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 2016 season.
The Best Display by a British Military Aircraft goes to the Eurofighter Typhoon FGR.4 loaded with dummy weapons that was fantastically demonstrated by BAe Systems at the Royal International Air Tattoo.
The Best Display by a Foreign Military Aircraft goes to the extraordinary display by the United States Air Force’s Lockheed-Martin F-22A Raptor of the 1st Fighter Wing at the Royal International Air Tattoo.
The Best Display by a Military Aerobatic Team goes to the Ramex Delta from the French Air Force who were performing their last ever display in the UK before being disbanded at the end of the season. The pair of Dassault Mirage 2000Ns performed an exciting tactical demonstration at the Royal International Air Tattoo.
The Best Display by a Civilian Aerobatic Team goes to the Global Stars Aerobatic Team who performed a stunning aerobatic display at the Shuttleworth Season Premiere Airshow. The team consisted of four masters of the aerobatic arts, Chris Burkett, Mark Jefferies, Michael Pickin and Tom Cassells who flew in a selection of aerobatic aircraft including a pair of Mudry CAP-232s, an Extra EA-330LT and an Extra EA-330SC.
The Best Display by a Classic Jet goes to the Royal Norwegian Air Force Historical Squadron’s PZL-Mielec SBLim-2 for its graceful and sublime routine over the sea at the Herne Bay Airshow.
The Best Display by a Rotary Aircraft goes to the Agusta-Bell Sioux AH Mk. 1 and Westland Scout AH Mk. 1 pair from the Army Historic Aircraft Flight for making a welcome return to the air display circuit at the Abingdon Air & Country Show.
The Best Display by a Warbird goes to the Aircraft Restoration Company’s Bristol Blenheim Mk. I for its sublime performance that closed the Shuttleworth Season Premiere Airshow.
The Best Display by an Aerobatic Aircraft goes to Mark Jefferies in his Extra EA-330SC who put on a spectacular demonstration on unlimited aerobatics at the Shuttleworth Race Day & Roaring 20’s Airshow.
The Best Role Demo or Set Piece at an Airshow goes to the World War One dogfight scenario as demonstrated by eight aircraft replicas of the Great War Display Team over the sea at Airbourne.
The Best Formation at an Airshow goes to the awesome sight of the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, The Red Arrows flying together with a pair of Eurofighter Typhoon FGR.4s from No. 1(F) Squadron and a Lockheed-Martin F-35B Lightning II from No. 17 Squadron at the Royal International Air Tattoo.
The Best Static Aircraft on Display goes to the pair of Hellenic Air Force McDonnell-Douglas F-4E Phantom IIs from the 339th Interception Squadron ‘Ajax’ of the 117th Combat Wing which appeared on static display at the Royal International Air Tattoo.
The Best Painted Display on Display goes to the specially painted Dassault Mirage 2000N of the Ramex Delta at the Royal International Air Tattoo. The team were performing for the last time in the UK as the team will be disbanded soon.
But all in all, the Best Overall Display of the Year goes to the amazing United States Air Force Lockheed-Martin F-22A Raptor of the 1st Fighter Wing with a spectacular display which also saw it fly in formation with a Lockheed-Martin F-35A Lightning II of the 61st Fighter Squadron of the 56th Fighter Wing as part of the United States Air Force Heritage Flight at the Royal International Air Tattoo.
And finally I feel that the best airshow of the 2016 season was the Royal International Air Tattoo which encompassed the ‘Next Generation’ theme with many modern fighter displays including the debut of the Lightning IIs and a fantastic static display which also celebrated the 75th Anniversary of the Air Cadet Association.
For more photos from the 2016 season you can check out the albums on Flickr
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