Duxford Battle of Britain Airshow 2018

Re: Duxford Battle of Britain Airshow 2018

Postby starbuck on Mon 24 Sep 2018, 9:34 am

I went on the Saturday and not having been to a Duxford show for 15+ years I was a little disappointed when I saw the Spitfires start to put the wheels down after the formations and I realised there wasn't going to be a tail chase but overall that and the weather didn't stop me from coming away very happy with the days entertainment.

As others have stated I thought that the efforts made by all the pilots in the difficult conditions were superb, the Gladiator is a beautiful aircraft and gives a great display, the Vampires and Gnats were very dynamic and show what we are missing with the lack of vintage jets around at the moment. Probably the biggest surprise for me was how much I enjoyed the transport display, I must admit when I saw them starting up I decided to go in search of a cup of coffee but ended up watching a brilliant display, the Anson in particular seemed to be thrown around with great enthusiasm.

I enjoyed the reds (was it the 'flat' or 'rolling display'?) Whichever, I hadn't seen it before and have to say I probably preferred it to the full display.

Only slight downer for me was the Typhoon and A400M flypast which really was a damp squib (I know the Voyager should have been there as well). The A400M was very high and to come all the way from Brize just for that it may as well have not bothered.

I've only just realised that we didn't see the Whirlwind. Was it a no-show or did it just go tech and stay on the ground? We were sat up between the LWH and AAM so I didn't venture down to the flightline.

After reading on here some of the pre-show and post show comments about getting in and getting out and toilet queues I have to say I found the whole experience very stress free. Yes there were some queues at the toilets and food stands but certainly nothing worse than any other outdoor event with a large crowd in attendance. Maybe we were just lucky.
starbuck

Re: Duxford Battle of Britain Airshow 2018

Postby Airshowhammer on Mon 24 Sep 2018, 11:10 am

As much as i like Duxford as a venue I thought a majority of the show was a complete and utter disaster.
The shuttles buses. Its probably been done to death, but taking 1hr and 40mins from Cambridge after getting on the bus at around 8.40 should have been avoided. Walked to Whittlesford Parkway after the show.
The flying was okay. Many opportunities missed in my opinion. I thought it would have been better to have the Spits in one big formation than 3 after 3. I thought as its the B.O.B show the Blenheim and Hurricanes would have played a part in the finale as well.
Fast jets. Everytime at Duxford I always leave with the impression ‘well that was distant’. Really enjoyed some of the old warbirds going low at times though and getting close. Such as the Yak and Mustang. The Blenheim was somewhat 4 miles away from the crowdline.
The queues were a nightmare. Way too overcrowded on the Saturday. It felt like being at a festival at times. Made me feel quite anxious in places like the AirSpace hangar.
Prices. Another one thats been done to death. Charging a tenner for a hot dog and tea? Worlds gone mad. No I did not pay it.
Weather. Can’t be helped but made a pretty cr** day even more cr**. It was freezing.
The crowdline, i seem to remember it having a quite a bit of space there in years gone by, but this year had a touch of RIAT about it. Lets clutter it with corporate chalets and a grandstand. Duxford don’t care though as long as they deep further into the paying customers wallet. Why do we have to pay for the crowdline walk? I felt like everything had a cost. The one thing I do enjoy is how close the aircraft taxy.
Poor darts by Duxford this year. Reminded me of the shambles which was Manston 2013. Unless theres a change of tune for Mays show next year, I can’t see myself making the effort to attend.
Credit to the pilots for putting on a show.
Airshowhammer

