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Thread: Report on "historic" RIAT 2017

  1. #1
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    Report on "historic" RIAT 2017

    There will be another strong turnout of “historic” aeroplanes at this year’s RIAT both on the static line and in the air. The organisers claim that RIAT is the largest airshow in the world and certainly in 2003, when 535 aeroplanes took part, Guinness agreed.

    With the USAF celebrating its 70th Anniversary this year there is going to be a larger turn out of USA aeroplanes at the show than there has been of late.

    With the longevity of some types which are still in service the term “historic”, IMO, is becoming somewhat grey round the edges. Whilst this is, of course, the “historic” forum I find it difficult to believe that frequenters of this forum are not also interested in such machines as the U2 and the mighty B52 Stratofortress.

    Historic or what? The B52’s first flight was in 1952, entered service in 1955 and production ended in in 1962. Of the 744 built very approximately 60 are still in service.
    The U2 has a similar history with 104 produced between 1955 and 1989 with the type still in service.

    Regrettably neither aeroplane is giving a flying display and, along with the vast majority of the heavies, will be on the static line only. The static line-up is quite literally miles long. However, they have to fly in and fly out which is why the Park and View (PAV) days can be a real treat.

    Clearly not “historic” is the Airbus A400M but you cannot fail to be impressed when this aeroplane is thrown round the sky from the moment it leaves the runway.
    The Osprey is another aeroplane well worth seeing as it performs with its massive props making transitions whilst in flight.

    As part of the 70th celebrations the USAF display team, the Thunderbirds, have already arrived at Fairford. I have to say that I was impressed by the French aerobatic team last year which put on an impressive performance surprising different to that of the Red Arrows. It will certainly be interesting to see what the Thunderbirds can pull out of the hat.

    Missing, at least to date, is any sign of an F35B.

    Regrettable, this year, we have not been able to get the best seats in the house, the FRIAT enclosure is fully sold out, as we did not think we could get there this year. So this year it will be the Viewing Village and the PAVs. Incidentally the PAVs are the only tickets that can be bought at the gate so this is a good option and they are open Wednesday, Thursday and Monday, one at each end of the runway. I am advised that most land-on and offs take place from east to west, runway 27, but, of course, it is dependent on the wind on the day. However, you can use your PAV ticket at either end. I have not been to the western PAV but I understand that it is a bad scrummage and best avoided. Having said that if runway 09 is in use you will see next to nothing at the western PAV. On entrance you can purchase a flight timetable for that day. Food refreshments and toilets are available.

    I am not a modern fast jets person and whilst the displays are impressive if it is not your thing it does get a bit “when you have seen……….” But that is just my view.

    The BBMF is putting up the Lanc and hopefully 4 Spits with Sally B and two P51s also putting on a flying display.

    The weather is set to look reasonable so let’s hope for another exceptional 6 days of flying.
    Last edited by paul1867; 11th July 2017 at 15:13. Reason: numerical error
    I had just got round to seeing the glass as half full instead of half empty, when some sod came and drank it......

  2. #2
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    Forgot to mention that Park and View tickets are e-tickets so you can buy them in advance if you wish although there is a £2 transaction fee.
    I had just got round to seeing the glass as half full instead of half empty, when some sod came and drank it......

  3. #3
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    To all aeroplane nuts, have a great RIAT. Not sure what it is, perhaps getting just old...but Shuttleworth is just right for me. Picnic, green background, Mk1 eyeball, Hurricanes. Happy days.

  4. #4
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    Not done a RIAT since the mid/late 90s...even then, it was too big for my tastes and felt like an endless parade of F16s, all in slightly different shades of grey. Beloved favorites like the Lanc would just seem lost there, and I lost interest.

  5. #5
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    paul1867 - pm sent

  6. #6
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    As this is the Historic forum, it might have been of interest to add that the HAC's de Havilland DH.9 is scheduled to make it's debut public appearance. It will be roaded in and displayed statically according to this FB message from them:
    https://www.facebook.com/HACDH9/posts/649823451883037
    "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."(Mary Baker Eddy)

  7. #7
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    Consul, it is, it is and you have. All information is most welcome.

    The DH9 can be found in the list of confirmed aeroplanes attending here, http://www.airtattoo.com/airshow/air...-aircraft-2017
    I had just got round to seeing the glass as half full instead of half empty, when some sod came and drank it......

  8. #8
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    Seafuryfan,

    We have only recently discovered the delights that can be found at Old Warden. We were so knocked out by the atmosphere on our first visit we returned the next day, and the next. We have yet to experience the delights of an airshow, but hope to rectify that very soon.
    I had just got round to seeing the glass as half full instead of half empty, when some sod came and drank it......

  9. #9
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    endless parade of Xs, all in slightly different shades of grey.


