Alice Dryden (huskyteer) wrote,
Alice Dryden

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Planes in the Rain

This weekend was my annual pilgrimage to the Royal International Air Display at RAF Fairford.

I only went for the one day this year, so in order to make the most of my time I got up at 5AM. (Getting up at 7 on a Saturday: stupidly early. Getting up at 5 on a Saturday: An Adventure!)

As I left the M4 and joined the queue on the Blue Route the rain became heavy. I was on the airfield at 8:45, but very little was happening. I had a lovely tour of a DC-3 / Dakota with an impressive list of film credits including Memphis Belle and Quantum of Solace and chatted up a Swedish Gripen pilot.

Around 10:30 I got a text from silverwindblade and party to say they were by the DC-3. After some confusion we established that they were at a different DC-3 to mine, and we met up to squelch around in the rain looking at merchandise and bitching about how cold and wet and miserable we were.

Nothing had ventured into the sky yet, and I was beginning to think we'd paid £40 each for tickets in order to spend the day shopping. But at noon the rain stopped, we sat down to eat lunch, and planes began taking off for our viewing pleasure.

Six hours of airshow action followed. By the time the Red Arrows appeared the cloud had cleared and they were able to do their full display (rather than the 'flat' version for low cloud). The Vulcan also performed, including a low pass with the bomb bay doors open. (Somewhere on a plaque in the bomb bay is my dad's name; thinking of this made me very happy.)

My favourite thing? The Breitling Wingwalkers (previously Team Guinot / Utterly Butterly Barnstormers / Crunchie Flying Circus) displaying alongside the Breitling Jet Team. More biplane-on-jet action, please!

Nice paint job on this Dutch Apache

Beautiful tail art on a Tornado

Russian plane. Nick speculated that the lady with the umbrella, who had just emerged, was the mistress of some oligarch

Enjoying the great British summer

The Antonov AN-2 that lives at Popham airfield, a great favourite of mine
Tags: planes, riat

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