Current Tour Programme
USA: California - Chino Airshow & Aviation Museums & Collections (227932)
29th April - 12th May TOUR CONFIRMED
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..
FRANCE: NATO Tiger Meet (227909)
15th - 18th May TOUR CONFIRMED!
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 TOUR FULL!
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. TOUR FULL!
FRANCE: 75th Anniversary of D-Day (227939)
4th - 10th June TOUR FULL!
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.
GERMANY: 70th Anniversary of the Berlin Airlift (227944)
12th - 17th June
Up to 40 aircraft including dozens of DC-3s from all over the world, plus 2 DC-4s from South Africa, are now participating in the 70th Anniversary of the Berlin Airlift. With a flypast over the city, we will watch it from on Tempelhof airfield! The aircraft will also be on public display. Over 6 days we will visit various museums associated with the Airlift and the Cold War; the huge Luftwaffe Museum at Gatow; and the gigantic bunker complex used by the Wehrmacht in WWII and later the Soviets from the 50s to the 80s. And some free time to do as you like. Book early to avoid disappointment.
USA: Oshkosh 2019 - 9-day tour - The largest aviation event in the world! (227914)
21st - 29th July TOUR CONFIRMED!
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 TOUR CONFIRMED!
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.
SLOVAKIA: Slovak International Airshow & Museums (227922)
1st - 6th August NEW DATES - TOUR CONFIRMED!
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.
RUSSIA: MAKS 2019 & optional extension to St. Petersburg (227916)
27th August - 2nd September TOUR CONFIRMED!
This tour, to the ever-popular Moscow Air Show – or MAKS – which is held every 2 years, includes 2 full 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 we will also visit several museums including the one-and-only ‘Monino’: the incredible collection of aircraft in the Central Air Force 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 continuing 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?
STOP PRESS: Optional Zero-G Flight in IL-76 used to train Russian Cosmonauts! Estimated price US$3,500 - US$4,000 per person payable only in Sterling (approximately £2,700 - £3,100 at current rate of exchange).
UKRAINE: Airports & Aviation Museums in Kiev, Zaporozhie, Kryvyi Rih & Poltava. (227929)
4th - 10th September
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. Original dates we were given was May however, this has now been pushed back to September 4th - 10th.
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AUSTRIA: Air Power 2019, International Airshow (227935)
4th - 8th September TOUR CONFIRMED!
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 TOUR CONFIRMED!
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 last, full day we will visit the Hellenic Air Force Museum in Tatoi followed by the National War Museum in the centre of Athens. There will be some time for sightseeing before we drive out to Athens Airport late afternoon.
BULGARIA: Aviation Museums & Aviation Day Celebrations (227936)
10th - 17th October TOUR CONFIRMED!
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!