Friday at Fairford my day at RIAT

Well, Friday was spent at the first day of Fairford RIAT 2014. Despite it being a cloudy day I still managed to get sunburnt and the clouds were high enough to not affect any of the flying displays. It was a nice day but exhausting and was pretty tired by the end of the day. The Red Arrows of course were the star attraction of the day as the F-35 was cancelled due to engine problems back in the USA. I managed to take 600 images so this is a very very very small selection of the day.

And as I understand it the good people of Swindon got a really good view of the Red Arrows as they flew over a couple of times, nice.


Coolist guys on the planet at RAF Fairford

Today I met two of the coolist guys on the planet, well apart from me of course. Let me explain.

I was invited to the Lockheed Martin unveiling/briefing of the new F-16 and F-35 fighter jets. The F-35 has never flown in the UK yet and will do so for the first time at Fairford RIAT this weekend. I got to fly the simulators for both aircraft and was surprised just how easy it was, well compared to flying Chipmunks which is what I did 30 years ago!! It is all computerized now and it was a real pleasure and fun to fly them, especially the F-35. I even got to fly it in the VTOL mode which was pretty cool. But the best bit was meeting the test pilots. They were so interesting to talk and listen to. These guys had thousands of hours flying experience each and were just so cool. A F-35 cost $42M and they talk about flying them as you and I drive our car. They were really enthusiastic and clearly loved their job, well who wouldnt???

After today I am really looking forward to attending RIAT on Friday, great stuff.