Flying high - Summer Farnborough International Airshow
PUBLISHED: 16:53 14 December 2010 | UPDATED: 17:37 20 February 2013
This summer Farnborough International Airshow flies into Hampshire. Charlotte Tomlinson-White reveals what all the fuss is about
Renowned for its long-standing aviation links, no other site in the UK and perhaps the world can claim a closer and more continuous connection with the history of flight than Farnborough airfield. With its aerodrome, test centres and research laboratories, many significant aviation moments have taken place at Farnborough, including breaking the sound barrier.
Initially established with one single mission to introduce the public to the best in aviation engineering the airshow invited British people and companies to share their products and innovation, an invitation that was extended to Europe and eventually, the rest of the world, hence Farnborough International was born.
The airshow wasnt always held at Farnborough. Previously located at Hendon from 1932-1936, Hatfield in 1973 and Radlett in 1946, the show was moved to Farnborough for numerous reasons it was relatively close to London, had good road and rail access and didnt interfere with main flight paths. It also had ample parking space for spectators as well as room to expand the show.
Farnborough Aerodrome has been home to the airshow since 1948, the same year in which it first endured a week and admitted the public. Previous shows were exclusively reserved for those in the trade. The show had 187 exhibiting companies with 70 aircraft on display.
As one of the worlds most iconic global aviation events, the Farnborough International Airshow holds a prominent position on the aerospace calendar. Each show gets bigger and better and 2010 is set to be the most exciting yet.
What to expect
A week-long event starting on Monday, July 19 and concluding on Sunday, July 25, with the five week days set aside for trade and the weekend open to the public.
The Farnborough Airshow brings you more than just flying demonstrations; other spectacles include performances, simulators and exhibitions.
The world class skateboard, BMX and inline skate display troupe, Team Extreme, will be making an appearance.
Step into the shoes of a pilot and hop into one of a selection of simulators. Why not embrace the full flight experience of a Spitfire or Red Arrows Hawk?
Dont forget to wander through the new Space Pavilion to marvel at the static aircraft and investigate the exhibition halls. Dedicated to Futures in Aerospace, the Space Zone will include Roaming Robots and Build-A-Plain.
Attracting a lot of attention will be the Bloodhound Supersonic Car; why not delve into the engineering adventure behind the bid to break the world land speed record?
Children will love the crowd entertainers and costume characters, as well as the Crafty Arty Party. Plus a funfair with whole host of rides, including carousels, bouncy castles and climbing walls. Best of all, kids go free courtesy of Rolls-Royce.
Theres also a wide range of food and drink outlets including outdoor food courts, cafe bars and a brasserie-style restaurant you can even order a gourmet picnic hamper from Vallandry Londons French culinary institution. Very tasty.
Did you know?
You can test drive executive jets at the show? By prior arrangement millionaires, celebrities and top business people get to try before they buy literally walking up to the one they like and get in with test flights taking place at the beginning and end of the show.
Concorde made its first appearance in 1979. This was an unscheduled unveiling unusual summer weather meant the super-sonic passenger aircraft was diverted from Fairford to Farnborough, much to viewers delight.
The Airshow has its own mascot? Captain Farnborough made his debut in 2004 and makes appearances at the pre-show and over the public days. The friendly pilot acts as an Ambassador and people have become accustomed to seeing him at the show.
Stringent safety measures to protect spectators at air shows were introduced after an accident at the 1952 Airshow. The De Havilland 110 Sea Vixen broke the sound barrier and then disintegrated over
the on-lookers, showering them in debris. 63 people were injured and the final death toll was 31 including the pilot John Derry, the first British pilot to exceed the speed of sound in the UK. As a result aerobatics displays are kept within a defined box and jets a set distance from the crowd.
The last show saw a whopping 285,636 people attend, 153,000 of which were public visitors.
The Red Arrows have appeared at Farnborough 112 times to date? They first appeared on September 4, 1966.
This years four-and-a-half hour flying display has a historical theme. Two ME109s and two Spitfires will be dogfighting over the Hampshire skies to mark the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. They will be joined by an authentic Mark 1 Hawker Hurricane R441, another veteran plane from WW2.
Demonstrations by the Shuttleworth Collection Bristol Fighter, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and the Royal Navy Historic Flight, plus the thundering mighty B52 bomber, will continue the nostalgic theme.
Show favourites the Black Cats Helicopter display team and the Blades will be demonstrating their flying skills, whilse top aerobatic pilot Mark Jeffries will be flying an Extra 330 SC. Routines by the giant Airbus A380 and the powerful F22 Raptor are set to be equally as impressive. Not forgetting the nations favourite aerobatic team the Red Arrows.
Did you know?
Farnboroughs first true test pilot was American Franklin Samuel Cody who achieved the first sustained powered flight in the UK in 1908. He was killed five years later when he crashed his Waterplane in the north-western corner of the current airfield site.
Farnborough International Airshow is the worlds largest temporary exhibition? With 600 tonnes of temporary structures transported to the site and some 6,000 contractors creating the exhibition halls, company facilities, dining areas and chalets, it takes four months to get the site ready for the show.
Farnborough International Airshow doesnt just benefit aviation fans, it supports the local economy generating about
19 million during the show.