Top 10 Airshow Moments of 2019

Top 10 Airshow Moments of 2019

Postby UK Airshow Review on Fri 06 Dec 2019, 7:49 pm

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Top 10 Airshow Moments of 2019 - The UKAR Staff team countdown our Top 10 'Airshow Moments' of the 2019 season.

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Do you agree with our choices? Have your say in this thread, and let us know what your airshow highlights from the summer of 2019 were.
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Re: Top 10 Airshow Moments of 2019

Postby Tom105 on Fri 06 Dec 2019, 9:35 pm

We have had a decent year when things such as DH9, Alize, 5 buchons dont make the list.
For me they were all hightlights but would also include Ultimate fighters and the DFS Habicht display I've never seen such a good glider display!
Thomas
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Re: Top 10 Airshow Moments of 2019

Postby Mike on Sat 07 Dec 2019, 9:18 am

The DH9 and the Ultimate Fighters both deserve a place in the top 10 IMO. I’d also agree with the Wren and Habicht being season highlights too, as was the first Lysander pair in the UK for 20 years, and John Romain’s Spitfire display are the end of Duxford’s September air show.
Mike

Re: Top 10 Airshow Moments of 2019

Postby WarbirdTails on Sat 07 Dec 2019, 9:26 am

The Mark Hanna tribute/Cliff Spink’s last display were right up there as well!
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Re: Top 10 Airshow Moments of 2019

Postby Elliott Marsh on Sat 07 Dec 2019, 9:42 am

I only saw two of the moments on the list, but there have clearly been some strong contenders at the mil shows.

Agreed with Mike and Seb's comments. Duxford fielded the Ultimate Fighters' and DH-9 debuts, Nick Grey and Richard Grace's sizzling Bearcat and Fury 'double Joker', five Buchóns, Cliff Spink's retirement, the Mark Hanna tribute, 15 Spitfires, a strong Battle of Britain set-piece, the first UK-based Sea Fury trio display, an epic JR N3200 solo, a quartet of UK-based Mustangs (the first time that particular grouping flew together), a phenomenally flown Thunderbolt and Mustang duo, and the return of the Mercury Flight after 20 years. Plenty of new and standout moments there (13, if we're counting), contrary to what has been reported. Not all warrant inclusion in the list, of course, but proof that the warbird scene's strength lies largely at Duxford.
Elliott Marsh

Re: Top 10 Airshow Moments of 2019

Postby HuwJHopkins on Sat 07 Dec 2019, 10:35 am

The likes of Flying Legends just simply didn't produce any new, interesting or stand-out moments compared to previous years which is sadly reflected in no Duxford shows appearing in our Top 10.


No new, interesting or stand out moments - that really is factually incorrect! Legends alone saw the debut of the DH-9, a type that until this year hadn't been seen in the air for close to a century, and the debut of a new multi-type warbird formation display team with the Ultimate Fighters, whose omission from the list in place of more Reds flypasts is laughable. But let's not let that get in the way of Duxford shunning! :dunno:
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Re: Top 10 Airshow Moments of 2019

Postby Paul_Reflex on Sat 07 Dec 2019, 11:12 am

Is that the Duxford that was shunned by being given the top spot?

Edited to acknowledge that the statement above is incorrect as pointed out below. I didn’t read the top one and assumed it was about the Daks gathering at Duxford.

As others have said, the list is a good reminder that we’ve had a pretty good year. The highlight for me was the Wessex, I certainly never thought I’d see one in a flying display again, let alone in a beautiful FAA scheme.
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Re: Top 10 Airshow Moments of 2019

Postby Elliott Marsh on Sat 07 Dec 2019, 11:20 am

Paul_Reflex wrote:Is that the Duxford that was shunned by being given the top spot?


Old Warden got the top spot, and the report says there were no new or standout moments at Duxford. Even if you agree with the latter part of that statement, there were, quite literally, new moments at Duxford.

