Belgian Air Force Demo Team 2012
   Text &  Pictures : Alexander Vandenbohede © sbap 2012  

From 9 to 13 July, the biannual aviation trade show took place at Farnborough. During the weekend of 14 and 15 July, there was the accompanying Farnborough air show. Your SBAP reporter was present on Saturday and that turned out not to be the best choice. With (sometimes very heavy) rain form late morning well into the flying display, conditions for flying were far from optimal. But pilots and public made the best of it, resulting in an altogether entertaining afternoon.

Although presenting a nice show as such, flying display and to some extend also the static did not live up expectations aviation enthusiasts have of being at a premier aviation trade show.  Most of the exhibition halls were closed on Friday evening and that is a shame. It always provides an opportunity for the general public to see what is around in current-day aviation industry. And traditionally some new and interesting aircraft are already long gone (e.g. Boeing’s Dreamliner or Gripen NG) or non-flying (e.g. Yak-130) at the public days. 

Below are some impressions of the flying display and the static park.


Virgin Galactic must be applauded. They were one of the few chalets still open for the public presenting something radically new for the future of aviation and space exploration alike: Space Ship Two, a six-passenger, two-pilots space ship that will offer people the opportunity to experience sub-orbital space travel. For the moment obviously only for the “rich and famous”, it challenges the industry to rethink concepts.

Airbus was present with the A-380 and A-400M. A-380 gave a nice display in the humid conditions.
Only movement for the A-400M was pulling it out of the way of the A-380 in the static park.
Fighters were represented in the flying display by the RAF Typhoon display and by a demonstration of the F-18F Super Bug.
These boys and girls really deserved respect. The Blades performed in rainy and windy conditions.
Weather approved when the Breitling Wing Walkers displayed although standing on top of the wing must have been hard.
Despite the great display of South Korean’s Black Eagles at Waddington and Fairford, the solo display was a little bit disappointing.

Yak-130 was announced on the flying display but did not move an inch. Obviously, air show visitors do not buy military trainers!

KDC-10 of Omega Air Refueling was a welcome addition to the static park

This Blackhawk was license-build in Poland.


Finmeccanica company had a nice exhibition with, among other types, Agusta Westland AW159 Lynx Wildcat and Alenia Aermacchi M346 jet trainer.


A number of historic aircraft were present. Battle of Britain Memorial Flight attended with its Lancaster and Spitfire IX MK356.
MK356 is a D-Day veteran. Canadian F/O Gordon Ockenden shared one Bf-109 kill with Flt Lt Hugh Russel in it on 7 June 1944.


Meteor T7 of Classic Aircraft Trust and the colorful Hawker Hunter Miss Demaenour represented two classic British Jets.

Two cold war warriors. Vulcan “the Spirit of Great Brittan” does not need introduction. Lightning T.Mk. 5 is part of a museum next to the airfield.
Unfortunately, the place was rented for a corporate event and could not be visited.
A great surprise was this Antonov An-2. Venom represented another classic British fighter.
And lets’ wave the Union Jack to finish this report on the Farnborough Airshow 2012.


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