RAF Air Tattoo 2006

Not much happens here in this part of the Cotswolds, except for one weekend of the year. That weekend being this weekend.

Over this weekend as much as 250 000 people come to the quaint town of Fairford, inhabited by about 2000 people, about 2 km from where I am staying. Why? To witness probably the best air show in the world. The Royal Air Force Air Tattoo.

With Fairford being so close we get the planes roaring over our small town. The action, and the noise started on Friday morning, with the planes arriving from all over Europe.

I could not pass up the opportunity to witness this air spectacular, so I coughed up the 30 quid, and went to the Air Show yesterday.

What an experience! Got to see the Jordanian Falcons performing aerobatic stunts to “Simply the Best” by Tina Turner and some 90s rave music! Then saw some famous pommy pilot in a small yellow jet go from -1G to 3G in a matter of 20 seconds, apparently with that sort of pressure on your body your blood doesn’t know what to do. Instant migrane.

Jordanian Falcons

The Jordanians

Red Arrows

Red Arrows

There was the Swiss Falcons that flew in convoy 3 metres apart from each other, 3 metres! The Red Arrows lived up to their world renowned reputation!The Migg Fighter Jet had some special feature, that allowed it to do some funky thrust vectoring thing, basically meaning it could all of a sudden stop in midair, i.e. fly in a stationary position! The noise and sheer power of this thing’s engines was quite amazing! We also saw the Black Sea Hawks perform Top Gun style, with the captain of the team running us through an air battle. I’m sure these pilots could get any chick they wanted, any!

Black Sea Hawks

Black Sea Hawks (Top Gun)

Swiss Jets 3m apart

Swiss Jets 3 metres apart, 3 metres!

There were too many airplanes to mention, there were original spitfires, a massive B1B supersonic bomber, a B52 bomber with 8 engines that shook the ground it was so loud, Super Hornets and a Griffen Fighter Jet (if you know what these are), naval jets, helicopters doing loop da loops and flying backwards, and a half chopper half airplane, that could take off like a helicopter with its propellers upright, then shift its propellers so it functioned like an aircraft, if that doesn’t make sense here is a picture.

Half Plane Half Helicopter

Might I add photographing fast aeroplanes travelling at Mach 2 is quite a skill! View all my RAF Air Show pictures at Flickr.

All in all it was a top notch day.

P.S. I found a great YouTube video of last year’s air show. All the planes in this video were performing. It gives you a good idea of what the air show was all about. If you have the patience, definitely check it out.

11 responses

  1. What camera you using?

  2. Looks n sounds EPIC. Great Photos!

  3. Hey Manfred.

    I use a Panasonic DMC-LZ2. Nothing too fancy, but helps to have a 6x optical zoom. Still saving some cents for a Digital SLR.

  4. Nice one Mark, you got some good pics. Sounds like it was a great day!!

  5. Rasta Rebel Avatar
    Rasta Rebel

    great pics… a little different to the airshow here in cape town where they flew kites…

  6. Rasta Rebel Avatar
    Rasta Rebel

    actually… that reminds me of a joke.

    did you hear that the nigerian space programme keeps running into technical difficulties!

    the astronaut keeps falling off his kite.

  7. I loved going to airshows as well as a kid. I grew up in Michigan and we would travel around the state during the summer and make a point to hit at least one airshow.

    Not to lighten the mood, but I found some airshow footage of a Thunderbird accident where the pilot ejected just before crashing. Miraculously he survived with only minor injuries… The footage is in two perspectives, from the ground and a cockpit cam on the pilot. It’s quite amazing!


  8. awesome photos Mark!!

  9. Thank you for the link Mark! – Much appreciated!!

    PS: GR8 Pics !!

  10. Rasta Rebel Avatar
    Rasta Rebel

    great link there matt!!!

  11. […] So last weekend I went to the RAF Air Show in Fairford, this last wednesday I managed to get hold of free tickets to the British Motor Show. What a testosterone-filled week. […]

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