Re: Duxford Battle of Britain Airshow 2018

Postby The Dudster on Mon 24 Sep 2018, 11:34 am

Airshowhammer wrote:As much as i like Duxford as a venue I thought a majority of the show was a complete and utter disaster.
The shuttles buses. Its probably been done to death, but taking 1hr and 40mins from Cambridge after getting on the bus at around 8.40 should have been avoided. Walked to Whittlesford Parkway after the show.
The flying was okay. Many opportunities missed in my opinion. I thought it would have been better to have the Spits in one big formation than 3 after 3. I thought as its the B.O.B show the Blenheim and Hurricanes would have played a part in the finale as well.
Fast jets. Everytime at Duxford I always leave with the impression ‘well that was distant’. Really enjoyed some of the old warbirds going low at times though and getting close. Such as the Yak and Mustang. The Blenheim was somewhat 4 miles away from the crowdline.
The queues were a nightmare. Way too overcrowded on the Saturday. It felt like being at a festival at times. Made me feel quite anxious in places like the AirSpace hangar.
Prices. Another one thats been done to death. Charging a tenner for a hot dog and tea? Worlds gone mad. No I did not pay it.
Weather. Can’t be helped but made a pretty cr** day even more cr**. It was freezing.
The crowdline, i seem to remember it having a quite a bit of space there in years gone by, but this year had a touch of RIAT about it. Lets clutter it with corporate chalets and a grandstand. Duxford don’t care though as long as they deep further into the paying customers wallet. Why do we have to pay for the crowdline walk? I felt like everything had a cost. The one thing I do enjoy is how close the aircraft taxy.
Poor darts by Duxford this year. Reminded me of the shambles which was Manston 2013. Unless theres a change of tune for Mays show next year, I can’t see myself making the effort to attend.
Credit to the pilots for putting on a show.


Went Saturday was in the Que at the AAM entrance 0710 advertised gate openings 0800 at aprox 0730 the ticket booths opened front row seats by AAM No waiting really as the gates opened earlier than advertised (always do) DX always has a problem with overpriced food vendors but then events at the EESG Mr Wippys were going for £2.50 and a Foot Long Dog was £8.00 so its not unusual I always take my own food. Your right about the cramped crowd line is an issue that IWM should try hard to overcome just how I'm not sure with post Shoreham restrictions as is the display line, Ticket prices mmm always going to be around that ide like to know how much profit is actually made I suspect not a lot, the weather well no one has control over that I was wet and cold at the end but I stood it out in respect of the pilots and veterans who made the day possible. Ile be back next year who knows a we may see a few more P-51's ..... and I think there is something special happening in June ?
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Re: Duxford Battle of Britain Airshow 2018

Postby IP1960 on Mon 24 Sep 2018, 12:12 pm

Who would be a show organiser?!

The weather which did unfold over the weekend showed the problems with trying to second guess what the elements may throw at us - as of Friday afternoon, Saturday was a decent afternoon, Sunday was horrendous with strong winds. Not quite how it worked out was it - bad for me as I had a weekend ticket and having then planned something else on Sunday had to go Saturday. Oh well, over the whole summer can't really complain about the weather too much can we? I'm sure Duxford would love to post "told you so" to all those on FB/Twitter moaning about lack of advance decision making on Saturday about Sunday.

Anyway, despite the weather enjoyed my visit as usual, and full marks to all the pilots as mentioned by others. Due to not knowing about the A14 closure I only joined the M11 exit traffic at 8.30 and so wasn't parked until 9.30, but I see I was still quite lucky compared to others. It did seem very crowded, despite lots being indoors due to the weather.
IP1960

Re: Duxford Battle of Britain Airshow 2018

Postby BMrider on Mon 24 Sep 2018, 12:40 pm

Well the weather spoilt Saturday for photography, I got a few nice shots but the weather cant be helped, a number of other things spoiled the show for me, The East End (M11 End) a long time favourite for me and other photographers is slowly being eroded, the fence line has been moved back, and the live aircraft parking area (Where the Mig15 Provost and Vampires were parked) has been moved forward, the result is losing take off and landing shots and overcrowding, the disabled parking area was lost and moved near the land warfare area and replaced by RAF recruiting tents, these could have sited where the disabled area was moved to.
Why only one fast pass from the Tornado?
Why no fast pass or display from the Lightning?
Huge disappointment from me and those around me, They bring the aircraft to show and miss opportunities :facepalm:
I could go on about the 100ft queues for the toilets, overpriced everything, General overcrowding, the cluttered active flight line with fuel trucks, fire engines and parked aircraft all interfering with photography (RIAT seem to manage completely clear areas so it can be done) The distance aircraft display at, but its all been done to death, there was a general unhappiness from people around me on Saturday, not because of the weather so much but more about the points above.
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Re: Duxford Battle of Britain Airshow 2018

