Your favourite UK airshow 2019?

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Your favourite UK airshow 2019?

Post by keithjs »

I can't see a post anywhere about this yet so I thought I'd get the ball rolling?

What was your favourite UK airshow this year and in just a few words, why?

I'll start with the September Duxford because of the good variety of aircraft, excellent weather (sorry for those that went on Sunday tho' :sad: ) and the general atmosphere around the Movie theme.
Of course Daks over Duxford will forever be up there too. Considering we'll never see the like again... :clap:
Last edited by keithjs on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 8:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Your favourite UK airshow 2019?

Post by Tom105 »

Favorite air show this year I say Southport seeing a Viggen was the highlight of the year for me, Bournemouth another highlight for the punchy Draken display. Other highlights 7 Hurricanes at Shuttleworth, DH9 flying displays the Dak stream take off at Shuttleworth and Duxford. Yeovilton probably had the best line up of the year, Wessex, harrier, Alize and good command assault. Duxford BOB practice day was also a very nice highlight.
Favorite aviation day of the year day at Waddington in sepetember Israel F15s and 707s what more could you want! closely followed by the 3 ship tornado day up at Marham.

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Re: Your favourite UK airshow 2019?

Post by Pilotstitch »

Another vote for the BoB show at Duxford on the Saturday - fantastic line up of aircraft, beautiful displays, great overall atmosphere and weather. Perfect day out! :win:

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Re: Your favourite UK airshow 2019?

Post by Euan Buchan »

Only went to one this year Scotlands National Airshow, it wasn't the best one as it was really wet and a lot of aircraft cancelled. It was a shame considering we had fantastic weather leading up to the Airsho, I'm planning on going to the Scottish International Airshow next year as well as Scotlands National Airshow.
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Re: Your favourite UK airshow 2019?

Post by LN Strike Eagle »

Pretty poor season for me, really.

Started in July with the AeroLegends Headcorn event - decent enough, especially given the price paid, but cloud cover marred my enjoyment.

Then onto RIAT for the first time in 6 years. Loved the Harriers and MiG, and my first time seeing an Su-27, but honestly the rest of it left no lasting impression. I still haven’t edited my photos from it.

Squeezed in a single Shuttleworth show in August, and in hindsight wish I hadn’t bothered. Sunny all day right up until the flying started, and the list was uninspiring.

Gransden next, and this was mostly a bust. I felt so detached from the flying, it was so underwhelming.

Closed the season out at JetFest, which was badly hit by the weather and if anything, regressed from the first event last year.

I did have an amazing day at Duxford for the Friday BoB arrivals though, which I thoroughly enjoyed, more so than any airshow I attended. The days out in the Spring to watch the Tornado draw down were very rewarding too, although I missed the big finale injuring myself the night before, and had a decent day at Waddington to see the Cobra Warrior jets at the end of the summer. Sandwiched in the middle were the F-16s at Lakenheath, who were superb to watch.

All in all, I’m finding myself less enthralled by the airshows and actually favouring days at the fence at airbases again. It’s just a shame there’s so little to see in that regard.

North Weald has had its moments too - I was lucky to get good access to the Norwegian jets, and it’s always a pleasure to catch up with and help out the Hangar 11 guys.
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Re: Your favourite UK airshow 2019?

Post by jalfrezi »

Pretty much with LN Strike Eagle on this, I found 2019 pretty uninspiring on the airshow front, so much so that RIAT was the only UK airshow that I attended and even that left me cold. Maybe I've lost my airshow mojo?

Next year is shaping up to include more military exercises and base visits rather than airshows. Don't get me wrong there are still vintage items that I want to see such as the DH9, Albatros, Wessex and Lysander, but I'll probably be very selective in the shows that I do attend next year and may actually give RIAT a miss. :shock:

But back to the original question - the Daks were my UK highlight of the year, it was amazing to see so many Daks all in one place!

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Re: Your favourite UK airshow 2019?

Post by MiG_Eater »

Those who frequent the RIAT forum won't be surprised that RIAT was certainly my highlight - the Thursday was probably the best single day i've had at an airshow in over a decade - Phantoms, Flankers and Fishbeds, all in one day. Absolutely perfect.

For me, RIAT is in an entirely different league to all other UK shows - but I visited and very much enjoyed Yeovilton and Cosford. The UK scene is far from healthy, but it could be a lot worse.

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Re: Your favourite UK airshow 2019?

