Duxford’s annual Battle of Britain Display is renowned for its mass Spitfire formations and premier warbird displays.
Day four at RIAT 2017. Although continuing the theme of grey low clouds, all display acts were able to perform on this day. One of the key highlights was the surprise flypast of a B-2 Spirit escorted by a pair of F-15’s to mark the 70th anniversary of the USAF. Other notable displays included the Ukrainian Su-27 Flanker, USAF Heritage Flight (F-22 and P-51), and Italian Tornado.
Day three at RIAT 2017. Unfortunately there were to be no blue skies, with low cloud & rain forcing early display acts to a taxi along the runway and the Midnight Hawks to disappear into the murk. However the cloud lifted sufficiently for later acts including the Thunderbirds and Ukranian Su-27 Flanker.
Day two: The main theme for RIAT 2017 was the 70th anniversary of the formation of the United States Air Force. Therefore there was a stronger USAF presence than in previous years with a welcome return after 10 years of the The Thunderbirds, the F-22A Raptor, and Osprey displays and flypasts from F-15’s, F-16’s and C-130. The Friday display included a unique flypast of the Red Arrows with the Thunderbirds.
Day one: Arrivals and practice at RIAT 2017, the largest military airshow.
This year marked the 70th anniversary of the United States Air Force and hence a stronger appearance by the USAF was most welcome, with the Thunderbirds, F-22 Raptor, F-15, B-1B Lancer and B-52 Stratofortress all making a welcome return.
Flying Legends 2017, Europe’s largest warbird airshow, featured fine weather, big crowds, a continuation of the revised crowd line and sadly the closure of the “Tank Bank” viewpoint.
However that disappointment was soon forgotten with superb displays from a formation of nine Spitfires, a great Battle of Britain display with 5 Hurricanes, Blenheim and 2 x Spitfire Mk1’s, a spirited Norwegian Dakota display and a Red Arrows display that had to shift is display line to a diagonal that gave the impression they were displaying over London rather than Duxford.
A great start to the 2017 airshow season, clear blue skies, big crowds and superb displays from the RAF’s Typhoon, The Blades, Shuttleworth’s DH Comet & Mew Gulls, Sea Vixen, French Rafale, MiG-15 and finish the show with a pair of Mk1 Spitfires in close formation aerobatics and the Great War Display Team.
Unfortunately the Sea Vixen’s undercarriage failed to lower on its return to it’s home base at RNAS Yeovilton resulting in a belly landing. Thankfully the pilot was unharmed but the aircraft sustained significant damage and it’s return to flight remains in the balance.
Despite the clear blue skies, unfortunately strong winds resulted in a number of planned displays cancelling. However a number of the larger & heavier aircraft from the collection were able to display including:
- Avro 19 (Anson)
- Hawker Sea Hurricane
- De Havilland DH-88 Comet
The ever popular departures day at RIAT, and although some the star attractions had departed the night before or were scheduled to remain, there was enough variety to class this as one of the best departure days for a couple of years.
The full list of aircraft shot are listed below:
- Aermacchi MB-339
- Airbus A330 Voyager
- Airbus A400 Atlas