2014: The State Of Our Hobby - a UKAR survey

Discuss all things 'aviation' that do not fit into a more appropriate forum
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phreakf4
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Re: 2014: The State Of Our Hobby - a UKAR survey

Post by phreakf4 »

This is my view, for what it's worth.

The "hobby" has always been fragmented, covering so many different approaches and interests that it is difficult to describe it as A hobby, rather a collection of closely related hobbies. Photographers tend to belittle those they regard as "spotters", military aviation enthusiasts think "dirty civvies" are a waste of time, and many think that anything which does not have afterburners is not worth watching and therefore not a "real aeroplane" whilst others think a "real aeroplane" must be driven by a propellor (or propellors) powered by a piston engine. Others think that any air show at which it is not possible to take "perfect" photos is a dead loss, irrespective of the quality of the participating aircraft or the standard of the flying.

Given such a vast range of preferences it will be difficult to generate a balanced overall view and I wish whoever tries the best of luck (and hope they have a thick skin!).

In my case, I just like to watch aeroplanes; any kind of aircraft, from microlights to airliners, civilian or military, whether at displays or just going about their normal day's activities. I am just as happy spending a few hours watching gliders at Lasham or airliners at Heathrow or East Midlands or a fast jet displaying at an airshow, I'm not fussy. Oh, and I also like to take photographs, but I do not measure the level of the day's enjoyment by the "quality" of the resulting images.

Given the above, and excepting the problems imposed by the childish petulance of US politicians, I don't think there is much wrong with the air show scene which can not be laid at the feet of the recent (world-wide) recession. It will be interesting to see whether there will be any "recovery" in the display scene following the "improvement" which has recently been announced in the economy in general.

Overall, I expect this thread will ultimately develop into a "discussion" between those who believe that air shows should be "pure" (i.e. no extraneous non-aviation attractions) and the rest.
nothing is confirmed at a show until its u/c hits the tarmac or it is running in for its display.....

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boff180
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Re: 2014: The State Of Our Hobby - a UKAR survey

Post by boff180 »

The world is changing and there are fewer types out there being operated in fewer numbers.

With technology improvements gone are the days of regular mass deployments to the UK by foreign arms, it is becoming increasingly the case that if you want to see something different you must be prepared to travel to see it.

On the Airshow side I think the good times in the UK are over on the military side, partly because of militaries getting smaller. However I firmly believe that there is a direct correlation between the sudden withdrawal of major RAF flying participation in foreign airshows 10-15 years ago and the lack of foreign participation at military shows outside of RIAT.

I can see the Airshow model eventually becoming the Dutch model of a single major military Airshow a year but not for free.

The hobby will get smaller and we will eventually have to embrace civvies, I cannot see the warbird fraternity growing as it will get harder and more expensive to keep what we have now flying and the cost and complexity of 'new' warbird types is prohibitive.

Andy

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MikeyB
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Re: 2014: The State Of Our Hobby - a UKAR survey

Post by MikeyB »

Speaking as a 20 year old Aerospace student, I believe that our hobby is still a great one to behold. The reactions that I get when asked what I study are always positive, and it's because of the public's view on aircraft and airshows that I know that these events will always be around.

The aviation industry is constantly evolving to new challenges and regulations, therefore resulting in new aircraft types being released less frequently for both civilian and military. The aircraft of the future will be more about being green than pure power and afterburners.

But, this doesn't spell the end of airshows for the enthusiasts, far from it. Yes, military participation has gone down, but remember, each airshow event is competing with others around the UK. Every organiser is trying to find something different. I think that unlike in the past, where you could find nearly a whole programme of unique/exciting acts for the enthusiast at any military show, today we may have to look forward to maybe 3 or 4 'special' items instead, whilst the rest cater for families and the public.

We have to remember that the emphasis of today's airshow is mostly about inspiring the future generations to become engineers. That's what happened to me. Ever since my Dad took me to my first airshows at Yeovilton, I've been hooked on aviation and have expanded my passion into photography and forums such as UKAR. Like any hobby, for it to continue, new blood needs to be able to enter and it's the airshows that do this.

