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-   -   Support for the military? (https://www.pprune.org/military-aviation/562516-support-military.html)

Red Line Entry 5th Jun 2015 17:37

Support for the military?
Cosford's Air Show has sold out of tickets more than a week before the event. Is this the Great British public supporting their military, or just people wanting a day out in the sun? Should we even bother with air shows any more?

Interestingly, Cosford is the ONLY show brought to you by the RAF this year since Waddington's got the builders in and Leuchars has got the Army in!

NutLoose 5th Jun 2015 17:40

The TSR 2 will be positioned outside at the show :)

All ticket is ok, but it's those that turf up thinking the can buy tickets, then the pain as they turn around and depart

KPax 5th Jun 2015 17:41

The only show plus some additions like, Swiss F18, Belgian F16, Polish Migs and French Mirage 2000 among others, not bad for a small airfield.

Pontius Navigator 5th Jun 2015 18:03

Nutty, quite right. Which has more effect on GBP, getting in or not?

I still remember my first air show. Aged about 10 or 11 two of us cycled to our local airfield (without knowledge of our parents) Hooton Park. It was the BoB air show weekend but they were not open. Nevertheless they allowed about a thousand of us in and called up any passing aircraft to drop in and display. I think some were going to Speke. The only one I remember was the Shack out of Harwarden en route north. Never thought I would join the RAF. Three years later I was in the cadets and four more and in the RAF. Now had we been turned away . . .?

RLE, one military air show in the whole of UK, why bother. Open every station on the same day, get 'em in, forget the beer tent, tat stalls, fund raising and show off the Air Forces - Army and Navy too. If our NATO Allies wish to participate, fine.

Hawk98 5th Jun 2015 18:40

Doesn't RIAT count as an RAF airshow? It is at Fairford after all

Wander00 5th Jun 2015 18:42

The French Tours air base centenary show on Sunday has a programme from about 0930- 1800, without the usual French lunch break of 90 minutes, and features RAFAT and PdF, all for 10 for a grown up,5 for yoofs and free for 12 and under. Bargain

Tashengurt 5th Jun 2015 18:51

I do miss proper airshows. Biggin Hill, Abingdon, Leuchars, Farnborough. Even Brands hatch put on a good pre F1 show in the 80's.

Darvan 5th Jun 2015 19:17

Finningley, Church Fenton, St Mawgan...........

Wander00 5th Jun 2015 19:42

...........Hendon - tears are streaming down my face as I type.

smujsmith 5th Jun 2015 19:49

Hey lads, when I were a lad my local B of B day was at Royal Air Force Gaydon. At the time home of No2 Air Navigation School with Varsities. I well remember a day when the weather was dog guano, with a low cloud base and drizzle. The faithful turned up, having been promised a new twist in the contributions from many U.S. Military flying units. The Lightnings took off and displayed, the Shackleton did its flyby, and lots of other RAF aircraft performed their low cloud displays. No U.S. Teams/contributors flew that day, announced through the PA that the weather was outside of their permitted parameters. It was a bit of a let down for someone eager to see some USAF aircraft. The only Air displays I've attended since we're as part of a participating C130 crew, it all looks different from that side.

Smudge :ok:

Pontius Navigator 5th Jun 2015 19:56

Finningley, Coltishall, Gaydon, Benson, Biggin Hill, Waddington 3 hr 10 min. The flight plan timing for each was worked out by 11 Gp. They got the Colt Gaydon timing a little tight and we had to do 250kts in the Lanc. Of course the old dear wasn't an old dear in those days being younger than today's Tonka.

alisoncc 5th Jun 2015 20:38

Here's a reminder from fifty years ago less a few months. Battle of Britain display at RAF Finningley 1965.


Seaking93 5th Jun 2015 21:59

Just a small point, Cosford is not the only military air show in the UK, both Culdrose and Yeovilton have shows as usual this year

RAFEngO74to09 5th Jun 2015 22:07

When I was a lad aged 13, the first air show I attended was the 50th Anniversary Golden Jubilee of the RAF at Abingdon which was open to the public on Saturday 15 June 1968, the day after the Royal Review.

I was enthralled by it - particularly due to the vast variety of aircraft which included many rare items from the early days, including those retired within the previous 10 years that were interesting, unique British designs, along with every single then current inventory item. For instance it was possible to see a Valiant, Javelin, Swift, Beverley, Belvedere, Sycamore, Twin Pioneer, Anson and a Bloodhound site.

This shows the scale of the event: RAF Golden Jubilee Air Display

eg flypasts by 24 x V-bombers and 28 x Lightnings and an air / land demo with Belfast, Hercules, Andover and 24 x Wessex ! There was also a display by the first production Harrier.

