Current Tour Programme
THAILAND & INDONESIA: Bangkok & Jakarta Airports & optional Aviation Museums (227930)
16th - 26th March
This will be our first tour to these 2 airports in Thailand and Indonesia, however, the itinerary is based on the experiences of one of our Tour Managers who has been several times over the recent past. If ‘airliners’ is your particular interest then we have them aplenty. The hotels have been chosen for their location based on reports from other aviation photographers. We will enjoy 4 days in Jakarta and 4 days in Bangkok. There will be several options available in both countries, to visit military aviation museums which also have civil aircraft – mainly DC-3s – on display, and time at Bangkok’s original international airport: Don Mueang.
TURKEY: Brexit Tour - Aviation Museums (227928)
28th - 31st March
If you are suffering from Brexitisus and you can’t face the hype in the days leading up to the actual event, then make your escape for a few days to a country that is not in the EU, but is desperately trying to get in! Turkey borders the EU and the country has a large military and civilian air force and aerospace industry respectively. Our tour, however, is short and simple: 2 large aviation museums each with large collections of mostly military aircraft; free time to enjoy as you like. Photographing/logging at Istanbul’s Yesilkoy Airport (now the 5th busiest in Europe and 10th in the world), a half-day city tour of Istanbul with local guide and/or shopping. In Istanbul we stay at a superior hotel that comes highly recommended by photographers and spotters alike: a short walk along the beach takes you to the end of runway, and another short walk takes you to the “Fly In” shopping mall which has a restaurant and terrace on the top floor looking out over the airport. This tour is a perfect long weekend break for both aviation-minded and non-aviation-minded persons alike. Why not extend your stay – contact us to discuss your plans.
GREECE: Exercise Iniochos (227940)
9th - 13th April
This is the largest military exercise held in Greece and is hosted annually by the Hellenic Air Force (HAF) on Andravida airbase. Last year, in addition to the HAF, the RAF, United Arab Emirates, Cyprus National Guard, Italian, US Air Force and Israeli Air Force units participated. In all some 76 aircraft flew more than 1,000 sorties over the 12-days. Each year the numbers steadily increase, with the Israelis participating annually. We await confirmation of participating units but if it is as good as 2018’s listing it will be an excellent event. Waves of 30+ aircraft take off in the morning, afternoon and evening. The tour is based on attending Media Day, which last year was extended to spotters and photographers, and is usually held on the last Friday of this 12-day exercise. We have also asked the HAF authorities if we can come on-base for 1 or 2 additional days and we await a reply. Should our request be refused the tour would only include 1 day at Exercise INIOCHOS. It is definitely not recommended to take photographs outside the base as there is a very high risk of coming into conflict with police and security personnel.
USA: California - Chino Airshow & Aviation Museums & Collections (227932)
29th April - 12th May
We all know that the USA is a huge country with hundreds of airshows and aviation museums/collections. However, there is one state that simply oozes aviation wherever you are: California. It is also home to some of the best warbird restoration centres – one of which also hosts a dedicated warbird airshow: Chino! We start our tour at the southern tip of California on the border with Mexico, in San Diego, and work our way north through places like Miramar, Palm Springs, Riverside, Chino (3 museums and a number of warbird restoration companies), Palmdale, Lancaster, Porterville, Tulare, Stockton, Sacramento, San Francisco and Oakland. Along the way we will visit some very famous museums including (but not exclusively): San Diego Aerospace, the USS Midway, Flying Leathernecks, March Field, Blackbird Air Park, Castle, McClellan, Travis, Western Aerospace and a second aircraft carrier the USS Hornet. We also visit a water-bomber base and will request a look around the Sanders Brothers Sea Fury restoration and maintenance facility. There is also some free time in San Francisco to visit the airport, check out famous places like Alcatraz and Fishermen’s Wharf, etc..
UKRAINE: Airports & Aviation Museums in Kiev, Zaporozhie, Kryvyi Rih & Poltava. (227929)
14th - 21st May EXACT DATES YET TO BE DETERMINED
We are currently looking at a 5-8-day tour to the Ukraine visiting airports and aviation museums in Kiev, Zaporozhie, Kryvyi Rih and Poltava. Ramp tours at several airports have been requested and are to be confirmed. Flying in-country with Motorsich. We hope to have details during November or December.
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FRANCE: NATO Tiger Meet (227909)
15th - 18th May AMENDED DATES
Following our request to visit the FAF storage area on Chateaudun being declined, we have changed the date and slimmed down the itinerary of this tour by one day. The group will now fly between London’s Gatwick Airport to/from Bordeaux on the scheduled services of easyJet.
