It was the first time for me and we decided to do it properly going to the Wednesday and Thursday arrivals and then the show on Saturday.
First off I have to say that I was completely amazed by the superb organisation of the show. The traffic management was first class and all the staff and helpers were very helpful and friendly.
The two arrivals days very fantastic, it was great to see all (well most) of the static line up arriving. The park and view area (we used east both days) was very comfortable for the number of people attending, especially on the Wednesday when the numbers were lower than the Thursday. On the Wednesday we got in the que to go in at 6:30am and got a nice fence line spot which worked well for the statics taxing across runway 27 to go on to the south of the airfield. On the Thursday we decided to arrive a bit later and got there at 8am and tried a different spot off the fence line again this worked fine for shots of aircraft arriving.
There were lots of highlights but the ones that really stick out were; The Greek Phantoms, awesome, the Canadian CP-140 Aurora and all the paint schemes on the visiting F-16’s and Eurofighters. Also the Pakistan Herc’s tail art was superb.
The show it’s self on Saturday was great; we got in the que to go in by 7:10am and again got a nice fence line spot in the red zone. The weather (sky) was a bit disappointing for photos but that obviously had nothing to do with the awesome flying displays or the organisers. Some of the displays were flat due to the cloud level.
In terms of the best displays; the F-22 was an awesome display of power and so was the MiG-29. The Rafale, F-16’s, Typhoon’s and Gripen showed great agility and those with smoking looked great darting around. The F/A-18 from Boeing was a superb display combing power and agility. I really enjoyed the display from Ramex Delta and what a colour scheme on the painted Mirage. It was a shame the P-51 didn’t join the heritage flight but I did enjoy the F-22 and F-35 fly by.
BUT, and I’m not sure why, the rehearsal displays for the F-22, Ramex Delta and in particular the F-35A on Wednesday (F-22s was on Thursday) were much better than the Saturday show. Not sure why I’ve got that impression but I do.
On the F-35’s I have to say it looks a dog with the gear down on landing, but looks much better in the air and on the ground. I think it growing on me…
The display teams were also very good, the red’s as always put on a great show as did the Frecce Tricolori with some nice green, white and red smoke. The prop display teams were nice as well.
But my favourite display team by some way was the F-5E of the Patrouille Suisse, great to see such a long airframe gracefully (but quickly) fly in close formation, superb.
If I had to pick the very best bits from three days I’d have to pick four:
1) F-22 on Thursday morning with some nice light and blue sky
2) The F-35A on Wednesday the pilot was really giving it some stick and thrashing it around
3) Probably one of the real high points was seeing and photographing the Greek F-4 Phantom II landing
4) The Patrouille Suisse arriving on Thursday and displaying on Saturday.
My only negative comment is that with so much to see and do I didn’t get to see much of the static line up. I fact I don’t think I walked outside of the red section all day!
I’m still working through all the 3500 photo’s but have started to put some in a Flickr album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/leeadc/al ... 8031765974
Once I’ve got a nice selection I post them in the photography section.