***** Newcastle Festival of Flight 2018 *****
A lot have been asking about 2018.
There is a date in place, however it is a provisional date. I do expect this date to be confirmed in early 2018. I am reluctant to post the date for 2 reasons
1) Down Festivals have not confirmed the date and it is their show.
2) It is a provisional date and I don’t want to give out a date and people book hotels etc only for a change to be made.
I will post the date as soon as I know I am able to. This will come either when an official source such as Visit Mourne Mountains or Down Festivals release the date or when RAF displays confirm their appearance.
As for 2018, I have heard some chatter. Some very good things seemingly in place for the RAF centenary next year which it seems Newcastle will be a part of 🙂 The RAF have said in a press release about Newcastle, Northern Ireland being one of 6 ‘Major UK locations’ in 2018 But more about that closer to the event.
The below logo is NOT an official 2018 logo. It was just me messing around in photo-shop and it has been altered from the original 2017 logo.
But I will post news as soon as I know I am able to. 4 years ago I would be posting the date right away, however the last 4 years of running this page and talking to the council have made me appreciate just how much work goes into the planning and just how much can change before going to ‘press’
Stay tuned. 2018 does look like a great year for airshows both in Newcastle and on the North Coast in Portrush.
*** Newcastle Aircraft Profile Day 9 (Part 3) RAF Chinook ***
Day 9 part 3 of our Newcastle Aircraft profile is an aircraft making its debut in Newcastle (And its first display in a long time in Northern Ireland) The RAF Chinook Helicopter which is sure to put on an amazing display.
The RAF Chinook Display Team, based at RAF Odiham in Hampshire, aims to demonstrate the RAF Chinook’s capability. As well as part of the 2017 RAF Chinook Display Team, the crew are also part of a fully operational Squadron where they combine their daily training demands with practising their display sequence.
Before the display season gets under way the entire crew must undergo an intense work up under the supervision of one of the squadron executives. For the 2017 Display Season this job has fallen to Squadron Leader Matt Holloway. Between Sqn Ldr Holloway and the team a new display sequence has been created. At the end of the 2015 season the display was flown on an aircraft carrying a specialised data recording suite. This gave the engineers much more information as to what stresses and strains the aircraft is put under during the rigorous display sequence. As a result, this years display, whilst still as impressive as ever, has had to be adjusted in order to fall within much stricter guidelines for the aircraft.
The Boeing CH-47 Chinook is an American twin-engine, tandem rotor heavy-lift helicopter. Its primary roles are troop movement, artillery placement and battlefield resupply. It has a wide loading ramp at the rear of the fuselage and three external ventral cargo hooks. With a top speed of 170 knots
The Chinook was designed and initially produced by Boeing Vertol in the early 1960s; it is now produced by Boeing Rotorcraft Systems. It is one of the few aircraft of that era – along with the fixed-wing Lockheed C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft – that remain in production and frontline service, with over 1,200 built to date.
The first flight took place on 21st September 1961 and entered service a year later in 1962. The helicopter has been sold to 16 nations with the U.S. Army and the Royal Air Force being its largest users.
When you see the Chinook on Saturday, you are in for a surprise. For an aircraft of the size of the Chinook, it can really be thrown about the skies in an impressive display that has become a firm favourite of airshow goers in the last few years.
Info from RAF Chinook display team website and Wikipedia. Photo our own, taken at RIAT 2017
We hope you have enjoyed our Newcastle aircraft profiles, have a great day tomorrow! It looks like it will be another fantastic day.
*** Newcastle Aircraft Profile Day 9 (Part 2) The RAF Red Arrows ***
Day 9 (Part 2) of our Newcastle aircraft profile are the World Famous RAF Red Arrows who fly 9 T1 Hawk aircraft.
The Red Arrows are returning to Newcastle having been a regular at the Festival of Flight, only missing 2012 (overseas tour) and 2015 (Aircraft tech issues)
The Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, is one of the world’s premier aerobatic display teams. Representing the speed, agility and precision of the RAF, the team is the public face of the service.
They assist in recruiting to the Armed Forces, act as ambassadors for the United Kingdom and promote the best of British. Flying distinctive Hawk jets, the team is made up of pilots, engineers and essential support staff with front-line, operational experience.
Initially, they were equipped with seven Folland Gnat trainers inherited from the RAF Yellowjacks display team.
This aircraft was chosen because it was less expensive to operate than front-line fighters. In their first season, they flew at 65 shows across Europe. In 1966, the team was increased to nine members, enabling them to develop their Diamond Nine formation.
In late 1979, they switched to the BAE Hawk trainer. The Red Arrows have performed over 4,600 displays in 56 countries worldwide
The engineering team that supports the Red Arrows is known as “The Blues” and consists of 85 members who cover all of the various trades in the RAF.
