If there is one service that will triumph through adversity, it’s the Royal Navy. 2009 saw the 100th Anniversary of Naval Aviation making the two naval shows at Yeovilton and Culdrose very important events. Sadly, the British weather put a major spanner in the works for both events which is probably why they’ve both been included in this one DVD as two productions – 60 minutes for Yeovilton and 35 for Culdrose.
Coverage for Yeovilton starts appropriately enough on the arrivals day to capture the only oppotunities to see the Harrier GR9s, Hunter F58s and Vulcan in the air. MOving on to show day, the impressive opening balbo is covered well both from the ground and the air. The airborne coverage come from the cockpit from Kennet Aviation’s Wasp and captures the very low cloud very well as well the massive crowds at Yeovilton. As ever the remaining displays are captured well, particularly the French Air Force Rafale’s “weather check!”
Coverage of the Commando assault mixes footage from the Friday as well as the main show on Saturday diving the viewer the chance to see the full show. It looks as though it was a great finale and hopefully can be repeated at the 2010 event in better weather! Sadly interviews are in short supply and once again, there’s a short clip of the pilot’s briefing without amy snippets of background information that would benefit the production.
If Yeovilton was affected by weather, Culdrose was very never wiped out by solid rain which only just relented in the early evening. Culdrose’s coverage does feature interviews though which is welcome. Many of the display are repeated from Yeovilton and they are featured with just the ambient airshow sounds recorded in stereo. Towards the end of the the clouds broke and there were several further displays covered including the Catalina, Team Guinot and Typhoon. The bright clear blue skies and moist air are the perfect conditions for the Sea Vixen to produce some spectacular wingtip streamers and vapour!
The only interactive footage on this DVD is from the Wasp at Yeovilton joining John Beattie in the cockpit. This allows for some stunning views of the showground from the air for real pilots eye view of proceedings.
Because of the importance of Fly Navy 100, this is a very interesting and worthwhile DVD despite the difficulties of filming in such poor weather.