Family Guide and Review of the Scampton Airshow 2017

The major annual RAF Airshow in Lincolnshire used to be held at RAF Waddington but sadly they were no longer able to host the event. A few years later RAF Scampton, the home of the red arrows stepped in and hosted the Scampton Airshow. The first one being in 2017. As soon as I heard about the event I booked tickets, especially as the tickets were discounted because I booked a long time in advance.

They also announced a variety of upgrade tickets. We upgraded for £20 each to the Grandstand. This meant seats on a tiered stand plus access to toilets nearby and parking at Scampton instead of over at the Lincolnshire showground. I will talk more about that below. A one day ticket, after the sale, was £39 each, under 16’s were free with every adult ticket. Keep your eye out for cheaper advance tickets for the 2018 airshow. Tickets had to be bought online in advance for everyone.

Getting there

With our upgrade, we were able to park at RAF Scampton. For this, we had to follow some specific signs which we didn’t find until it was too late and we’d gone the wrong way. It was, however, worth it especially as we had a very short queue to get in and didn’t have to wait for a bus to take us there.

Those with general tickets had to park at the Lincolnshire showground and be bused in and out.

RAF Scampton is located just north of Lincoln city centre.

The site itself

They had in excess of 40,000 people over the weekend of the 9th and 10th of September. The site for the public at the show was enormous. Taking those kinds of numbers into consideration it had to be.

Sadly for us, the walk to the grandstand was all the way over on the opposite side. When we got there we then had to queue for quite a long time which I hope will be something they will improve on for next year. Luckily though we were allocated our seats and we had a chance for a rest. Due to the rain coming in that day the grandstand wasn’t full so we had plenty of room to sit and watch and the view was exceptional, especially as we were right next to the red arrow aeroplanes.

The Red arrows next to the Grandstand

There was another, non-tiered, area with seats for those that had booked them. Those with standard entry had a big long section to stand and watch the planes from. While I appreciate anyone can see an airshow because the planes are indeed in the sky it was well worth the extra to be able to see the planes on the runway. You can see the grandstand and the amazing view of a Boeing 727 flying past below. I am such a plane geek and this was a real highlight of the show for me.

Boeing 727 flying past the Grandstand

I do have a general lack of photos other than planes because it kept raining and I was reluctant to take my camera out of my bag. That was another great reason for our seats as I could sit with my umbrella up while taking photos.

What else was there to see there?

There was so much to see and do we wished that A. We’d arrived earlier and B. we weren’t so cold from the rain. They had plenty of really good fairground rides, including a mini tank for the kids (and adults to drive). It was a bit steep for me at £10 though. To be honest the fairground rides were also a little overpriced starting at £3 a ride.

The fairground at Scampton

They had many static aircraft to wander around and look at.

Static aircraft at the show

There were quite a few fun things for the kids to see and do.

Inflatable tank

And for a small donation Jamie was able to sit in a fire engine for as long as he wanted. In the pouring rain, this was a blessing.

Fire engines of many types and ages
One happy boy

There was plenty more to see and discover, sadly we just didn’t have the time.

Scampton Airshow

We didn’t buy a program as we didn’t really want to spend £7 but luckily they announced what was coming at regular intervals. Luckily Jamie shares my love for planes so he was just as excited as I was to be there.

Sadly there was an issue with a plane being stuck on the runway so some eagerly awaited acrobatic planes couldn’t fly. They also had an issue with one of the red arrow planes so only 1 formation of 4 could fly instead of all 8. It was just our luck as they all flew the day after.

What we did see was very entertaining and there was a really good variety of planes. I’m not much of an expert when it comes to the actual names of planes but I do know how much effort the BBMF team put in to get the Avro Lancaster up and flying. Their display was Lancaster heaven for me. My Grandad flew in one in WWII. They are amazing planes and with only 2 flying in the whole world it’s a very moving experience to see one.

Avro Lancaster
The BBMF planes

We are lucky in that we live down the road from where the UK based flying Lancaster is kept so we get to see it often but it was a real bonus for me to be ready with my camera.

The show started with a parachute display
This stunt plane was one of our favourite displays
Breitling Wingwalkers

The Avro Anson is very similar to the Avro Lancaster. We were treated to a really good view of it parked on the runway ready for its display.

Avro Anson

We had been doing reasonably well with the weather. In the distance we could see an almighty rain cloud. I tempted fate by saying that I bet it arrives when the red arrows go out. The heavens opened as they entered the runway. Although watched from under an umbrella and minus half the team it was still an outstanding display by the red arrows. We are lucky in that we get to see them flying around often in Lincolnshire but there is nothing quite like watching them perform stunts and near ‘misses’ right above you.

The heavens opened just in time for the red arrows

There is nothing quite like the noise of a RAF Typhoon and Falcon. Both planes were saved to last and if you’ve never heard one at close range before be prepared for your tummy to rumble.

The incredibly loud RAF Typhoon and RAF Falcon closed the show

To read more about the 2017 airshow and to keep your eye out for 2018 tickets please visit the Scampton airshow website.

Top tips for visiting the Scampton Airshow

  • Take an umbrella if there’s the slightest chance of rain
  • Upgrade your tickets, the seat and view can be more than worth it. Plus we had food and toilets close by. We also didn’t have to wait for a bus to leave or enter the site
  • If you are wanting to save the pennies take a picnic
  • Have some cash ready for donations and rides
  • Arrive early – then you will be able to look around without missing any displays
  • Take some binoculars if you don’t have a long range camera. Although the planes are very close Mum wished she could have seen the wingwalkers better
  • Make sure you have refreshments with you….just in case!
  • If you don’t pre book seats get there early and reserve a spot with a blanket or fold up chairs
  • Dress with layers if it’s a cold day. Our body temperatures soon dropped in the rain
  • If you can find the schedule online in advance print it out and take it with you
  • Ear defenders – essential for children with sensitive ears. Jamie cupped his ears with his hands as he would have refused to wear them

I hope you enjoyed my blog review and guide to the show. Did you go this year? Are you thinking of going next year? We paid for tickets and upgrades to the show ourselves.

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