Portrush Aircraft Profile Day 3 – Catalina Flying Boat

Day 3 of our Portrush aircraft profile is the Consolidated PBY Catalina G-PBYA ‘Miss Pick-up’ run by the Plane Sailing Air Displays Limited who are based out of Duxford, England.

The Consolidated PBY Catalina is an American flying boat, and later an amphibious aircraft of the 1930s and 1940s produced by Consolidated Aircraft.

The Catalina was one of the most widely used seaplanes of World War II. Catalinas served with every branch of the United States Armed Forces and in the air forces and navies of many other nations.

During World War II, PBYs were used in anti-submarine warfare, patrol bombing, convoy escorts, search and rescue missions.

G-PBYA – The aircraft that will fly in Portrush was originally ordered for the Royal Canadian Air Force as a Canso. An amphibian, equivalent to the US Navy PBY-5A. It was built by Canadian Vickers at Cartierville, Quebec and was allocated their constructors number CV-283 before adopting the RCAF serial 11005. It was taken on charge by the air force on 27 October 1943 and initially saw service with 9 Squadron.

After the war she entered a period of storage at Moose Jaw before being converted to a freighter in 1948. Since then she has changed hands quite a few times working as a freighter and even as a water bomber in the Province of Saskatchewan, Canada.

In 2004 she was bought by ‘Plane Sailing’ and brought to Duxford and in November of 2004 her registry was changed from C-FNJF to G-PBYA.

The Catalina is operated by Plane Sailing Air Displays Limited on behalf of Catalina Aircraft Limited which is made up of a number of shareholders. The enterprise is supported by its own ‘fan club’ – The Catalina Society. The Catalina last displayed in Portrush in 2014.

We look forward to her making her return to Portrush! (Photo and information from Catalina Society Website )

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A few additions, and a cancellation at Portrush 2016

Over the last few days there have been quite a few additions to Airwaves Portrush, and sadly a cancellation😦

First the bad news, the T28 Fennec has been withdrawn from Portrush, no details why are known at the minute.

However, with bad news comes good news! For all you helicopter fans helicopter fans ,they have added an Agusta Bell Sioux & a Westland Scout from the Historic Aircraft Flight Trust which will be flying on both days and on static display we will see AAC Gazelle & RAF Griffin joining the already announced Royal Navy Wildcat.

And for you jet fans, there is more good news! The Mig 15 from the Norwegian Airforce Historical Squadron will be roaring into Portrush to make its debut at the show on both days, in what is a great coup for Portrush!

With just two weeks to go now for Portrush, it is looking to be another great show!

Portrush Aircraft Profile Day 2 – Pitts Special

Day 2 of our Airwaves Portrush aircraft profile is the Modified Pitts Special piloted by Rich Goodwin who is making a much welcomed and requested return to Portrush after making his debut in 2015. His display amazed the crowds and had everyone talking for months afterwards

G-EWIZ has been specially modified to provide the ultimate Biplane for Air Show Entertainment. The modification programme has given this Biplane enhanced capabilities producing a unique style of Aerobatics.

The Pitts Special may surprise you with her ability as looks are very much deceiving in this case, she is no ordinary prop aircraft. Some of the manoeuvers you will see include

Harrier Flight. Hovering on the powerful MT prop.

Double hammer head.

Tower of power. Torque roll and backwards flight

High Alpha Knife edge flight

The centrifuge

As for the Pilot, flying has always been in his blood. His father flew the Hawker Hunter and Lightening jets for the RAF and Richard himself is a former Tornado pilot with the RAF after doing his training in the Hawk T1 (The same aircraft the RAF Red Arrows use) He is also a former pilot of Boeing aircraft.

We very much look forward to seeing Rich Goodwin once again at Airwaves Portrush (information from various sources and photo from ourselves in 2015 Portrush show.)

Check back tomorrow for another Portrush Aircraft profile!

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Portrush Aircraft Profile Day 1 – Autogyro

Day 1 of our Portrush aircraft profile is the Auto Gyro from Gyro Air Displays who are returning to Portrush on both days!


Autogyro’s were invented by Juan de la Cierva, only 20 years after the Wright Brothers first flight, they marked a departure from conventional fixed wing aircraft in an attempt to invent an aircraft that couldn’t stall. The name autogiro was a Trade name for Cierva’s make of aircraft, nowadays, they are also known as gyrocopters, gyroplanes, and autogyro’s and just Gyro’s, they were the first rotary wing aircraft to fly successfully under full, safe control.

The most simplistic view, it’s a flying windmill or even a rotating parachute, think of a sycamore seed gently floating down as it spins.

The rotor blades of the gyro are completely free wheeling in flight, being driven solely by the air going up through the rotor disk. There is no mechanical drive to the rotors in flight, the phenomenon of autorotation drives them, once airborne the rotors just look after themselves and keep spinning, even if the airspeed indicator is showing Zero!!