As enthusiasts, we must adapt to the times and look for the positives. For me, going to an airshow or civilian airport is always great fun as I love aircraft. But, to just see at least one thing different each time makes every trip worthwhile. That's why I still enjoyed RIAT 2013, despite the many opinions on here.

Our hobby most certainly isn't going down the pan. It's just that maybe we'll have to adapt in the future and make the most of anything unique that does occur at the UK shows, and I'm sure there will be!
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Abingdonman
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Re: 2014: The State Of Our Hobby - a UKAR survey

Post by Abingdonman »

The UK airshow scene is about what I expected to be honest!
I posted on the old UKAR site years ago that the UK airshow was surely bound to change drastically,with a number of airshows going down the pan...since the 70s we had lost the Lightning,Phantom,Comet,Brittania,Phantom,Buccaneer etc,we were about to lose the Jaguar,Harrier,and the Tornado F3 retirement was on the horizon.......
it seems to me that the major airshow today needs to have lots of flares & smoke pods and 'circus acts' to make it 'great'....so be it if its allowed!
to be honest much as I loved the Lightning,Phantom,F104s etc at our airshows...thats all in the glorious past
the Typhoons,Rafales etc are much more capable just as noisy and great aircraft to watch...
I'm looking forward to another airshow or two while I can still see them with my faltering eyesight! :grin:

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bennysdad
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Re: 2014: The State Of Our Hobby - a UKAR survey

Post by bennysdad »

As with all such lifetime interests you have to view my comments through the perspective of "its always not like it used to be" . I think that the airshows I visited 30 years ago were much more exiting, the aircraft were much more varied and they flew a lot closer to the crowds. The sun always shone and the burgers were much better. But maybe this was because I was younger, more easily impressed and there were many more "new" types of aircraft available which flew faster, turned tighter and made more noise than the previous year.

As far as I am concerned the glory days are gone, buried by lack of military funding and the risk averse nature of the accountants and lawyers who advise organisers. But I bet there are youngsters attending their first airshow next summer who have only ever seen an F16 in the movies who will be as thrilled as I was when I saw my first lightning scramble at Leuchars and they will tell their grandchildren the glory days of the airshow were in 2014.

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Thumper
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Re: 2014: The State Of Our Hobby - a UKAR survey

Post by Thumper »

With regards to the bigger shows, the aircraft are all too far away these days, it's expensive and quite frankly I find the big shows stressful and did not enjoy my first RIAT or Farnborough for those reasons.

I don't really care about what's displaying, yes the exotic noisy stuff is lovely but it doesn't "make" an airshow, the atmosphere does and here lies my problem with the hobby today. I have a video clip from the 80's, possibly Woodford Airshow, of people ducking out of the way for my Dad's video camera and if they missed it then apologizing for stepping in front of him and I remember airshows when I was a child in the 80's and 90's, it truly was a great family day out with a friendly atmosphere. In the past 5 years I have really got back into airshows I have been pushed, elbowed, pinched, kicked, tripped, slammed to the ground, had a camera broken and almost always had my view blocked by some inconsiderate idiot stood on a chair or stepladders. I find it saddening and for that reason alone I just give up.

I will always love aircraft and continue to enjoy them but away from the crowds of the bigger shows.

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JohnH
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Re: 2014: The State Of Our Hobby - a UKAR survey

Post by JohnH »

For what it’s worth, here’s my view.

Covering airshows first. By coincidence I happened to be looking through old airshow checklists last week. There certainly seemed to be more aircraft available at past shows. At the larger shows there seems to have been a steady decline of aircraft numbers over the past five years. What no doubt doesn’t help will be the reduction in types available and military expenditure cuts. Also at shows like Farnborough (and yes, I know it’s a trade show) participants start to disappear from mid-week onwards not giving the public a chance to see them at the weekend. Not everyone can manged a day off from work during the week.

As ‘Thumper’ stated the airshow manners have certainly gone out the window. Also, gone are the days when the static park could be viewed first then a reasonable spot found to view the flying as most airshows are afflicted with ‘fence hoggers’ who claim a spot at the front by any means as soon as they arrive and I haven’t even mentioned the fact the aircraft are flying higher and further away than in the past.

