Saturday, December 14, 2013

Al Ain Airshow 2013

End of last month I attended the Al Ain airshow, about 1h 15' away from my home in Dubai.  The yearly airshow at the civil-military airport deep into the UAE desert, has been my favourite aviation event in the region for several years now. 

UAE Air Force Desert Falcon, F-16 E

After last years event was cancelled, I became a little sceptical about its future. This year's however surely did make up for this!

Having new organisers, it felt like it went back to the roots; an airshow with aircraft parked closer to the public. Something that us photographer's and aviation geeks especially like!

Royal Jordanian Falcons

Even though, I was given media credentials, most images except for a few, could have easily been made from the general spectators areas.

Unlike previous years, there was no aerobatic competition. Something that was probably appreciated with the majority of the spectators, which tend to appreciate a more varied show.

Al Fursan UAE Jet team with the RC model

Three different "military jet teams"performed at Al Ain this year. The Saudi Hawks flying six BAe Hawk Mk65;

Saudi Hawks

The World renown Red Arrows from the UK, flying a total of nine of the same aircraft.

Red Arrows, Royal Air Force Jet team

And lastly the relatively new UAE team; Al Fursan flying seven Aermacchi MB339A's. An image of Al Fursan made it to my Pic(k) of the week 49, two weeks ago.

Al Fursan UAE Jet team Solo

Another return visitor to Al Ain is Miss Demeanour, a  very colourful 1950's Hawker Hunter F58A. Unfortunately, it looks like this was the last show of the aircraft, as its present owner in the UK is looking for a new home… Lets hope Miss Demeanour will be taking to the skies again soon!

Hawker Hunter, Miss Demeanourg

There were also quit a few modern day fighter displays at Al Ain. The most note-worthy was the Royal Air Force (UK) Typhoon Eurofighter.

RAF Typhoon Eurofighter

Like most years, it doesn't all fly at Al Ain; this jet powered school bus with an F-4 Phantom engine, got a lot of attention. Luckily I had my ear plugs in when it did its high speed pass!

Jet powered Schoolbus

What I tend to like the most, are the aerobatic propellor demos like the Breitling Wingwalkers;

The Royal Jordanian Falcons flying the high performance aerobatic Extra aircraft;

Royal Jordanian Falcons

Or the Goodyear Eagles flying 3 Pitts Specials

Goodyear Eagles flying the Pitts Special

On par with most large Airshows, Al Ain this year also had a small night airshow. But unlike the US or European shows where this can only be done later at night during the Summer months, it started already around 6pm.

My preferred act was without doubt the SWIP team, flying a duo of Silence Twisters.

Twister duo, sponsored by Huawei during the night airshow

Another Al Ain airshow with plenty of International demos, that definitively worth the 10 EUR entrance fee!

A selection of the 2013 Al Ain Airshow images can be found here.

For my photographer blog-readers; all images were shot with the Nikon D800 and the 70-200 VR2 2.8 lens with and without the 1.7 teleconverter. All RAW files have been developed in Lightroom 5.2.

Hope to see you again next year AL Ain airshow!


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