The 2014 RAF Waddington International Air Show was another hugely successful edition of the event. One of just two Royal Air Force sponsored events, the show is the biggest annual showcase for the service providing spectators who descend on Lincolnshire from around the UK and beyond a superb demonstration of Air Power.
The show’s official souvenir DVD has been produced in the past few years by The Media Group (TMG.) TMG produce a wide variety of multimedia productions, and that experience certainly shines though in their airshow coverage which provides much more that simple highlights from the flying displays.
Interviews and small features are interspersed throughout the production which gives the viewer a much wider experience looking not only at the many aircraft on show, but also the personnel who work behind the scenes for the display teams. Particularly poignant for 2014 was a look at Waddington’s First World War history as a training base for the Royal Flying Corps. Moving forward 100 Years, there are features about Waddington’s latest additions, the RC-135W Rivet Joint of 51 Squadron and a look at 13 Squadron’s Ground stations for the Afghanistan based MQ-9 Reapers.
The main theme of the show was the 50th Display Season for the RAF Red Arrows and again there is much more than just the Red Arrows display and their memorable flypast with the Hunter and Gnats. Interviewees include Red 1 Squadron Leader Jim Turner and Red 4 Flight Lieutenant Oliver Parr. It is also good to see the Blues, the Red Arrows ground crew, receive attention with an “Access All Areas” feature with Circus 6, Kev Healey.
Several of the static line aircraft are also featured with aircrew interviews including the Chipmunk, US Navy P-8A Poseidon and the Newcastle Jet Provost Groups Jet Provost T Mk.3A.
All of the flying displays are covered in the DVD narrated by Waddington’s Senior Commentator Ben Dunnell. The coverage of the flying display flows much better than previous editions of the Waddington DVD with less interruption from “graphic effects” and some superb mini-cam coverage from the RAF Falcons and the Turkish Air Force F-16 solo display. There were of course many highlights of the Waddington flying display including the Swedish Air Force Historic Flight’s SAAB Draken and Viggen, the return of the Bronco Demo Team and the UK debut of Patrulla ASPA.
Closing the production is a look at the gathering of Avro Vulcan, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Avro Lancaster and the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museums Avro Lancaster that took place in August. It was a unique occasion and certainly one that reflects the history of RAF Waddington, the RAF presence in Lincolnshire and Bomber Command. It is unfortunate that footage of the actual formation is all too brief, but for various operation reasons the Vulcan and Lancaster Formation did not overfly Waddington itself.
This is the best RAF Waddington International Airshow DVD to date and is a worthy record of the weekend. It provides much more than a simple record of the flying with some excellent interviews and supporting features that add a greater depth to the airshow coverage promoting the work of RAF Waddington and the wider Royal Air Force.