(Reading time: 7 - 14 minutes)

RIAT 2007Where? RAF Fairford, UK
When? 14-15/07/2007

RIAT… Fairford... THE military air show well known among air show enthusiasts. No wonder as it is the biggest event worldwide of this kind. Due to the commercialisation of the show and the high fees that will await you there during one week-end only I have resisted to go there for a long time. But this year I finally decided to attend the biggest (and best?) military air show on the globe to get my own opinion, and experience the flair of being there.

Though the legendary days when RIAT saw the amazing participations of eastern build jets are already over, it still remains very interesting as it attracts many exotic aircraft. In 2007 the expected highlight was the appearance of the restored Vulcan XH558, but some weeks before the week-end in July it became clearer and clearer that this will not be the case. So we have to wait one more year or another to see this impressive bomber in the skies above Fairford. But the announced appearance of an Omani BAC 1-11 and Indian Su-30 made the decision easy to book my flight already some months in advance.

Wednesday, July 11th

Though the trip to Fairford began very British flying from Munich on-board British Airways' oldest A320-100 (G-BUSB) to London Heathrow Airport. Arriving there we had one hour delay which was not that bad because in the last sunlight I was still able to take some nice photos of wide bodies leaving the airport to foreign destinations. Furthermore the traffic on London's ring road M25 was already gone and the drive towards Fairford was easy. A quick stop at a filling station to get an ice cream and something for next day’s breakfast put an end to that day.

a quick stop at London Heathrow (LHR)

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Cessna O-1 Bird Dog air-air photography
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When? September 2016

Flying low over the jungle on tree top level the exploits of the Cessna O-1E Bird Dog in South East Asia are legendary. However, this venerable warbird is maybe one of the lesser known and unglamorous aircraft types flown during the Vietnam War, being manned by USAF and South Vietnamese pilots. Nevertheless some of the Bird Dog’s relive a renaissance today, as they are a cheap and affordable warbird, and a joy to fly!

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When? 22-23/09/2012

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Phantom Pharewell Photo Phlight

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Luftwaffe / WTD61 F-4F Phantom II air-air
Where? Bavaria, Germany
When? 07/2013

The months of June and July 2013 saw the final operations of German F-4F Phantoms. With Jagdgeschwader 71 "R" at Wittmund officially putting Luftwaffe Phantom operations to an end and handing over the QRA task to the Eurofighter, the two Manching-based Phantoms were the last German examples to soldier on for some more days. During those final days also arose a unique photo opportunity - a Phantastic "Phantom Pharewell Photo Phlight"!

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