1 Spotter trip, 5 overseas trips, 2 aviation events, 22 air shows and 4 museums

8th February

Tactical Ladership Programme (TLP) -

Albaceta Airbase, Spain

Not really an airshow but more of a show of Airpower.

The Tactical Leadership Programme (TLP) is an organisation formed under a Memorandum of Understanding between 10 NATO nations (the Air Forces of Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom and United States of America) TLP is not part of the NATO structure, but linked to NATO via a Letter of Agreement with NATO HQ AC Ramstein.

The Mission of Tactical Leadership Programme is to increase the effectiveness of Allied Air Forces through development of leadership skills, mission planning, briefing, tactical air operations and debriefing skills and conceptual and doctrinal initiatives.

Blue skies and freezing cold temperatures welcomed us to Spain. 90 air spotters / aviation photographers gathered to enjoy the spectacle of 40+ NATO combat jets take off for exercise and then recover back to base a few hours later.

Aircraft participating in the TLP course included French 4x Mirage-2000D, 2x Mirage 2000C, 3x Rafale C, 2x Alpha Jet and 2x Super Etendard, German 3x Tornados IDS, American 3x F-16C, 6x Dutch and 5x Belgium F-16AM, 2x Italian Eurofighter Typhoon and 5x AV-8B+ Harrier II and Spanish F-1M & 4x EF-18M.

19th May 2012

Jubilee Flypast Windsor

Even the professional photographers admitted atrocious lighting conditions, not helped by using (as I found out later ) a faulty camera. To celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of the Queen, Windsor staged a mass parade through the town and castle culminating in a spectacular flypast by the RAF, AAC and RN.

10 x Typhoons

RAF Puma/Chinook/Merlin/Sea King

AAC: Apache/Lynx/Gazelle/Bell 212

RN: Lynx/Sea King/Merlin/Sea King

BBMF: Lancaster & 4 Spitfires

20 x Tucano '60', Hercules x2, VC-10 & 2 x Tornado x2

27 x Hawk 'EIIR', Red Arrows

20th May 2012

Kent Spitfire Bodiam

Blue skies were breaking as the Kent Spitfire flown by Dan Griffiths put on a close up and personal display.

26th May 2012

Southend Air Show

Sunny skies but a tad windy!

RAF Typhoon, RAF Hawk, RAF Tucano, RAF Tutor, RAF King Air,

BBMF (Lancaster, Spitfire, Hurricane), Royal Navy Black Cats,

P-40 Kittyhawk, Breitling Wingwalkers, Blades, Spitfire, Sbach 300, Trig Aerobatics Team, SWIP Team, Easyjet Airbus 319.

27th May 2012

Duxford Jubilee Air Show

Sunny skies and the wind had dropped made for a scorcher of a day:

RAF Typhoon, B-17G Sally B, Harvard Pair, RN Lynx Solo, BBMF, RAF Tutor, Nimrod Pair and Hurricane, RAF King Air, RAF Tucano, Belgium F-16, Matadors, RAF SAR Demo, Meteor T7, Dragon Rapide, Anson, Chipmunks, Bucker Jungmeister, Cartouche Dore, RAF Hawk, Spitfires EP120, ML407, MH434.

02nd June 2012

Folkestone Jubilee Airshow

Luckily the rain stayed a way for the return of the Folkestone Airshow after a break of 9 years. a somewhat condensed programme than of previous, but never the less entertaining.

RAF Typhoon, RAF Hawk, RAF Tucano, RAF Tutor, RAF King Air,

BBMF (Lancaster, Spitfire, Hurricane), Red Arrows, RNHF Seafury

Seaking helicopter, Stearman (TG aviation), Stampe Solo (Tigerclub), Tiger club 3 x Stampe, Turbulent Four Ship, Yak 55 (The Air Ministry)

10th June 2012

Danish Airshow - Aalborg

Rain and low cloud hampered the schedule on both the rehearsal/arrivals day and the actual day of the airshow but nevertheless this show had some treats.

Danish Airforce: EH-101, Fennec, Lynx, CL-104 Chalenger, Baby Blue, a superb low level display by the Danish display F-16 complete with flares in the murk, an excellent display by the C130 complete with flares,

Estonian L39C, DC-3, F16 x 8, Patrouille Suisse and a rare display outside of Germany by their Eurofighter,

Swiss Super Puma, Swedish Gripen, Dutch Hunter, Dutch F16 display team, Swedish Harvards x 2, Spitfire, Belgium F16 Display team. (Turkish Stars, Patrouille De France and Krilja Oluje were cancelled)

16th & 17th June

Bodo Airshow, Norway

A spectacular train journey up to and beyond the Arctic circle, into the land of the midnight sun. The Norwegian Airforce laid on a great display line-up and also a spotters package for a privileged few as we were treated to Airside views from the top of an F16 shelter.

