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Fairford Area Trip  
User currently offlineptrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 3906 posts, RR: 19
Posted (2 years 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 7732 times:

Hello all,

Having five days off from next Saturday I'm belatedly planning to take my car through the Chunnel to visit RIAT on Sunday and Monday (departure day). I'm thinking of staying in Bath. Is this a sound idea, if I get up early enough on Sunday? I've never been to RIAT before. Is any type of special ticket worth the money in your opinion?

Then on Tuesday and Wednesday I'd like to visit some other bases, airports, airfields (I like classic general aviaton stuff) or aviation museums. Is there anything you'd recommend for good photography opportunities and good traffic? What about the museums in Yeovilton, Weston Super Mare and Middle Wallop? Are there any nice preserved aircraft in the open on the way from Dover?

Thanks for any tips and ideas,

Peter 


The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
27 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineCaptainKramer From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2012, 225 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (2 years 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 7701 times:

Hi ptrjong,

If you decide to go you will need to buy your ticket online, in the form of a printable eticket, as there are no tickets availble to buy at the gate on the day.

I have only been to RIAT once before by train, travelling on the day, so I can't give advice about travel by car. Bath is a great town, very photogenic, but there is also Swindon, which is a bit closer in terms of distance to RIAT.

Accommodation is another matter, as I imagine that there might not be much left, but you never know unless you try. If you do go with Swindon and find accommodation, you have the option of leaving your car at the Hotel and catch a free courtesy bus from the Swindon Railway Station to RIAT, which runs from early in the morning till early evening. All times can be found on the RIAT website.

There is also the option of buying a park and view ticket which will give you access to the East and West end of the RAF Fairford runway for departures on Monday.You can find out all you need to know if you go to the RIAT 2012 website, including arrival times for aircraft leading up to the event.

In terms of Aviation Museums you can't do much better than Duxford Air Museum near Cambridge. U.K. Military and Commercial Aviation is well represented as is the U.S Air Force with it's own dedicated hangar. You need 2 days to really take it all in, but a day will suffice. You just missed Flying Legends 2012 at Duxford which is a shame, because you would of seen WWII Warbirds tearing up the sky. Maybe next year.

I just visited the RIAT 2012 website, and they have confirmed the B2 Stealth Bomber to feature in the static display, so should be a great reason to visit.

Good Luck.

[Edited 2012-07-02 16:18:04]

[Edited 2012-07-02 16:25:52]

User currently onlinescbriml From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 12393 posts, RR: 46
Reply 2, posted (2 years 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 7630 times:
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If you're going to RIAT make sure you pack the following:

Wellies
Waterproofs
Inflatable lift-raft
Winter survival kit

Seriously, it's looking like yet another grim RIAT weather-wise.   



Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana!
User currently offlineTristarAtLCA From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2007, 616 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (2 years 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 7563 times:

Quoting scbriml (Reply 2):
Seriously, it's looking like yet another grim RIAT weather-wise

I even bought the option ticket to hedge my bets!!!

Looks like its going to be my third miserable RIAT in row (I missed the nice day a couple of years ago).   



If you was right..................I'd agree with you
User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 4, posted (2 years 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 7551 times:

Peter, the current forecast for the Monday is pretty good so if it stays that way I will most likely be at Fairford for the departures.

Cheers,

Karl


User currently offlineEGCC777LR From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 162 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (2 years 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 7538 times:
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Quoting JakTrax (Reply 4):
Fairford for the departures

Hi Karl,

What time do departures start / finish approx

Cheers
Jason



Flown On B704,722,732/3/4/7/8/9,744,752,762/3/4,772,77W,A319,A320,A321,A330,A388,L1011,F-50,BAE146,CRJ100, Dash-8. Left
User currently onlinedendrobatid From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2004, 1664 posts, RR: 62
Reply 6, posted (2 years 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 7514 times:
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Quoting EGCC777LR (Reply 5):
What time do departures start / finish approx

The Park and View as it is called opens at 0730 - tickets are (now) £20
http://www.airtattoo.com/airshow/airshow-tickets/park-view

Aircraft start leaving at about 0800 and the action is pretty intense until early afternoon so you see most of the aircraft in a very short time. A timetable of the departures is usually available (at a price) in the park and view area

Mick Bajcar


User currently offlineGPHOTO From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 829 posts, RR: 25
Reply 7, posted (2 years 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 7510 times:
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Looks like Monday will be the best day this year for photographs. 