Post by Elliott Marsh »

Duxford's Battle of Britain Air Show felt big and boasted a fantastic line-up, with a programme built around a bunch of marquee sequences - the UK's full contingent of airworthy Buchóns (at the time), Mustangs and Furies, the opening dogfight, the DH-9, a spirited Yak pair, the Norwegian jets, the Spitfire finale, JR's N3200 solo, the Hanna tribute and Cliff Spink's retirement. I'd say that stands out at the end of a busy year.

Old Warden's Military Pageant probably sits a close second. Seven Hurricanes, just incredible. Great support from the likes of the B-17, P-47, BE2e and others made it one of the venue's best of recent years. A fine day all round, but that Hurricane set-piece was true "I was there" highlight-of-the-decade stuff.

It was a great year for Shuttleworth - two Lysanders, seven US C-47s (still can't believe this happened), seven Hurricanes, the emotional support Aeroncas, the Northern Aeroplane Workshop formation, the best Camel display since its return, the de Havilland formation and the Spartan Arrow all being high points, to name but a few from a really strong year for the Collection.

I also had a smashing day in the sun at Little Gransden - some memorable displays (the Sea Fury and Jug in particular) and more use of the curved crowdline made this one of the best in recent years, for my money.

In all, a thoroughly enjoyable year spent with the best company imaginable. I said for years that we have to enjoy what we have, cause one day it could all end - then Shoreham happened. I'll bang that drum evermore. We don't know what the future holds, and it's essential, in my view, to enjoy it as fully as possible while we still can.

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Re: Your favourite UK airshow 2019?

Post by aceyone »

My favourite day was RIAT arrivals on Thursday,first time for arrivals and thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience , from the ease of driving in and out to the relaxed atmosphere ,won't be the last time for me !
Don't know about those jets ,they spoil a very nice place

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Re: Your favourite UK airshow 2019?

Post by LN Strike Eagle »

I knew I'd forgotten something - the seven Dakotas at Shuttleworth. Couldn't make the show day, but did get there to see them all arrive on Saturday, which was terrific. Again, that was more enjoyable than the airshow I attended later in the year I think.
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Re: Your favourite UK airshow 2019?

Post by capercaillie »

I only attended three shows in 2019, Cosford, Shuttleworth's Military Pageant and RIAT. The first was a good line up but I don't really enjoy the set up with the better types operating from elsewhere and difficult lighting, the second never really lived up to the pre-show build up and opportunities seemed to be missed plus the regulations now imposed on the venue are throttling the life and soul out of the place.

I enjoyed RIAT, there was plenty of quality over the six days apart from the obvious stars Dan mentions, the array of paint schemes was top notch, albeit they were shafted in the static park - oh for the western tree lined pan to have been used, so its definitely got be that one for me. :up:

Other than that a day at Cobra Warrior for some Israeli Eagles and a dash to Blackpool for the Viggen (Greta would not be happy) both of which worked out well and that was my 2019. Not a vintage year, but some nice highlights.
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Re: Your favourite UK airshow 2019?

Post by jasonT1981 »

Duxford Air Festival in May, RIAT and my local show, Newcastle Festival of Flight were my highlights of 2019. Sadly Portrush was seriously affected by weather so a good lot cancelled.

Mig , SU27 & Harriers at RIAT were great as was the Red Arrows/747 & PdF flypasts.

Some great civilian displays too, Wingwalkers, Strikemasters & Rich Goodwin were highlights.

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Re: Your favourite UK airshow 2019?

Post by 8674planes »

Duxford battle of Britain show was my personal highlight with the Daks over Duxford events not far behind. Cosford and Southport both had fantastic years with international participants. Hopefully the Swedish Jets return next year!

Only disappointment this year for me was Flying Legends. Let's hope we see an improvement with more variety next year.
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Re: Your favourite UK airshow 2019?

Post by Pat Murphy »

2019, well it started sadly for me with the demise of the Tonka. At least I got to see them bow out in style.

So, work got in the way of everything until Daks over Duxford, which was very impressive to see so many gathered together, but the weather spoiled the spectacle.

Then to RIAT, which while having some cracking gems in it's lineup, was spoiled by the Friday for me. My last Friday for now unless major changes take place. Might have to give the whole show a miss this year for other reasons, but we'll see :sad:

So to my favourite (s) It has to be 2 from a short list.

Southport was excellent, I enjoyed most of the show far more than I thought I would and the highlights of the Viggen, Tunnan and T-33 were special moments. My first Tunnan in 40 odd years of airshows and base days :hide:

So the winner for 2019 is......

