Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Misc. Forums > Spectators Balcony (Spotters Corner)
Reload this Page >

Anybody else think Farnborough's Cr*p?

Spectators Balcony (Spotters Corner) If you're not a professional pilot but want to discuss issues about the job, this is the best place to loiter. You won't be moved on by 'security' and there'll be plenty of experts to answer any questions.

Anybody else think Farnborough's Cr*p?

Old 21st Jul 2018, 09:26
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Surrey, England
Posts: 727
Anybody else think Farnborough's Cr*p?

Hi Guys,

I have lived fairly close to Farnborough for over 30 years. Attending the bi-annual Farnborough Air Show has been one of my regular summer treats for a very long time. In more recent years, however, I have gradually become aware that each Farnborough is poorer than the last. I wonder whether the time has come to knock it on the head?

Yesterday, I attended their so called 'Fab Friday'. The flying display was supposed to start at 1:30 p.m. and last until about 5 p.m. In fact by just after 4 p.m. I was on the shuttle bus heading back to the car park to go home disappointed and bored stiff.

In the mid eighties, when I started to attend, you saw the latest developments in aviation technology from numerous countries. The programme would be so packed that no sooner would one demonstrating aircraft depart the active runway, having completed its performance, than the landing lights of the next performer would be seen over the approach. There were no purely 'entertainment' turns then, other than the genuinely historic appearances by, say, the Battle of Britain Flight the Red Arrows and Concorde.

Yesterday, however, there were long delays between each performance, suggesting they were having to spread the performances out in order to fill the time. The advertising was misleading too because it seemed to me to suggest there would be an appearance by the Airlander (flyng ar6eh0le). In fact that very afternoon the Airlander made its very first short flight around Cardington having just undergone extensive repair after its recent crash landing. And there were things on the programme that really belong in ordinary regional air shows and not at Farnborough, such as 'The Blades' (good though they are) and the wing walkers. The only really interesting new aircraft I saw yesterday were the A350 and an autogyro.

I won't be going again: it's not worth the money.

BP.
BroomstickPilot is offline  
Old 21st Jul 2018, 10:12
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: River Thames & Surrey
Age: 70
Posts: 7,921
Originally Posted by BroomstickPilot View Post
In the mid eighties, when I started to attend, you saw the latest developments in aviation technology from numerous countries. The programme would be so packed that no sooner would one demonstrating aircraft depart the active runway, having completed its performance, than the landing lights of the next performer would be seen over the approach. There were no purely 'entertainment' turns then, other than the genuinely historic appearances by, say, the Battle of Britain Flight the Red Arrows and Concorde.
I designed the display programme from 1976 to 2004 incl and made sure it was always fast moving; something in the sky at all times for the spectators to see. I was invited to a RIAT once (when it was still at Greenham) and was appalled at the huge gaps between display items; I reckon I could have easily cut about an hour off their running time.
For 2006, SBAC formed a separate company (Farnborough International) to run the air show; this included employing their own display desgner rather than rely on me to do it as a 'secondary duty' to my ATC duties.
I tried to explain to this person how the Farnborough display was done but he refused all my inputs, claiming he was experienced in 'big'displays and knew what he was doing.
I didn't bother for 2008 and in any case I retired soon afterwards.
By the way, there were always extra bits for the public days ie fri/sat/sun.

Last edited by chevvron; 21st Jul 2018 at 11:12.
chevvron is offline  
Old 21st Jul 2018, 11:06
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Europe
Posts: 3,228
It certainly isn't what it used to be by a long way, which is why I haven't been in a long time.
Hotel Tango is offline  
Old 21st Jul 2018, 12:33
  #4 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Reading, UK
Posts: 9,624
I've attended about three-quarters of the shows since 1968, first as an enthusiast, then as an interested industry professional including several shows as a exhibitor, which were fun, particularly the time I flew on board during the flying display (before that was stamped on). For the last 20-odd years I've alternated between attending as a trade visitor, watching the flying display over the fence and, most recently, failing to summon up the enthusiasm to do either.