My first view of the Swedish Historic Flight Viggen and boy did it come close to us on the shelter!

DC-3, Pitts S2, Extra 300, Belgian Air Force - F-16 Solo, DHC-2 Beaver, Bleriot XI, Stearman, Seaking, Tiger Moth (x2), Pitts Python, Austrian Air Force SK-105, Cessna O-1 Birddog, Swiss Air Force - F / A 18C Hornet Solo, T-6 Harvard (x2), F-104 Starfighter (taxi), Catalina, Swedish Jas 39 Gripen, DC-6, Pilot School - Saab Safari formation, Chipmunk, SwHF Hunter, Jurgis Kayris SU-26, Frecce Tricolori, Finnish Air Force F/A-18C, RAF Hawk, Grumman Catwalk, Vampire 3x and 4x F-16, SAS Boeing 737, RNoAF Demo departure (4x F-16, C-130, Bell 412), Widerøe Dash 8-100, Patrouille Suisse, Boeing C-17, RNoAF F-16 solo display, Saab Viggen, Cornell

23rd & 24th June

Florennes International Airshow

Last minute changes to the flight programme still left a varied display. Only Sunday's continual and heavy downpour until very late in the day held up the procedings

Patrouille de France (Saturday), Baltic Bees, Swiss Air Force PC-7 TEAM, Wings of Storm, Royal Jordanian Falcons, Red Devils, Cartouche Doré, The Victors

Belgium Air Component: Alpha Jet Smoke Formation, F-16 Solo, A109 Solo

Greek F-16 Solo, Turkish F-16 Solo, Dutch F16 solo, RNLAF Hunter, Czech L-159 Alca, Swiss F-18 Hornet, Slovak Mig-29, Polish SU-22 Fitter x 2 , Austrian PC-7

Civillian: Yak-52, EC 120, Spitfire, P-51, Harvard, Morane-Saulnier 406, ME208, Storch, T28 Trojan

30th June

Legends - Duxford

Legends and Waddington on the same weekend left me pondering which way round was best. By all accounts the weather faired better for each display if I had done it the other way round! Hindsight....

However it was my 1st Legends and, although said to be a thinner lineup than of past, I still enjoyed the experience of all those warbirds.

High winds and technical issues hampered the line up further:

Spitfires Mk1 (x3), Mk.Vb, Mk.XIVE, Mk.VII, Mk.XVIE and Mk.XIX. Hispano Buchons (x2), Grumman Bearcat and Goodyear FG-1D Corsair, P-38L Lightning, B-17 ‘Sally B’ and Curtiss P-47G Thunderbolt ‘SNAFU’, Hawk 75, P-40B Tomahawk and P-40F, P-51D Mustangs (x3), BBMF Lancaster and Spitfires Mk.IIa and PR.XIXPM, Lysander Mk.IIa. Hawker Nimrod Mk.I and Mk.II. RNHF Swordfish Mk.II and Sea Fury T.20. Sea Fury FB11, Junkers Ju52, Bucker Jungmann and Jungmeister. Yak-3M (x2) and Yak-9UM. Catalina, Sikorsky S-38 ‘Osa’s Ark’. Breitling Wingwalkers, Beech D-17 Staggerwings (x2), C-47.

1st July

RAF Waddington

RAF: E3D Sentry, Sentinel R1, Typhoon FGR4, King Air B200, Tutor T1, Hawk T1, Tucano T1, Red Arrows, Tornado GR4 Role Demo, Chinook HC Mk2/2A, RAF Falcons Parachute Team, BBMF Lancaster, Hurricane and Spitfire, RN Black Cats, British Army Lynx,

Austrian SAAB 105, Red Devils, Czech L-159, Frecce Tricolori, Dutch F16 Display Team, RNZAF 757-200, Team Orlik, USAF Rivet Joint (Flypast), RoKAF Black Eagles, Saudi Hawks, Swiss F18 Hornet, Swiss Super Puma, the Blades,

7th & 8th July

RIAT 2012

Arguably one of the best RIATs of recent times for both flying and static, hampered only by the wet weather that led up to the actual display days and the odd heavy shower during.