:whistle:
Elliott Marsh

Re: Top 10 Airshow Moments of 2019

Postby Wissam24 on Sat 07 Dec 2019, 12:54 pm

Maybe we shun Duxford because Duxford is "Kris Kris Tofferson!" these days, new aircraft happening to be there once over a year or not
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Re: Top 10 Airshow Moments of 2019

Postby boff180 on Sat 07 Dec 2019, 12:55 pm

HuwJHopkins wrote:
No new, interesting or stand out moments - that really is factually incorrect! Legends alone saw the debut of the DH-9, a type that until this year hadn't been seen in the air for close to a century, and the debut of a new multi-type warbird formation display team with the Ultimate Fighters, whose omission from the list in place of more Reds flypasts is laughable. But let's not let that get in the way of Duxford shunning! :dunno:


Whilst a post/tweet/comment criticising us on warbirds from you is boringly predictable (what is this, the 3rd or 4th this week alone?), you forgot to include the words... “in my opinion” in your post. As at the end of the day that is what it is.

That is also what this top 10 is, the opinion of the staff team via a nominated vote.

Everyone’s opinion is different and just as valid - no single view is more important than someone elses. This site isn’t fixated on warbirds so it is of course highly likely that a lot of our top 10 would reflect the diversity of the airshow industry.

Andy
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Re: Top 10 Airshow Moments of 2019

Postby HuwJHopkins on Sat 07 Dec 2019, 1:47 pm

Indeed Andy, it is obviously all opinion-based, which is why you have asked people to discuss, however, you seem to have misunderstood the main crux of what I am saying.

I am pointing out the factual inaccuracy of the text saying nothing new occurred at Duxford airshows, when in fact, the debut of the DH-9 and Ultimate Fighters occurred. That has nothing to do with someone's opinion of those two things or being "fixated on warbirds", does it - it's just a case of being true or false. Can you see that?

As for third or fourth this week, I have made two posts on UKAR in the past month? So no, it would be the second time I have pointed out a factual inaccuracy. How very dare I!
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Re: Top 10 Airshow Moments of 2019

Postby Dakotaman on Sat 07 Dec 2019, 5:11 pm

Great top 10 from UKAR. I saw a few of these moments and some great moments at Duxford too. So what that a Duxford moment didn’t happen to get into the top 10 list. Everyone has different experiences.
Well done UKAR!
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Re: Top 10 Airshow Moments of 2019

Postby Elliott Marsh on Sun 08 Dec 2019, 7:23 pm

I'm not really sure how the point is still lost in translation after a few very clear posts, and why it has to edge towards vaguely personal territory.

To clarify, this quote was the point of contention:

The likes of Flying Legends just simply didn't produce any new, interesting or stand-out moments compared to previous years


"Interesting" and "stand-out" moments are based on an individual, subjective viewpoint by their very nature (as is the whole 'top 10' concept, naturally), and it stands to reason that there will be different opinions on the matter. I don't think that by mentioning Duxford's 2019 highlights, anyone's implying that one opinion is more valid than another.

But there needs to be some objectivity here, and refusing to acknowledge the new moments provided by the DH-9 and Ultimate Fighters debuts in the honourable mentions sections of the write-up is where the point of contention arises - particularly given that both illustrate the strength of the historic scene discussed elsewhere in the article.

The point Huw and I are making is that it is inaccurate to say there were no new moments at Duxford, however you want to spin it and no matter your prejudice towards the venue. Whether those particular moments warrant inclusion in the top 10 isn't being debated. Besides, the original post does ask whether posters agree with the choices and invites people to have their say. There's no malice here, just an attempt at inspiring the kind of healthy debate sorely lacking from aviation social media.

I say all that as someone who opted to avoid the May airshow (the first Duxford airshow I've voluntarily missed in decades), and who has been vocal about IWM's poor marketing and the venue's organisational failings.