I haven't been this time around as I know I'd have been bored to tears. Though if I'd known in advance about that Hercules display ...
DaveReidUK is offline  
Old 22nd Jul 2018, 00:49
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: The Wild West (UK)
Age: 40
Posts: 1,142
I've been going for the past 8 years and have been increasingly disappointed on each occasion. I have a friend who lives close by who I go with and it was pleasant to sit in the sun and watch the planes go by. Some nice vintage types - so it wasn't a wasted day - but I doubt if I'll go again.

For the first time I bought some seats in the runway enclosure - there was a huge and unexpected queue to get in, and we missed the first 45 minutes of the display. Then, as Chevvron alluded to, there were some big gaps in the display. Not quite so big that there was time to go off and look at the static displays, but big enough to wonder whether it could really have been planned that way or whether one of the aircraft might have gone tech (couldn't find a timetable included with my programme).

As for the display - it was fine as far as it went, but you got the impression they were struggling to fill the time available. Lots of waiting about for the air race aircraft pylons to be prepared and dismantled, twice. It would have been nice to see a few more experimental aircraft such as the Airbus electric trainer or perhaps a Kamov helicopter or the e-volo or perhaps an Airbus 220. The commentary, to the extent that I listened to it, was risible. Some of the facts and figures in the guidebook seemed unlikely - e.g. wrong speeds and first flight dates for the Spitfire mk26. The Red Arrows basically took off, showed that they could make some smoke, and landed.

Had the display become less exciting as a result of the Shoreham incident? Perhaps, but at the same time it just didn't feel particularly well organised or inspired. Too much emphasis on vintage piston types (much as I like them) and not enough on the newer or more experimental.

Last edited by abgd; 22nd Jul 2018 at 07:58.
abgd is offline  
Old 22nd Jul 2018, 09:46
  #6 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Great yarmouth, Norfolk UK
Age: 67
Posts: 361
Like Dave R I made my first visit here in 1968, and have been to all the shows since then. I guess the reason why you go will effect your view of the show. Since my hobby is aviation photography, the chance to see the odd type of either airliner or military machine makes me want to continue going. Sadly, they are often parked jam packed making pictures almost impossible. Add the thousands who attend on the public days and it's a 'forget it' situation. Having managed to get trade tickets for the last few years encourages me to keep visiting.

However, I do find that there is an 'us and you' attitude on the trade days. They will allow the odd oike (like me) in, but unless you are going to buy the latest Gulfstream forget it... I'm firmly convinced that the public days are there to pay for the boys bun-fight the rest of the week. Most business seems to be done Monday to Friday, so after then a lot of the more interesting aircraft will head home.

I had a look at the planned flying for the trade day I visited. There was very little that I thought worth staying for, so I left around 1300, after a turn around the static park. I was sad to see that the two Spanish Harriers had been stashed away, out of sight for some reason. Probably nobody wanted to overshadow the F35 flypast on the programme.

Compared to 1968, the show is very different, but then so is aviation. Enjoy it whilst you can as sooner or later Elfan is going to stop just about every fun activity there once was!
bobward is offline  
Old 22nd Jul 2018, 14:51
  #7 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: River Thames & Surrey
Age: 70
Posts: 7,921
Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
I've attended about three-quarters of the shows since 1968, first as an enthusiast, then as an interested industry professional including several shows as a exhibitor, which were fun, particularly the time I flew on board during the flying display (before that was stamped on). For the last 20-odd years I've alternated between attending as a trade visitor, watching the flying display over the fence and, most recently, failing to summon up the enthusiasm to do either.

I haven't been this time around as I know I'd have been bored to tears. Though if I'd known in advance about that Hercules display ...
The ban on 'extra' people on board whilst displaying was certainly in force in '74. I think it came in after the Atlantic crash in ''68.
Only 'normal' crew required to operate the aircraft were allowed on board during a display (unless your name was Raymond Baxter) which rather disappointed one of the Farnborough test pilots in '74; he had befriended the F15 pilot who had agreed to take him up but OC Flying very firmly said no.
The Farnborough test pilot involved was the one who landed the Beverly at Paull (just 670m long) a few weeks previously and he later became OC Flying Farnborough himself.