The line up....

RAF: Red Arrows, Airbus A330 'Voyager', EIIR Hawk flypast (14 x T1, 10 x T2 + 3 x RN T1/T1A), Hawk T1, King Air B200, C-17A Globemaster III, Chinook, Typhoon FGR.4, Tornado GR.4 (x2) Role Demo, Grob 115E Tutor, Tucano T1, VC-10, C-130J Hercules, L-1011 TriStar, BBMF Lancaster, Spitfire & Hurricane,

RNHF Sea Fury T.20, AAC WAH-64 Longbow Apache, A400m Atlas

Belgium F-16AM & Agusta A109BA, Breitling Team, Vulcan XH558, DHL 767, Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, Yak130, French Rafale C, Royal Jordanian Falcons, Dutch F16, Polish Mig-29, RoKAF Black Eagles, Swedish JAS39C Grippen, Patrouille Suisse, Al Fursan (The Knights), USMC MV-22B Osprey

15th July


AAC Apache, Airbus A380, Vulcan XH558, Breitling Team, Breitling Wingwalkers, YAK130, Extra 330, Red Arrows, RAF Tornado Role Demo, RAF Typhoon, RAF Kingair, RAF Tucano, RAF Falcons, RAF Hawk, Redhawks, Dornier 228, North Korean T50, Blades, US F18, US Marine Corp V22 Osprey

11th & 12th August

100th Anniversary of the Russian Air Force

Apart from a very heavy downpour on the Saturday, the predicted rains stayed away from this, the Air Show of the year / possibly the century. If it flew, the Russians showed them off...and in style! The farce of getting the tickets and the last minute changes to the flying days, was soon forgotten when the following line up was presented:

6 x Su-25BM smoke flypast, "100" flypast (5 x Su-27smZ, 8 x MiG-29SMT, 8 x Su-25cm), 23VS: Fokker, Tummelisa, 2 x Po-2, Avenger, F-4U Corsair, the OA-10 Catalina, Douglas C-47, Yak-11, T-6 Teksan, I-15bis, a CIO-16, I-153, Hurricane, B-25 Mitchell, Kittihok P-40N, Yak-9 Yak-3, Yak-11, P-51 Mustang, MiG-15UTI, Bleriot, Su-35, Team Rus, Mi-2, Golden Eagles, Su-31, 3 x Tu 22mZ, 3 x Tu-95MS, 3 x Tu-160, Frecce Tricolori, 3 x An-2, An-26, AN-140, An-12, An-22, AN-124, Team Iskry, Rafale, A-410, Tu-134ubk, 3hIl-76, IL-80, A-50, Red Arrows, Ka-52, 4 x Su-24M, 4 x MiG-31, 4 x Su-34, 4 x Yak-130, 1 Mi-26, 4 x Mi-8, 3 Ansat-V-2 Mi-35, 4 x MiG29, 4 x Su-34, 4 x Su-27, 2 x MiG29, 4 x Su-34, Su-34, Midnight Hawks, First Flight, T-50, MiG-29M2, 5 x Su-27 4 x MiG-29 Russian Knights and Swifts.

13th August

Monino Air Museum, Moscow

Located to the South of Moscow this museum has more MiGs, Sukhois and Tupolevs than you can shake a stick at! Just about every make and type of Russian Aircraft is represented.

26th August

Wings and Wheels - Dunsfold

Sunday provided the best weather for this 2 day event that showcases the best of British in both vehicle and flying displays.

The line up:

Sopwith & Fokker Triplanes, Turbulent Team, P-40 Kittyhawk, RAF King Air, Meteor T7, Sbach 300, Red Arrows, O'Briens Flying Circus, Jet Provost, RAF Hawk, BBMF Lancaster, Hurricane and Spitfire, Tigers Parachute Team, Vulcan XH558, Matodors, Hurricane, Army Apache Display, RAF Tornado GR4 – Role Demo, Spitfire & Mustang, Breitling Wingwalkers, The Blades, RNHF Sea Fury, Hunter Miss Demeanour

1st & 2nd September

Shoreham Airshow 2012

Low cloud and poor light on the Saturday and persistent rain and poor visibility delaying Sunday's start somewhat hampered what promised to be a superb flying line up. It certainly did not help the photography!

