We live very close to Farnborough Airfield. In fact, from the flat where I used to live a few years ago, you could see the airfield from the living room window. We are now round the corner and can’t see it, but we certainly hear it sometimes.
This week has been the bi-annual Farnborough International Airshow. Weekdays are the commercial days when the companies are doing their best to sell new aircraft (and missiles) to each other. At the weekend, it is open to the public.
We’d been to the last show in 2004, but since we live nearby and it is a major event, we took Ola’s parents, her sisters, and my mother with us to the show on Saturday. On balance, the fact that we’d been away for the rest of the week was a great decision, since the Airbus A380 was in the air every day, and the noise can be unbearable during the practice periods.
As far as Ola and I are concerned, the highlight of the show is always the Red Arrows display. Absolutely stunning to watch. Not so interesting this year, as the weather was beginning to get very bad as they started on Saturday… in fact I think there were rumbles of thunder and lightning while they were in the air… in previous years they have drawn flowers and hearts in the sky. They are still an amazing team, if you have never seen them then do try to get to a show where they are flying.
IBM had a presence. Interestingly, I didn’t see any of our competitors.
More here. The weather was grey for much of the day, so the shots are lacking colour in places, and I was shooting JPEG in Sports mode to get a nice fast shutter speed for the aerial displays, generally at the long end of my 70-200mm lens… some of the shots are more grainy than I’d like, but I got one or two great shots I’m pleased with. I haven’t uploaded all of them to Flickr just yet.
Overall, the show was pretty good. It was a shame about the weather… Saturday started off burning hot, but by around lunchtime when the flying displays began, it was getting stormy, and we missed probably a couple of hours of the display by sheltering in the exhibition hall trying to get some cups of tea (which did, in fact, take about 45 minutes of queueing). On the other hand, the weather forced us to look around indoors a lot more – not sure the exhibitors really had enough freebies to cope with the sudden rush of people when it got wet, though! The only real disappointment was that apart from the A380, it was very similar to the last show in 2004, the static aircraft displays were in the same places, the planes in flight were nearly the same… obviously not a lot has changed in the aerospace industry in 2 years.