Midlands Air Festival 2024 (31 May - 2 June)

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IP1960
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Re: Midlands Air Festival 2024 (31 May - 2 June)

Post by IP1960 »

profile_M wrote:
Sun 02 Jun 2024, 6:53 pm
Heard on the scanner a message from the FDD to the tutor display to return to base and there was no display? Any ideas why that was?
The Tutor did display later in the day - the commentator did say that we were going to start with the Bronco, rather than the Tutor, and I assumed it was to get him in early and on his way to Torbay, but then he seemed to arrive pretty much on slot time, so not sure what went on but we did see both aircraft eventually.

Flare Path
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Re: Midlands Air Festival 2024 (31 May - 2 June)

Post by Flare Path »

My visit on Sunday was very enjoyable, and the show was excellent — certainly, the pleasant weather was a big plus. The flying display was outstanding overall, with the Draken, Flying Bulls, B17, and Gnat being particularly memorable, even though the Gnat's performance was brief. Should they maintain this level of appeal for enthusiasts, I will definitely consider returning next year.

wdg
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Re: Midlands Air Festival 2024 (31 May - 2 June)

Post by wdg »

Yesterday was my first visit to this show. I had a really good day, generally speaking the show seemed to be really well put together and thought out. The flying display managed to strike a great balance between catering to the general public while still including a few gems for enthusiasts.

The Draken was absolutely the stand-out display of the show. I was expecting the speck in the distance that I'd seen before at Bournemouth and Jersey. Instead we got a fairly enthusiastic display with some great passes - including a fairly close topside and that last high-speed pass.

It was great to see a Gnat in a flying display again, I think the last one I saw was at Duxford in 2018, although the display was a bit short it still got in some lovely passes. The Flying Bulls were fantastic and in much better light than at Duxford the previous day, and I also enjoyed the barnstorming demonstration from the Turbulent team.

The balloon ascent in the morning, while not for everyone, was quite spectacular especially because of its scale. Book-ending the flying display with the hot air balloons seemed to help manage the traffic as well, with people trickling in and out instead of there being a mad rush for the fence when the gates open and another to leave as soon as the flying ended.



Although everything flew that was on the programme at the start of the day, there were a few gaps in the schedule and my main criticism would be the commentary (or lack thereof) around these. Don't get me wrong, I don't want them to keep talking for the sake of talking or put out the 382nd reminder about suncream or hat sales, but I just didn't get the feeling they knew what was going on at times, and if they did then it wasn't relayed to us.

There were four points at which I thought this was particularly bad - around the Tutor, the Grob pair, the Jet Provost and the Gnat. The Tutor was due to open the show and was announced as about to begin its display. We were then told the Bronco would be displaying and then the Tutor, but the Bronco began its display at its slot time and no further mention of the Tutor was made until it was running in much later in the day in a slot marked as "TBC" on the programme.

The Grobs flew in before the show started, but their scheduled slot came and went with no mention of them at all. Shortly before the Gnat display the commentators announced that there were three displays left, and the Gnat, Wingwalkers and Team Raven duly displayed. The commentators started wrapping up with the usual speel - asking each other what was their favourite display of the day, etc, and highlighted a few departing aircraft including the Grobs. A few minutes later, with no warning, they announced the Grobs running in to display.

In the case of the JP, they announced "the next display is a few minutes away" as the aircraft was making its first pass. With the Gnat, the commentary ended so abruptly as the display finished we were left wondering whether that was the planned end of the display or whether it had had a problem and aborted.

I've wasted a lot of words on what was really a fairly minor issue, and generally the commentary was quite good, but it felt there was quite a contrast between the way the disruptions to the schedule here were handled compared to the more-heavily-disrupted show at Duxford on the Saturday, where Ben Dunnell had done his best to keep us up-to-date with changes as the day unfolded.


That being said, these issues didn't take much away from a lovely day in a great venue with good weather and some excellent flying.
Last edited by wdg on Mon 03 Jun 2024, 12:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Flare Path
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Re: Midlands Air Festival 2024 (31 May - 2 June)

Post by Flare Path »

wdg wrote:
Mon 03 Jun 2024, 11:28 am
The Draken was absolutely the stand-out display of the show.
It will be quite challenging for anything to surpass that this year. It cannot be overstated just how impressive the display was.

