MILAVIA > Air Shows > RAF Waddington Air Show 2005 Last updated: 29 July 2011
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Air Show Report : RAF Waddington Air Show 2005

RAF WADDINGTON INTERNATIONAL AIR SHOW 2005
Report by Andrew Philpott, all photos by author

Royal Air Force Waddington in Lincolnshire hosts the second largest Airshow event in the United Kingdom. Mostly dominated by RAF aircraft in the displays, Waddington still makes the effort to invite other Forces to come and enjoy our English weather!

Traditionally the weather is overcast and raining for arrivals and practice displays making photography difficult but being professional we got the job done.

One of the static aircraft highlights included three Romanian Mig-21 Lancer aircraft which are currently on deployment and working with 617 Squadron at RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland. Landing in two pairs with the second pair delaying in the circuit for traffic reasons. Once landed an RAF Tornado ran in and broke. One has to imagine the radio chatter between the Tornado and the tower ... “Are we under attack?!, God Dam! There’s Migs everywhere!”
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wad05_f-16d_1.jpg wad05_f-16d_2.jpg wad05_m2k_1.jpg The Greeks acknowledged their invite by providing an F-16D, interesting to see it was a Block 52 two seat version with the upper fuselage section being square. This increases the Falcons fuel carrying capability.

The French also showed their support for Waddington’s airshow event by providing a Mirage 2000D aircraft for the static. Also to appear in the static was a French Alpha Jet from the same unit as the one in the flying programme.

American F-15E Eagles took time out of their busy flying schedule and made the short hop (in flying terms) from RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk, home to three United States Air Force in Europe (USAFE) Units.
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A German Tornado IDS from JaboG 31 and a pair of Turkish F-4 Phantoms all did there part to fill out the static line up and add some much needed variation.

RAF Aircraft participation is always strong with Jaguars, Hawks, Harriers Tornado F.3 and GR.4 variants. Also a RAF Sentry Airborne Early Warning aircraft and a Tucano trainer attended the event.

The flying display included a Hawk T.1A which has been nicely decorated with 'flames' for the 2005 display season.

Making a nice change for the season of 2005 the Jaguar GR.3 display will be flown in a 41 Squadron machine. The responsibility of airshow event flying has been taken over by 41, after the disbandment of 16 (R) earlier in the year.
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wad05_25sqn.jpg wad05_12sqn.jpg wad05_14sqn_1.jpg Being in close proximity to Fighter bases, Waddington had Tornado F.3 examples from the Squadrons of 11 and 25 both from RAF Leeming in Yorkshire.

12 Squadron showed off their anniversary scheme for ninety years of the Squadron! And another GR.4 of interest was a specially painted example from 14 Squadron displayed in a striking blue scheme.

Both Tornado display routines weren’t very inspiring to watch. I didn’t feel I had to run to the recruiting stand and sign up! Although the F.3 and GR.4 variants have different roles one would have found it difficult to determine which is which judging from the displays.
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Piloted by 29 (R) Squadron, the Typhoon was thrown around the skies of Waddington with a high degree of confidence. Being the first event in the United Kingdom where the Eurofighter Typhoon was fully displayed by a Royal Air Force Squadron Pilot, giving a good insight into its capabilities. A single seat example was in the static offering an office tour for the public. “ELSIE” from the Operational Conversion Unit (OCU) of 17 (R) Squadron informed me, the Squadron currently has three single seat machines and he proudly stated the static example was only three weeks old!

This years show had a large rotary wing presence with Dutch Apaches, Army Air Corps Apaches and Merlins, and Royal Navy Sea Kings and Lynx helicopters. Possibly the rarest helicopter ever seen at Waddington was a S-70B-2 Seahawk from the Australian Navy. Off the frigate HMAS Anzac which is anchored at Portsmouth taking part in the Trafalgar celebrations.

The Belgians were also in the flying schedule displaying their F-16 AM Fighting Falcon. Unfortunately for show watchers on Saturday John Vandebosch the display pilot from 31 Tiger Squadron had a technical problem and disappointedly had to end his routine short.
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wad05_f-16am_1.jpg wad05_f-16am_2.jpg wad05_f-16am_5.jpg The winner by far for afterburner aerobatics has to be the Hungarian Mig-29 Fulcrum. The Pilot from the 59th Tactical Fighter Wing based at Szentgyorgyi Dezso Air Base, spoiled the reheat fans. High G turns, fast passes, a cobra and of course being a Russian Built Fighter we got, not one but two Tail Slides! It’s hard to believe the Mig-29 Fulcrum is not a “Fly by Wire” platform. A truly excellent aircraft superbly displayed.

Final Word :
Waddington seems to suffer from decreasing numbers of foreign participants but the Royal Air Force always turns up in force.

Special thanks to :
The Community Relations Office and
all the personnel from 51 squadron at
Royal Air Force Waddington.
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Report and photos by Andrew Philpott ( view portfolio )