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Alconbury Air Tattoos 1983 - 93 (Updated to incl '92))

Warbirds, Replicas and Nostalgic photos in here please.
F3
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Alconbury Air Tattoos 1983 - 93 (Updated to incl '92))

Post by F3 » Wed Dec 05, 2018 6:42 pm

Although I attended various USAF Open Houses the one most frequented was Alconbury which was the most accessible being only a couple of hours down the A1 from God's Own. The first, in '83, was dominated by Phantoms the resident RF-4Cs being supplemented by a pair of F-4Cs from Seymour Johnson which were passing through. Although the weather seemed set fair on arrival, as on the TR-1 pic, it soon clouded over and became distinctly murky ruling out any flying shots even the taxi-ing shots were nt the best but as I recall there were no barriers preventing access to the side of the peri track and they taxied right on by. I re-visited on several occasions over the next decade but not religiously so please feel free to fill in any missing years but I returned the following year when the weather was more favourable and will add those pics next.

ImageAlconbury '83 - TR-1 17 TRW by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbury '83 - Buccaneer S2 XZ341 D XV Sqn by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbury '83 617 - Tornado GR1 617 Sqn. by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbury '83 - Lightning F6 BJ 11 Sqn. by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbury '83 - F-4Cs Seymour Johnson by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbury '83 - F-4C Seymour Johnson by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbury '82 - RF-4C 555 (2) by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbury '83 - RF-4Cs taxying in by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbury '83 - RF-4C 553 by Michael Britton, on Flickr

1984 was one of the best Alconbury Air Tattoos. Literally a scorcher. In fact the heat exhausted me so much that I had to stop filming after the unexpected and previously unseen SR-71 display and just watch the rest of the show flaked out on the grass. The static contained much more variety than the previous show with more international representation incl. the Belgians, Danes and Germans (who sent the Vikings F-104G display team) and also a good selection of warbirds that staged a unique formation which I managed to catch before succumbing to the heat.

ImageAlconbury - F5 Aggressors by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbury '84 - Warbirds by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbury - Harrier GR3 08 1 Sqn. by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbury - Canberra B2 WK162 100 Sqn. by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbury '84 - Mirage V BR22 BAF by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbury '84 - 57 Sqn Victor by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbury '84 - F16 80563 by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbury - GKM F-104Gs '84 by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbury - Warbird Trio by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbury - SR -71 Blackbird by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbury '83 -SR-71 Blackbird by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageUSAFE 1 019 by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbury - RF-4C break '84 by Michael Britton, on Flickr

For some reason I missed the '85 show. If anyone has any pics of it please add to the thread as I'd be interested to see what I missed. However I returned in '86 when the show seemed a bit flat after the heights it reached in '84. Again there was good international participation with the Dutch, French and Germans in attendance but as I recall the flying programme was rather disjointed and lacked the X Factor of the previous show. However here is a scan, annotated on the day, for interest.

ImageAlconbury - F-101 Voodoo by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbury '86 - Canberra PR9 XH165 by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbury '86 - Mirage F1 FAF by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbury '86 - RNLAF F16B J-650 by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbury - F104Gs German Navy by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbury - Classic Jet Spe Hunter F51 G- Hunt '85 by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbury '86 -Ju 52 by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbury - F-16; Chocks away '86 by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbury '86 - TR-1 by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbury '86 -TR-1 by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbury '86 - Flying Programme by Michael Britton, on Flickr

1987 was another classic Alconbury show notable mainly for my attempt to vary our airshow diet of Burgers by sampling Mexican food long before Taco Bell arrived on these shores. Another fine static display, the star of which was Torrejon based F-16 El Conquistador and all the usual suspects in the flying display. On this occasion I branched out from my usual practice of concentrating on the a/c and tried to capture the atmosphere of the event with mixed results. See what you think...

ImageAlconbury '87 - F15s by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbury '87 - F-15 tailpiece by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbury '87 - F16 82977 El Conquistador by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbury '87 - F15 86024 - - FS Bulldogs by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbury '87 - F4s by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbury '87 - 74 Sqn F-4J by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbury '87 -B17 Sally B by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbury '87 - 74 Sqn F-4J by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbury '87 - C141 under tow by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbury - Lazy Sunday '87 by Michael Britton, on Flickr

30 yrs. ago I attended the 1988 Air Tattoo which obviously was nt a classic as it has nt survived the memory test nor do I appear to have taken many pics. Just a single roll of Kodachrome in fact of which only a handful of slides have survived. What I do recall, helped by these, is that it was a beautiful day - hence the extravagance of slide film - and foreign participation included visitors from Denmark, France + Germany (Heer UH-1). Undoubted star of the static was the Lightning T5 making the type's airshow farewell. Also worthy of note was a Norwegian F-5. Speaking of which this would be the last time I'd see those of the based Aggressors which were soon to relocate to Bentwaters and convert to the F-16. When I returned four years later the base had new residents.

