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Posted on Jul 26, 2006 in Front Page Features, Stuff We Like

Farnborough International Airshow 2006

Armchair General

I won’t beat around the bush here, the biannual Farnborough International Airshow is one of the highlights of my calendar, and this year was no exception.

Readers of my previous article for ACG following the 2004 show will already be aware of how big an event this is in the aviation industry, so I won’t repeat what I’ve already covered, suffice it to say that during my visit I was able to order several new and exciting missile systems as well as upgrade my airforce significantly with the latest models. Ahem…

Alas, the weather let us down somewhat on the day, despite blazing hot sunshine early in the morning, by the time the RAF Red Arrows were out, we had thunder and lightning, and then a downpour. I got soaked, but this was fine, since everyone else in the Media Centre had gone inside like a bunch of girls, I was able to seize for ACG the best spot on the balcony for taking pictures Hurrah!


Here I am with my ACG in the early part of the day (note the sunshine!) standing next to a Boeing C-17 Globemaster II. The Globemaster is a strategic airlifter, and absolutely enormous…but not the biggest thing on display, which you will see later…


I visited the show on Saturday the 22nd of July, fully prepared with no less than four cameras and a plethora of lenses.

In all, I took well over 1,000 photos. You can find them all in the ACG Image Gallery here, but this report is essentially a excuse to feature my current favourites. It would be impossible for me to fully translate to you the scale and excitement of the show, but hopefully by presenting some of my images to you, you will be able to see some of the cool hardware on display. I have also taken the liberty of including some brief video sequences.

You’ll find the following link of interest. Although this year’s Airshow is over, keep an eye on it for details of future events!

All pictures in this article were taken with either one of two Sony DSC H1 digital cameras at 5.0 MegaPixel resolution (my backup cameras were fortunately not required, despite the rain!). Click on the thumbnails for larger versions.

As you would expect, all the major players in the aviation industry were on site, many in specially constructed temporary buildings to house their stands and displays. One of the largest buildings was occupied by Bell Boeing as you can see here.


Although early in the morning, you can see the thousand of enthusiasts milling around, enjoying the day.

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To one end of the runway, a large grandstand was established, this was probably one of the most comfortable places to view the flying displays, just don’t forget the sunscreen. However, equally, if you bring your own chairs or just sit on the grass, sitting right by the runway is just as good, if loud. I was sat down there during the last show – and I forgot my earplugs…

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This year however, I had access to the Media Centre which had its own facilities and a nice balcony from which to view the proceedings. And I very quickly spotted the planes from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight in the distance…

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