Whether you are young or old, nothing matches the thrill of an air show from up close near the runway. The smell of gasoline, the noise from the turbines and the cheers from the crowd. Every summer there are plenty of these high speed adrenalin pumping shows taking place in the UK.
Here’s Wingly’s rundown on the top 10 air shows that you cannot miss this summer in 2017!
1) The Radials, Trainers and Transport Fly-in
When: 29th April – 30th April
Where: Wolverhampton Halfpenny Green Airport, Bobbington, South Staffordshire.
Are you passionate about aviation? You possess an old vintage plane you’ve been dying to show off, or you’re simply craving aviation relics? Then this the place for you. Be at Halfpenny Green Airport in Wolverhampton on 29th and 30th April and you will get your year load of historical aircrafts. Featuring a pair of Beechcrafts 18’s, A De Havilland Vampire and Chipmunk, 11 Yaks, a Stinson Voyager, A Morane-Saulnier, a Piper Grasshopper and many other legends of the sky this airshow has got History flying around!
2) Abingdon air and country show
When: 14th May 2017
Where: Abington Airfield (Dalton Barracks) Oxfordshire.
This year will be the 17th edition of the Abington air and Country show that has raised significant sums of money for local charities. It features a 3 hour flying display featuring Rich Goodwin in his modified pitts biplane and the globally renowned Breitling WingWalkers. Nearly 50 different civilian and military aircrafts that can be viewed from up close on the ground. It appeals to the whole family by featuring displays by the Thames Valley Police Mounted Division and even falconry! Smaller, family size, exuberant flying, and attractive prices are enough reasons for not waiting to book a ticket.
Wingly has a pilot who is offering seats on his plane as he is planning on flying into the airshow. You can book to share a ride with him here for only £56 return from Andover (Thruxton Aerodome).
3) Skylive Airshow
When: 27th May 2017
Where: Durham Tees Valley Airport, Darlington.
If you are looking for a gigantic airshow with a profusion of aircrafts as well as static expositions, an enormous selection of fun-fairs or even live music, stop dithering! You are looking for the skyline airshow. You will see flying dozens of aircrafts from the mythical Spitfire to the thrilling Eurofighter Typhoon. Lauren Richardson one of UK’s top aerobatic pilots, will amaze the whole family in her Pitts Special. History is also present with the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. And if you have not had enough, the Wing Walkers will take your breath away with their bold acrobatic manoeuvres! So if you’re as excited as us, put a checkmark on 27th May 2017, at Durham Tees Valley Airport.
4) Wales National Airshow
When: 1st July – 2nd July
Where: Swansea Bay Promenade, Swansea.
This is the biggest airshow in Wales and one of the biggest in the UK. With over 200,000 visitors in 2016 this event is an definitely worth going to. The 2017 edition will feature Team Raven – an aerobatic team flying incredible RV4s – Tigers Parachute Display Team, Gerald Cooper – the aerobatic pilot flying an Xtreme Air XA41 – the well-known MiG15, the Royal Air Force Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, and the must-have Red Arrows! If you are excited wait to hear the big news: it’s a free show! Just walk in Swansea Bay and enjoy on July 1st and 2nd 2017.
5) Blackbushe Festival of Flight
When: 1st July – 2nd July
Where: Blackbushe Airport, Camberly.
It might well not be as big as the Farnborough Airshow in 2018 but for some this is for the best. This family friendly event is all about celebrating Blackbushe airport’s 75th birthday, paying tribute to those who flew from there never to return. Acknowledging the past, present and future of general aviation. The organisers promise a “festival of flight” with as many as possible aircraft types connected to Blackbushe. The Great War Display Team and a catalina PBY-5A are due on 1st and 2nd, July 2017. At Wingly, we happily support this gathering. It promotes light aviation – which we are passionate about – it is future-looking – and who will argue that flight sharing is not the next step in aviation ? – and, even better, we’ve got pilots flying from Blackbushe! You can book a flight with them here.
6) Yeovilton Air Day
When: 8th July
Where: RNAS Yeovilton, Yeovil.