The Battle of Britain show at Duxford on the Saturday. Everything you could ask for in a show. The sun shone, The DH9 flew, The newly restored Lizzie, Mustangs, Buchons, Furies and all those Spitfires, with a stunning finale of MH434 to the arrangement of The Last Post. A great way to finish.

2020? Not sure yet, but Duxford BoB and maybe Legends.....nothing else planned so far, but maybe a trip abroad, who knows.....

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Re: Your favourite UK airshow 2019?

Post by benji1867 »

Whilst my only real airshows this year were Cosford and RIAT, which i enjoyed, my favourite aviation days this year have been smaller events or days at the fence. 5 Dak's arriving at Prestwick and the subsiquent nightshoot with 8 Dak's, Tornado 9 ship and retirement, Israelis at Waddington and the last tucano graduation/retirement.

I guess its a sign of the times that several seem to agree that fence days etc seem to be trumping airshows just now for enjoyment.

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Re: Your favourite UK airshow 2019?

Post by HeyfordDave111 »

Normally out and about like most of you, but decided to give RIAT a miss amongst others, and in a perverse sort of way i'm glad i did.

My money went to the superb Southport Airshow this year. a great show despite some display lines being over Llandudno, and i saw my first Tunnan display. Sitting back for the first time in years actually watched the displays, with minimal photographing.

Newark night shoot early on was good, and Cobra Warrior at Waddo was excellent, with Yorknight not being too shabby either at Leeming.
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Re: Your favourite UK airshow 2019?

Post by NAM Updater »

Thank you for the mention - I'll pass on your comment to those who arranged it! :smile:
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Re: Your favourite UK airshow 2019?

Post by Seahornet »

With Cosford being off the menu (family wedding :sad: ), there were just two stand-outs, this year: -

For me, RIAT is always a highlight, just for being 6 days of sustained dyed-in-the-wool aviation, plus a few special items for good measure. And this year, the specials were pretty special! :clap:

However, never mind days at the fence, what about nights at the fence...? My number one highlight of the year, was the late-night B-52 show, when the recent detachment first arrived at Fairford. The sight and sound of those mighty beasties, lights piercing the darkness and drizzle as they howled overhead, was truly awesome. :worship:
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Re: Your favourite UK airshow 2019?

Post by IP1960 »

Seeing all the Daks at Duxford was a great event, notwithstanding that it fell short of what may have been hoped, and the weather was pants. The Sunday of that week at Old Warden was fabulous with 7 of them there, and the chance to have a look inside and chat to the teams - I'm full of admiration for the effort the North American guys put in to get so many over here.

Like others, I really enjoyed a day at Duxford before a show - in my case the BoB show - you may not get the full show, but activity all day, easy entrance/parking/exit, 20 yards of fence to myself, and no 6 a.m. start. A far more pleasant viewing experience than most of my recent show day Duxford visits it must be said.

In amongst other shows (RIAT, Cosford, Legends), a vote for the Victory Show at Cosby. A real shame it will end in 2020, I thoroughly enjoyed the day in the sun this year, together with photoshoot under a glorious sunset.

Final shout out for a fabulous very low, very fast pass over our house by Shaun Patrick in the Shark 2 weeks ago!

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Re: Your favourite UK airshow 2019?

Post by PeteFenwick »

From 1996 without a break I have purchased a RIAT Mach 3 package but not this year. A declining British airshow scene and a very "samey" RIAT resulted in a Thursday RIAT arrivals only (which from the western P&V was pretty good). The 1 day Yeovilton sadly suffered from poor weather (grey skies) even with a good variety of aircraft. Only Shuttleworth stands out with the 7 hurricanes and a good variety of aircraft well displayed in good light.

My first, and last, visit to Southport-generally the displays were way distant which was a huge disappointment.

Sadly to get my aviation fix with closer more exiting displays and a better aircraft variety one needs to travel to Europe; my high spots were Volkel (10 F16's in formation with a huge flare dump was a highlight) and Sanicole evening show was stunning.

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Re: Your favourite UK airshow 2019?

Post by captainfurious »

I am an incredibly glass half full person in all walks of life apart from airshows.

Been to RIAT over 25 times and Yeovilton and Cosford the last 5 at least and the buzz is still there. I fully understand that the airshow gold has gone but I'm also a realist. Personally I'd rather have what we have now than nothing at all.

