The inaugural Scampton Airshow has been hailed by organisers as a huge success with more than 50,000 people attending the event at RAF Scampton over the weekend. In total, 104 aircraft took part in the airshow, 41 in the flying display and 63 in the static line-up.
Aerial highlights included a display by a civilian Boeing 727, an oil spill response aircraft which demonstrated its environmental capabilities by dramatically spraying the runway with water. There was also a special joint flypast by the Reds and an RAF Sentinel.
On the Saturday, visitors were treated to an evocative and moving display by the BBMF Lancaster which was joined by a Spitfire and Hurricane. On Sunday, a US Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker from the New Hampshire Air National Guard performed a special flypast from its deployed base at Geilenkirchen, in Germany. The airshow climaxed on both days with a dynamic Typhoon display, performed by Flt Lt Ryan Lawton from 29 Sqn based at nearby RAF Coningsby.
International participation included stunning fast jet displays by a French Alpha Jet and Belgian F-16 which raised both decibel levels and pulses around the airshow to the delight of the many visitors.
On the ground, visitors could view seldom seen gems provided by Scampton-based Hawker Hunter Aviation including a Sukhoi Su-22M4, a Buccaneer and a former Luftwaffe F-4F Phantom. They were joined by a quartet of rare visitors from the Swedish AF Historic Flight.
Guests who attended the airshow included the Chief of the Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach; Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier and the last surviving British member of the legendary Dambusters Raid, 95-year-old George ‘Johnny’ Johnson.
Other special guests included the Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire, Toby Dennis; Gainsborough MP, Sir Edward Leigh; the High Sheriff of Lincolnshire, Andrew Clark and Lincolnshire County Council CEO Tony McArdle. Representing Northrop Grumman, the airshow’s title sponsor, was John Parker, Sector Vice President, GM Technical Services.
The Scampton Airshow was particularly poignant for Squadron Leader Mike Ling, who performed his last UK commentary as a member of the Red Arrows, having joined the aerobatic display team in 2008. He said: “It’s been an amazing experience.”
The event’s emergency services team said there were very few incidents reported over the weekend.
Scampton Airshow Chief Executive Andy Armstrong said the event’s success had exceeded his expectations.
He said: “Launching a new airshow involves a huge amount of planning and I must pay tribute to the many agencies that have come together to deliver a very safe and successful event. We had our fair share of sunshine amongst a few short showers but this failed to dampen the spirits of our very enthusiastic and supportive visitors. It was great to see so many people enjoying themselves over the weekend.”