ImageAlconbury '88 - F-5E Red 32 527 AGS by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbury '88 - F5s 527 AGS by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbury '88 - F5 207 RNoAF by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbury - FAF Mirage 2000 by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbury '88 - Lightning T5 (1) by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbury - Buccaneer 237 OCU by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbtry '88- Chipmunk WD310 by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbury '88 - Jaguar XX116 226 OCU by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbury '88 - EF-111A 42 ECS by Michael Britton, on Flickr

The last Air Tattoo I attended was that of '92 which turned out to be the penultimate one. The geopolitical landscape had changed with the ending of the Cold War and this was reflected in a reorganisation of USAF which had resulted in two changes of occupants since my previous visit four years earlier. Gone were the Aggressor F-5s whilst the 17th RW had been downsized to the 95 RS but none of its U-2s were to be seen. New residents were the A-10s of the 10 th TFW, which had been deployed in the Gulf War, but these had just moved out to be replaced by the MH-53s and Hercs of the 39th SOW. Hence the remark in the programme that the base was 'in the midst of transition'. However the show was memorable with a large static including many foreign a/c, the most exotic of which was a Dornier Skyservant of the Morrocan AF whilst the flying programme was substantial if lacking the X- Factor. I missed the following year's final show due to holiday commitments but pics from it have fortunately been posted in this thread. If anyone has any of the shows which took place between '88 + '92 please feel free to post. My dad attended the one after the arrival of the A-10s (prob '89) and told me that the organisation was a bit of a disaster as the static aircraft were inaccessible being parked behind a fence and it was more like a car show. If anyone can expand on this please do.

ImageAlconbury '92 - Jaguar 226 OCU by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbury '92 - Buccaneer 208 Sqn. by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbury '92 - F16s 297 +687 RNoAF by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbury '92 - F16 J-062 RNLAF by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbury - '92 F-4F JG 72 by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbury - A10 '92 by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbury '92 - Do.28 Skyservant Moroccan AF by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbury '92 - KC135 63019 Risky business by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbury '92 - An-2 by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbury '92 - Corsair by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbury '92 - 48 TFW F-111 by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbury - Grasshoppers Team RNLAF '92 by Michael Britton, on Flickr

ImageAlconbury '92 - Flying Programme by Michael Britton, on Flickr
Last edited by F3 on Mon Dec 10, 2018 4:56 pm, edited 7 times in total.

dragonchaser
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Re: Alconbury Air Tattoos 1983 - 93

Post by dragonchaser » Wed Dec 05, 2018 6:47 pm

I remember these shows well, some great memories there, really like the U2/TR1. :thumb:

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NickC
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Re: Alconbury Air Tattoos 1983 - 93

Post by NickC » Wed Dec 05, 2018 9:53 pm

I always enjoyed the Alconbury shows. Not as early as '83 though, and those SJ F-4s look great (especially the one with the sash). Very atmospheric shots of the three RF-4Cs taxiing too.

Unknown74
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Re: Alconbury Air Tattoos 1983 - 93

Post by Unknown74 » Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:37 pm

I attended 1988s Alconbury Show, must admit to a little disappointment although there was a USAF "Z.R". R.F-4C on Static as well as what I learned later was the final F-5E Tiger II. Also a little disappointed that the WILD Weasel 4 ship (2x Phantom & 2x F-16 Fighting Falcons) only appeared to be take off - return for 1 fly past before disappearing, would have loved to see more of them. Good/ excellent displays though from the F-15C Eagle and a based U-2/TR-1(whichever it was in those days)
Last edited by Unknown74 on Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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paddyboy
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Re: Alconbury Air Tattoos 1983 - 93

Post by paddyboy » Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:07 am

Hi Michael :P

AR was always a nailed-on for us to go to :thumb:

Great display and a great variety of food :D

Thanks for posting :thumbs:

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grumpy616
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Re: Alconbury Air Tattoos 1983 - 93

Post by grumpy616 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:55 am

Great pics, thanks for posting.
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slogen51
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Re: Alconbury Air Tattoos 1983 - 93

Post by slogen51 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:04 am

Great stuff

I too used to go to the AR shows but I must admit I didn't remember the two SJ 'tombs' . Might have to dig the old logs out of the attic

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Re: Alconbury Air Tattoos 1983 - 93

