Current Tour Programme
USA: Oshkosh 2021 - 9-day tour - The largest aviation event in the world! (227109)
25th July - 2nd August CANCELLED DUE TO CORONA VIRUS
The figures are truly mind-boggling – as you would expect at the largest aviation event in the world. Attendance in 2019 (the last year it was held), there were over 642,000; more than 10,000 aircraft were there; daily average of aircraft movements was 127 PER HOUR over the 11-day period; 2,758 showplanes (plus the many thousands who flew and parked/camped for the event) comprising of 1,057 home-builds, 939 vintage/classics, 400 warbirds, 188 ultralights and light-sport aircraft, 105 floatplanes and 22 helicopters. Phew! That’s a heck of a lot of photos! Away from the flight-line there were 863 commercial exhibitors in 5 huge ’trade halls’. Also 1,500 forums, workshops and presentations attended by more than 75,000 people. 3,051 people flew aboard EAA’s Ford Tri-Motors, while 3,173 took rides aboard EAA’s Bell 47 helicopters (memories of MASH) and 669 enjoyed a memorable flight in the EAA’s B-17 Flying Fortress “Aluminium Overcast”. You will have 7 full days to experience all the above - at a leisurely pace. Our time at Wittman Field on this 9-day tour will start on the Monday, the opening day of the show.
USA: Oshkosh 2021 - 7-day tour - The largest aviation event in the world! (227110)
27th July - 2nd August CANCELLED DUE TO CORONA VIRUS
For those with limited time or finances, this shorter option to the biggest aviation event in the world, still gives you 4 full days on Wittman Field in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. You will stay on the campus of the University of Wisconsin, in the halls of residence where you have 3 accommodation options: one of the air-conditioned 2-bedroom suites, an air-conditioned or non-air-conditioned room – all on a twin-share or single occupancy basis. The itinerary gives details of each option. Wittman Field is a very short drive away from the campus using the EAA shuttle coach service. Our other ‘Oshkosh’ tour option is longer giving you 7 days at Oshkosh (tour 227109). Both tours visit the EAA’s ‘overspill’ airfield at Fond du Lac and, by way of a change, the Harley Davidson Motor Cycle Museum in Milwaukee on the return transfer to Chicago.
CANADA & USA NW STATES: Museums & the FH&CAM’s Airshow (227114)
31st July - 14th August CANCELLED DUE TO CORONA VIRUS
It’s been a few years since we toured the Northwestern states of the USA, so we make a welcome return. We start in British Columbia in Canada, to see a very rare and special aircraft – a Handley Page Hampden!
The tour includes the main, annual airshow featuring Paul Allen’s fabulous, incredible collection of warbirds in the famous “Flying Heritage and Combat Armor Museum” in Everett; it will be our first visit since it moved from Arlington several years ago. Where else can you see flying a genuine (not a repro) ex-Soviet Air Force ‘tank-busting’ Il-2m3 Sturmovik - pictured above!
Other well known - and equally fabulous – museums and collections included in the itinerary are: Canadian Museum of Flight – HP Hampden! Evergreen Aviation – Spruce Goose! Tillamook Aviation; Classic Aircraft Aviation; Olympic Aviation; Museum of Flight, Seattle; Historic Flight Collection; Legend Flyers; and Museum of Flight’s Restoration Hangar.
DENMARK: Museums & Roskilde Int’l Airshow (227113)
11th - 16th August CANCELLED DUE TO CORONA VIRUS
Our next tour to Scandinavia goes, after a gap of several years, to Denmark. Star attraction is the Roskilde International Airshow (replacing the RDAF’s cancelled Karup show). There is a Spotters Enclosure and you can book your ticket now: fully refund if the show does not take place. In addition we also visit the main aircraft museums and collections that are dotted around the country. Beautiful scenery, great collections of aircraft, fabulous airshow and lovely hotels.... bring it on!
BELGIUM, LUXEMBOURG, GERMANY & SWITZERLAND: "Hunterfest" Airshow, Aviation Museums & Collections (227112)
13th - 22nd August CANCELLED DUE TO CORONA VIRUS
We start in Belgium – Brussels and the national aviation collection - followed by Bastogne – with the Battle of the Bulge in the Ardennes the main attraction here. Travelling on through the Ardennes we pass through Luxembourg and into Germany. The words “Hermiskeil”, “Speyer” and “Sinsheim” all mean the same thing: 3 of the very best aviation museums to be seen – anywhere! Our journey takes us south, via the beautiful and historic spa town of Baden-Baden, and the Deutsch-Kanadisches Luftwaffenmuseum, into the Black Forest and the little known aviation museum in the Pflumm collection. In Switzerland we attend the annual "Hunterfest" held on the ex-Swiss Air Force base of St Stephan, high up in the mountains and forests. The peace and pace of this show is more like Old Warden than Duxford. Star participants are 4 Hawker Hunters and a couple of Vampires; plus several other types of civil and military, fixed and rotary wing. No 2 years are ever the same. Optional flights are available in a Hunter (very popular, need to pre-book) and a helicopter. This 10-day tour is taken at a leisurely pace and will be memorable not only for the aircraft but also for the beautiful scenery.