Postby Thoughtful_Flyer on Mon 24 Sep 2018, 12:42 pm

Airshowhammer wrote:As much as i like Duxford as a venue I thought a majority of the show was a complete and utter disaster.
The shuttles buses. Its probably been done to death, but taking 1hr and 40mins from Cambridge after getting on the bus at around 8.40 should have been avoided. Walked to Whittlesford Parkway after the show.
The flying was okay. Many opportunities missed in my opinion. I thought it would have been better to have the Spits in one big formation than 3 after 3. I thought as its the B.O.B show the Blenheim and Hurricanes would have played a part in the finale as well.
Fast jets. Everytime at Duxford I always leave with the impression ‘well that was distant’. Really enjoyed some of the old warbirds going low at times though and getting close. Such as the Yak and Mustang. The Blenheim was somewhat 4 miles away from the crowdline.
The queues were a nightmare. Way too overcrowded on the Saturday. It felt like being at a festival at times. Made me feel quite anxious in places like the AirSpace hangar.
Prices. Another one thats been done to death. Charging a tenner for a hot dog and tea? Worlds gone mad. No I did not pay it.
Weather. Can’t be helped but made a pretty cr** day even more cr**. It was freezing.
The crowdline, i seem to remember it having a quite a bit of space there in years gone by, but this year had a touch of RIAT about it. Lets clutter it with corporate chalets and a grandstand. Duxford don’t care though as long as they deep further into the paying customers wallet. Why do we have to pay for the crowdline walk? I felt like everything had a cost. The one thing I do enjoy is how close the aircraft taxy.
Poor darts by Duxford this year. Reminded me of the shambles which was Manston 2013. Unless theres a change of tune for Mays show next year, I can’t see myself making the effort to attend.
Credit to the pilots for putting on a show.


I agree 100% with all of the parts I have highlighted (and I agree at least 90% with the rest)!
Thoughtful_Flyer

Re: Duxford Battle of Britain Airshow 2018

Postby Thoughtful_Flyer on Mon 24 Sep 2018, 12:46 pm

BMrider wrote:Well the weather spoilt Saturday for photography, I got a few nice shots but the weather cant be helped, a number of other things spoiled the show for me, The East End (M11 End) a long time favourite for me and other photographers is slowly being eroded, the fence line has been moved back, and the live aircraft parking area (Where the Mig15 Provost and Vampires were parked) has been moved forward, the result is losing take off and landing shots and overcrowding, the disabled parking area was lost and moved near the land warfare area and replaced by RAF recruiting tents, these could have sited where the disabled area was moved to.
Why only one fast pass from the Tornado?
Why no fast pass or display from the Lightning?

Huge disappointment from me and those around me, They bring the aircraft to show and miss opportunities :facepalm:
I could go on about the 100ft queues for the toilets, overpriced everything, General overcrowding, the cluttered active flight line with fuel trucks, fire engines and parked aircraft all interfering with photography (RIAT seem to manage completely clear areas so it can be done) The distance aircraft display at, but its all been done to death, there was a general unhappiness from people around me on Saturday, not because of the weather so much but more about the points above.


I would assume because they don't have full display authorisations?

As I understand it a "fly past" and a display are two different things
Thoughtful_Flyer

Re: Duxford Battle of Britain Airshow 2018

Postby BMrider on Mon 24 Sep 2018, 2:49 pm

I don't think flying fast along the runway and pulling up with some nice vapour really constitutes a "Display" ? do you? Thing is, we all paid to go to an Airshow, I can go to RAF Marham and see a flypast for free
Last edited by BMrider on Mon 24 Sep 2018, 2:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Duxford Battle of Britain Airshow 2018

Postby Thoughtful_Flyer on Mon 24 Sep 2018, 2:53 pm

BMrider wrote:I don't think flying fast along the runway and pulling up with some nice vapour really constitutes a "Display" ? do you?


