I have been lucky enough to have attended ten different events in the UK this year and I have also seen hundreds of different aircraft perform. I feel there have been some displays worthy of recognition and have thus categorised what I consider the best performances of the 2015 season.
The Best Display by a British Military Aircraft goes to the “Synchro Pair” that displayed at the Biggin Hill Festival of Flight as part of the commemorations of the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain and consisted of a specially painted Royal Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon FGR.4 and the veteran Supermarine Spitfire Mk. IIA from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.
The Best Display by a Foreign Military Aircraft goes to the French Air Force’s Ramex Delta with their two Dassault Mirage 2000N nuclear strike aircraft which made their UK airshows debut at the Royal International Air Tattoo where they put on a highly dynamic and noisy role demonstration.
The Best Display by a Military Aerobatic Team goes to the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, The Red Arrows for their amazing display at the Biggin Hill Festival of Flight where the team also flew with five of the fighters from the Battle of Britain Memorial Fight to pay tribute to the Battle of Britain’s 75th Anniversary.
The Best Display by a Civilian Aerobatic Team goes to The Yakovlevs for their graceful routine that they flew at the Biggin Hill Festival of Flight in the gloomy weather.
The Best Display by a Classic Jet goes to the Avro Vulcan B.2 for its spectacular display it put on for the crowds at the Royal International Air Tattoo as part of its farewell tour before being retired.
The Best Display by a Rotary Aircraft was the UK debut of the Bell-Boeing CV-22B Osprey from the United States Air Force Special Operations Command which put on a demonstration of its capabilities at the Royal International Air Tattoo.
The Best Display by a Warbird goes to the Flying Bulls’ Lockheed P-38L Lightning for its display at the Duxford Flying Legends show which incorporated a smoke system for some surprising aerobatic manoeuvres.
The Best Display by an Aerobatic Aircraft goes to Mark Jefferies’ Extra EA-330SC for its extremely energetic routine during the last show of the season, the Shuttleworth Uncovered Airshow held at Old Warden Aerodrome.
The Best Role Demo or Set Piece at an Airshow goes to the Battle of Britain Dogfight at the Duxford Battle of Britain Anniversary Airshow as part of the commemorations of the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain. The set piece featured a pair of Hispano HA-1112-M1L Buchons from Aircraft Restoration Company and Spitfire Ltd, The Aircraft Restoration Company’s Nord 1002 Pingouin II, a veteran Hawker Hurricane Mk. I and the Imperial War Museum’s Supermarine Spitfire Mk. IA.
The Best Formation at an Airshow goes to the formation where the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, The Red Arrows led the Avro Vulcan B.2 for two very special flypasts at the Royal International Air Tattoo and marked the delta jet’s final appearance at the show.
The Best Static Aircraft on Display goes to the Japan Maritime Self Defence Force’s Kawasaki P-1 which made aviation history at the Royal International Air Tattoo with its first appearance at an airshow in Europe alongside the second example that performed in the flying display.
The Best Painted Aircraft on Display goes to the Hellenic Air Force’s Lockheed-Martin F-16C Fighting Falcon which was making its UK debut at the Royal International Air Tattoo and sported a very striking ‘Zeus’ scheme. The jet is operated by the 340th Fighter-Bomber Squadron “Fox” which is part of the 115th Combat Wing.
But all in all, the Best Overall Display of the Year goes to the Avro Vulcan B.2 for its phenomenal performance at the Royal International Air Tattoo as part of its farewell tour which also saw the iconic jet bomber flying in formation with the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, The Red Arrows.
And finally I feel that the best airshow of the 2015 season was the Royal International Air Tattoo which featured a huge number of varied displays from all over world with some spectacular debuts and set pieces commemorating the Battle of Britain and the final displays of the Vulcan bomber as well as the impressive static displays which are constantly improving in both quality and quantity.
For more photos from the 2015 season you can check out the albums on Flickr
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