Last edited by chevvron; 22nd Jul 2018 at 15:01.
chevvron is offline  
Old 22nd Jul 2018, 18:38
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 1,914
I have just returned home from a completely wasted day at the Farnborough Air show. They must not put this on any more! Groupon were knocking out tickets at 40 each. Had I actually paid for a public show ticket, I would feel totally ripped off! Whatever has happened to the Farnborough show? A bunch of warbirds and vintage to pad out the program, a dogfight of WW1 fighters, an A350 was the only jetliner there (good display). The Spanish Harrier put on quite a good show- such a pity ours were dumped shortly after their major upgrade many years ago- what a magnificent and brilliant aeroplane, Red Arrows display over by lunchtime with just a departure at 4.45, massive gaps in the program, great display by a USAF F16, poor pilot dragged in for a second display later on, but still a 34 year old aeroplane, nothing from our pathetic RAF but a Typhoon static display! Where was an F34 showing the British taxpayer what his money was being spent on, RAF helicopters showing us what they do for our money, Tornado showing us what idiots our politicians are for cancelling this program? I feel aggrieved- a pathetic show, thank goodness I didn't pay 40 to come to this cr*p to be ripped off by 4 icecreams that Tesco is selling for about 35p each! Disgusting. Walking through the trade halls, there was little to see by the public, particularly on the public Sunday where people dig deep into their pockets!

This is not funny- fort the self respect of the British aviation industry, this humiliating pile of ordure should not be staged again! The public must not be ripped off like this- it was obscene. The Paris Airshow organisers must be lying on their backs incontinent with derision. I will never grace their entrance again. At least we weren't ripped off by car park fees as well. Over the last year I have been to Bournemouth (free!) & Duxford Airshows, and a couple of great smaller local museums. The age of the grand SBAC Airshow has passed- it makes you slightly sick to recall how it was in the 50s and 60s. This format at Farnborough has utterly failed- don't humiliate us like this any further. Keep it trade maybe, but don't entice the public to cough up so much money and be ripped off like this!
Notso Fantastic is offline  
Old 22nd Jul 2018, 19:07
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Reading, UK
Posts: 9,624
Originally Posted by chevvron View Post
The ban on 'extra' people on board whilst displaying was certainly in force in '74. I think it came in after the Atlantic crash in ''68.
Yes, I had a feeling that was the case. My ride was in the mid/late 80s, probably '86 or '88, so I won't say any more about it except that it was an eye-opener to see how hard the two guys up front worked to make sure that they stuck exactly to the planned display routine.
DaveReidUK is offline  
Old 22nd Jul 2018, 19:49
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: There and here
Posts: 1,617
I feel sorry to hear that both 'Fab Friday' and the weekend shows were deemed lacking by those who went...My visit on the tuesday was lacking, but I thought on the way home that 'those lucky buggers on the weekend will have the best of it....Sadly not the case. Perhaps, as suggested, it should just be a trade only show and leave it at that.
SpringHeeledJack is offline  
Old 22nd Jul 2018, 20:51
  #11 (permalink)  
Mistrust in Management
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 959
I was thoroughly disappointed with today's show. I left at about 15:00 hrs as I found the majority of the display utterly boring.

I won't be attending again. RIAT is generally a very good day so I'll stick to that.


kind regards
Exeng
exeng is offline  
Old 22nd Jul 2018, 21:06
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Farnham, Surrey
Posts: 1,142
Originally Posted by chevvron View Post
The ban on 'extra' people on board whilst displaying was certainly in force in '74. I think it came in after the Atlantic crash in ''68.
Are you sure? I though the rule was brought in after Don Bullock crashed the A26 at Biggen in 1980 - he had several passengers on board at the time (one was a friend of mine).