Immediately thereafter, I decided that I wanted to join the RAF rather than the Army. Summers for the next few years were filled with wall-to-wall military airshows which for me typically comprised attending RAF BoB Open Day at RAF Abingdon and all the USAF bases Upper Heyford, Alconbury, Mildenhall, and Woodbridge / Bentwaters, all within 10-100 miles.

Within 8 years I was a JEngO on a front-line squadron in RAFG and the rest is, as they say, history !


NutLoose 5th Jun 2015 23:25

St Athan was another good one, these days Flying legends and Old Warden put the military to shame, another problem is when you concentrate on one show such as Cosford with no alternatives, you get the all or nothing brigade that when they cannot get in leave feeling both peeved and negative towards the services cause when cuts loom.

Bob Viking 6th Jun 2015 01:38

Support for the military?
So let me get this straight. On this forum we regularly hear from the grumpy old buggers about how we should bin the Red Arrows because they cost too much. Now we are treated to the 'where have all the military air shows' gone diatribe. Which would clearly cost money to organise.

So which is it to be. Spend portions of the meagre defence budget on impressing the public in the best way we can afford and inspiring the next generation or spend more on body armour? As we are constantly reminded on here you can't have both.

The Reds reach out to far more people than a localised airshow so maybe the current solution is the best compromise.

Finally, for the love of Jesus H Christ can we please all stop complaining about how small the forces have become. Times change. We need to move on and accept it. Despite what the aforementioned grumpy old buggers believe we still have a top rate military. It's not as big as we'd like but that's life. It is disrespectful to today's crop to keep complaining about it.

Wow. What crawled up my arse on this fine summers evening?! Maybe I need another beer.


Hangarshuffle 6th Jun 2015 06:49

The dim military leadership are missing a trick then arent they?
Could never understand why the military didn't make more of the cash cow that an air day can be. Yes get an outside agency to run the thing. But they must surely be a good money generator if ran straight and correctly (not all of them were-fiddling was always terrible.
The people want to see the hardware they have paid for and they want to meet and see close up the people who fly them, maintain and manage them.
Its a no brainer.
The military top set have no real brains though and no link to the proles either. Put another way if you put Typhoon, Tornado, Merlin, Lynx, Apache, Hercules, Reaper, Hawk.....together at the remaining bases, they would probably sell out. It doesn't read as a lot anymore and I concede it wouldn't look brilliant. Need some other exotics to balance it out a bit.
But people would come. Cash would come in and positive publicity would be made. The military needs positive publicity.

That's an amazing picture above my post here-can anyone name all the aircraft? Are they naval aircraft in the top right corner? Does actually show how much UK air power has declined entirely.

Danny42C 6th Jun 2015 07:11

(Copied from "62 Years ago Today" as being relevant here):

" Once I had an Air Force, made it run - made it run against time....

- Once I had an Air Force - now it's gone...

- Brother, could you spare a dime... ?"♫ :(


Martin the Martian 6th Jun 2015 10:57

I think those naval aircraft are actually Bloodhound SAMs...

I like what they do in Israel, in that they hold open days on consecutive days at three or four different airfields, arrange a comprehensive static display of aircraft and other equipment and invite the public in to see what their taxes buy. Some of the static aircraft shuttle around to the different events. There is little in the way of flying demos, though when I was at Ramat David there was a SAR demo by a Dauphin/Panther. Aircraft undertaking normal activities in the area are encouraged to do a low pass or two, and some local flying carries on as normal. As the events are held in the week personnel do not have to give up their weekends and the whole shebang is factored in to the annual programme.

I wonder if this might be a more effective model for the RAF to follow rather than hold the big events that compete with the likes of Duxford and RIAT, almost going back to the 'At Home' style of event. Two or three of these events could be held at different locations across the country, with different stations holding them each year. The Red Arrows and the Falcons can do their thing, BBMF can show off their wonderful machines, and whatever display routines are available for the year can participate as well. In short, an event for the RAF to show the British taxpayer what it does.

Pontius Navigator 6th Jun 2015 10:59

Hangarshuffle, a mixed bag. I would agree that opening all bases with the chance of 'touching and stroking'. The Reds might get a lot of ooos and rrrs but there is no connection with the real Air Force. Entering an air base allows GBP to see the accommodation blocks, hangars, shelters etc and occasionally talk to real people :).

Where you are wrong is getting a commercial organiser. A few years ago the PR shop did just that. One show was very poor and the other, just two weeks after the regular commercial air show at a ex-RAF airfield was thankfully cancelled (put out of its misery) through bad weather.

NutLoose 6th Jun 2015 12:31

I totally agree it could be made profitable, there are sometimes's the occasional thing that comes across as a way that things could be done, the Tristar, Herc ,VC 10 retirement photo day at Brize and the two Lancasters at Waddington enclosure come across as what can be done by a few for the many :p

Pontius Navigator 6th Jun 2015 18:14

Nutty, I am sure you are aware that the air shows were usually hugely profitable and a tick in the station commanders promotion rec. The aim was to convert as much of the take to the RAFBF while minimising the bill paid to HM Treasury. Creative accounting was applied and in my established case he flatly refused to pay the Reds for their smoke or Binbrook for MT and T&S.

taxydual 6th Jun 2015 18:53

air shows were usually hugely profitable

Were they ever in some cases.

