Helicopters at the air show

I have been sent this by a Tory blogger, www.trueblueblood.com:

John Laity comment:

This weekend is the Royal Air Tattoo at Fairford.

I live in the MATZ for Fairford and have been watching aircraft arrive at low level all day. It is great as we have a 1000 ft cloud base which means you can waive at the pilots ;0)

Today I have seen:
4 Medium Helicopters kitted our for radar and anti-submarine
2 Medium Helecopters kitted out for anti-ship & Anti-submarine
2 Attack Helecopters (to be fair possibly low level training)
4 Medium Attack Helecopters (Italian I think)
2 F15 Eagles

All in the space of 20 minutes.

What this must mean is that the 8 nm airspace between Fairford and Lynham (containing Wootten Basset) is now better protected than our troops in action. Small comfort for those arriving back I am sure…


  1. Thumper the Rabbit
    July 17, 2009

    Where are these places?

    Lynham ? I served at somewhere called R.A.F. Lyneham for a time. Wooten Basset ? Lyneham was near Wootton Bassett – could it be the same place?

    We had the odd helicopter passing by – but never a helecopter, and the wave of helicopters was rarely low enough to waive at.

    Have even Tories given up on spelling?

    1. john Laity
      July 17, 2009

      During the IAT RAF Brize Norton Extends its airspace (MATZ) in a “pan handle” to Purton Woods, effectively touching RAF Lyneham Airspace, which encompasses Wootton Bassett.

      I have to apologise for the miss-spelling of Wootton Basset (round here it is just called Basset) and Lyneham. I am well known for my ability to miss-spell when upset by political rubbish !

      For the Record I am (should say was) a member of the Labour Party. However, I will not be voting Labour in 2010 as I cannot support a Government that allows workers at LDV to be redundant, when their skills could be used upgrading Landrovers for the MOD….Most LDV workers know the Landrover inside out!

      Commanding Officers can only deploy the resources they have allocated for the field. I believe that the Government / MOD sanctions all deployment requests and orders, so the blame for the current poor level of resourcing cannot be avoided.

      It is a time for action, not excuses. Otherwise we may as well expect Wootton Basset to be very busy for all the wrong reasons.

      PS: Please visit IAT if you can and show your support for our Armed Forces who do a fantastic job with and for very little!

    2. james Madden
      July 17, 2009


      Check your facts…not that facts mean a lot to Labour stooges.

      There is a huge Air Show at RAF Fairford. Take a look: http://www.airtattoo.com/airshow

    3. Stuart Fairney
      July 17, 2009

      No, just pedantry completely unrelated to the serious and substantive point

  2. Anon
    July 17, 2009

    I’m not sure anti-ship and anti-submarine helicopters are quite what’s required in Helmand.

  3. Surreptitious Evil
    July 17, 2009

    While I hate to say anything that could be considered, in any way, supporting the Government’s equipping of the military, can I point out that the submarine and surface ship threats to our troops in Afghanistan are fairly minimal? And that the amount of space the sonar equipment takes up makes it difficult & expensive to convert the RN Merlin to medium-lift troop carrier.?

  4. oldrightie
    July 17, 2009

    Roger Thumper, we oldies blog at great speed, fuelled by the anger and fear our lives are now so full of after 13 years of a wrecking crew that must rank as more highly successful than Adolf’s Luftwaffe. (German spelling, correct me if wrong).
    So, I am most forgiving of such typing errors, making many as I do myself.
    Now if we consider the educational attainment of Labours’ “Failed Experiment”, (Phony Tony, 2006, I believe, on Comprehensive Education policy), spelling mistakes are the least of our Nations’ problems. E.g Jimmy’s inability to manage money for a start.

    p.s. I always refer to James Gordon Brown as Jimmy. His Father used this nickname just before he indulged in humiliation of his son. How else did he become such a weird character?

  5. no one
    July 17, 2009

    there is at least one chinnock regularly flying low over london

    presumably flying VIPs around, or maybe special forces for unexpected events in the capital

    seems a remarkable waste of one of our few heavy lift helicopters in the current circumstances

    or maybe im just cynical

  6. john Laity
    July 17, 2009

    In other words.

    You will have to put up with my bad spelling as I am the downside to winning over the switch voter !

    ;0) John L

    PS: My Air show “rant” was done late at night, whilst in a bad mood.

    However, I simply don’t get how you can deploy a small force that uses mobility to extend its coverage and deny the enemy ground. Then you don’t supply mobility assets? How can that work ?

  7. DominicJ
    July 17, 2009

    “Have even Tories given up on spelling?”

    No, the comprehensives that educated us did.

  8. Mike Stallard
    July 17, 2009

    I am sure that this will give great comfort to all the families and widows of the soldiers who had to travel by road in Afghanistan.
    I notice that the Minister of Defense (sic?) travels by air there.

  9. john Laity
    July 17, 2009

    Just to be clear, the list I gave earlier was 20 minutes worth of arrivals.