The line up:

Panavia Tornado GR4 x 2 (flypast), RAF Hawk, RAF Tucano, RAF King Air, RAF Tutor, BBMF Lancaster, Spitfire and Hurricane, RNHF Swordfish, Vulcan XH558, Jet Provost x 2, Bulldog, The Red Sparrows chipmunk x 4, Spitfire x 4, Hurricane x 2, P51 Mustang x 2, Buchon, Bf108 Taifun, Bucker Bu181 Bestmann, Bucker Bu133 Jungmeister, B17 Sally B, Catalina, GWDT SE5a, Sopwith Triplane, Fokker DR1 and Junkers CL1 x2, Decathlon, The Blades Extra 300LP x 4, Breitling Wingwalkers Stearman x 2, SWIP Team Silence Twister x 2, Glider FX Fox & Pawnee, Trig Aerobatics Pitts Special x 2, The Matadors SBach x 2, Redhawks Fournier x 2, Tiger 9 Tigermoth x 9, EON Olympia Gliders x 2

8th & 9th September

Duxford Airshow

Summer arrived late in the UK providing blue skies and warm sunshine for once. Coupled with a superb line-up for both days brought the crowds to both the crowdline and the farmers field opposite.

The line up:

Vulcan XH558 (Saturday), Red Arrows (Sunday), RAF Tucano, RAF Hawk, Catalina, Norwegian 2 x F-16s and 2 x Vampires (Sunday), Dragon Rapide, 4 x F-15E USAF Flypast, Tornado GR4 Pairs Demo, Spitfire IX, Spitfire V, Spitfire 1A, Spitfire IXT, Spitfire XVI, Hawker Fury, 2 x Hispano Bouchon 109, Hurricane, B-17 Flying Fortress Sally B, Curtiss Hawk 75, Grumman Bearcat, P-47 Thunderbolt, Douglas Dakota C-3, North American T28, Aerostars YAK 50 x 6 (Saturday), Red Gnats x2, AN-2, Nieuport 17, Fokker DR1, Swordfish, TF1 Mustang, Bucker Jungmann, RE8, Albatross D.Va

7th October

Shuttleworth Autumn Airshow - Old Warden

The fog cleared to leave a very calm day, which even allowed the Edwardians to fly as the finale for the days flying. The event also hosted a Cold War Jet renunion that also led to more jets in the display line-up.

The line up:

Red Gnats 2 Folland Gnat T1s, Hawker Hind, Hawker Demon, De Havilland DH60X Moth, Comper C.L.A.7 Swift, De Havilland DH.100 Vampire T.11, BBMF Douglas DC-3 Dakota III, Miles M.65 Gemini 1A, Avro Anson C.19, De Havilland DH.89A Dragon Rapide, Slingsby T.13 Petrel glider, EoN Primary glider, BAC Jet Provost, Percival P.56 Piston Provost T1, Zivko Edge 540, Sopwith Pup, Sopwith Triplane, Bristol F.2B Fighter, RAF S.E.5A, Hawker Hunter T.7A, Bleriot XI, Bristol Boxkite Replica, Deperdussin, Avro Triplane Replica, Blackburn Monoplane Type D

14th October

Duxford Autumn Airshow

The last show of the season and some interesting cloud formations provided a varied backdrop (and changes in light!). Unfortunately a number of last minute cancellations reduced the line up but nevertheless filled the 3 hour flying display.

The line up:

Black Cats Lynx Pair, RAF Sea King, RAF Hawk, RAF Tucano, BBMF Dakota, B-17 Flying Fortress Sally B, Spitfire IXT, P-51 Mustang, TF-51 Mustang, P-40B Warhawk, P-40F Warhawk, Trig Aerobatics Pitts Special Pair, Skyraider, Hispano Buchon (Messerschmitt Bf 109), Harvard, Boeing Stearman, Piper L-4 Cub, Hawker Hunter (Miss Demeanor), Cap 232, Redhawks Fournier RF-4 Pair.


Imperial War Museum, Duxford

My first trip to Duxford when I did not have to run away for the airshow, so I spent several hours walking the various halls and netted a few aircraft that I had not photographed before especially the Fighter Collection where I have now completed the set.

It was a fresh day but the skies were blue so I also managed to get a few more visitors and some of the usual suspects.


Royal Air Force Museum, Hendon

Having visited Duxford the weekend before, I now had the museum bug and attended Hendon for the 1st time in about 40 years! I was not disappointed, although some of the lighting is a little tricky especially in the Battle of Britain Hall. I have yet to master low light conditions and glare from high level floodlights.


Royal Air Force Museum, Cosford

Having visited Hendon last month, I travelled to Shropshire for yet another superb collection of over 70 aircraft from around the world.