Personally, no. Although having said that I am not sure exactly where the line would be drawn and maybe the two pilot's doing the "flypasts" weren't entirely clear either. In these extra cautious times it is a close call.
Thoughtful_Flyer

Re: Duxford Battle of Britain Airshow 2018

Postby Gonzo230 on Mon 24 Sep 2018, 3:11 pm

I'd imagine, given the lack of numbers of F-35s in the UK, the fact that they need to start working up to deploy on to HMS QE, and the fact they've only been in the UK for a few months, that spending all that money and time on developing a display team and routine is not anywhere near the top of the the RAF's priority list.
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Re: Duxford Battle of Britain Airshow 2018

Postby BMrider on Mon 24 Sep 2018, 3:20 pm

Gonzo230 wrote:I'd imagine, given the lack of numbers of F-35s in the UK, the fact that they need to start working up to deploy on to HMS QE, and the fact they've only been in the UK for a few months, that spending all that money and time on developing a display team and routine is not anywhere near the top of the the RAF's priority list.


If your replying to me, I'm not suggesting they "develop a display team and routine" I was just suggesting a fast pass would have been nice, particularly with the humidity Saturday, would have produced some nice vapour, I'm sure your average RAF Pilot could have that in his skill set as normal flying
I wonder why they didn't do it? The Tornado managed a fast pass, 2 would have been nice :smile:
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Re: Duxford Battle of Britain Airshow 2018

Postby MiG_Eater on Mon 24 Sep 2018, 3:25 pm

I would have preferred him to hover - like at RIAT! Very odd that they didn't in my view... Perhaps they were worried about creating too much steam!
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Re: Duxford Battle of Britain Airshow 2018

Postby Ryan. on Mon 24 Sep 2018, 3:25 pm

My two pence worth, went both Saturday and Sunday to Duxford. The disabled car park was pretty badly thought out. You couldn't watch from the car as you can from the normal M-11 end and it was far away from the airshow itself. The RAF village was in my opinion, pretty poor. Not that a expected much more but was just a small collection of stalls offering little.

The display, in my opinion was great. A decent variety and a few types I havent seen display in years, the Prentice being my highlight. The 617 Flypast was exactly as the one at RIAT didn't expect any more from the Tornado or Lightning because of that. The A-300M flew so high it didn't make much impact and the Typhoons were a little wasted without the refuelling demo. Blenheim and Hurricanes' were another highlight and also felt the Spitfire finale was a great way to end the day.

Duxford has a bowl like display line and only either end of the display line are worth watching from in my opinion, this did lead to a fair amount of overcrowding at the Land Warfare Hall. I'm normally at the M-11 end but as I didn't want to cart everything back and forth stayed put with space certainly being at a premium!

The weather, well pretty horrid, can't be helped but of course it does detract from the enjoyment when you're drenched and freezing. That's just one of those things though.

The facilities did seem to struggle and the American Air Museum had two staff trying to serve hoards of people. If the IWM wants to pack people in, it has to cater for them. There seemed to be less facilities than were at Flying Legends earlier this year.

Overall a mixed bag. Enjoyed the flying but a little more thought and attention should be put into customer satisfaction, even if it means fewer ticket sales, or invest more in facilities to cater for more people.
Ryan.

Re: Duxford Battle of Britain Airshow 2018

Postby Pen Pusher on Mon 24 Sep 2018, 3:36 pm

Ryan. wrote: The RAF village was in my opinion, pretty poor. Not that a expected much more but was just a small collection of stalls offering little.


There was supposed to be an RAF A400M parked outside AirSpace, which would have taken up much of that space.

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Re: Duxford Battle of Britain Airshow 2018

Postby MiG_Eater on Mon 24 Sep 2018, 3:43 pm

Ryan. wrote:
Duxford has a bowl like display line and only either end of the display line are worth watching from in my opinion, this did lead to a fair amount of overcrowding at the Land Warfare Hall. I'm normally at the M-11 end but as I didn't want to cart everything back and forth stayed put with space certainly being at a premium!


I always park near the AAM and have recently been absolutely flabbergasted at the idiotic decision to put a large fairground in front of the car park.

I would gladly have watched from my car on Sunday - but I was parked directly behind the fairground and therefore forced to watch, instead, at the crowd line which was already heaving.

Duxford gets so many things right - but these little things show a real absence of thought and put a damper on what would otherwise be a perfect day.
MiG_Eater

Re: Duxford Battle of Britain Airshow 2018

Postby Ryan. on Mon 24 Sep 2018, 3:48 pm

Pen Pusher wrote:
Ryan. wrote: The RAF village was in my opinion, pretty poor. Not that a expected much more but was just a small collection of stalls offering little.