PDR
PDR1 is offline  
Old 22nd Jul 2018, 21:12
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: uk
Posts: 187
Yesterday was my last visit to the Farnborough Air Show!
It has gone rapidly downhill over the years. Where would yesterday have been without the various contributions from the Red Bulls and the Spanish Harrier? The F-16 was OK - but twice?? The USAF commentator stuck religiously to his script, including talking us through the vertical manoeuvres the pilot could clearly not fly due to the cloud base.
As short a time ago as 2006 I took part in the display. We were parked northside amongst dozens of other participants. You had a slot time to take off, go away and hold, start at this time, finish at that time, etc. If you didn't make the times you were scrubbed. The gaps in the flying display this year were an embarrassment.
Having walked the static from west to east, I was near the exit at about 1500 and there were masses of the general public leaving even then - I wonder how many of them will be back in 2 years time!
WIDN62 is offline  
Old 22nd Jul 2018, 22:31
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: The Wild West (UK)
Age: 40
Posts: 1,142
So it seems I wasn't the only one who felt this way.
I don't think it was the post Shoreham caution that made the display lame, though I would have liked to see some classic jets. The F16 and Harrier performances were spirited. The A350 gave a nice display, not at all inferior to A380 performances in previous years. The Red Arrows' display was clearly very limited and I believe they have been forced to tone down their display over built up areas.
For me, the disappointment was in not seeing any of the more modern aircraft. Have we given up trying to export the Eurofighter? Does nobody want to show off the F35? Are electric trainer aircraft too lame to be allowed to fly? There are some really interesting aircraft such as the EHang or EVolo that I would like to see. Perhaps they're not all ready for public demonstrations yet, but I will need to see something more interesting than an F16 to entice me back to the next show.
abgd is offline  
Old 23rd Jul 2018, 07:01
  #15 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: UK
Age: 54
Posts: 2,150
I've lived in or near the Farnborough area all of my life (was first shaken out of my pram by sonic booms in the '60's!), but this was the first time I've not bothered to go anywhere near it. Sad that the weekend flying display largely doesn't reflect what Farnborough should be all about.
Wycombe is offline  
Old 23rd Jul 2018, 08:14
  #16 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: London
Posts: 418
The flying display was a bit limited. But the A350-1000 was very impressive.

As noted above - there wasn't much there from the RAF. But the USAF made it worthwhile for the kids - with static displays giving them the chance to get inside a C17, C130, Chinook and an Apache.

Although it was a tad unnerving standing in front of an Apache's cannon with a kid in the cockpit fiddling with the buttons!
stagger is offline  
Old 23rd Jul 2018, 14:47
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Hampshire
Age: 71
Posts: 625
stagger: Was the A350 display around 15:10?
The reason I ask is I was on the M3, around the are of Hook and spotted this thing making some impressive turns over the Farnborough area. A bit further along the road and it did it again. Because of the haze, I couldn't make out what it was, although the colour scheme seemed to be the Airbus one.
It doesn't seem so long ago when it was "nice" to see an A350 at Heathrow. Yesterday I clocked at least 6 of them arriving at Heathrow over a 6 hour period.
Oops! I just realised I should have said "around 14:10". I was at Heathrow at 15:00!

Last edited by KelvinD; 23rd Jul 2018 at 17:06. Reason: Spotted my own erro re time
KelvinD is offline  
Old 23rd Jul 2018, 15:01
  #18 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: North Cambs.
Age: 77
Posts: 269
Sonic Booms

Wycombe. post 15.
Are you sure about sonic booms in the 60s?

I went to the 1954 display on the public Saturday, 5+ Sonic booms from 5 aircraft.... Hunter, DH110, Supermarine 525, Swift(535), Javelin.
As I recall it was the final week end of the three years Sound Barrier"Trials". After which "No More" at Farnborough.
Open to correction , but maybe you heard the afterburner coming in on the fast jets in the 60s during their display.

OPF

Last edited by Old Photo.Fanatic; 6th Mar 2019 at 18:42.
Old Photo.Fanatic is offline  
Old 23rd Jul 2018, 15:44
  #19 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: There and here
Posts: 1,617
Weren't there sonic boom trials by RAF Lightnings over the London area to see how possible Concorde booms might affect the populace, somewhere in the 60's ?
SpringHeeledJack is offline  
Old 23rd Jul 2018, 17:13
  #20 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: London
Posts: 418
Originally Posted by KelvinD View Post
stagger: Was the A350 display around 15:10?
The reason I ask is I was on the M3, around the are of Hook and spotted this thing making some impressive turns over the Farnborough area. A bit further along the road and it did it again. Because of the haze, I couldn't make out what it was, although the colour scheme seemed to be the Airbus one.
It doesn't seem so long ago when it was "nice" to see an A350 at Heathrow. Yesterday I clocked at least 6 of them arriving at Heathrow over a 6 hour period.
Oops! I just realised I should have said "around 14:10". I was at Heathrow at 15:00!
Yes - the A350-1000 was indeed around 14:10 with an Airbus paint job.

There's a video on Youtube from the previous day's display...

stagger is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.