As I have a ticket, I am determined to go on the show days, but if it is going to rain all day, I shall sit in the car, in the car park with a note pad and some aviation books and catch up on some historical research! The weather in the UK has been awful for aviation enthusiasts this year after a dry winter and my garden is infested with slugs and snails at the moment, which is unusual, so it must have been very wet indeed recently.

Monday is well worth a visit as pretty much everything leaves so you can catch the static items ..... not being static. Where you go, East or West end depends on wind direction and preference of shot type. In some respects I prefer the departures day, it's something very different from the usual airshow experience and due to the large number of attendees at RIAT, it's a pretty constant flow of action from morning to early afternoon.

Peter, I can thoroughly recommend the Fleet Air Arm Museum at Yeovilton. Photography can be tricky as there are a lot of aircraft in a small space, but that is true of pretty much any museum, so I am sure you know the score. This museum is a must see, both for the types of aircraft on show and the incredible 'Carrier' exhibition. This is a high quality exhibition where a hangar has been mocked up to act like the deck of an aircraft carrier.

The International Helicopter Museum at Weston-super-Mare is also well worth a visit. It's fairly traditional and standard fair as regards layout (a hangar full of helicopters) and cramped in places, but the nature of the exhibits and the knowledge of the staff is excellent, so don't let that put you off, I loved my trip there. There is a full spectrum of helicopters on view here,with an emphasis on home-grown products as you would expect.

You can search for photos for both locations here on the website, but I'll message you a link to my photos from inside the FAA museum, to help split them off from the general airshow photos.

Best regards,

Jim



Erm, is this thing on?
User currently offlineptrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 3906 posts, RR: 19
Reply 8, posted (2 years 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 7490 times:

Dear all,

Many thanks for the replies, including the private mesages.

I've meanwhile bouht an e-ticket for Sunday, and I found cheap accomodation at the university in Bath, simple but a bed and a socke in the wall is really all I need. I could still tak the train to Swindon but geting up early an drive is the best strategy I gues.

Quoting GPHOTO (Reply 7):
In some respects I prefer the departures day, it's something very different from the usual airshow experience and due to the large number of attendees at RIAT, it's a pretty constant flow of action from morning to early afternoon.

Yes, I'm looking forward to Monday especially.

I'd like to do Yeovilton and Weston on Tuesday. Of course there's also Farnborough, but 'm not sure it's my cup of tea.

I'll leave Duxford for another time. I must say the prices for the Chunnel crossing are not bad, and there's also the ferry to Newcastle close to my home, so I'm going to pay more attention to the cradle of spotting.

Peter 



The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 9, posted (2 years 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 7452 times:

Is the 'park and view' the best place to be or is there somewhere around the perimeter where you can catch them just airborne?

Cheers,

Karl

[Edited 2012-07-04 07:53:28]

User currently onlinedendrobatid From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2004, 1664 posts, RR: 62
Reply 10, posted (2 years 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 7420 times:
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Quoting JakTrax (Reply 9):
is there somewhere around the perimeter where you can catch them just airborne?

Karl
To get them just airborne you need to be in the Grandstand which is Friends of RIAT, the very expensive five (or is it six ?) day ticket. There is no access to the main airfield from the viewing area as that is the other side of a very active taxyway unless you have a Friends ticket
There is a viewing area at each end but if you go to the airborne end most aicraft will be quite high.
Take a look at mine from FFD over the past couple of years and that will give you an idea of what to expect, rather samey but quite close.
If you take ladders there is a seprate enclosure which is not as good as managing without them on departure day

Mick Bajcar


User currently offlineckw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 730 posts, RR: 16
Reply 11, posted (2 years 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 7339 times:

Looking at the forecast, I would recommend driving to Swindon and catching the shuttle bus - sure, you will be able to park at Fairford, but getting out might be another matter - its likely to turn into a swamp! (took me 6 hours one year).