There was supposed to be an RAF A400M parked outside AirSpace, which would have taken up much of that space.

Brian


That certainly would have helped fill it out. I know they had issues finding agreement on when it should/could leave and ended up scrapped. I'm not sure what the average person would have got out of a few stalls and some big deck chairs even if the A-400M had made it. Just didnt seem that interactive or engaging as to what the RAF actually do day today. It didn't seem to, inspire, commemorate or celebrate (those RAF100 buzzwords).
Ryan.

Re: Duxford Battle of Britain Airshow 2018

Postby neilos on Mon 24 Sep 2018, 3:58 pm

I maybe getting old and grumpy, but, I’ve never really seen the point in having a fun fair at DX, nor a mobile pub!!

No issues with food here, I take my own! Although I did buy a yummy bacon roll from one of the Powters vans. Pretty good value, and you know it’s decent food as they’re local!

No issues with loo’s here either. You’ve just gotta know where the ones that never get anyone queuing as people can’t be bothered to walk up a flight of stairs in Airspace!
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Re: Duxford Battle of Britain Airshow 2018

Postby BMrider on Mon 24 Sep 2018, 4:03 pm

neilos wrote:I maybe getting old and grumpy, but, I’ve never really seen the point in having a fun fair at DX, nor a mobile pub!!


No issues with loo’s here either. You’ve just gotta know where the ones that never get anyone queuing as people can’t be bothered to walk up a flight of stairs in Airspace!

Not a lot of good if your disabled, need the loo more than normal, have trouble walking far and are forced up the other end near the land and warfare :mad:
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Re: Duxford Battle of Britain Airshow 2018

Postby stuart n on Mon 24 Sep 2018, 4:56 pm

I went Saturday and despite the rain enjoyed most of the flying display. Hats off to the pilots, especially those in the open cockpits.
The Dambusters formation and passes by the Tornado and F-35B were the same as at RIAT, sad to think that'll be the last time I see an RAF Tornado at an airshow :sad:
The one notable absence from the flying display was the BBMF Trenchard formation and that seems odd given the support the RAF gave to this show :dunno:

Traffic wise the queue was to the bottom of the Northbound sliproad on the M11 when I arrived at 9 but was moving and got parked by 9:10. The facilities left a lot to be desired though, never seen queues like that for the toilets before and the wait for hot drinks wasn't much better. Some vendors were running out of water. IWM knew well in advance the show was a sell out so there's no excuse. The toilet situation might be helped in future if they signpost the loos by hangar 2, they're tucked away behind the food and drink stalls so aren't obvious to people. There seemed less room down the M11 end this year, certainly more crammed than I can remember. Maybe it's because the grandstand and enclosures are taking up more room :dunno:
stuart n

Re: Duxford Battle of Britain Airshow 2018

Postby DocStirling on Mon 24 Sep 2018, 6:54 pm

I enjoyed the show, but felt the Spitfire display was a bit of an anti-climax - a 'Balbo' to start, but then just some small formations and no commentary to say "That's all folks" so I just wandered off home - took all of 3 minutes to get out of the car park. Overall a good day, few few cracking shots but very cold extremities.

Once again DUX is a victim of its own success in terms of overcrowding, long queues etc but I think most people enjoyed it.

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Re: Duxford Battle of Britain Airshow 2018

Postby timuss on Mon 24 Sep 2018, 7:27 pm

I think the overcrowding at the M11 end could be helped by making the media enclosure a bit smaller, i mean serously are they expecting the worlds media to attend its huge, and takes up so much of that corner.
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Re: Duxford Battle of Britain Airshow 2018

Postby Gonzo230 on Mon 24 Sep 2018, 9:03 pm

BMrider wrote:
Gonzo230 wrote:I'd imagine, given the lack of numbers of F-35s in the UK, the fact that they need to start working up to deploy on to HMS QE, and the fact they've only been in the UK for a few months, that spending all that money and time on developing a display team and routine is not anywhere near the top of the the RAF's priority list.


