Mildenhall Air Fete 1997

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Spiny Norman
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Mildenhall Air Fete 1997

Post by Spiny Norman »

A much-missed show, always held around this time of the year.

Mildenhall always provided something special and 1997 was no different. It was the USAF's 50th anniversary and so they put on a bit of a show.

Anyone there will remember the hush that greeted 'that' arrival then the shutters being fired in volley fashion. I managed one half decent shot of it but only as a record as wanted to watch in viewfinder-free.

Spent a few hours at the arrivals end on the Friday and was treated to a Thunderbird flypast while driving through the Fens.

Happy days!


Friday arrivals and practice

A-10
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MiG 29
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Mirage 2000
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Prowler
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F-18
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Thunderbird Four
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Saturday flying display

F-16
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Sea Harrier
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F-117
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C-5 Galaxy
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B-1
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Image

B-2
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Thunderbird
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Thunderbirds
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Static

F-117
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Georgeconna
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Re: Mildenhall Air Fete 1997

Post by Georgeconna »

cracking show, We camped the night before Christ it was cold, On the Sunday we ended up in a local boozer needing Dollars with some aircrew including some UK lads in Blue suits getting the Lads out! Nuts. I have a Mildenhall Casino cup too Somewhere in me shed that I had me US change in. I have to get around to Scanning up some shots from times gone by.
Cheers

George

Zero shows for 2018 Giving in a Rest.

Unknown74
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Re: Mildenhall Air Fete 1997

Post by Unknown74 »

Went to 1994, 1997, 1998 & 2000, Loved Mildenhall Air Fete and 1997 was my favourite it would have been between 1997 & 2000 but 1997 edges it as the Weather was better. We should have been at 1999 but Kosovo happened although we went for a look anyway to see what was going on. Should have been at last one in 2001 but unfortunately we were hit by a family illness so had to unfortunately miss that too.

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Wrexham Mackem
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Re: Mildenhall Air Fete 1997

Post by Wrexham Mackem »

The cacophony of shutters that accompanied the B-2 was something I've experienced neither before nor since. Shutter mechanisms are obviously much quieter these days.

Mixed emotions for me personally for this edition of Air Fete. After years of doing it 'properly', I just went fo the one day in 97, as I wanted to take my new girlfriend (rolls eyes. At least she's my wife now). But going to Mildenhall for one day just exaggerated the silly traffic, overcrowding in the venue, sun in your eyes all day. And alas... the PA was broken so... there was no Roger Hoefling and the.... event lacked commentary. Girlfriend was bored, wish I'd gone my own and done the event Friday to Monday. Some ace participants though, as ever at Mildenhall. And I do miss it.

Nice set.
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LN Strike Eagle
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Re: Mildenhall Air Fete 1997

Post by LN Strike Eagle »

This was the first Mildenhall show we ever did, having seen it advertised on.... Teletext! :joy:

As I recall, the T'birds didn't fly a display on Sunday, but did depart the show in the morning?
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Wrexham Mackem
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Re: Mildenhall Air Fete 1997

Post by Wrexham Mackem »

That's right, Thunderbirds were Saturday only. Despite the generally ace weather, there was a bit of cloud about, so they couldn't get their high show in.
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stuart n
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Re: Mildenhall Air Fete 1997

Post by stuart n »

At the time it was the only occasion they'd left the US to perform one show. I believe they were displaying at the USAF academy on the Monday.

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Re: Mildenhall Air Fete 1997

Post by stuart n »

Wrexham Mackem wrote:
Fri 22 May 2020, 10:49 am
The cacophony of shutters that accompanied the B-2 was something I've experienced neither before nor since. Shutter mechanisms are obviously much quieter these days.
That is still my main memory from the show. The place went silent in awe as it flew along the runway and all you heard was camera shutters. Wonder how many rolls of film were used :smile:

Nice set Norman, brings back good memories :D

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Wrexham Mackem
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Re: Mildenhall Air Fete 1997

Post by Wrexham Mackem »

Indeed, the B-2 really was the moment. Shot a few Kodachrome frames myself!

