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Dogfight [by the_gneech]

Those Planes Were Fast As Lightnings

Farnborough International Airshow is this week, but I have already had my aviation thrills at the Royal International Air Tattoo in Gloucestershire.

I dragged Howard along for both days, meeting wardy and silverwindblade on Saturday and establishing a base camp from which to catch the action or mount expeditions to look at the static display and trade stands.

Here's how it feels to watch the display:

Belgian F-16 taking off

And here's what it's like wandering about:

Fighter lineup

The big attraction this year was the long-delayed F-35 Lightning. This is a supersonic, stealthy fighter that can hover, so it's not surprising it took Lockheed Martin longer than expected to sort it out. In the air and on the ground it looks thoroughly futuristic, alien and sinister, especially in company with the F-22 Raptor.


Howard is very keen on the Eurofighter Typhoon, and this year there were four to enjoy. The plane is manufactured by a European consortium and operated by the UK, Germany, Spain and Italy, each of whom provided one.

This was a great year for F-16s, too, with Turkish, Greek, Belgian and Polish examples in eyecatching liveries. I think the Belgians had a slight edge in both performance and colour scheme, though I ended up buying a T-shirt from the Poles.

We were privileged to witness the last ever display of Ramex Delta's two Mirage 2000s, performing in such a tight, close formation that one plane appeared to be the other's shadow. A punchy performance from the Polish MiG-29 Fulcrum (the type is as old as I am, incidentally) was another standout.

Sunday's weather was more changeable, with some heavy showers that sent everyone dashing under the wing of the nearest tanker, or into the Royal Jordanian Air Force's tent for some Turkish delight. Towards the end of the afternoon the sky cleared, and the final few performers - the Gripen, the Italian Typhoon and the Italian Frecce Tricolori display team - really seemed to revel in it, powering vertically towards the sun. In 'Red Arrows fly with something unusual' news, we got two Typhoons and an F-35, together with the red Hawks representing the past, present and future of the RAF.

I don't think I heard the word 'Brexit' uttered once all weekend.

Past, present and future


7 years (and $163 billlion) longer, in fairness.
My friend made this handy flowchart so you can tell what you've blown your budget and waited several years for:

Did someone say lightning? XP

Those planes look pretty cool but it's no surprise that the weather was like that. :O)

Edited at 2016-07-14 01:16 pm (UTC)
This summer is just ridiculous D:
Is it raining that much! DX
Wow. Here it hasn't rained all that much, though there was a pretty cool storm yesterday. :D
We're getting a lot of sudden downpours followed by vile mugginess.
Bleh. Here it's just been hot and humid with temps in the 90's F. almost every day for the past month (with dewpoints in the 70's F.). It's to where my bike rides are limited to early morning and late evening just before sunset. :(
Did I tell you about how Flo got to spend a day with the Red Arrows a few weeks back as a reward/STEM day? She had an incredible time!
NO! That's fantastic. Those guys do a lot of work for good as well as burning jet fuel :)
Fab! Lucky Flo - I bet she got a lot out of it, too.
Those Planes Were Fast As Lightnings

But were they kung-fu fighting?
No...but it was, at times, a little bit frightening.
Well, as long as they had expert timing!
Heh. They genuinely did!
I am glad this topic was raised, as otherwise I would have had to do it myself. :-)
One day I'll have to tell you about the Virginia Beach Military Aviation Museum I visited with my Uncle Nigel.
Ooh, yes please! I'm sorry I missed the opportunity over the Folk Festival weekend.
Whenever you have time. I might even bring photos.
Not related to Farnborough, but I went here last week, and it was splendid.


If you ever find yourself road-tripping inside the Arctic Circle, I can recommend it highly.
Ooh, that looks great - I hope I can visit some day!

(I have only just found your comment, which was marked as spam. Thanks, LJ!)
Mm, those shots do capture the feel of the event well. ^_^ Couldn't go this year, of course, but had a blast last year, even if the Vulcan did upset my plans. =:)

BTW, re Farnborough, I noticed this tidbit about Reaction Engines signing a deal that places them on a course for a demonstration engine by 2020. I want to see that, literally. =:D
*whistles* OK. Yes. That will be a thing.