for the rest, we enjoyed them all with a special mention for the WW1 aircraft and the Edwardians right at the end; a pity many people left beforehand, they missed a real treat.
Big Dave

Re: May 6th - Season Premiere & RAF centenary

Postby BrawlerO on Mon 07 May 2018, 11:59 am

Airwolfhound wrote: Very pleased to have made the decision to come 10 minutes down the road than to go to Abingdon (especially after seeing the Abingdon photos so far). Shuttleworth is blessed with the sun position towards the afternoon so got some amazing light on the Edwardians :-)


I live ten minutes down the road from Abingdon and still glad I chose Shuttleworth. If I lived 10 minutes from Shuttleworth I’d be at every show!
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Re: May 6th - Season Premiere & RAF centenary

Postby Roughcutter on Mon 07 May 2018, 1:14 pm

Andover wrote:I'm a newbie to Old Warden. Never been before because I wasn't all that interested in all the old stuff before, but I'm glad I've changed


I know that wonderful feeling well, like discovering a crock of gold that all the time was right under your nose. After 40+ years of air shows my first time at OW was in October 2009, and have been addicted ever since. Everything about this place is wonderful, the location, the aircraft, the folk, atmosphere/pathos. And the photo opportunities are second to none (even in the rain), some of my best shots were taken at Warden. Beats Duxford by a country mile :whistle:
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Re: May 6th - Season Premiere & RAF centenary

Postby Tbolt on Mon 07 May 2018, 1:29 pm

Roughcutter wrote:
Andover wrote:I'm a newbie to Old Warden. Never been before because I wasn't all that interested in all the old stuff before, but I'm glad I've changed


I know that wonderful feeling well, like discovering a crock of gold that all the time was right under your nose. After 40+ years of air shows my first time at OW was in October 2009, and have been addicted ever since. Everything about this place is wonderful, the location, the aircraft, the folk, atmosphere/pathos. And the photo opportunities are second to none (even in the rain), some of my best shots were taken at Warden. Beats Duxford by a country mile :whistle:


What are you doing? Don't tell everyone that or the queues will get even bigger at Old Warden! ;)
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Re: May 6th - Season Premiere & RAF centenary

Postby Georgeconna on Mon 07 May 2018, 1:44 pm

Big Dave wrote:We arrived at the end of the queue from the A1 at 9:42 and parked 45 minutes later about 50 yards beyond the the exit road and 20 yards back. My O/H, who has devised traffic management plans for far larger events, reckoned traffic management at Old Warden was very poor and potentially dangerous; towards the end of the afternoon departing cars were driving through people walking back to their vehicles though for many there was a safer route to the same exit via the back of the car park. After flying had ended, two lanes of cars merged into one on a pedestrian route to depart across the runway whereas the west route via Bedford was unused.

Catering outlets were unprepared for the numbers yet the event was known to be a sell-out and I read Old Warden capacity is 7,000. By 10:30, an hour before breakfast ended, the cafe had sold out of bacon and getting a hot drink was a nightmare as the drinks machines were too complicated for many people causing long delays, there should have been staff on them. Cold drinks were very expensive, £5.60 for two small bottles of 'freshly squeezed' lemonade and the sole drinks outlet near us, a mobile coffee seller, had run out of coffee by mid-afternoon. The toilet facilities fell below that required for a crowd of that size and supplies need to be replenished more often in the portaloos.

The commentary was all but unintelligible where we were sitting. We caught no more than 10-15% of what was said even though we were mid-point between two speakers and parked visiting aircraft did an excellent job of blocking the view of take offs and landings for thousands of paying spectators; this really does need dealing with. There seems to be plenty of space to park them elsewhere. Similarly the Puma, why park it side on blocking the view?

