Air Shows for Groups in 2019
Chocks away!With Christmas behind us, it’s time to look forward to bluer skies and balmier days… Air shows make a great day out for groups, and Fiona Horan provides a taster of some of the best shows coming up this year.
Wings and Wheels at Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome in Essex on 19th May has biplanes, air displays and classic cars.
On 25th-26th May, the LAA & Homebuilt Festival at Old Buckenham Airfield, Norfolk sounds intriguing – though probably the home-made flying machines aren’t as eccentric as one might imagine.
RAF Cosford Air Show in Shropshire offers a six-hour flying display on 9th June. On the ground will be exhibitions from all aspects of the Royal Air Force, a Vintage Village, the RAF Museum, and displays showcasing science, technology, maths and engineering in the modern RAF.
A variant on the traditional air show is the Weston Park International Model Air Show in Shropshire on 14th-16th June. Now in its 26th year, expect to see large model aircraft performing aeronautical displays in the beautiful grounds of a stately home.
The Royal Navy International Air Day at (RNAS) Yeovilton in Somerset on 13th July will offer visitors a five-hour flying display, with an emphasis on the skills and capabilities of British and International Armed Forces. Any members of your group with a passion for all things military will also enjoy attractions on the ground which will include interactive displays, engineering fairs and state-of-the-art defence technology exhibitions.
Nostalgic derring do can be seen at the Flying Legends Air Show at Imperial War Museum Duxford, Cambridgeshire on the weekend of 13th-14th July. The theme here is WWII fighter planes, with plenty of ‘40s style entertainment on the ground.
The Royal International Air Tattoo takes place at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire on 19th-21st July. This year the theme is space – both to celebrate 50 years since the first Moon landing and the announcement last year that the RAF will be taking command of the UK’s military space operations.
Some of the many free seaside shows over the summer include Weston Air Festival at Weston super-Mare, Somerset on 22nd-23rd of June; Wales Air Show, Swansea Bay, Glamorgan from 6th-7th July; Sunderland International Airshow, Sunderland, Tyne and Wear from 26th-28th July; Blackpool Airshow, Blackpool, Lancashire from 10th-11th August; Airbourne at Eastbourne, East Sussex from 15th-18th August; Clacton Air Show, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex on 22nd-23rd August; Rhyl Air Show, Rhyl, Denbighshire on 24th-25th August; Bournemouth Air Festival, Bournemouth, Dorset from 29th August-1st September.
These shows are a costly enterprise for many cash-strapped councils and, sorry to say, several of last year’s shows will not be returning – so if you love air shows get out there and support them.
Celebrate a pivotal moment in British history at the Duxford Battle of Britain Air Show, Duxford, Cambridgeshire on 21st-22nd September as mass formations of wartime aircraft take to the skies.
The attractive and very active airfield at The Shuttleworth Collection, Old Warden Aerodrome, Bedfordshire finishes the air show season with Shuttleworth Race Day on 6th October, which offers mock air races, live music, and Edwardian and vintage racing cars. Visitors can also enjoy the museum of historic aircraft, the gardens and possibly even partake of flying of a different kind, as the grounds also house a collection of birds of prey.