The cost of going to a show is also rapidly rising to a point where it is becoming too expensive. I now do maybe one or two shows a year due to the rising cost. How many times can you go to an airshow and see exactly the same aircraft.

The mention of ‘civil spotters’ in the original question moves me on to viewing in general as apart from Farnborough there aren’t really any big shows with large civilian participation. The lack of facilities at any major civil airport in this country has practically disappeared altogether (with the exception of Manchester). Even trying to view from ‘outside’ the fence is becoming harder as each time an area becomes popular and a place for parking cars is discovered, parking restrictions are eventually bought in, be it yellow lines or parking tickets making it harder to safely and legally park a car.

All in all I find it hard to keep the enthusiasm going and find myself hardly going out in this country anymore, where in the past I was out nearly every weekend come rain or shine.
One thing I think that airshows and airports have forgotten and they need to think about is that it is these places where an interest in aviation is first sparked which leads people to wanting to have a job in the industry.

As for younger people taking up our hobby, I think computers and computer games have a lot to answer for as most youngsters seem more wrapped up with them rather than taking up an archaic old hobby such as getting out and watching aircraft. It certainly seems to be an ‘old folks’ hobby these days.

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Re: 2014: The State Of Our Hobby - a UKAR survey

Post by davidjones533 »

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Last edited by davidjones533 on Sat 21 Jul 2018, 3:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Abingdonman
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Re: 2014: The State Of Our Hobby - a UKAR survey

Post by Abingdonman »

The flying display distance keeps coming up,I believe I'm right in saying the accident at Ramstein 1988 forced some regulation changes,my air tattoo days were mainly 70s & 80s up to 91,logically the aircraft were closer & lower before Ramstein 88......
interestingly I've just been looking at a programme for Cranfield 1991 and the Tornado GR1 display article states that the display in a straight line has to be 230 metres from the crowdline,and a turn 460 metres away(whatever that means :wink: )
what I can say is watching some of RIAT 2013 from the 'naughty fence' I thought the aircraft were low enough to enjoy...of course it goes without saying they were close enough to make the ears tingle a bit! :grin:

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Pat Murphy
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Re: 2014: The State Of Our Hobby - a UKAR survey

Post by Pat Murphy »

Sadly, I agree with a lot of the comments so far. Thumper's manners comments are all too familiar with my experiences in the last few years at RIAT, less so at Duxford I have found, even on the, sometimes notorious, Tank Bank.
As far as military shows are concerned, I think we will see more, or should that be less of the same. The ongoing reduction in the RAF can only have a detrimental effect. The thorny issue (for the bean counters in Whitehall) of the Reds and their equipment will rear it's head soon.

Warbird shows seem to be the only area of the scene that manages to change for the positive with new aircraft types and marks almost continually seeing the light of day for the first time. We only have to look to the outstanding efforts of the likes of TFC, ARCO and The Shuttleworth Collection in this country and outfits further afield such as Avspecs in NZ whose efforts on the Mosquito are stunning to behold. Incidentally congratulations are thoroughly deserved to Mr Glyn Powell on his award of a QSM in the New Years Honours list. Well done that man for resurrecting a type to the air that most thought had gone forever.

Civvies will always attract some. I struggle with, no offense meant, "Dirty Civvies" but even the most hardened afterburner/warbird nut can't fail to be impressed by some of the bigger hardware. Manchester Airport are to be commended for their efforts in welcoming the enthiusiast. A pity more don't do the same for whatever reasons.

Museums will always have their place I feel, subject to funding and visitor numbers but that is up to them to keep their displays appealing to the public and I am making it a mission to get to Elvington this year to see the excellent efforts that they have put into a good number of projects over the recent years.

So what does the future need for me? A decent stab at a Classic Jet show would be a great addition and soon too, while we still might have the much aligned Vulcan to display. Imagine the Legends Balbo made up of Classic Jets :drool: The Vulcan followed by the Midair Squadron, The Sea Vixen, various Hunters, Jp's, L29's, 39's, Vampires, a T33 oh and the Swedish Historic Flight thrown in. Someone stop me........ Sorry got carried away there, just a fantasy list :grin:

Otherwise it will be a continuing look at shows overseas for me. I still have to break my major European show Duck but I can see it coming after some of the lineups at last years European shows.

