A Grand Day Out at RAF Waddington International Airshow 2013

As per my re-start post I have come back to re-creating a few of my old blogs. I have done quite a few new posts (for me at least) since the last old blog but as time has been a little short thought I would come back to an old blog. There are only 3 more old blogs after this one that will be re-created. As with previous re-creations there might be some minor corrections to text but the photos are as used in the original blog.

I did have a bit of a problem with the camera at the time unfortunately as you will be able to see in some of the photos. There was something on either the inside of the lens or on the sensor leaving a black smudge on the photos. In most uses this was not often visible but against a bright blue sky it was often quite noticeable. I had a photography day to go to about two weeks after this – which will have the old blog for it re-created soon – and could not send the camera to be sorted before this, but on contacting Fujifilm (the camera was under an extended warranty) I sent the camera back shortly after the photo day and happily everything was sorted at no cost and returned after only a week in tip top condition. Thank you Fujifilm, your servicing department is as good as your cameras.

It was that time of year – off to RAF Waddington for the RAF Waddington International Airshow 2013, though this year without Jo and Beth as they were ill but with Tom a friend from uni days who has been each time I have.

We set off at about the same time as last year having had problems with road works in the hope that this time we wouldn’t miss a thing. We were exceptionally lucky as only one and a quarter hours later we were parked and on the bus down to the show area.

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There was still about 40 minutes before the airshow itself started so we wandered down to some of the static aircraft on display – it wasn’t what we were going for but who can resist the Vulcan, to be seen flying later in the day.

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The MQ-4C Broad Area Maritime Surveillance unmanned aerial vehicle. We saw one of these on display last year as well though last year it looked a little more sinister being all in dark colours.

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One of several E3 Sentry AWACS on display. This is the main model that is actually based at Waddington so as well as two in the static display there were 3 further out on the field.

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The E3 on the left was open for walk throughs but even this early in the show the queues were enormous so we didn’t bother waiting.

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Merlin

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From the front.

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Sea King – now being phased out of use with our Armed Forces.

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VC10 – used for air-to-air refuelling and also for troop transport. Like the Sea King the VC10 is not to be a part of the British Armed Forces for much longer.

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UH1 Huey.

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One of two F16 Fighting Falcons of the Belgian Air Force.

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Here is another sporting some rather fetching anniversary markings.

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Saab Gripen – like last years a very colourful cat themed paint scheme – even got a tiger on its wing.

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Chinook.

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F16 from the front.

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A few more angles.

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A few planes had already been taking off to get ready for the displays and this was the last one to go up before the first fly past – a Hercules, though this wasn’t involved in the show itself.

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Sentinel R1.

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E3 Sentry AWACS – didn’t mange to get one of it on the fly past but got this as it was coming in to land. You can see the heat haze all around.

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Lynx HMA8.

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Only two half decent shots of the Typhoon – and half decent is perhaps being generous.

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Still a lot to see on the ground making our way round – this is a Qinetiq RJ100.

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And this, an inflatable ballistic missile launcher – perhaps a little odd.

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Along with various real ground vehicles as well.

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A member of the Royal Netherlands F16 display team.

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On the ground again after his display.

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Taxiing back his place on the other side of the runway from us.

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Hawker Hunter.

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Apache AH-1 – all of the British Apaches have the distinctive radar housing sat atop rotor hub.

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Largely silhouetted against the very bright sky.

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You can even see the two people inside.

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And then the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight – today one each of Hurricane, Spitfire and Lancaster.

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A special anniversary fly by celebrating the Dambusters raid – the Lancaster with one of the Tornados now flying in 617 Squadron which was the squadron involved in the Dambuster raids. This one was a bit hazy but the best of the front on shots.

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Tornado coming in to land – looks a tad hot all around still.

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An aerobatic display now by the Extra 300 of Breitling Xtreme.

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As good as this display was, all of a sudden everyone stopped watching him and paid more attention to what was moving on the ground.

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A little later than planned the Vulcan was getting ready to go – there had been problems getting it started up but all was working again.

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Continuing down the runway it stopped for a rest in this girls head.

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Then the Read Arrows, initially in formation with the Sentinel – not many successes unfortunately with the Red Arrows, bit on the hazy side in most photos unfortunately.

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What’s this going to be then?

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Can you guess what it is yet?

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A heart struck by cupid – you can just about see the Red Arrow finishing off the arrow at the lower right if you zoom in.

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Not the greatest photo but gives you an idea of just how close they get.

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There were also visitors of the feathered variety from The Raptor Foundation.

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This one (Captain Scarlet, a bataleur Eagle) was a Squadron mascot in the RAF.

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It was a bit on the hot side for these guys too even under cover.

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Saab Viggen of the Swedish Historic Flight.

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The Chinook in the sky giving the control tower a kiss.

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Surprisingly agile for such a beast of the skies.

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Sat in the shade for a bit to have a break from the sun we saw the Red Arrows pilots on the way in to give a talk on the RAF On Air show.

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Getting late in the afternoon and still very sunny.

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Then the Breitling Wing Walkers came out to play.

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Flying through their own smoke trails – can’t be nice for the girls on top.

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JAS 39C Gripen

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Eurofighter Typhoon.

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An Algerian Hercules – and there’s an advantage to being on the crew of such a big plane.

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You get to sit in the shade under the wings in quiet times.

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Then it was the turn of the British Falcons Parachute Display Team

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And then another F16, this time from the Belgian Air Component.

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This brought the airshow to an end, but we hung around for a few moments and got a few of the aircraft leaving.

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The wing walkers again – not walking this time though.

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The Chinook brought forward to look at.

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The poor guys that were monitoring all the way along the fence to make sure nobody tried to get over – can’t have been nice in that heat.

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Saab J29 of the Swedish Historic Flight.

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Saab 105 SK60 of the Swedish Historic Flight.

And so comes to an end another year’s RAF Waddington International Airshow – another fantastic success albeit an incredibly hot one.

I’ve already got next years dates in the calendar, July 5th and 6th 2014 – looking forward to it already.

I hope that you have enjoyed this admittedly very long look at the airshow and I hope you’ll forgive a few similar shots from my favourites of the day.

As always any feedback would be greatly received.

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