RAF Leuchars Airshow 2011

What a day it’s been. Early in the morning I left with my destination firmly in my head. As I haven’t been to the show in 2010 I was quite nervous regarding traffic. As I bought a parking permit I was hoping that I wasn’t spending most of my time in tailbacks! Thankfully the roads were free and thanks to the planning team all went very smoothly. That’s how I like things!

So after I made it onto the very slippery part of the parking field I headed straight for the bus and had some nice chats with RAF personnel who were very kind and helpful in providing information. On the bus I found a magazine and had a brief look at the program. it was not as tightly packed as I hoped for but nonetheless I wanted to see

some of the airshow. Approximately 20 minutes later we were at the base and headed for the entry. My photobag was briefly checked (I decided to go with my Lowepro sling bag and my two kit lenses!!) instead of the 35mm F1.8 From my previous experience I knew that the 35mm would run out of room at some points so it was a reasonable choice for me. After arriving on the massive airfield I ate a burger and began to make my way to the static displays.

I had about 40 minutes before the first flying display was about to commence. On the ground I found a KingAir, a KC-135 tanker, a Hercules C130J and a plane I couldn’t identify from the Czech airforce. There also was a tornado in a special livery stating more than 1,000,000 flying hours. Besides it there were a couple of F14/15s and some Typhoons. One of the two hangars features hand on experience with a usable cockpit, loads of engines (thanks to the nice RR engineer who explained the EJ200 engine to me!) and the place for ‘meet the pilots’ autographs and more. The other hangar had some models and companies advertising their products.

Apart from one massive rain shower the show was very well visited and the flying displays didn’t disappoint. There was a SE5.a and of course the mother of all airshows.

The lovely Vulcan XH558 (support their team here) and the one and only Red Arrows. It’s been quite an emotional

show as only two weeks ago their Red 4 tragically lost his life during a display so my hair was definitely standing and it was quite an emotional show. Still very spectacular and I kept wondering who they do this. Flying without radar 6 feet apart at speeds of 400mph and more. Those guys are definitely one of, if not the best display team in the world.Not less spectacular was the Tornado role demonstration with loads of bangs and the

 Dutch and Belgian displays. Both were flying the lovely, loud and super quick F16. Highlight was a high speed past at very low altitude of nearly mach 1. Quite simply jaw dropping. After a long day on the base the traditional sunset ceremony with bagpipes brought to an end a very enjoyable day.

Picures of the day will be uploaded to my website

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