If you like GA, and are in the area, you might want to check out Compton Abbas - one of the prettiest airfields I know, but not sure there will be a lot of activity mid week.

Cheers,

Colin



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
User currently offlineptrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 3906 posts, RR: 19
Reply 12, posted (2 years 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 7266 times:

Thanks Colin, parking in Swindon is a very good idea.

Peter 



The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
User currently offlineGPHOTO From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 829 posts, RR: 25
Reply 13, posted (2 years 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 7230 times:
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It's absolutely pouring with rain here in Worcester and has been for most of the day - looks like conditions at Fairford might be interesting.

I've already packed my mac, but I might need to find my wellies too!

Can anyone report on conditions at FFD?

Best regards,

Jim



Erm, is this thing on?
User currently offlineEGCC777LR From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 162 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (2 years 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 7227 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
PHOTO SCREENER

Quoting ckw (Reply 11):
Looking at the forecast, I would recommend driving to Swindon and catching the shuttle bus

Hi Colin,

Whats the situation with this for Monday, does it still run then, or are you suggesting this mainly for Sat and Sun?

Thanks
Jason



Flown On B704,722,732/3/4/7/8/9,744,752,762/3/4,772,77W,A319,A320,A321,A330,A388,L1011,F-50,BAE146,CRJ100, Dash-8. Left
User currently offlineckw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 730 posts, RR: 16
Reply 15, posted (2 years 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 7215 times:

AFAIK, the shuttle is only on the weekend - but it shouldn't be such a problem on Monday as there are far less cars trying to get through the various choke points all at the same time!

Cheers,

Colin



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
User currently offlineAlexC From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2007, 60 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (2 years 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 7140 times:

Weather is dire this morning (Saturday) on the south coast. I hear that there's problems at Fairford getting into the field off-base car parks because of mud, OK on base I suppose? Glad that I'm not going this year although it will be the first Tattoo that I've missed since they began at North Weald half a lifetime ago!

User currently onlinescbriml From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 12393 posts, RR: 46
Reply 17, posted (2 years 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 7097 times:
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Friday was awful - it rained all day. The airfield and surrounding area is a mud bath. Hardly anything was flying and visibilty was next to nothing.

Saturday was pretty much more of the same. A brief patch of blue sky and sun mid-morning, but by lunch time the rain had returned. The visibility was better and at least some stuff is actually flying. Cars were getting stuck in the mud getting into the car park. Goodness knows what it will be like trying to get out of them on Sunday.

I was staying at a TravelLodge a few miles from Fairford. I feel sorry for all those camping near the airfield. They're in for a truly horrid time.

The Great Brittish Summer.   



Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana!
User currently offlineTristarAtLCA From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2007, 616 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (2 years 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 7035 times:

Well Peter, I do hope you went on Sunday to RIAT. I just got back and had a great day. After 0730 it spat very lightly a couple of times and then stayed dry the whole day with long periods of sunshine. So much so I didn't pack the sun tan lotion believing it was to be miserable again and have a lobster face and arms for my troubles.   

Quoting scbriml (Reply 17):
Cars were getting stuck in the mud getting into the car park. Goodness knows what it will be like trying to get out of them on Sunday.

The blue car parks were the big concern due to the mud and coming from London that's where we were directed. I struggled to park the Prius with its low friction tyres but managed in the end. A couple of cars couldn't get any traction but they had three tractors on standby so no real problems. After a warm and sunny day no issues getting out although if it had rained it would have been.........interesting!



If you was right..................I'd agree with you
User currently offlinesbworcs From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2005, 836 posts, RR: 5
Reply 19, posted (2 years 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 6912 times:

Quoting GPHOTO (Reply 13):
It's absolutely pouring with rain here in Worcester and has been for most of the day - looks like conditions at Fairford might be interesting.

Interesting - never knew ethere was another person from Worcester on here!!