Pat

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CH2
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Re: 2014: The State Of Our Hobby - a UKAR survey

Post by CH2 »

In some ways the hobby hasn't been so vibrant with DSLR and social media pushing it along.

I was going to airshows in the 80's and to me "rose tinted glasses" aside things got a bit stuck, and in the early nineties there was never really an "airshow" replacement for the RAF F4, Bucc and Lightning, and nothing really compared to the SR71 which was awsome. So whilst it may sound slightly contradictory in modern terms the real glory years were probably 94 to 2001, when the Eastern block kit started to appear.

As for value for money the USAF shows at the time in comparison to today's terms were mind blowing, but even with Air Fete 2001 there were subtle changes abound.

As said before reduction in bases, with the reduction in military aircraft that was always going to have an impact on the airshow scene. From a Civilian stance things will get tougher due to rising costs whether it be fuel, H&S, insurance and the demon that is EASA.

We lost Cotts and Colts, probably two of the best bases to photograph some great subjects.

On the positive, there's plenty of good opportunities to be had the remaining bases; it may not be fashionable to say it but I think the "Phoon" is a great jet to watch. Go to Lakenheath and just watch the Eagles in the circuit and just appreciate what you are watching, they really are entertaining, always something going on at Brize, and also all sorts of interesting things happening at the Hall.

Continuing on the positive both Waddington and Cosford returned to excellent form in 2012 and 13. Waddington with it's bumper fast jet displays and Cosford with so many jets spread around the place it was literally like being back in 80's. Not to mention DX, Little Gransden, Shuttleworth, and there's plenty more. Don't forget Brunty, many of us would never have got as near to a Lightning in reheat as what you can now, it won't go forever though.

A real and continuing challenge has been the awful British weather, we got lucky in 2013 to a degree.

So appreciate what you've got, I don't think it will get any worse, I just don't think it will get any better.
Cheers,

Chris

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Tommy
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Re: 2014: The State Of Our Hobby - a UKAR survey

Post by Tommy »

Good points made above. The decreasing amount of variety, which is understandable, is something of obvious concern to enthusiasts.

As has also been pointed out, the hobby is as different as each person. You're always going to struggle to define it too tightly. However there is a general love of aviation, and things that fly. Yes, some are only interested in fast pointy things, some lean towards warbirds, some civilian... but there is something in aviation that still captivates many a person, enthusiast or not. Its why families go to airshows, and why it's a hobby in the first place - there is some kind of magic in aviation that always makes people look up and wonder, and imo that wonderment will exist for as long as there are fast jets, warbirds, airliners, helicopters et al in the sky.

The upper echelons of the MOD seem to have colossally lost the passion of old for airshows. The image of the RAF being excited to patrol their mounts and show the public what they can do has been eroded. Look at the types retired of late - the VC-10s swansong was a few flypasts, the venerable Lynx Mk 3 was retired without much more than a half hearted press-release, The C130K simply attended a nightshoot, the Tornado F3 didn't even make it to most airshows of 2011, The Nimrod, kept on due to the Libyan conflict, was hauled away before those who used it or who were fans of it could so much as nod their head in recognition once it had done its job. I'm willing to bet that the Tristar, or Sea King won't get much of a fanfare. The only retirement that had a little bit about it was of the Harriers three years ago, but even then, the feeling was simply that the MOD permitted it simply to avoid the headache that J. Bloggs would have thrown up if there wasn't one.

Look at the "Jet! When Britian Ruled the Skies" programme and you'll see - there used to be a real passion for Britain to step up onto the world stage and show off its wares. It now seems that Britain is limping to said stage, almost as an obligation. I sometimes that if Farnborough didn't have such a pedigree, Britain would never have a trade show these days. It certainly wouldn't take the pro-active steps of setting one up from scratch.

This coupled with a complete lack of common sense, foresight, ineptitude in the government is probably the most frustrating thing re airshows right now. The government rhetoric of having "leaner, more efficient" armed forces is wearing a little thin in the face of blind cuts that come back to bite. The Harrier force would have been perfectly capable of dealing with the Libyan conflict, for example instead of using an already stretched Tornado force and pushing un-ready Typhoons to the fray.