For what it's worth, the English Electric Wren's (not a warbird, btw) full solo display in May was the single greatest airshow moment in 40 years.
Elliott Marsh

Re: Top 10 Airshow Moments of 2019

Postby The Baron on Sun 08 Dec 2019, 8:31 pm

Both the DH9 and Ultimate Fighters have also appeared elsewhere since so I'm unsure as to why their debut at Duxford is such a big thing.
The DH9 in itself should be worthy of inclusion but not because it debuted at Duxford. As for the Ultimate Fighters, four types that have all been seen before (OK not in formation) isn't, in my opinion, worthy of note. Personally I'd say that the public taxi runs of the East Kirkby Mosquito would be far more worthy.
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Re: Top 10 Airshow Moments of 2019

Postby Elliott Marsh on Sun 08 Dec 2019, 8:38 pm

'Debut' is important in the context of the quote that Duxford/Flying Legends didn't produce any new items, when those two acts were making their first public display appearances. They were, by definition, new acts. Or is the expectation really that the venue needs to conjure up not only first-time appearances and/or post-restoration debuts, but ensure that they are exclusive to Duxford to be deemed significant? 'Cause that seems to me to be splitting hairs for the sake of criticising Duxford, in all honesty.

Ultimate Fighters, like the Breitling Fighters, isn't so much about the aircraft types than the display sequence itself, and the skills of flying four dissimilar types in a dynamic formation aerobatic sequence. It's the same reason that, say, the Horsemen might be deemed particularly significant as an act, be it their first appearance or otherwise - not because they are flying Mustangs, but because of what they do in them. Applying your logic, your Pat French/Reds and 747/Reds formations aren't worthy of note - nor, by extension, are pretty much any of the top 10!

I'd agree the taxying Mossie is a significant event, albeit not a top 10 one.
Elliott Marsh

Re: Top 10 Airshow Moments of 2019

Postby Ledhead27 on Mon 09 Dec 2019, 8:03 pm

I think it's about time I waded in on this one (don't worry I've brought my wellies). I'll hold my hands up and say that I was the one that wrote the precursory piece that seems to have sparked so much debate, whether that's a bad thing or not is not my decision to make.

After mulling it over for a couple of days I do somewhat regret wording the sentence surrounding Duxford quite as I did, perhaps in hindsight it shouldn't have been worded quite so bluntly (also there probably should have been mention of the DH9 as it is an important airframe to return to the sky). I'm not for one moment saying that Duxford was a forgotten entity, far from it, hence my inclusion of mentioning the Daks over Duxford. As has been mentioned here, the Top 10 Moments piece surrounds not only just the aircraft, but the sense of occasion from a display/set piece and the quality of a display. I stand by the fact that, whilst I didn't personally attend Legends or the May show, the feedback tended to be that they were relatively 'tepid' shows when compared to previous years. Potentially the DH9 might have made it into the Top 10 if it had appeared at a close, intimate venue like Old Warden where we'd have got a good viewing of it, but sadly that obviously didn't happen.

Of course I'm not the only one with an opinion, the entirety of the Staff Team have their input, so naturally we're quite happy with how the Top 10 panned out.

Hope that's helped clear the mucky waters up a bit (please don't crucify me).
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Re: Top 10 Airshow Moments of 2019

Postby Elliott Marsh on Mon 09 Dec 2019, 9:30 pm

Thanks for taking the time to reply! No crucifixion here, we'll save that for any heathens who disagree with my Wren proclamation. :joystick:

FWIW, I totally agree with the distinction between a type alone not necessarily warranting inclusion in a Top 10 if there were stronger display sequences that left more of an impression. Ultimately it's all subjective (which was my earlier point) and, once you put aside any qualms around any factual elements, it's entirely up for debate - and the natural instinct when something you've published is ostensibly criticised is to take it personally and bite back.