    Hi Mike, its pretty much the same for me too. In fact originally RIAT was not on my bucket list. This will only be our third and so far we still haven't got round the whole show. With planes and their crews, with interesting stories of how they got to RIAT, from all over the world there is always something of interest to see. I can see that it may not seem of interest to many but I think it is worth at least one try. Despite rumours to the contrary there is much for the "historic" to see, and so far there has always been something special. 2 years ago the fly out of the Vulcan was worth the whole visit, last year the F35B, this year, well we have yet to see.

    For me it is just not the aeroplanes but the engineering that goes with them.

    One thing is for sure the kids will love it.
    I had just got round to seeing the glass as half full instead of half empty, when some sod came and drank it......

  10. #10
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    Noted that the B52's and U2 are attending RIAT (initial post above), but aside from cr@p 80's bands, on the aircraft side a U-2 has already arrived and a B-52 due tomorrow.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for the info, Sabrejet. U2 a bit after "my time". Don't suppose you have a TOA for the B52? Pity, from my point of view, about the U2 as she is not listed as on the static for Friday but that maybe because she will be in the "green" area which is closed on Friday.

    There is still Monday, which is where the FRIAT ticket would have been of great use, we will be in the PAV and, if 27 is in use, will probably not see much. I might have to venture to the other end for the first time.
    I had just got round to seeing the glass as half full instead of half empty, when some sod came and drank it......

  12. #12
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    B-52 ETA circa 8am Wed.

  13. #13
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    Many thanks, wind forecast for tomorrow is predominantly from the east so looks like it will be 09.
    Last edited by paul1867; 11th July 2017 at 15:10. Reason: how could it be 07!
    I had just got round to seeing the glass as half full instead of half empty, when some sod came and drank it......

  14. #14
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    Going off topic a bit (sorry folks!), my son is a second year apprentice at Leonardo Helicopters - Westland's to just about everyone in aviation circles as I'm sure you all know. He has been selected to be on their publicity stand in the 'Techzone' in the show from today for the rest of the weekend, talking to the public about his job and the training and opportunities the company provides. If you are there and see their stand please drop in and say hello, his name is Jack. He is doing an electrical/electronics apprenticeship and currently his job is wiring and fitting out Wildcat cockpits. Lucky git is being put up in a hotel and being paid to be there. Ok, he won't get to see it all but he will see more than I will (can't go this year).

  15. #15
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    Sorry for the silence, severe bandwidth problems!

    We arrived 0700 on Wednesday at the western PAV. Drove straight in an joined the queue of about 100 people. We easily obtained a good location on the fence.
    This was our first time at this end and the wind was basically from the east for most of the day so we were hoping that 09 would be in use.

    However, initially not 27 was in use. The first flight of the day was a U2 taking off so that was a great start but it didn't use much of the runway and with it's steep climb out and low cloud it was soon lost from sight. However, much better opportunities were to come later and when by which time 09 was in use.


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    Maybe grey in a better colour after all.

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    And complete with chase car.......

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    I had just got round to seeing the glass as half full instead of half empty, when some sod came and drank it......

  16. #16
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    The B52 landed on 27 but exited left off the runway to provided an excellent photo opportunity and probably as close as you would really want to get. And as she turned away you just have to love the smell of ATF in the morning. Lots of it!

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    And finding her slot on the static line.

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    If you want to see aeroplanes like this in the air you have to be there on the fly in/out days. Wednesday had a 12 hour program of arrivals, departures and many rehearsals. It was, in fact, an airshow including many types you will not see flying at any show, 12 hours flying all for £15 a head.
    I had just got round to seeing the glass as half full instead of half empty, when some sod came and drank it......

  17. #17
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    Just a note the police are very active on the roads surrounding the airfield and have handed out tickets if the vehicle driver was not available to remove the vehicle.
    I had just got round to seeing the glass as half full instead of half empty, when some sod came and drank it......

  18. #18
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    Today the biggest met the best

    The now traditional Reds accompanied fly past, today with the USAF Thunderbirds.

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    Clearly the Thunderbirds obtain their smoke from Fords, you can have any color as long as it is white.

    Following the flypast the Reds performed their display and the Thunderbirds closed the Friday truncated flying display. Rumour has it that there are plans afoot to expand the Friday display.

    Apparently the feedback the Reds have been getting from Joe public is that they want more colour! So more colour we had today creating an even greater contrast with the white only performance of the Thunderbirds.

    One hesitates to pass comment when they have come so far for our benefit but then I suppose we are so used to the action packed displays of the Reds that large pauses whilst regrouping and singleton flypasts, upside down or not, fail to impress. The airshow is full of fast jets performing all sorts of manoeuvres and passes and one has come to expect that something extra from the display teams and the Reds deliver. The French team last year put on an excellent display, interestingly different from the Reds and multicoloured too! Having said that the Thunderbirds did have an impressive crossover of four ships one from each cardinal point of the compass.

    These, of course, are just my personal views and no doubt many will disagree and I would be very interest to hear what other people thought of the Thunderbirds.
    I had just got round to seeing the glass as half full instead of half empty, when some sod came and drank it......