If your replying to me, I'm not suggesting they "develop a display team and routine" I was just suggesting a fast pass would have been nice, particularly with the humidity Saturday, would have produced some nice vapour, I'm sure your average RAF Pilot could have that in his skill set as normal flying
I wonder why they didn't do it? The Tornado managed a fast pass, 2 would have been nice :smile:


Sorry BMrider, I was responding to this...

Why no fast pass or display from the Lightning?


Guess the other option is that it was bingo fuel from Marham so couldn’t stick around........ :ninja:
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Re: Duxford Battle of Britain Airshow 2018

Postby rockfordstone on Tue 25 Sep 2018, 9:12 am

timuss wrote:I think the overcrowding at the M11 end could be helped by making the media enclosure a bit smaller, i mean serously are they expecting the worlds media to attend its huge, and takes up so much of that corner.

The members enclosure was also bigger this year, as i believe were the other tented areas which clearly hasn't helped
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Re: Duxford Battle of Britain Airshow 2018

Postby Stagger2 on Tue 25 Sep 2018, 11:49 am

I received a Customer Response survey from Duxford, as I'm sure most others will, due to my forced online ticket application. Please find the time to complete it, as I'm sure it will have more impact than a 1000 word rant on here? At the end of the survey there is a section where you can add 'other' comments/details. I have raised the issue myself with regard to the lack of Accessible toilet facilities & the need for more hired-in toilets for a sell-out crowd. Add in the rain, colder weather, need for hot tea/coffee (both diuretics) & you have the perfect p**s-storm! The queues for the loos proved that!
Stagger2

Re: Duxford Battle of Britain Airshow 2018

Postby DerekGM6 on Tue 25 Sep 2018, 5:23 pm

My first ever Duxford experience and here are my observations. My friend and I came for the Saturday, then three more friends joined us on Sunday.

Saturday. We came from the Haverhill road and at about 9am ran into a traffic jam 2.5 miles away. For the next three hours we barely moved. It seems that our traffic was blocked by traffic coming off the M11 northbound. I was really, really pissed off. I expected queues, but not like this. We had driven 350 miles from Cornwall on the Friday and by the time we got into the showground at 12am nearly half the Saturday had gone. Surely IWM can organise the traffic better than this?

Anyway once we were in there was so much to see that we quickly forgot that ordeal. It is many years since I was last at Duxford and the place has vastly increased in the scale of its exhibits. We were spellbound. The actual air show took second place especially as we were hoping the Sunday weather would be better and we would watch the air display then. Anyway the weather did not dampen our enthusiasm and despite being distracted at every corner we did see some of the displays, with the grand finale of 18 Spits taking to the air being the most awesome thing I've seen for a while -and that includes many awesome things at RIAT.

Then just as we were leaving, we got talked into a flight in the Dragon Rapide, so totally unexpectedly my young friend (24) had his first ever flight in any aeroplane. He now wants to learn to fly and get his PPL! That 15 minute flight was a dream come true, as I live near Land's End and in the 1970s there used to be a red and white DR doing pleasure flights at Land's End airport. I never got to go on it but always wished I had.

Sunday our other friends joined us and the weather was worse, not better, at least until about lunchtime. And we had learned our lesson and arrived at the car park gates at about 6am. Again, the whole day was fantastic. Highlights for me were the MIG 15 solo display, Catalina, Gnat pair, Spits of course, Mustangs and MIG 15, Blenheim, B-17, BBMF, and Venom pair. It was a shame that some planes had departed on the Sat not to return, and the Nimrods unable to fly because of the crosswind. The Voyager which was a no-show, the Atlas, F-35b, and even the impressive Typhoon display was a bit meh as these had been seen at RIAT back in July, and it was the WW2 and earlier planes that I really wanted to see flying. I enjoyed the Tornado flypast but wished it had done more especially as I will never seen one again, at least in RAF service.

So, all in all, we had a great time despite the weather and traffic problems, and will be returning next year for at least one of the shows.

Postscript: The HP Victor restoration in the Conservation hangar was awesome. I absolutely love the Victor, and feel that it has always been overshadowed in the public imagination by the Vulcan. Impressive as the Vulcan is the Victor had a longer service life albeit as a tanker and deserves more recognition. Especially as the Vulcan would never have got to bomb the Port Stanley runway were it not the the Victor refuelling tankers, one of which almost ran out of fuel itself.
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