My 2013 – Aviation Preview

2013, aircraft, airshow, autumn, Aviation, displays, photography, RAF, Reviews, tom mercer, tom mercer photography

The clocks have gone forward and the evenings are getting lighter which means that the start of the airshow season is just around the corner. Here’s a small preview of what you can expect to see from me in the coming months –

My Calendar:

May 5th – Abingdon Air & Country Show

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Dalton Barracks in Abingdon will once again host one of the first shows of the season but what can you expect to see?

Unless you’ve been in space for the past few years, you will all be too aware that there is a lot less money around today. Nevertheless, the organisers of this fairly small event have done their absolute best in putting together a stand out show. With just a few weeks left we have been promised a couple more additions to an already fantastic lineup which includes appearances from a Folland Gnat T1, the Hawker Hurricane and North American P-51D Mustang from Hangar 11, Breitling Wingwalkers, AAC Westland Lynx AH7 as well as favourites such as the RAF BBMF Avro Lancaster.

At present there are 15 confirmed flying displays and despite the lack of current RAF displays, Abingdon looks as though it’s going to be a superb day.

You can find out more at

May 26th – IWM Duxford Spring Airshow

The end of May can mean only one thing – the Spring airshow at IWM Duxford.

A short drive up the A1(M) will mean that I get my first taste of an air display at this iconic airfield and I’m really looking forward to it.

This year’s Spring airshow will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the USAF arriving at Duxford in April 1943. One act that has been confirmed to display in May to help celebrate this landmark is the Horsemen Flight Team from the US. It is unknown at the moment what aircraft they will be using in their display but whatever it is, it should be well worth going for!

You can find out more at

12-13th July – RNAS Yeovilton Air Day

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RNAS Yeovilton is home to the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm’s premier event and in 2012 provided yet another award winning show.

Of course being an active Royal Naval Air Station means that the Navy get to show off all their toys. After a long day, Air Day comes to a close with a spectacular role demonstration from the armed forces finest. This year will be even more special as it will see the RAF, AAC and Royal Navy get together for the first time in years – expect to see explosions, helicopters, jets, armoured vehicles and ‘armed’ marines fighting to gain control of the airfield. If you ask me, the commando assault finale is worth the entrance fee alone.

Other confirmed acts for Air Day 2013 are the RAF BBMF, RAF Red Arrows, RAF Typhoon, Royal Jordanian Falcons as well as the Swiss Air Force F/A-18C Hornet. So far this show has all the ingredients for another brilliant display like back in 2011.

To find out more and order your tickets, go to

20th-21st July – Royal International Air Tattoo

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The World’s largest military airshow will begin to take place from 15th July as aircraft start to arrive for what will hopefully be a great show.

Over the last few years RIAT has been criticised by many enthusiasts for becoming too commercial and forgetting it’s aviation roots. With this in mind, a meeting took place late last year to discuss which direction the show would move in and as a result, it was promised that the show would try to go back to its strong aviation origins.

Although the team are working as hard as they can on producing what they promised, so far it all looks a little thin. As a USAF base, the event usually sees many American participants on the ground but with the current state of affairs in the US, the static display could look a little bare this year.

I’ve got everything crossed that the team pull something incredible out of the bag because at the moment, I’m not entirely sure that I will be attending – this is the first year that I haven’t purchased earlybird tickets.

If you wish to find out more about the Royal International Air Tattoo, then visit

August 24th-25th – Dunsfold Wings and Wheels

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This is by far one of my favourite shows of the year and I’ve no doubt that the 2013 show will be just as good as last years.

Somehow the organisers always manage to pair displays together to give the crowd a rare opportunity to see some unique collaborations.

The warm, friendly atmosphere is always extremely welcoming and this is one of the main reason why I look forward to this show so much.

Some of the items already confirmed for this year are the Royal Navy Black Cats Hellicopter Display Team, RAF Red Arrows, The Blades and the Royal Naval Historic Flight’s Hawker Sea Fury.

To find out more, check out

29th August – 1st September – Bournemouth Air Festival

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For the first time ever, I will be heading down to Bournemouth at the end of August for the Air Festival.

I’ve been meaning to tick this off my ‘to-do’ list for some time now but have always been unavailable for different reasons. This year I aim to capture all the magic and atmosphere from various different places along the seafront.

Already confirmed to display in front of this impressive backdrop are the RAF Chinook, BBMF, Red Arrows, RAF Typhoon, Royal Navy Merlin and the SWIP team who will again be providing a pyrotechnics enabled dusk display.

The official website isn’t quite ready but everything you need to know will be available here

So, what else?

As well as those shows, I also have a number of exciting features lined up for you guys but for now, they can remain a surprise!

If you’re going to any of these shows then please do come and say hi!

Hopefully 2013 has a lot in store for me – if all goes to plan then it should be an incredible year.

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