DeanW
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Re: Midlands Air Festival 2024 (31 May - 2 June)

Post by DeanW »

wdg wrote:
Mon 03 Jun 2024, 11:28 am
I've wasted a lot of words on what was really a fairly minor issue, and generally the commentary was quite good, but it felt there was quite a contrast between the way the disruptions to the schedule here were handled compared to the more-heavily-disrupted show at Duxford on the Saturday, where Ben Dunnell had done his best to keep us up-to-date with changes as the day unfolded.
I felt as though the commentary was actually quite poor. No updates on the actual running schedule, a few basic errors (JP comment WDG mentioned, Draken supposedly running in when it's clearly banking away in the hold etc) and at times feeling like the lead commentator was just reading verbatim from a piece of paper infront of him.

Everything else was grand though! Draken and DC-6 were superb.

MiG_Eater
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Re: Midlands Air Festival 2024 (31 May - 2 June)

Post by MiG_Eater »

Flare Path wrote:
Mon 03 Jun 2024, 11:31 am
wdg wrote:
Mon 03 Jun 2024, 11:28 am
The Draken was absolutely the stand-out display of the show.
It will be quite challenging for anything to surpass that this year. It cannot be overstated just how impressive the display was.
Agreed. Absolutely superb. I know this might be a controversial opinion but personally I was happy to trade the Sabre, Bo-105 and P-38 for the Draken on Saturday!

Now for other shows to take note. There are plenty of classic jets in Europe to entice over, and plenty of enthusiasts with money to spend on tasty line ups.

Domvickery
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Re: Midlands Air Festival 2024 (31 May - 2 June)

Post by Domvickery »

Can't disagree with the the commentary posts, . also what happened to the RR Mustang, there was no mention of this

Don't me started on the Mid laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaands air festival
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8674planes
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Re: Midlands Air Festival 2024 (31 May - 2 June)

Post by 8674planes »

Domvickery wrote:
Mon 03 Jun 2024, 12:19 pm
Can't disagree with the the commentary posts, . also what happened to the RR Mustang, there was no mention of this

Don't me started on the Mid laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaands air festival
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Cole
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Re: Midlands Air Festival 2024 (31 May - 2 June)

Post by Cole »

I've also never heard Sally B be refered to as "The Sally B" before.. quite odd

Not quite the excellence that is Ben Dunnell.

The DC-6 display was very good almost fighter-esqe

but overall a really enjoyable show... oh how good it was to see classic fast jets!
Last edited by Cole on Mon 03 Jun 2024, 12:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Domvickery
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Re: Midlands Air Festival 2024 (31 May - 2 June)

Post by Domvickery »

They could've told us that, the Mustang was (is still) listed as a participant on their website & the timings had a 23 minute slot for them
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IP1960
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Re: Midlands Air Festival 2024 (31 May - 2 June)

Post by IP1960 »

DeanW wrote:
Mon 03 Jun 2024, 11:50 am
wdg wrote:
Mon 03 Jun 2024, 11:28 am
I've wasted a lot of words on what was really a fairly minor issue, and generally the commentary was quite good, but it felt there was quite a contrast between the way the disruptions to the schedule here were handled compared to the more-heavily-disrupted show at Duxford on the Saturday, where Ben Dunnell had done his best to keep us up-to-date with changes as the day unfolded.
I felt as though the commentary was actually quite poor. No updates on the actual running schedule, a few basic errors (JP comment WDG mentioned, Draken supposedly running in when it's clearly banking away in the hold etc) and at times feeling like the lead commentator was just reading verbatim from a piece of paper infront of him.

Everything else was grand though! Draken and DC-6 were superb.
Peter "Ando" Anderson has always been like this - he's done the show since it's first day in May 2018, and you always find gaps of complete silence and a failure to update the flying programme! Given his background he is extremely knowledgeable (give or take the comments above) - the addition of Helen Tempest in the last couple of years has I think improved the overall commentary, once again of course she has plenty of aviation connections herself. I'm still waiting for an update on where the Mustang was that should have been with the Rolls Royce Heritage Spitfire, I did think that by Sunday when the Spitfire turned up alone for the third time it might get mentioned.

Having said all that, I do think that 95% of the crowd don't even notice, it's always very much a family day out so only the likes of us that post on places like this would care :grinning:

Overall, a great three days - living in largely aviation-free Worcestershire never did I think I would see a Draken displaying 7 miles from my house - what a final fast pass that was yesterday. It was the obvious highlight on both days, but the DC6 was fantastic to see. As ever the Red Arrows looked better yesterday, when they could do their full show (rolling on Fri/Sat).

Whilst those of us who take photos can grumble about the position of the sun, the venue works so well - it allows teams like the Turbulents to really interact with the crowd due to the "amphitheatre" style setting, whilst also having no limitations above for the likes of the Red Arrows, Typhoon (when it displays) etc. I can only imagine the chaos behind the scenes that goes into organising a show that starts at 5.30 a.m. and can close after 9 p.m.

