Waddington airshow sees record attendance

Thousands of people flocked to the RAF Waddington International Airshow on July 4th and 5th. About 100,000 people were at the show on Saturday, as the hot weather and clear skies defied forecasts.

Waddington, 4 miles outside of Lincoln, is home to the RAF’s intelligence and surveillance aircraft.

The star of the show was expected to be the Avro Vulcan XH558, whose £7 million, 14-year repair work finished last July. The aircraft, popular with airshow regulars, was based at Waddington before it was retired from service.

However, the Vulcan was unable to take to the air as its flight permit expired just before the show, on the day after the aircraft arrived at Waddington. Its operators were shocked that the paperwork wasn’t renewed, as they had been told it would be ready in time for the aircraft to fly at the airshow. This left the Vulcan on static display over the weekend, disappointing many visitors.

But other spectacles kept the crowds entertained. The locally-based Red Arrows amazed the crowds with their stunts. The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight were present on both days, performing with a Lancaster, Spitfire, and Hurricane, with the flight receiving a large round of applause from just their initial fly past.

The RAF’s newest toy, the Typhoon, got the award for the noisiest display. It stopped almost everyone in their tracks. Flt Lt. Scott Loughran demonstrated the agility and performance of the aircraft by performing almost the entire display within the boundaries of the airfield, with plenty of afterburner.

Helicopter displays proved popular with the Chinook being thrown around the sky in an unbelievable fashion, as well as the Army Air Corps Blue Eagles, who performed with Apache and Lynx helicopters.

Foreign participation came in the shape of the Polish Air Force’s display team, Team Orlik. The French Air Force’s national display team, La Patrouille de France, were only present on Sunday, flying the training Alpha Jet aircraft, though the solo display of the same aircraft took place on both days.

The world’s only professional jet display team were present in the shape of the Breitling Jets, flying former eastern bloc built L39 trainer aircraft, with the French pilots performing a very polished routine. For enthusiasts the German Air Force Phantom and a pair of Royal Norwegian Air Force F16s on static display were of great interest.

The superb weather and a great, varied flying display made for an enjoyable weekend. Twenty-year-old Adam Noonan was at the show on both days and said: “all in all, Waddington was a great show and I’ll certainly be back next year.”

“The atmosphere was great, as were the flying displays, let’s just hope we can see the Vulcan actually flying [next time]”.

Next year the show will take place on the 3rd and 4th of July.

2 Responses to Waddington airshow sees record attendance

  1. Cazzer1 says:

    Record attendance? Of course it was a record attendance because a lot of fans were there only for XH558. It’s a shameful sham when so many of us have backed her from the beginning to turn up and find that a basic requirement had been overlooked. That is nothing short of incompetence on someone’s part.

  2. Jeff Jones says:

    That problem lies with the ‘Vulcan to the skies’ trust and not the operators of the airshow. What you are saying is a bit like blaming the organsiers of the British Grand Prix for the failure of Lewis Hamilton’s car.