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Wednesday, 1 August 2012

UK: Farnborough Air Show



I was in London, England, for a few days en route to Dublin, Ireland in mid-July, and had planned to meet up with Amer, the Travelling Architect of Tend to Travel, for a meal.  When he texted me asking if I’d like to join him on a day trip to Farnborough Air Show which is held every 2 years, I simply jumped at the opportunity and replied yes, why not?  We agreed that he’d buy the tickets first, online, rather than buying the ticket at the entrance as they would cost more there (GBP35 online vs. GBP41 at the entrance).  It’s free for kids under the age of 16 as long as they are accompanied by an adult.


Going to Farnborough



On the appointed day, Sunday 15th, we met up in the morning near to my hotel and headed to London Waterloo Station where we bought two off-peak return tickets to Farnborough, which cost us about GBP15 each.  The train ride to Farnborough Station took about 40 minutes from London Waterloo.  Upon arrival at Farnborough Station, we joined the queue for the free shuttle bus to the airfield where the air show was being held.  The queue for the bus was long but everything was orderly.  It didn’t take that long before we were on a double decker bus, on our way to the airfield. 

Once we got to the airfield, we joined another queue, this time for the ticket check and security check.  There’re a lot of people queuing but there were plenty of queues and entrance so it didn’t take much time to get inside either.  For families with children, fret not, there're separate queues especially for such a group.  The security check involved getting through a security gate, while your personal belongings such as jackets and bags would have to go through a scanner like at any airport.  We however noted that there were some queues where there’s no security gate, probably a makeshift entrance, but believed that a manual security check was in place. 


The Flying Display Programme & Air Show Exhibitions

Now onto the Flying Display Programme & air show exhibitions.  We went straight to the airfield first to catch the Flying Display Programme which was starting soon after we arrived, at around 12.30 p.m.  It was a very cloudy and quite a windy day, with dark clouds and streaks of sunrays despite it being mid July already.  Most of the visitors that we saw there were with their family and children, some setting up a tent and having a picnic while enjoying the weather.  Well, at least it didn’t rain... (The grass and the ground were wet however).



The airfield with dark clouds hovering over

The Flying Display Programme kicked off with a group parachute jump & a British Airways Airbus 318 departing from the airfield.  We were more looking forward to seeing Malaysia Airlines’ 2nd A380 but apparently the aircraft was no longer there.  In its place was another A380 that comes with an Airbus livery.  We also had wanted to see Qatar Airways’ Boeing 787 Dreamliner but it wasn’t there either on the day (although we did know about this beforehand).  The whole itinerary of the Programme however wasn’t a total letdown.  We managed to catch the show by A380, Breitling Jet Team, F18, Red Arrows (no doubt one of the more popular ones among the spectators), Tornado & Vulcan, among others.

Here are some photos from the Flying Display Programme.





















The Red Arrows back on the ground








Towards the end of the air show we walked around the exhibition area but except for 4 exhibition halls (EADS, BAE Systems, Virgin Galactic & some Russian aerospace technology companies), the rest were either closed to the public or entry was by invitation only.  Almost half of the space in the area were taken up by "chalets", where companies entertained their staff, clients & families.  There were plenty of flight simulators for those who are interested but these cost extra.




Overall it was a good day out, and I reckon a lot of families enjoyed the day too.  In hindsight though, while I especially enjoyed the Flying Display Programme, I think the ticket price is not worth it because there wasn’t much on display in the exhibition halls.  If you’re not exactly a hardcore aviation enthusiast and you’re going there just for the Flying Display Programme, you might as well just find a spot in a perimeter of the airfield and watch the air show for free. 

Okay, that’s me just being a cheapskate, but it makes sense, no? ;-)  Obviously it's another story if you are an aviation geek :-)  In any case, if you're going to the next instalment of the air show, don't forget to bring ear plugs!



For more information:
  1. Farnborough Official Website

26 comments:

Comments and feedback are always appreciated. So do leave one or two if you have the time. Thank you!

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, Hang Dhamin :-) Tapi masih tak sharp sbb semua main terbang laju je, susah nak capture, haha! ;-)

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  2. simpan duit nak naik virgin galactic tuh. space travel, wow.

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    Replies
    1. Once you own your own airlines, you can do the same what? :-)

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  3. Haloooo! Very2 picturesque...is it something like our LIMA? 16 yrs old is still considered kids, meh...?

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    1. I'm not sure because I haven't been to LIMA before. I think LIMA also includes exhibitions on maritime, and not just aviation. Yes, children below the age of 16 (basically school-going age) can go for free, which is great news for families going there on a day out :-)

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  4. AIRSHOWS ARE VERY SENTIMENTAL TO ME.. I MET CAPTAIN IN ONE OF THEM ;D BY THE WAY HE DID A PRESENTATION AT FARNBOROUGH FOR EUROFIGHTER 2000 AND G222 BEFORE..
    BEAUTIFUL PICTURES CIK R!!