But to answer the question. And something I revert to regularly in the forums. My 10 year old daughter has yet to go to RIAT but been to 6 Yeoviltons. This year I hadnt clocked the early F35 arrival and the pass was majestic. Then the hover. And later that day the Harrier. The first in years. And whilst RIAT promised the 2 flying the 1 hovered directly in front of us and went backwards. I didnt see that at RIAT. I'm so so glad my daughter saw that with no grandstands or marquees in view. Just a pure unadulterated Harrier and F35.

So this year Yeovilton.

And I still believe in the UK airshow.

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Re: Your favourite UK airshow 2019?

Post by Wrexham Mackem »

I'm detecting a hint of disillusion of folks' responses to this one.

I think we still have some very good airshows in the UK, we just don't have many. So what we do have has become very familiar, and certainly for me, my airshow seasons have fallen into routine.

Cosford, RIAT week and Southport for me this year. Which is the lowest number for years, and didn't even have a Duxford or Old Warden this time.

I did enjoy the shows I went to, as much as ever. Cosford has gone from strength to strength while still retaining its character of old. RIAT, while not a classic for sure is still far better for me than the alternative of it not being there. Yes, it could do with some tweaking, but I would miss it like mad if we lost it, and I'd rather be on the hallowed ground than anywhere else those few days in July. RIAT is a comforting routine of Kempsford and FRIAT, stress-free and away from the pressure of normal life. Southport is just lovely, and with a super bonus of classic jets this year made it even better.

Having skipped Legends due to fixture congestion and lack of inspiration in the line up, I had tickets for the September Duxford Sunday but didn't go - weather and awkwardness of the timings for a Sunday. I learned a lesson about Saturday parking passes and having to sort them rather earlier for 2020.

As well as having the same shows every year, I have the same irritations. Three top class events crammed into the same fortnight in July. Lack of variety and a feeling of groundhog day about some (but not all) events.

Venturing overseas really is the way to put some spice into the season, something I regret I haven't done since 2016. I must put that right!

As for the routine, well, FRIAT is renewed, Cosford is booked. Southport is nailed on and I'll make sure I get my Dux September tickets early enough to drive there. Next season's looking samey already :smile:

To answer the OP's question.. RIAT, because if I only went to one, that would be the one I'd choose.
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Re: Your favourite UK airshow 2019?

Post by Elliott Marsh »

I find threads like these and the post-airshow review threads really interesting. The tone is generally negative, even at venues like Old Warden - very similar display line to pre-2016, best line-ups for the venue in years (ever?), big marquee sequences that top even the bigger shows - where there's a mixed bag of microanalysis (aircraft X didn't topside enough/topsided too much/displayed for too long/didn't display for long enough/the light was too harsh/there wasn't enough light etc.) and unqualified negativity (better on paper, disappointment, less than the sum of its parts etc.).

Yet I find that contrasts massively with the consensus of enthusiasts outside the UKAR community. Certainly at the historic shows (Duxford, Old Warden, Little Gransden and so on) the people I spend the day with and those I speak to during and after the show are overwhelmingly positive in their take. Very, very rarely do you see anywhere near the negativity you do here. I'd wager at a busy Duxford or Old Warden I might speak to anywhere between 20 and 60-odd people, maybe more if it's a bumper crowd.

It is interesting that it'll often be UKAR posters or staffers with the most negative take, in-person or online, and the forum has a bit of a reputation for negativity. There was a time when it was a similar story on the Key forum, too. That's not a knock at all, everyone is entitled to their opinion and there are obviously valid criticisms worth debating, but it does make me wonder where the gulf between the positive folk you see out and about at events and the critical eyes of forum posters has come from.

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Re: Your favourite UK airshow 2019?

Post by FarnboroJohn »

I think this year suffers a bit against last year if only because last year we had wall-to-wall sunshine practically the entire season. In Britain you have to acknowledge that isn't going to happen every year and find ways to make use of the backgrounds you have got!

However, the weather certainly made me reduce my attendance at Old Warden and I regret missing both the Hurricanes and the Daks because of it. Got that wrong... I was at RIAT on Saturday: got that right...

For Legends at Duxford the light was fairly awful though I liked the extremity of it when the sun did pop out and contrast heavily with the clouds. I enjoyed the last Dunsfold and the Spit XIX at the end was excellent. Somehow I managed not to see the Lanc all year and really felt the lack, it will be a target next year.

But I enjoyed every show I went to and my enthusiasm for the hobby is undiminished. Maybe next year I'll do Cosford for the first time as well as the regular fixtures I look forward to from exiting them at the show's end each year.

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Re: Your favourite UK airshow 2019?

Post by CJS »

RIAT for me. It was always going to though...
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