As we all know, the minute you publish something you open yourself up to critical analysis, and rightly so. Debate is good. It's essential. How bloody boring would life be if we all nodded sagely in agreement? Indeed, what's the point of publishing any commentary if not to inspire discussion? Lord knows I've had review type pieces I've written challenged over the years. Some of it has been very personal, much of it has been via UKAR. Part of the pleasure of these Top 10 features, and I say this having penned a few during my GAR days, is the discussion they generate, and a forum is the perfect place for a healthy, impassioned debate - certainly more so than any other social media platform. There's far too little of it in aviation these days (bar the RIAT forum here and the occasional thread on the pre-RIP'd Key forum), and I do genuinely miss the days where one event or newsworthy happening bred pages and pages of back and forth from people with differing viewpoints. I've also had plenty of hotly contested aviation and airshow-related discussions with people in-person, sometimes ending with us agreeing to disagree - all good fun.

On the DH-9 front, I had hoped its Old Warden appearance over the summer might've been a Dodge Bailey 'at home' special, but that prospect, if it happens, will be one for the future.
Elliott Marsh

Re: Top 10 Airshow Moments of 2019

Postby HuwJHopkins on Mon 09 Dec 2019, 9:33 pm

Dan, thanks for taking the time to respond to the point I actually made! There's no way I'm going to crucify anyone for holding up their hand and saying, "Yep, I take your point, that was a bit of an oversight" and that it wasn't intentional, rather than ignoring/denying that those new things happened. That's really all it needs, rather than bizarre comebacks!

I absolutely agree about May completely (I've already booked to be out of the country during the next one, so dire they are nowadays!) and Legends to an extent. September was a whole other ball game however for me. One of the best IWM shows for a number of years and one with many moments that will live long in the memory. I suppose it's fine that UKAR didn't select those certain moments for their Top 10, but you were asking for other people's opinions and discussion, hence me offering mine. Yet another Red Arrows flypast doesn't have the same sense of occasion for me the same way one of the most phoenix-like resurrections in aviation reaching its culmination, or a new multi-type formation warbird display team, does.

I suppose that's why the Top 10 and surrounding discussion draws me in, as I'm increasingly more interested in people's perceptions of the airshow scene and how they view things, and there are certainly a lot of unique takes aired on UKAR.

I also really hate to break it to you Dan, but the DH-9 did indeed visit Old Warden and display! (The struts from which I am just fashioning your cross with) :lol: Granted, it perhaps wasn't the most dynamic showing of the type that day! Its display there actually being how I envisaged it would fly most of the time, before Dodge bowled in and began doing those fantastic flowing, climbing and arcing displays - especially impressive given the size and power of the type!
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Re: Top 10 Airshow Moments of 2019

Postby Ledhead27 on Mon 09 Dec 2019, 10:13 pm

Good to hear of no crucifixions taking place, don't want to miss out on the Flybe Christmas Party! I should have been a bit more clear regarding the DH-9 (you can put those struts away Huw), by 'good viewing' I essentially meant it not performing quite such a spirited display compared to similar types or, as you say, with quite so much gusto.

That's partly the reason the Top 10 is done every year thought, apart from us getting the chance to wistfully look back on the year and go 'Phwoar that was good', but it's healthy to have a good debate. As BT once said, it's good to talk. As a slight aside, I voted for Daks over Duxford to be take second place, for the sheer sight of wandering over the hill at the Land Warfare Museum and seeing over two dozen DC-3s (plus variants) parked up together. As I included in the piece I wrote for Part 3 of the Daks Over Normandy feature, the whole thing seemed to have far more charm than other Duxford shows recently gone by (again I didn't get chance to go to the September show either unfortunately). I do hope however that it's not a continuing theme, variety is the spice of life as they say and I would like to go back to a good Duxford show one day. Although saying that, the Paris-Villaroche Air Legend did a good job of filling that void this year!
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Re: Top 10 Airshow Moments of 2019

Postby Elliott Marsh on Tue 10 Dec 2019, 11:48 am

It's not a regret per se, but I am disappointed at having missed the opportunity to see all of the Dakotas in one place.

Granted, I was at Sannerville and then Caen on the day they arrived, and saw the parachute drop from the DZ (and the long stream of civilian Daks on approach to the airport in the distance). The jump was impressive, no doubt. But for sheer spectacle, Caen didn't deliver and was a total cluster, with aircraft parked separately and no real sense of occasion. We opted to avoid the public events at Caen, and based on the avalanche of negative publicity, I'm glad we didn't bother! The whole thing is sadly tinged with disappointment for me.