Post by graham luxton » Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:35 am

Some nice reminders there. Always liked the Alconbury shows going back to its 10TRW RB-66 days, when they used to have the wreck of a former based 47BW B-66B in the car park! That taxiway, so close to the crowd line was great for the flying items, most of which operated from the former 32TRS ramp next to the hangars. Then they ruined it by operating from the far side. Stars of the '83 show for me were the Air Training Command T-43 which arrived from Mildenhall and the SJ F-4E's - there were another 2 parked on the far side, all of which were part of the Crested Cap deployment to Ramstein. Tucked away in one of the hangars was another gem - an F-4D from the District of Columbia ANG, too bad they didn't put that on show.

Looking forward to some more memory jerkers.

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Re: Alconbury Air Tattoos 1983 - 93 (Updated)

Post by F3 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:49 am

Thanks for the info Graham. Often wondered why the SJ F-4s were there. Do you know if there was a show in '85 as I have no photos from that year? (Perhaps they were relaying the runways).

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Re: Alconbury Air Tattoos 1983 - 93 (Updated)

Post by graham luxton » Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:19 pm

F3 wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:49 am
Thanks for the info Graham. Often wondered why the SJ F-4s were there. Do you know if there was a show in '85 as I have no photos from that year? (Perhaps they were relaying the runways).
There was a show in '85 F3 - will have to dig my notes out to see if there was anything outstanding.

Thought that SR display was great in '84 - did a zoom climb on departure if I remember correctly. The F-5's were arriving back from Ramstein - a 5th one was a few seconds behind the 4-ship. With flypasts by the Phantoms followed by similar by the F-5's it was a great showing by the home team.

F3
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Re: Alconbury Air Tattoos 1983 - 93 (Updated)

Post by F3 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 3:51 pm

Obviously missed it then. May have gone to Humberside instead, which I note clashed with it, but returned in '86 having discovered which was better value. For my money '84 was the best Tattoo I ever attended due mainly to the great weather, the SR-71 (which was nothing ever topped) and the strong showing by the based a/c. If you, or anyone else has any pics from the '85 show please add to this thread.

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jaybee
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Re: Alconbury Air Tattoos 1983 - 93 (Updated)

Post by jaybee » Thu Dec 06, 2018 5:27 pm

Great set Mick...Blackbird, Mosquito formation, Mirage and F5s are just some that grab the attention when scrolling through. I never got to attend shows in the early 1980s like your
good self, but do have lots of memories as a trucker such as a big Phantom line up passing Coningsby. Thanks for posting up... :thumb:
Let me guess, you are working on your reply...

Philwinward
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Re: Alconbury Air Tattoos 1983 - 93 (Updated)

Post by Philwinward » Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:16 pm

Always thought of Alconbury as a relaxed and friendly show.
Phil

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Knife 04
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Re: Alconbury Air Tattoos 1983 - 93 (Updated)

Post by Knife 04 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:47 pm

Great thread F3 - shots of the SR-71 and TR-1 (U-2) in the original post are brilliant - thanks for posting these up

Update is also great - the F-101 voodoo is fantastic as are the TJ F-16 (always good with ground crew) and again U-2

Only made one show at Alconbury in 1993 - you O.K. if I stick a couple on tomorrow for that one?

Cheers

Darren
21st Special Operations Squadron 'Dust Devils'
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Re: Alconbury Air Tattoos 1983 - 93 (Updated)

Post by paddyboy » Fri Dec 07, 2018 6:23 am

PR9 trying to look like a B(I)8 :lol:
XH558, always the first lady in my life
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F3
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Re: Alconbury Air Tattoos 1983 - 93 (Updated)

Post by F3 » Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:38 am

Knife 04 wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:47 pm
Great thread F3 - shots of the SR-71 and TR-1 (U-2) in the original post are brilliant - thanks for posting these up

Update is also great - the F-101 voodoo is fantastic as are the TJ F-16 (always good with ground crew) and again U-2

Only made one show at Alconbury in 1993 - you O.K. if I stick a couple on tomorrow for that one?

Cheers

Darren
As I missed the 1993 show due to being on holiday in Cyprus, it would be ideal if you could post your pics esp with it being the final one. Having read a review of it in an aviation mag it sounds to have been a worthy finale.

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Knife 04
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Re: Alconbury Air Tattoos 1983 - 93 (Updated)

Post by Knife 04 » Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:54 pm

Cheers Michael - looking back at it now the day we went in 1993 was a wet one - can remember going up in my brothers MK1 Golf GTi - windscreen wipers were abit slow. Think it rained on and off for most of the show although a couple of bright intervals by the seems of it.

