Touchdown Aviation
military aviation photography - reports - publications - video
RAF Waddington International Air Show 2010
Hunter F58 - ZZ190 - Fleet Requirements and Air Direction Unit - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm   F-16AM Fighting Falcon - FA110 - 1 Wing - Belgian Defence - Air Component   Hawker Sea Hawk FGA6 - WV908 - Royal Navy Historic Flight - United Kingdom   NF-5B Freedom Fighter - 4005 - Turkish Stars - Turkish Air Force
Hawk T1 - XX263 - 208 (Reserve) Squadron - Royal Air Force   F-16AM Fighting Falcon - FA110 - 1 Wing - Belgian Defence - Air Component   Nimrod R1 - XV249 - 51 Squadron - Royal Air Force   Sentinel R1 - ZJ690 - 5 Squadron - Royal Air Force
C-17A Globemaster III - ZZ176 - 99 Squadron - Royal Air Force

RAF Waddington International Air Show 2010

Text and photography by Stuart Freer, additional photography Mike Freer

Waddington's air show was held over the weekend of the 3rd and 4th July. In the past few years this show has lacked an International feel, but the organisers this year can be highly commended for gathering a wide range of participants from around the globe.

The static comprised of a good selection of military hardware. Highlights being two specially painted Italian AF F-16ADF Fighting Falcon’s from 37 Stormo-18 Gruppo. Serial number MM7240 was painted in a stunning green & black colour scheme called ‘Green Lightning’ painted to celebrate the wing commander reaching a thousand hours on type.

Another welcome addition to the static was an RC-135W 'Rivet Joint' from the 55th Wing based at Offutt AFB in Nebraska. No doubt the crews from 51 Squadron took a close interest in the aircraft seeing as they will replace the Nimrod R1 from the year 2014 with three 'Rivet Joint' airframes.

This years show was well supported by the American's with an E-3B 'Sentry' from the 552nd Airborne Control Wing based at Tinker AFB in Oklahoma which visited 8 Squadron, so it was some what embarrassing that their immaculate Sentry was parked next to an RAF example in the static that was engineless & stripped of useful spares. This pretty much sums up the sad state of affairs the RAF is in at the moment with defence cuts and the like.

USAF in Europe were represented by two F-16CG Fighting Falcons from the 22nd Fighter Squadron based at Spangdahlem AFB in Germany, a recently delivered C-130J Hercules from the 86th Airlift Wing based at Ramstein AFB and a 100th Air Refueling Wing KC-135R Stratotanker from RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk.

There was a good mixture of types from across europe in the static. The German AF sent a single Tornado ECR from JBG 33, a rarely seen Austrian AF C-130K & a French AF C-160NG 'Transell'.

There was also an excellent turn out from the former Eastern bloc with a Polish Navy PSL M-28-1R 'Bryza' & a Czech AF contingent comprising of a Antonov AN-24 'Curl', JAS-39D 'Gripen' & a L-159A 'Alca'.

Nimrod R1 - XV249 - 51 Squadron - Royal Air Force   Beech 200 - ZK452/L - 45 (Reserve) Squadron - Royal Air Force   Merlin HM1 - ZH827/82 - 824 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm   L-159A ALCA - 6067 - 212 Taktická Letka - Czech Air Force
Avro Anson - G-VROE - Air Atlantique Classic Flight - United Kingdom   BAC Jet Provost T3A - G-BVEZ - Newcastle Jet Provost Company - United Kingdom   De Havilland Venom FB50 - G-VENM - Air Atlantique Classic Flight - United Kingdom   Avro Vulcan B2 - G-VLCN - Vulcan to the Sky Trust - United Kingdom
Hunter F58 - ZZ190 - Fleet Requirements and Air Direction Unit - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm
Extra 300L - Unknown - Blades aerobatic team   NF-5A Freedom Fighter - Unknown - Turkish Stars - Turkish Air Force   NF-5B Freedom Fighter - 4017 - Turkish Stars - Turkish Air Force   Hawker Hunter FGA.9 - G-ETPS - Hunter Flying Club - United Kingdom
Harrier GR9 - ZG858 - 4 (Reserve) Squadron - Royal Air Force   Tornado GR4 - ZA458/024 - 15 (Reserve) Squadron - Royal Air Force   Typhoon FGR4 - ZJ923/DM - 12 Squadron - Royal Air Force   Supermarine Spitfire TR Mk IX - G-BMSB - United Kingdom - Privately Owned - United Kingdom