I think back to the Sunday in 2018, and how relatively few of us were there that day, thank goodness Trevor and James stuck at it.

SussexWasp
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Re: Midlands Air Festival 2024 (31 May - 2 June)

Post by SussexWasp »

First time visitors to this show for us, it's very likely we'll return for the 2025 edition. Has a relaxed feel to the show, similar to Shuttleworth. Plenty of space so you're not "sitting on top" of the next group and not a ladder in sight.... :-)

Up in the middle of the night to be there for gates and the balloon launch - certainly sight. Superb light at 0600 and those balloons really did fill the sky with colour.

(Reminder for 25. Wear something waterproof on the feet for the walk from the car park to the fence. Who knew there was dew in summer.)

Draken was my star, plenty of burner and The Red Bulls. Good to see the Gnat again, Tutor looked good and always like a Extra and RV. A bit of something for everyone and shout out to the organisers for filling in the wx cancellations at such such notice.

I'd personally rather not have a tea break but it was a great opportunity to catch up on some missed sleep.

Comms was, as has been said elsewhere in this thread, didnt always seem as joined up as it could have been, hey ho. And nope, I did'nt buy the hat and or the factor 30 or 50 :-)

Looked like it was going to be too windy for the balloon relaunch, so we left at 1930 and got out fairly easily.

Oh, and hopefully our Summer Sunday extends through FFD!!

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Cole
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Re: Midlands Air Festival 2024 (31 May - 2 June)

Post by Cole »

Forgot to add.. Was that the full display from the Gnat or was there an issue.

It was about 5/6 passes? lasted 4 Mins
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SilentFlight
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Re: Midlands Air Festival 2024 (31 May - 2 June)

Post by SilentFlight »

Cole wrote:
Mon 03 Jun 2024, 1:26 pm
Forgot to add.. Was that the full display from the Gnat or was there an issue.

It was about 5/6 passes? lasted 4 Mins
With a non aerobatic display (still subject to the CAA limitations for swept wing aircraft) thats pretty much all they can do overland. Just nice to see it up and about.

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Cole
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Re: Midlands Air Festival 2024 (31 May - 2 June)

Post by Cole »

SilentFlight wrote:
Mon 03 Jun 2024, 1:35 pm
Cole wrote:
Mon 03 Jun 2024, 1:26 pm
Forgot to add.. Was that the full display from the Gnat or was there an issue.

It was about 5/6 passes? lasted 4 Mins
With a non aerobatic display (still subject to the CAA limitations for swept wing aircraft) thats pretty much all they can do overland. Just nice to see it up and about.
it just seemed a little cut short, could be partly to do the commentary not really knowing either.
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purple_95
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Re: Midlands Air Festival 2024 (31 May - 2 June)

Post by purple_95 »

Well I really enjoyed the event as I always do, some long days with arriving for the morning balloon launch and staying until late evening then heading back to my hotel but very much worth it, flying bulls and the Draken being the highlights for me. Also thought the Reds display was much improved on the last couple of years, all in all a great weeekend and I will be back next year.

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Professor_M
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Re: Midlands Air Festival 2024 (31 May - 2 June)

Post by Professor_M »

It is perhaps interesting to note that the Gnat that displayed over the weekend (judging by a few photos online) was the Red Arrows liveried G-FRCE/XS104 of Red Gnat Ltd, making its first public display since returning to flight in 2021 - not the Yellowjacks liveried G-MOUR as originally announced a few weeks back.

5944
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Re: Midlands Air Festival 2024 (31 May - 2 June)

Post by 5944 »

Professor_M wrote:
Tue 04 Jun 2024, 6:23 pm
It is perhaps interesting to note that the Gnat that displayed over the weekend (judging by a few photos online) was the Red Arrows liveried G-FRCE/XS104 of Red Gnat Ltd, making its first public display since returning to flight in 2021 - not the Yellowjacks liveried G-MOUR as originally announced a few weeks back.
Yes, that was a nice suprise!

A good show. Second time we've been, as it's not exactly local unlike Shuttleworth or Duxford, but it's definitely pretty family friendly. Lots of good flying. The Draken was immense - worth the ticket money alone! The DC-6 was being displayed brilliantly, and that wing over... :astonished:

Easy journey in, easy getting out, couldn't really fault much except the gaps between displays at times.

IP1960
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Re: Midlands Air Festival 2024 (31 May - 2 June)

Post by IP1960 »

Cole wrote:
Mon 03 Jun 2024, 1:26 pm
Forgot to add.. Was that the full display from the Gnat or was there an issue.

It was about 5/6 passes? lasted 4 Mins
The display was the same both days.

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Re: Midlands Air Festival 2024 (31 May - 2 June)

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