We now have confirmation that there will be a Spotters Day during the 2019 NATO Tiger Meet which takes place on BA 118 Mont-de-Marsan in the south of France. The Spotters Day will be Friday, 17th May. It is not planned to stage an airshow over a weekend. We will now arrive at our hotel on the Wednesday and enjoy the next day at the landing end of the runway, outside the base, photographing aircraft as they land. Confirmation has been received from the hosts of the Tiger Meet that you can get your Spotter’s Pass through Ian Allan – or go on their website and purchase it directly. All our previous ‘Tiger Tours’ have proved exceptionally popular so we recommend you book your place as soon as the provisional itinerary appears.
FRANCE: 75th Anniversary of D-Day (227901)
3rd - 11th June
2019 sees the anniversaries of two of the most important events that took place in the 20th Century: the D-Day Landings in June 1944 and the Berlin Airlift of 1948-49. This very special tour attends the 75th Anniversary of the former and, as an optional extension, the 70th Anniversary of the latter. Both events will feature the largest gathering of C-47/DC-3s since the Second World War – nearly 30 at the present time! During 8 days in Normandy we will attend both Open Days at Caen Carpiquet airfield – with an optional flight in one of the Dakotas! - and visit various famous battle sites fought over by the British and Canadian armies. Then, after 2 days at leisure in Paris if you opt to take the tour extension, we take the train to Berlin where, over 5 days, we see the arrival of the Dakota “Candy Bombers”, visit various museums and sites associated with World War Two and the Berlin Airlift, and get ready to catch the candy as it rains down! We also have a fascinating visit to Zossen: to Hitler’s huge complex of overground and underground command and control bunkers, some of which were later used during the Cold War by the Soviet armed forces in the GDR. The 75th Anniversary of D-Day will be the last official commemoration and will be attended by royalty, presidents and prime ministers. Book NOW .... due to a deadline imposed by all hotels in Normandy, we will not be able to offer places on this tour after mid-December this year.
Please ensure you clearly indicate on your booking form if you are also booking the optional Berlin extension.
FRANCE: 75th Anniversary of D-Day (227939)
4th - 10th June
NEW TOUR DUE TO DEMAND ... NORMANDY BY MINICOACH plus optional Paris and Berlin Extension.
2019 sees the anniversaries of two of the most important events that took place in the 20th Century: the D-Day Landings in June 1944 and the Berlin Airlift of 1948-49. This very special tour attends the 75th Anniversary of the former and, as an optional extension, the 70th Anniversary of the latter. Both events will feature the largest gathering of C-47/DC-3s since the Second World War – nearly 30 at the present time! During 8 days in Normandy we will attend both Open Days at Caen Carpiquet airfield – with an optional flight in one of the Dakotas! - and visit various famous battle sites fought over by the British and Canadian armies. Then, after 2 days at leisure in Paris if you opt to take the tour extension, we take the train to Berlin where, over 5 days, we see the arrival of the Dakota “Candy Bombers”, visit various museums and sites associated with World War Two and the Berlin Airlift, and get ready to catch the candy as it rains down! We also have a fascinating visit to Zossen: to Hitler’s huge complex of overground and underground command and control bunkers, some of which were later used during the Cold War by the Soviet armed forces in the GDR. The 75th Anniversary of D-Day will be the last official commemoration and will be attended by royalty, presidents and prime ministers. Book NOW ....
Please ensure you clearly indicate on your booking form if you are also booking the optional Berlin extension.
CANADA: Floatplane Bases in Ontario, Annual Norseman Festival plus optional extension to Oshkosh (227925)
14th - 24th July
They say the only way to really see and appreciate the outstanding beauty of Canada is from the air. No doubt those who have gone on our previous and very popular ‘Floatplane Tours of Ontario’ will agree. The lakes and forests of this beautiful part of the country only become apparent when seen from flying a few hundred feet above them. Over 10 days we will stop-by at around a dozen floatplane bases, both large and small, where local sightseeing flights will be negotiated by your Ian Allan Tour Manager for those who wish to see the local area from the air. You can fly as many times as you like, or not at all – it’s up to you. Pleasure flights are paid in cash or by card on the day. We will attend the annual Norseman Festival in Red Lake, when as many examples of this famous ‘workhorse’ fly-in for their yearly get-together. Whether you are looking to do some flying, log or photograph aircraft, you will not be disappointed. Arriving back in Minneapolis/St Paul you have the option of extending your holiday by continuing to Oshkosh and spending 3 full days at the world’s largest aviation event, the EAA’s AirVenture, which last year attracted over 10,000 aircraft!