Despite all of that we had a thoroughly enjoyable day, Old Warden is our favourite air show venue by far even though we are only able to visit twice a year. The Typhoon's display was uninspired though thankfully quickly over with and that RAF 100 scheme - embarrassing or what, perhaps they blew their budget on tarting up their support vehicle. Great to see the Lancaster with its new scheme but sad to hear that it returned to Coningsby on three engines, hope it's not a serious problem. A cold war jet would have been welcome to plug a huge gap in the '100 years' but we appreciate that jet power is not what Old Warden is about.

As for the rest, we enjoyed them all with a special mention for the WW1 aircraft and the Edwardians right at the end; a pity many people left beforehand, they missed a real treat.



Theres a big supermarket in Biggleswade, Sainburys r summit. Any one with a bit of sense knows Airshow Food is a rip off, Just go a bit early pop in there and get some scotch Eggs or Pork Pies, Loaf of Bead some ham maybe and some cheap drinks (probably not in plastic bottles) and hey presto no problems, Car is on The Airfield anyhow...Works for me every time but still we read food is too dear etc etc.
Cheers

George

Zero shows for 2018 Giving in a Rest.
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Re: May 6th - Season Premiere & RAF centenary

Postby Blackbird on Mon 07 May 2018, 1:50 pm

I don’t think hi I the price of food at OW is too bad. It’s the Huge queues caused by them being overwhelmed, and that on this occasion they’d run out before 4.00. Not only is that incompetent and inconvenient, they are also losing out in valuable profits.

Andy
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Re: May 6th - Season Premiere & RAF centenary

Postby Big Dave on Mon 07 May 2018, 3:19 pm

Georgeconna wrote:Theres a big supermarket in Biggleswade, Sainburys r summit. Any one with a bit of sense knows Airshow Food is a rip off, Just go a bit early pop in there and get some scotch Eggs or Pork Pies, Loaf of Bead some ham maybe and some cheap drinks (probably not in plastic bottles) and hey presto no problems, Car is on The Airfield anyhow...Works for me every time but still we read food is too dear etc etc.


Thank you for your reply to my original post. I've passed your comments onto my O/H who, the evening previous to the event, made a packed lunch for each of us which was kept in the fridge overnight before putting in a cool box and taken to old Warden. I didn't think that level of domestic detail came under 'show review' but will remember to ask her for our menu so that I can include it in future contributions.

BTW - she's from Aberdeen. Her reply to you contained three Fs.
Big Dave

Re: May 6th - Season Premiere & RAF centenary

Postby Weather Watcher on Mon 07 May 2018, 3:31 pm

Great start to the season but as others have said was busy early. By the time the Puma arrived just before 10.30 the flightline was full.
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Re: May 6th - Season Premiere & RAF centenary

Postby J Cox on Mon 07 May 2018, 10:40 pm

Thoroughly enjoyable day, my first Old Warden airshow and certainly not the last.

Nothing to complain about from myself, left Northampton around 9:15 and by 10:30 we had a decent spot a couple of rows back, just in front of Spitfire MH434.

The fiancée, 7 year old son and 7 month old daughter couldn't fault it either, plenty of time for us to have a good look around and keep us entertained until the flying started.

The thing that myself and partner both loved is that how you feel so close to the aircraft, both on the ground and in the air.

Very friendly atmosphere too, as some of you have described.

And just out of interest, who were the two Hurricane pilots?

Regards
J Cox

Re: May 6th - Season Premiere & RAF centenary

Postby Jakub.Zurek on Tue 08 May 2018, 8:09 am

Stu Goldspink in P3717. I believe Paul Stone in the Sea Hurricane although not 100% sure.
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Re: May 6th - Season Premiere & RAF centenary

Postby RED KITE OPS on Tue 08 May 2018, 8:57 am

Yep Stu Goldspink hopped into P3717 Straight after landing MH434, And Paul Stone in the Sea Hurricane. :up:
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Re: May 6th - Season Premiere & RAF centenary

Postby elterwater on Tue 08 May 2018, 3:36 pm

RED KITE OPS wrote:Yep Stu Goldspink hopped into P3717 Straight after landing MH434, And Paul Stone in the Sea Hurricane. :up:


These two fine gentlemen?

