Sunday, July 20, 2008

Farnborough Air Show

We went to the biennial Farnborough Air Show at Saturday. It was one of the things on Lionel's list of things to do and he said it was one of the best days he has had in the UK yet! This year celebrated 60years - the first Farnborough Air Show was held in 1948. It is a week long multi-national event which allows aerospace companies to show case their latest innovations and products. The final Saturday & Sunday are public days with a 4 1/2 hour flying programme.

The weather forecast wasn't great and we headed off in the morning in the rain, however the day cleared up and the rain had stopped by the time we had made it to Farnborough Station - we had decided to take the train to avoid the traffic (good decision!) In fact the sun came out and at times it was quite hot.

We looked around a few of the static aircraft displays before finding a spot to view the flying displays which started at 12.30pm. The flying programme started with a Spitfire which Lionel enjoyed since it didn't make it into NZ for 'Warbirds Over Wanaka'. Our absolute favourite was watching the 'Red Arrows Formation Display'. Their formation flying was incredible - tight formations at high speed and the use of the red, white and blue smoke to form 'pictures in the sky' was very impressive.

Josh was also very taken with the 'Eurofighter Typhoon', the 'F-16' and the 'F-18'.

Lionel, Rebecca & Josh went for a ride in the 'Typhoon' flight simulator (that was a wild ride).

How did it compare with Warbirds Over Wanaka...the setting in Wanaka is absolutely second to none and the length and quality of flight displays at Wanaka is also right up there. The thing which Farnborough has over Wanaka is the variety of large aircraft and modern jets which can land here and fly over the airfield. We didn't like the queues and crowds at Farnborough but it was a great day out!

The 'Red Arrows' were spectacular!

Josh had a great day!

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