I have the privilege to visit some of the World’s greatest Airshow… RIAT … an airshow that is cater for pure Military aircraft Enthusiast. The British does the airshow very differently from the United States….. here are the retrospect of the differences …. there is no right and wrong way of an airshow just my observation.
Airshow in the UK usually is publish way ahead of what aircraft will be coming. Going down to the list of which aircraft type, participating units while in the US we usually get a broad information of Military aircraft and aerobatics will be there . Some shows do give us aircraft type but units participating are usually omitted. A lot of show in the US also is more cater for aerobatic aircraft and people get very excited if one aerobatic teams like the Blue Angels and T-bird to attend. I can see this when an Airshow in NAS Ft worth and Tinker AFB .. hosting an airshow and there is not much military aircraft participation in statics and flying display. I have a chance to attend NAS Oceana for the Tomcat farewell and there is no static display of any F14 tomcat and there were only 3 F-18 on statics, 2 razorbacks F16C, 1 C2, 1 E2C, F15E and F15C. a big disappointment for aviation enthusiasts coming to a F-14 / F18 superbase of East Coast. Also another big difference lies with static display in the US unless it is highly sensitive aircraft like the newer F22, F35, B2, Airshowers usually can walk around the aircraft with no restrictions while in the UK most static aircraft is always lined out . The good side is you can get good photograph with no one sitting under the plane or that kind of thing.
With the budget shortfall for all military units , we are lucky to get a few of the Airshow in the US and hopfully we get more PAO or organizer that can cater the show to include the more hard core Military aviation enthusiast and photographer.
I have here a few of RIAT and US airshow shots .
( Pictures by Dave Chng, CB Lee )