Hope you find of interest (think they could do with a little re-working too)
U-2s were based there at the time under OL-UK
ImageU-2R - 01080 / BB - 95 RS, RAF Alconbury by Darren Currie, on Flickr

ImageU-2R - 01080 / BB - 95th RS, RAF Alconbury by Darren Currie, on Flickr

352nd SOG (or was it SOW at that time?) were also resident prior to moving over to Mildenhall with the 7th, 67th and 21st SOS
ImageMC-130H – 80193 – 7th SOS, 352nd SOW RAF Alconbury by Darren Currie, on Flickr

ImageHC-130N - 95820 – 67th SOS, 352nd SOG RAF Alconbury by Darren Currie, on Flickr

ImageMH-53J – 01629 – 21st SOS ‘Dust Devils’, 352nd SOW, RAF Alconbury by Darren Currie, on Flickr

A couple of the visitors
AC-130H from Hulbert Field
ImageAC-130H – 96573 – 16th SOS, Hulbert Field AFB, Florida by Darren Currie, on Flickr

ImageAC-130H – 96573 – 16th SOS, Hulbert Field AFB, Florida (2) by Darren Currie, on Flickr

P-3C Orion from Jacksonville
ImageP-3C - 157310 / LP-6 - VP-49, NAS Jacksonville, Florida by Darren Currie, on Flickr

Spangdahlem F-16C
ImageF-16C – 87-338 / SP – 52nd Fighter Wing – Spangdahlem AB Germany by Darren Currie, on Flickr

Bitburg F-15C
ImageF-15C - 84-027BT - 53rd FS 36 FW Bitburg AB, Germany by Darren Currie, on Flickr

'Reluctant Dragon' - too many people around it to get a decent shot
ImageB-1B - 86103 / DY – 9th BS Dyess AFB by Darren Currie, on Flickr

Not many flying shots due to the weather - can only really remember the F-111E
ImageF-111E - 68056 / UH – 55th FS, 20th FW Upper Heyford - 'Going Ballistic' by Darren Currie, on Flickr

ImageF-111E - 68056 / UH – 55th FS, 20th FW Upper Heyford by Darren Currie, on Flickr

ImageF-111E - 68056 / UH – 55th FS, 20th FW Upper Heyford by Darren Currie, on Flickr

ImageF-111E - 68056 / UH – 55th FS, 20th FW Upper Heyford by Darren Currie, on Flickr

Hope these are of interest

Darren
21st Special Operations Squadron 'Dust Devils'
'So cool other pilots say Damn!' - Slife Slife Baby

https://www.flickr.com/photos/22790934@N07/

F3
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Re: Alconbury Air Tattoos 1983 - 93 (Updated)

Post by F3 » Sat Dec 08, 2018 9:20 pm

See what you mean Darren. Just going downstairs to dry out. That Bone Reluctant Dragon certainly got about. Think it was @ the Hall the same year. That must have been just about the last time BT F15s + UH Aardvarks were seen at Shows so thanks for posting.

graham luxton
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Re: Alconbury Air Tattoos 1983 - 93 (Updated to incl. '87)

Post by graham luxton » Sun Dec 09, 2018 9:17 pm

Some good additions Darren despite the weather, which was much better on the Saturday. This was "The Reluctant Dragon"s first visit to the UK (it was at the Mildenhall show the following year) and they opened it up so a few lucky souls could take a peek inside the cockpit. This was also the only time B-1's visited Alconbury - its wingman, 85-072/DY being parked on the East side of the base to take part in the flying program after the F-111E. In the event it got cancelled on the Saturday because its home station withdrew its permission to display due to a crew rest issue. Don't know what happened on the Sunday but may have cancelled as well as Darren doesn't seem to remember or have photo's of it.

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Knife 04
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Re: Alconbury Air Tattoos 1983 - 93 (Updated to incl '88))

Post by Knife 04 » Mon Dec 10, 2018 9:36 am

Thanks Graham
From memory I don’t think the second B-1 was actually there on the Sunday (stand to be corrected though) and it definitely did not fly on the Sunday - we parked up at the end of the runway so we could use the car as shelter and would have got a couple of shots of it with the burners in the dark conditions
Some dim memory rattling around in my head says it left Alconbury on the Saturday after the show as I think there was a picture of it in one of the magazines at the time taxi-ing out - Stuart has a nice shot of it on Flickr - a camo one!
21st Special Operations Squadron 'Dust Devils'
'So cool other pilots say Damn!' - Slife Slife Baby

https://www.flickr.com/photos/22790934@N07/

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