I also saw a large number at Duxford on the day the seven flew into Old Warden, and was at OW for their arrival and the following day's departure. That was magnificent.

My abiding memories of the D-Day Daks are their Old Warden appearance, and sitting by the sea a few days later on 6 June, on a quiet country road with a US half track and re-enactors parked up nearby, seeing the 15-ship overflying the US sector inland before holding out to sea to overfly the US cemetery, chased by a USCG Hercules. That was pretty magic.
Elliott Marsh

Re: Top 10 Airshow Moments of 2019

Postby Mike on Tue 10 Dec 2019, 1:17 pm

Elliott Marsh wrote:My abiding memories of the D-Day Daks are their Old Warden appearance, and sitting by the sea a few days later on 6 June, on a quiet country road with a US half track and re-enactors parked up nearby, seeing the 15-ship overflying the US sector inland before holding out to sea to overfly the US cemetery, chased by a USCG Hercules. That was pretty magic.

...not to mention the overflights at Colleville cemetery.
Mike

Re: Top 10 Airshow Moments of 2019

Postby Spotty_Jag on Tue 10 Dec 2019, 2:09 pm

Interesting to note that despite Sam Wise's less than complementary review of RIAT 2019 for UKAR, the show still provided the 2nd, 3rd, 6th & 7th best Air Show 'Moments' of 2019 in the eyes of UKAR. The team at Douglas Bader House must still be doing something right... :sweat:
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Re: Top 10 Airshow Moments of 2019

Postby Wrexham Mackem on Tue 10 Dec 2019, 2:37 pm

Elliott Marsh wrote: Debate is good. It's essential. How bloody boring would life be if we all nodded sagely in agreement? Indeed, what's the point of publishing any commentary if not to inspire discussion? Lord knows I've had review type pieces I've written challenged over the years. Some of it has been very personal, much of it has been via UKAR. Part of the pleasure of these Top 10 features, and I say this having penned a few during my GAR days, is the discussion they generate, and a forum is the perfect place for a healthy, impassioned debate - certainly more so than any other social media platform.


Absolutely this Elliott, this thread is somewhere for all of the members to reflect on their season highlights and share with everyone else.

The top ten is a democratic consensus across the staff team, and I don't think any two of us came up with the same ranking. Aviation enthusiasts are a mixed bunch; some of us warbird biased, others modern military, and a few like me ambidextrous :smile: . Some appreciate the finer points of display flying and aerobatics, others are just looking at the aircraft and a show is an opportunity to see that aircraft no matter what is done with it. No right and wrong, we're all different.

For what its worth, one staffer nominated the Wren, so it wasn't completely overlooked, it just didn't make the cut for the top ten.

For me personally, I did consider the Ultimate Fighters but they just didn't squeak in the shortlist for me, despite them being a great thing for the airshow scene in general. And its worth noting as nobody has mentioned it that there was a lot of appreciation amongst us for the Tucano display this year. A very nice display and a pleasing effort from the RAF to get it on the circuit for 2019.

All in all, its a good year if you can get more than ten nominees out of our season, narrowing them down is a nice problem to have!

But swapping either one of those Reds spectacles for a Wren display - well, we really are on different wavelengths there :wink: :grin:
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Re: Top 10 Airshow Moments of 2019

Postby Wrexham Mackem on Tue 10 Dec 2019, 2:43 pm

Spotty_Jag wrote:Interesting to note that despite Sam Wise's less than complementary review of RIAT 2019 for UKAR, the show still provided the 2nd, 3rd, 6th & 7th best Air Show 'Moments' of 2019 in the eyes of UKAR. The team at Douglas Bader House must still be doing something right... :sweat:


That's an interesting point, but I don't think it was ever in doubt that RIAT had some outstanding moments. It was also rather fragmented and lacked cohesion as an overall show, and in fact two of those entries only happened on the one day of the event. Still memorable moments and true season highlights.
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