RUSSIA: ARMY LIVE-FIREPOWER DEMO & EXHIBITION (227122)
22nd - 29th August CANCELLED DUE TO CORONA VIRUS
Another fabulous opportunity to attend the “International Military and Technical Forum”, known as ‘ARMY’; previous tours were very popular and we therefore have no hesitation in returning.
The event is one of the world’s leading exhibitions of arms and military equipment and is a major ‘shop window’ for the huge Russian armament industry. The event features hundreds of military vehicles as well as many thousands of other items of military hardware.
Undoubtedly the biggest attraction for aviation enthusiasts and photographers is the number and different types of Russian military aircraft, large and small, fixed and rotary wing that participate in the flying demonstrations: they all operate out of Kubinka airbase. Different aircraft arrive/depart most days - so participating aircraft can and do change!
The itinerary each day is completely flexible, giving you the option of spending all or some of the days catching all the action at any of the 3 sites:
- Kubinka Airbase, from where all the participating aircraft take off from and land back
- Patriots Park Expo Site – static display only
- the Alabino tank ground with live fire-power demos and air show
In addition, we see the various types of aircraft at the Kubinka Aircraft Repair Plant.
Previous ARMY as included an official rest day for the participating pilots, in which case we will offer you the optional opportunity to look around one of the best aviation museums anywhere in the world: the Central Air Force Museum, better known as “Monino”; we also hope to arrange to go inside the Tu-144 ‘Konkordski’ and the world’s largest helicopter, the huge Mil-12!
FRANCE: La Ferte Alais Airshow and CANOPEE Chateaudun (227106)
26th - 30th August
After a gap of several years it’s time to go back to one of Europe’s most popular airshows: La Ferte Alais, featuring those wonderful classic aeroplanes that one sees in the UK at Old Warden. The Amicale Jean Baptiste Salis is the equivalent of the Shuttleworth Collection and their annual airshow on the grass airfield south of Paris is very popular. The show also includes some ‘heavy metal’ military types, making the flying programme very interesting. You will have the option of a second day at the show. We also visit the collection of military aircraft in CANOPEE on the French Air Force Base in Chateaudun. And we look around one of the finest aviation museums in the world: the Musee de l’Air et de l’Espace at Le Bourget. There is a free day in Paris – or a second, optional day at the airshow (subject to a minimum number for coach hire). We stay in the Montmartre area of Paris, a short walk from the Sacre-Coeur. This tour is also perfect for non-aviation persons, who would rather enjoy the various tourist attractions of the French capital.
NORWAY: Museums (227120)
3rd - 7th September
Looking back since the beginning of Ian Allan Aviation Tours in 1999 I can find very few trips to Norway; unless it included an airshow. At the present time things are so different that no planned airshow is guaranteed, so this tour will be our very first visit to the country to look around the excellent collections of aircraft in their 3 museums. First, is the 30 aircraft in the excellent collection of the Flyhistorisk Museum Sola The very latest addition is this immaculate DC-6B which many of you will remember seeing on one of our propliner tours around Alaska. Next, the Norwegian Air Force Museum in Gardemoen with over 40 different types of aircraft and helicopters, some of which are unique not only to Norway, but also internationally. Thirdly, the National Aviation Museum in Bodo in the far north, beyond the Arctic Circle, it has a civil and military collection of over 40 exhibits: German and allied fighter, transport and bomber aircraft from WWII. It is largest aviation museum in the 3 Nordic countries covering around 10,000 square metres (110,000 sq ft) with the building shaped like a huge propeller.
UKRAINE: Aviation Museums & Collections (227117)
10th - 19th September
This will be our first visit to the Ukraine for many years, delayed due to warnings not to travel to the country because of the dispute with Russia over the Crimea and the eastern regions. Our itinerary keeps us well away from these areas. No travel restrictions have been imposed by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Travel Advice Unit for where we are going. Taking into account that it is (currently) now back flying, we will do our utmost to make sure our paths cross, giving us the opportunity to see the world’s largest aircraft, Antonov’s An-225 (pictured above).We visit some very well-known aviation museums, in Kharkiv, Poltava, Kropyvnytskyi (Kirovograd), Vinnitsa and Kiev. There are optional flights in an An-2 from Korotich airfield and a Cessna 182 out of Chaika in Kiev. We will do our best to offer a Russian type during our visit to the latter: details to be advised when known. Enthusiasts have been wanting to visit aviation sites in the Ukraine for some time, but the country has been off-limits. Now the ‘coast is clear’!