Of course, the increasing safety regs are making an impact. The display line at RIAT has now convinced me, more than ever, to go outside for at least one of the show days in 2014, which surely defies the point in its entirety. It seems like they're changing the regs, for change's sake. I can't remember an airshow moment in the UK for the past several years that has necessitated further regulations.. (happy to be corrected on that one though).

So in conclusion, the main negative point of this hobby (as for most other things these days) is the red tape, and the bean counters.

There are tremendous positives though. Those airshow organisers are an incredibly passionate bunch - Look at Duxford's Eagle Sqn tribute, Cosford's Harrier GR3, RIAT liaising with South Korea for a number of years to get the Black Eagles over, and beyond at other shows. It is all to be celebrated.

And then of course, the operators of civilian a/c themselves are the current golden boys (and girls) to the hobby, consistently bringing new aircraft, ideas, displays and concepts onto the circuit. Without such enthusiasm from said operators and show organisers, this hobby would have probably been dead a few years ago. Certainly a darker place at any rate...

Generally, as an enthusiast in this hobby, short of America, I don't think you could be in a better place. But of course it isn't without its troubles...

Sorry for the large post...

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tankbuster81
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Re: 2014: The State Of Our Hobby - a UKAR survey

Post by tankbuster81 »

Okay heres my two- penneth.

Ive been attending shows since the late 1970's,when my father used to take me to Greenham common and Biggin hill Air Fairs. Through the halcyon days of the 80's and 90's from Lightning and SR71 to F111 and Skywarrior,and from Woodchurch to Bentwaters to Alconbury and so much more.In those days i would be excited many weeks before as the "Buzz" was always in the air,normally starting off at the beginning of each Airshow season with an Airshow supplement from Aircraft Illustrated or Air Extra magazine.

And the day of the show always flew by.

These days i have to admit i find it more of a chore to attend some shows ,even though there are not many to visit nowadays. It seems wherever you go you stumble across the same acts, same tired ole stalls, which more than often are non aviation related .And I'm more prone to the modern military aircraft,from Helicopters to jets. Having said that i do like warbirds but prefer some to others.Love a spitfire and indeed a Hurricane,but tire of such types as Sally B and other types.

Living close to Rochester and Headcorn Airfields i get plenty of GA action,which is nice,especially during the summer months,and we do get a good mix of types nowadays,particularly at Headcorn.

To me the Hobby is still there for me in spades,but in a far more watered down version that it was years ago.Obviously i get the fact that we have less Types to watch ,and venues to watch them at,but it still seems that for my money some venues put more effort into an event than others.This year for example. Yeovilton Vs Fairford. Although i see what Riat are trying to do ,in attracting all and sundry, i fear in time it will become a mere shadow of its former self,as its already going in that direction.

It won't ever be as it was,but i do love my aircraft,so will still attend some shows,in the hope that some types i want to see appear.

For me as i find it so irritating i would love all the begging etc for the Borecan (Vulcan) would stop,as at times its embarrassing, and the finished product i.e the Display does not live up to expectations.

One other point the commentary side of things,if Bacon is the future i fear the hobby will go downhill for us enthusiasts faster than Jonathan Whaley on his last high speed pass at Duxford.
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757man
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Re: 2014: The State Of Our Hobby - a UKAR survey

Post by 757man »

I'm a definite civilian enthusiast here but I will still go to riat and I still love a bit of the KDC10 and the U2's.

If I'm honest I think I'm the grand scheme of things in the uk we have seen some small changes but not dramatic, we have lost some brilliant types and we have gained some brilliant types.

What's good:The freedom to do our hobby without being told to leave ect. We are very lucky to be able to enjoy our hobby so freely at so many airports in the uk and I think this one is still very important. The hobby is expanding, the hobby is getting bigger and bigger I think, there's emerging spotters every year, India for example still very sensitive on spotting and we are unheard of there but its getting better! We are seeing new aircraft coming onto the scene, 787/a350/a380/748, I think this is fantastic as in the last 3-5 years we have seen the future and many many rumours and talked of jets of the future come to life and have a presence in many uk airports now!

