My Aunt and Uncle went with my husband and I to Farnborough. We took a coach (my 10 days in England has infected my terminology :-) from Coventry down to Farnborough, which is southwest of London (south of Heathrow). We went on the Saturday (10 September). The weather was supposed to be "scattered showers" (more about that later :-)
Apprently someone in their infinite wisdom decided that mid-September was a perfectly good time to be doing roadworks (what did they think it was, the bloody M1?). It took us two hours from when we got off the Motorway to when we arrived in the coach park. In those two hours, we missed some stuff I would have loved to have seen, including a Spitfire (my husband saw it out of the window, I was sleeping :-).
Upon arriving at the coach park, we queued *again* to get into the show, and just as we got in the rain came! pea sized hail started falling everywhere -- luckily it had been sprinkling a bit so we'd all put our raincoats on. We sheltered next to a convenient building until the hail stopped and the rain was down to a drizzle.
I'm going to jump around a bit to describe what we saw as I can't remember it quite chronologically and I left my timetable at home. :-)
The first thing I'll mention is Concorde ("the E shall stand for England!"). The announcer said that the Concorde would arrive. First we thought it was a flyby, but then they said that it was full of prizewinners from a contest and that they would land Concorde in front of us as a 25th anniversary celebration! I climbed up on a ground power cart that was powering a Gulfstream IV of some type and started snapping pictures. The plane taxied RIGHT BY ME, I couldn't have been more than 200 yards from it! Forget the 747, the Concorde (again, the E is for England :-) is truly the most beautiful plane ever constructed.
I just can't say enough about this plane (and I must have taken a good 10-15 pictures of it!) After it landed, the ever-so-nice pilot taxied it around the field so I got even *more* good shots of it. sigh. :-)
The Red Arrows were great! The narration was fabulous -- the announcer told us what they were going to do, and some of the things I just couldn't believe! During some of their maneuvers, wingtip to wingtip they were less than 3' apart! I wondered just how much of their payload was all the different coloured contrails :-)
The Russian airliner producers had a whole boatload of planes at the show. The IL96-300 (or is it the IL96-M now, since it has the P&W engines?) was in attendance, as was the TU204 -- unfortunately although the TU204 was scheduled to fly, it did not. I was quite disappointed, as I wanted to see if it really looked like a 757 in the air, too.
I did not like the new CX (Cathay Pacific) livery. Part of that is because I adored the old one (I am a green freak, see my WWW homepage :-). But I was disappointed to see that the only titles were in English (has the Swire group forgotten than 1997 is just around the corner?)
The FLA (Future Large Aircraft, which I referred to in a post yesterday, 940913) was a *joke*. A *wooden* mockup, where the only spec that is firm is the fuselage width! I did walk past the Airbus display in one of the display halls and got a good giggle out of their propaganda. If I get a chance, I'll type some of it in (I picked it all up, of course :-).
We took a long walk around the static displays. The helicopters were very interesting (especially to my husband, whose father used to be a helicopter pilot in the US Army). I especially liked the C5 down at one end, I honestly felt dwarfed by it! Of course, I've never been on the ground next to a 747 either (which is C5-sized) but this was different!
I know I'm missing a ton of stuff in the above posting, so I will wait until my pictures come back (yayyy) and that will prompt my memory a little bit. I'm very jet-lagged right now so everything's in a haze :-)
who stood next to an A320 at Farnborough, and it didn't crash on her :-)
-- Helen Trillian Rose
Kapor Enterprises, Inc. Check out my homepage! --> Systems and Networks Administration http://www.kei.com/hrose.html I like: DL, WN, Boeing I don't like: NW, HP, Airbus
Back to my homepage