USA: Oshkosh 2019 - 9-day tour - The largest aviation event in the world! (227914)
21st - 29th July
The figures are truly mind-boggling – as you would expect at the largest aviation event in the world. Attendance IN 2018 was over 601,000; more than 10,000 aircraft were there; 19,588 aircraft operations in the 11-day period; an average in excess of 134 take-offs/landings per hour; 2,979 showplanes (plus the many thousands who flew and parked/camped for the event) comprising of 1,160 homebuilds, 1,094 vintage/classics, 377 warbirds, 185 ultralights and light-sport aircraft, 75 floatplanes, 22 rotorcraft, 52 aerobatic aircraft and 14 hot air balloons. Phew! That’s a lot of photos and reggies. Away from the flight-line there were 867 commercial exhibitors in 5 huge ’trade halls’. Also 1,500 forums, workshops and presentations attended by more than 75,000 people. 2,800 people flew aboard EAA’s Ford Tri-Motors, while 3,032 took rides aboard EAA’s Bell 47 helicopters (memories of MASH) and 680 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 starts on the Monday, the opening day of the show.
USA: Oshkosh 2019 - 7-day tour - The largest aviation event in the world! (227913)
23rd - 29th July
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 there is the option of staying in one of the air-conditioned 2-bedroom suites, or an air-conditioned or non-air-conditioned room on a twin-share or single occupancy basis. The itinerary will give full details of each option. Wittman airfield is a very short drive away using the EAA shuttle coach service. Other ‘Oshkosh’ tour options are our longer ’7-days at Oshkosh’ tour (227914) or a fabulous Canadian Floatplanes tour (227925) travelling around Ontario Province, immediately prior to arriving in Wisconsin.
RUSSIA: Airlines & Airports of Siberia (227927)
15th - 27th August
A similar “Siberian Airports & Airliners Tour” last September was voted a tremendous success by those who booked on it. Answering calls for another tour we have increased it from a 9-day to a 13-day tour (with a 24-hour optional extension) – and the possibility of then joining our Moscow Airshow (MAKS) tour! We will take you to some remote areas of Central and Eastern Siberia, flying in some classic (Tu-154) and very rare (An-38) aircraft.
Starting in St. Petersburg our travels will take us to another 7 towns and cities before arriving in Moscow, flying on the scheduled services of Kostroma Avia, Vologda Air, UTAir, Yamal Airlines, Angara Airlines, Alrosa and Izhavia! If you were to do the itinerary by road, that’s an incredible distance of 11,000 miles! As well as the various airliners there will be optional flights in several types of fixed wing and rotary wing types like: the An-38, An2, Mi-2, Mi-8, Mi-26 and more modern types – plus any more that Ivo, our Russian-speaking Tour Manager can arrange on the day. Due to the small number of seats in some of the aircraft, places will be limited – book now to avoid disappointment!
SLOVAKIA: Slovak International Airshow & Museums (227922)
22nd - 27th August
If the list of participating aircraft at the last event is anything to go by, then the Slovak International Airshow is a pretty impressive event, with a great number of military and civil aircraft of a wide range of types: www.siaf.sk/en/program/aircraft/ We are there for ‘Arrivals Day’ and both days of the airshow. There is also an option to be outside the airbase for ‘Departures Day’ – see the itinerary. We are in contact with the organisers who are looking at special locations on the airbase for photographers; details will be known in May. There are 2 very good aircraft museums in Slovakia, one in Kosice and the other in Piestany: we visit both. This tour takes place over the UK Bank Holiday and this is a great place to enjoy it.
RUSSIA: MAKS 2019 & optional extension to St. Petersburg (227916)
27th August - 2nd September
This tour, to the ever-popular Moscow Air Show – or MAKS – which is held every 2 years, is still being planned but it will include 2 days at this brilliant airshow: one day inside on a Trade Day and a second aboard a specially chartered ship! It will drop anchor on the River Moscow alongside the airfield, within a stone’s throw of the Air Traffic Control Tower which is ‘airshow centre’ for the flying display! With the sun behind, fabulous photographs can be taken from this perfect location. We will stay at a Holiday Inn in the centre of Moscow on a bed, breakfast and evening meal basis. In addition to MAKs will also visit several museums including the one and only ‘Monino’: the incredible collection of aircraft in the Russian Aviation Museum. We also visit the An-2/Mil-2 factory which converts old, tired airframes into brand new factory-fresh aircraft and helicopters. Time also for optional sightseeing. From Moscow you have the option of flying to St Petersburg for more aviation and sightseeing opportunities.