The best way forwards is upwards!
User currently offlinegphoto From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 829 posts, RR: 25
Reply 20, posted (2 years 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 6895 times:
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Quoting sbworcs (Reply 19):
Interesting - never knew ethere was another person from Worcester on here!!

Everyones got to be somewhere   Pity I live in the what is probably the quietest county in the UK for aviation. Still being centrally located in the country means that you are never too far from anywhere else.

Stick a pin in the map and you can be sure there are a few Anetters nearby, they manage to get everywhere!

Best regards,

Jim



Erm, is this thing on?
User currently offlinegphoto From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 829 posts, RR: 25
Reply 21, posted (2 years 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 6841 times:
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Quoting sbworcs (Reply 19):
Interesting - never knew ethere was another person from Worcester on here!!

By the way, did you catch the Hawk formation flying over Worcester on Sunday 9th July on it's way to Fairford? I counted over 20 in that gaggle.

Best regards,

Jim



Erm, is this thing on?
User currently offlineptrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 3906 posts, RR: 19
Reply 22, posted (2 years 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 6828 times:

Dear all,

Yes, I was there on Sunday and Monday and was extremely lucky with the weather    - apparently the best weather at RIAT for years, despite the generally appalling summer. I thoroughly enjoyed it, not just because of the rare aircraft but also because it's rather better organized too than the average European airshow for photographers, with stairs and large objects prohibited in the front rows, and even large static aircraft fairly clear for photos.    Unfortunately I didn't see Mick and Karl on Monday.

Quoting gphoto (Reply 21):
By the way, did you catch the Hawk formation flying over Worcester on Sunday 9th July on it's way to Fairford? I counted over 20 in that gaggle.

They formed 'E II R'.

On Tuesday the weather was not so good but I voluntarily spent the whole day indoor at Yeovilton after I got there from Bath - I'm suprised how mediocre some of the A roads are. The FAA Museum, though, is very good, especially the wonderfully well done aircrat carrier experience. It's a shame though that the rare WW II aircraft are all displayed with their wings folded - it saves space of course but really does them no justice.

Yesterday I first returned to Kemble to get the beautiful Bristol Brittannia preserved there in good light - and ran into the wreck of the OV-10 Bronco that crashed there on Tuesday afternoon. The pilot is in hospital in Bristol. I hope to get a picture accepted today.

I then went to the Helicopter Museum in Weston-super-Mare which is unfortunately way too crowded, but still interesting. All in all a very nice trip, thanks for the help

Peter  



The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 23, posted (2 years 2 weeks 3 days ago) and read 6794 times:

Hi folks,

Thanks to all for the info provided; unfortunately I looked at forecasts for the Monday (departure day) and decided to give it a miss! Glad I did too as no shots I've seen from that day feature sunshine!

As an alternative I thought I'd give FAB a go, but hearing various stories I kncoked that on the head too!

Maybe next time.....

Cheers,

Karl


User currently offlineGaryck From United Kingdom, joined May 2008, 298 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (2 years 2 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 6781 times:
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Quoting JakTrax (Reply 23):
Hi folks,

Thanks to all for the info provided; unfortunately I looked at forecasts for the Monday (departure day) and decided to give it a miss! Glad I did too as no shots I've seen from that day feature sunshine!

As an alternative I thought I'd give FAB a go, but hearing various stories I kncoked that on the head too!

Maybe next time.....

Cheers,

Karl

There may have been a lack of sun, but for the most it was a great day with some good traffic, Shots will start appearing over the next few days on here I would've thought, and as for FAB, been a fair amount of sun the last few days if you look at whats going on to the site.



Keep your Ladders close, but your camera closer
25 sbworcs : I did catch them - but did not manage to count them. Was standing in the Tesco carpark looking light a right idiot staring at the sky!!
26 tonyosborne : I am not sure which Fairford you were at, but it certainly wasn't the one in Gloucestershire. Saturday had a couple of downpours in the morning, but
27 Post contains links and images dendrobatid : There were 27....... View Large View MediumPhoto © Mick Bajcar Mick
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