RAF Fairford, Gloucestershire, UK,
Triumph for marvellous Avro Vulcan XH558.
Royal International Air Tattoo 2010 ...
Though Lockheed-Martin and the USAF made the headlines at RIAT 2010 with awesome F-22 A Raptor display www.sky-lens.com/visite/photo-gallery.php , so many other display slots were worth making the travel to Fairford to watch. I would say though the ACC Raptor plugged my ears and inspired me, it may not be rewarding to future RIATs that we forget other spectacular show slots that were there. RIAT flying displays remain as fine as they've been in past times : where else would you witness in the same event, an F/A-18 E/F, plus an F-22 A, and a RNZAF Boeing 767 agile handled to its limits..., etc... All these once in a year flyings should not hide the RAF Typhoon flying an amazing duo with a BBMF Spitfire - all charged with emotion - to close the airshow dedicated to the Battle of Britain 70th celebrations.
All these unusual flying machines in the same flying display ? Most other western Europe military airshows strive to survive with poor - and too often boring - military participation, and that is partly due to military financial restrictions that reduce the availability of display teams and training hours availiable to prepare show routines. Nostalgic spotters have to understand that fewer airplanes are operational, and most of them are on NATO deployments. Past RIAT's miles of static display may be gone for long, but in my view RIAT's flying display is on top quality and fills the bill alone. So under such circumstances, it is important to point out that the Harrier solo display back to the airscene this year, at RIAT 2010, looks like now a treasure in those times.
It just looks like if RIAT is a sort of flying display trademark, and I still don't find in the equivalence with other military airshows - apart with the gorgeous show at Zeltweg in Austria..) RIAT airshow is full of evocative moments such as the Cold War nuclear times when a USAF B-52 H is overflying the unique Avro Vulcan that is waiting for a 'Clear Take Off' go from the Air Traffic Control Authorities. Probably this Avro Vulcan XH558 is the most marvellous aeroplane ever displayed at Fairford since 1991.This bomber bid farewell in 1992. This four Rolls Royce Olympus bomber restoration was supported by a £2.5 million grant from the Lottery Fund, a £500,000 donation from philanthropist Jack Hayward, private sponsors, and huge donations from more than 20,000 enthusiasts. Also significant support also came from RIAT itself throughout the restoration project. The 'Vulcan To The Sky' operation is still going on as XH558 near future in airshows is not secured. It means the largest jet warbird ever flown at airshows still needs our support : www.vulcantothesky.org . Four Rolls Royce engines were roaring to power the bomber, then XH558 was climbing straight up after a short take off ; that fully reminded my first visit at Fairford ever, 19 years ago as XH558 was flying for the last time here. It remained the most formidable jet powered airplane I ever saw flying in an airshow since that very RIAT 1991, and that was for the next 19 years !
Royal International Air Tattoo 2010 ...
Cold War is a past era . To most of us, it was our childhood and since then : www.sky-lens.com/articles-museums.php , there is no better active airfield than Fairford to remember these times with pieces of nostalgy. For me, Cold War was Rock & Roll times, Airfix kits, Lightnings, Vulcans and also shelters.., and it also remains what most people in the United Kingdom call ' best of british ' design era. Visitors at Fairford could enjoy these past times thanks to classic cars parked a few hundred meters from the Avro Vulcan, and next to a french C-160 Transall. As www.sky-lens.com is nearing inauguration of a new column specific to events in UK & Commonwealth countries - plus the USA - it is a good preview of the style of things driven or flown that people often see in british airshows and that you may often see in this magazine if you are a fine machines fan.
Nostalgic factor also work with the Golden Age of Aviation. Though Fairford is the modern hardware air display academy, the RAF paid tribute to its ' Few ' who gave so much - if not their lives - during the Battle of Britain to save the free world. If I am right I noticed four Hurricanes, six Spitfires, one Me-108 and two Me-109s during a commemorative flypast dedicated to the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain. Can you correct me ? Truth to say it was the first time I shot the EADS owned Me-109 G flying with another ' Bf ' brother. The latter ' Bf ' is a ' false ' Me-109 owned by Duxford's Aircraft Restoration Company. It is a Ha-1112 M1L Buchon, previously operated by the Spanish Air Force as a fighter. This airplane is new to the airscene and first flew this year after a full restoration program ; if wears its own former markings when it flew during the filming in the legendary 1969 movie / film : The Battle of Britain and was displayed for the first time ever at La Ferté-Alais in France : www.sky-lens.com/articles-shows-aeriens.php