1976 B of B At Home Day RAF Finningley.

A week prior to the event the St Leger horse race was run at Doncaster.

SRO's requested volunteers to go the the Races, in Best Blue, to sell FY At Home Day advance tickets.

Step forward one (enterprising) SAC from Air Traffic known by one and all as 'Scouse' (as he hailed from Liverpool).

Scouse was horse racing mad. He and the bookie in Auckley village were on first name terms but deadly rivals.

A day at the Races, indeed the running of the St Leger, free entry, free food (OK, buttie box from the Airmans Mess), a Grand Day out thinks Scouse. However, one rather large black cloud hovered over Scouse. A not too wise investment in a runner in the 2.30 at Newmarket (that didn't come up to snuff) had left Scouse broke, brassic, flat, skint (you get the picture).

Scouse, as most Liverpudlians, had the sellers gift of the gab. FY B of B tickets flew from his fingers and pound notes flew into them.

Temptation, temptation.

I am reliably informed he put the whole of his takings (or rather the FY B of B takings that he had custody of) on a horse in the Big Race.

The horse came in at 6 to 1.

FY's profitability that year was nothing compared to the profitability of one SAC Scouse H""""".

smujsmith 6th Jun 2015 19:11

Perhaps, as we live in a country that legislates that the name of Guy Gibsons dog should no longer be "acceptable", a country that is driven by anti British rhetoric, not least from a governing party that thinly veils its grovelling deference to the modern equivalent of the third Reich. An air display, celebrating our nations brave stand against Germanic attempts at domination, would obviously not be P fricking C. I'm afraid I don't care anymore, May 7 demonstrated that sheople rather than common sense will drive our politics in the future. So be it, hope they enjoy their experience. B of B, does the average Somali migrant give a toss ?


taxydual 6th Jun 2015 19:42

Bit deep there, Smudge, old love.

As for 'not be P fricking C' you may have a point.

Not that long ago *, RNEFTS at Topcliffe had an intake of German Navy students. Linton on Ouse (the parent unit) had a long existing right to march (bayonets fixed) through York.

Come B of B day march through York, "Fall in the Hermans" was the order. The Germans marched with the RN and RAF Contingents.

As Claus (the senior student declared) "But ve vere in ze battle too".

* Bugger, 1983 was a long time ago. Smudge, your PC point makes more sense.

taxydual 6th Jun 2015 20:34

But, it seems, someone's Military are getting support.

British aid billions 'subsidising' third world defence budgets - Telegraph

Dysonsphere 7th Jun 2015 01:12

Did cosford last year still a good show but the traffic control was cr*p 4 hours to cover the last 3 miles dont know who set it up but they needed shooting

ian16th 7th Jun 2015 08:58

1st BoB @Home day was at Lindholme in 1954, we even had a Sunderland fly past and some visiting a/c with those newfangled jet engines :ok:

Krystal n chips 7th Jun 2015 16:38

St Athans was another good one

Unfortunately, thou art wrong !.

It was run with the same level of arcane incompetence that applied to AOC's when the whole Station paraded, not just a token gesture of a guard of honour.

The Air Day was the same, countless hours wasted, mass manpower deployed and, erm, why has the factory production rate dropped ?

Taxydual..... your mate had a precedent.

Some years earlier, 69 to be precise, somebody had the less than inspired idea to send my entry from Halton to the Biggin Hill event to sell programmes.

Selling to the grateful, and innocent, public was easy. Alas however, apprentices were not exactly overpaid and the No1 uniform had very little space for, erm, change.

I can neither confirm nor deny "The Shoulder of Mutton" and "The Two Brewers" ( as was) benefitted later from this excursion.

Red Line Entry 7th Jun 2015 17:05


Sure you don't mean in 2013? That year was awful but last year was a lot better.

Danny42C 8th Jun 2015 00:18

My next trick is Impossible.
By the the time I was on the last station where I was involved in a BoB "At Home" Day (Thornaby, '52 [or '53?]), they were referred to as: "Butchering the Air Force to make a Public Holiday" !

There was a germ of truth in this. Some budding Einstein had worked out that, taking into account all the pilots killed on, or practising for, all the post-war Air Shows and "At Home" Days, the total was nearing the number killed in the Battle itself.

This was probably a gross exaggeration, but still food for thought. At Thornaby, just before I arrived at the end of September '51, a Sgt-Pilot demonstrated a slow-roll in a Harvard a bit too low, writing off himself and Harvard. Or so they told me.

And it took us all next week to clear up all the rubbish on the airfield ! :(


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