The inaugural Scampton Airshow, held at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire over the weekend of September 9th and 10th, has been hailed a great success by the show’s organisers, with over 50,000 people attending across the two show days. Spectators were treated to a varied, 5 hour flying display on both days alongside many ground-based attractions, including craft tents, fun fairs and classic cars as well as the RAF village and Heritage Hangar. Showcasing its people and equipment, the RAF village provided an opportunity to meet and talk to serving personnel and find out about serving in the modern air force and the Heritage Hangar provided a window into the past.
The static aircraft park featured a number of interesting aircraft, not least of which was the Swedish Air Force Historic Flight’s collection of SAAB aircraft, featuring the Viggen, Draken, Lansen and Tunnan - types not often seen at UK airshows.
Being the home base of the RAF Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, it was only fitting that they should open the flying display, partaking in a formation flypast with the RAF’s Sentinel R1 battlefield surveillance aircraft from nearby RAF Waddington. On Saturday, this formation was followed by another RAF front line Waddington-based aircraft, the Boeing E-3D Sentry AEW1, with a majestic flypast. Ex-RAF types like the Avro Anson, Westland Gazelle and Jet Provost, now on the civilian register provided a link with the past as the show celebrated 100 years of Aviation at the Scampton base. Another of the RAF display teams, the Falcons parachute display team had blustery winds and a low cloud base to contend with as they demonstrated their famed canopy stack after dropping through the cloud from 2,500 feet. Ever-popular aerobatic displays were provided by Rich Goodwin in his Pitts Special, the Breitling Wingwalkers and the Calidus Autogyro piloted by Peter Davies. A planned display by the Global Stars, with their Extra EA-300 aircraft had to be cancelled on the Saturday when civilian-operated Percival Pembroke developed engine problems and became stranded at one end of the runway for some time. This wasn’t the only aircraft to have technical problems on Saturday. The Red Arrows, already down to eight aircraft instead of nine due to the absence of one of the team, also suffered technical issues as they prepared for their own display slot on Saturday. As a result, only a partial display featuring four aircraft could take place. Some good news for the organisers was the clearance of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’s Lancaster to take part in the show. Having been grounded with all the other BBMF Merlin-powered aircraft whilst engine checks were made, the Lancaster was able to return to the skies, alongside a Spitfire and Hurricane in time for the Scampton show. Other aircraft from this era in the flying display included B-17 “Sally B”, Plain Sailing’s Consolidated Catalina and Peter Teichman’s P-51 Mustang “Tall in the Saddle”. Possibly the most unusual aircraft in the flying and one of the highlights was T2 Aviation’s Boeing 727 Oil Spill Response Aircraft, providing a demonstration of its capabilities by spraying water over the runway. Faster jets in the form of the Belgian Air Force F-16, French Air Force Alphajet and the Norwegian Air Force Historical Squadron’s de Havilland Vampires added noise and speed to the equation, before the flying display was closed by the much-anticipated Eurofighter Typhoon from nearby RAF Coningsby. With dates already set for next year, organisers will be looking to build on the success of this year’s show and make the Scampton Airshow a permanent fixture on the UK airshow scene.