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RIAT RAF Fairford 2014
Where? RAF Fairford, England
When? 15/07/2014

July is usually a busy airshow month in the UK. Many of the big airshow take place in that time, and 2014 once again saw the two big events of the "Flying Legends" at Duxford and the RIAT at RAF Fairford collide at the same week-end.

With my preference on the flying warbirds at Duxford and the policy of presale tickets only for RIAT I restricted my visit to Fairford on the departures day.

Compared to previous years RIAT Fairford sees less visiting aircraft as in the past. The budgetary restrictions of many of the participating countries as well as the consequences of the involvement in more and more conflicts obviously take their toll. And apart from that there seems to be a tendency that RIAT is not only the biggest military airshow on the planet, but is only nowadays well used by the industry to showcase their newest products. This is no wonder, as many military leaders use the big show for a visit and meetings, and in every second year RIAT coincides quite well with the big trade fair at Farnborough. Especially trans-Atlantic companies use this possibility to kill two birds with one stone.

If the air show seems to be dominated too much by display teams, and the static display un-photographable, the departure day is one of the best possibilities to get nearly all of the participating aircraft within some hours.

For a small fee the parking facility can be used and an early arrival will also secure a nice place along the fence. Then it is time to wait and just hit the shutter once the aircraft roll out of the static display and other parking areas and line up on the runway. Quite easy, and especially in the year I was really pleased by the big variation of different C-130 Hercules from the Middle East that are still painted in a nice, varied colourscheme and not the usual gray.

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The EAA Airventure 2017 was announced to be the bomber year! And it really became bombastic. 590.000 people attended the event in Oshkosh, celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Doolittle Raid and also saw for the first time in more than 60 years two B-29 Superfortresses flying in formation. Apart from that once again more than 10.000 aircraft flew to Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, making it at that time the busiest airport in the world with approximately 123 aircraft movements per hour. For the pilots it was once again the great fly-in, and the highlight for the airshow this year were the US Navy Blue Angels.

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When? 04-05/05/2013

The "Planes of Fame" annual airshow at Chino can surely be rated as one of America's premiere warbird airshows. This is owned to the great collection of flyable warbirds of the "Planes of Fame" itself, and to the many interesting visitors that are attracted by this event. 2013 for example saw the outstanding happening of 5 Lockheed P-38 Lightning flying together in the air.

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After a long day of work getting up in the air was a very nice way to end the day, therefore we met with Hans, who was going to be my pilot on this flight, not very long before sunset. After the preparation of both aircraft we made our briefing, talked about safety, formations, flying directions before taking off from Manching.

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