"Needless to say the RAF Rivet Joint never showed!" Over the 4 years I was sorting the aircraft for this event, the no shows list was extensive, ranging from the dc-6 to e3 and a10. It took 3 years for the b17 to show up(blown engine and oil leak)! I found the best way was to talk to as many people as I could and see what resulted, one year I had a chat with the russian knights and swifts! sadly that came to nothing after it was suggested we talk to each others defence ministers.
Got to say, thats the least exciting (is that the best way of putting it without insulting?) line up for a families day I've seen for a while! Perhaps fx can add anything, but I wondered if the enthusiasm for a show on base just isnt there. It seems to be getting less and less each year. I have been fortunate enough to be invited each year, although didnt attend this time, but it seems to be the aircraft attending are diminishing. I appreciate aircraft cancel, but the poster this year well in advance only advertised Chinooks, Lynx, a Grob and tucano flying. Families Day had also been brought forward as well, and although there must be a good reason, I wish they could hold it nearer to Farnborough/airtattoo week to maybe gain a few flyovers. And dont let yourself think this is a selfish enthusiast talking! My group of friends from the base were all complaining about it! Biggest complaint from them it seems, was if you cant get the Red Arrows, why not an alternative display team? Any thoughts FX?
The real key here is have the display midweek, a lot of military aircraft can do a sortie to and from the event. It more or less guarantees acts being free to come. The red arrows question, was always the bane of my time, because you can get a typhoon or an f16 but unless the reds are there people moan! so it was great when the aerostars and the blades agreed to be involved. The first year I was part of the event team Weston's show cancelled so we ended up with all the RAF participation from there, when the dates were moved the reds were already doing 2 displays elsewhere so that was that. Finally you need someone to take hold of things and devote a lot of time and effort to it, I suggest you talk to your pals on base and get them to thrust themselves into the limelight, if they want any gen I am more than happy to help.
I remember trying years back to get the Russians to send a Tu-95 to various UK shows but it ended up with a "get your defence chief of staff to call my defence chief of staff" so ended up going nowhere.
Thanks FX, not sure they'll be willing to have that limelight! You know what they are like! I know what you mean about the reds moaning, but the aerostars and Blades went down well. The move to a weekend was also another moan I regularly hear ("now we've got to come in on our days off")! Interesting to hear it from your side though.
Just for the record the Puma was XW229,Merlin was ZJ137, The 3 Lynx were XZ214,ZE378 and ZF539, Chinook HC6 on the ground was ZK552, Hawk T2 was ZK022,The C-130 was ZH889 and G-XXEB landed later. hope this helps.