Every summer for the past 70 years, the Royal Navy Air Station Yeovilton International Air Day has amazed more than 40,000 aviation enthusiasts with five hours of pure aeronautical happiness. From ground attractions to actual fighter tactical displays every visitor goes back home with the eyes full of dreams and the ears buzzing with the mighty roars of the soaring French Navy Rafales and UK Navy Hawk. What’s more, historic naval aircrafts and their modern counterparts are displayed for the eager eyes of amateurs. Do not miss this enticing moment on 8th July 2017!
7) Bray Air Display
When: 22nd July – 23rd July
Where: Bray Seafront, County Wicklow, Ireland.
Although this is Ireland’s biggest free air show, Bray Air Display is not about enjoying a pint or two of Guinness. Well, not only. This event is part of the month-long Bray Summerfest and will let you marvel at three hours of flying each day supported by the Irish Defence Forces, Irish Air Corps, local and UK civilian teams such as The Blades in their four Extra 300LP, and even some mind-blowing international teams. And when you will have had enough of planes and choppers (yes that might be possible, particularly if your tummy calls out loudly), you will be able to take a needed break at the food, craft & business village. So do plan ahead and be prepared for 22nd and 23rd, July 2017.
8) Edwardian Pageant at Shuttleworth
When: 6th August
Where: Shuttleworth Aerodrome, Biggleswade.
Let’s fly back time and experience a taste of early aviation! On 6th, August 2017 you will enjoy a timeless flying display of vintage aircraft, and even free rides on a 1913 Wellinborough and a 1921 Charabus. The must-seen event will feature some of the country finest teams and collection aircrafts: the Red Arrows, the Breitling Wing Walkers, Dragon Rapide, Calidus, Little and large, a fauvel Glider, a Chipmunk, a Gloster Gladiator, and even an Avro Triplane. Do not miss this incredible opportunity! And if you are still not convinced, let it be said that a prize will be given to the best Edwardian attire, so dress up and fly into History.
9) Bournemouth Air Festival
When: 31st August – 3rd September
Where: Bournemouth Sea front, Bournemouth.
One of the biggest air festivals this summer. This is a great chance to spend the weekend in Bournemouth and get to see the amazing Red Arrows in action pulling off some acrobatic stunts. This 3 day fun-filled festival takes place right on the beach. A lot of award winning jets and display teams perform each year. The event is free to the public with various concerts and events taking place on the ground as well. Don’t forget your sunscreen!
10) Southport Airshow
When: 15th September – 17th September
Where: Southport Beach, Southport
Every year this fantastic show receives thousands of visitors. Comfortably seated on Southport Beach you will enjoy a spectacular display of piloting skills: the Blades aerobatic team will gladly perform their loops and barrels for you, the much-awaited Lancaster will mightily fly its impressive fortress over your head, and of course, the beloved Red Arrows will give you a taste of what British flying excellence means. Moreover, this year, a new Friday night flying extravaganza with LED lights, pyros and fireworks has been added to the programme. So make sure to book Friday to Sunday 15th-17th, September 2017 in your schedules.
We hope that you can make it to at least some of them this summer. Comment below if you have any other air shows worth mentioning.
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All good events but missing the stars of the season, namely RIAT and Flying Legends. RIAT the annual fast jet feast at RAF Fairford already has the return of the USAF Thunderbirds and the awesome F-22 Raptor demonstration. At this time other confirmations include the Patrouille Suisse, Spanish EF-18 Hornet, Belgian F-16 and an all to rare flying display by the much loved Belgian Sea King. Plenty of rumours around for this show too including the return of the Hungarian Gripen and the one everyone is hoping for the Romanian MIG-21 Fishbed solo display. As for Flying Legends this year is it’s 25th anniversary and is certainly being looked forward to by the enthusiast community combining multiple aircraft in dramatic set pieces that fill the sky above Duxford with the sights and sounds of a different age, and as usual we all wonder what stars will venture over the pond from their friends in America! Also worth a mention is the Shuttleworth “Fly Navy” display on June 4th, with the line up pretty much full, it looks set to be another cracking display at the most intimate of UK venues. Topping the bill is the mighty DH Sea Vixen ably assisted by a contingent from the Duxford based Fighter Collection as well as a pair of Seafires and back on the circuit this year the meaty Skyraider from Kennet Aviation at North Weald.