The Spanish F-18 looping straight from take off was a moment to remember, and I seem to recall the Viggen was particularly good.
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Unknown74
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Re: Mildenhall Air Fete 1997

Post by Unknown74 »

I have to say that I never saw the SR-71 Blackbird at Mildenhall but seeing the F-117 Nighthawk Stealth Fighter and B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber more than made up for not seeing the Blackbird. Although I have seen the SR-71 at Duxford.

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Wrexham Mackem
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Re: Mildenhall Air Fete 1997

Post by Wrexham Mackem »

Unknown74 wrote:
Fri 22 May 2020, 4:05 pm
I have to say that I never saw the SR-71 Blackbird at Mildenhall but seeing the F-117 Nighthawk Stealth Fighter and B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber more than made up for not seeing the Blackbird. Although I have seen the SR-71 at Duxford.
Go and wash your mouth out with soap and water. No comparison. :grin:
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Spiny Norman
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Re: Mildenhall Air Fete 1997

Post by Spiny Norman »

Thinking about the B-2 and the silence, the only time something similar was experienced was at Leuchars airshow (2006?) when a Nimrod performed a flypast to commemorate those who'd died in the crash in Afghanistan.

It wasn't silent as the PA was playing Adagio for strings. Normally not a fan of music at shows but this seemed to work well. I don't think there were many dry eyes, it was a powerful moment. Certainly not as many shutters being fired.

As for the SR-71, that'll have to wait for the 1984 upload. I liked seeing the B-2 and F-117 fly but nothing compares to the Blackbird, imho!

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Re: Mildenhall Air Fete 1997

Post by Blackbird »

Spiny Norman wrote:
Fri 22 May 2020, 7:22 pm
I liked seeing the B-2 and F-117 fly but nothing compares to the Blackbird, IMHO!
Spot on!

Andy😁

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HeyfordDave111
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Re: Mildenhall Air Fete 1997

Post by HeyfordDave111 »

That was a heck of an airshow, and in my minds eye, probably the best airshow from about 1993 to the finish, with the nightmare last ever show there that took nearly 5 hours to get in from just before the roundabout Mildenhall village side in view of the field!

Never have i seen or experienced as bad a marshalling of vehicles from 2 x 4 rows down to 1 row ever. wonder was todays H&S would make of it all with 300+ cars right under the display?
Was quite dramatic and fun but infuriating nonetheless.
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AndyXH558
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Re: Mildenhall Air Fete 1997

Post by AndyXH558 »

the last show was like that because of Foot and Mouth if i remember rightly. We were litterally the second car in the queue and were parked right at the back. i just couldnt believe it.
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GeeRam
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Re: Mildenhall Air Fete 1997

Post by GeeRam »

Wrexham Mackem wrote:
Fri 22 May 2020, 6:19 pm
Unknown74 wrote:
Fri 22 May 2020, 4:05 pm
I have to say that I never saw the SR-71 Blackbird at Mildenhall but seeing the F-117 Nighthawk Stealth Fighter and B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber more than made up for not seeing the Blackbird. Although I have seen the SR-71 at Duxford.
Go and wash your mouth out with soap and water. No comparison. :grin:
Indeed.
In fact, I saw my last ever SR-71 flying just 2 months before this Mildenhall show, over at the USAF Golden Anniversary Airshow at Nellis AFB, and the sound of camera shutters was much louder for the SR-71 flypasts than the B-2 flypast....

There was nothing like the Blackbird and there will be nothing like it again.

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Re: Mildenhall Air Fete 1997

Post by IATthenRIAT »

So miss thier shows Mildenhall was my first Big show - happy days.

Unknown74
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Re: Mildenhall Air Fete 1997

Post by Unknown74 »

There are really only two Aircraft I ever regret never having seen flying, The SR-71 Blackbird and the English Electric Lightning.

Also do I remember rightly correct me if I'm wrong but did the Thunderbirds not try unsuccessfully to perform a flypast after they departed for Home on the Sunday? Only to be told that there were too many display items or something like that?

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