  19. #19
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    I hope the Reds put on a better show than last weekend at Duxford. The 45 degree offset display axis pretty much ruined the performance. It was like watching a display being performed at another airfield a mile or two away.

    Obviously Fairford will not require this realignment, but the team really need to re-visit the 'show' part of airshow and try and hold the attention of the audience, which they did NOT last weekend.

  20. #20
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    I agree with your comment about the effect of the offset axis at Duxford, but let's be fair, that display was interrupted by an incursion into their airspace by someone not respecting the NOTAM.
    "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."(Mary Baker Eddy)

  21. #21
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    hi,
    I was at Fairford Friday, very good, weather played ball, a few comments, p.15 shows 80-067 landing wed. the checklist has 80-1083 on Thursday, and on Friday 80-073 BB on the ground (with a very weathered appearance on asking was told "it was from where we had been"!). So 3 in 2 days...
    p.18 the Thunderbirds did use colour once when forming on the leader, as the excitable team commentator said he presses the blue and red button so the team see's purple to form up on...
    The DH.9 and Hurricane looked very good, as did the CM-170 Magister, Beech G.18S, and lastly the P.51D which I noticed had 9 German and 2 Japanese kill markings. To be honest though all the veteran aircraft were well presented.
    The B.52, we were allowed? to closely inspect it ie the u/c and bomb bay's ...
    The Lancaster looked the part after her overhaul, carrying AR-L on her port side, s'board ?, and for all you Spitfire aficionado's the 3 present could not catch the Hurrie...

    regards,
    jack...

    this post may contain grammatical errors...

  22. #22
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    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/d...n-uk-air-power

    Defence Secretary announces £120m investment in UK air power.

    Speaking at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT), Sir Michael Fallon has announced two contracts worth almost £120 million.

    Should that not say "existing" air power?
    I had just got round to seeing the glass as half full instead of half empty, when some sod came and drank it......

  23. #23
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    The Static U2 80-073 BB

    Over the past few days we have been very pleased to have seen much U2 activity. The machine on static was rotating back to the US following her latest mission to hot and sandy climes and was showing signs of the hard work she had been doing. Rather embarrassing, to me anyway, were the comments being made about her weathered appearance. The airframe is returning to the States after the show for a full nut and bolt service. The pilot was clearly, and quite rightly, very proud of his machine and the operations it performed which consisted of pre-planned ops lasting around 10 hours but with the capability of being re-tasked if a need arose. Large format negative film is still the preferred medium alongside digital allowing the digital images to be downloaded immediately for initial analysis whilst waiting for the arrival of the better analogue images if a more detailed analysis is required. The usual merchandise table was present manned by other team members. T shirts which had a certificate stating that they had been taken to 70K feet were on sale at £40 apiece.

    The chase car is necessary to ensure that wing tips are clear of any obstructions and, should it prove necessary, any wing drop to one side although apparently the U2 is well balanced and stable. Handling at lower flight levels is "not so good" but at higher levels, at her operation height, she handles "beautifully". The main problem is that the steering is accomplished by two small wheels, visible in some of the pictures, with only about six degrees of movement to each side. On landing at Fairford it did take a few minutes to vacate the runway with the assistance of several ground crew to deploy the wing wheeled struts.


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    Just checking it is still there. Also the sky high T shirts!

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    I had just got round to seeing the glass as half full instead of half empty, when some sod came and drank it......

  24. #24
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    It was interesting to see that the Pontiac GTO U-2 chase, used until last week (and before that a Ford Mustang), has been replaced by a pair of Tesla saloons. The wing pogos are still carried in a pickup or SUV though.

    My previous viewings of U-2s have been rare and fleeting, and it's been a real pleasure to see four different machines this week. And for the enthusiast, saving the most interesting example for static was inspired, even if some weren't perceptive enough to appreciate it.

  25. #25
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    Thanks for that, Sabrejet. The Tesla has phenomenal acceleration so no doubt the reason for the change though when the previous use of Mustangs was mentioned I got the impression that their loss was regretted.

    Incidentally I forgot to mention the the chase driver is also a U2 pilot.
    I had just got round to seeing the glass as half full instead of half empty, when some sod came and drank it......

  26. #26
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    Incidentally, there were many highlights in the static (that gorgeous Fouga Magister for one), but the HAC DH.9 I think stole the show:

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  27. #27
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    That DH9 looks stunning ,thanks for the photo

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    The BBMF Display

    The BBMF's display consisted of the Lanc, three Spitfires, 2 Merlins and one Griffon, and the Hurricane. Total silence from the commentators for the whole of the display. TE311 carried an interesting paint scheme.

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    I had just got round to seeing the glass as half full instead of half empty, when some sod came and drank it......

  29. #29
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    More BBMF

    IMG_0652C

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    IMG_0732C#2

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    And pausing to provide a photographic backdrop.

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    I had just got round to seeing the glass as half full instead of half empty, when some sod came and drank it......

  30. #30
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    What is the story on the black spit?

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