    KISSES FROM :
    A SMALL BLOG WITH A BIG HEART
    MRS JACK OF ALL TRADES DAILY where Fashion and Food collide!
    http://mrsjackofalltradesdaily.blogspot.com/

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    Replies
    1. Haha! I know... Dubai International Airshow, right? :-) I probably should have tried harder when I was at the Farnborough show, haha ;-)

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  5. be it buildings or planes, your shots are amazing!

    kembang tak...kembang tak?

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    Replies
    1. Thanks. Kembang la dlm 5 saat, haha ;-)

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  6. @RaW, 11th pic is my fav but gloomy lar (not your fault).

    @Adam bin Ahmad, ingat i tau bila ada trip gi space - Battlestar Galactica tuh.

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    Replies
    1. That's the thing. But we were more than thankful that it didn't rain that day. Typical of British summer ;-)

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  7. cantiknya. my fav yang pic no 10 tu. gloomy tapi still pretty.. thank god it didnt rain.. masa i kat london dulu, almost every day it was raining ok.. nak shopping pun bertabah je la.. dua payung i beli sebab rosak. hahaha. nasib ada primark jual payung murah2 ;p

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    1. Yup, thank God it didn't rain. It was still quite cold though despite it being summer. It rained too on most days I was in London last month but I didn't bother to buy an umbrella. Just hopped into the nearest shop whenever it rained, haha! Tak payah pergi Primark, haha :-D

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  8. hahahaha ya rite.. tak payah pergi primark. tapi most of the time i kat sana adalah dekat Primark.. how?. hehehe... tapi dia hujan kejap2 je kan.. tp still hujannn... sabar je lah... haha

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    1. Yup, hujan kejap2. At times it's just a drizzle while at other times it's a heavy downpour. Anyway how come you were near to a Primark most of the time? Different Primark or just the one on Oxford St near Marble Arch?

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    2. hehehehe... most of the time i dekat oxford st.. tak tahu la apa yg best sgt kat sana but i love to go there and window shopping? ;p... and setiap kali hujan I dekat area primark, so i masuk primark kejap and beli payung 4gbp.. too crowded sana penuh malaysians. btw kat sana since you kata baru balik last month, summer sale la kan.. mygod syoknya.

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    3. Yup, same thing here. I love walking along Oxford St all the way from Marble Arch to Tottenham Court Road Station and then from there either walk along charing Cross Road to Leicester Sq or back to Oxford Circus and walk along Regent St. I was there towards the end of Summer Sale and some shops & dept stores were still having their clearance sale. And yup, I went crazy. Hahaha! Now I'm still counting the damage so please don't remind me that, haha!

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  9. hehehehe... im still counting my damage too! sob sob... went to bicester and i tak tahu nak ckp apa, rambang mata. hahaha... benci sgt.

    last time kan, i start from piccadily circus tube station tu sebab nak pergi lilywhites then lepastu jalan2 sampaiii lah ke hujung primark.. then pergi pulak madame tussaud... macam jauh tapi sebab sejuk so tak rasa apa... bestt! hehehe

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    Replies
    1. Oohh Bicester... haha! That's quite a walk from Primark to Madame Tussaud... but true, most of the times we don't feel tired that much when we walk around. That is until we get back to the hotel room at the end of the day...

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  10. ok, i better stop.. such a long conversation here. kat sana mmg i love to walk maybe sebab the weather was so nice. dekat edinburgh i walked a lot sebab semua nya sangat cantik untuk tengok. :)

    but balik malaysia, sibuk nak pergi massage. hahahaha. sampai sini baru rasa sakit2. kat sana happy je, just enjoy everything.

    went to kedai apa entah namanya kat paddington, tukdin restaurant hehehe.. dah jauh2 pergi london pun boleh nak makan makanan malaysia kan. but mi bandung dia sgt sedap ok. smpai skrg i teringat.

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    1. Ah-ha! Yes, Tukdin Restaurant. Haven't been there though. Only been to Bonda Restaurant but that's because it's close to the hotel I was staying at and... was meeting someone there. Not bad lah though I much prefer fish & chips whenever I'm in London, haha! ;-)

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  11. cantiknyeeeee pic2 kt blog u...luv it!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Nur :-) Do come back again soon ;-)

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  12. it was a good experience wasn't it? Thanks for coming along man and hope to see you again soon!

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    Replies
    1. Yup, it was :-) Thanks for inviting me to go to Farnborough. And thanks for the jacket, haha! I'll probably see you again soon enough actually. Will update you later, inshaAllah.

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