Newcastle date confirmed

*** Newcastle date confirmed ***

I spoke to the organisers this afternoon and it is confirmed that the Newcastle Festival of Flight is staying as a 1 day show. The date will be Saturday 11th August 2018.

I know this is disappointing for some, however there is still a great increase in the budget for the 2018 show over last year.

RAF display dates have not yet been confirmed by the RAF display teams so it is not yet known what is allocated to Newcastle.

I will keep you updated as best I can. But Saturday 11th August 2018 is the date of the 2018 Festival of Flight.

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RAF National Aircraft Tour

*** RAF National Aircraft Tour ***
While more information will come nearer the time, Newcastle has been selected as one of 6 major UK locations in 2018 (Outside of national airshows such as Portrush, Cosford, RIAT, Scottish Air Show etc)
There is a plan for a ‘National Aircraft Tour’ giving people the chance to see historical aircraft close up on what sounds like a static display.
While no RAF Flying displays dates have been announced yet by the RAF display teams, I would expect them to come within the next month or so based on previous years.
More news on this, including aircraft type as part of the national aircraft tour, as well as dates closer to the time. (Photo from RAF website)
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Newcastle 2018 update

A bit of an update on the 2018 Festival of Flight

Rick Peacock-Edwards has been re-appointed Flight Director for 2018. This will be his 4th Festival of Flight, having taken over from Jeff Salter in 2015.

There is still no decision on the format for 2018, while there is doubt about a 2 day show due to a budget cut, 2 days is still a possibility as officials would still like to see a 2 day show. It does seem more likely to be 1 day though it would seem.

Officials will now work with the Flight Director and his team of 4 command and control personnel to see what programme can be delivered within the budget.

Work on a paper on how to partner and develop links with Bray is being drawn up and will be released in the coming weeks.

The budget has been reduced from £140000 to £122,000. This is just from the councils budget and does not factor in outside sponsorship.

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Newcastle’s popular Festival of Flight to be expanded

Newcastle’s popular Festival of Flight to be expanded
Taken from the Mourne Observer article written by Michael Morrow.
The Festival of Flight in Newcastle is set to expand for 2018 after the councils Enterprise, Regeneration & Tourism committee recommended an increase in the events budget.
The air display element of the hugely popular festival is set to be spread over two days, on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 August next year.
The additional money set to be allocated to the festival is £63000. It would mean an increase in the festivals budget from £77,000 to £140,000.
The Festival is one of a number of local events that have been earmarked for additional funding as the ERT committee has recommended an increase in the council’s events programme budget.
The 2017/18 budget was just over one million pounds, an investment that returned over £11m of economic impact on the Newry, Mourne & Down district.
By adding an additional £272,000 to the budget for the next financial year it is hoped an even greater return on the investment will be seen.
In most cases the events set to benefit from the additional spend are council organised.
(Admin note – The budget quoted is only from the council and does not take into consideration other additional sponsorship. The article expands to talk about other events in the NMD district in 2018 however I have kept it to only the Festival of Flight on this post) 

Newcastle 2018 update

***** 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.

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Newcastle Aircraft Profile Day 9 (Part 3) RAF Chinook

*** 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

*** 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.