The propeller of the aircraft pushes it through the air for forward flight, the rotor is inclined slight back and the air flows up though the rotor disk keeps the rotors spinning. Stop the engine and the aircraft slows and descends, the air still flows through the disk and keeps them turning, even when flying sideways or even backwards – Birds don’t even fly backwards deliberately!!

As the rest of the aircraft is hanging from the rotor it acts like a pendulum giving the gyrocopter natural stability, the rotors (wings) are flying through the air at 350mph so turbulent unstable air and wind gusts are ‘sampled’, this make the gyroplane much more stable that most other aircraft and capable or flying in conditions other won’t.

Autogyro, Gyroplane, Gyrocopter, Gyro – call them what you like, they are fun to fly and great to watch displaying.

THE PILOT – Peter Davies

Peter Davies has been flying for 33 years, and been flying Gyroplanes for 23 years. First issued a Gyroplane Display Authority (DA) in 1991. Peter became an Display Authority Evaluator (DAE) in 2012. Has displayed aircraft at several major shows including – Paris Air Show, Biggin Hill, Farnborough, Blackpool and Manchester.

He has over 2500 flying hours in Gyroplanes and is an official ‘Earth Rounder’ the name given to people who have flown around the world. Peter Davis and has won the 1994 Around the World Air Race

We look forward to seeing them at Air Waves Portrush 2016! ( Information from Gyro Air Display website, photo our own from 2015)

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Newcastle aircraft profile day 10 – Eurofighter Typhoon

The final day of our aircraft profile for the B/E Aerospace Festival of Flight in Newcastle is the RAF Eurofighter Typhoon. A regular in Newcastle making its 5th appearance. And with being one of the most impressive and most talked about displays in 2015, The Typhoon Display is sure to be the star of the 2016 show!

When you see the Typhoon performing on this year’s display circuit it will be the culmination of months of hard work, detailed preparation and concerted effort by the team behind the display. Whilst it is the pilot who displays the aircraft, he cannot even begin to do his job without the unfaltering commitment and backing of the dedicated group of professionals that make up the Typhoon Display Team.

This year’s team, from 29(R) Squadron, comprises a specialist from every aircraft trade along with support and management teams to assist both the pilot and the trades, all of whom work closely together to bring you the dazzling spectacle that is the Typhoon Display.

Every member of the team has been hand picked from what is already an elite cadre of skilled personnel at RAF Coningsby. They have proven themselves in their day jobs and are now privileged and proud to represent the very best in excellence and dedication that the Royal Air Force can offer.

The teams look forward to the unique challenges that a display season brings and the opportunity to showcase the Royal Air Force Typhoon 2016 display to the general public.


The Eurofighter Typhoon is the world’s most advanced swing-role combat aircraft providing simultaneously deployable Air-to-Air and Air-to-Surface capabilities.

It is in service with 6 customers across 20 operational units and has been ordered by a seventh. The aircraft has demonstrated, and continues to demonstrate, high reliability across the globe in all climates. It has been combat proven during operations in Libya.

Development of the aircraft effectively began in 1983 with the Future European Fighter Aircraft programme, a multinational collaborative effort between the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain. Because of disagreements over design authority and operational requirements, France left the consortium to develop the Dassault Rafale independently instead.

A technology demonstration aircraft, the British Aerospace EAP, first took flight on 6 August 1986; the first prototype of the finalised Eurofighter made its first flight on 27 March 1994. The name of the aircraft, Typhoon, was formally adopted in September 1998; the first production contracts were signed that same year.


Flight Lieutenant Mark Long

The 2016 Typhoon Display Pilot is Flt Lt Mark Long, known as ‘Schlongy’, whowas born in Bury St Edmunds and grew up in Essex.

Mark was introduced to flying with frequent visits to both Duxford and Mildenhall Airshows, and always aspired to join the RAF. Without his parents knowledge, on his 17th Birthday Mark walked into Cambridge Armed Forces Careers Office and professed his ambition to fly fast jets in the Royal Air Force…. 4 months later he was awarded a RAF Bursary to study Economics.

Whilst studying at the University of Warwick, Mark learnt to fly the Bulldog and Grob Tutor on the University of Birmingham Air Squadron.

Mark graduated from Initial Officer Training in 2003 and was subsequently sent to RAF Linton On Ouse to fly the Tucano. He was awarded his ‘wings’ in 2004 and began his Advanced Flying Training (AFT) on the Hawk in 2005. Mark was selected to remain on 208(R) Sqn to take on the role of a ‘creamie’ instructor.

