Monday, July 21, 2008

Farnborough Airshow 2008

Red Arrows and the Airbus A380

Airbus A380


On Sunday I went to the Farnborough Airshow. I went with my 2 daughters on the train from Eastleigh to Farnborough station, where free buses took us to the airfield.

We saw lots of static and flying planes and helicopters of which the Vulcan bomber, Eurofighter Typhoon F-35, Airbus A380 and the Red Arrows where the most memorable. The Vulcan was by far the loudest plane of the day.

There was a fair amount of free stuff to collect from the stands, although they were mostly engineering firms doing specialist pieces for planes so it was mostly the likes of Rolls Royce and BAE that had free stuff that interested us. The University of Manchester had a good stall with hands-on puzzles for children to experiment with. They gave us a badge and a keyring, but had run out of bouncy balls :(

There was an IBM truck, demonstrating the various Blade technologies to customers and partners. They also had a PS3 and Wii to play with and the very nice man I spoke to gave my kids a (VGA+, 800k) digital camera, a baseball cap and a folder. We also got to nibble on biscuits, Miniature Heroes and (full-fat) cold Coke.

The Red Arrows closed the show with their full display - it requires a fairly high cloud base - which lasted 30 minutes and was very impressive and polished. But for me, the highlights were the noisiest planes - the Vulcan and Eurofighter.

Even the kids said they had a good day out and would do it again. It helped that they had their Nintendo DS's for when they got bored but they enjoyed the atmosphere of the event - 80,000+ visitors, not including the 1,000s of support staff and pilots etc. Looking forward to going again in 2 years...

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