RAF Waddington International Air Show 2010

The eight hour flying display kicked off with the home team, the RAF's ISTAR fleet, comprising of the sole remaining Nimrod R1 belonging to 51 Squadron, a Sentry from 8 Squadron  and a Sentinal R1 from 5 Squadron  which performed a spirited fly through down the main runway.

One of the themes this year was the 90th Anniversary of RAF airshows, with a flypast of various types. Leading the tribute was the Great War Display Team with there World War One replicas, sadly they could not take part on the Sunday due to high winds. Also in the flypast were the Classic Flight's De Havilland Dragon Rapide, Avro Anson and De Havilland Venon. A pair of Jet Provosts and a beautiful Hunter F58 from Hawker Hunter Aviation which represented post war shows and early jet teams.

Team Viper also appeared for the first time with two Hunters (FGA9 and T7A) joining there pair of Strikemasters. This new format works very well; hopefully by the end of 2010 the team will have four Hunters which will be a very impressive sight.

The 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain was a focal point of the show this year. There was a "Battle of Britain" Scenario involving a number of privately owned Spitfire's & Hurricane's and Arco’s Hispano Buchon. Now the idea was great with the use of pyrotechnics & a recreation of an encampment, but I'm afraid it was too drawn out to keep the large crowd interested.

 It was touch and go that XH558 the Avro Vulcan would make it. Vulcan to the Sky had once again had a very testing winter trying to secure funds for the planned engineering work. The funds came from an anonymous donor in early spring which allowed work to start a lot later than been planned which meant that it's schedule for the early summer shows couldn't be met. She finally took to the air on the Wednesday before the start of the show. So it seemed very fitting that XH558 opened her display season at the airfield it was once based when operational with the RAF.

It was good to see the Harrier GR9 back on the display circuit. With an example from 4 (R) Squadron, Also back for 2010 was the Tornado GR4 from XV(R) Squadron performing a role demonstration with a pair of aircraft, complete with pyrotechnics.

The 'Turkish Stars' made their first appearance in the U.K since there last ill fated appearance for RIAT2008 which was cancelled due to inclement weather that year. The team are always good value for money particularly there colourful commentator who definitely adds something to there excellent display.

F-16AM Fighting Falcon - FA110 - 10 Wing - Belgian Defence - Air Component
EF2000 Typhoon FGR4 - ZK304/EB - 6 Squadron - Royal Air Force   L-159A ALCA - 6057 - 211 Taktická Letka - Czech Air Force   F-16A ADF Fighting Falcon - MM7240 - 37° Stormo - Italian Air Force   An-26 Curl - 2507 - 242 Transportní a Speciální Letka - Czech Air Force
Defender T3 - ZH004 - 651 Squadron - Army Air Corps   Sea King ASAC7 - ZD636/CU-182 - 857 Naval Air Squadron - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm   Hawk T1 - XX245 - 208 (Reserve) Squadron - Royal Air Force   Morane Saulnier MS 733 Alcyon - G-MSAL - United Kingdom - Privately Owned - United Kingdom
Nimrod R1 - XV249 - 51 Squadron - Royal Air Force
Touchdown Conclusion

Waddington Airshow 2010 was a vast improvement than in recent years with a good selection of International acts. One concern from a personal point of view is that the static is still dispersed with far too many light civilian types.

Overall the flying display was well thought out and varied from Word War One Bi-planes to present day state of the art jet fighters. All in all an excellent show and well done to the organisers. Lets hope the improvement continues in 2011.

Touchdown Rating - 4 out of 5
Bookmark and Share