RIAT 2018 was going to be a special show with being a full three days helping to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Royal Air Force.
I spent five days at this iconic show, from Thursday – Monday, taking in the final day of arrivals at Park and View West, attending the show on Friday, two days at Totterdown campsite and Monday for departures again at P&V West.
P&V West offered a chance get close to some of the arrivals with larger aircraft being almost close enough to touch. This gave a good opportunity to capture some different shots of the aircraft that were going to be on static display too. Later in the day validation displays were completed by Solo Turk and the Ukrainian SU-27 amongst others in glorious evening light.
Friday was a day to wander the two miles of static aircraft and watch the eight hours of air displays. This year’s show rivalled the shows of old with a large variety of aircraft and Air Forces. There were a number of aircraft that were open to the public to view inside and discuss with the crews about how they use it in service. One of the stars of the show was the Japanese Air Self Defence Force C-2 which was immaculate inside and as if it had never been used, even though it had been in service for over a year.
It was great to see almost all types from the modern RAF with a large amount of privately-owned aircraft showing the history of the RAF from its beginnings in 1918.
The next two days at Totterdown are always more relaxing but exciting too being closer to the action and feeling the power of the jet aircraft overhead. The Aeronautica Militare displays were real highlights with the EF2000 seemingly displaying just for the campers and the Frecce Tricolori appearing from all directions and creating a great spectacle with their final pass.
Monday’s departures gave another opportunity to capture shots of the static aircraft taxiing and on take-off. With an unrestricted view of one of the taxiways and other aircraft completing their start up procedures in front of me it made for some great photos of the crewing in and how they prepare aircraft for departure.
It was another great year for the worlds greatest air show and hopefully next year will be just as good or better.