Royal International Air Tattoo 2002.

Fairford Airbase, Gloucestershire, July 21st 2002.

a nicely lit Sabre close up.

This is a ramble about our trip to Fairford in 2002 and doesn't set out to do much but describe some of what I remember of the day. I enjoyed it and hope that through the stuff I put on here you will get to do so too. I wasn't recording any settings and don't go in for aircraft identification as a hobby so several aircraft in the images didn't get identified. If it concerns you and you know what they are, let me know and I'll update the titles etc.

Crank up the volume and feel the noise !

Unknown Jet :   Nimrod MR2 :

  A jet - don't know what it is F16 Rockwell B-1B Lancer A jet - don't know what A jet - don't know what C5 Galaxy colourful helicopter A jet - don't know what it is. F16  F16 AH64D Apache F86A Sabre Bristol Blenheim  Tornado Strikemaster A jet - don't know what

All images display in a new window which is re-used. Links to More stills and video lower down the page.


After several years of deciding I wanted to go to the Royal International Air Tattoo at Fairford and then missing it or being elsewhere I finally booked some tickets and we went in 2002. We is me and Jo, my wife. She has a love of Jet power close-up in very much the same way that I do.

Jo and a bored Italian

I forget who it was but someone tipped me off to the buses that run to Fairford Airbase from Swindon bus station, saves a load of queuing at Fairford ! We drove up to Swindon and parked in the bus station carpark for a few quid, then we got the bus past all the queues of cars, straight into the Airbase entrance.

It was a warm day, but with a lot of low cloud cover when we arrived and it looked like it was about rain several times during the morning. Fortunately it didn't rain and the clouds soon broke into high columns as the morning warmed up.

We were quickly in through security and then set off to find some snacks from one of the 'caterers' - then I wanted to get up near the flight line.

a big chopper

We went on the Sunday, which may have been a factor in my first impression which was of litter and full bins. However the food outlets had no queues and re-inforced with Bacon Butties and Sweet Coffee we were soon weaving toward the runway.

I had an Agfa CL20 Digital Camera with me for stills even though it had been very disappointing since I purchased it. Poor focus, bad colour rendition and intermittent CF Card corruption ! The camera bleeds light on occasion as you can see, the software and warranty support are useless - I'll never by Digital Imaging from Agfa again...grr :-[

fiddling about with something


To allow me to capture some video I also had my Sony Digital Camcorder with me and plenty of fully charged battery power and blank tape. I've been fairly impressed with this one, great telephoto power but digital zoom can cut in and wreck everything.

We didn't really know what to expect and I didn't want to drag about too much kit with me so I took no tripod or stick - a mistake - the wind was very gusty and buffeted me most of the day.

We quickly found a spot towards the west end of the runway, at about the point where they're off the ground, but the gear is still out.

Nice paint job

As we got there jets were in the air and I didn't get with who and what for a while, but the noise ! the thrust ! the speed ! We are going again next year !

After a while we went for a wander around some of the static displays and I tried the Agfa which managed to return near useless results as anticipated.


AH64D Apache

The video had some highlights which you can view below and some very wobbly outtakes that are now gone forever. I ended up with nearly 40GB of video footage when I transferred it to the PC so I won't put most of it up !


The final suprise of the day came later as we headed home - we had both really caught the sun, even with the clouds, and we started to heat up when out of the wind. Creams and hats next year !

Stills from Sony Digital Video

Sony Digital Video


I have now started to post most of my newer images on Flickr. This sample links to my Airshows collection from here you can also get to my other photo collections.To see a different set of random images you can refresh this page.
DaveGray's Airshows photoset DaveGray's Airshows photoset


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