Glenn Beasley's 2010 blogGAR Entries

AUG 06 2010
Peak Season!

Biggin Hil, Waddington, Duxford, Fairford and Farnborough! Thatís been the schedule over the past five weeks and thoroughly enjoyable it has been too. The decent weather may have played its part but I also attribute my enjoyment to taking a more laid back approach to the whole airshow season, appreciating what we have got on the circuit rather than what we havenít.

Biggin Hill continued its tradition of very fine weather, Iíve never been there in anything other than a heatwave. It also continued to do what it does best, present a well balanced mixture of what the airshow scene has to offer, with a wide variety of acts for all to enjoy. Some of that enjoyment was somewhat tempered by the surprising news regarding Air Displays International (ADI) shortly afterwards; let's hope there can be a resolution which continues to present the public with Biggin in its current format.

I was pleased to see my local show, the RAF Waddington International Airshow demonstrate some true international participation in both its static and flying line-ups this year. The criticism aimed at the show has been the most vociferous anywhere Iíve heard in recent years. I think this largely stems from the show being a victim of its own success in the early part of the decade; the bar was raised very high and has been difficult to maintain ever since. It was also pleasing to get XH558 there too after last year's paperwork difficulties. I spent four out of the five days at Waddo and they were quite productive, with the Italian F-16s stealing the show for me.

Flying Legends is a terrific show, even for a warbird convertee like me! The pace of the presentation of the flying display is tremendous and, although the line-up couldnít match last year, I didnít leave disappointed. There was a moment when I stepped onto the flightline walk and just stopped and looked at what was in front of me, the history of it all, the finely presented and polished warbirds - it really is a tremendous show. The display by the star of the show, the I-16 was rather strange, either very high or very low, thankfully I got something nice to take home with me.

If there was one show I wasnít really looking forward to, it was RIAT at RAF Fairford. Thereís something I find about it thatís hard work, the drive there, the queue to get in, the security and, worst of all, a show that for me doesnít live up to its billing anymore. Having said that I did quite enjoy my day, I was able to interview the Dutch Apache Team for a forthcoming piece on the site. I also picked the bad weather day on the Sunday. I didnít mind that much because I knew Iíd be shooting most of the tasty stuff at Farnborough for the next two days.

Having had a bad experience of Farnborough on a public day two years ago, the two trade days there were the complete opposite. Very enjoyable, sparse crowds and some excellent flying. I was really impressed with the pace of the display, probably second only to Legends in terms of continuity! Plenty of star performers both on the ground and in the air. I even managed to fit a little Heathrow time in too!

Itís a very fluid calendar for the rest of the year at present, so at the moment the feet are taking a well earned break.

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