View Full Version : The Best of 2004

12th Oct 2004, 16:48
Now that the show season has come to a close with a cracking, if cold, day at Duxford here are my thoughts on the highlights of the 2004 season.
Best Fly-In: G-VFWE at Abingdon (Better still if they cut the grass next time)
Best Modern aeros: Diana Britten at the Duxford Proms.
Most improved act: BBMF Spitfire "opposition pair".
Best Display: Little Gransden/Sywell equal first.
Best formation: T-33,Sea Hawk and Sabre (First time 2 Nenes have been in formation for many years?). Close second the Grumman Cats.
And I enjoyed the Breitling Connie and .......
Any thoughts?

12th Oct 2004, 22:32
I have not been to many shows this year so will only partly respond to your catergories...

Best display venue - Sandown

Best display routine - John Romain in the Spitfire XVI at the same show. Two words. Out Standing.

Best formation - Sea Hawk/Sea Fury at Yeovilton. (First time in nearly 20 years since the two flew together).

Hope this is of interest :)

surely not
13th Oct 2004, 08:28
Didn't get to many displays this summer so my options are somewhat limited but :-

Novel and Interesting Display : Breitling Air Racing at Kemble
Best Individual Display: RAF Chinook, Kemble and Shoreham
Best Formation: RAF VC10 and Tristar refuelling combo en route to Farnborough
Best Modern Aeros: I can't remember the name but the pilot of the SU26 at Kemble

13th Oct 2004, 08:49
"Surely not" I agree with your assessment of the RAF Chinook as the best solo act. I saw it at Duxford on Sunday and still can't work out how it can point virtually nose down and still fly. Very impressive.

13th Oct 2004, 16:26
Interesting thread. Here's my choices:

Best formation - Six (count 'em!) Dragon Rapides at Flying Legends, with Sunday's Sea Hawk / T33 / Sabre trio a very close second.
Best modern aero's display - The Sukhoi at Duxford on Sunday, if only for snap rolling it repeatedly straight after take off :ooh:
Funniest moment - watching some stepladder jockey drop his coffee down his shirt as the Tornado ran in (from the direction he WASN'T looking towards) at the Duxford D-Day show. There is a god... :E
Tear-jerk moment - Sally B trailing smoke at Gransden... not a dry eye...
Standing-staring-in-awe moment - the RAFGSA glider pair flying syncronised aerobatics at Gransden.
Thing I liked best about 2004 - The number of take off's I've seen has equalled the number of landings. :ok:


13th Oct 2004, 17:38
For me -

Best formation - 2 Mustangs and an F86 at Woodchurch

Best display venue - Woodchurch, Chailey, Sywell

Best Overall Display - Sywell, but Sandown was also good..

Best aerobatics - Paul Bonhomme in the Sukhoi SU26 at Duxford last week.

Best warbird display - Ray Hanna closing the show at Chailey on the Sunday.

Best large aircraft display - Mike Day in the Air Atlantique DC-6 at Biggin Hill

Best formation display - The Aerostars at Southend & Little Gransden and Paul Bonhomme/Steve Jones in their Sukhoi SU26's (The Matadors) at Donington Park in June

Best 'fun' display - The Tiger Club Turbulent Team at Woodchurch

Best vintage display - Andy Sephton in the Sopwith Triplane at Old Warden in September

Best food - Sywell


The Extra 300 flying billboard (what can I say) :yuk:

The BBMF (Yawn zzzzzz even though it is part of our heritage)

The Red Arrows (20mins+ is tooooo long, even though they are fantastic at what they do!)

Overall, a good year for me, and reinforcing what has already been said, no incidents!


arthur harbrow
13th Oct 2004, 21:28
I sometimes grow tired of the Red Arrows but saw them at the Jersey airshow and they were awesome.
I am sure they flew lower than i have ever sen them before.

14th Oct 2004, 12:21
All time low this year; I only managed to get to four - no five -displays!

Zlin, was that really Paul Day in the DC-6 at Biggin? Cracking display!

I'll add:

Guy Westlake in the Fox glider at Shoreham (and again at Biggin though I don't think he got the altitude for the full display on the Saturday - ******* cloud! - which also caught out Brendan O'Brien who was supposed to be commentating at the time!)

Will Curtis in the Sukhoi at Biggin - again restricted by cloud base, but nonetheless scintillating and continued to talk to the crowd whilst his extremities were being alternately squeezed and stretched...

Matey in the F-18 at Farnborough (Boeing's CTP, Military Division or some such nom-de-wotsit) - awesome!

Andy Sephton in the Spitfire at Old Warden... delightful. And Ray too, though I'm not sure if I've seen him this year...

Most unusual type - the Polikarpov at Flying Legends even if those loops were a bit sphincter tightening to watch!

Best decision - the Tornado crew who curtailed their display at Biggin in the face of truly awful - and worsening - weather. Shame... it was shaping up to be the best Biggin I've been to in years.

Amen to the safe season!

Next year - I promise to get to OW more than once. And I will go to Chailey too...

14th Oct 2004, 14:55
My best show was the Southend Airport Open Day - can't beat it for value, and the photo ops are superb.

Best display has to be the F-18F at RIAT, closely followed by the F-15C from RIAT, and Spitfire tailchase at Legends.

Reds deserve a shout too - as awesome as ever.

14th Oct 2004, 15:04
Whoops, Sorry I meant to say it was Mike Day in the Atlantique DC-6, and I've edited my post accordingly..:ugh:

14th Oct 2004, 15:45
Well, Mike Day was flying the dear old DC-6 almost as if it was a Spitfire... :ok:

surely not
14th Oct 2004, 16:27
I have to agree with Treadigraph, the Fox glider display at Shoreham is excellent, and it is always a highlight of the Shoreham show.

I also enjoyed the display by the Harrier FRS 2 (?) at RIAT, and the GR7 at Shoreham. Despite having seen these displays since the days of the P1127 and Kestrel at Farnborough I still stand and wonder at the way it can be brought to a standstill, flown sideways and backwards etc etc. A fabulous aircraft and I hope I never get so blase as to not enjoy it.

I thought the Reds were better this year than for quite a time. The Hawk will never be as exciting to watch asthe Gnat though :D

15th Oct 2004, 10:23
Surely Not

Should have been at Kemble and you wouldhave seen a Gnat with them:O

surely not
15th Oct 2004, 12:49
I went to Kemble on the Sunday and didn't see the Gnat flying with them. Did my eyes fail me, or was the display different on the Sunday?

I can remember the Gnats pre Red Arrows when they were the Yellowjacks and performing at Farnborough. Must be getting old :{

15th Oct 2004, 13:23
I have a distinct inmpression of watching the Gnats displaying below me at Middle Wallop in 1979 - must be erroneous, particularly as I'm sure I was an inch or two shorter then!

I do recall the singletons performing a cross over at a shallow angle to the crowd line (rather than the head along the display axis) - they were very low!

Tonka Toy
26th Oct 2004, 19:54
When did we become just Atlantique then? did I miss something? Think were still Air Atlantique. I think even Mike would agree he'd be hard push to fly that routine on his own. Lets have a hand for BIG Dave and whoever was middle seating if there was one!