BELGIUM: 60th Anniversary of NATO Tiger Association Airshow (227121)
10th - 14th September
This 5-day long-weekend trip to BAF Kleine Brogel includes TWO Spotters Days! Travel is by coach via Hatton Cross adjacent LHR and Victoria, central London. And through the Channel Tunnel. Option to join/leave the group at Brussels Airport. Stay 4 nights at the Holiday Inn in Hasselt, eastern Belgium not far from Kleine Brogel AB, on a B&B basis. Full details, including current Covid rules are in the itinerary. We expect France and Belgium to be on the UK’s Green Travel List and, hopefull6y, some of the Covid precautions will be eased or removed by September. Book your place be E-MAILING firstname.lastname@example.org . Any questions, please contact us. On-line Spotters Pass tickets are on sale NOW.
22nd - 28th September
Looking to go somewhere completely different? Then Greenland is THE place. Many of you will have seen some of it on your way to/from the USA or Canada, but now there is the opportunity to see this beautiful country from ground level. We understand that we will be the first ever group of aviation enthusiasts and photographers to be allowed access to the 2 main airports: Kangerlussuaq and Nuuk. The former is the international airport and the latter is Air Greenland’s maintenance facility. Our airport visits have been approved by the Greenland Airports Authority. In addition to seeing the Northern Lights, the area around Kangerlussuaq is something very special, as there is a large road network that leads to lookout points, lakes and a place where you can get up on the ice sheet itself. gateway to the rest of the world is the international airport at Kangerlussuaq. There is a large population of reindeer and musk oxen in the area, plus arctic hares, polar foxes and a rich bird life – binoculars will be very handy.
MALTA: International Airshow (227125)
23rd - 27th September
A perfect long-weekend break to Malta, whether your hobby is aviation or you prefer to go sightseeing, shopping or relaxing - mix as much, or no, aviation as you like! With some summer sun, clear blue skies, waters of the Mediterranean and a cool drink – you get the ideal cocktail: 5 days on the George Cross island of Malta coinciding with the very popular annual international airshow! This annual 2-day event is held at Luqa Airport and has a reputation for attracting interesting types of aircraft from countries throughout Southern Europe and the Mediterranean. A Tunisian Air Force Aero L-59’s attendance is confirmed! Plus the Luftwaffe is sending the last operational C-160D Transall to the show - this will be the last-ever public event for this aircraft in service after a career stretching over 50 years.
JAPAN AIRPORTS (227116)
1st - 16th October
It’s been several years since our last “Airports & Airliners” tour to the land of the rising sun – Japan – so it’s about time we went back! The airlines have updated and expanded their fleets and, thankfully, they continue to paint a good number of their aircraft in fabulous, colourful schemes – pictured above is one of ANA’s A380s, each one of them in great “Hawaii” colours. We have 13 full days touring the country, from Okinawa in the far south to Nagasaki, Hiroshima, Osaka, Nagoya and Tokyo; visiting a total of 8 airports!
BULGARIA: WRECKS, RELICS, MUSEUMS & COLLECTIONS (227119)
10th - 17th October
Our 2019 tour to Bulgaria was a tremendous success – and so popular we had a long list of people on the reserve list. True to our promise we are offering a repeat visit to this beautiful country with a slightly different itinerary. It will focus more on wrecks and relics, aircraft on poles and tucked away in the middle of nowhere. Once again Ivo, our Bulgarian born Tour Manager, has used the knowledge of his homeland and aviation to organise the trek around his homeland. A ramp tour will be requested at Sofia Airport and visit the Terem Letets aircraft repair plant (tbc).
We await dates of any Bulgarian Air Force Open Days which usually take place in October and will change the itinerary accordingly if possible. Our route will encompass approximately 90% of the 300+ aircraft on display, excluding museums, and we will stop-by as many as possible. Aircraft types will be a mixed bag of Laz-7, L-29, MiG-15, 17, 19, 21, 23, Su-22, An-2, Tu-134, Mi-2, Mi-24 with several different sub-types of each model, plus who knows what we find. And not counting the more rarer types in the museums.
AUSTRALIA – 100th RAAF Int’l Airshow & Aerospace Exhibition. Singapore Stopovers (227100)
15th November - 1st December
The perfect finale to your 2021 aviation year - on a tour to the far side of the planet! At an event that will never be repeated: the 100th Anniversary of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Airshow. This will be a huge show featuring a Friday night flying display in addition to the weekend airshows. Participating aircraft from around the world, and especially from the Far East, have accepted an invitation to attend. Never before will so many overseas military aircraft have assembled on the same place at the same time in Australia!
During our travels around Oz we will visit 10 aviation museums and collections.
In Singapore we visit the Singapore Air Force Museum and the old Ford Factory boardroom: the latter the site on 15 February 1942 when British and Australian soldiers surrendered to the Japanese army in the Second World War.
There are free days to enjoy as you wish in Singapore, Sydney and Melbourne. Explore each at your leisure or take on of many optional sightseeing tours that can be booked locally.
To ensure the long journeys to and from Australia are as relaxing and stress-free as possible, we have included ‘rest and recuperation’ stopovers in Singapore. However, you have the option of opting out of one or both of them, and going without a break.