What's bad: The hobby is becoming rather repetitive, heathrows spark of 747's 757's 767's and the 777's is starting to disappear, we have seen cathay 747's leave LHR and melaysian 747's leaving LHR aswell as seeing many other operators change to Airbus A320's and 77W's. Now this is a unstoppable consequence of out with the old and in with the new but at Heathrow especially it does start to seem a little repetitive! Arguments, inequality and the spotter ignorance, I know this is controversial but I will touch on it. I think that arguments are becoming more and more common, its human nature to argue but these arguments are usually over petty subjects and it is detracting from the hobby and the love of aviation. Which brings me onto inequality, there are a lot of spotters these days who seem to get opportunities others do not, and yes you can put it down to knowing someone but it does border on fairness in some occasions why should some get these opportunities and not others and especially tweeting and sharing your photo's online its great to see them but it does make other spotters jealous and angry! Spotter ignorance, too many spotters these days are putting our hobby at risk by straying into areas they shouldn't and I'm particularly talking about photographers, its not good. Finally bragging and this links with the hobby inequality, I know this came up a few days back but its becoming an issue when one spotter feels the need to tell others about there fantastic travels and then to further this claim he wasn't paying.. its not good and he is not the only one but it has the capacity to become an issue so I would like to see this behaviour stop. Also, I know a personal one ''Avgeek'' its rancid and makes us out to be strange people who like aircraft, I will never consider myself as a geek or a strange person but an enthusiast who has a particular joy for aircraft, please stop using it guys.

One also thing that irritated me was that censorship on this forum is censoring of posts to cover the certain bragging user's backside does seem a little foolish and a quick fix to stop the scandal gathering pace. But there you go, im sure this will be censored aswell.. shame :/

To be honest, im pretty happy as a spotter in the UK in 2014 and I think its only going to get better and I think its about ironing out the creases and nipping in the bud the occasional stupid and irritating situations that seem to arise.

Heres to 2014! :smile:
Last edited by 757man on Fri 03 Jan 2014, 7:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2014: The State Of Our Hobby - a UKAR survey

Post by farnboroughrob »

I think the current situation is very mixed. I am a spotter,75% number cruncher 25% photographer (don't have the kit).
Airshows- without doubt in far worse state than when I started as a kid in the late 70's. In the south we have lost RAF 'at Home', Biggin Hill, Mildenhall, Middle Wallop etc. Although I still have two 'local shows' (yeovilton and RIAT) that are within easy reach. Many civil shows seem very samey and do not attract me (Dunsfold, Shoreham, seaside shows) and are just not my thing. The trouble is things are not going to get better without some imagination. Would love to see the RAF run some weekday mini shows involving showing their normal training in semi public.

Spotting- due to technology these are halcyon days. I can tie up every aircraft flying over my house. I can wake up and decide weather to go to to Luton, Heathrow, Gatwick or elsewhere depending on what is posted on the net. With low cost travel I can visit the world. Picture last year a day trip to Copenhagen on easy jet and used my phone via wifi to see what was arriving on plane finder, all for less than the cost of a day at RIAT. I guess im lucky that I spot everything as it is slim picking for military only spotters.

Happy 2014 spotting!

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Re: 2014: The State Of Our Hobby - a UKAR survey

Post by vortex003 »

Enjoy whatever you can while it lasts folks!Over the past few years here in NI I've seen 230sqn relocate to Benson,the AAC only use secure landing sites for refuel and Plod doesn't like cameras pointed at him any more with the increased security threat.Couple that with the property crash / recession which has all but wiped out helicopter use / ownership over here and there ain't much left :sad: Airshows here are a pretty grim affair now too due to lack of either participants or funds.
Helicopters were my main interest but now my two cameras spend a lot of time in the bag.Hoping it picks up again in the future but I doubt it.... :ghost:

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AlexC
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Re: 2014: The State Of Our Hobby - a UKAR survey

Post by AlexC »

farnboroughrob wrote:Spotting- due to technology these are halcyon days. I can tie up every aircraft flying over my house.Happy 2014 spotting!


