Red Arrows base to host inaugural airshow
RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire – home of the Red Arrows – is opening its gates to the public for the first time on 9-10 September when it hosts the inaugural Scampton Airshow.
The show aims to attract visitors from across the East of England with the promise of a feast of flying, including international participants. It will be majoring on the region’s rich aviation heritage, with the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight set to make a special 60th Anniversary flypast featuring the Lancaster and four Spitfires. Called the ‘Thompson Display’, after BBMF co-founder Wing Commander Peter Thompson, this flypast will only be performed at two UK airshows this summer.
Along with a number of RAF operational aircraft such as the Typhoon and Tornado, the airshow will also feature a Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 Hornet, thus renewing the RCAF’S long relationship with Lincolnshire that dates back to WWII when thousands of Canadian airmen were based in ‘Bomber County’ serving within the RAF’S Bomber, Coastal and Fighter Commands. One bomber unit, 420 Squadron, was formed at RAF Waddington near Lincoln in December 1941, and flew more than 530 sorties in eight months before transferring to Yorkshire where the bulk of the RCAF bomber squadrons were based. Three land-based Canadian Coastal Command squadrons were also located in Lincolnshire, at RAF North Coates and RAF Strubby, and many of the RCAF’S Fighter Command units were also based in the area for periods of the war. One, 401 Squadron which then flew Spitfires, is still operating today flying the CF-18. Organisers are keeping fingers’ crossed that their CF-18S will come ‘home’ to Scampton.
Taking centre stage in the flying display will be the Red Arrows, whose home RAF Scampton has been since 1983, aside from a brief spell at RAF Cranwell in the 1990s.
Spectators can expect to be treated to the trademark combination of close formation and precision flying from the world’s premier aerobatic display team as they perform over their home turf under the leadership of Sqn Ldr David Montenegro. Other notable aircraft taking part include a Catalina flying boat, an F-16 Fighting Falcon from the Royal Netherlands Air Force, a French Air Force Alpha Jet, a Calidus autogyro and the Breitling Wingwalkers.
Scampton Airshow tickets can only be purchased in advance at scamptonairshow.com They are priced at £39, with all under 16s able to enjoy the airshow free when accompanied by an adult ticket-holder.
RAF Scampton has been home to the Red Arrows since 1983