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: The People's Republic of China will be a partner country of MAKS 2019: could this see the latest Chinese aircraft participating?
Tour dates have changed due to organisers moving the event;
MAKS only - 27th August - 2nd September
MAKS plus extension to St Petersburg – 27th August - 5th September
AUSTRIA: Air Power 2019, International Airshow (227935)
4th - 8th September
In the past one of the most popular airshows with UK and European aviation enthusiasts was the Austrian Air Force’s annual “Air Power” airshow held on Zeltweg airbase. In 2016 they came to end as the base underwent major refurbishment ready to take the air force’s new Typhoons, which replaced their classic Saab Drakens. 2019 sees a very welcome return of this favourite show. The Austrian Air Force were the last operators of the Draken and who knows, maybe the sole flying example left in Europe, owned and flown by the Swedish Air Force Historic Flight (as pictured), will be one of the participants. If the airshow is anything like its predecessors it will be fabulous – complete with the spectacular backdrop of the Austrian mountains. With our hotel only a short distance from Zeltweg airbase we are there for ‘Arrivals Day’ and both days of the show.
GREECE: Athens Flying Week & National War Museum & the Hellenic Air Force Museum (227931)
19th - 23rd September
The last 2 “Athens Flying Week’s” proved popular with enthusiasts - compared to previous years when the event did not live up to expectations. We will include the special Spotters Package comprising the 2 ‘Arrival Days’, ‘Rehearsal Day’, both airshow days and ‘Departures Day 2. The Spotters Package offers a raised ‘stadium’ viewing site on the airshow days and special designated areas on the other days. On our arrival and departure days we will visit the National War Museum and the Hellenic Air Force Museum. We will also offer as an option, a full day in Athens, visiting the Acropolis followed by free time in the Greek capital.
BULGARIA: Aviation Museums & Aviation Day Celebrations (227936)
10th - 17th October
In response to requests made directly to our Bulgarian Tour Manager, Ivo, he has put together a tour which includes nearly all of the different facets of aviation in Bulgaria: civil airports and airfields; military bases; aerospace repair factories; museums and memorials; and optional pleasure flights. He has then added some of the famous tourist attractions located throughout Bulgaria. The end result is a carefully balanced mix of aviation and sightseeing at a leisurely pace – perfect for non-aviation minded persons in your life! The tour is based on the annual open days of the Bulgarian Air Force airbases and we await confirmation of which base is open on what date. The itinerary will be fine-tuned when the details are known.
USA: Texas - CAF Houston & Dallas Airshows & Museums (227926)
18th - 27th October
It has been many years since we attended the Confederate Air Force’s (as was) annual airshow in Midland. After a change of name to the Commemorative Air Force and a move from the desert of western Texas to the sprawling metropolis of Dallas/Fort Worth they now have their annual warbird extravaganza at the annual “Wings Over Dallas Airshow” .... and perfectly timed, the preceding weekend there is the CAF’s “Wings Over Houston Airshow”. We will attend both! Pictured here is the famous ‘wall of fire’ which has been part of the CAF’s air display since the early days. As we travel from Houston to Corpus Christi to San Antonio to Dallas, we look around some very interesting aircraft collections en route. Anchored in Corpus Christi is the famous WWII aircraft carrier the USS Lexington, now a floating aviation museum. In ’San Antone’ our hotel is near to the famous Riverwalk with its cafes, restaurants, bars and trips along the river. We will also visit the famous and historic “Alamo”.
ECUADOR: Ecuadorian Air Force airbases (227923)
19th - 27th October
Back in 2014 we had a very successful tour of all the major Ecuadorian Air Force airbases, plus naval, army and police aviation units along the way. With over 25 enthusiasts it was very popular and was helped immensely by the complete co-operation of all the military authorities. Our initial approach suggests they will be as co-operative again – but we await confirmation. We have also asked to visit Cotopaxi/Latacunga the home of CEMFA - Centro de Mantenimiento de la Fuerza Aerea – the air force’s overhaul and modifications centre for Mirage, Cheetah and Kfir aircraft. Our travels will take us down the Andes Mountains to the Amazon rainforest where hidden away is Shell-Mera Airport and airbase - the ”Pastaza-Rio Amazonas” - home of the Ecuadorian army’s Grupo de Aviacion Del Ejercito No.44. With no military flying on a weekend, the Sunday is free to go spotting, take a city tour or even stand on both sides of the Equator!