I’m not the biggest war bird fan so the Duxford air show isn’t one I usually attend but the spell of good weather, the first display for the Typhoon on its return to the air show circuit and the Belgium F-16 in its new display scheme for 2012 changed my mind and what a show it was.
RAF Typhoon Display
The Typhoon opened the show with Squadron Leader Scott Loughran returning as the display pilot after previously having undertaken the role in 2009 when he was with 29(R) Sqn. Now posted to 6 Sqn he flew the display in a Typhoon in those markings. This year is the first time a squadron other than 29(R) Sqn has provided the display pilot and also the first time a Tranche 2 Block 10 jet has been used.
It was good to see the Typhoon back and Scott flew a good display routine. The 2012 routine has more inverted flight and rolls than previous displays but it was the introduction of a series of descending tight turns stood out for me.
Belgium F-16 Display
Whilst it was good to have the Typhoon back the F-16 display from the Belgium Air Component was unarguably the highlight of the Duxford show. The new scheme for 2012 looks great and combined with flares and smokewinders it produced a winning combination. As well as a new paint scheme the display pilot, Captain Renaud “Grat” Thys, is also new this season. He flew a very enjoyable display and the high alpha pass and a 360 degree turn flown at a relatively slow pace kept the F-16 closer to the crowds for longer than some other fast jet displays and the display benefitted from it. I look forward to shooting the display again this season.
I hadn’t known much about the Meteor display before today but it seems like I’ve been missing out. A great display and the aircraft looked fantastic in the sunlight. If you’ve not seen the display then I recommend you catch it when you next get the chance!
Whilst not being a big war bird fan I’ve always had a soft spot for the Lancaster and it couldn’t have looked better in the light at Duxford. Check out the top side photo below, amazing.
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