    RIAT will host the following UK Aircraft (Not just Anti-Submarine and Anti-Ship).

    Army Air Corps
    Apache AH1 NATO 60th
    Apache AH1 and Lynx AH7 NATO 60th
    Defender AL1 651 Squadron NATO 60th
    Islander AL1 1 Flt, 5 Regt NATO 60th
    Lynx AH7 672 Sqn, 9 Regt NATO 60th
    Lynx AH9 672 Sqn, 9 Regt NATO 60th

    Sea King Mk4 X QinetiQ Fly Navy 100

    Royal Air Force
    A109E Power 32 (TR) Squadron NATO 60th
    C-17A Globemaster III 99 Squadron NATO 60th
    C-17A Globemaster III 99 Squadron NATO 60th
    Chinook HC2 27 Squadron NATO 60th
    Chinook HC2 27 Squadron NATO 60th
    Dominie T1 55 (R) Squadron NATO 60th
    E-3D Sentry AEW1 8 Squadron NATO 60th
    Griffin HT1 60 (R) Squadron NATO 60th
    Grob Viking (x2) 621 VGS NATO 60th
    Harrier GR7/9 TBC NATO 60th
    Hawk T1 208 (R) Squadron NATO 60th
    Hawk T1 (x11) The Red Arrows NATO 60th
    Hawk T1 (x2) 208 (R) Squadron NATO 60th
    Hawk T2 19 Squadron NATO 60th
    Hurricane IIC BBMF NATO 60th
    King Air B200 45 (R) Squadron NATO 60th
    King Air B200 45 (R) Squadron NATO 60th
    Lancaster B1 BBMF NATO 60th
    Merlin HC3 28 (AC) Squadron NATO 60th
    Merlin HC3A 78 Squadron NATO 60th
    Nimrod MRA2 42 (R) Squadron Sea Search 09
    Puma HC1 33 Squadron NATO 60th
    Puma HC1 230 Squadron NATO 60th
    Sea King HAR3 202 Squadron NATO 60th
    Sea King HAR3 202 Squadron Sea Search 09
    Sentinel R1 5 (AC) Squadron NATO 60th
    Spitfire BBMF NATO 60th
    Squirrel HT1 60 (R) Squadron NATO 60th
    Squirrel HT1 (x2) DHFS
    Tornado F3 111 Squadron NATO 60th
    Tornado GR4 XIII Squadron NATO 60th
    Tristar 216 Squadron NATO 60th
    Tucano T.1 (x2) 207 (R) Squadron NATO 60th
    Typhoon (x2) 29 (R) Squadron NATO 60th
    VC10 C1K 101 Squadron NATO 60th
    VC-10 C1K 101 Squadron NATO 60th
    Vigilant (x4) 612 VGS NATO 60th
    Viking T1 (x2) 621 VGS

    Royal Navy
    Chipmunk RNHF Fly Navy 100
    Falcon 20 (x2) and Hawk T1 (x4) The Black Sea Hawks Fly Navy 100
    Harrier GR7/9 NSW Fly Navy 100
    Harrier GR7/9 (x3) NSW Fly Navy 100
    Hawk T1 (x2) NFSF (FW) Fly Navy 100
    Jetstream T2 750 NAS Fly Navy 100
    Jetstream T2 (x4) 750 NAS Fly Navy 100
    Lynx 815 NAS Fly Navy 100
    Lynx AH7 847 NAS Fly Navy 100
    Lynx HAS3/HMA8 (x2) The Black Cats Fly Navy 100
    Lynx HAS3/HMA8 (x4) various Fly Navy 100
    Merlin HM1 TBC Fly Navy 100
    Merlin HM1 814 NAS Fly Navy 100
    Merlin HM1 (x4) various Fly Navy 100
    Sea King ASac7 (x2) & HU5 (x2) various Fly Navy 100
    Sea King HAS2 Sea King IPT Fly Navy 100
    Sea King HAS6 846 NAS Fly Navy 100
    Sea King HC4 845 NAS Fly Navy 100
    Sea King HC4/HAS6 (x4) CHF Fly Navy 100
    Sea King HUS5 (SAR) 771 NAS Fly Navy 100
    Squirrel HT1 (x2) & Griffin HT1 (x2) DHFS Fly Navy 100
    T67M Firefly (x4) 703 NAS Fly Navy 100

    I must restate that I believe the Air Show to be an excellent event and support it. It showcases the abilities of our service personnel and aircraft and creates UK trade Opportunities.

  10. Robert
    July 19, 2009

    We could simply hire/lease/buy more Blackhawks, Bell 212s/412s (updated Hueys to those not in the know) and Russian MI8s which our special forces are using crewed by RAF pilots! We could within 3 months get the most appropiate kit for theatre at the least cost to the tax payer, as our own project kit is often 3-4x more expensive. We don’t have the will because it threatens various top Military brass’ empires and pet projects.

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