Each season nine members of the Blues are selected to be members of the ‘Circus’. Each member of the Circus works with the same pilot for the duration of the season and is responsible for servicing their aircraft and preparing their flying kit prior to each display. The Circus also fly in the back seat of the jets during transit flights.
The BAE Systems Hawk is a British single-engine, jet-powered advanced trainer aircraft. It was first flown at Dunsfold, Surrey, in 1974 as the Hawker Siddeley Hawk, and subsequently produced by its successor companies, British Aerospace and BAE Systems, respectively. It has been used in a training capacity and as a low-cost combat aircraft.
The Hawks used by the Red Arrows are modified with an uprated engine and a modification to enable smoke to be generated, diesel is mixed with a coloured dye and ejected into the jet exhaust to produce either red, white or blue smoke.
The Hawk T1 version is currently used at RAF Valley for fast-jet pilot advanced training, however this role will increasingly migrate to IV(R) Sqn and the Hawk T2 in the future. The Hawk T1 is also operated by the RAF Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, and 100 Sqn. While the Hawk T1 is used primarily in the advanced flying-training role, it is equipped to an operational standard and is capable of undertaking a war role.
However the Red Arrows are based at RAF Scampton and not RAF Valley like the rest of the Hawk aircraft.
Also a special mention to Red 10 Mike Ling who is sadly in his final year in the Red 10 position, and therefore this will be his last trip to Newcastle tomorrow. He has been great as the voice of the Red Arrows over the years.
We look forward to seeing the Red Arrows back in the skies of Newcastle this Saturday after their recent two week break.
Info from Wiki and Red Arrows website. Photograph our own from RIAT 2017.
Check back later for our final aircraft profile, the fantastic RAF Chinook.
Day 9 (Part 1) of our Newcastle Aircraft profile is the Irish Coast Guard S92 helicopter which will be opening the show with a slow flypast in honour of Rescue 116 EI-ICR which was lost with all crew, Captain Duffy, Captain Fitzpatrick, Mr Ormsby and Mr Smyth, in a tragic accident in March of this year.
The Sikorsky S-92 is a four-bladed twin-engine medium-lift helicopter built by Sikorsky Aircraft for the civil and military helicopter market. The S-92 was developed from the Sikorsky S-70 helicopter and has similar parts such as flight control and rotor systems.
The S-92 features an active vibration control system, using vibration sensors and structurally mounted force generators to increase flight comfort and lower acoustic levels to below certification requirements.
A 2008 study by Norway’s Flymedisinsk Institute found that the S-92’s vibration levels were 42 percent above that of the Eurocopter EC225 Super Puma; Sikorsky disputed this finding, saying that the study hadn’t used their latest anti-vibration technology. In February 2011, the noise and vibration levels were reportedly subject to health concerns, allegedly causing tinnitus and heart problems.
The Irish Coast Guard had previously used the S61 Helicopter until replacing them with the S92. The first S92 was delivered to them in January 2012 and given the registration EI-ICG with the callsign ‘Rescue 115’
The five S-92’s have registrations EI-ICG, EI-ICU, EI-ICA, EI-ICR, EI-ICD – with the last letter of each registration spelling out “GUARD” Sadly EI-ICR was lost with all crew in a tragic accident in March 2017.
While EI-ICG was delivered as “factory new” from Sikorsky in the US, the other S-92 aircraft are ex-UK Coastguard equipment.
As of July 2013, the final S-92 aircraft, with registration EI-ICD, was reportedly undergoing repainting and fitting at Shannon. However as of October 2013 two of the S-92 aircraft (EI-ICD and EI-ICU) remain in the “retro” livery of the UK Coastguard – but sporting their Irish registrations.
Information from Wikipedia and photograph from AirshowsNI admin taken at the 2015 Airwaves Portrush airshow.
Check back later for another Newcastle aircraft profile.
Day 8 of our Newcastle aircraft profile are the aircraft of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) who have in recent years brought all their various aircraft typesd to Newcastle since they first attended in 2013.
However this year will be the first time the Lancaster, Spitfire & Hurricane have flown together in Newcastle as last year the Lancaster arrived with 2 Spitfires (not that anyone was complaining)
BATTLE OF BRITAIN MEMORIAL FLIGHT
The Royal Air Force Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (RAFBBMF) is administratively part of the Royal Air Force No 1 Group and operates from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire.
The aircraft are regularly seen at events commemorating World War II, upon British State occasions, notably the Trooping the Colour celebrating Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday and at air displays throughout the United Kingdom and Europe. We are proud to have HRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge as our Patron.
RAF BBMF commemorate the past of the RAF’s Air Combat Power – Lest We Forget.