On completion of his instructional tour, Mark was role disposed to the Harrier GR7/9 and was posted to 1(F) Sqn, RAF Cottesmore. During his time on the Harrier, Mark achieved Combat Ready status and participated in a number of major exercises. He was also the last RAF Harrier pilot qualified to conduct operations off an aircraft carrier.

In 2012 Mark joined the Typhoon Force, and was assigned to 11 Sqn at RAF Coningsby, where he revalidated his Combat Ready qualifications. Mark has deployed on Air Policing duties in the Baltic States, in addition to holding QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) duties in the UK and South Atlantic.

It was back to instructional duties in 2014, with a posting to 29(R) Sqn. His primary role is to teach the student pilots how to operate the Typhoon, ensuring they are trained and ready to join a Typhoon frontline squadron. Additional to his instructional duties, Mark contributes to RAF Coningsby’s primary task of defending UK sovereign airspace.

Mark lives in Lincolnshire, with his wife Beth and his two daughters. In his spare time Mark enjoys spending time with his family, cooking, playing all racket sports, golf and getting out on his motorbikes. He regularly rides at Cadwell Park, striving to achieve respectable lap times on his Track Bikes.

Last years Typhoon display was called the best ever seen at Newcastle, so there are high expectations on Mark Long this year, and from what we have seen already of him in the Typhoon in 2016 he is really making a case for best Typhoon display yet!

Info from RAF Website. Photo from Fighter Control.

We hope you have enjoyed our Aircraft profiles each day in the run up to the B/E Aerospace Festival of Flight in Newcastle. We believe this Saturday will see some amazing displays. So to you all, have a great weekend, and enjoy the main event, kicking off at the new time of 2:15pm on Saturday 6th August!


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RAF Chinook out of Portrush

Sad news for Airwaves Portrush today. It has been confirmed that the RAF Chinook display has been pulled from Portrush on both days, as well as every other remaining airshow it was scheduled for.

The reason given was aircraft fatigue by the RAF.

Airwaves Portrush released the following statement on their Facebook this afternoon.

‘Some disappointing news to start the morning. We’re sorry to announce that the RAF Chinook display has been cancelled for the remainder of the 2016 display season, meaning she will not be at any more airshows this year.

This is due to continuing investigations relating to fatigue on the aircraft caused by the display routine.

We are working on a replacement which will join the existing line-up of the Red Arrows, RAF Typhoon, Lancaster, Spitfire, Hurricane, Mitchell, Catalina etc…. ‘

Newcastle Aircraft profile day 9 – Red Arrows

Day 9 of our Newcastle aircraft profile are the World Famous RAF Red Arrows who fly 9 T1 Hawk aircraft.

The Red Arrows are returning to Newcastle, having missed last years show during a weekend that was plagued by technical problems for the whole team.

The Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, is one of the world’s premier aerobatic display teams. Representing the speed, agility and precision of the RAF, the team is the public face of the service.

They assist in recruiting to the Armed Forces, act as ambassadors for the United Kingdom and promote the best of British. Flying distinctive Hawk jets, the team is made up of pilots, engineers and essential support staff with front-line, operational experience.

Initially, they were equipped with seven Folland Gnat trainers inherited from the RAF Yellowjacks display team.

This aircraft was chosen because it was less expensive to operate than front-line fighters. In their first season, they flew at 65 shows across Europe. In 1966, the team was increased to nine members, enabling them to develop their Diamond Nine formation.

In late 1979, they switched to the BAE Hawk trainer. The Red Arrows have performed over 4,600 displays in 56 countries worldwide

The engineering team that supports the Red Arrows is known as “The Blues” and consists of 85 members who cover all of the various trades in the RAF.

Each season nine members of the Blues are selected to be members of the ‘Circus’. Each member of the Circus works with the same pilot for the duration of the season and is responsible for servicing their aircraft and preparing their flying kit prior to each display. The Circus also fly in the back seat of the jets during transit flights.


The BAE Systems Hawk is a British single-engine, jet-powered advanced trainer aircraft. It was first flown at Dunsfold, Surrey, in 1974 as the Hawker Siddeley Hawk, and subsequently produced by its successor companies, British Aerospace and BAE Systems, respectively. It has been used in a training capacity and as a low-cost combat aircraft.

The Hawks used by the Red Arrows are modified with an uprated engine and a modification to enable smoke to be generated, diesel is mixed with a coloured dye and ejected into the jet exhaust to produce either red, white or blue smoke.

We look forward to seeing the Red Arrows back in the skies of Newcastle this Saturday after their two week break. On a side note the Red Arrows final display before the break was over Irish skies in Bray a fortnight ago.

Info from Wiki and Red Arrows website. Photograph our own.

Check back tomorrow for our final Newcastle Aircraft profile, which is none other than the RAF Eurofighter Typhoon which amazed Newcastle last summer with many saying it was the best Typhoon display they have ever seen.

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