Going to an Airshow
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Going to an Airshow

Going to an Airshow, Facts to Consider in Going to an Airshow

The word ‘’airshow’’ could mean different things to many people and with that I am compelled to narrow down the meaning before I could start to avoid misunderstanding. I am pertaining to an activity where many aircraft gather together to perform flying displays. It could be general aviation airplanes, balloons, experimental aircraft, military aircraft (fighter jets, bombers,etc) or any activity which aims to demonstrate aviation technology in general. Depending on the theme or the venue of an airshow, the above assortment of aircraft and aviation related equipment to be expected could be limited to a particular category. As for this article, I will be referring to the recently held Royal International Air Tattoo 2011 held at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, UK last 16 and 17 of July, a yearly activity mainly participated in by leading Air Forces around the world.

Factors to Consider in Going to the Airshow:

1. Expenses – One need not travel to an airshow without a specific purpose deeper than watching a typical flying display of airplanes performing aerobatics and flying circus with wing walkers. Airshow tickets could cost a little less than a reserved front seat on a rock concert but the overall spending could be more. The Royal International Air Tattoo 2011 held at RAF Fairford weeks ago had an admission ticket costing £39.00 with an additional £5.00 admin fee. Once there, there are still options to take a specific viewing enclosure if you wish to avoid colliding with the crowd in the open. These enclosures are at a separate fee of £36.50, £23.50 and £21.50 if paid in advance online and a bit more if bought on location during the event. As for me, I’m still oblige to spend for £48 return ticket on the coach via National Express to get to the site and of course that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t eat so there will be food expenses to add.

2. Traffic – Where in the world would you expect to travel to places without traffic? From land, sea and air this could be expected. Even driving your own car is of less convenience since you couldn’t sleep while driving when you feel exhausted. Going to an airshow one could expect traffic twice or even more while approaching the venue. Travelling from Bournemouth to RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire took me 5 hours to the coach station in Swindon and another hour from Swindon to Fairford. Of course there was still that long line on queue at the entrance which took nearly half an hour in slight rain and about the same time on the way back.

3. Weather – This is something worth considering of course when you are meticulous about the price you pay for an airshow ticket especially when there’s a strict ‘’no-refund policy’’ in case the blue sky suddenly turn murky gray. Airplanes are precision machines which couldn’t do flying displays under a low cloud cover. Although fighter jets are mostly ‘’all weather’’ capable to fly, the risk of mid-air collision that could result to loss of plane and pilot isn’t reasonable to justify the cost of an airshow ticket. So it pays to check out the advance weather forecast on the date of the airshow if you want to be sure. As for me I did endured the cloudy day and slight misty showers which did gave way to a sunshine in the afternoon which allowed for the flying display to be performed as scheduled.

4. Hazards – Aside from road accidents which could be expected while travelling to an airshow, another point to consider is the risk involved with flying machines. There had been past accidents involving airplanes doing aerobatics and encountering engine trouble midflight and ending up crashing on the crowd so watch out for metal bits and a whole chunk of it if the pilot fails to land that plane in one piece. In the history of the International Air Tattoo, 2 Russian Mig 29 Fulcrums collided with each other while doing aerobatics back in 1993 which didn’t cause any serious injury to the pilots (who managed to bail out) and to the crowd watching below but such could be quite tragic if it did.

5. Purpose – As I have told before travelling to an airshow just to get thrilled with the flying display and the static display on the ground may not be worth it, however if one has deeper reasons to spend that much money to be there, it would be fairly justified. This is true for aviation enthusiasts who wish to see the current aviation technology at work with today’s Air Forces and general aviation. For military personnel and those employed in the aviation industry, bringing the whole family would be a great treat since children may find the inspiration necessary to lead their life should they be inclined to choose a future career in aviation (airline industry, general aviation, air forces, etc.). As for me I did have my money’s worth considering I could write more articles without crediting my source for aircraft images whenever I need one. Travelling with my new Pentax K-r on location didn’t proved to be worthless after all. The images below will show you what I mean.

A shot of an F-16 without the turbine wake

An AH-64 Apache up close

Royal Jordanian Falcons performing as part of the display team

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Comments (15)

Awesome photos and description of an air show. Thanks! Voted.

Interesting read and well presented article....thanks

Excellent lob as always!

You know kabayan, I would want to see an Aircraft airshow live, but I'll have to join the military then (kidding). Aircraft airshows must really be amazing. Good article and love the pics, salamat.

What a great article to give people a taste of what to expect at an air show! One of my best friends and her family have just been to the Air Tattoo show, she said it was fantastic and thrilling!

Ranked #10 in Popular Culture

Excellent insights Will.

Ranked #10 in Popular Culture

Powerful pictures!

enjoyed reading this, voted.

Ranked #1 in Popular Culture

Very interesting. We just had an airshow in Sunderland this weekend.

I have been to a couple air shows Illinois and absolutely loved it. Good job on this. Voted up.

an airshow I believe is appealing to both children and adults. a great article!

It is very enjoyable to watch airshows. I guess #4 factor would be my utmost consideration. Never mind the others, I still love airshows. LOL!

This is my favorite article that you have written.Of course you have put so much thrill into it. Thank you for making it so educational and interesting.voted up.

I had no idea these were as expensive... but considering the stunts and displays on offer it is no wonder.

Really nice share...and the pictures are awesome! Never been to an airshow but after reading this article and viewing the pictures sure feels like I was there without having to pay a dime. Good job. Thanks for sharing Voted up!