The technology is amazing these days with Flightradar24 etc. If you see an airliner high over your house that you can ID using todays technology is that a tick in your book?
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Re: 2014: The State Of Our Hobby - a UKAR survey

Post by Macc »

757man wrote:Which brings me onto inequality, there are a lot of spotters these days who seem to get opportunities others do not, and yes you can put it down to knowing someone but it does border on fairness in some occasions why should some get these opportunities and not others and especially tweeting and sharing your photo's online its great to see them but it does make other spotters jealous and angry!

It's a fact of life that inequality exists.

I've had a lot of lucky opportunities and I'm sure a lot of others on the forum have too, the most mature thing you can do is to make the most of them. If someone asked you tomorrow if you wanted a flight in a Typhoon - would you turn it down because no-one else was getting that opportunity? I would hope not, that would just be daft.

This is a forum about aviation, the most interesting topics are usually those that are rare opportunities. If everything kept quiet about everything uncommon and interesting that they did - this forum would be absolutely pointless.

:surrender:

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Re: 2014: The State Of Our Hobby - a UKAR survey

Post by Brevet Cable »

This is a forum about aviation, the most interesting topics are usually those that are rare opportunities. If everything kept quiet about everything uncommon and interesting that they did - this forum would be absolutely pointless.
To be honest , though , it's no different from other hobbies......there will always be various cliques { for want of a better word } formed , who will either wait until after the event before telling all & sundry "We knew about it & we were there" or will make veiled comments which can be translated as "we know , but we're not telling you" , together with the age-old "We know the best spotting places....but if anyone asks , we'll send them to the rubbish spots".
Naturally , with the rise of the internet & the advent of fora & newsgroups { not to mention E-Mail & PMs } , these practices have increased.

Same can be said of the photography topics on these fora.......someone posts a "what camera should I get" type question , and instead of providing an answer some people will merely post a number of pointless appendage-waving "look at me" photos { whilst failing to mention just how much post-processing was involved to produce said images }

Regarding the likes of FR24 , can that really be classed as "spotting" ?? { unless , of course , you rush out of your house clutching a pair of 20x50 binos whenever the plotting prog tells you there's a RYR 737 overflying your location at FL350+ :lol: }

{ Edited to remove a pointless word in the final sentence :oops: }
Last edited by Brevet Cable on Sat 04 Jan 2014, 4:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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jag636
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Re: 2014: The State Of Our Hobby - a UKAR survey

Post by jag636 »

The fact is that as was said by all of the above doesn't matter a t damn as the "hobby" is set to go in to decline year in year out, I for one don't go anymore to big shows as there is top much of the lets cater for the masses attitude. I will never go to a big show again as it takes to long to get in to long to park and then we all have to join long lines every where we go, all of that spoils it for me and I would think for many others as well. Add to that music being played over the airwaves and in some cases drowning the sound of the aircraft, fun fairs bouncy castles, pleasure flights and I could go on and on :sad: There is very few shows that I would waste good money to go to now anyway as there is little left flying from either our own forces or others from abroad and therefor we are all :loser:

There is in fact just one show left for me to go to, and that my friends is Shuttleworth and by all accounts it could well be one of the "few" that survives when the RAF and others realise that there is nothing left to show in kit or the fact that they are just to stretched with commitments to give any air show slots.

Oh there is just one other show or kind of show that I find more enjoyable but sadly doesn't have much flying and that's cockpit fest at Newark air museum, I hope that other museums follow their way and keep the local grass roots level approach moving on up :clap:

So as far as I am concerned if the big shows did come to an end it would be no great lose and I think that I am not alone in that sentiment.
Member of Newark air museum and trustee/acquisitions officer just trying to save what we all love and thats history

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Brevet Cable
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Re: 2014: The State Of Our Hobby - a UKAR survey

Post by Brevet Cable »

DeanW wrote:Anyway, the state of the hobby. With less UK military displays, the way forward has to be in warbirds. Highlights such as Sea Vixen, Sabre etc. already in the air with the likes of the Gannet hopefully in the air soon, can't beat it.

