The first RAF Waddington International Air Show was staged at RAF Waddington in 1995, after the event was moved down from RAF Finningley – an RAF station located near Doncaster which was closed down in 1995. Since then the RAF Waddington International Air Show has developed into the largest of all RAF’s air shows. It regularly takes place on the first weekend in July, attracting over 120,000 visitors and representatives of Air Forces from all round the world. All proceeds from the event are distributed to the two main Service charities; the RAF Benevolent Fund and the RAF Association. 15% from all profits is donated to local worthy causes. Since the inaugural year 1995 the Air Show has raised over £2,250,000 for Service and local charities.
The 2009 Air Show took place on 4 & 5 July and saw a record crowd with over 170,000 visiting Waddington to enjoy the largest of the RAF Air Shows. The themes of the 2009 Air Show were 60 years of NATO and the 90th anniversary of the RAF Benevolent Fund.
The Organisers were very hopeful to welcome back the famous Avro Vulcan XH558; an iconic cold war bomber which was stationed at RAF Waddington during the Falklands War in the early 1980s. Unfortunately, the aircraft was unable to repeat the impressive flying display from 2008 due to CAA licensing issues. However, the 7-hour flying display featured several top national and international display teams and aircraft to ensure a thrilling experience for aviation enthusiasts and families alike.
The 2010 Air Show took place over the weekend of 3 & 4 July. The main themes being “90 years since the first ever RAF air show, at RAF Hendon”, “70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain” and “35 years of the Early Airborne Warning”. The flying display included Vulcan XH558, many regular exhibitors and aircraft and display teams that have never been to Waddington before.
Ground displays always include over 100 aircraft, 250 trade stands, two exhibition hangars and the Military Village concept where all services display, the Waddington SERE (Survive Evade Resist Extract) School display with its close RNLI association. Many clubs also feature in the Village demonstrating the diversity of exciting hobbies and interests available to personnel today. The air show is headed by Wing Commander (Rtd) Colin Reeves OBE who has a very hardworking and successful team, devoted all year round to making the airshow weekend a hit.