The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Visitor Centre is located at RAF Coningsby in Coningsby, Lincolnshire. A partnership between the Royal Air Force and Lincolnshire County Council, the centre allows visitors an up-close guided tour of the aircraft when not in use, as well as exhibits about the aircraft and other temporary exhibits.
The Spitfire was produced in greater numbers than any other British combat aircraft before or since the War, 20,341 Spitfires were built in 22 different variants (excluding the navalised Seafire) and the aircraft remained in production for 12 years. The Spitfire played a major part in achieving ultimate victory in World War Two and truly deserves its place as probably the most successful fighter design ever, and certainly as the most famous and charismatic of all time. The BBMF currently have 6 Spitfire aircraft
The Hawker Hurricane is one of the classic fighters of all time, designed and built for war. It was at the forefront of Britain’s defence in 1940 and it played a major part in achieving the victory of 1945. The Hurricane was the first British monoplane eight-gun fighter, the first RAF aircraft to exceed 300 mph in level flight and the first production fighter with a retractable main undercarriage. The BBMF currently have 2 Hurricane aircraft.
The Lancaster Bomber took her first flight on 9th January 1941 and entered service in February 1942
The Lancaster bomber – PA474, acquired by the BBMF in 1973, is one of only two surviving airworthy examples of the type; the other is in Canada. She was built in mid-1945 and assigned to reconnaissance duties after appearing too late to take part in the bombing of Japan. After various duties, she was adopted by the Air Historical Branch for display work. She appeared in two films: Operation Crossbow and The Guns of Navarone.
Having been flown for much of her service with the BBMF as the “City of Lincoln”, PA474 previously wore the markings of the “Phantom of the Ruhr” and “Thumper”
For 2017 the Lancaster has a new duel paint scheme, on the left 460 (RAAF) Squadron Lancaster W5005, coded AR-L “Leader”, which had nose art of a kangaroo playing bagpipes, indicating the Australian and Scottish backgrounds of one of its crews. (Some sources say this was on JB607 AR-N, but I am reliably informed this is a case of mistaken identity).
The right side will carry the 50 Squadron code letters VN-T, representing the Lancaster flown by FO Douglas Millikin DFC – grandfather of the BBMF’s current Officer Commanding, Squadron Leader Andy “Milli” Millikin, on 27 of his first tour of 30 operations.
Info from Wikipedia & BBMF website. Photo by myself at RIAT 2017.
Check back tomorrow for another Newcastle Aircraft Profile when we get to the final 2 displays. The RAFAT Red Arrows and the Chinook helicopter display.
Day 7 of our aircraft profile for the Newcastle Festival of Flight is the BAC Strikemaster which is making its return to Newcastle this Saturday!
The Strikemaster coming to Newcastle is operated by NWMAS Ltd (North Wales Military Aviation Services Ltd) and they were formed to meet a requirement for maintenance of military aircraft and flying training in ex- military aircraft.
The BAC 167 Strikemaster is a British jet-powered training and light attack aircraft. It was a development of the Hunting Jet Provost trainer, itself a jet engined version of the Percival Provost, which originally flew in 1950 with a radial piston engine.
The BAC 167 Strikemaster is essentially an armed version of the Jet Provost T Mk 5, which you may remember displayed in Newcastle in the 2014 Festival of Flight.
the Strikemaster was modified with an uprated engine, wing hardpoints, a strengthened airframe, new communication and navigation gear, uprated ejection seats, shortened landing gear, and a revised fuel system including conformal fuel tanks on the wing tips.
First flown in 1967, the aircraft was marketed as a light attack or counter-insurgency aircraft, but most large-scale purchasers were air forces wanting an advanced trainer, although Ecuador, Oman and Yemen have used their aircraft in combat. A total of 146 were built
The Strikemaster coming to Newcastle is flown by Mark Petrie.
Mark, who is 54, began flying in the RAF when he was twenty, leaving in 1990, by which time he was a Flight Lieutenant with 1,200 hours. “I might have stayed longer,” he says, “but I wasn’t very good at biting my tongue when I thought something was wrong.”
He moved to flying for the airlines and is currently a 787 Captain with BA, so NWMAS, plus his ownership of the flying school, are second strings to his bow. The maintenance operation looks after the school aircraft at Hawarden and many of the private aircraft based on the airfield, including Mark’s de Havilland Chipmunk and several LAA Permit aircraft, including some homebuilts.
We look forward to hearing and seeing the Strikemaster in the skies of Newcastle once again, It is a fantastic display.
Information on aircraft from wikipedia, information about NWMAS Ltd from NWMAS website and information about Pilot Mark Petrie taken from an article by Country Small Holding and Photo our own from Portrush 2015
Check back tomorrow for another Newcastle aircraft profile as we get closer to the big day this Saturday!