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.
Where? RAF Fairford, England
With my preference on the flying warbirds at Duxford and the policy of presale tickets only for RIAT I limited 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.