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Re: May 6th - Season Premiere & RAF centenary

Postby Roughcutter on Tue 08 May 2018, 8:03 pm

Tbolt wrote:
Roughcutter wrote:
Andover wrote:I'm a newbie to Old Warden. Never been before because I wasn't all that interested in all the old stuff before, but I'm glad I've changed


I know that wonderful feeling well, like discovering a crock of gold that all the time was right under your nose. After 40+ years of air shows my first time at OW was in October 2009, and have been addicted ever since. Everything about this place is wonderful, the location, the aircraft, the folk, atmosphere/pathos. And the photo opportunities are second to none (even in the rain), some of my best shots were taken at Warden. Beats Duxford by a country mile :whistle:


What are you doing? Don't tell everyone that or the queues will get even bigger at Old Warden! ;)


If there's no fairground there, or dj's spouting inane prattle above incessant racket, or stalls that sell tat - giant teddy's, cheap perfume, candyfloss etc. Then it won't attract the morons, chavs/idiots :smile:
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Re: May 6th - Season Premiere & RAF centenary

Postby Mooshie1956 on Tue 08 May 2018, 8:59 pm

Roughcutter wrote:If there's no fairground there, or dj's spouting inane prattle above incessant racket, or stalls that sell tat - giant teddy's, cheap perfume, candyfloss etc. Then it won't attract the morons, chavs/idiots :smile:


I don't know if that was said in jest or not, but it was so refreshing to go to a show and not see those stalls.
Even though for the regulars it was packed out, I still had plenty of room in my own space. I was just to the left of the Blenhiem and at the back of the crowd line, Still close enough to get some decent pictures. Although it seemed a bit of a pain to get to coming down from Manchester, I'll certainly be visiting again.
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Re: May 6th - Season Premiere & RAF centenary

Postby Jakub.Zurek on Tue 08 May 2018, 9:24 pm

I have to say that I was a little surprised when I looked around during the day. There seemed to be plenty of space left between rows of chairs and people, seemed very civilised.

With a sell out crowd, I expected for more people to try and be as close to the fence as possible, at least that's what my experience is of pretty much any other airshow venue.
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Re: May 6th - Season Premiere & RAF centenary

Postby Jetnoise on Tue 08 May 2018, 9:43 pm

Getting next to the fence at OW is not as important as at other shows as you never know what will be parked in front of you - it is always pot luck and runway shots are never guaranteed as a result. Everybody with a little common sense and capable of a little research knows that and accepts it. Makes me laugh when individuals complain about the parked aircraft spoiling their view after they got there so early :grin:
The key aspect of OW photography is the display line and the possibilities it opens up for getting superb shots of the flying display - witness the Lancaster's initial pass at the weekend and the varied formations. As a result, being back from the fence line is no real disadvantage which is why it is always nicely spaced out for the spectators - most relaxed :-)

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Re: May 6th - Season Premiere & RAF centenary

Postby alisdairanderson on Wed 09 May 2018, 5:02 am

Jetnoise wrote:Getting next to the fence at OW is not as important as at other shows as you never know what will be parked in front of you - it is always pot luck and runway shots are never guaranteed as a result. Everybody with a little common sense and capable of a little research knows that and accepts it. Makes me laugh when individuals complain about the parked aircraft spoiling their view after they got there so early :grin:
The key aspect of OW photography is the display line and the possibilities it opens up for getting superb shots of the flying display - witness the Lancaster's initial pass at the weekend and the varied formations. As a result, being back from the fence line is no real disadvantage which is why it is always nicely spaced out for the spectators - most relaxed :-)

Cheers,
Ralph


Absolutely agree - I only went down to the fence when the Edwardian's flew (and there was plenty fo space by then).... the rest of the time, I was the far side of the parked cars - I find you get a better continual view of the flying, as the bank around the dog-leg..... and masses of space to ourselves!



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Alisdair
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