I notice that the majority of posters here seem to be concentrating on airshows whilst apparently overlooking the fact that most "spotting" probably takes place away from organised events.
After all , how many of you tend to lurk around the various military airbases & civil airports , not to mention the various LFAs and Exercise areas ??
With the 'rationalisation' of resources & the closure or change-of-use of various airbases , the simple fact is that the hobby will be forced to change -- some people may give it up altogether when their local airbase closes , others may cut down the amount of spotting they do due to the increased travelling required.
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MarkL
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Re: 2014: The State Of Our Hobby - a UKAR survey

Post by MarkL »

Brevet Cable wrote:Regarding the likes of FR24 , can that really be classed as "spotting" ?? ( unless , of course , you rush out of your house clutching a pair of 20x50 binos whenever the plotting prog tells you there's a RYR 737 overflying your location at FL350+ :lol: )


I once made a similar comment on a popular forum to be lambasted by several guys who could only spot this way due to disabilities, bad health, lack of funds etc. Since then I've been less critical of others :-)


This is actually a pretty good thread idea so maybe good moderation would be steering it back on course... still thinking about my reply.
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Milguy22
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Re: 2014: The State Of Our Hobby - a UKAR survey

Post by Milguy22 »

I am fairly new to the UK aviation scene. I went to my first airshow when I was 6 years old and I remember it to this day. My mother and late grandmother took me for a day out to my local airshow at Lowestoft in 1996. I was absolutely mesmorised by the flying that went on, i can still picture the first time i saw the Red Arrows and when they arrived at Lowestoft, this is what sparked my enthusiasm and it has not decreased since. I am now 23 and still get excited about the upcoming airshow season. Yes things have changed, air arms are getting smaller and spiralling costs of fuel and other things for display items have meant that airshow organisers have had to think outside the box when planning their airshows.

Even though I spend very little time "spotting" I class myself as an aviation enthusiast as I try and get to as many shows as possible, in 2013 I managed to go to 10 shows and they were all different. I even suprised myself, shows that i didnt think I would enjoy, I came away from thinking that was brilliant and I really enjoyed it. A further point is the atmosphere at airshows - I agree that a show should have a family orientated atmosphere, I'm sure some people on this forum would say to leave that for the seaside venues. I very much enjoy going round the various stands from different display items and collecting anything they have to offer and supporting them, and chatting to the aircrews and being with likeminded people. I took my brother to RIAT in 2013 and he absolutely loved it. The smile on his face after he watched typhoons, gripens, and national display teams was something I will remember for a long time.. isnt this what an airshow should be about? This is what makes an airshow for me. I love the fast, noisy jets, and different natonal display teams but I also love watching some classic aircraft and quieter slower aircraft.

2014 for me will bring many more happy memories and I hope to break into the European show scene this year with visits to Holland, France and Belgium. I will be happy with whatever comes along as for me because an airshow (no matter how small) is still an airshow.

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MarkL
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Re: 2014: The State Of Our Hobby - a UKAR survey

Post by MarkL »

Brevet Cable wrote:I notice that the majority of posters here seem to be concentrating on airshows whilst apparently overlooking the fact that most "spotting" probably takes place away from organised events.



This is exactly right in my opinion. I love aircraft. The way I show this love is by photographing them, flying on them and writing down their registrations and tracing their histories. It also lets me get away from real life for short periods of time. I find air shows the negative end of my spotting time. The positive is the trips I have had through the UK and Europe visiting airports, museums and 'light' fields with a few good friends. On a recent trip through Norway and Denmark I was staggered by the friendliness and enthusiasm of private aircraft owners who are so happy to tell you about their aircraft... Do yourselves a favour, get out and about (if you can). So many interesting aircraft, people and places to see. Air shows are just a small part of the big picture.
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DeanW
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Re: 2014: The State Of Our Hobby - a UKAR survey

Post by DeanW »

Brevet Cable wrote:With the 'rationalisation' of resources & the closure or change-of-use of various airbases , the simple fact is that the hobby will be forced to change -- some people may give it up altogether when their local airbase closes , others may cut down the amount of spotting they do due to the increased travelling required.

With great resources such as Wrecks & Relics and the Demobbed website, I can imagine that we'll see more people hunting out preserved aircraft throughout the UK.
Additionally it seems as though more people are travelling abroad to bases, shows and airports than we were seeing 10 of so years ago.

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