Sunday, 17 July 2011

Royal Tattoo


Well, the Royal International Air Tattoo, to be precise.   Tattoo also means "an outside military show" -- I never knew!  The show is the largest military air show in the world and is held annually near Swindon.  This is about 2.5 hours (and $35 in gas!) away.  Pre-purchased tickets were necessary so we headed down despite the gloomy forecast and actual rain that was occurring when we left in the morning.  If you happened to catch any of The [British] Open on Saturday, you could see how bad the weather was and how it can change.  It was still raining when we got there, but fortunately it subsided and the flying began.

Wet skies gave us some time to look at the static displays.  Surprisingly, the kids were rather underwhelmed.  Despite our profession, we aren't big airplane geeks and could have used a little more information in general.  Here's a Chinook.  Unfortunately, we only saw one fly briefly.

One of the few engine displays, even if from the competition.

 Tornado GR4 -- side view

 Tornado GR4 -- front view

They also had some "indoor" displays in the Imagineering Tent.  Here's Nicole in front of the Rolls-Royce display (Trent engine in the background).  FYI, since this was a military show it was staffed by the folks in Bristol (which is also closer), rather than the Civil folks in Derby (where we work).

Alex surprised himself by how much fun he had.  Here he's putting together a thrust propelled car (also in the RR area).

further help with the car

This may be as close as I get to a 787, which is the aircraft that "my" engine (Trent 1000) goes on.  We are in direct competition with GE (where my brother works) on this platform.  GE is very well respected, but very much the evil empire and the enemy in Derby.  We didn't get that vibe back in Indy (since it wasn't such a direct comparison).

 here he is outside pumping up a "bottle rocket" -- he was all giggles

 now we are flying!

F-16 amidst gray skies.  I was amazed at how slow they could fly these and still maintain control.

 Typhoon (I think)

 Typhoon under belly shot.  Again, the kids weren't nearly as impressed as we were.

Here's a shot of the Red Arrows flying BAe Hawks.  Same planes as in the photo at the top.

Heading out and obviously going a little faster (I barely caught them in the frame).

In the end, it was a surprisingly good day given the weather and the distance traveled.  We didn't stay until the very end given the drive back that lay ahead.  Both kids zonked out with mouths agape on the ride home (very rare despite our many car trips).  We capped it off nicely with a fancy dinner at Anoki on the way home.  Anoki is a higher end Indian curry house and we treated this as a pre-birthday celebration for Kuk.  We ordered 2 orders from the [expensive] set menu and had fun trying all the dishes (none were overly hot).  The kids did a good job of trying things and each found a dish or two that they liked.  Bravo!

No hike this weekend.  Alex was relieved.  He had assumed that Sunday = hike and I had double booked his weekend.  All smiles when he realized he had some free time after all!

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