View Full Version : Future of UK Airshows

23rd May 2022, 21:56
I started to go to air shows on my own (without Mum or Dad) from 1989. I would have gone to 6 or more from a wide selection of shows and venues.
The magazine air show list went to several pages. Plenty to see and do. Lots of stalls. Exciting times.
These days there are fewer venues. Fewer shows. Just recently I've noticed fewer acts. There are some exceptions such as Old Warden but the days
of a packed day of flying seem to have gone. 7 hours reduced to 3 or 4. I go to maybe 1 or 2.
Add to all this Brexit, The Economy, Fuel Prices, War etc.
Just wondering what everyone's expectations are for the future either short or long term?

24th May 2022, 15:29
Fairford is still good if you don't mind the horrors of getting in and out

Things like Farnborough are irrelevant - no-one wants to showoff their aircraft to people who aren't rich enough to buy them

28th May 2022, 16:09
It depends on what you want from the show I think. I agree with Asturias that Farnborough don't want the oiks to attend, even though as either tax payers of travelling public, we pay vast amounts to the 'boys club'.

My spotting days started in 1968 and things were certainly different then, as there seemed to be dozens of shows to choose from. The RAF would open up heaps of stations for their annual Battle of Britain at Home day in September. Now the only RAF show is at Cosford. However, this is interesting as there is the museum there, as well as hangers full of old RAF aircraft used to technical training.

Two years of COVID lock downs have made many of us wary of going out into large crowds, and, with fuel prices on the rise again, many will not be able to afford to travel far. We are never going to go back the the golden days of air shows. The best that we, the paying public, can do is to support the shows when we can and hope they keep going.

Yours cynically

28th May 2022, 17:25
I suspect we all have similar memories

I grew up in the village of Stansted in the 70's and as an avid teenage spotter, spent far too many hours of my youth watching nothing much go on...but wouldn't have missed it for the world.

However, my local airshow spot was just up the old A11 at Duxford. To be honest I can't really remember the year....maybe 78, 79, 80 or 81....but one wonderful end of season airshow saw the RAF, USAF and a few local European air forces lay on super displays of their Cold War kit, plus a full show of all the familiar war birds, the red arrows and displays by the many, once prolific, private aerobatic teams. Air UK sent an F27 to do all sorts of unexpected near upside down things and then, as the sun was lowering, a BA Concorde ripped up the runway with a few sparkling climbs and turns to end the day.

Like seeing Queen in 86, I didn't appreciate until a few years later, that what I witnessed, was the end of an era.

India Four Two
29th May 2022, 04:46
[QUOTE]I didn't appreciate until a few years later, that what I witnessed, was the end of an era./QUOTE]

Likewise for me at Farnborough in 1958. I was too young to appreciate what a spectacular achievement it was to loop twenty-two Hunters.

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29th May 2022, 07:01
Been doing IAT/RIAT for decades and only at Greenham did I experience problems getting out. Key to that seems to be to leave when the Red Arrows start their display.

There are good shows around still, but they are smaller and generally few in number. I go to a number of fly-ins now and that also seems to help quench the thirst.

But for sure, we will never see the days again of inverted Lightning passes or formation F-104 displays. We do however still have some awesome machinery at shows - even modern stuff like V-22s and F-22s.

29th May 2022, 08:28
And of course there are fewer and fewer "new" aircraft. An RAF flypast would include the F-35 as the most modern type - but that's 18 years old

Even worse with civil types - they all look the same, they're all pretty derivative (the average man in the street can't tell the difference between a 737 and an A 320), and they are really boring to watch

Displays are much more H&S complaint and the aircraft themselves are packed with systems to PREVENT any excitement anyway

You also used to get different designs from different nations - now they all buy the same few types and repaint them.

The only thing left are the display teams...........

29th May 2022, 08:30
"Likewise for me at Farnborough in 1958. I was too young to appreciate what a spectacular achievement it was to loop twenty-two Hunters."

What was amazing was assembling 22 Hunters in one place and getting them home before one of them ran out of fuel